Enterprise NX-01 by Rick Horack

This beautiful piece was built from the 1:350 Polar Lights kit. I am honored to introduce artist Rick Horack to this gallery. Rick is “old school” with his techniques as he painted all of the fine panel work individually using aztec pattern masks, and different hued paints. A beautiful first showing for this artist.


Here is what Rick has to say…

I would like to submit a model that I just completed of the Polar Lights 1/350 Enterprise NX-01. Now I know that a number of people have submitted their NX-01. But the thing that makes mine stand out is the fact that I didn’t use decals for the Aztec pattern that cover the entire ship. The only decals that I used were the original ones that came in the box. I did use the vinyl Aztec stickers to mask off certain areas while I was painting. But I didn’t simply stop with one color for the Aztec areas like most do. I have 6 different shades of metalizer paint. It is fully lit with navigational flashes and strobe lighting. The nacelles were lit with neon tubes to illuminate the entire nacelle without dark gaps.

I have seen several people use the Acreation decals for the Aztec pattern on the ship and it felt to me like cheating. I wanted to do it the old fashion way. This way it could truly be considered a “work of art”. IF a real model had been created for the show, I am sure they would have painted it. I didn’t want to do any less!

As I mentioned I used the vinyl stickers that most people use. But I cut the vinyl stickers into smaller pieces corresponding to the color of certain deck plates at certain areas. I use 6 different shades while painting the Aztec pattern. And you can see how much of a difference it makes. I have pictures of the finish model and ones of the process that I went through to complete the model. I am mostly sending pictures of the finished ship. But I will include a few of the painting process so you can see what I mean. I think that you will be very surprised that it is possible to get a fantastic looking NX-01 without using decals.

I have also seem many people not light both of the impulse engines. Normally you only see people light the engine closest to the middle of the ship. This is because of the way that the pylons attach to the ship while you construct it. I see this even when professional model studios constructed the NX-01. Steve Neill didn’t lite both of them, the FX Company didn’t do it either. Granted it is difficult to light both engines, the pylons do get in the way, but it can be done. I was determined to make this as accurate to Doug Drexler CGI model as possible. I used it as my only reference when building and painting.

But I can give you more information later about the build if you need it. Please take a look at my pictures. I will be sending several emails of pictures. I have several movies that I can upload to you. I am in the process of finishing one to put on YouTube. I think you will be very pleased.

Here are a few pictures that show some of what I went through to get the ship to look the way it did. I reduced the size of the pictures for the emails. I can provide you with higher resolutions for the pictures that you post. In these you can see how I placed the Aztec on the ship and then gently sectioned the Aztec stickers so that only the correct areas would be painted. It took me 1 1/2 weeks to get the Aztec pattern the way I wanted it. The “X” that you see on the stickers are areas that have already been painted. I started with a dark Titanium and went to a shade lighter with a light coat of Magnesium. Then full Magnesium color. Next a light coat of Stainless Steel, then full coat of Stainless steel. Then a light coat of Aluminum, and then full coat of it. As I prepared to paint each color, I would take the sticker off where I wanted the color I was applying and then spray it on. I would then put the sticker back on to protect that color from the next color being put on. I did that for each shade. This was simplistic in planning but complicated in application. But it certainly paid off. Some of the pictures that I included are shots before the ship was finished. The last one is in full resolution from my 10 mp camera.

Rick Horack


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