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Gizmotron Models 1/2500 Ascension-Class Dreadnought Kit Preview


By Jeffrey Griffin - images & text © 2005

Scale: 1/2500 - right at 4¼"/108mm long
Parts: 6 resin (no base)
Instructions: One page, full color sheet. Used primarily as a decal instruction sheet, but gives a good idea of where all parts need to go, in case you couldn't figure it out yourself
Decals: One full-color sheet for U.S.S. Ascension, NCC-2520. Decal sheet includesfull hull aztec pattern and colored "engineering hull" markings, to include the pylons and nacelles.
Molding Quality: 9.5 - fairly crisp, but with no bubbles, only some minor mold seams that were easily removed.
Detail: 9 - Nicely detailed
Accuracy: 10 - Looks dead on from the references material in "Ships of the Star Fleet, Volume One (Revised)"
MSRP: $25.00 USD (~$30.39 CAN/ 20.27 EUR) available from Federation Models
Overall Rating: 10 - Very nice kit that needs very little cleanup work

Gizmotron Models has given us a number of great Star Trek related kits and decal sheets over the last couple of years.

[Package]

[Please click to enlarge]

^ What you get

Image: Decals

Image: Instructions



All of them have been of excellent quality and this Ascension-class 1/2500 scale kit is no exception.

The Ascension-class dreadnought first appeared in the '80's as a fan-produced starship on a very nicely produced full-sized poster, though the lines were somewhat different and it was done as a "test-bed" starship. It was later featured in a "magazine" that was entitled "Starship Design - Interstellar Forum For Naval Power", from the fine folks at Starstation Aurora. It was also somewhat later seen as a silhouette on the large poster "Federation Starship Recognition Chart". I've never been a big fan of taking a basic design and just "slapping" a third nacelle on the primary hull and calling it a dreadnought, but am something of a completist, so decided to get this model to compliment my kitbashed Movie Era Federation-class (also first feated in "Starship Design") and John Payne-inspired Alexander-class dreadnoughts. I'm not at all disappointed with my purchase, as Gizmotron Models has given us an excellent example of this ship, which is essentially just the Belknap-class with a third nacelle slapped on top of the primary hull.

What I Got

The kit comes packaged in a ziploc bag with the decal sheet and instruction sheet. You get a total of six resin cast pieces: one each primary hull, secondary hull with connecting dorsal ("neck"), one single-mount warp nacelle pylon assembly, and three warp nacelles - two for the lower pylon and one that mounts to both the upper dorsal and primary hull. A one-page instruction sheet is included. The resin appears to be a mix of the "standard" slightly yellowish stuff, with a white batch for the two lower nacelles. The resin pieces have only a touch of flash. While some seam lines are apparent, they're easy to take care of with a bit of Xacto and sand paper.

Detail is crisp and clean and consists of mostly raised surfaces on the exterior of the hull. The are no docking ports, windows, deflector grids or phaser "bumps", but the vents on the nacelles and pylons are present. The navigational deflector is bascially just a flat surface that will be represented by a decal. The impulse engine area is represented by a standard recessed dome, but there's little to no detail for the rest of the engine.

However, this lack of surface detail on the model is not a big deal, as it comes complete with decals to represent everything that's physically missing - detail that would likely look huge if not represented by decals at this scale. The deflector grid, aztec paneling, photon torpedo tubes, shuttlebay doors and impulse engine details are all crisply printed laser jet quality. Looking at them, you can tell that someone did their homework, which is a very good thing where the nit-picking of Star Trek fans - such as myself - is concerned.

The only negative criticisms I have on this model are: the bridge should have two docking ports and that there are only enough nacelle registry markings that go on the aft inboard and outboard of each nacelle for two nacelles, not all three. Also, the two sets of markings that are provided are for NCC-2500, which is for the prototype ship, U.S.S. Decatur. I contacted Gizmotron Models directly about this and was assured that the decal issue would be looked in to for future kit runs. Otherwise, I really do like this kit - even though I don't like the design of the ship it represents so much.

Assembly and Finish

I've not yet completed one, but did it together and primer it after cleaning the pieces with some some Comet Cleaner, rinsed the parts, then cleaned again with scrubbing bubbles to make sure that any mold release was well and truly gone from the model's surface. Assembly was straight foward requiring minimal flash/seam removal prior to dry-fitting. I used "Super Glue Gel" (Duro brand) to adhese the parts together and all has held together as expected up to this point. All parts fit together nice and tight, requiring almost no "fudging" with sandpaper or Xacto. It doesn't get much better than this!

Conclusions

I'm extremely excited about owning this and am eager to complete it for my collection, since I've wanted one for my fleet for so long and nobody had ever produced an Ascension-class kit in this scale before. If you're a fan of non-canon Star Trek ships - and a completist of designs from the producers of "Starship Design" or "Ships of the Star Fleet, Volume One" as I am - this is definitely one to get! At the very least, you can use the main parts to build as a Belknap-class strike cruiser and keep the third nacelle for a later kitbashing project.


Many thanks to Griff's wallet for providing the review samples. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 3500+ readers a day? Contact us!

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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This page copyright © 2005 Starship Modeler™. First posted on 3 August 2005.