Star Trek: USS Honshu
This is the USS Honshu, a New Orleans class ship. This class ship was originally seen the graveyard scene from the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Best of Both Worlds, Part 2. It was only there for a couple seconds and was damaged pretty badly. Some additional pictures appeared in the first edition of the Star Trek Encyclopedia, and when I saw them I wanted to make a model of it.
Unfortunately, that was before I had the skills and resources to build it. Later (much later, actually), I saw a few pictures floating around the net and I decided to make it. There still wasn't a lot of info about the model out there at the time though. The original model was made from 1/1400 scale Ent-D parts, highlighters, and custom pieces, but I didn't learn that until much later. I made it from a couple 1/2500 Enterprise-D models, six 1/72 scale phoenix missiles, a cast of the 1/1400 Ent-D bridge, and some sheet styrene.
Putting it together
I started out by taking off all the raised detail from the saucer and engineering parts and sanding them smooth. Then I scribed the grid lines by following the lines left from old raised detail on the saucer. I removed the bridge and added the cast of the larger bridge. After I glued on the dozens of lifeboats, I removed the lower part of the interconnecting neck. After I glued the halves together, I went to the engineering hull.
I glued the engineering hull halves and deflector together and cut the hull at the widest point. I removed the nacelle pylons by first rough cutting them off near the end of the secondary hull and then sanding them down smooth. After adding a couple extension bars, I used some thin sheet styrene to bridge the gap in the two halves of the secondary hull. This worked ok, but it was tough to get the styrene to stay in place while the glue set. I eventually got it to stick together though. I used some putty to smooth out the gaps and then I scribed some grid lines, and completed the sensor gap along the rim.
I removed the impulse engine from the unused neck portion and grafted it on to what remained of the neck so that, when I attached the engineering hull, the spar above the deflector dish would be even with the bottom of the saucer. I sanded the back of the interconnection neck so it would all meet at the impulse engine. (See the picture below.) I glued the two hull sections together and let it sit for a bit. I had a problem here because I couldn't come up with a good way to close the open sections between the two hulls.
After looking at several options, I stumbled on the solution. I cut a piece of sheet styrene that curved just right so it would rest against the top of the engineering hull and the curve would just touch the saucer section. Then after a little putty to smooth it all out, I was happy.
I made the three pods (whatever they are supposed to be) by removing the phoenix missile fins and cutting the halves to length. I cut some sheet styrene to make the proper stretched hexagon shape, made some spacers to support the interior, and glued it all together. Again, more putty and sanding made it all nice and smooth. I attached the bottom one with a thin strip of styrene between the hull and the pod to separate it a little. I used some pylons from a 1/72 F/A-18 sanded to the curve of the saucer. I removed some of the phaser strip and glued them right on, making sure they were level.
I made the nacelle pylons by cutting some styrene to the shape I needed and gluing two strips together to add some strength. I took the curved portion from the 1/2500 Ent-D pylons, modified them to match, and then attached them to the ends of the styrene strips I made. The nacelles are made from two 1/2500 nacelles each. I cut one set just after the dents on top and one a little before. I glued them together, cleaned up the seam, and attached them to the pylons. The lifeboats are just strip styrene cut to size.
Painting and decals
I painted the base coat using Testors Light Ghost Gray. I masked it up for the panels and painted them with mix of Light Ghost Gray with a little Aggressor Gray added. I painted the lifeboats Light Gull Gray, and the phaser strips Gunship Gray. Then I mixed up the nacelle blue and deflector red. The nacelle red is has a little orange in it and the impulse engines is orange with a little red. I did the yellow bands on the nacelles by first painting them black and then taking some zinc chromate (the yellow one) and lightly coating it with my brush. The decals are a mixture from the 1/2500 set and some from McDaniel Models, which is now out of business. He also made the windows, which I had to put on one at a time. That took FOREVER but I think it was worth it. His decals were pretty good.
All in all, it was a fun project and I think it turned out great for my first kitbash project. For you purists out there, here's a quick note on the name and registry number. I decided to name it before I did all my research on other ship names. It turns out that there is a Nebula class Honshu. Oh well. I figured it was a good name for a sister ship to the Kyushu.
I've received may comments on it's accuracy, but there are a few things that are just a little off. The pylons probably need to sweep back just a little more, and the nacelles actually point toward the center a little. I also think the neck needs a little more detail, but over all I like it.