REVIEW: 1:1000 ORIGINAL ENTERPRISE from SFMuk Admin's blog


This has to be one of the most awaited Star Trek kits for a long time and is the first officially licensed kit to be released by Polar Lights. It was mastered by Thomas Sasser (of Thomas Models), so you can expect a high quality and well researched model.

It has been available in the US for some time and is now beginning to appear in the UK. This particular example was imported from the US, but having seen yesterday the UK version, it is identical to this one.

What You Get

The box has a nice drawing of the Enterprise and is of a clam shell design, with the top folding open to reveal the contents.

The back of the box illustrates 3 of the 4 versions which can be built from the contents. There is the production version seen in the majority of the episodes, the version seen in the second pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before" with William Shatner and the original pilot "The Cage". The fourth version which is not shown is that seen in the mirror universe the ISS Enterprise

The two saucer parts are loose and not attached to sprues and are 5inches in diameter (12.5cm). On the underside is the copyright information in raised text which has been mentioned on the US websites and reviews. This doesn't look to be a major problem and a bit of sanding should readily remove this. I would suggest wet sanding would be best.

Two full sets of nacelles are provided, the difference being on the inside of the nacelle of one set is detailed, this being the production version, and the other set is plain, being for the 2 pilots. Polar Lights only had to provide one set of back for these, but generously have put two sets in. This means you have a full set of nacelles for kitbashing. The second picture provides a direct scan of the two parts better showing the difference.

Three different nacelle end caps are provided since these changed in each version. The familar ball one is the production version. That with rows of holes is from the second pilot and the plainer one is the set from the first pilot.

The rest of the solid parts include a different deflector for the 2 version, the production version being smaller than the other two and the flux chillers etc for the nacelles. The shuttle bay doors are also different being plain in the pilot versions.

The clear sprue provides the bussard collector caps which are imaginatively in 2 parts, an inner part with ribs and an outer smooth part. This gives an opportunity to paint the ribs seen on the bussard collectors much easier. Again there are 2 version. A solid one and one with a hole to accept the spikes seen in the pilot version. The bridge parts are also provided as clear parts making lighting much easier should you wish to attempt it.

Finally there are the decals. Once again there are two sets. One is stickers for younger modellers who might also wish to assemble it as a snap fit model and water slide decals. These are comprehensive, providing all the markings I could spot, as well as the windows.

The Completed Model

I've now completed the construction of this model and can add some thoughts as to what it's like to build. The first thing to say is that I build it with some of the parts being initially snapped together and subsequently glued. But the snap fit method of building gets in the way of building it properly, and you will probably want to seriously consider trimming some of the connectors to allow it to be glued more easily. And one part I just couldn't get to fit properly was the nacelles onto the supports. I must have been doing something wrong because the was it's meant to fit together just didn't seem to work. I ended up trimming away most of the lug and gluing it into place.

The instructions colours seem to be pretty good. They recommend light ghost grey for the majority of the hull and while it looks too dark compared to the virtually white Enterprise seen on the screen I do like the final effect. The decals are very thick though and laugh at decal setting liquids. I had to apply 3 coats of clear and even then you could still see the edges of them.

The base is horrible though and it's difficult to get the model to balance on it. I think the simple wooden base and brass rod and much nicer and it's in keeping with my other models.

The light ghost grey makes for a good base colour. I built this as the second pilot version but I took some liberties and gave the "loops" on the nacelles some colour by painting them dark ghost grey. They're meant to be the same as the rest of the hull.

I chose the second pilot version because I liked the markings on the edges of the saucer and because of the little spikes on the fronts of the nacelles. I had the paint the bridge pirce with white because I mucked up my original masking and paint got underneath. This part could be left clear and you could put a picture or tiny model of the bridge underneath.

The second pilot version has the higher bridge dome fitted, the nacelle spikes and different nacelle end caps. The saucer is also larger.

The shuttle bay doors are also smooth. I'm not sure at this time that this was even a shuttle bay as shuttles weren't seen until a bit later on.

The underside of the ship with the reversed markings. As I mucked up the bridge dome I decided to make the planetary sensor match and painted that as well.

Better view of the reversed marking, in the series version they point the same way I think.

A decent view of the bussard collectors. I painted the inside piece with silver, then Tamiya clear orange. Painted the raised pieces silver again (you could avoid this by painting more carefully or masking) and then painted the inside of the outer piece with Tamiya clear red. Worked quite well I think. One piece of advice though is to sand down the raised ribs on the inside piece otherwise the fit is very tight.

Boldly going......


Comments from the out of box review:

This seems like a very nice model and should assemble quickly and easily. I really like the number of options that have been provided, giving you the choice of 4 versions (and providing everything for each), and the rest of the parts can go into the kitbash box. The price is not as competitive as it could have been. They retail for about $8 or less in the US, but are priced at £12.99 in the one place I have seen them so far. At $8 I would be inclined to build all 4 versions and kitbash some, but not at £13. I know that there is the cost of import, but ERTL kits usually retailed for the same in UK£ as US$. To put another markup of some £8 on top of the US price seems unreaonable to me.

But the kit itself is extremely nice, you'll just have to judge how many you want to buy rather than whether to buy it.

Comments from the completed kit:

I would still say that this is a good kit and builds into a nice model, and makes for a nice project at a good price. It does have some problems though in terms of fit which come the snap fit nature of the model.

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By SFMuk Admin
Added Jan 16 '14



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