by Jason Romans
Scale: Not stated
I built this to represent a starfighter that would be carried aboard the reboot Enterprise. I had been kicking the shape around for several months, this contest motivated me to try building it.
I haven't tried building anything from scratch in about 10 years, so after a couple of failures trying to build it out of styrene, I settled on balsa. The warp nacelle shape is a drop tank from a fighter jet, probably a 1/48 F-18. The rest of the wing, scoops, and fuselage were made out balsa. I only had one drop tank so I figured I would try to cast a second out of smooth-on plastic. After I bought the materials to do this I thought it would be even better if I cast the whole thing this way. So I built one wing, cast duplicates, made a mold for the center section and ended up with a sturdy, easy to handle model. Unfortunately, it was riddled with pin holes. I glued the three main pieces together and filled the imperfections with super glue, putty, and styrene pieces. I sanded it out with 240 grit sand paper and primed it with PPG NCP 171 automotive primer, taking care of the pinholes. I used a cordless drill to bore out the cockpit and countersink the phaser emitters.
After sanding the primer I detailed the model with odds and ends. The nav deflector is an engine fan from a 1/144 A-10. Its wheels serve as pulse phaser emitters and its landing gear pods were filed down and used as impulse engines on the trailing edge of the wings. The pilot is from a 1/72 F4F Wildcat as is the stand, and the detail on the back of the fuselage is a 1/144 Hind helicopter chin turret.
I painted the model testors camouflage gray and painted the contrasting panels navy aggressor gray. I used a pencil to add the rest of the panel lines and printed the registry numbers on a sheet of label paper that I painted gray. The pilot was painted to look like Kirk's space suit from the movie and I used a drop of clear to make the helmet visor.
After trying a couple of different canopy ideas, I ended up making the canopy out of a piece of the tube my exacto blades came in and a hunk of clear vacuumed packaging material formed the windshield.