1:400 Scale ‘Scratch-Built’ Model of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)

Currently, I am constructing a large-scale model of the USS Enterprise-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation. This scratch-built model will be 1:400 in scale and approximately 63-65 inches long when completed.

The Process

In order to achieve the most accuracy, I started by collecting the blueprints from show designers, screen shot images, and several different 3D meshes of the ship. Next, I mapped out its contour lines using both Adobe Illustrator and Autodesk 123D Make. Using these contour lines, I printed out several vertical slices of the ship on to letter size cardstock, and pasted them together on foam core and cardboard sheets.

After meticulously cutting out the slices, I bonded them together to form the basic form of the ship’s hull, which would be divided into 3 sections—Engineering, Saucer, and Warp Drive.  I decided to work on the more complicated section first—the Engineering hull (also referred to as the Star-Drive section).  The next section would be the Saucer (also called the Primary hull) followed by the Warp Drive nacelles.

After the completion of each section’s basic form,  I used Paint-N-Patch spackle to smooth out the ridges and blue painter’s tape to reinforce the structural integrity of the connected slices. Next, I taped off the hull with masking tape and add several layers of paper-mache

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