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RBM Models' Chandley-class Frigate Kit Preview


By Jeffrey Griffin - images & text © 2005

Scale: 1/2500 -
Parts: 5 resin pieces (main hull, two pylons and two warp nacelles). No stand is included.
Instructions: 1 page, front only assembly diagram with painting suggestions
Decals: 1 sheet, with names for four different ships
Molding Quality: 9 - Minor flash and pour tabs
Detail: 9 - A little soft in some areas, but great overall!
Accuracy: 10.0 - This is right on - better even then the drawings
MSRP: $10.00 USD (~$11.91 CAN/ 8.56 EUR) (shipping included in USA) available from RBM Models
Overall Rating: 9.0 - A sweet kit to own

Over 20 years years ago, a company called FASA put out the first Star Trek Role Playing Game. Supplemental material that came later was the Federation Ship Recognition Manual, which included a grand total of fourteen different designs used by Star Fleet for the purposes of this RPG's game world. FASA later released a "revised" version of the same book that included a great many more ships. One of those ships included in that second release was the Chandley-class frigate. The ship had a very complete and interesting, detailed background that gave some unique examples of specific ship backgrounds.

[Please click to enlarge]

^ What you get

Image: Main hull piece

Image: Decals

Image: Instructions

FASA also released a lead-miniature of the ship design not long afterward. Ever since that initial recognition manual release, I've wanted one of these. Now, thanks to RBM Models I've got one in 1/2500 scale!

It's a rather unique design, being more of a border ship. The "shoulders" include Star Fleet Marine barracks and training areas. According to the FASA manuals, 250 Marines are assigned to Chandley-class frigates, making it one of the most unique designs for the Federation. All the more reason for me to like it - it's not your standard Star Fleet ship.

What You Get

The kit includes five pieces, total: the main hull, two pylons and two nacelles. The kit has also recently been remolded so that you get clean, crisp castings. The new molds have fixed a couple of areas in the kit that were flawd, mostly right around the "shoulders" and where they mate up with the saucer. There were some voids there that required filling on my first kits, but no more with this new casting! The castings seem much crisper than on the first kit I purchased - not that they were bad before.

Also included is a basic instruction sheet for placement of parts and decals. It's a one-sheet affair and gives you the instruction you need to assemble the kit, including alternate decal arrangements.

The decal sheet is LaserJet printed and fairly comprehensive for such "minimalist" designed ships. You get a choice of four names - Chandley, Hanson, Blackheart and Ace. The decals include shuttlebay doors, phaser emplacements and full markings for all four ships, to include special markings for the lower portion of the pylons that give each ship a very individual look.

Assembly and Finish

I've purchased a total of two of these and have one already built up, tho not yet finished. It builds up nicely, tho you have to be careful about pylon and nacelle alignment. It's not easy to put it together if you're not fairly familar w/the design. My only real nit-to-pick is that the pylon attachment points are somewhat "hollow", which strikes me as wrong. As such, I filled those areas in and "squared them out" somewhat with some Tamiya Modeling Putty. It looks much better that way to me and it looks great in flat white, so far.

Conclusions

This model looks like it's going to be an awesome addition to my Movie Era fleet. I'll have to purchase a third so that I could have all three ships from the decal sheet in my fleet. I highly recommend it to any 1/2500 Star Trek modeler and think we should all be thankful that RBM Models only charges $10 for each of these, shipped!


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 10 November 2005.