Beyond the Final Frontier

The blog has been a bit quiet lately, which is because unusually I’ve actually been building LEGO; and then photographing it and photoshopping and generally getting stuff ready. Unashamedly hitting the “shameless self promotion” tag, behold now the fruits of my labour:

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Having built a number of smaller Star Trek models I wanted to build something larger where I could go to town on the smaller details and colouring rather than just get the overall shape. This fantastic concept design by Ryan Dening had been in my ideas folder for years, and I thought the faceted hull looked eminently buildable.

USS Utah NCC 46277 Starfleet Survey Vessel

I had also wanted to build a large microscale shuttlebay into a model for some time, so I photoshopped the one in the concept really quickly and this became my main guide. I ended up following that quite closely, tweaking the details mainly and eliminating the raised area behind the bridge.

USS Utah NCC 46277 Starfleet Survey Vessel

I was really pleased with the angles of the hull and used some neat techniques to build them. I also worked really hard to get the dark grey section to carry seamlessly onto the warp “wings” – the sand blue inset was just an added bonus! I posted a WIP online and did a final round of changes following some great feedback, making the hull more predominantly white and changing the lower weapons pods to sensor pods, with gold dishes as a throwback to 60’s Trek.

USS Utah NCC 46277 Starfleet Survey Vessel

It’s surprisingly sturdy and the central core means the entire model can stand on a single rod of technic beams. I also designed a new stand that angles the model on two axes so it’s artfully presented at a swoopy angle. My previous model took 10 months to build, but I knocked this out in four; and the process has been surprisingly straightforward and very enjoyable!

USS Utah NCC 46277 Starfleet Survey Vessel

As a footnote: I showed this to Ryan Denning, who’d designed the original concept, and I *think* he kinda liked it…

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