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First Star Trek kit options

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  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Jefferson City, MO
First Star Trek kit options
Posted by iraqiwildman on Sunday, August 27, 2017 8:30 PM

I am looking at a few Star Trek kits as my first in this area and needs some expert opinions. I will list the kits I am looking at and would appreciate any feedback on them.

Polar Lights 908 1/1000 NCC-1701 with SS Botany Bay

AMT 913 Build 2 gether - 1/1000 and 1/650 NCC-1701

Polar Lights 820 1/1000 NCC-1701 Refit (the 120 decals scare me a little)

Anyone build any of these? The build 2 gether looks like you get two kits for about the same price as the others, but one might be a cheap kid's kit.

 

Thanks

 

 

Tim Wilding

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Monday, August 28, 2017 12:57 AM

I've purchased these kits, but gave them away without fooling around with them. All of the 1/1000 scale kits are "snap" kits, including the one in the Build 2gether set. The details are a bit soft and some Trekkies have taken issue with them, but the overall shapes are fairly accurate. They probably build up just fine, but be aware that some boxings of the TOS Enterprise contain stickers rather than water-slide decals.

 

The refit version is also a snap-fit kit. Keeping things straight and level can be a pain with this kit. Most of the decals in the kit are the "wallpaper" type, meant to simulate the Aztec interference scheme. Like the 1/350 Enterprise Refit, they go on in large sections - either you'll love 'em or hate 'em. 

Each requires a good deal of work if you intend on lighting the ship. Mostly, that involves drilling open windows and modifying things to accommodate wiring. 

From a personal view, if I need to put in a lot of work to get things lit, I would lean in favor of the larger versions of these kits, like the 1/350, 1/650, and 1/522 versions. These are standard "glue together" kits with a huge aftermarket available for accurizing and detailing. No stickers to play with there and the larger sizes make modifications easier to perform.

 

  • Member since
    September, 2016
Posted by Retired In Kalifornia on Monday, August 28, 2017 11:15 AM

iraqiwildman

I am looking at a few Star Trek kits as my first in this area and needs some expert opinions. I will list the kits I am looking at and would appreciate any feedback on them.

Polar Lights 908 1/1000 NCC-1701 with SS Botany Bay

AMT 913 Build 2 gether - 1/1000 and 1/650 NCC-1701

Polar Lights 820 1/1000 NCC-1701 Refit (the 120 decals scare me a little)

Anyone build any of these? The build 2 gether looks like you get two kits for about the same price as the others, but one might be a cheap kid's kit.

 

Thanks

 

 

 

I'd bought a 1966 first-issue AMT U.S.S. Enterprise kit at a local "super" drug store that always stocked the very latest model kit releases, box art featured the 1965 1st pilot "STAR TREK" font, puzzled me no end at the the time. When the restored 1st pilot aired on October 4, 1988 did I make the connection with it and the AMT kit font.

Quite a sometime later AMT re-issued the Enterpise kit with special parts to hold a D-Cell battery in the lower pod, "grain" bulb lights fitting in the saucer section to light the green domes above & below it. The light switch was the lower pod Scanner Housing, twist right to turn on, left to turn off, these were special parts as well. I've not yet seen this kit version described on the Internet; I DO Hope age isn't playing tricks with the grey matter given I DID buy & build this variant!

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, August 28, 2017 11:50 AM

Of those I've only built two of those.

The original AMT kit which goes together well but has some issues with added detail like the saucer ribbing that wasn't in the studio model. The nacelle struts need some bracing or they will droop. 

The new 1/1000 Polar Lights kit I'm building now. I was really disappointed in it. The nacelle struts didn't seem to fit well to the secondary hull and I had to cut and alter them to get them to fit (I might have did something wrong here). And there's a few other places I didn't think fit was all that good. 

On the movie refit I guess you could just leave the decals off and just paint the whole thing white. I read somewhere a guy claimed the studio model was entirely white, with different panels picked out in matte, gloss, and different shades of semi-gloss white to give the aztec effect. 

"Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed." -G.K. Chesterton

 

  • Member since
    September, 2016
Posted by Retired In Kalifornia on Monday, August 28, 2017 12:21 PM

Gamera

Of those I've only built two of those.

The original AMT kit which goes together well but has some issues with added detail like the saucer ribbing that wasn't in the studio model. The nacelle struts need some bracing or they will droop. 

The new 1/1000 Polar Lights kit I'm building now. I was really disappointed in it. The nacelle struts didn't seem to fit well to the secondary hull and I had to cut and alter them to get them to fit (I might have did something wrong here). And there's a few other places I didn't think fit was all that good. 

On the movie refit I guess you could just leave the decals off and just paint the whole thing white. I read somewhere a guy claimed the studio model was entirely white, with different panels picked out in matte, gloss, and different shades of semi-gloss white to give the aztec effect. 

 

Original AMT kit nacelle strut alignment was a bear, distinctly remember alignment & gluing problems with my 1966 build if y'all dare call it that, next tries 11 years later were marginally better, strut placement still problematic.

In 1978 built a Saladin-class model bashed off a ressued Enterprise kit, tail-heavy droop, warp engine pod alignment way off. I'd built the AMT refitted Enterprise kit when it came out as well, tried installing LEDs, expensive disaster though learned what not to do spray painting saucer detail with home made stencils.

If I ever build another sci-fi kit again would be "Dieselpunk" thing that's remotely possible, need to research for available kits...

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Monday, August 28, 2017 2:51 PM

Paul Olsen, the artist responsible for painting the studio model of the Enterprise, published a book several years ago which details the work which went into creating the Refit. He completely dismisses the idea that the Enterprise was painted in varying shades of white as we modellers have been led to believe all of these years. The interference scheme was accomplished with pearlescent taxidermy lacquers (the type used on fishing lures): red, green, gold, and blue are all present. He chose this paint because, as the camera pans along the lines of the ship, the colors shift, appearing and disappearing with the changes in the angle of light. In Olson's assessment, "It made the model shimmer."

This same effect became a problem because it made filming the model difficult at times. The overall gloss of the ship caused a lot of lens flare and was too reflective to allow details to really stand out. Consequently, the Enterprise received a great deal of flat coat, which cut the reflection, but almost completely destroyed the color changing properties of the taxidermy lacquer. She also received a lot of weathering through the course of the subsequent films, changing her appearance from film to film (and sometimes scene to scene!)

Olson's book, as well as a guide published by Trek Modeller, go into detail on which color went where. Where Paul had to use tape and frisket to mask off the Aztec scheme, we're lucky that a lot of aftermarket masks are available to duplicate the intricate patterns in the paint work. Orbital Drydock, Aztec Dummy, and HDA Modelworx all offer vinyl masks to duplicate the five color scheme in various scales. Labor intensive, for certain, but the screen-accurate "shimmer" effect can be breath-taking once the masks are pulled.

  • Member since
    September, 2016
Posted by Retired In Kalifornia on Monday, August 28, 2017 3:35 PM

KnightTemplar5150

Paul Olsen, the artist responsible for painting the studio model of the Enterprise, published a book several years ago which details the work which went into creating the Refit. He completely dismisses the idea that the Enterprise was painted in varying shades of white as we modellers have been led to believe all of these years. The interference scheme was accomplished with pearlescent taxidermy lacquers (the type used on fishing lures): red, green, gold, and blue are all present. He chose this paint because, as the camera pans along the lines of the ship, the colors shift, appearing and disappearing with the changes in the angle of light. In Olson's assessment, "It made the model shimmer."

This same effect became a problem because it made filming the model difficult at times. The overall gloss of the ship caused a lot of lens flare and was too reflective to allow details to really stand out. Consequently, the Enterprise received a great deal of flat coat, which cut the reflection, but almost completely destroyed the color changing properties of the taxidermy lacquer. She also received a lot of weathering through the course of the subsequent films, changing her appearance from film to film (and sometimes scene to scene!)

Olson's book, as well as a guide published by Trek Modeller, go into detail on which color went where. Where Paul had to use tape and frisket to mask off the Aztec scheme, we're lucky that a lot of aftermarket masks are available to duplicate the intricate patterns in the paint work. Orbital Drydock, Aztec Dummy, and HDA Modelworx all offer vinyl masks to duplicate the five color scheme in various scales. Labor intensive, for certain, but the screen-accurate "shimmer" effect can be breath-taking once the masks are pulled.

 

Wish they were available when I'd built my kit; did have Franz Joseph's 1975 Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual listing all Constitution class & sub classes to model after AMT printed decals with hull numbers later in the 1970s, lettering provided wasn't enough to model other ships alas.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Monday, August 28, 2017 8:28 PM

Thanks KT, I'd heard the all-white idea but wasn't entirely sure if it were true.

"Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed." -G.K. Chesterton

 

  • Member since
    October, 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Monday, August 28, 2017 10:59 PM

I have the big 1/350th 1701 moviiiiiie refit and it just sits on the shelf.  hat Aztec paint scheme scares me enough to leave the kit alone.  I have the Aztec Dummy sheets and even some P.E., but the paint job and its colors is daunting.  If I don't start soon, I'll probably sell the thing.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 7:35 AM

ikar01

I have the big 1/350th 1701 moviiiiiie refit and it just sits on the shelf.  hat Aztec paint scheme scares me enough to leave the kit alone.  I have the Aztec Dummy sheets and even some P.E., but the paint job and its colors is daunting.  If I don't start soon, I'll probably sell the thing.

 

Same here! 

Plus if I build the bloody thing I don't know where I'm going to put it. (it's almost a three foot/one meter long model).

"Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed." -G.K. Chesterton

 

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Jefferson City, MO
Posted by iraqiwildman on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 9:02 AM

Thanks for all the replies.

I would love to get into the bigger kits and lighting, but I have no idea how to do that yet. I want to start on a smaller one now. I might look at the 1/650 ones, but they seem like really old moldings (AMT).

I have been watching a few youtube videos on building these 1/1000 kits. They all build their with that pearl paint and shinny, but with bad,sloppy paint jobs. I want to do more of realistic looking ship with years of space dust on it.

Tim Wilding

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 10:06 AM

I was really hoping the Polar Lights 1/1000th kits would be really good for a beginner but as I said above the poor fit of the nacelle struts kinda put me off of them. 

As an experienced modeler you shouldn't have that much of an issue fixing them but I just found it weird (and inexcusable) to see such poor engineering in a recent issue kit.

I'm building the PL 1/1000th TOS Enterprise now, as to paint I'm going with something along ghost grey for pre-shading and a slightly lighter grey for the main colour. From what I've read it should have a slight green tinge to it but I tried it, didn't like it, and am now going with the straight grey. 

"Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed." -G.K. Chesterton

 

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Jefferson City, MO
Posted by iraqiwildman on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 10:29 AM

Which Polar Lights kit number are you doing?

I think I might get their kit #908 (with the SS Botany Bay) for $18 online. This will be a good start for me.

I was also thinking of using different greys and stay away from the greens.  I might scribt the panel lines and put a light wash in them.

Tim Wilding

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 12:12 PM

I looked around online and didn't see the box that mine came in. I'll see if I can hunt it up tonight to get the stock number off of. I figure kit #908 is the same one with the addition of the Botany Bay. 

I had some photos of what I'd done on the nacelles but they're on PhotoBucket and I'm not sure I can access them anymore. 

 

Edit: I was able to to copy them off PB and upload them to Image Shack, which I'm using now. The struts come in the V-shaped part that fits into the secondary hull, good idea to avoid the droop but it was the devil to sand and get smooth. The tops of the struts didn't fit into the slots on the nacelles well at all. I ended up drilling holes in both, running paper clip wire into them, and fixing it all in place with epoxy. 

"Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed." -G.K. Chesterton

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Thursday, August 31, 2017 12:21 PM

As a kid, the only Star Trek model I was able to get was the K-7 space station model kit from the episode, "Trouble With Tribbles". It included a tiny Enterprise ship.

The next Star Trek kit I bought was the 1979 refit Enterprise from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (also known as the smoothie Enterprise). The lighted kit was beyond my skills and I didn't know how to use the dry transfer decals back then. Made quite a mess of it, but still have the kit.

Many of the original Star Trek kits were not very good models. Great looking ships could be made from them, but nacelle alignment and strength of the joints were always an issue.

I have not seen it, but I know Revell did a new Enterprise based off of the new movie version. That's one I'd like to tackle.

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Jefferson City, MO
Posted by iraqiwildman on Thursday, August 31, 2017 1:51 PM

I have also been looking at the 1/500 Revell kit, #04882, from the 2014 "Star Trek Into Darkness" movie, but it is running about $75 now. I like it because it is about two foot long and might be a good one to learn how to light up.

Tim Wilding

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Friday, September 01, 2017 10:15 AM

I was curious about the kit since the last time Revell-Monogram released Star Trek kits (Voyager, Kazon raider, Marquis raider, Kazon torpedo), they were actually not bad model kits. Plus being a "new" different Enterprise, I thought it looked like a neat kit.

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Jefferson City, MO
Posted by iraqiwildman on Friday, September 01, 2017 11:05 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAPLs25Uf84

After reading your post about this Revell kit yesterday, I found this six part youtube video about it. This guy builds some awesome Star Trek kits.

Tim Wilding

  • Member since
    December, 2017
Posted by egadgetguy on Thursday, December 07, 2017 10:20 AM

Hi - PRO Tip... if your nacelles aren't straight once glued or attached. Heat the joint for just a second with a lighter. This makes the plastic malleable enough to twist them straight. Be careful to not use too much heat or bending force. It worked fo me on my 2500th enterprise.

Tags: heat , pro tip
  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Jefferson City, MO
Posted by iraqiwildman on Thursday, December 07, 2017 11:00 AM

egadgetguy

Hi - PRO Tip... if your nacelles aren't straight once glued or attached. Heat the joint for just a second with a lighter. This makes the plastic malleable enough to twist them straight. Be careful to not use too much heat or bending force. It worked fo me on my 2500th enterprise.

 

Thanks for that tip.

I got the 1/1000 NCC-1701 Space Seed and the 1/1000 Refit on their way to me from Hobbylinc. I hopefully will have them by next weekend and plan on working on them while the wife and daughter are at a club volleyball tournament.

Tim Wilding

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