A build by Michael Maupin
AKA Helipilot 27 ~ For many of us, “NCC-1701” represents much more than a series of letters and numbers embossed into the hull of a Federation Starship ~ Rather it resonates with our inner Sci-fi geek and congers up memories of shared adventures, as we tuned in regularly to watch Captain James T. Kirk, Mr. Spock and the crew of the USS Enterprise, boldly go where no man has gone before.
Most would also agree that the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 Federation Starship is one of the cornerstones within Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek universe.
On this page, we will share with you an array of photos and videos as Michael takes you on the journey thru his award winning build of the Polar Lights / Round Two 1/350th scale USS Enterprise.
As a preamble to the build – Here’s some ‘modest text’ taken directly from Michael’s YouTube Page (Feb ~ June 2010)
“Although I don’t consider myself a “Trekkie” I am a fan and I have always just loved the look of the Star Trek Starship. It had been over 10 years since I had built a scale model, but my business was slow at the time so I was pretty excited to do something so grand and since I had a lot of free time on my hands, I jumped right in. I thought I would have her finished in 2-3 months …I soon realized it would be at least 6. There was a model show for Kingsport’s Fun Fest on July 17 (2010), and I made that date my goal. That self-imposed deadline would keep me motivated and drive me to finish it rather than loose interest and it be forgotten on a shelf in the closet. I got her finished with less than 2 weeks to spare.
I added a lot of details, such as photo-etched parts from 2 different manufacturers, 2 lighting kits, the main kit being from Trekmodeler.com, but I wanted something to lead the observer’s eye into the shuttle bay so I spliced in another sequencing light kit for the runway.
I also wanted a display base with some “presence” so after much searching, I finally found the answer right under my nose. A modified aquarium stand from Walmart. I think it fits her very nicely!
I have to say Polar Lights just did an amazing job designing this kit. From the beautifully molded parts to the mini-kits like the shuttle bay and arboretum, it’s just a fun (although intense) kit to build. When Round 2 re-released the kit they even bettered it! I would recommend buying the Round 2 re-release as it has a MUCH better mounting system for the base (One point instead of 3) and the Aztec decals. I highly recommend building her if you have the time. This build was started in Mid-late January and completed over the July 4th holiday. I estimate approximately 550 man hours went into it.”
Let’s begin with some still photos. Click on the image to view a larger version in a separate window.
Below is Michael’s final video of this phenomenal build. Watching it invokes a sense of nostalgia along with an appropriate level of goosebumps. If you watch closely, you can see Kirk and Spock navigating from the bridge of the Enterprise.
The following ten videos are invaluable when you’re ready to delve deeper into the actual build. In each of them, Michael shares a multitude of insights, tips and perspectives. BTW: The ‘text’ below each video are MIchael’s comments from his YouTube page as he is rolling out the individual videos to his subscriber fan base 🙂
|Build Chapter 1 ~ I decided to document the construction of my Polar Lights 1/350 scale Enterprise. This model will be fully lit with a super-detailed shuttle bay and other well detailed rooms. I have been away from scale modeling for about 10 years now, but my business is slow, it’s winter and there is nothing to do. I decided to convert a corner of my wife’s studio into a modeling area and replaced a bunch of dried-up paint and lost tools. I hope it turns out as well as other people’s YouTube builds! I am planning on about 4-6 months to build this thing, not that it will really take me that long, but I plan to work on it only in my spare time. Once warm weather is here it’s hard to keep me inside(unless it’s raining).||
Build Chapter 2 ~ The Shuttle Bay built to my taste. It’s not 100% screen correct, but I go for realism over scale every time. The sequencing lights were made with fiber optic cable that I had in stock. I was going to just light it but then I thought how cool would it be if they actually flashed in sequence like a real runway? I looked all over online and finally found an electronics kit that I changed the colors around some and dry fitted everything for this video.
|Build Chapter 3 ~ I got my Trekmodeler light kit in!!! Here is a quick vid showing the kit and the dry fit of this very impressive kit. The light kit includes everything to illuminate your 1/350 scale Enterprise including the gardens and the shuttle bay.||Build Chapter 4 ~ The Big E build continues. This episode covers the very nice Trekmodeler light kit install and views of the completed shuttle bay and arboretum in their final positions. After much work and thought, I was able to pull off the sequencing runway lights with absolutely NO room to spare. In fact the bottom hull piece and the circuit boards of the light kit and bread board of the light kit harness were cut down quite a bit. There were some times when I thought about giving up on the idea, but I really wanted them in there. The build is going smoothly, no mistakes so far and I think the hard part is over.|
Build Chapter 5 ~ Today we cover the lower hull assembly and look at the added lights. Next video we should have the warp nacells built and then move on to paint.
|Build Chapter 6 ~ I finally got the sub assemblies finished so now it’s on to paint prep! Lots of intricate detail sanding and light blocking left to do, and then masking all those windows! So far I have had a lot of fun building this thing, it’s a pretty impressive kit, not just the size but the quality of the construction.|
|Build Chapter 7 ~ My Big E build hits a slow spot. I HATE putty and sanding, but that’s what makes or breaks your paintwork. I plan to have all the paint work done by the end of May so I can proceed decaling for June. My projected completion date is early July for a model show on July 17th.||
Build Chapter 8 ~ Finally! Done with filling priming and paint. All the boring messy stuff done and now on to decals.
|Build Chapter 9 ~ The HOME STRETCH!!!! All that’s left is the photo etched details, some detail painting, etc. Then final assembly and we’re done!!!||Build Chapter 10 ~ FINISHED!!!! What a build! This was the most complex build I have ever attempted and I enjoyed every minute of it. The project started in late Jan. and ended(for the most part) July 4th weekend. I estimate approx. 500-550 hours to build her, but I wasn’t in a race, I took my time.|
For a more detailed photo essay of Michael’s build CLICK HERE to visit his Photo Bucket
Thank you Michael!
We appreciate your talent, your passion as well as your support!
“May you Live Long and Prosper”
Looking to add fiber optics to your build?
Our Hobby Spool or Project Spool Combos are an excellent choice.