|The following are reader's opinions of the USS Enterprise (refit) made by Bandai.|
|Date Reviewed||Feb 6, 2004|
|Overall Rating||Well worth getting.|
|Comments||I don’t think I’ve ever before seen a model attract such a diverse and polarized reaction. Personally, I’m happy to accept the model on its merits, warts and all, it captures the spirit of the Enterprise perfectly. I’m a little surprised at those who seem to feel cheated in some way because the model’s not up to their expectations – no snap together kit is ever going to be perfect, it’s the nature of the beast. It still looks great despite the obvious drawbacks of its construction method. The Bandai Enterprise is certainly not for beginners, but nor is it a challenge for experienced modellers, though the wiring does add a fiddly new dimension. It took me about three hours; start to finish. Yes, some parts were a tight fit – but I found that filing the square edges of the locating lugs slightly helped smooth their way. The lights are no more complicated than a simple torch - battery, switch and bulb and, despite the instruction book's warning about maintaining the correct polarity, as long as all the red wires go to one side of the batteries and all the white to the other, you can't go wrong. If none of the lights work the problem can only be at the join between the stand base and the post or between the post and the actual model. I bent the contacts up slightly to ensure a more positive connection. The batteries are its Achilles heel, even a brand new set will only last about an hour or two, so replacing the bulbs with LED's is an option I'll pursue. Fitting blue LED's into the nacelles would be easy and effective but it would be trickier to fit LED's elsewhere and more would be required, especially in the primary hull. On the other hand the reliability, low power consumption and indefinite life would make it feasible to glue the model together permanently, thereby eliminating those infamous gaps. Rewiring the stand to accept a power supply is another option, I fitted a power input socket with two wires soldered to it. The bared ends of these are slipped under the two flat conductors on top of the battery compartment (polarity is irrelevant). A power supply capable of at least 1 Amp is required. The one I chose is a switch-mode model with multiple outputs from 3-12 volts. The model looks great at 4.5V but can also be run on 3V to prolong bulb life. The real issue for me is that many suppliers are seriously overcharging for this kit, some by as much as 70-80%. They are no doubt cashing in on the kit’s novelty, and I accept that it’s a case of “what the market will bear”, but it will leave a sour taste in the mouths of those who paid top-dollar early on.|
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