One of the oldest items on my to-do list dates from December of 1979, and it is to build a decent model of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I bought several of the old AMT/Ertl model, and read everything I could find, but the research was always conflicting and inadequate, and the modeling skills required to do the "aztec" pattern that covered the ship in a mosaic of slightly different-colored tiles was always way beyond my modeling skills. Not to mention the numerous changes that the inaccurate AMT kit required.
But a couple of years ago Polar Lights came out with - for under $50 - a monster-sized 1/350 accurate model of NCC-1701 (which can also be modeled as the nearly identical 1701-A from ST:V and VI). And after market companies came out with friskets for the aztec design all over the ship. And - on top of that - the kit provides detailed painting instructions, including an A-U painting guide that gives ModelMaster equivalents for all the necessary colors (or mixing instructions, where necessary). The ship included dozens of clear markets and is fully capable of being internally lit - thus illuminating the several interior areas (lounges, rec areas and a cavernous hangar/cargo bay). I'm not going there for this model, but if an aftermarket company comes out with a lighting kit - which I expect - if I ever build it again, I might.
Anyway, the one thing stopping me has always been my airbrushing skills, which are nil. After over twenty years with two Badger brushes I couldn't ever get to work, the very helpful staff at King Hobby in Austin recommended a Paasche as foolproof (or was it idiot-proof - either applies) and I have started using it extensively this weekend on this and several other projects. While I'm still having a lot of problems using it well, at least it works, and I'm getting comfortable mixing up the necessary paints, and painting what's needed, as it's needed.
So finally, this weekend, I started on the model.