In the box preview of Victory Models USS Centaur conversion.

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Starship Modeler: USS Centaur Conversion Preview

Manufacturer: Victory Productions
Resin (27 pieces) * $60 USD (1998)
Available from manufacturer or Q's Continuum

RATINGS (1=stinky, 10=Ooo-la-la!):

Accuracy=? * Casting Quality=7 * Instructions=8 * Value=8

By John Lester

Completed Model

I must admit, I've grown bored with Star Trek. For that reason, I wasn't watching the Deep Space 9 sixth season premiere when all the cool new ships made their first showing. One of these ships was the USS Centaur, which appears to be a mix of Excelsior-class saucer, Miranda-class "roll bar", and new warp nacelles. It wasn't until I saw Paul Cotcher's announcement on the internet (alt.sf.scale.models newsgroup) that I did some digging -- and became intrigued enough to pre-order this conversion kit. Paul is a familiar name on the web and both he and Brad Butkovich (who made the masters) have good reputations, though the company, Victory Productions, is a new venture.

The kit debuted to good reviews at DRAGONCON '98, and I was not disappointed when mine arrived a week later. It consists of 27 resin parts, 22 of which are underside details for the saucer section. You will need the saucer section from the ERTL Excelsior kit to complete the model. The big parts are the weapons pod/roll bar, two "sheets" containing the detail parts, a blanking piece to fit in the saucer, and two nacelles. All parts were pressure cast - eliminating the usual pits, voids and other flaws one normally expects from garage kits. The resin itself is quality stuff and easy to work with. The only flaws I found were numerous small bubbles around detail bits on the roll bar assembly, and one warped nacelle. (Frankly, I expected worse - those long, straight nacelles beg for warping!). There were stubs of resin on each nacelle, and some minor mold seam marks, but nothing that could not be easily fixed. The various sensor-thingies that sprout from underneath the saucer come on two identical "wafers" of resin - 11 parts each, joined by a thin layer of resin at the base. A diagram showing their locations is also supplied.

Construction was straightforward. The one-page instructions supplied with the kit are to the point and easy enough to follow. Being a contrary individual, I decided to use ERTL's Excelsior-refit (Enterprise-B) kit instead of what the instructions called for.

Completed Model

Underside, showing sensor bits.



Purists will wince, since we haven't actually seen that combination on screen, but I rationalized that Starfleet would have used these hulls too - and probably more of them, as they are of a newer design (the Excelsior/Miranda classes would have been 70-80 years old at this point in the Star Trek timeline). That and Toys'R'Us was having a clearance sale on the Enterprise-B and I got the kit for seven bucks.


I can't vouch for the complete accuracy of the finished model, but it looks right compared to screen captures I've seen. All-in-all, Victory's kit is a decent offering at a decent price, easily assembled.

A complete build-up review will appear in FANTASTIC MODELER magazine.

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Last updated on 25 October 1998