By Scott Scariot - images & text © 2000
^ The JT Graphics decal set used was very detailed and easy to apply.
I found the Sci-Fi Spaceship Miniatures Soyuz Class Conversion Kit. The Soyuz class appeared in only one episode, “Cause and Effect”, as the U.S.S. Bozeman. The Soyuz-class is a highly modified version of the Miranda-class.
I ordered the kit from Federation Models for $33.00 (Also available from SFSM for $26.95). Because it is a conversion kit it also requires a Miranda class model, either SFSM’s or Ertl’s. I picked up a Reliant kit for five dollars at Toys R’ Us. This find helped cut down on the cost of the project.
The kit arrived in a sturdy cardboard box. It consisted of 54 vacuformed parts molded in two sheets of sheet styrene, plus a three-sheet instruction guide. There was no paint guide or decals.
First, I washed the parts from both kits and let them air dry. Once the sheets of vacuformed parts were dry, I filled the corners of the larger pieces with contour putty and let them dry. I then spray-painted all the pieces with Flat White.
Because the project is a conversion kit there were certain pieces from the Reliant kit that I did not use. The most notables of these are the pieces for the “roll bar”(parts number 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,26), bridge (#25,27), impulse engines (# 200,201), the upper roll bar supports (# 15,16). Also, I did not use the upper impulse crystal (#100).
To begin assembling, I cut off the impulse engine assembly from the rear of the ship. This is where the hull extension attached to the rest of the ship. Once I removed the impulse engines, I filled the gap left in their place with .040 sheet styrene. I glued the shuttle bays and landing lights into place, and painted the lower impulse crystal Sky Blue and glued it into the bottom of the saucer.
I also needed to modify the warp pylons. I cut off the tops of the pylons and sanded them flat and flush with the top of the saucer. I attached the warp pylons to the ship with five-minute epoxy. Assembly of the warp nacelles was easy. I glued the bussard collectors into one-half of the nacelle and the two halves were then glued together. I painted the bussard collectors and the sides of each engine Sea Blue. I set the warp nacelles aside for later attachment. I next glued the saucer top, bottom and rear together.
With the major injection assemblies completed, I moved on to the conversion pieces. First, I assembled the aft hull extension. This assembly consisted of four pieces, an upper and lower piece, including an aft shuttle bay, and a wedge shaped extension for the lower part of the assembly. To complete the assembly I glued tabs of .040 styrene into the lower portion of the hull extension. I then glued the top and bottom together. Then I glued the third shuttle bay onto the back of the extension. After that, I glued the wedge-shaped piece onto the front part of the lower hull extension. Continuing on, I filled and sanded the seams. Finally, I painted the entire assembly Flat White.
While the paint was drying, I cut-out the shuttle-landing pad. This consists of two pieces: the landing pad and the extension piece that the landing pad sits on, which also includes the impulse engines. I reinforced the inside of the extension with putty. I then glued the landing pad onto the extension. Before I glued the landing pad onto the hull extension I painted the shuttle bay door Gray. Then, I glued the landing pad onto the hull extension. With the landing pad glued on, I needed to glue four rectangular detail pieces onto each side of the hull extension; two circular pieces were then glued onto the circular protrusion at the base of the extension.With the hull extension assembled, I moved onto the phaser cannons or sensor pods. The correct function of these assemblies was not clear and changed depending on which website I consulted. But, no matter what function they serve, there are four pods, one for both sides and one for the top and bottom. The top and bottom pods have an indentation in them so that they may be glued onto the support pylon.
First I had to fill in the spikes for each pod with putty. I then cut out and sanded the spikes flat. I also cut out and sanded the top and bottom pieces of each pod flat. Then I cut an indented square out from each top piece. To complete the cannons I cut out and notched four pieces of .040 styrene so that the spikes could fit in the notches. I then glued the spikes into the notches. I found that, during this part of assembly, the spikes had to be cut down so that they would fit inside the notched pieces. These were very minor modifications.
Once the spikes had set I inserted them into the holes on the front of the pods and glued them into place. I then glued the top and bottom together. Finally I filled, and sanded, then painted the seams Flat White.
Next, I cut out the pylons that support the upper and lower pods and I glued small tabs of .040 styrene to the inside of the pylons. Then, I glued the two halves together. A raised platform was then filled with putty. Then I had to glue this platform onto the bottom of the hull extension and also the lower pylon and pod had to be glued onto this platform. I also filled the inside top portion of the bridge and the turbolifts with putty.
At this point in the project, I ran into a major headache. There were three pieces to attach the port and starboard pods to the hull, but they did not fit the Ertl kit. There is a large rectangular piece that is supposed to fit to the hull. Then the pod pylon was to be attached to the rectangle, and a cover added to the top of the pylon. Since the large rectangular piece gave the most trouble, I discarded it completely. What I did was trim down the pylon down so that it would fit onto the side of the hull. It took several days of sanding and cutting to get both pylons to fit. I believe that this put the pods closer to the hull than was intended, but the distance is tolerable.
There are two rectangular pieces that were originally intended to help support the side pods. I sanded them both flat and glued both of them to the top of the hull, just above the warp engine pylons. This helped cover the top of the pylon and give it a more finished look. I then filled the gaps and sanded them down.
To detail, I painted the troughs at the end of the saucer Gray with my new airbrush. I painted other raised sections Duck Egg Blue. The phaser banks were painted Yellow and tipped then with Red. The sensor pallets were painted Gray. On the underside, I painted the transporter emitters Gull Gray and the landing struts Light Gray. Finally I painted the various raised sections on the hull extension Gull Gray.
The model comes with two large domes for the top and bottom of the saucer. The bridge is intended to be attached to the top dome, and more spikes and a turret were supposed to be attached to the bottom dome. The bottom dome had two rectangular indentations that needed to be cut out so that the spikes could fit in to the dome. These spikes are smaller and only have two prongs on them instead of three as with the other spikes. I filled the spikes with putty and sanded them flat when they dried. There is a square indentation in-between the two spike indentations. I painted this Black. I then glued the two spikes into the slots cut in the dome. Next, I filled the gaps and painted them White. When the paint was dry I glued the dome onto the middle bottom of the saucer.
To assemble the turret, there are five pieces: two for the cannon, two for the turret, and a platform for the turret to be attached to. I heavily modified this assembly. On the bottom piece of the turret there is a circle, which I cut out. I glued the two halves of the turret together. Then, I drilled a hole in the front of the turret and then glued the cannon into the hole. The turret platform looked like a bridge module with a flat top. I did not like the way it looked so I took the sensor array from the Reliant kit (Parts #19,104) and turned it around. I then glued the phaser cannon turret onto the sensor array. This assembly more closely resembled the reference material that I found on the Internet. It was also a very easy way to customize the kit.
In addition, I customized the model further by not using the upper dome provided with the conversion kit. I felt that it put the bridge up too high. So, I glued the bridge module onto the upper saucer where the bridge would usually be placed.
The conversion kit did not come with decals; so, I ordered an add-on decal sheet from JT Graphics. For a more unique way of customizing the ship I had the decals custom made with the name U.S.S. Edinboro and registry number NCC-1857, in honor of the University I attended. (The registry number is the year the University was founded.) Before the decals were applied, I sprayed the various pieces of the model with a gloss coat. Once the gloss coat was dry, I applied the decals. The decal application went smoothly. I was even able to apply all of the decals without tearing one. I set the model aside for an hour or two to let the decals set. Once the decals were set, I sprayed all of the parts with a flat coat. The flat coat was applied in several coats. Once the flat coat was dry, I completed the assembly of the ship.
I first glued the pod pylons on the aft hull extension. Once the pylons set, I glued the pods onto the pylons. I then glued the warp nacelles onto the pylons. The pylon cover plates were glued into place. While the warp engines were setting, I glued the phaser cannon/sensor array to the lower dome. After the warp engines and cannon/sensor array were set, I glued the port and starboard pods to their pylons. I manually held these in place until they set. Finally I cemented the rear hull extension to the rest of the ship. I held the extension in place until the cement set. There was a very sizable gap at the base of the hull extension. I filled this with putty, then sanded it and painted it White.
Since the model did not come with a stand, I used a wooden plaque and some dowel rods. I created a plaque with Microsoft Publisher on my computer with the class name, ship name, registry number and motto. Since the Edinboro is a custom ship, I had to create a motto for the ship. The motto for the ship comes from a line in “ Scotland the Brave”, which is Edinboro University’s fight song (my wife came up with this idea).
Overall, I found this kit to be very challenging. It builds into a very interesting ship. I did a lot of research on the Internet, as well as watched the episode “Cause and Effect” several times. The kit took a month to build and I am very happy with the results. I was also very pleased with the custom decal sheet from JT Graphics. I would recommend this project to anyone who has a spare Reliant kit just sitting around gathering dust, or anyone looking for a different type of ship to add to their collection.
|White||Ex Astra Scientia|
|Gray||Starship Schematics Database|
|Gull Gray||Model Citizen Page|
|Duck Egg Blue|
|* Note: All Colors Flat, All Testors|
This page copyright © 2001 Starship Modeler. Last updated on 21 March 2001.