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USS Columbia NX-01

[Proudly Sponsored by BLAP! Models]

by Nicholas Sagan

Scale: 1/1000

This 1/1000 NX-01 was my first build from Polar Lights. The kit right out of the box is nicely detailed and has plenty of room for lighting, which I thought I would take a chance on doing at this scale. I began by drilling out all of the windows and cutting out some interior sections to make room for the lights and electronics. The base coat was a mixture of Testors acrylic steel and neutral gray. I then used Aztek Dummy's Weenex masks and hand rubbed a mixture of Testors acrylic aluminum and light gray. One thing I should have done was thin out the top coat because as it turns out, the Testors metallics are a little rubbery and dry thick. So, when I removed the masks there was a slight edge which needed burnishing. Some the of detail work was done with jet exhaust and Testors Brass enamel for nice glossy details. The decals are stock (I called it the Columbia in honor of my graduate institution) with a few extra decals from my scrap pile. To top it off a Tamiya weathering kit was utilized and couple of dull coats were applied with masking in the proper areas.

The lighting was a real challenge on this one for me, because I like to keep the power internal. There are 3 separate circuits, one for blue and white lights, one for the reds and one for the blinking nav circuit. The nav blinker was cannibalized from an HO-scale railroad engine. All of the circuits' negative leads were sent to a single switch set in the rear launch bays. One thing I don't always account for is how to replace the batteries, so this one gets minimal "on" time. Build-time wise it was a good effort; about a month on-and-off was perfect. Overall I am happy with the lighting and level of detail I was able to work into this. My appreciation for this design definitely grew, too. 1/1000 is a good scale for me to work with and I look forward to more!

Image: Rear view

Image: Front/right

Image: Underneath

Image: Details

Image: Topside

Image: Bussard scoops

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This page was last updated 2 March 2010. © 2010 Starship Modeler