U.S.S. Defiant, NCC-1764-A: A Tough Little Ship

I decided after all the trouble this old boat caused that it had earned itself a gallery. I picked this ship up originally because I was debating running a small RPG campaign using the Lasers & Feelings ruleset. I don’t know if we’ll ever get around to the campaign, and ultimately it might have just been how I justified spending money on a model kit to myself. But here we are, and the Defiant is done. I’ve always loved the Miranda-class and when I was a much younger Mick I built up the old 1/537 ERTL kit of this old boat. I feel like getting to do the smaller 1/1000 kit by Polar Lights helped me see that I’ve improved in some areas as a painter, but also really reinforced to me that there’s some things I want to do better.

Pictured: Aztec panelling? What’s that?

First, I have to acknowledge that basing my performance as a miniature painter on how I did up this kit is like comparing apples and oranges because yes, painting up a scale model and painting miniatures are like two different branches on the same talent tree. Since I was painting this up more as a miniature and as a visual aid for an eventual campaign, I stuck with what I know and love, but this made me really appreciate the work of people who do scale-modeling well, especially those with the patience to mess around with aztec paneling, which is ultimately what caused my first crack at this model to fail.

Yes, I know there’s a much more illustrious modern U.S.S. Defiant, but I look at this as kind of the middle child between that and the Constitution-Class that got put in the obituaries by Tholians. Also, I have to acknowledge that as a miniature painter I am SPOILED. As nice as the kit was, the thickness, hardness, and general quality of the plastic felt completely different than what I’m used to working with, and presented a couple issues of its own as I was going through the process. As somebody who does miniature painting, though, I got to have a little bit of fun with glow effects on the warp engines, running engines, sensor dome, and a couple other choice bits on this model.

Pictured: A base that I did up with some greens and blues, taking some inspiration from an old Eldar tank Spekd painted back in the day.

Custom decals made the late-stage work on this pretty easy, and kudos go out to Xenonmage for helping me pick the name. The base was also a really fun late-stage thing to work on and I really kind of just went nuts with water and acrylic paints and flicking paint all over my kitchen. It was kind of like finger-painting which was fun in its whole own right. In the end, I think I’m happy with the result of this, whether I ever get to run it in a game or not, and I think it’s one that’s got some real sentimental value to me now as kind of a “therapy” project. I think I’m back on the horse.

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