Introduction: Scratch Building a 23rd Century Star Trek Ship, Pt.2

About: I love to create sci-fi models, paint figures and generally stay a kid at heart.

Here is another RENFOAM creation whose design, the "Puffin," was borrowed from The build was straight forward and was actually my first build from the Star Fleet Museum site.



40lb. RENFOAM Polyurethane Foam board

Aluminum and Brass tubing

Plastic sheet

Decals ( Alps Printer )

Tamiya Acrylic paint

Lacquer Grey spray can primer

Iwata airbrush and air compressor

Exacto hobby knife with #11 blades

Cyanoacrylate glue (CA glue)

Blue Painter's masking tape

80, 120, 220 and 320 grit Garnet sandpaper

90 degree pneumatic air grinder with 120 grit pads


MDF board

Thin cardboard

Craft store acrylic paints


Elmer's white glue

Step 1: Template

I scaled the 5 view up until the figures were 1 inch tall to represent 1/72 scale. The top view profile was cut out and traced onto a block of RENFOAM and band sawed out. Then the main body was rough shaped with a pneumatic grinder with sanding pads. Next step was smoothing out contour with 80 and 120 grit sand paper, in that order. The protuberances were eyed to scale and cut out of foam, then shaped with 80 and 120 grit sand paper: top scoop, top fin, 2 side cannon pods, and 2 rotating engine pods.

Once the main pod was shaped,the cannon pods were fit to the sides and 3/32" dia. hollow brass tubes were bonded into drilled holes with CA glue.

3/4" dia. hollow brass tube was used for the exhaust pipe. It was drilled in place and bonded with CA glue.

The 2 engine pods were also attached with 1/8" dia hollow brass tubes

The landing gear legs were made with aluminum and brass tubing and plastic sheet cut for the feet platforms. Ca glue was used for assembly.

Once the sub components were complete each piece was sanded again with 220 and 320 grit paper to get them ready for painting. Then all parts, other than engine pods and landing gear were bonded with CA glue

Step 2: Painting

Once the contour and smoothing was complete, the body and engine pods were sprayed with lacquer grey. A couple coats and light sanding with 320 grit paper between coats help fill in and smooth all surfaces.

When looking at the original 5 view, I pondered over how to represent the panel lines and figure out an easy answer. Tape off the primer before spraying the white! I cut .100" wide strips of blue painter's tape on a cutting board, and followed the 5 view as to placement. Next up was airbrushing Tamiya White. After a day of drying, the white was masked off and the rest of the body and engine pods were airbrushed Tamiya Black.

A day later, the tape was pulled, and the results were good. The engine pods and landing gear were then bonded with CA glue.

Step 3: Finishing Up

Once the painting was complete, and all touch ups were done, the next step was applying decals. My good friend Steve, with an ALPS printer graciously made these beautiful decals for me.

The base was a block of MDF with sanded chamfers. I found some thin cardboard and used a compass to draw a few circles and with a couple of pencil lines added, craft store acrylic paint was used to paint the details on the ground. The cardboard was glued on with Elmer's white glue.

The last thing....setting the Puffin on it's base.