|The following are reader's opinions of the USS Enterprise (refit/Enterprise-A) made by Polar Lights.|
|Date Reviewed||Jan 1, 2001|
|Overall Rating||Well worth getting.|
The new Polar Lights refit Enterprise is immense! It's almost 3 feet long, so plan on reserving a sizeable space to display this monster.
I'm sure there are some people hesitant to purchase a model of this size unless it's dead on accurate. So is it? The short answer is no. However, I believe the inaccuracies in the kit are far outweighed by its overall design and quality. I thought is was an especially nice touch to include the parts and details to allow modelers to build either the Enterprise-Refit or the Enterprise-A.
With that said, I wanted to write a review that addressed the accuracy of the kit. I'm not going to address subtle shape differences since you can't expect that level of perfection in a kit priced below $60.00. What I will address are details that could have been feasibly changed or added during the kit design. Be aware that I'll be referencing some paint colors in my review that come from the instruction sheet, so they may be a little off.
The main problem area on the top of the primary hull is the bridge area. There are four objects that look like McDonald's golden arches situated around the bridge dome. Starting from the top of the arches, there are five concentric lines etched atop the bridge dome--just like the studio model. However, there are two additional lines etched between the arches that shouldn't be there.
The top of the bridge dome should be painted a pale gold that extends to the bottom of the arches. Below the arches, the model should be painted with a ring of off white, followed by a ring of neutral gray at the base of the dome. Unfortunately, the arches are too big, so you won't be able to depict a thick enough ring of off white below them.
Below the bridge dome, there is only one line etched across the forward portion of the bridge when there should be two.
The bridge control deck has a recessed section around it that should be painted a neutral gray. Within the forward section of this recessed section are six box-like structures. The middle two boxes look fairly accurate, but the flanking boxes are not high enough. It should be easy for a modeler to correct these with thin sheets of plastic, but they could have been made accurate to start with. Also, the rear circular window in this recessed area is a little offset from the other window. This crooked effect does detract a little.
The dome on the bottom of the primary hull is missing a prominent smooth ring around its base. There are also four rectangular hatches near the outer edges of the hull (painted a very light blue) that are missing a slightly tapered appearance (at least they appear slightly tapered to me on photos of the studio model).
The secondary hull looks good. It has all the windows that appear on the Enterprise-Refit version model. There are a few minor discrepancies in the window placement (some are a little too close together), but they're all located close enough to their correct positions to suit more discriminating tastes. I did notice the Enterprise-Refit version has five circular windows located on its starboard side (above the botanical windows) that appear to be missing from the Enterprise-A version. You'll probably have to cover these up if you want to produce the later version.
I also noticed the etching on the shuttle-bay door is a little off. The two lines down the center of the door are too thick. It would probably have been better to omit these two lines since they're so narrow on the studio model, they almost appear as one line.
The warp nacelles and pylons look good. There were some minor shape differences here and there that could have been done a little better, but they still look nice. I really didn't find anything else worth noting.
Overall, I'd have to say this kit is a good representation of the studio model. My main gripes were with the bridge dome and the bottom navigation dome. However, the detail on these sections is still good enough that most people won't care.I commend Polar Lights for investing the time and effort to produce a kit that has all the accessories this kit provides. It's obvious a lot of work went into creating a product that will satisfy most of the perfectionists out there. I enthusiastically endorse this model to anyone with the room to build it!
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