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Step 001: Opening Night

I've Got a [Good] Feeling About This...

The Operation

Initial surgery has been completed with help from my late father's floor-standing bandsaw (one of my favorite tools)!  The Zvezda/Revell is a two-footer that is somewhat longer and narrower than the picture, but appears that it will work... with a "few special modifications, myself..."  The picture also is believed to be intentionally "scrunched" to fit a book foldout.  Either way, I am happy with where this can go.

Status:  Completed

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Step 002: "Fitment" Tests

"Fitment" IS a Word!

Decisions, Decisions...

Scratched out a few initial core inner modules to test general fitment and help the early decision-making processes.  Also tested cutting 0.01" plastic on my Cameo3 (which I previously used for cutting custom vinyl airplane-model liveries).  In general, most of the core modules will fit; however, to match the main guns to the picture will require moving the uncut side guns back with some more core kit shell surgery.  If I get ambitious, I will also need to move back both rear side (bay?) notches to match more to the picture, as well.

Status:  Completed

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Step 003: Wall It Fit?

Now for a Real Test...

Scratching and Bashing...

Scratched and kit-bashed the first inner wall, and registered it into the upper hull cut-outs.  Also rebuilt the main engine prototype and turned it more properly.  This is the part I really enjoy!  I'll include a penny for size reference.  The whole ship is two feet long, so not too large (yet), and not to small that I cannot see it to detail it anymore (at my age).

Status:  Completed

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Step 004: Cutting In

Making a Cameo (3) Appearance

Scratching and Bashing...

Scratched and kit-bashed the back inner wall, and registered it into both the upper hull cut-outs, and the first main wall.  Did some more testing with cutting 0.01" plastic with my Cameo3 for the main [exposed] bridge shaft... took full max settings (with minimum speed) and four passes, but came out pretty good.

Status:  Completed.

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Step 005: Hull Hacking

Hacking the Hull (Again)

Scratching and Bashing...

Scratched and kit-bashed the boxes around the smaller engines.  Also moved the side notch back a couple of inches to match closer to the cross-reference pic.  That was a bit challenging, but seems to have worked.  At some point will need to hack the same notch on the other side, as well as move the surface gun cluster back two notches (to orthogonally match the pic).

Status:  Completed.

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Step 006: Big Squeeze

More Fitment...

Scratching and Bashing...

Revisiting an earlier module and started fleshing out fitment of surface gun turret mounts.  Had to adjust this area for the narrowness of the backend versus the one in the picture, but all general modules appear to still all fit, with some "special modifications myself". The math worked out, as the angles of the cross-section hull supports all align fairly closely to key attachment points in the picture.

Status:  Completed.

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Step 007:  Surgery!

Paging Dr. Hoppert...

Cutting and Scribing...

Finally got around to doing the last of the hull surgeries... hopefully.  Moved the port-side notch and main turrets back to match across the cross-section pic.  Used my Cameo3 to cut/scribe the replacement deck pieces.  Now that was, um ,fun...

Status:  Completed.

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Step 008:  Back Inside

Brr... It's Cold Outside

More Modules...

We had over four feet of snow and two weeks below zero over Jan/Feb 2021.  In-between being exhausted from clearing snow, got a few more modules bashed.  Also ran some square tubing under the "open" side for running fiber optics.  Finally went through my mod parts and lighting kits.  Probably will use a mashup of the different sets to make it lighting work.

Status:  Completed.


Step 009:  Gathering

Mounting, Lighting, and Mods, Oh My...

Decisions, Decisions...

Next up is figuring out the mounting and staring lighting tests, while adding and detailing more modules.  Going back and forth about mounting on a pipe (easier run of external lighting), or mount on stand (more flexible and potential diorama).  Leaning toward using a stand, but still have a bit of time to decide.

Status:  Completed

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Step 010:  Inspection

Meeting of the Minds

From the Author Himself...

I had an incredible opportunity at Wonderfest 2021... Dr. Reynolds, author of the Incredible Cross-Sections book, was gracious enough to discuss the engineering of the illustrations and of my attempt at the ISD-XS build.  He signed the illustration, as well.

How cool is that?!

Status:  Completed

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Step 011:  Stand Up

Taking a Stand

Right in Front of My Face!

After adding lighting channels and testing various lighting mechanisms, I decided to go back to a hollow piped stand, and the use of a wall-wart for wired lighting.  This avoids the weight and access to a large battery pack on the inner port-side of the ISD.  The stand was actually my desk lamp that seemed to fit-the-bill exactly and had a simple support mechanism at the top that worked perfectly.  It can be removed while building.

Status:  Completed

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Step 012:  Engines On

Bonus Phase

Glad I Made This Modular!

Got a lighting circuit installed (Green-Strawberry).  Went back and forth about fibering it out, and having two "hero" sides, but decided for this one to just match the book and ANH.  The smaller engines turn on/off.  The bays will have lighting.  All is hidden behind the exposed innards.  Also have hidden lighting channels in case I spot-light any  other sections.

Status:  Completed

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Step 013:  Up-Front

The Restart!

Here We Go Again...!

Got restarted on this baby again, after a two-year hiatus doing mega-projects for two Wonderfest 40th Anniversary exhibitions.  Got my old eyes used to this scale again roughing out the front exposed opening.

Status:  Completed

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Step 014:  Great Divide


Across the Bay...

Roughed-in the middle divider between the rear and middle exposed areas.  This was fun, since it is visible on both sides, and has several inset bays cut into the vertical.

Status:  Completed

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Step 015:  Great Divide


Alignment is Everything!

Got the front divider roughed-in.  This one had angles on every piece in two to three directions.  Once that modular piece was completed, then roughed-in the front bay module with surrounding exposed interior sections.  Each direction had to line up in multiple directions.  Whew!

Status:  Completed

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Step 016:  Bay Views

Across the Bay(s)

No Tolerance!

Got the middle bay surround filled in.  So many angles on that piece it made my head spin.  There was actually NO tolerance for that part to fit... and it dropped right in perfectly.  On to the vertical bay walls....

Status:  Completed

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Step 017:  Walls II

Angles, Angles, Angles...

Again with the Angles...

All of the exposed mid-section vertical bay walls are roughed-in.  That took some work to make them all angle out correctly in all directions.  Whew!  Onto more "structure"/connectors in the rear exposed section...

Status:  Completed

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Step 018:  BU Reaction

Takes a Steady Hand


Replaced the original prototype rear backup reactor modules.  Fits back in pretty well.  Also added the two transfer conduits into the main (yay, more angles).  Since the hull shell is slightly longer/narrower than a full-on Class I, this is the area I chose to adjust for things and still maintain the rest of the connectors in this area.

Status:  Completed

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Step 019:  Pipe Down

Pipes and Tubes


Got most of the piping and connectors replicated in the rear exposed area.  Also got the surround for the TIE Fighter racks roughed in.  Scratched a few dorsal guns and supports.  Finally, added a (mostly) self-hanging Tantive IV in the middle bay, with a grappling mechanism.  Next up are the teeny TIE racks.

Status:  Completed

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Step 020:  Teeny-Tiny


Rack 'em Up!

Got the teeny upper TIE rack and the mid-bay racks figured out and installed using 0.51mm piano wire.  Had several different 3D Printed TIEs that I experiemented with and went with a set that (so far) has been close to the tiny scale as well as way more durable than the others that I tried.  I test-hung a few in the bays shown.  The main bay rack "host" is removable and the "connector" rails/racks are next.

Status:  Completed

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Step 021:  1,2,3... Paint!

So many layers...

Paint 'em Up!

Started painting and blending the innards... nuff said!

Status:  Completed

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Step 023:  Bridge It

The Last Big Hull Part

She Fits, Captain...

Got a 3D Printed Class I version of a full bridge installed.  Needed to hack the actual Class II shell to get it all to line up.  Added more detail to the top, connection points, and the neck... including cutting out the lower bottom of the neck.  Also, detailed up the rear engine areas.  None of this is shown in the "money shot" in the book but got it closer to Class I-ish.

Status:  Completed

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Step 024:  Hull-ish

The Last of the Hull Details

A Full Walk-Around...

Puttied and finished the last few areas where the hull was hacked or broken into, then got a light coat of primer on to blend it all in.  Made the last of the mini hull details (chips, etc.), as shown in the book.  Also added a few last parts underneath.

Status:  Completed

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Step 025:  Rear Action

Layers, Layers, and more Layers

Light 'em Up (again)

Got a Class-I (ish) bridge hacked-in. Middle engines are all in and light-blocked, plus cycle on/off. Rear engine area is mostly layered from black all the way through subtle greys and off-whites (insignia and reefer).  Lower hull is ready for last panel masks and base-coat/blending. Will repeat on the upper hull next.

Status:  Completed

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Step 026:  Nice Rack

And the final part...

Goes to...?

Finally tackled actually "hanging" the dozens of teeny tiny TIE Fighters in the main multi-angled rack.  It is removable to allow maintenance or future updates.  Now that hurt my eyes, lol.

Status:  Completed

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Step 027:  "Fitment"

Almost... the-re...

It's the Final Countdown...

Tested the final "fitment" of ALL the internal part and edge locks.  I believe... after all of this... she is READY TO GLUE!  Or, as the Emperor himself said, "GLUE IT!"

Status:  Completed

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Step 028:  Just Glue It

Takes a Steady Hand

Point of No Return!

We have​ reached the proverbial "point-of-no-return"... glued, connected, and positioned all internal parts, leaving a direct drop-in of the upper hull to the lower.  Had about 20 sec left on the 5-min epoxy... so many edges to coat quickly and then just literally drop the top hull down.  Whew!

Status:  Completed

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Step 029:  Homestretch

Almost There...

Crossing '"t" and Dotting "i"s!

Annnnnd... ​all the parts are in/on!  A few touch-ups and a stand and she is good to go!

Status:  Completed


Step 030:  MUSEUM!

What an honor!

My first "museum" project...

It is on display for a summer museum run at the New Albany (IN) Cultural Arts Center, as part of the "Star Wars Meets Indiana Jones - the Hero's Journey of Dr. David West Reynolds" (a former Lucasfilm alum) exhibition. So honored to be a part of this!

Status:  Completed

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