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Member Since 28 Nov 2010
Offline Last Active Nov 28 2022 07:26 AM

#97692 Here we go again... Playmates is back in the Trek business!

Posted by Destructor!!! on 08 September 2022 - 07:23 PM

Found this spin-video of the Enterprise:


Uh... looks like a pile of junk to me, honestly. Wonky nacelles, awful sculpt and paint choices, obtrusive buttons, and am I seeing transparent plastic on the impulse deck?!


Just dreadful. In the day and age when we have super-high-res reference material provided by the Smithsonian, there's no excuse for this ugly mess. Even if accuracy isn't high on your agenda, this is just an unattractive object.


Compared to the '90s version, the new one looks incredibly bad. Here's the '90s version for comparison:

#97689 Here we go again... Playmates is back in the Trek business!

Posted by Destructor!!! on 29 August 2022 - 06:09 PM

I feel like Discovery was the enabler of this whole new swathe of Star Trek content, but it's so bad everything else tries to distance itself from it.

#97684 Here we go again... Playmates is back in the Trek business!

Posted by Destructor!!! on 28 August 2022 - 07:23 PM

Updated the mockup in the previous post because I kept working on it because why?!?

Also made a wallpaper version of the background image because I think it's pretty!


#97680 Here we go again... Playmates is back in the Trek business!

Posted by Destructor!!! on 26 August 2022 - 08:31 PM

I mocked up a modern version of the same idea because I wanted to.

Older version


#97617 WIP USS Defiant 3D-print build.

Posted by Destructor!!! on 24 May 2022 - 07:28 AM



I printed up the dark blue paint masks for the top hull.





Unfortunately, even where they conform well to this model's hull, the definition isn't what I would have liked.





The aft end cloudiness is to be expected given the changes to the source files since this prototype was printed (a friggin' YEAR ago!?), but the forward end has had minimal changes, so the mask conforms well. It seems you just can't match the precision of tape, which is sad because I had hoped to avoid all the tape-fu necessary for the hull markings with the printed masks.





The colour choice for the dark blue looks pretty spot on in these photos, I think, but in person it seems a touch too dark and bold. You be the judge please.


EDIT: Actually, I think the dark blue is quite right for the nacelles, but the majority of the dark blue panels are a bit lighter than that.

#97574 WIP USS Defiant 3D-print build.

Posted by Destructor!!! on 17 March 2022 - 05:38 PM



The weather is a little better here now, so painting time!

I thought I had a better match for the hull colour, but it has come out looking a little too warm. This only really became apparent to me after I masked and sprayed the light-blue hull segments. I've been dithering, but I think I will wash these layers back and try to find a slighty darker light grey than I used first time (see several posts ago) and start again.






In spite of the off-ness of the base colour, I had to see how she looked with the new panels painted and the lights on. Overall, I'm pleased - but d'oh! I forgot to primer the nose and bridge pieces and I neglected to update the hull colour on the torpedo launcher chevrons - although that last part is a positive now that I'm aiming to go back to a more monochrome base colour - one less layer of paint to kill the light bleed.

#97435 Here we go again... Playmates is back in the Trek business!

Posted by Destructor!!! on 02 January 2022 - 12:06 PM

I think the DST BOP might be at least partially based on AMT molds - the torpedo launcher is missing the little greebly pod thing (which in TSFS I think actually *was* the torpedo) and there's a mounting hole for it. I suspect if I were to source that pod part from an AMT model it would fit.


I have practically no source for this theory aside from a size comparison I remember seeing where the scale and detailing matched up well. Even if it is so, obviously the wings and guns are very different.

#97385 WIP USS Defiant 3D-print build.

Posted by Destructor!!! on 02 October 2021 - 11:01 AM

I have wired up the FX lighting. Remember some of these will be painted over the reduce the light bleed. This is Quantum Torpedoes - it turned out incredibly bright.




This is Photon Torpedoes.


I may remove the resistors on these LEDs, or replace them with weaker resistors as these are quite dim compared to the Quantums. That said, the photo makes it look worse than it is.


I struggled to get a decent picture of the Pulse Phasers firing, so this will have to do.


I would like them to be brighter, but they're working nicely. Threading the fibre optic filaments down the conduits I printed for them was pretty difficult, especially for the lower pair as they're quite embedded below the "deck" of the interior, and the conduit has to snake around a little. The print tolerance was also a bit tight, so I had to stick a pin in and wiggle to loosen the passage a bit or the fibre optic would not fit.
The cannon snapped off one of them in the process, but I was able to thread it along the fibre optic line and glue it back on like nothing happened.




I was feeling so satisfied with my fibre optic running lights on the nacelles. Then I remembered they're supposed to be red and green for port and starboard!

D'oh! I guess I'll see if just markering them after they're snipped does the job.


Anyway, I have procrastinated on doing the audio board and am working on painting. I have been held up by no-doubt-Brexit-related supplier delays. I'm waiting on a pair of new Airbrushes from England. I came up with the idea of 3D printing the paint masks for them, so I'm carving out the various hull markings into extruded plant-ons that should limit the various colours to their rightful locations... given a bit of skill in the paint app... hmmm...


Impatient, I primed the upper shell and hit it with some metallic spray paint. That didn't look right at all, so I hit that with white, which also looks wrong. When the airbrushes arrive, I'll see what I can do to walk it back.


Do you guys have any advice on paint colours/techniques to use?

#97371 WIP USS Defiant 3D-print build.

Posted by Destructor!!! on 10 September 2021 - 10:57 PM

Great work Dilithium1! I particularly love the mechanical element to it. You should make your own thread, go into detail about the design and thought processes behind it - I'd be fascinated to read it.
As for me, I have fit-checked the other chips. The blinker chip has been in place for a while and aside from some overzealous clips, it fit perfectly. The Sound FX chip and the amplifier chip didn't sit as well, so I had to take a hot soldering iron to the plastic to fit them. They're snug now.
If you look closely, you can see fiber optic filaments running from the forward window LEDs to the outer wall of the nacelles, where they power formation lights.
The previously forgotton plasma vent LEDs are present and illuminated now. You can see the fibre optic filaments sticking out of the nacelle. They'll be trimmed down once the paint job is complete. I also have a filament running out of the nose blinker, top and bottom, as the effect wasn't quite right there with just the light pipe. Incidentally, it's quite obvious where I re-used the forward plasma vent button on the starboard side from my test print: that was a different batch of printer filament, and boy does it transmit light differently!
With the flash off, you can see how well the light transmits through the fibre optics (the blinkies are between blinks right now).

Tried to wire up the buttons, but I ordered 18 AWG wire thinking it would be thinner than the 22 AWG wire I have... the AWG scale is fookin' bass-ackwards. 18 AWG is thick and stiff. (no jokes, please)
Apparently, the AWG scale is based on how many passes through the stretching machine the wire does, getting thinner each time. Frakking dumb scale imho. Just gimme the diameter in mm, ya phoox.

#97360 WIP USS Defiant 3D-print build.

Posted by Destructor!!! on 08 September 2021 - 05:49 PM

3 weeks later, the wind stirs in the west and Destructor takes to the keyboard once more!


I had a break, but before I went away, I sucked it up and did the first bit of wiring - the Deflector, window, and formation beacon lights in the nose:




What else? Well, it took a lot of wrestling with stupid anxiety, and a week off visiting friends on the other side of the country, but look!




I finally have most of the lighting wired in - I forgot the plasma vents, but they'll be easy to solder in tonight. After this, I'll work on the sound-related lights that light up when you press the associated button (pulse phasers, photons, quantums, maybe even the phaser strip on the spine).


Here she is in bright light (phone camera flash plus room light):




The lighting shows through well. Even in sunlight, it shows decently.




In the dark, the effect is obviously much better.


The part I was most concerned about was the warp field grilles. The 2 LEDs per nacelle shine into their own little chambre between the two compartments behind the grille. I made the chambre walls very thin to leak as much light into the compartments as possible, and I was worried it might be too dim.



But they came out great! I have the exposure lowered in this shot so you can begin to see the internal detail through the grilles, but they pop just as well as the rest of the lights.


Top down view:



The red glows from the whatever holes in the front and the radiator troughs in the back of the spine are crazy-effective. I'll need to dull them a bit with paint, but that's great because they're supposed to be grey/black with a dull red glow.


Bottom view in natural daylight:



Previous pictures haven't really shown off the windows in the ventral hull, but they work great too! Each side has a fore an aft warm white LED shining into a gully to channel the light along. I was worried the mid point would be a little dark, but just look! It's like the snow that lay round about when good King Wenceslas looked out on the Feast of Stephen!  (deep and crisp and even)


When I do start light blocking, I'll be laying silver layers in places to bounce the light internally, and then covering with primer. In some places I'll be layering more silver on top as appropriate to get the light where I need it and minimise waste. Obviously I'll be masking off areas that need to fully transmit.

#97343 WIP USS Defiant 3D-print build.

Posted by Destructor!!! on 18 August 2021 - 11:58 AM



Top finished printing the day before yesterday. Feels good man!




Another 8 hours had the battery cover and the nose cap printed, and I fitted them the next morning. The print hiccup in the printing of the lower nose caused some mating issues, but they were solved with an emory board and some UV-cured glue.






Some of the same work revealed that the original battery cover/stand design wasn't as poor as I had thought. The new one is still better though, I think. That reminds me: I must print a test rig of that design.





Oh, this photo reminds me to print new nacelle grilles in white!



Anyway, 5 more hours had the vent buttons and their caddy printed. I put the as-yet un-wired momentary buttons in and assembled it all for a fit-check.






The buttons are a little tight, but I think I just need to clear some more slag. Most do click though.


There is some gapping between the upper and lower hulls. On this one at least, I'll probably have to glue it, but I have already modelled an additional latch into the forward tips of the bow, either side of the "mandible" to hold them together. Additional cleaning and sanding of the grooves where the hulls meet should aid fitment too.


What's next? Well, I'm fearing the wiring most, so I think I'll tackle that next. Going to take a day or two before that though.

#97337 WIP USS Defiant 3D-print build.

Posted by Destructor!!! on 12 August 2021 - 06:00 PM

Finished this part!
The nose slots in PERFECTLY. It's snug and seamless and totally solid. You can pick the whole ship up by the nose without anxiety. MASSIVE relief.
That seemingly validates the latch system I'm using all over the ship to connect the hull halves.
I will need to redesign the battery cover, though. The tolerances are way too tight, and I have the snap latch on the wrong end for the forces - it unsnapped and the ship pitched forward. I could also afford to lengthen the pylon on the stand - which will make it a MORE accurate representation of DS9, lol.
I have fit-checked some of the electronic components.
Most of the chip mounts need adjusting, but the speaker and the blinker board fit snugly and securely.


The light-trough for the "windows" along the inner edge of the hollow in the bottom of the ship is a touch too close to the outer skin, it comes close to breaking through and will be a light-leak issue. I will need to remodel that.
The nacelle grilles snap in nicely too - I accidentally printed both sets as starboard grilles, so the port nacelle is currently ungrilled. I will be printing the next set in white PLA anyway - light bleed is encouraged for this component.
These photos all make it look smaller than it feels in the hand.
Size comparison with the old Playmates/AMT Defiant (same mold).
The innacuracies in the proportions and angles of that old mold really stand out like this.

#97336 WIP USS Defiant 3D-print build.

Posted by Destructor!!! on 12 August 2021 - 08:17 AM



The next day: The USS Defiant bursts out of the space-vines, cloaking as it emerges!

It is TANTALISINGLY close to done now - I mean, the bottom half of the ship is close to done. Then it'll be another 3 days or so of printing on the top half. Then another day or two for the buttons and battery cover.


And then obviously painting and wiring and blah blah blah.


But it's becoming real, and that's exciting. Every facet and corner and panel line of this thing was made by my hand, it never stops feeling amazing to 3D print something you crafted yourself.

#97335 WIP USS Defiant 3D-print build.

Posted by Destructor!!! on 11 August 2021 - 08:41 PM



Godsdamn, it is so cool to watch this thing emerge s l o w l y from the printer.


It's like 5 days later and I'm still printing the lower hull due to a number of setbacks, but it's really looking good.


One of the setbacks was the box-out behind the deflector dish in the nose beginning printing in the far corner first, unconnected to the rest of the nose. There is support material under there, so it was cupped in place, but it broke free of the support material, wedged between the print head and the nose, and forced the head upwards, creating a gap. Then it happened each time the head came back over it, meaning all subsequent layers printed with an air-gap between them. This all happened while I was asleep.


When I got up, I found the issue, surmised what had happened, and pulled all the botched layers off it. Then I lowered the print head bit-by-bit onto the last "good" layer and edited the print file to start from that layer. The result is that little ridge you can see in the nose section, but I think I can sand and fill that away. The ridge is much less pronounced in the main hull from what I can tell - the support tree makes it hard to see.


I have already edited the source file so this shouldn't be an issue in future prints. This is why we prototype!




Check out the detail on the forward end of the nacelle!




And here's the "topside" view of the partially-printed lower hull. I know this is basically a jumble of white plastic, but if you compare this image to my previous images from the editor of the lower hull internals, it will start to make some sense.

#97331 WIP USS Defiant 3D-print build.

Posted by Destructor!!! on 07 August 2021 - 06:37 AM

I was going to sell them a few months ago, but Etsy was like "nah, you need to list more items than that", so I'm building up my range and will offer various SKUs at various price points.
In short, SOON™. Probably once I have the phaser and the Warbird prototyped... maybe sooner.

And holy cow, thanks for the praise!




Slight design change to the grilles as the first print had parts that were still too thin - not on the preview, but in practice they fell apart. So I coned the inner side into the nacelle cavity a bit to strengthen them with minimal effect on light transmission.

I'm thinking printing these in black was not the best idea, I might reprint in white to transmit more blue light through the structure of the grilles.

Removing them from the lower hull has taken a whole DAY off the print time for it, despite these taking just a single hour to print themselves.




I'm happy with the mesh structure.




I have begun the lower-sections print. This structure of pipes under the nose was one of my biggest areas of concern - but aside from a few burrs and some slag, it's looking great!
Printing continues apace.
ETA 4 days for this part, then another 3 days for the upper part. Then another few hours for battery cover etc.

Then fit checks, sanding, more fit checks (and likely changes to the model files and reprints for stuff I didn't think of), wiring testing, painting, decaling, depression, questioning existence, printing new ones and hopefully sale.