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TNG Dustbuster Phaser


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#1 'E'

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 03:21 PM

I've been on a quest to buy a TNG Dustbuster phaser for quite some time and have been unsuccessful. This is my my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE phaser from the Star Trek universe. Although I would have loved to buy the built hero version it doesn't look like it's going to be available for quite some time.

That's why I finally decided to buy the prop kit from Roddenberry.com and I'm scared to death to try to build it my self, LOL!! It'll be a pretty expensive OOPS if I screw it up! It'll be a static build, no electronics. I think I'll do ok since I'm pretty decent with a can of spray paint and tape and I can follow instructions. I'm going to take pictures of my progress and will post as I go along.

I do have a question for any of you prop builders out there. I'm having trouble finding Krylon brand spray paint in Stone Gray, which was the original color (actually it was Dove Gray , but it's no long in production). Can anyone suggest a similar color in another brand that I could use. I want to get it as close as I can.

Here's a PDF of the instructions if anyone wants to take a gander.

http://www.roddenber..... Assembly.pdf

Wish me luck!


Erik

#2 Prologic9

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 10:38 PM

Ace Hardware has an Ace branded Stone Gray that will work just fine. You may only be able to get it in satin but with a clearcoat it won't matter.

Or, I would say you could just use krylon's classic gray. On the caps Stone Gray is noticeably warmer but the actual paint is much more similar. And with a silver dusting on top (did the dustbusters have that?) I doubt anyone could tell them apart.

#3 'E'

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 11:15 PM

QUOTE (Prologic9 @ Jan 2 2010, 08:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ace Hardware has an Ace branded Stone Gray that will work just fine. You may only be able to get it in satin but with a clearcoat it won't matter.

Or, I would say you could just use krylon's classic gray. On the caps Stone Gray is noticeably warmer but the actual paint is much more similar. And with a silver dusting on top (did the dustbusters have that?) I doubt anyone could tell them apart.



Hi Prologic9. Welcome to TrekToy boards!

I ended up getting Krylon's classic gray this afternoon. No one seems to carry the stone gray here in Vegas. It seems pretty close to me as well. And, yes, the instructions do call for a light coat of silver over the gray.

Now I just have to wait for the kit to arrive. I'm pretty excited to get started.

#4 Prologic9

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 11:52 PM

Thanks "E,"

You shouldn't go wrong with the Classic, and your location should serve you well (I imagine Vegas is all warm, dry air. Good for the paint). I just finished a rebuilt of the AA TMP phaser and had to find a heated indoor location to do my spraying.

#5 FHC

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 05:37 AM

Yeah that's a problem for me here in Indiana. Today is a whopping 4 degrees. I'm lucky that I can use the company shop which is heated, but I have to do it on weekends. I will tell you this though on the matter of "exact" colors on props. Mike Moore, from HMS, once told me that during the painting of, let's say 5, props, you're spraying along and you run out of one color, you just grab the color of the paint rack that's closest and go on. So, any Gray from that line might be in fact an exact match for one of of them.

#6 Gothneo

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 05:45 AM

Oh Wow! What a fun project! The instructions are really done nicely for the roddenbery stuff! Good luck and please show us the final product when you get it done!

#7 'E'

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 07:48 PM

Ok, the kit came this morning and I got started right away. Here's my progress so far. And I have a few questions for you prop building guys, too.

Here's what the parts look like when you open up the kit. It's pretty basic. I sanded the seams the best I could.



Next I primed the main phaser body and the handle.




While those where drying I primed and painted the trigger button and the two intensity buttons.




After several hours of drying I was quite please with the primer coat on the phaser body and handle so I decided to go ahead with the first coat of gloss.
Here they are hanging in my garage to dry.




So here's my question for you prop guys. The handle looks great. The main phaser body has a few blobs and what-not that I'm not happy with. What's the best way to fix this. Sanding? The directions mention "wet sanding" between coats. Is that just what it sounds like? What's the best grit sandpaper to use? I really, really want to get rid of these minor imperfections. I appreciate any input I can get on this part.

Now I'm off to do some intricate masking on the emitter to that can get primed and painted over the next few days.

#8 Prologic9

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 10:32 PM

Firstly, I'd advise you to slow down, you'll need to take your time if you want it just right.

Just write-off your current color layer as primer and get to sanding. If you've gotten rid of your seams and filled any bubbles or problem areas the cast may have had, then use something like a 300-400 grit and just dry sand it. Then wash it clean and put another coat of primer on when it's dry.

Once that primer is ready you can wet sand it. I'd use a 600 grit and then follow it with a 1500 grit. Wet sanding is indeed what it sounds like, you can wet the sand paper or sand it in water or under running water (as long as there are no electronics, clearly). It reduces the friction and keeps the heat down. Sand somewhat slowly, too much heat can 'melt' your fresh paint and it will peal off instead of sanding. Just make sure it stays wet. You should back the paper with a sponge or something similar to help keep the pressure even. Once you're done wash it up again and let it dry.

Now your surface should be properly prepared, and getting a good finish will come down to your spray-painting. Take your classic gray and shake well, naturally. Test spray a nice long burst and take note of how it feels. It should come out smooth and thin, and eventually you'll feel it sputter a little bit. You want to get a feel for it because that's what you're trying to avoid.

Now when you go to spray the phaser, pay attention to how far you are. Even though people read the directions they always spray wrong. You should be 6" away from your target while you spray, make sure you are. Never start or stop your spray on the phaser, always before and after. Paint in thin layers, quick brief strokes. To give you an exact idea, it should take you about 1-2 seconds to make a 1 foot stroke. Don't expect it to be done in 1 coat, after a thin coat you can apply more after 10-15 minutes, so it's not a big deal.

Don't think its too much trouble to practice on something else first so you can get a feel for it.

Once you've got a solid color coat, if you're happy with it then great. If they're rough areas and you're not happy then you can wet sand it some and spray it again.

When it looks good to you, let it dry--for 2-3 days. It can take longer to fully cure but you should be safe to handle and mask it after that.

----

I'd like to ask, there looks to be a texture on your buttons, did they come that way, or maybe that's the glue-side? I've got the instructions from Roddenberry and they appear smooth there.

#9 'E'

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 10:57 PM

Prologic9 ... thanks for the advice. I'll slow it down! I'll sand down the current coat, reprime and try again.

About the buttons...I think you might be right. They threw me off a bit because the didn't have to be cut out as in the instructions. They came just as you see them. To me, the textured side looked nice so that's what I went with. But it would make sense for the textured side to go down for gluing purposes.

I work for the next four days so I won't be getting much done til the weekend. I'll post as I go!

Thanks again.

#10 FHC

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 11:16 PM

I think that 1500 grit on the primer coat is to slick of a surface for the paint to have some bite into it. I seldom slick past 400 or so. That's just me though.

The best way I have found to get a nice coat of paint out of a spray can (enamel paint) is to take a pan and fill it full of water. warm the water up, not hot, warm, and place the spray can in it. This warms up the paint uniformly. Don't get it hot, it could explode, just get it nice and warm. Take it out, shake it, place it back in the water, ect... You might be shocked at how nice it sprays.

Prologic9 is right in that taking your time is always best. Easier to do it right then soaking the prop in Simple Green to remove the paint and starting again. Now the thing that I try to remember is that each level of paint job should be based on what you want from the prop. If you want to carry it around at a convention, or have it sit on the coffee table and let guests play with it, or do you want to make a show piece in a cabinet where you will display it. There really is no point in fussing over details to make it beyond what you plan to use it for. Why labor to make the most perfect paint job that ever was dropped across the convention floor and stepped on. If you follow me.

On last note on redoing things. Remember that most primer is lacquer and the paint that you are using is enamel. You can spray enamel on top of lacquer, but you cannot spray lacquer on top of enamel. That of course means that if you want to re-primer the thing, and you've sprayed a paint coat on, you going to have to strip it. Best way to strip a prop is to soak it in a cleaner called Simple Green. Let it soak for a day or so and you can brush off your old paint. Won't hurt the resin.

#11 'E'

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 08:25 PM

Here's today's progress.

The morning was slow at work so was able to get he masking done on the emitter.


Then I re-sanded the phaser body back down the best I could and it's ready for more primer this weekend.



#12 FHC

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 09:10 AM

Easier then sanding.

http://www.simplegre...ose_cleaner.php

Buy the gallon size, soak the prop in it for a day or two, and then you can just brush off the old paint. Won't hurt the resin and the smell is kind of nice. Every environmental friendly product. I've done it several times.

#13 'E'

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 08:04 PM

Here's today's work.

Re-primed the body, buttons (texture side down this time) and primed the emitter. I also put on another coat of gloss black on the handle.











#14 FHC

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 08:32 PM

I'm going to have to start having you build my props. smile.gif

I do have one Dustbuster in my collection. I do believe that it's an Ed Miarecki.



#15 'E'

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 08:41 PM

QUOTE (FHC @ Jan 10 2010, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm going to have to start having you build my props. smile.gif


I'll take that as a huge compliment! We'll see if you feel the same way when it's done smile.gif

QUOTE (FHC @ Jan 10 2010, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I do have one Dustbuster in my collection. I do believe that it's an Ed Miarecki.


I'm going to have to insist on some pictures! biggrin.gif

#16 FHC

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 10:43 PM

http://www.trektoy.com/prop.htm

I just noticed that I don't have a photo of it yet. I'll fix that tomorrow.

#17 'E'

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 10:18 AM

I'm thinking ahead and I have two questions. First...the part where I need to spray a light fog of silver on the main body has me a bit concerned. I want to make sure it goes on evenly. Any tips? I think I'll practice on box a little.

Second...to clear coat or not? The instructions don't call for it. What are the benefits? Are they any cons?

Thanks for the advice.

#18 thecapn

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 12:53 PM

QUOTE ('E' @ Jan 11 2010, 11:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm thinking ahead and I have two questions. First...the part where I need to spray a light fog of silver on the main body has me a bit concerned. I want to make sure it goes on evenly. Any tips? I think I'll practice on box a little.

Second...to clear coat or not? The instructions don't call for it. What are the benefits? Are they any cons?

Thanks for the advice.


Depends on how good you are with a clear coat and spraying it on. I once had a P1 that I had painted smooth - it was perfect. Then I went to clearcoat it, and it ended up botching the whole job. I would say unless you're completely confident, skip it. Not to mention, I doubt any were actually clearcoated on the show...

As far as the fog, I would put the phaser on a pole, then spray around it from a couple feet away, that would do the trick. Just make sure it's consistent.

Basically, spraypainting is an art that I have NOT gotten a handle of yet. But good luck!

#19 FHC

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 01:37 PM

very few props are glossy as it would have a reflective effect with lighting. however they look nice in your hands. I would bet that the misting spray was in fact an effort to make it have less shine. That's what happened to the Assault Phasers in The Finial Frontier. They were so glossy they were given a silver mist to reduce that.

#20 'E'

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:19 PM

Sounds like I'll be skipping the clear coat. I'm very happy with my work so far so I really don't want to screw it up with blotchy clear coat.

Here's today's work. It looks like a lot but it really wasn't much at all.

This morning I put the some gloss Krylon Classic Gray on the main phaser body. This time it came out really nice. No blotches at all. I'm very happy!. The flash makes it look ALOT lighter than it really is.


After that I decided to do the emitter (Krylon gloss black). It'll going to set it aside for a while before I remove the tape.


Next I sprayed the buttons again. One silver and two tan.


Now this part was a wicked pain in the ass! I ended up taping all four sides to an old cookie tray. To get the little strips I used my stainless steel ruler and hobby knife. I put a piece of tape on the cookie sheet and just sliced up little strips. I had to eyeball it since it's just too small to try to accurately measure. Then I painted the exposed areas. I decided to leave that first and last bars for next step since they are rounded on each end. I'll do those individually once these have dried.



Since the handle was nice and dry I decided to glue in the thing-a-mabobs in that hold the handle to the main body.



Lastly I thought I'd go ahead and try the step I've been dreading. The "silver fog" of doom. I'm so anal that I knew that if I didn't get this right I was going to have start all over again. To my surprise it actually turned out well. I was quite pleased with the results. Below are several photos of the outcome. In some of the photos the silver specs look black, but that's just the flash. You can see that I got a nice even spread!




The main body is almost done. The last part is painting the power bar area dark gray. Right now it's just going to hang on it's hook for a good while for drying. Too bad it's not summer here. One night in a 120 degree garage would dry that sucker overnight!

I'm having so much fun with this project and have been learning ALOT. Now I'm starting to think about what my next project will be ... smile.gif









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