|The following are reader's opinions of the USS Enterprise-E made by Bandai.|
|Date Reviewed||Mar 1, 2004|
|Overall Rating||Good kit, but with some problems.|
|Comments||I was introduced to the Bandai Star Trek models when I bought the Enterprise NX-01 last year for a bit of a hobby to do. I thought a pre-painted light up model would be sweet since I hardly had any time to do all that work anymore. It was due to the great results I got after constructing NX-01 that I decided to get the Enterprise E - my favourite of all the Enterprise's.
I read all of the reviews on this site before going ahead and thinking "Why not?". I have the AMT/ERTL kit in its box and just knew it would be there until I retired before it would be painted and built.
The quality of the Bandai model upon opening the box was superb, just as the box describes its level of detail. Much the same as the NX-01 was. I felt the four stickers used to "patch up" the wiring was absolutely tacky though. Don't worry, this technique is not used on the latter Enterprise model.
Construction started off well, though I found myself getting ahead of myself a few times. The nacelles went together okay, though connecting to the pylons left some gaps on the inner side of where the nacelle meets the wing. The stickers were very flimsy to apply over the wiring, but look better than leaving the wires exposed of course.
Just like all those before me, the problems arose when it came to joining (squeezing) the saucer and engineering sections together. I couldn't live with such a huge gap, so I began sanding down the plugs on the internal structure. I figured the problems were with the spongy-ness of the clear internal pieces which are designed to hold the external parts together. A fair bit of sanding down later and I had reduced the gap quite substantially, but after a light test I could still see small specks of light coming through - mostly on the starboard side (strange that). So I used thin strips of electrical tape (rather than superglue) to line the inner part of the secondary hull. Just thin enough to cover the gap and not block any windows. The two hulls were married, and after much trial and error it was finally all good.
Screwing into the plastic I thought was okay, until I realised that one of the screws disconnected the wires which meant more modifications were required. i.e. re-stripping the wires down and reconnecting them before continuing.
The deflector dish/forward half of the secondary hull went on without a problem. It was the very bottom piece which runs from the deflector all the way back to underneath the shuttlebay which had some fitting issues with the hull. So a few little gaps exist at the bottom of the ship. I'm going to try to fix these some time soon.
My final problem came with the stand. I experienced the same trouble where the connection just wouldn't happen. We've bent the connectors to a point where we can get the stand to light the ship, but now we can't put the ship together properly on the stand. In order for my ship to light up, it has a rather large hole in the bottom of the hull, right behind where the stand goes. It's a little bit disappointing, but I'm hoping there's a way around all of this.
The model looks great lit up in the dark. The deflector dish is definitely the strongest light, but I feel the windows manage to get an even distribution of light. The warp engines light up superbly when compared to the NX.
Overall, the kit is well produced but perhaps just a little poorly executed. I can say that at least they fixed it up a bit for the NX-01. I would hope that Bandai fix up their stands, as we still experienced some issues with the NX kit. Saying all this, I would still buy another Bandai Star Trek kit in the future.
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