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Alliance Sovereign-class Starship Kit Preview


By Scott Scariot - images & text © 2002

Scale: 1/1400 - about 19"/ 48.3cm long when assembled
Parts: 5 resin (including base)
Instructions: One page instruction sheet includes assembly, painting and decal placement. It even gives a website with reference pictures
Decals: ALPS-printed waterslide, with markings for Sovereign & Enterprise. Includes lifeboats, transporter emitters, warning stripes and more.
Molding Quality: 9 - The parts are well molded; there was hardly any flash and very few mold seams.
Detail: 8 - The detail is wonderful. Every surface is covered with either raised or recessed panels. Even the lifeboat hatches are molded. Some of the windows are a bit crooked though.
Accuracy: From the reference material I have seen this kit is more accurate than the AMT/Ertl kit. It also eliminates several problems that the Ertl kit suffered.
MSRP: $80.00 USD (~$121.22 CAN/ 81.67 EUR) available from Federation Models
Overall Rating: 9 - If you just have a passing interest in Star Trek, you should get this kit.

[Boxart]

The Enterprise-E is a beautiful ship. It looks like it is going fast while standing still.

However, building up an accurate model of the ship has been a problem until now. Federation models premiered several new kits from Alliance at this year's WonderFest. I was unsure if I wanted to purchase the model, however after looking at the sample model on the table, I decided to buy one. To my surprise I was given $5.00 off of the price because I had already bought several kits from Federation Models that weekend.

[Click to enlarge]

^ What you get

[Click to enlarge]

^ Engraving is sharp, straight and of uniform width and depth.

Image: Rear of the saucer

Image: Underneath the saucer

Image: Warp nacelles

Image: Instructions are adequate

Image: Decals are crisply printed and perfectly registered

[Click to enlarge]

^ Secondary hull and warp nacelle pylons are cast together.

[Deflector area]

^Detail is just as sharp on the secondary hull.

After my purchase, I returned to my room and opened the box to see what I had bought. The first thing I saw when I opened the box was the decal sheet. The decals are great. They include many panels and details that are missing from the Ertl kit.

The kit is made up of four pieces: the saucer, secondary hull with accurate pylons, and two warp nacelles. There is also a resin base. The parts are cast extremely well. There was very little flash and the only seams I found were on the secondary hull. Each nacelle had a "stump" on the bottom near the front; this is probably the mold pour hole. They should pose no problem to remove. There are a few bubble holes on the nacelles. Also one of the nacelles had some flash on the warp field generators. That's pretty much it for areas of concern.

The detail of the kit is its hallmark. It's amazing how much detail there is on the model. I like the fact that the lifeboat hatches are molded as raised detail and not just added as decals. Alliance also fixed a lot of the errors that are on the Ertl kit. The top of the secondary hull is flatter. The warp pylons are at the correct angle and the flush vents on each are more accurate. The attachment of the saucer to the secondary hull is more accurate too. There is a trench around this area on the bottom of the saucer that was not on the Ertl kit. In my opinion the kit just looks better.

Assembly will be very straightforward. The saucer and the secondary hull will be glued together, and the nacelles will be glued onto the end of each pylon. Some minor filling of seams and sanding allow the model to be primed.

The paint guide is brief but adequate, plus the available reference materials should make painting pretty easy. The included decal sheet should also make painting easier by saving the time of masking off areas to be detailed.

Conclusions

Overall I think Alliance has a winner with this kit. I know I have been pretty lavish with my praise for this kit, but it really is that good. The mold quality, accuracy and fit of the parts are some of the best I have seen in a resin kit. Because the kit is hollow it doesn't weight two tons. Since this is such a great kit it should build up into a great model. This kit is a must have for any fan of Star Trek.

Many thanks to Scott's wallet for providing the review sample. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 2500+ readers a day? Contact us!

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This page copyright © 2002 Starship Modeler™. Last updated on 25 June 2002.