Reader reviews of a kit featured on Starship Modeler.

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Your Two Cents: USS Enterprise (refit)

The following are reader's opinions of the USS Enterprise (refit) made by Bandai.

Reviewer   Rob Theriaque
Date Reviewed   Jun 9, 2003
Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
Comments I am by no means a hardcore kit builder, but I enjoy having replicas here and there of my favorite subjects. Sitting at the top of that list is the refit Enterprise- she captured my imagination as no other vessel has, and I was ecstatic to hear about a kit that would take care of that blasted Aztec paint scheme for me.

I read the reviews before I purchased the model, and I was prepared and properly intimidated in a few ways. The size, of course, is a bit of a shock when the model is sitting in the box, but the completed display is a great size, especially for my college apartment. Other cosmetic details that bother me include the clear deflector (rather than the far more often seen blue), the gaping gaps in the warp nacelles and saucer, and the little black marks where the tree didn't seperate perfectly. Oh, well. She still looks nice from across the room.

As far as construction goes, there are many things that just leave you shaking your head in awe, as well as disbelief. I was nervous about the nacelle wiring running outside of the pylon, but it's actually taken care of quite nicely. If I was able to do this, anybody will. I swore I was going to break the secondary hull a few times, but it managed to remain undamaged throughout my swearing and crushing. One uses less force to take the alternator out of a late-model GM product than getting that secondary hull together. I still can't believe the damn thing didn't break. Good rule of thumb- if the warp pylons aren't going into the secondary hull, just push harder. If they still won't go in, make a jig where you can ram your car (holding the pylon) into a brick wall (holding the secondary hull bulkhead). I only had to ram my car into the wall at about 25 MPH before the parts finally mated.

The only modification I had to make was to the base- I sat there with my digital multimeter for awhile trying to find the break in the circuit (made more puzzling by the fact I soldered everything) before I finally realized the contacts where the post meets the base weren't mating properly. A little aluminum foil took care of that, and voila! Lighted model.

It would be an impressive feat to get the proper blinkers in a kit this small, and one I certainly am not capable of. The light leaks are minimal, even through the gaps. The saucer's light diffuser is no doubt the savior here, as it disperses light only to the windows and has slots where the gaps are. Seems like they realized ahead of time the gaps would be big and found a way to compensate, at least in the dark.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable kit. You get an interesting feeling of satisfaction when the thing goes together (somewhat akin to that of a mind-bender puzzle finally going together). I'd recommend this kit to anybody with less than the best modeling skills who still wants a good representation of this beautiful starship.

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