I finally was able to get some styrene, so I decided to finish up the detailing on the top array decal. I used some spray adhesive to glue the supplied template to a piece of 0.040″ thick styrene. After the adhesive dried, I cut each piece out with my Dremel, and used a combination of 400 grit sandpaper and the dremel sanding wheel to round the edges. Lastly, I used a small drill bit to make a pilot hole in each piece. I then glued the pieces of styrene to the decal with some superglue. After it dried (which took a whole 10 seconds) I used a hobby knife to enlarge each hole until it was large enough to fit the LED that will protrude through it following the installation of the electronics.
Following the previous paint coat, I gently wet-sanded the three main components with 2000 grit sandpaper. This helps remove any minor imperfections in the paint. In addition, it helps give the piece an overall smoothness. Be sure to go very easy at this step as different paints can tolerate different amounts of sanding. This Krylon paint seemed to stand up pretty well, but all paints are different. Be especially careful around edges as they are the most common areas that are easily sanded through. Once the piece had sufficient time to dry, I added a mist of Krylon’s Dull Aluminum (#1403). From the information I’ve seen, this is the same technique used to paint the original props for The Next Generation. I pieced the tricorder parts together so that common surfaces would have consistent amounts of the misted paint. For example, I added this light mist of paint with the tricorder closed and then with it open. This gave all the outer surfaces a common level of the dull aluminum. Also, the surfaces where the decals will be placed also have a common amount of the dull aluminum paint.