Reader reviews of a kit featured on Starship Modeler.

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Your Two Cents: USS Enterprise NCC-1701

The following are reader's opinions of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 made by Polar Lights.

Reviewer   Patrick Lynch
Date Reviewed   Jul 5, 2004
Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
Comments First, I have to admit that the last model I put together was the lights and sound Enterprise 1701-A in the early 1990's. I had been reading about the Polar Lights model and wanted to try it out. So this review is from the perspective of someone coming back to modelling and whose eyes are not as good as they used to be.

The structure of the model is way better than the later AMT kits. It reminds me a great deal of an AMT kit I did in 1972. The size would not have bothered me if my eyes were better, I found it a little hard to paint in places. But once it's together is a good size. The box art was wonderfully retro and made it feel like Star Trek was still in production. Very nice!

If I could put in a request for some changes to the model it would be this: Mold the bridge modules the same colour as the hull. If the hangar deck dome can be cast that small as a clear piece, maybe the upper bridge dome could be as well. Also, I'd like to see the bussard scoops to be separate from the rest of the housing. I like the way the inner part of the scoop fits into the outer. Instead, take the part that attaches to the rest of the nacelle and slip the outer part of the bussard scoop into the housing.

The reason I suggest that is, if you merely want to snap it together without painting, the bridge module and the bussard scoops with their housings that attach to the rest of the nacelles look strange clear.

The last thing I would like to see changed structurally is to make the primary hull snap tighter to the interconnecting dorsal and easier to align correctly. Maybe some alignment pins that snapped into the upper portion of the primary hull. All the AMT Enterprise models I've ever done had this spot as weak point as well. I'm willing to pay more for kit with these changes.

Other than that, structurally, Polar Lights is to be commended for addressing the weak points of the AMT models secondary hull pieces and especially how the warp drive pylons are attached. Kudos also for the attachment of the warp engines. But the field restoration cowls at the back of the engines had to be glued on and fit a little strangely.

I too, would have like the window details on the hull, but I commend Polar Lights for the detail on the impulse engines that's not even present on the 22 inch cutaway Enterprise.

A final caveat. If you have put together a lot of the 18 inch AMT Enterprises, read the Polar Lights directions carefully. Go through all the pieces and see how they fit together before committing to final assembly. I made some mistakes because I fell into old habits. Fortunately, I was able to work around it. I'll buy a second kit having learned from this one.

I'd like to see Polar Lights do a bigger Enterprise up to 22 inches with all the detail that is possible with the larger size. If the Polar Lights people read these reviews, how about a full TOS Enterprise bridge kit? Scaled to the size of the Playmates TOS bridge crew action figure set? Just dreaming aloud.

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