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USS Voyager

By Ivan Place, Jr. - images & text © 2003-2004

Parts: 62 Injection-molded styrene
Instructions: Multi-page booklet with assembly diagrams, paint chart and decal placement guide
Decals: Waterslide, markings for one ship
MSRP: Out of production, but still readily available online (eBay, Starship Modeler Trading Post, etc)

I'm a straightforward person, so here's the deal: Nothing new in building this kit and my next one will be much better. The normal putty-sand-prime-putty-prime-sand method applies in doing away with the seam where the main hull meets the engine wing section. I used 400, 600, and 800 grit sandpaper and Testors red putty and Painters' Touch wet/dry sandable primer.

[Click to enlarge] The wings are movable yet rigid due to the usage of brass rods and still retain the 'click' when positioned in the upright configuration. The only othere extras are simple LED lighting. To opaque the model for light leaks the inner and out hulls was sprayed with flat black, then gloss white was used for the inner hull. Aluminum tape was used in select areas for additional internal light reflection.

Three white LED's were used to light the forward hull, and one for the main hull that is bright enough to light the after-market deflector dish. Each engine had one red and blue LED. I did not separate the bussard compartment LED because the blue light reflecting onto the red gives the 'watermelon pink' effect for the bussard area. Front and rear impulse engine areas were lit with a single red LED.

I airbrushed the model the best I could with the paint scheme from original studio data with resources from SSM and other model sites. If I were an airbrush artist or Pro, it would be 'dead-on.' The whole project took no more than 30 hours spread over ten days. The most time consuming part was applying 95% of all those aftermarket decals!

[Click to enlarge]

Days 1 and 2

Today the windows to be lit were drilled out. The hull is partially assembled and the pieces puttied, sanded, and primed. This was followed by the first coats of light-blocking paint.

Image: A simple test to detect light leaks

Image: Not all windows are to be lit - after all, the crew has to sleep sometime ...

[Click to enlarge]

Image: Brass wing hinge pin installed

Days 3 and 4

The main parts were readied for light reflection using aluminum tape and white paint. Brass rods were installed in the "wings" for strength. The rear shuttle deck/warp pylons/warp engines were then assembled. The LED's were tested for several hours to see how long the batteries could be expected to last.

Image: Warp engines being assembled

Image: Light test

[Click to enlarge]

Image: Wiring in the secondary hull

Image: Warp engines in the "up" position

Days 5 and 6

Wiring was installed in the primary and secondary hulls and a female AC/DC adapter installed with solder. Loctite gel epoxy was used for added strength over the adapter and soldered connections. The "wings" were again tested for mobility before closing up the hull.

[Click to enlarge]

Days 7 and 8

Final priming and sanding were completed, followed by a wipe-down with a damp rag . Then the model was painted.

[Click to enlarge]

Days 9 and 10

A clear gloss coat was applied and then the decals. Lots and lots of decals, from the kit and an aftermarket set. When those were all in place, the model received a final clear coat.

Image: Bridge details

This model looks much better in person than in the pics, but hey; maybe Santa will get me a new digital camera for Christmas.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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This page copyright © 2004 Starship Modeler™. First posted on 20 July 2004.