1/350 Polar Lights USS Constellation

Gallery Article by Shawn "phantom" Weiler on Sept 21 2020

 

      

So, the other day we saw my version of the ISS Excalibur. Now, what I planned to build. The Polar Lights 1/350 USS Enterprise is a huge model. Add the light set that Polar Lights put out you get a very impressive (and expensive) paper weight. So, my idea was to cut holes in the model and make the ship look like the Constellation from the episode "The Doomsday Machine". In that episode a giant horn of plenty went through space chopping up planets and eating the rubble for fuel. The Constellation under the command of Commodore Decker took on the machine and lost. Just before the ship lost all power the Commodore attempted to save his crew by beaming them down to the 3rd planet of the solar system they were patrolling. Well good idea. Until the machine ate the 3rd planet. The Enterprise under command of the cocky Captain Kirk happened on the derelict ship. Finding no-one on board except Decker, Kirk showed his 1960's understanding of PTSD and grilled Decker on where his crew was. "Matt wheres your crew?" A shuddering Decker said, "On the 3rd planet". Kirk, in a statement of no $#!t Sherlock states, "There is NO 3rd planet" Decker in a great piece of acting ....Well for Star Trek, breaks down almost sobbing..." DON'T YOU THINK I KNOW THAT??? 

THERE WAS, BUT NOT NO MORE!!! They called me....They begged me, but I couldn't...I couldn't......sob sob. Love that scene. Anywho, The ship was taken in tow by Enterprise then....blah blah blah.

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In 1967 the special effects guys used a 1/650 scale AMT kit, switched the hull numbers from 1701 to 1017, (should have used 1710) and called that special effects. In the early 2000s the CGI'd the scenes. Looked much better, and that's what I wanted to build.

The CGI scene has the ship completely with out power.  I wanted to make it shortly after the battle. Still with electrical fires burning and running lights.  There is 22 bulbs in there. I blanked out several of the clear windows. Leaving open the area where auxiliary control was (where Decker was found) The shuttle bay. The underside of the primary saucer and the starboard stern. Every other living area was dark or had yellow and blue flickering LEDs in there. To represent fire. I left one warp engine slightly powered, and both impulse engines on. All with bulbs that cost me less then a dollar. As opposed to near $100 for the Polar Lights set. The scary part was cutting up the ship with a Dremel tool. I added many sizes of plastic strip to represent the exposed decks and bulkheads. In the stern port side you can see one poor Constellation "red-shirt" hanging out a window. Things seldom go well for "red-shirts" on Star Trek. At the end of the build I added the included Shuttle Craft with Enterprise makings over the port engine. Think of it as Decker on his suicide run saying good bye to his ship in a fly over. I know....grim. Then paint. Lots and lots of paint. Added the ship decals, more paint and you have the Constellation.

"phantom"

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Photos and text by Shawn "phantom" Weiler