An after torpedo launcher for the AMT/ERTL Excelsior and Enterprise B mdoels in 1/1000th scale. This part replaces the very inaccurate part in the various AMT/ERTL kits. It was mastered using recently come to light photos of the Excelsior studio model. It is not claimed to be 100% accurate, but it is far, far more accurate than the original kit parts - far more accurate. The launcher was installed on on the studio model on a semicircular base, with parts of the launcher hanging off of the ends of this semicircle. That ultra thin plate was not included in the new printed part due to the fact that AMT/ERTL included it o the remastered model, and due to issues with Shapeways being able to consistently print something that thin, and in 1/1000th scale it would be ultrathin, right at the limits of what can be done with frosted detail plastics. If the modeler wishes to add it to the original releases of the Excelsior and Enterprise-B models it's a pretty quick fix - measure, cut, glue, done.
1. On the original Excelsior and Enterprise-B kits, simply remove the "fins" on the underside of the model where the launcher will go, and sand smooth. Then, center the printed part and attach using CA glue.
2. On the remasted, recent Excelsior release, you will need to remove a small nub or two that was molded into place at the after end of the kit's semicircular mounting plate and sand flat. Then, simply glue into place.
A note on scaling... The remastered Excelsior underside hull has a small semicircular plate where the new launcher will attach. This is correct to the studio model, but the fore and aft grooves which should correspond to where the four fins on the launcher are do not appear to have been correctly placed. By comparing the location of the printed part with the grooves, I truly believe that I have placed them in the correct locations. To move the fins to make them correspond with the location of the grooves on the AMT/ERTL model would require upsetting the scaling of the entire part. You can either putty in the grooves and sand flat to remove that discontinuity, or just install the launcher and ignore the discontinuity. Photos posted on Resin Illuminati showing the part that this was originally mastered from against hull templates will show how the fins line up with photos of the studio model. AMT/ERTL is to be commended for remastering and releasing this updated model and they generally did a wonderful job - my comments are not intended as criticisms. In this area, they were off by just a few millimeters, is all (in my opinion).
The paint the part, first soak it in lukewarm soapy water and scrub GENTLY with a toothbrush or similar to remove the printing residue and allow to dry. Then, paint with your choice of acrylic modeling paints. Some folks have used enamels, but I tend to err on the side of caution and recommend acrylics, just ot be safe. You will probably want to install the launcher toward the end of construction, after the secondary hull has been fully painted and detailed. The pictures showing the part painted and installed on a white remastered Excelsior are of the part painted in Lifecolor light grey with a dark Vallejo grey wash to bring out the details, all acrylics.
I would recommend printing the part in Frosted Extreme Detail given the tiny details on it. Also, a few very tiny details are actually "sided." They're tough to see, but the actual studio model's launcher appears to not have been 100% mirror imaged, port ot starboard. You probably won't even spot these areas, but I, the designer, will know that they're there and that I attempted to reproduce them accurately.
Thank you for looking!
EDIT: the walls on the fins were thickened to 0.64mm in width due to concerns over printability, despite printing successfully before (see photos). My apologies to anyone who had tried ordering who was affected by this. As is obvious from the photos, Shapeways printed the launcher successfully but then suddenly said that the part wasn't printable. Go figure...