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Accurizing AMT/ERTL's Enterprise-A
[Studio Ent-A]
Courtesy William McCullars' The IDIC Page (c) 1997. May not be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of William McCullars.

The Enterprise-A kit from AMT/ERTL has many flaws. One of your best readily-available resources for correcting them is Chris Paveglio's FSM article reprinted in Kalmbach Books' Famous Spaceships of Fact and Fantasy. Chris has posted the unabridged version of this document, which is far more extensive than what FSM printed, at his website ( in Adobe Acrobat form. By far the best accurizing/ detail set available is produced by Don Matthys, which consists of replacement bridge dome, warp nacelle parts, and a superb deflector housing and dyed resin deflector dish. Thomas Models also sells a number of excellent detail parts. Contact these guys directly for prices and availability.

The following is reprinted with the kind permission of the author, Andrew Madison

The problem with an accurization list for the Enterprise-A is that entire books have been written on the subject (as that this particular object of interest has been scrutinized that closely by that many people). The particular book of interest is Star Fleet Assembly Manual No. 4. Alas this book is out of print.

Next best is to pick up a copy of the revised Spaceships of Fact & Fantasty courtesty of Kalmbach Publishing (aka Fine Scale Modeler). There is a previously published article on accurizing the Enterprise-A which is for all intents and purposes a condensed version of SFAM#4.

Here's a short list of things to examine... (and I'm probably going to miss something...)

  • Random panel detail must go. Solving this involves much putty, sanding, and airbrush masks. See the various Star Trek references for information about the so-called "Aztec Panel detail" or Ron Eccles' article here.
  • Warp Nacelle bussard collectors are inaccurate. Refer to various Star Trek references for accurization details.
  • Warp supports are missing some details. The interior sides require scribing plasma conduit covers, and the explosive bolt covers beside the covers need to be cut out of strip styrene and applied. The plasma conduit covers should painted a light "engineering" green.
  • Officer's lounge is incorrectly shaped. Aft-most section of decks B & C on the upper saucer section.
  • No rec-deck windows on the starboard rear saucer rim. Cut the appropriate sized hole and with sheet stryene create the correct 4 over 4 windows.
  • Window inserts for saucer rim are wrong. The windows should be symmetrical through a verical axis. Look at the lower set of windows, one of them should be filled and a new one drilled.
  • Deflector grid on engineering section is wrong. Fill and scribe the correct lines. Missing lowermost deflector grid. Scribe it new.
  • Missing all phaser turrets on the engineering section.
  • The hatches covering the lower saucer docking ports are wrong. The panel details for an emergency landing pad is missing on the saucer. All of these things need to be filled and the correct lines scribed.
  • Lower sensor array on the saucer is both in-accurate and too small and the recessed details are incorrect.
  • Upper sensor array on the saucer is too tall. Slice it off, sand smooth the bridge and the array and re-glue it to the bridge.
  • Bridge aft-section is too long.
  • Rim around the Matter/Anti-Matter reactor on the saucer is too tall. This requires delicate surgery to correct.
  • Rim around the main deflector is missing "light" details. Rims around the main deflector are either non-existant or too shallow. I have a resin conversion kit that has managed to correct the "missing" light details. I have no idea how the modeler that made the master for this part accomplished this delicate feat. On the other hand, this conversion kit part did not fix the shallowness of the concentric rims around the deflector dish. On one kit, I choose to deepen the rims, as that the "light" details are only visible from a narrow point of view.
  • Saucer-engineering interconnect is missing a section. The top of the interconnect should reach horizontally about 1" out to the appropriate deflector grid line.
  • All of the docking ports require some work. The bridge docking port needs to be drilled out and backed with sheet styrene. Scribe a line showing where the door's meet. The rest of the docking ports are the wrong size. Fill with evergreen tube and drill with (I think) a 3/16" drill bit.
  • There are no docking ramp doors. There is a "circle" representing what I believe is a docking port, but there should be rectangular doors there. The actual ramp surround is raised, so I cut a .005" sheet of styrene to the correct size, and scribed the doors into it, then glued it to the model.
  • Photon Torpedo tubes are just rectangular lumps. If you have good eyesight or a magnifying glass, you can scratch out a new part with the correct shape, depth, and radiating support panels. I've built this part. One does not need a micro-scope to cut the parts or to assemble them. After cutting the tubes to the correct depth and glueing them to the "backing piece", the array of triangular supports can be cut by "eye". Assemble with superglue. The part is small enough that just getting it close will produce something that other modelers will think you're a scratch-building "god". Trust me, the part will look ridiculous until its finished, and will appear frighteningly intricate. If you use solid lumps for the "actual" tubes, and your attempts to hollow them out comes out ragged, just slop a drop of tenax into the "tube" part. The tenax will smooth out the "bore".
  • Ignore the kit instructions on painting details. Refer to the Spaceships article or the other references posted above for most of the paint colors. If you're interested in going all out, perusal of the Star Trek references will reveal additional shades of grey & blue on the model, but since I don't have access to the FX miniature here I couldn't comment on what the FS numbers are and how much they vary with the painting recommendations in the FSM article.

In addition, Jeffrey Griffin has these notes:

  • The lower sensor array from the ERTL Reliant is NOT accurate, but much closer to what is needed versus the E-A part. It needs to receive some detailing, most notably the "vents" on the surface just inboard from each of the outer recessed panels. Plus, those recessed panels aren't accurate and need work.
  • Bridge not only has the sensor dome on top too tall and is too long, it's also too tall, overall. Needs to be shortened a bit by sanding off roughly 1/32" from the bottom.
  • In addition to the rim on the "Matter/Anti-matter reactor" (impulse deflection crystal) being too tall, the crystial itself is too tall and needs to be shortened. Easily done by cutting the part out and sanding or trimming to proper height and reattaching.
  • Impulse engine exhaust "vents" are really easy to detail using Evergreen .030" V-Groove sheet styrene. Cut out existing backing piece to use as a master, scribe out what you need from the v-groove stock and glue in place. Looks MUCH better that way.

  • Please direct comments, questions, corrections and picked nits to me at

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