This model will be lighted with the Polar Lights Enterprise Light Kit, plus an enhancement - the shuttle in the hangar will be lit.
When completed, the ship will be about 32 inches long.
Check back later to see more pictures as they are added below.
Hangar bay assembled. Next steps are placing the shuttle and wiring the shuttle for lighting through the floor.
Hull pieces painted and ready to go. Interior sides have been painted several coats of black to prevent light leakage.
Lower half of saucer is lighted. I have customized the Polar Lights lighting kit with some modifications. The original lighting kit contained one white light for each running light on the saucer; the green and red running lights would actually be colored clear pieces and the white light was supposed to illuminate them. However, based on past builds, I was not happy with the illumination, so I replaced the one white light on each side with two colored LEDs that actually protrude through the hull. I have also customized the connection to the base and the base itself. The original kit requires that the ship be permanently attached to the support rod/base. Also, there was no on/off switch, so you would power it on by plugging in the wall adapter. I modified this extensively by using a screwlock connector so that the ship can be removed from the base; I also added an on/off toggle switch to turn the lighting on/off. Before I am finished, I will paint the base a metallic black.
Minature bridge, painted. This bridge has a diameter only slightly larger than a quarter. The original bridge has been modified with photo etch details, including photo etched viewscreen panel, computer panels, and wall panels. Much of the bridge has been left clear so that light will shine through (the viewscreen, the computer screens, etc).
Bridge again, this time with added crew members. You might even be able to identify who some of them are. Yes, I noticed after taking the photo that one of the guys in red was reclining...the glue had not dried so I promptly stood him back up straight. :-)
When this dries, I will attach it to the bridge piece of the saucer dome, then attach that to the upper saucer... Then attach the saucer halves... And the saucer will be assembled!
The saucer, assembled. Still a few pieces to add.
My modification to the shuttle bay... I'm lighting the shuttle. To achieve this, I'm running wires (very thin, wire-wrap wires) through the floor of the hangar, and attaching them to the LED through the rear of the shuttle. When the shuttle is glued down, facing the hangar doors, the wires won't be visible. I used a tiny 1.8 mm white LED inside the shuttle (one with a "whiter" white than the lights in the ship, so it wouldn't look the same), and to soften the light I added some very thin cushioning between the LED and the front of the shuttle. I had drilled tiny holes in the front of the shuttle where the windows are, and filled them with Micro Krystal Klear. I will place decals over the windows so they have an appearance of being black when the lights are off. I did not want the shuttle lit too brightly, as this would be unrealistic.
Partially assembled hangar, with shuttle in place. The lighting in the shuttle is on - you can see it's very subtle, but I thought this was more realistic than a bright light shining through the windows.
The main sections are assembled! Some parts still need to be attached, but the next step is filling the gaps in the joints between major pieces, such as the secondary hull halves, the joint between the saucer halves, etc., and sanding them down.
She's complete! I am going to add some minor weathering, but other than that, the build is done.