Reader reviews of a kit featured on Starship Modeler.

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Your Two Cents: USS Enterprise (refit/Enterprise-A)

The following are reader's opinions of the USS Enterprise (refit/Enterprise-A) made by Polar Lights.

Reviewer   jay kirkland
Date Reviewed   Apr 24, 2005
Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
Comments Your PL 1701 refit review - to mask the windows, use liquid masking on just the window portions of the clear parts before you glue them into the kit. Then assemble the kit as per instructions, mask and paint, then pick the liquid mask off the windows of the completed model.Super simple, and the liquid mask pervents any fogging from the superglue you used to make sure the windows never come loose.

depending how you built the kit, and how and with what you painted it, before you pull off the masking, you'll probably have to lightly score around the windows with a very sharp #11 to ensure that the paint edges stay sharp and don't chip. Small chips and irregularities are going to happen no matter how you mask so a little touching up will be inevitable. But this works really well on airlines and helicopters and anything else that requires windows sealed inside a fuselage. Jay

Reviewer   Randy Stuart
Date Reviewed   May 14, 2005
Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
Comments I had the chance a few months ago to see a preview of this kit brought in by CultTV Man and all I can say is GAAAAGHHH (sound of Homer Simpson with a jelly doughnut). This is THE Enterprise kit that modelers and fans have been waiting for all these years. It is an accurate and well put together kit made by a person who is a fan of the show and a modeler too. One thing you have to ralize is that this is a BIG model, about 1/3 bigger than the AMT kit. the secondary hull alone is a handful, but everything is made for good, solid support. All the details are there and a few we didn't know about. With a complete interior there isn't any need for aftermarket to fill it out. Plus it is rigged for complete external and internal lighting and I know some people are already looking at lighting kits for this. Plus we can finally light the warp nacelles from the interior! Does anybody out there remember Paul Newitt and his lighting kit. This one has all of that in it. All I can say is run, don't walk to your nearest hobby shop and pick up one of these kits.

Reviewer   Sean O'Leary
Date Reviewed   Jan 1, 2001
Overall Rating       Well worth getting.

The new Polar Lights refit Enterprise is immense! It's almost 3 feet long, so plan on reserving a sizeable space to display this monster.

I'm sure there are some people hesitant to purchase a model of this size unless it's dead on accurate. So is it? The short answer is no. However, I believe the inaccuracies in the kit are far outweighed by its overall design and quality. I thought is was an especially nice touch to include the parts and details to allow modelers to build either the Enterprise-Refit or the Enterprise-A.

With that said, I wanted to write a review that addressed the accuracy of the kit. I'm not going to address subtle shape differences since you can't expect that level of perfection in a kit priced below $60.00. What I will address are details that could have been feasibly changed or added during the kit design. Be aware that I'll be referencing some paint colors in my review that come from the instruction sheet, so they may be a little off.

The main problem area on the top of the primary hull is the bridge area. There are four objects that look like McDonald's golden arches situated around the bridge dome. Starting from the top of the arches, there are five concentric lines etched atop the bridge dome--just like the studio model. However, there are two additional lines etched between the arches that shouldn't be there.

The top of the bridge dome should be painted a pale gold that extends to the bottom of the arches. Below the arches, the model should be painted with a ring of off white, followed by a ring of neutral gray at the base of the dome. Unfortunately, the arches are too big, so you won't be able to depict a thick enough ring of off white below them.

Below the bridge dome, there is only one line etched across the forward portion of the bridge when there should be two.

The bridge control deck has a recessed section around it that should be painted a neutral gray. Within the forward section of this recessed section are six box-like structures. The middle two boxes look fairly accurate, but the flanking boxes are not high enough. It should be easy for a modeler to correct these with thin sheets of plastic, but they could have been made accurate to start with. Also, the rear circular window in this recessed area is a little offset from the other window. This crooked effect does detract a little.

The dome on the bottom of the primary hull is missing a prominent smooth ring around its base. There are also four rectangular hatches near the outer edges of the hull (painted a very light blue) that are missing a slightly tapered appearance (at least they appear slightly tapered to me on photos of the studio model).

The secondary hull looks good. It has all the windows that appear on the Enterprise-Refit version model. There are a few minor discrepancies in the window placement (some are a little too close together), but they're all located close enough to their correct positions to suit more discriminating tastes. I did notice the Enterprise-Refit version has five circular windows located on its starboard side (above the botanical windows) that appear to be missing from the Enterprise-A version. You'll probably have to cover these up if you want to produce the later version.

I also noticed the etching on the shuttle-bay door is a little off. The two lines down the center of the door are too thick. It would probably have been better to omit these two lines since they're so narrow on the studio model, they almost appear as one line.

The warp nacelles and pylons look good. There were some minor shape differences here and there that could have been done a little better, but they still look nice. I really didn't find anything else worth noting


Overall, I'd have to say this kit is a good representation of the studio model. My main gripes were with the bridge dome and the bottom navigation dome. However, the detail on these sections is still good enough that most people won't care.

I commend Polar Lights for investing the time and effort to produce a kit that has all the accessories this kit provides. It's obvious a lot of work went into creating a product that will satisfy most of the perfectionists out there. I enthusiastically endorse this model to anyone with the room to build it!

Reviewer   Steve Hein
Date Reviewed   Jun 1, 2005
Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
Comments This kit is bar-none, the best Enterprise-Refit kit to come out so far! I've seen and built the AMT/Ertl ST:VI kit, Bandai kit, the Starcrafts kit, and a few others (not all mine), and this Polar Lights model is worth the hype. I've always liked large scale model kits, and this one is HUGE. Few things match the surprise at the actual size of this ship as when you pull the saucer section out of the box for the first time, still wrapped in its bag. It was a "wow" moment. The saucer is 16 inches wide. That's only 2 inches shorter then the ERTL 18 inch long Enterprise kit. For just the saucer! The quality of this model beats the heck out of anything else. I bought the ST:VI Ent-A ERTL kit recently, and I can tell you not to waste your money on it unless you really like it, or really want it. The Polar Lights Ent-A has none of that "panel garbage" that came on the later ERTL kits. It's all smooth and beautiful. It makes for a very nice surface to create a convincing "aztec" panel detail. The same day I got it, I started work on the interior pieces. A beautiful cargo bay is included in this kit (remember the aftermarket cargo bays for the ERTL kit? This one's better!) as well as the officer's lounge, and the botanical garden. If you got some 1/350 figures in these areas, it would really give the ship that extra pop.(even though it has one heck of a pop anyway) Another piece I was very impressed with was the decal sheet. This was extensive! It looked like an aftermarket sheet. It has every marker line, every concievable name/registry decal for the 1701 or 1701-A, AND includes things like wall art for the officer's lounge, and detailed doors in the cargo bay. There's even decals for life boat hatches inside the bay that you will NEVER see when looking in, but they're there, and the text is sharp and clear! I actually got this off of ebay (embarassed) for $43. If someone tries to sell it to you for $60 (some were priced that high....), it's still worth it, but you can get it for $45 if you look hard enough. The detail on thie ship is absolutley stunning. If you have been fed up with the old ERTL kits, and the difficult time you have to find them anymore (not to mention the fit of parts on them...*grumble*, then give up and get this! You will get FAR more for your money by buying this Polar Lights kit. Parts fit together very, very nice. There were a few spots that I had to putty and sand, but no more then with any model you will buy. They all have to have seams after all. The major parts (IE: Saucer, Secondary hull, pylons, and engines) had pins to lock them together, or were engineered to stay in place while you permanently secure them. That was most welcome. I've struggled with pylons, and saucer connections many a time with other kits. The only problem with this kit..... is that I don't know where I am going to put it. It's so big :) But if that's the only problem, then darn if I won't build it! So, happy building! Buy this kit!

Reviewer   Rob Walley
Date Reviewed   Jun 9, 2005
Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
Comments This kit is absolutely going to blow the minds of anyone who has ever built a Star Trek model before. As has been mentioned repeatedly, this ship is huge! For mass market consumers, this is THE definitive Starship Enterprise model with glorious detail and a fit scheme that has corrected every mistake made by previous kit companies. This model is solid! I suggest a dryfit with masking tape before begining assembly. A dryfit will give you a better understanding of why certain parts were meant to go together before others and prevent a costly fitting mistake down the road, particularly with the secondary hull and pylons. But most important, a dryfit provides even more excitement than when you first open the box and lay eyes to the big saucer. It will take months for serious modelers to go over every little detail in assembly to get it just right. My first mistake out of the gate was in detail painting the top half of the saucer before completing the saucer assmbly. You must build the assemblies in full before begining the intense detail work or you take the chance of ruining previous work when you putty and spray. I caught myself in time and will be okay but I cannot stress the importance of having a gameplan before diving in. Progress on my Refit E and other work can be followed at

Reviewer   sseltrek
Date Reviewed   Jul 6, 2005
Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
Comments ok- completely blown away... (: ...this is absolutely the best model of the enterprise-refit ever...

at first, i was overwhelmed by its size...but now i'm just amazed by the thought that went into this kit...

polar lights has obviously done their homework and has finally given fans of this ship something worthy of their time, money and effort...

'polar lights' rocks!!!... sseltrek

Reviewer   Michael Sanderson
Date Reviewed   Jul 19, 2005
Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
Comments I am extremely impressed with this kit. God knows I waited long enough for it! I completed the kit with internal lighting and a sense of accomplishment with the hull detailing I was striving for. I did not find any major fit problems with this kit. I was disappointed in the lack of molded hull detail. I had to do alot of masking and painting to achieve the Infamous aztec pattern. The finished result is absolutely amazing! I used several photos of the actual eight foot studio model as a reference for painting.

I completed the NX-01 prior to this kit and was equally satisfied with the completed results.

Feel free to e-mail me for pics of this model or questions about its construction.

Reviewer   Sam Bowman
Date Reviewed   Aug 5, 2005
Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
Comments I just got this new Refit Enterprise A model at local hobby shop here in town and I can not beleive the size of this beast. I have the Enterprise D model that has the saucer section that seperates from the star drive section and the deep space 9 space station and this new enterprise model from polar lights is the best and easiest I have seen in a long time. It was easy to fit the parts together and I was impressed by how they stamped the numbers inside the hull so you can place the windows in their right place. it only took me about 5 hours to finish it. I decided not too paint it and it now rest ontop of my entertainment center for it was the only place big enough to rest the Enterprise model on and I also like the display stand for this beast. Well done Polar Lights.

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