U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
A re-fit for a king, or maybe a Tuvix?
|Timeline:||Started on August 1, 2018, Finished on April 10, 2020|
Like my assimilated Enterprise D [U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D [Partially Assimilated] | Project by Jbe (1:1400) this particular U.S.S. Voyager started as a standard Revell kit, 04801, circa 1997. It was a birthday present, which I duly made according to the instructions, and it managed to stay that way through 20 years and around 10 house moves (without losing a single piece, not even the stupid, awkward and ridiculously inadequate stand). Then I decided to add lights, and for whatever reason, that triggered an urge to fix what wasn't broken, and this is the result.
WARNING - NERDINESS AHEAD
Voyager would be 25 years old by now, and it's likely that its role would have changed somewhat after the end of the Dominion war and the destruction of Romulus. I kept the lights in but wanted to somehow streamline the main hull - maybe smoothen it for better aerodynamics during atmospheric flight, and to add capacity for additional cargo or scientific equipment.
As with the D, and because I didn't have or know about any other modelling materials, I used wall-filler from Wilkos (I actually really enjoyed working with it, if I'm honest) and smoothed out the engineering hull, removing windows and some detailing along the sides.
The original on-screen, or canon, version of Voyager appears to be a flat grey (although some box art shows it being a weird beige), but the model instructions specify a subtle, if seemingly random, mix of greys on the ventral saucer panels. I managed to achieve this with a fair degree of success, despite not having any kind of making material (at this stage I had no idea of the range and types of modelling supplies that are available).
Not being satisfied with what seemed like a pretty bland look for a revamped ship, I went through a plethora of paint schemes, sometimes at a dizzying pace, as I tried new techniques, paints and attempted to recover from/hide my many cock-ups. Some were too bold, some were badly painted, many were just ugly or used too many colours.
My preferred method was to give a slight undercoat, then add bolder colours and themes, finished with a wash to tone things down. This more or less worked for about a year.
I the meantime, the shuttlebay was extended using said filler, and an additional ventral cargo bay created by glueing a cardboard square to the bottom of the ship and then filling around it with hotglue and filler. I did my best to follow the curves of the hull while maintaining the slight lip that is a feature of most Starfleet ships. Personally, I hate that particular quirk. I know it harks back to ye olde ships of the sea, a homage if you like, but it just seems like wasted space and adds an awkwardness to smaller, shorter, ships, where it appears even more pronounced.
In the Star Trek universe, Voyager had articulated warp nacelles (sorry, "variable geometry pylons") that move the nacelles when warp speed is engaged. This was so that a) they took into account a previous TNG episode where the current warp engines were damaging subspace, and b) it looked really cool for a new hero-ship.
My argument is that by the time of Voyager's refit the engines would have been replaced and, like the Defiant and Enterprise E, would no longer need all that articulating mularkey. To that end, I created fixed pylons in their raised state, smoothing them with filler and blending them into the engineering hull. This was also intended to complement the now smoothened lower half of the main hull and dorsal saucer section.
Going into 2020, I felt that Voyager needed one last paint job to complete its transformation. The whole of the dorsal view was airbrushed in a light grey with a satin finish. This was then masked off while I added two gloss- black contrasts and the phaser array.
Going ventral, and considering the envisioned additional time spend in atmospheric flight, I went for a more colourful look. Using acrylic paints I began with an airbrushed base layer of blue-grey, followed with a light-coloured, slightly viscous wash which was roughly and unevenly applied with a large and knackered paintbrush, bubbles and all. I repeated this several times, drying each coat with a heat gun and changing the colour slightly for each application.
Next, I used a darker blue, then a greener blue, and a blue with gold flecks in, ending up with a shimmering turquoise. To add contrast to both the gloss black on the dorsal and the gloss turquoise on the ventral, I used matte-black on raised dorsal sections.
To catch the eye, I used silver and a shadowing effect with an airbrush on the main bridge and left a section of the dorsal saucer fading between colours.
I have listed this as a complete project, but there are still two elements that need to be finished; a cover for the deflector dish area, and some decals. I no longer have the original parts for the dish, so I have to make one using A4 acetate and photoshop. I will be making my own decals using inkjet decal paper. But don't rush me, or quote me on this - it's taken 18 months to get this far...
04801 2009 | Changed box