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In-Box Preview of the Gizmotron Models' U.S.S. Kelvin

By Jeffrey Griffin - images and text © 2009

Scale: 1/2500 - right at 6.25"/ 159 mm long
Parts: 8 resin, which includes main saucer/hull, nacelle, secondary hull, sensor/deflector dish and forward endcaps for both the nacelle and secondary hull (no base)
Instructions: One page, black and white sheet. Used primarily as a decal instruction sheet, but gives a good idea of where all parts need to go, as well as a basic paint guide
Decals: ALPS-printed waterslide sheet with markings for U.S.S. Kelvin, NCC-0514. Includes black lettering/numbering, docking hatches and some optional colored markings.
Molding Quality: 10 - pretty darned crisp, with exactly NO air bubbles, only some very minor mold seams that were easily removed on my review sample
Detail: 9 - Nicely detailed
Accuracy: 9 - Looks Dead On from the Reference Material found online at Ex Astris Scientia - http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/ - but the decal markings aren't 100% accurate
MSRP: $35.00 USD (~$37.93 CAN/ 24.37 EUR) available from Federation Models
Overall Rating: 10 - Very nice kit that needs very little cleanup work


Gizmotron Models continues to give us an ever-expanding number of great Star Trek related kits and decal sheets, of the highest quality. This kit is no exception to that high quality. Only a little over two months since the new "Star Trek" movie - Number XI since ST:TMP - which "reboots" the Classic Original Series we get our first garage kit from that movie - the U.S.S. Kelvin, NCC-0514.

[Please click to enlarge]

^ What you get

Image: Saucer

Image: Decals

Image: Instructions

Image: Size comparison

The Kelvin-type starship first appears in the opening minutes of the new Trek movie. We've not seen even a single example of this design prior to the movie, but I'm sure we'll see plenty of other kits. I wasn't initially a big fan of the design, but have since grown to like it. However I've felt in the past, other fans of Star Trek have proclaimed their desire for a kit of this particular design since it's initial appearance in trailers for the new movie and now 1/2500 scale fans are the first to get a kit for their collections.

What I Got

The kit comes packaged in a nice box w/box art and parts in ziploc bags, including the decal sheet. You get a total of eight resin cast pieces: one each primary hull, secondary hull w/fore and aft end caps, nacelle w/fore and aft end caps and a sensor/deflector dish. A basic one-page instruction sheet is included.

The resin appears to be the standard gray resin that we've come to expect from Gizmotron the last several years. The resin pieces have only a touch of flash and with very little in the way of some seam lines. What little bit of both that exist are easy to take care of with a bit of Xacto and sand paper.

Detail is crisp and clean and consists of mostly raised surfaces on the exterior of the hull, along w/the deflector grid and the "trench" between the center and outer hull sections. The are docking ports, windows, deflector grids, phaser "bumps" and shuttlebay doors, as are the photorp emitters on the leading edge of the "saucer". The shuttlebay area in the aft section of the secondary hull looks very nicely detailed. The lower sensor array, bridge "window", lounge windows, "sensor trench" on the top "spine" of the saucer and impulse engine vents are all well deteailed and/or recessed areas.

The decals are minimal and from the three screen caps at Ex Astris Scientia to compare to what you get, it's apparent that there should be a red outline on at least the main registry marking (NCC-0514) which isn't present. However, at this scale I don't know if it would be possible to actually replicate that on a decal sheet. Regardless, it's a minor point for me and Angelo does include optional markings similar to the original TOS Enterprise we grew up with.

One note - there is very little in the way of canon information the ship, particularly it's "real" length. Ex Astris Scientia posits a length of only 250m (on this page), which goes against what we see on-screen. However, they also mention a possible length of 350m, which works for me, personally. If you accept a length of 350m, then this model scales out to 1/2205, which is pretty close - and close enough for me.

I've included a picture taken with an older - and long ignored - ERTL TOS 1701 in 1/2500 scale that I was trying to accurize. It gives you a pretty decent idea of what the overall size is instead of the abstract "it's 6.25" / 15.88cm long". This is after I started initial construction and the secondary hull and nacelle are just tacked on with a single drop of CA.

Assembly and Finish

I've only done a dry-fitting. After cleaning the pieces with some some Comet Cleaner, I rinsed the parts, then cleaned again with scrubbing bubbles to make sure that any mold release was well and truly gone from the models surface. Just a very little bit of sanding was required to remove mold seams and there were just two airbubbles present on my sample - both will be easy to fill. The dry-fit assembly was straight foward with the parts fitting very easily and requiring no additional work to get them all to fit. I've used "Super Glue Gel" (Duro brand) to adhese the parts of my other Gizmotron Models kits together and imagine that there will be no problem w/this kit, either.

Conclusions

I'm very happy to own this and look forward to completing it for my collection, at some point in the future. My pre-TOS Era Star Fleet has a new addition that looks pretty amazing. If you're a fan of canon Star Trek ships, as I am, this is definitely one to get! Considering some similarly sized kits cost more than twice this - and don't include decals - you almost can't afford not to purchase this one.


Many thanks to Gizmotron Models for providing the review sample. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 6000+ readers a day? Contact us!

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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This page copyright © 2009 Starship Modeler™. First posted on 26 August 2009.