Reader reviews of a kit featured on Starship Modeler.

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Your Two Cents: USS Excelsior

The following are reader's opinions of the USS Excelsior made by AMT/ERTL.

Reviewer   Mouse Man
Date Reviewed   Nov 28, 2000
Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.

I am an inexperienced modeler, in fact, this was the first model I ever actually completed. So all I can offer you is tips so you don't do the same screw ups I did. This review was made to help an inexperienced modeler.


Paints used:

Testors flat enamel gray, Testors flat enamel yellow (oil based paint), Testors flat enamel red (oil based paint), Testors flat enamel black (oil based paint), Testors steel (oil based paint), Tamiya clear red (water based paint), Tamiya clear blue (water based paint), Testors Model Master flat gull gray (water based paint), and Krylon Short Cuts flat enamel white (spray paint).

Of these paints, I did not like the results of: Tamiya clear red (water based paint), Tamiya clear blue (water based paint), Testors Model Master flat gull gray (water based paint)

Also, the Krylon Short Cuts flat enamel white (spray paint) was not an exact match of the exterior white on the Excelsior, but I liked it. In addition, I suggest you get two cans.

A note: I spent more on paints than I did on the model itself.

First of all, I suggest you only use spray paint if you are also an inexperienced modeler (except for the yellow, red, black, steel, and maybe grey - there are some small parts which are to be painted grey which would be hard to do with spray paint, but they are large areas which also needed to be painted grey). My paint job was only mediocre, and a little sloppy.

Second, if you decide to use water based paint, I suggest you don't do so. It was impossible for me to make an even coat of paint with it.

Also, in a previous review, they suggested you use Tamiya clear red and blue paint for the engines. I have to disagree with this. It is water based, so I couldn't make an even coat. Also, the blue was very dark and didn't look good. In fact, it didn't look at all like realistic warp engines.

I suggest you brush on the glue and use very small amounts. And be very careful with what you are gluing! After completing the model, I realized I glued one of the warp engines on crooked, and after fixing that, I realized that somehow I put the neck on crooked and I couldn't fix it. I used something called Testors Model Master Precision Gluing Tips which make the amount of glue coming out of the tube a fine line, and they helped a little, but next time I am going to try brushing on the glue.

Decals: soak them for 15 seconds in warm water and gently slide them off. They are VERY delicate! And if they fold over each other, take them off and re-soak them. The should come apart. But don't do this to many times, or the adhesive on them will become dilute or something and they will fall off, even when dry. That is what is sort of happening to the side decals which say "Starship USS Excelsior - United federation of Planets" on mine.

Overall, I was satisfied with it, considering it was the first model I ever completed and I suck at modeling. I would like it much more if my final product didn't suck so much. I hope yours turns out much better than mine.

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