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Polar Lights U.S.S. Grissom w/Klingon Bird-of-Prey

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  • Member since
    October 2021
Polar Lights U.S.S. Grissom w/Klingon Bird-of-Prey
Posted by PhoenixG on Thursday, September 1, 2022 1:32 AM

Back in the saddle again.

To mix things up decided to do a Star Trek kit I picked up recently.  The last time I did something like this was nearly thirty years ago.  The NCC 1701-D with an included fiber optic lighting kit.  I think it was 1/350 and it was massive.  This kit is 1/1000 and is tiny in comparison.

boxart

Ships like the Grissom and Reliant always appealed the most to me.  And the Bird-of-Prey is just an awesome design.  Having a kit that give me both to build is an exciting propostion. 

It is a surprisingly simple set of parts.

sprues

That's everything.

Starting with the Grissom.

grissom

A single page of instructions.

instruc

The assembly is going to be pretty quick which means more time can be spent on the painting!

 

On The Bench:

USS Grissom + Klingon Bird-of-Prey

Lynn Minmei figure

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Friday, September 2, 2022 1:38 PM

Since the assembly is dirt simple, using the opportunity to practice puttying.  The stuff is my nemesis, the bane of my existense, and an all around pain in the *** to work with.  But, if I want to get better at it I have to be willing to make sacrifices.

There are some pretty notable seams on this model.  Not readily apparent but I would know they were there.  Enough reason for me to attempt to fill them in.

nacelles

puttyhell

main hull

I don't know what everyone else's experience is like but it always goes down lumpy and irregular.  And when I sand it, it either exposes the seam again, or I find voids in the putty.

Any tricks y'all use to increase consistency of results?  Or is it simply apply, sand, apply more to fix problems, sand, apply more, sand, then throw away the glob of putty that used to be a model. Stick out tongue

 

On The Bench:

USS Grissom + Klingon Bird-of-Prey

Lynn Minmei figure

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, September 3, 2022 7:37 PM

How's the Bird of Prey compared to the old AMT/Ertl Adversary set (the one that included the Romulan, Ferengi and Klingon ships)?

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Sunday, September 4, 2022 4:23 PM

Rob Gronovius

How's the Bird of Prey compared to the old AMT/Ertl Adversary set (the one that included the Romulan, Ferengi and Klingon ships)?

 

Hi Rob,

Not being familiar with those sets can't give a first hand accounting, but in this kit I think the Bird of Prey is going to steal the show.  It has much more detail on it.

birdy

And it has the option to display the wings in cruising or attack mode.  Can't change it after it's been assembled so it's something that will need to be decided before completion.

 

 

On The Bench:

USS Grissom + Klingon Bird-of-Prey

Lynn Minmei figure

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Sunday, September 4, 2022 7:58 PM

Yeah, that's not the same kit as the old AMT/Ertl one from 1989. They did the large size Star Trek IV Bird of Prey with wings that could be displayed in flight, attack, stealth and landing mode. But the small one only had attack mode, and I guess stealth mode.

https://www.scalemates.com/products/img/7/2/0/141720-57-instructions.pdf

 

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: Franklin Wi
Posted by Bakster on Monday, September 5, 2022 12:41 AM

PhoenixG

Since the assembly is dirt simple, using the opportunity to practice puttying.  The stuff is my nemesis, the bane of my existense, and an all around pain in the *** to work with.  But, if I want to get better at it I have to be willing to make sacrifices.

There are some pretty notable seams on this model.  Not readily apparent but I would know they were there.  Enough reason for me to attempt to fill them in.

I don't know what everyone else's experience is like but it always goes down lumpy and irregular.  And when I sand it, it either exposes the seam again, or I find voids in the putty.

Any tricks y'all use to increase consistency of results?  Or is it simply apply, sand, apply more to fix problems, sand, apply more, sand, then throw away the glob of putty that used to be a model. Stick out tongue 

 

Hey PG, what brand of putty? 

 

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 6:32 PM

This small Bird of Prey is also only two modes.  Took a look at the link.  At first I was perusing it more for comparison but discovered it had more information about painting the Bird of Prey.  Good infor there.  Thanks for sharing it!

On The Bench:

USS Grissom + Klingon Bird-of-Prey

Lynn Minmei figure

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 6:44 PM

I have two brands.  Gray Tamiya solvent based and white Vallejo water based acryclic.

The Tamiya drys out quickly.  I only have a few seconds to shape before it starts turning into a craggy mess.

The Vallejo dries slower but has a lot of shrinkage and is prone to voids/air bubbles.

I've been using the Vallejo on this model since it is very close in color to the plastic.  Just finished a second round of filling and sanding.  Remembered someone posting that you can sometimes use isopropyl alcohol to clean up putty.  Tried it on the Vallejo and the alcohol works much better at smoothing and shaping the putty after it's cured.

A third round is going to be needed as more gaps and dips were revealed.

argh

argh2

This has been one of my better attempts.

On The Bench:

USS Grissom + Klingon Bird-of-Prey

Lynn Minmei figure

  • Member since
    April 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 7:10 PM

I have found a good way to apply putty.  After you apply it, and while it is still wet, just wet your finger with whatever solvent this putty uses, either water or lacquer thinner.  Run your finger up and down the seam, liberally using the solvent to smooth it out and feather the edges.  You may have to repeat this step a couple of times, after it first dries. When the seam is filled to your liking, you will have very little fine sanding to do, before priming and painting.

Gimme a pigfoot, and a bottle of beer...

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 8:14 PM

She's coming along nicely Phoenix!!! 

The Klingon BoP from the Adversary set is really small. A wingspan of about 4 inches/ 10cm or so.... 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: Franklin Wi
Posted by Bakster on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 9:41 PM

Yeah I wondered if it was the Tamiya. I have struggled with the stuff but more recently, I learned that once dry... I need to sand it with a heavier grit. That took the pain out of sanding. It cuts the putty fast and the sanding stick does not clog up nealy as much. But...like you...I always end up having to apply another coat because there is always some sort of low spot, ridge, or divots. Sometimes, maybe a third application, and I hate that. Now... what I do is sand the first application, and as long there are no really deep flaws, I apply a thin layer of CA. I then sand that and it looks great. The CA fills the flaws and seals the putty all in one swoop. That process has been working well for me. For what it is worth.

Cadet Chucks idea sounds interesting too.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 6:58 AM

PhoenixG;

       Now you know why I went to Sprue -Glue to use as filler! First, and foremost It is the same material as the model, Two, it sands the same as surrounding surfaces. And , most important can be as thick or thin as you need! I resurrect Glue Bombs that way. Building up edges and filling around broken or cracked areas.

       It does work and when done you have no reaction with paint. Sometimes paint will be dull over filled areas, even if it is gloss. By using Sprue -Glue, that is no longer an issue!

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 10:50 AM

I found a question and answer site that had some discussion about the Federation ship. I always wondered about how you'd go from upper to lower hull on these things.

https://qr.ae/pvONpH

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Thursday, September 8, 2022 12:14 AM

Cadet Chuck

I have found a good way to apply putty.  After you apply it, and while it is still wet, just wet your finger with whatever solvent this putty uses, either water or lacquer thinner.  Run your finger up and down the seam, liberally using the solvent to smooth it out and feather the edges.  You may have to repeat this step a couple of times, after it first dries. When the seam is filled to your liking, you will have very little fine sanding to do, before priming and painting.

 

Chuck,

That's brilliant.  I made first pass trying this out today and while it's a little messy for the finger doing the application the results were much more consistent and I felt like there was more control with it.  The Vallejo putty needs a good amount of time to cure so I am going to leave that be and check on it later.

Thanks for the tip!

On The Bench:

USS Grissom + Klingon Bird-of-Prey

Lynn Minmei figure

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Thursday, September 8, 2022 12:34 AM

Rob Gronovius

I found a question and answer site that had some discussion about the Federation ship. I always wondered about how you'd go from upper to lower hull on these things.

https://qr.ae/pvONpH

 

Rob,

I openly admit that question never crossed my mind till you asked it.  And now that it's been asked I couldn't stop thinking about.  Hmm

Good thing you sent that link otherwise I might have spent my evening searching for a plausible explanation.  Smile

It was an entertaining read and it satisfied my curiousity.  I'm not giving out spoilers in order to encourage others to explore strange new suppositions, to seek out new ideas, and new S.W.A.G.s (scientific wild a** guess) . Big Smile

On The Bench:

USS Grissom + Klingon Bird-of-Prey

Lynn Minmei figure

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Thursday, September 8, 2022 12:51 AM

Gamera

She's coming along nicely Phoenix!!! 

The Klingon BoP from the Adversary set is really small. A wingspan of about 4 inches/ 10cm or so.... 

Thanks!

I'm taking this one more slowly.  Combination of playing with putty and real life being rude and interfering with my hobby! ;)

The wingspan on the PolarLights kit is about 4" as well.  I took another look at link Rob provided to the Adversary set's instructions.  That kit had fewer parts and a much different structure to them.

The wings in the Adversary set are also hinged.  The Polar Lights kit has two fixed poses which are selected by using alternate parts during assembly.  Meaning they won't sag over time but neither can you change it after assembly.  I'm ok with this.

On The Bench:

USS Grissom + Klingon Bird-of-Prey

Lynn Minmei figure

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Thursday, September 8, 2022 1:14 AM

Bakster

Yeah I wondered if it was the Tamiya. I have struggled with the stuff but more recently, I learned that once dry... I need to sand it with a heavier grit. That took the pain out of sanding. It cuts the putty fast and the sanding stick does not clog up nealy as much. But...like you...I always end up having to apply another coat because there is always some sort of low spot, ridge, or divots. Sometimes, maybe a third application, and I hate that. Now... what I do is sand the first application, and as long there are no really deep flaws, I apply a thin layer of CA. I then sand that and it looks great. The CA fills the flaws and seals the putty all in one swoop. That process has been working well for me. For what it is worth.

Cadet Chucks idea sounds interesting too.

 

 
My current model purchases have been influenced by the likelihood of putty.  I tend to stay away from those that may need it because it's been such a headache for me to work with. 
 
I'm barely 1.5 years into this hobby again and still learning moderation with my tools.  Sanding sticks being one of them.  Did this curved piece always have that flat spot?  Hmm, I don't remember that gap being there when I started sanding, maybe if I just sand it a little more... (famous last words).
 
Putty takes all my weakinesses and wraps them into a single model mangling nightmare.  This one didn't really need it, but it felt safer to test with as most of the seams would be hidden or the ability to attempt to hide my mistakes.
 
Cadet Chucks idea worked better than expected for me.  I think that plus what you suggested will give me my best chance at success.  Fingers crossed!

On The Bench:

USS Grissom + Klingon Bird-of-Prey

Lynn Minmei figure

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Thursday, September 8, 2022 1:27 AM

Tanker-Builder

PhoenixG;

       Now you know why I went to Sprue -Glue to use as filler! First, and foremost It is the same material as the model, Two, it sands the same as surrounding surfaces. And , most important can be as thick or thin as you need! I resurrect Glue Bombs that way. Building up edges and filling around broken or cracked areas.

       It does work and when done you have no reaction with paint. Sometimes paint will be dull over filled areas, even if it is gloss. By using Sprue -Glue, that is no longer an issue!

 

Heya Tanker,

I've heard of this Sprue-Glue.  You make it sound like a magic cure all.  Where can I get a tub of this stuff?  :)

I think I read somewhere that it's a mixture of sprue from the model and solvent glues?  I'll have to look into how to make and use it.  It sounds like it's an option I should become familiar with.

On The Bench:

USS Grissom + Klingon Bird-of-Prey

Lynn Minmei figure

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Thursday, September 8, 2022 11:31 AM

PhoenixG

 

Tanker-Builder

PhoenixG;

       Now you know why I went to Sprue -Glue to use as filler! First, and foremost It is the same material as the model, Two, it sands the same as surrounding surfaces. And , most important can be as thick or thin as you need! I resurrect Glue Bombs that way. Building up edges and filling around broken or cracked areas.

       It does work and when done you have no reaction with paint. Sometimes paint will be dull over filled areas, even if it is gloss. By using Sprue -Glue, that is no longer an issue!

 

 

 

Heya Tanker,

I've heard of this Sprue-Glue.  You make it sound like a magic cure all.  Where can I get a tub of this stuff?  :)

I think I read somewhere that it's a mixture of sprue from the model and solvent glues?  I'll have to look into how to make and use it.  It sounds like it's an option I should become familiar with.

 

https://cs.finescale.com/fsm/tools_techniques_and_reference_materials/f/13/t/188606.aspx

  • Member since
    January 2020
Posted by Space Ranger on Thursday, September 8, 2022 2:40 PM

PhoenixG

Since the assembly is dirt simple, using the opportunity to practice puttying.  The stuff is my nemesis, the bane of my existense, and an all around pain in the *** to work with.  But, if I want to get better at it I have to be willing to make sacrifices.

There are some pretty notable seams on this model.  Not readily apparent but I would know they were there.  Enough reason for me to attempt to fill them in.

Any tricks y'all use to increase consistency of results?  Or is it simply apply, sand, apply more to fix problems, sand, apply more, sand, then throw away the glob of putty that used to be a model. Stick out tongue

Putty can be thinned with water if water-based (such as Perfect Plastic Putty), or with lacquer thinner if solvent-based.

I use a solvent-based auto body putty (Spies-Hecker Permacron) for filling most small seams. I dip a brush in lacquer thinner or MEK, pick a bit of putty from the mouth of the tube, and paint the thinned putty into the seam. It takes longer to dry using this method, and another application or two may be necessary due to shrinkage, but it fills small gaps perfectly. For large gaps I use a 2-part epoxy putty such as Milliput or Aves Apoxy, or a catalysing putty such as Eurosoft.

Sprue-glue is good stuff too, and it has the advantages of being economical, since is made using the kit sprues which might otherwise be thrown away, and can be mixed to different consistencies as well as the same color of kit plastic.

  • Member since
    April 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Thursday, September 8, 2022 5:11 PM

Glad it worked for you, Phoenix.  I have found Vallejo putty to be especially good for this method, and easy to work with since it is water based.  I have also used Tamiya putty but that needs lacquer, and is a bit more difficult to work with.

You probably will need to do one or more applications of Vallejo, since it shrinks when it dries.  But yeah, prepare to get your fingers messy-  Good thing is you can wash up with soap and water.

Gimme a pigfoot, and a bottle of beer...

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Sunday, September 11, 2022 1:00 AM

Rob Gronovius
https://cs.finescale.com/fsm/tools_techniques_and_reference_materials/f/13/t/188606.aspx

 

You're the king of the links Rob. Thanks for sharing that and thanks Tanker-Builder for creating that post.  I'll have to give it a try the next time I have some seams or gaps to fill.

On The Bench:

USS Grissom + Klingon Bird-of-Prey

Lynn Minmei figure

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Sunday, September 11, 2022 1:05 AM

Space Ranger
Putty can be thinned with water if water-based (such as Perfect Plastic Putty), or with lacquer thinner if solvent-based. I use a solvent-based auto body putty (Spies-Hecker Permacron) for filling most small seams. I dip a brush in lacquer thinner or MEK, pick a bit of putty from the mouth of the tube, and paint the thinned putty into the seam. It takes longer to dry using this method, and another application or two may be necessary due to shrinkage, but it fills small gaps perfectly. For large gaps I use a 2-part epoxy putty such as Milliput or Aves Apoxy, or a catalysing putty such as Eurosoft. Sprue-glue is good stuff too, and it has the advantages of being economical, since is made using the kit sprues which might otherwise be thrown away, and can be mixed to different consistencies as well as the same color of kit plastic.

More great advice!  So glad I asked for suggestions on using putty.  I've now got several different methods to try out.

On The Bench:

USS Grissom + Klingon Bird-of-Prey

Lynn Minmei figure

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Sunday, September 11, 2022 1:12 AM

Using a combination of the methods suggested by Chuck and Bakster these were the results I obtained.

putty

putty2

The more uneven parts are going to be hidden by the body of the ship leaving the best looking parts hanging out.

putty3

The main hull is looking much better.  After this effort feeling more confident about using putty.

Next up will be priming which should reveal any spots fixes needed. 

On The Bench:

USS Grissom + Klingon Bird-of-Prey

Lynn Minmei figure

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: Franklin Wi
Posted by Bakster on Sunday, September 11, 2022 10:35 AM

Looking good, PG. Yes

There are many ways to tackle the issue of fillers. Finding one that works for you is the issue.  It has taken me several years to find a method that resonates with me. Then, depending on surrounding detail and such, it may be best going another way. I find myself adapting to the situation at hand.

Perfect Plastic Putty works well for things like wing joins. Apply it then wipe it smooth with a moistened cotton bud. Easy work and it does a good job. No sanding required.

For other small joins, I use Tamiya Liquid Surface Primer. It comes in small jars, like the glue. You brush it on. It usually requires two applications to get a perfect filling. I like that stuff too. It sands and feathers nicely.

I use sprue-goo too but it shrinks. Depending on the thickness it might require a second application. But the stuff is strong, sands like plastic, and often the color will match since it is made from melted sprue. I like to use it as an epoxy adhesive as well. It literally melts the two pieces together. It is a strong bond. It also works well to repair delicate pieces that are broken or even a short shot. I used it to repair a section on my Nautilus that was short shot.

For deep imperfections, I will use Tamiya Putty or Sprue Goo. If minor defects remain I use CA or Tamiya Liquid Primer to smooth it all out.

Many ways to go.

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, September 12, 2022 10:28 PM

You're making great progress there Phoenix! 

I've gotten to just using Perfect Plastic Putty (or P squared) for everything. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 10:59 PM

It's beem a little while since my last post.  So quick update.

Priming revealed two things.  One, the main hull needed more sanding and filling.  Two, I unknowingly added lots of flat spots on the half spheres on that were on the lower sides of the nacelles.   They look more like poorly done dodecahedrons than spheres now.

Thought about attempting to fix them but decided not to.  In most viewing angles you're not going to get a good look at them.  Chalking it up as lesson learned and to be more careful of in the future.

Confirmed that if you use a paint dryer to cure Vallejo primer it can be sanded.  I've never been able to sand Vallejo primer even after air curing for weeks.  It always resulted in peeling or rolled edges, however.  Letting it cure for 24 hours at 120F and sanding was no problem at all.

Parts needs another coat of primer now that the second round of filler has cured.  Once that is done will start with a base coat of white grey.  Black grey for the nacelle fins and some sort of silver/steel/aluminum for the shiny bits.  Most of the rest of the color and detail on this model will be done with the decals.

On The Bench:

USS Grissom + Klingon Bird-of-Prey

Lynn Minmei figure

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