Author Topic: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)  (Read 2224 times)

Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2017, 01:03:22 PM »
I went back to the Saucer and installed the opposite side.

Not easy.
I decided to close up the rear, glue the rear panels down, and install the interior support box.
This stopped the assembly from twisting and deforming while I fitted the opposite side to the Saucer,
because everything just kept popping apart as I tried to put it all together!

To attach the parts I need the Glue Tabs to connect with the angled sides.
but I have to bend the glue tabs down to install the flat saucer part.
And I have no way of reaching inside to push up on the glue tabs.

I started by just gluing the center front...about 4 or 5 glue tabs.
And then I glued across the rear rear panels.

Once thats dry, I will try to get glue into the side connections and all the way around the Saucer.
This is not going to be easy.
Hardest part will be keeping glue mess to a minimum.

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Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2017, 12:39:47 PM »
Added the final nose piece to the Fuselage/Cabin...
not the best fit.



I was going to try to cut it off, trim it smaller, and fit it again.
But then I wondered if it was worth the effort?

In the end I decided to go ahead with the removal of the center gray section
and see how that works.
If I mess it up, I'll have to rebuild the Fuselage anyway.
So, its not worth fiddling with the nose cap right now.

I also discovered the center hole, in the nose cap.
Why I didn't see this before, I don't know?! lol
Obviously this gives me a starting point for cutting.

Wish me luck.



...
Back to the Warp Ring Assemblies...
I did a quick redraw of the outer Ring skins, and printed off a clean set.
The artwork is properly positioned now.
Then I attached the four separate parts as one solid outer ring skin.
(I'll do the same for the inside skin)
And this will make for a cleaner look, I think.

Only issue, will be fitting the inside and outside skins over the new Internal Structure and then connecting them.
Hopefully all the side panles are the correct length and shape.



...
But...my internal Structure design did not work.
It was slightly large (diameter)...I have to resize it.
And with only one central ring/disc, the skin buckled as it stretched over each of the spacers.



So, I did a quick redesign...and made the structure out of TWO flat discs.
I also redesigned the spacers, and I may be able to use less (6 instead of 12) around the structure.

I also resized it, and it fits nicely within the outer skins.
Hopefully the insdie skin will fit as nicely too.

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Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2017, 07:45:02 PM »
2 days later...the Fuselage/Cabin thingy has been sitting and drying.
I decided to coat the inside of the assembly with glue.
A nice heavy coating...painted the entire inside.
I figure it should help the parts keep their shape when cut open.

And so, I cut out the gray section as needed.

I used both my Hobby Knife and small Surgeon's Scissors.
I kept sharpening the knife and scoring the surface carefully,
and then I trimmed with the Scissors...
until the gray section had been removed.



...
All went well...I was surprised.
And the part seems to be holding its shape...thanks to the glue?

A file helped clean up any rough spots and straighten the edges a bit.

The opening is not quite wide enough to fit over the saucer assembly,
so I am carefully expanding the hole.



...
Eventually, I got the Fuselage assembly to fit over the Saucer.
Again, I am pleasantly surprised.
I may not even need that glue tab thingy I created.

I have not glued anything in place yet, just a loose dry fit...



...
and, I see a problem.

The Fuselage/Cabin assembly does not cover the gray area on the saucer.
And, the tip of the Nose does not reach far enough to the end of the saucer.

Top or bottom, its just not big enough to cover the grayed area on the Saucer.
Obviously it should
I think it should.

I've tried flattening out the Cabin a bit, but its not right.
In my opinion.

So, before I do glue this in place, I want to try something else.
I am going to build another Fuselage/Cabin assembly.
It wasn't that hard to build.

But I am going to build it slightly larger.
(I'll work out a percentage increase)
This part does not affect anything else...it just fits over the Saucer section.
It can afford to be a bit larger and then it should fit over the gray area, and reach the nose better.
I think its worth the effort.

If there is a problem, or if it doesn't improve things, I'll fall back on this first assembly.




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Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2017, 01:50:41 PM »
As I said, I enlarged the artwork for the Cabin/Cockpit parts...
about 2-3% overall
...and assembled the whole thing once again.

oh, and I modified the artwork...those numbers at the rear end of the fuselage?.
For some reason Murph used a different font...and made them 5 times too large...and had one side upside -down!
So, I changed the font, reduced the size and repositioned everything.
And turned them right-side-up.



Overall diameter at the rear of the Fuselage is enlarged by about 1mm.
The overall length of the Fuselage/Cockpit/Cabin thing is only about 1mm longer.
Its enough to almost cover the grayed area and outline on the Saucer, but still not perfect.

While doing this second build, I came up with an additional modification.
I created a new "skin" for the top and bottom sides of the Saucer section.
The new skin does not have the grayed outline area for the Fuselage,
so I don't have to worry about any of it showing.

This also gave me an opportunity to correct the artwork that I did not like on the Saucer.
Using Rademaker's CGI images, I altered the look of the Saucer surface to look a bit more like his designs.
I wanted to add a lot more surface artwork, but then it wouldn't match the rest of the model.



...
I printed the new "skins" on lightweight paper so it wouldn't add too much weight or thickness to the saucer section.
Then I glued them flat to the top and bottom sides of the Saucer.

I did take some photos of the saucer with the new skins applied, but those photos seem to have disappeared somewhere.
Only thing I have is a photo of the uncut paper part.



...
Once the new Fuselage/Cabin assembly had cured sufficiently, I coated the inside with glue, just like I did with the first build.
Let it set up for a day or so, and then carefully cut out the gray section making the slotted area (which fits onto the saucer).
I used scissors and a knife again...and filed the edges as smooth and straight as possible with emery boards,
until everything fit together as well as I could make it.

Its not perfect. It was tricky to glue.
And once again, those Fuselage seams are ugly.
Part of the problem with the design (lots of seamed sections) and dark gray outlining.

Although, this time, I tried to cut off as much outlining as possible from each part
without making the parts too small (by cutting off too much!).
I filled in some gaps with glue and white paint...but only the worst areas.

The final result is acceptable...it won't win any awards...but it will have to do.
And, its time to move on I think.





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Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2017, 11:13:18 AM »
I managed to get back to the Enterprise for a short time and do some more work on the Warp Rings.
Unfortunately, I am no farther ahead.

I managed to get the outer skins together...something of a struggle...enough to fit the internal structure.



First problem is...the diameters are not matching.
You can see some of the wrinkles...its a fight to get it all together.
Part of the problem is my internal structure which I sized incorrectly based on a balance between the original parts.
The inner and outer skins are not consistent with the bevel edge rings.

Another issue is the angled ends of the bevel edge ring parts.
I retraced these parts because they were wider at one end (an artwork issue).
I was very careful to trace them accurately and balance the lengthwise thickenesses.
But the angled ends are still incorrect and don't line up properly.
This is causing misalignment and buckling.



As I said, the inner skin is a bit too big...partly because my internal ring is sized slightly wrong.
 I also found my structure is too wide and I won't be able to close the skins.

But thats okay, because I have no idea how to cap the side.
I don't know how to attach the opposite bevel edge rings.
At least not easily...or cleanly.  I am afraid there may be glue everywhere! lol



Then I started thinking about sizes and the supporting pylons for the Warp Ring.
Has the diameter changed at all inside the Warp Ring?
Will the Pylons still fit?
Did they ever fit?

I made up some internal structures for the pylons, but they may be useless.
If the pylons are not the correct size.

And then I started to think about "how do the pylons attach?" and "how do I attach the warp ring?"



...
I have decided this is not working, and I need to rexamine the dimensions of everything.
I also need to find a better way of assembling the Warp Ring parts.

And as soon as I started measuring things, I found some more discrepancies.
So, I am redesigning the Warp Rings!




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Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2017, 06:48:10 PM »
Apologies for the lack of updates...but this is going to be a slow project.
Mainly because I am working on other things right now.

I also don't have a deadline, so I am in no mood to rush things.
Especially since the model isn't going together that easily.

The last setback was of course the assembly of the Warp Ring thingy.
My redesign did not work as planned (as I already documented).

So, I have come up with a new idea, and redesigned the parts once more.

After studying the plans and images of the IXS Enterprise (Rademaker's actual 3D constructs)
I noticed that the front and rear angled edges of each Warp Ring were not quite as pronounced as Murphy has designed on his model.
I felt that I could get away with a flat edge...and use some artwork shading to simulate the shape and angles.
This would simplify the Ring parts immensely and help with the construction method.



I've split the Ring into eight sections,  each constructed separately,  and then connected to form the full ring.
The section is made up of four paper panels, with two internal tabbed strips, and two shapers/formers.

The tabbed joiner strips extend out of one end of each section part...
so the joint is a simple slip over connection, guarantying part alignment.



I did a test of two sections (shown) and all went very well.
Was a quick assembly too!

I have to adjust the length of the outer layer and clean up some artwork.
And I'll need to pay attention to getting the ends lined up evenly,
to make sure the connection seams are as tight as possible.

But I also think some trimming can be done during assembly.

The only unknown at this point, is how accurate the inside diameter (of the Warp Ring) is
in relation to the supporting struts. (Which I have also redesigned)
But I'll deal with that when I get to it.




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Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2017, 07:46:30 PM »
Nope...haven't printed out parts for the Warp Rings...and haven't tried to build one yet.
Soon.

In the meantime, I took a look at the main Fuselage (behind the Cockpit thingy).
Its the largest "tube" section of the ship.

First thing I noticed was the lack of glue tabs connectors for the end parts.
So, I made up some discs with tabs, to fit behind the end discs.

But then I noticed the artwork was quite rough for the end parts...they didn't print cleanly...
so I redrew those parts in Corel...
and then decided to redraw the entire tube section. LOL

Its a fairly simple piece, so it didn't take too long.
And the end result is much better looking.

Keep in mind, I have not changed the artwork or added anything,
even though Murph's surface artwork is very limited and doesn't match the (real) thing very well.



During assembly, I realized that there are no internal supports for this section.
A tube should always have some internal shapers and supports...especially a tube of this diameter and size!
Theres no way it will stay properly round without them.

So, I made up a pair of tabbed discs and glued them into place inside...
and i used plenty of glue for increased surface strength.

...
There are four smaller (diameter) tubular sections (the Science Pods) which attach around the main fuselage tube.
They also have no internal formers.

So I went ahead and created...and printed...a bunch of smaller internal support discs, for the same reasons.
These tubes are still big enough to need them, and we want these tubes to be nicely round and tubular.



...
I also decided to redraw all the Science pod tubes, since they suffered from the same low quality artwork and rough line art.

In this case, I only had to redraw one complete Pod...the other three are almost exactly the same....almost.
And once again, I did not change the artwork or details... just cleaned everything up.



...
I also test printed the new Warp Ring Pylons.
These are completely redesigned from scratch...although the surface artwork is copied from Murphs original design.

I am still guessing at the actual dimensions...because of my Warp Ring changes...but it made more sense for me
to redesign from scratch, since I didn't like the shape and size of Murphy's parts.



...
I completed one of the secondary fuselage tubes, which went together okay with the new internal disc supporrts.
Now I am focused on the end (dome) structures, which will be a lot more time consuming.
There are eight domes in total to construct, each made up of about 6 parts.



The Dome parts do have glue tabs for each section, but unfortunately they are not separate tabbed strips.
When assembling dome structures, I prefer internal tabbed strips for a smoother shape.

I'll go ahead and assemble one of Murphy's domes and see what I think.
If I don't like it, I'll have to create some new parts and internal glue strips.

So...stay tuned...more to come.



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Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2017, 07:43:10 PM »
As I posted before, I built one of the domed ends (for a Science Pod) as per Murphy's design.
It went together very nicely.
I was surprised actually, since I did a quick redraw of the parts and wasn't completely sure of the shapes.
(Murphy's artwork is a bit rough...bitmapped...and lines are not clean and smooth.)

Anyway...there is a small problem with the ends of each strip (that make up the hoops of the domes).
The angles aren't quite right.
But, I can trim as I go, and the domes still go together well.

But, as I feared, the overlapping tabbed sides, create high ridges and its difficult to get a smooth dome.
(Murphy's dome design is visible at the bottom left of the photo below)

So I went ahead and created some tabbed strips for the insides of the domes...
and cut off all the tabs from Murphy's dome parts.

The end result is a smoother dome that I can burnish to a more rounded shape.
The attachment of dome ends, on the tubes, is a lot easier too.



As you can see above, I got all the Science Pod tubes assembled...with inner formers.
And now I am working on the eight dome ends.

The forward domes (on each Pod) have some extra details...the rear domes are just plain, smooth.

And, over the last few nights, I have managed to finish the two upper Science Pods.
I used Murphy's completed dome for one of the Pods, since it is partially covered by another Part.
Some sort of Antenna dish?



...
With two Pods completed, I examined the mounting of the Pods, to the central Fuselage tube.

While the assembly is simple enough, I am worried about the strength and security of the attachment points.
There is no real supporting structure...just four small structures end glued to the sides of the fuselage tube.
Theres also no way to align the parts, other than a visual alignment when they are glued.

I got the idea to cut out the four mounting locations and create passages through the fuselage tube.
I will create some tight fitting square tubes to fit through the tube.

The square supporting masts that attach the Science Pods, will fit over these square tubes
and give a more secure mounting...and keep everything aligned.
More details as things progress.

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Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2017, 11:49:52 AM »
Really not much to report again...

been working on other things, but whenever I sit down in front of the TV,
with nothing else to do, I putter away with another part of the Enterprise model.

I've added a support ring to the nose of the central Tube, to support the Capsule/Nose craft.
I don't want to glue them togther yet. I'll wait until the Warp Ring is fitted.

The support Pylons have been constructed...I'll need to construct a Warp Ring to examine the sizes.
I did my own redraw of the Pylon parts.
Right now I am planning  to make slots and mount the Pylons to the nose section.
You can see, I also made internal support parts for the Pylons...which extend out the bottoms to fit into slots.
I just have to find the courage to cut the slots.

Still haven't finished that fourth Pod tube thing.
But I am working on the support structures.
Also building some supports for the backsides of the Solar Power Panels.
And, assembling the small parts that make up the Thrusters (which mount on the ends of the Pod Support Structures).

Slowly...steadily...



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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2017, 11:44:48 AM »
Time for another report...
I have been working on the Enterprise in-between other projects...

I assembled one of the support Pylons (for the warp Ring).

I've slotted the fuselage to receive the extended internal structure.
Had to find some way of securing the Pylon to the fuselage.
Still have no idea how the Warp Ring will attach.




I finished assembly one Warp Ring, using the eight individual sections.

Its okay.
At least as good as Murph's original design, but still not perfect.
Each section is very  easy to assemble, but slight variations and twists, make it very difficult to maintain a perfect and true ring.
Some seams are not tight and clean, there are a couple of buckles.

I have an idea to reskin the entire thing...I think its worth a try...and shouldn't be too difficult.
Can't get any worse, but might clean it up a lot!




Next step is to finish the other two Pylons, and then I can check the inside diameter of the warp Ring.
if its too small, I just shorten the Pylons until I get a snug fit.

If the Warp Ring inside diameter is too big, I have to make new Pylons or add spacers.
One or two paper layers thickness would be okay, but anything more than that will force me to modify the Pylons.


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Dave Winfield

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Re: IXS Enterprise Spacecraft by Murph's Models (Commission)
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2017, 11:06:16 AM »
I am very pleased to report that I have got all three Pylons completed with internal supports.
This is of course the three supporting pylons for ONE of the Warp Rings.

And the internal supports extend into slots that I have cut into the front of the spacecraft fuselage.
All has gone well.



...
This allows me to test and verify the internal diameter of the Warp Ring.
I need to verify that all my newly created Parts are correct dimensions.
Its one thing to redraw Murph's original parts, but since I never built his parts, I don't know their fit tolerances.
My redrawn parts could be very different...which is okay, as long as they fit together.

Anyway, it turns out that the Warp Ring fits fine.
The pylons fit snugly within the diameter.
With just enough compression room, that I can add some base plates for the outside ends of the Pylons.
Good.



...
Now I can focus on redrawing and rebuilding the warp rings one more time.
I decided my Ring construction was adequate for build ease and basic shape.
but its still a bit "rough around the edges".

I came up with the idea of reskining the warp ring.
I will use what I have already built as the internal structure...and add face and edge skins to smooth everything out.
In fact, I can re-install the beveled edges to the front and rear faces.

I have printed out a whole new set of parts (shown in the photo sealed and drying)
and I am going to test the new "skins" on this Warp Ring.
If it goes together well, I will build entirely new Warp Rings and continue.




...
Oh...and Pat...don't worry about bothering me.
Feel free to comment or criticise.
If you question anything that needs an answer, I will give you one.
And as far as "pressure" is concerned...don't worry about that either!
I am working on this model at a pace that offers me comfort and relief, so your "pressure" wont change anything! LOL.
Its not a great model. I am not really enjoying the model build.
But at this slower pace, I am relieved every time I fix something or accomplish a little more work.
And this keeps me happy and interested.
I would prefer to do the best I can with this model...and that will be at a slower pace than my usual builds.
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