USS McCashin
Ireland Class Heavy Cruiser

This project was a major undertaking for me. Total time to completion was about 17 months. I started with the Polar Lights saucer and warp engines. I also used a pair of heavily modified runabout sensor pod braces for the warp pylons. The curved sub-hulls on the bottom are a PVC plumbing coupler cut perfectly in half and the back end was routered out and capped off with sheet styrene. The rest of the construct is hand cut sheet styrene. All angles and measurements are symmetrical to within .01mm. A second PL saucer was butchered for its triangle shaped subspace antenna array, that was then blended into the main saucer in place of the secondary hull mounting point. The photon tubes were made with Plastruct "U" channel and strip styrene.

Electronics are all resisted LED's. The blinker circuits for the engines were purchased. The blinker circuit for the 1mm LED navigation lights was made by me from an article found on SSM. The entire lighting rig runs off a 9volt battery concealed in the base. I had to recast the PL kit's impulse engines in clear to get the effect I wanted for lighting. A silicone mold was made, and then the part was recast in clear urethane. Additional lighting for the forward lateral sensors, bridge navigation lights, sub hull navigation lights, and all the photon tubes was accomplished by running fiber optic back through the ship to the nearest white LED. All wiring was tested constantly. As soon as the hull was sealed, it was all over.

After everything was closed up, black primer was used to ensure no light escaped. On top of the black primer, a coat of white primer was then added as a base coat before preshading. Preshading was airbrushed with Tamiya Transparent Smoke. The final top coat was a custom mix of 45% Tamiya JN Grey, 5% Tamiya Flat White, and 50% Future Floor Polish.

Decals were garnered from various sources. Decals for the ship name and hull numbers were custom ordered from JT Graphics and Star Fighter Decals. The grid decals on the saucer are from Absolute decals. The small pennants at the base of the pylons are from the old AMT 2 piece set. The windows and large pennants are pieced together from 3 sets of PL decal sheets. And the base decal was printed by me on an inkjet printer.

Finally the entire kit was sealed with MR Super Clean lacquer then matte coated with Tamiya Flat base mixed with Future Floor polish.

Due to the added weight of the electronics and PVC a support bar was added to the base to more evenly distribute the weight of the ship.

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