In less than a week, I finished a kit that has been sitting on the shelf for more than 7 years. Wow. I guess it goes to show that when you focus, and don't get TOO nutty about details and perfection, you can actually get some work done.
A few thoughts on the overall build. First, I'm pretty happy with the results. Not extremely happy, but satisfied. As mentioned a while back, I was very inspired by John Palmeri's rapid builds of two phaser rifles for DragonCon. They looked GREAT in person, though when asked, John seemed pretty ashamed of the results. This sort of reinforced in my mind what I have known for a long time, which is that it is always the creator that sees the flaws, seldom the audience. It was with that thought that I really plowed ahead with this build and knocked it out quickly.
Having not built up a kit this large in a long time, a lot of lessons were learned that were previously forgotten. For example, whenever I start a new project, I think I will always get new cans of paint. A lot of this rifle was painted using two cans of old plasti-kote that I had sitting around. Yes, it was the right paint code, but because the cans were mostly empty, the paint coming out tended to splatter more than spray. This made for an uneven overall coat, and I'm not too thrilled with it. The scope, however, turned out really great, as this was done with a fresh can of paint. Interesting stuff.
I also broke some new ground in securing parts of props together. This kit featured a couple of load bearing handles that needed to REALLY be secure on the rifle. I used wood screws throughout the build, often cutting off the head so that the threaded part of the screw could fit into the other half of the rifle. I thought this was pretty ingenious!
Having seen a number of screen used props first hand, I would say that this build up is more tidy than those, but not as clean as some other builds that I have over-indulged in. I guess it's just a matter of preference, though I think I am indeed convinced that I'd rather have the thing finished, than still in a box. It's a pretty satisfying feeling to get a project like this finished.
So that's it for this project. Now I just need to find a place to keep it! It's pretty big! Time to find the next kit to build.