Reader reviews of a kit featured on Starship Modeler.

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Your Two Cents: USS Enterprise (refit)

The following are reader's opinions of the USS Enterprise (refit) made by Bandai.

Reviewer   Sean O'Leary
Date Reviewed   May 16, 2003
Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
Comments I think the Bandai kit was worth the money I paid for it. The thing I liked most was the fact that it came prepainted. I hate to think of manhours it would have taken me to create the subtle "Aztec" pattern over the entire ship. I also like the fact that the ship's markings were printed on the model as well. This sure beats water-based decals, which tend to reflect light from the excess film that usuallly surrounds small numbers and letters.

Although the model was fairly well constructed, people who want a model faithful to the original will be partially disappointed. Here's a list of five inaccuarcies that I was surprised to find:

1. The upper bridge dome and lower navigational sensor are smooth on the Bandai model. These elements should have concentric lines etched into them.

2. The red border that surrounds the yellow plate of the phaser banks is missing. Bandai did remember to include this red border around the reactor control thrusters (the 8 yellow triangular areas that are located along the edges of the primary hull).

3. The words "STARSHIP U.S.S. ENTERPRISE * UNITED FEDERATION OF PLANETS" are missing on the sides of the primary hull. This is the same text that is printed on the sides of the secondary hull.

4. Some windows are missing or placed in an incorrect position. Also, the rectangular windows on the Bandai model should be rounded at the corners so they're shaped like capsules.

5. The bottom of the secondary hull is missing several markings that are meant to outline the position of loading/servicing hatches.

There are many more inaccurcies I could have catalogued, but it would be easier for you to go to the following website and compare the Bandai model with pictures of the original. You'd be surprised at how much detail is missing from the Bandai kit. See pictures here

The lighting on the Bandai kit looks good, except for the windows on the secondary hull. Some of the windows emit too much light, which degrades the subtle lighting of the rest of the model. I should also mention I had difficulty making the parts of the secondary hull fit tightly together. Unless you glue the parts together or use some putty, you're likely to have some unacceptible light leaking between the seams.

I'd be very happy to see Bandai produce a larger version of this kit. To keep the cost down, they should forgo the lighting effects and focus more on accurizing the model. Overall, I'm still very satisfied with the kit I purchased, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to create a reasonable replica of the movie Enterprise.

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