Building the Scratchbuilt USS Enterprise:

Saucer Section

The start of the saucer section is a flat board cut to the diameter of the saucer. A template was cut in the shape of the hull from the center to the outer edge. Several of these templates at regular intervals were fastened to the wood to form the basic shape of the saucer.

Densified foam was then placed between the template spacers and was carved and sanded to shape.
This is the completed lower saucer section with foam between the spacers.

Fiberglass resin and glass matting was used to coat the saucer section, making a mold from which the final saucer underside piece could be cast.
The finished model is only one step of three. There is a solid plug for each half section made from either wood or dense foam. These plugs had to be finished as if the model was going to be solid. The reason for this is the model pieces would now be cast in fiberglass. Blemishes in the original plugs would transfer to the mold halves.
The model's skeleton is made from Plexiglas and the units are "tacked" in place with fiberglass strips and not completely fastened all around to let the fiberglass shell float. This really helps with shrinkage and expansion problems.

The bridge module was made as a separate part that could be removed to allow for access to wiring and bulbs in the saucer.
The entire model is made from fiberglass, except the pylon supports
and the impulse drive unit; these are made of wood. I've seem countless beautiful models succumb to the ravages of time, humidity and multiple-material shrinkage problems. To help avoid this problem I used
fiberglass throughout the outer hull sections
This is the finished saucer section. Note that the warp nacelles and pylons are not attached here. They are the only large components that can be removed.

Secondary Hull >>

Warp Nacelles >>

Assembly >>

Painting >>


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