After a couple of evenings experimenting with printed acetates, cutting, folding them, etc. yielded some promising results and some problematic issues in the approach.
First, with the new magnifying head visor which finally arrived, I can now easily have both hands free to cut, and hold acetate while having high-powered magnification. This has been a true relief in trying to work with pieces at this small scale.
Second, while the overall approach is very promising, some issues as far as printed laser toner being scrapped off when using the steel straight edge for cutting are threatening to become problematic. However using a clear matte finish transparency tape may be a solution. I worked with this before in making what amounts to micro-scale “laminate” with aluminum foil and tape in an early abortive attempt at using actual metal cladding when I fist bought the Enterprise kit some 9 years ago for this project.
This has lead me to contemplate using laser printer-ready clear printable films/labels. Those labels have peal-off backing, can be run through a laser printer, and are much thinner than laser-printer transparency films.
Other printable films and labels may be the solution I need. I will see about picking up the Avery clear labels to experiment with them. These, and some of the low-tack laser-printer labels may be an additional method of making exacting friskets for painting some of the overlay layers in building up the workbees and travel pods.
This method may also be usable for some of the hyper-detailing in the cargo/hanger bay scratch build pieces I will be attempting. This can potentially yield much more complex and in-scale detailing, as well as opening up the hanger and cargo bay area to more accurately reflect the space it takes up in the secondary hull of the Enterprise.
The Polar Lights kit, while doing an admirable job of making a buildable sub-assembly for the cargo and hanger bay, it does sacrifice some of the proportions in order to make it fit as a separate assembly within the hull, instead of being built into the hull structure as it would be if the ship were real.
This constricts the view of the model, and “narrows” the bay areas more so than it would be according to the various fan-produced blueprints, as well as how it looks in the film.
There are some very accurate and “correct” 3D renderings some fans have made online, which show details and views within the bay areas, the supporting hallways and corridors in and around the shuttlecraft, workbee hanger spaces and cargo area passageways.
I will get into those more fully when I start focusing on those areas of model. But for now, I need to really nail a consistent methodology of building these workable. Which will be one of the biggest hurdles in the build from a fabrication standpoint.
Anyway, it is late and is in the middle of a work week, so back at it later.