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Enterprise by JLuebbert - Constructo - 1:51

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Hi gang-

I'd like to first say that I've really come to appreciate this community. I've followed so many builds and have enjoyed the highs and commiserated on the lows. The biggest thing that has stood out to me is the support for each other whether it's the completion of a build, a birthday, an illness or the passing of a loved one, this community has each others back.

Ok. Enough of the sappy stuff....

My name is John. I'm a Realtor out of Sacramento California. There's a lot of "hurry up and slow down" to my job thus I'm able to troll the forums everyday.

I've always loved life in miniature having started out building plastic models and painting 28mm pewter miniatures most of my life. A good friend of mine introduced me to wooden ship models back in 2005. I ran out and purchased the Enterprise. (As I'm a Star Trek kinda guy it just made sense.) The word "intermediate" didn't even register as I had built so many models. My ego wouldn't allow that I should start out with something easier. : P

I impatiently rushed through the initial stages and stopped. Planking was next and I didn't understand how it was going to possibly lay at the stern.

So I started Amati's Santa Maria. And stopped at the planking.

So I started the Holstein Yacht which is almost done but still has rigging that needs to be finished. 

(Notice any patterns?)

Which brings us to the present.

With the discovery of Model Ship World and the talents of SRC, Probablynot and Archicar, I've dusted off this old brig and have continued with the build having accepted the fact that this won't be a museum piece and that's OK. : )

My best to all of you! 




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Here she is in all her boxed glory. Once again, I'm so thankful to the other Enterprise builds. This one didn't come with a full color step by step book and the instructions are very cryptic (for a beginner). It has only been through studying the other builds that I've been able to move forward.


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This was the new starting point. I began with something easy - the captains cabin. Referring to the other builds I noticed that the block was too short. The door supplied wouldn't fit! I decided to add some height and finish it off properly. I had originally intended to simply build the ship straight from the box but after viewing SRC's new door that idea went out the window.



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That's a good idea, Rich. I'll do that.


Hi Muzzlehead- 

(Love the moniker!) Do you have the older version too? If so I can't recommend it enough to follow the other fellows that are building this ship. The scuppers weren't covered very well. I ended up purchasing some mahogany strips to create them. There are other aspects that they address as well that'll help immensely. 

Another issue I'm encountering is that the sapelly used for the hull planking is very thick (and old!). I've had to be very careful as it tends to snap no matter how long I soak it.


Which brings up a question- the friend that got me started directed me to soak the wood in ammonia which I am still currently doing. I haven't seen this in any other build. Is this necessary or harmful to the wood?


I've got some pictures that I'll be posting shortly.

Edited by JLuebbert
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The first pic is another of the finished captains cabin entrance. I used the undersized ceiling block but built it upslightly, planked the top and added trim.

The other two pics are the first few planks. As I previously mentioned this has been difficult with the rather brittle wood. The patience I have learned since I started this project is paying off. SLOW is ok. 




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First, congratulations for revisiting this kit, looking forward to seeing you finish her.

You are so right about the sepellie, very brittle at times. Try to look at your grain, I had lengths that had fairly straight grain and then suddenly it would take a sharp turn or get squirrley. On mine that is where it tended to break. Several people here use ammonia to soak their planks in, I havent tried it yet but I hear good things. Check on a piece of scrap first, ammonia reacts with tannic acid which sapellie should have a fair amount as I believe it is related to mahogany. The ammonia may darken the wood. I have talked with other builders and they claim it doesnt, but its a good idea in my mind to test first.


On your planking go to the database here and read the planking tutorials, there is a good one in the database and also a good one in the planking forums. The conversation between Leslie(?) and JackNastyface is a great lesson in planking. 


I will be following along, if you have questions about the instructions - or anything - I will be happy to help wherever I can.



Edit - Deck and door look good BTW.

Edit #2. Check with some of the more experienced builders but I think your garboard plank may extend too far forward. I did the same thing you did and ended up with what I feel is too much upsweep. Just my 2 cents worth. :)

Edited by src
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Hi Sam-

Thanks so much for the input. Being the rookie that I am the thought never crossed my mind to check the grain. : P

The ammonia hasn't affected the color so far and I've had pieces soaking up to two days. 

I've read and printed the basic planking located in the forums and do refer to it often. You mentioned my garboard plank. This is an area that I was concerned about. I had started planking my above mentioned Santa Maria a while back and made that mistake. I had hoped I was situated better but will definitely take better pictures and ask for more feedback before I move forward.


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Just thought I ought to show a face here.  Although my own Enterprise build has been on hold while I plod through to completion of little Anastasia.
I'm hoping Anastasia will be finished before the end of February.  Then - yippee! - I'll get back to the Enterprise!

You're doing great with yours so far.  Nice simulation of the black caulking between your deck planks - how did you do that?  Also, what exactly did you do with that door?  Did you clad the metal one with veneers, or did you make a completely new one?  Me, I'm not quite at that stage yet, but I feel inclined to try putting veneers on the (provided) metal door.


Yes, you're doing great John!   Keep us informed!

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Great idea, Sam. Thanks!


Thanks for the kind words Brian. I look forward to seeing you continue with your Enterprise. You fellow Enterprise builders have no idea how much I rely on your builds. I usually have all of them opened on different tabs and bounce from one to the other when I'm in question about something.

I used a fine felt pen for the caulking. It bled a lot and that initially made me stall. I then placed some furniture on the deck and imagined the masts and rigging in place and decided to move forward.

As far as the door goes, it was really simple. This version of the kit uses 0.5x50x110 sheet sapelly for the face of the captains cabin. I made a template by tracing the metal door on this sheet and cutting it out. I then used Sam's (SRC) basic door layout as a guide. I didn't try to recreate the hinges as he did. That's a little beyond me at the moment. I can cut small pieces of wood to size like a champ though. : )


I feel like a kid again whenever I open the box. I smell the wood and it's exciting again to be building something. Anybody else feel this way? 

Of course, I'll be 50 this Friday. I may be just losing it.


Edited by JLuebbert
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Well Happy Birthday this Sunday, Sam!

I woke up this morning and thought "Crap. It really happened. I'm 50. I don't feel 50. Of course I don't know what 50 is supposed to feel like." It was quite a lengthy dialogue in my head. 

The build slowed down this past week and I'll be working tomorrow. I will be playing my "birthday card" and telling my wife that it's my birthday weekend and I really should be working on my Enterprise all day Sunday. 

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Your build hasnt slowed down, your 50 now.

so your kit came with sheet sapelle? I am jealous, it would have made the 2d planking much better. I found I could only control the strips that came with the kit to a certain degree. Next build I will have wider planks to spile into .

Looking forward to seeing what comes of you Sunday build fest.


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Ha! Happy Birthday old men... both of you .... I am but a young sprite having turned 45 last November :)  I'll take the youngest in the room anytime!

I just finished planking the main deck and will work on the after deck this evening.  I hope to have pics up on my build log tomorrow night.

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  • 1 year later...

This one is not dead in the water, gang. This build will be a gift to an old friend and I felt I needed more experience. I'll be starting a new log this week for the Gretel. I realized I'm a slow learner and need a couple of warm up models before I can do the Enterprise justice. I'm so thankful for the posts by everyone everyday. The last couple of years have been challenging and I've appreciated all the logs tokeep my the eexcitement of our hobby alive.

Take care all.

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