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Nova Hobbies Regula 1 Kit Preview

By Jeffrey Griffin - images & text © 2002

Scale: 1/1400 - right at 5"/12.7cm long, including antenna
Parts: 7 resin, (no base)
Instructions: 1 page, single-sided
Decals: Waterslide; markings for "greeblies" and warning stripes
Molding Quality: 7 - fairly crisp, but with a few very small bubbles, voids and minor mold seams
Detail: 8 - Nicely detailed
Accuracy: 7 - Looks good from what references I can find
MSRP: No longer available
Overall Rating: 7 - Nice kit, needs a little work, but looks like a great weekend project

[Click to enlarge]

Nova Hobbies has delivered the first Star Trek space station kit I've ever seen in 1:1400 scale. The box my kits arrived in is sturdy having survived the USPS Box Mashers quite nicely.


^ Antenna

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^ Dry-fitting parts together

The parts themselves came loose, though the small, delicate subspace antenna and two smaller sensor arrays came in a pill bottle (like you get prescriptions from the pharmacy in) with cut up packing foam, so they survived the trip very nicely. You also get four larger main parts: storage tanks, telescope/science module, "fuel toroid" section, and main mission module, along with the aforementioned three smaller detailing parts. A one page instruction sheet and small decal sheet are included. The resin appears to be the "standard" off-white.

As seems to be the trend from the bulk of the Trek garage industry right now, this resin model release is in 1/1400 scale. This allows you to show it with your Starcrafts kits from the TOS Movie Era for scenes from "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan", or next to your Nova Hobbies 1:1400 scale Defiant for scenes from DS9. Of course, as an added bonus, 1:1400 scale gives you plenty of display space, unlike my usual 1:537.

What You Get

Six off-white resin pieces (from the bottom to the top: storage tanks, telescope/lab module, "fuel toroid" module, main mission module, two sensor arrays, and subspace antenna), decals and instructions. The resin pieces have some small voids and air bubbles, with only a touch of flash. Several seam lines are also apparent, but all this should be easy to take care of. I was a little disappointed that the parts weren't contained together in a ziploc baggy as I didn't realize that the little reactor ring module was missing at first.

Detail is pretty crisp & clean and consists of mostly raised paneling, docking hatches and a series of small, round tanks on the top of the mission module. The subspace antenna on mine was warped to the point that I might well replace it with some styrene once I get around to construction of this kit. I'll first look in to trying to straighten it w/the warm/cold water treatment, but this is one of the perils of resin parts that are thin like this.

The underside of the mission module isn't accurate as it needs more detail, but I can live w/that. There was one fairly large airbubble in one of the lower sections of science/shuttlebay sections, but this should be fairly easy to correct, as well. The "fuel toroid" module is very straight foward, though should have a series of concentric lines around it's outer section. The stellar telescope dome appears to be just a touch smaller in height than it should be, but nicely done. The telescope/lab module pieces are a little bland of detail, but then we're talking 1:1400, so I'm sure it would have been rather difficult to reproduce the few tiny details. The storage tank section has a couple of obvious seamlines, but again, nothing that can't be fixed.

The water slide decal sheet is pretty straight forward. Nova Hobbies included enough extra length in each decal to easily wrap around their respective pieces. Markings include the warning strips for two of the four tanks and the "greeblies" ring on the sides of the main mission module. There are no exterior markings for the lab other than those two mentioned already, which is in keeping w/what I've found through reference materials. No "Regula One" markings in anything I can find, in keeping with a classified project, I'd think.

The single-sided instruction sheet is a bit disappointing, but adequate for anyone who does some research on this spacelab. It includes the standard cleaning instructions that must be observed for resin - indeed pretty much all - model kits. Decal placement and painting instruction is pretty basic, but at least it's pretty much a no-brainer if you've done a little research. Would have been nice to know for sure how far up the tanks those warning decals go, as well as orientation on the "greeblies" decal for the main mission module.

I think it's a very accurate representation of Spacelab Regula One from ST:II. There seems to be a definite lack of interest in this space sation as I was unable to find any online reference photos to bump against this model. I was quite surprised to find that all the Usual Suspects (Ex Astris Scientia, Pedro's Shiporama, and the IDIC Page) don't have anything on the Regula One station, though Ex Astris Scientia does have one of the "orbital office complex". To that end, I used my copy of "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan", the "Regula-1 Orbital Deck Station Plans" from the FASA Star Trek RolePlaying Game (for the b/w stills) and a set of fan-produced blue prints as sources of reference. Best suggestion right now is to pull out a copy of ST:II and use that for your primary reference.

Assembly and Finish

Assembly should be pretty straight foward. Washing and clean all the parts will need to be done, then comes cleaning up the airbubbles and seam lines. The instructions are pretty clear on assembly, even if it doesn't include some sort of call-out on the sheet. Seamlines on the main module and storage tanks will likely be the only real hard part. Detail painting might be a bit difficult, but that's to be expected in a resin kit in this scale.


I'm excited to have this, since NOBODY has ever produced a Spacelab Regula One kit before, let alone there being no other 1:1400 scale space stations around. Only real disapointments were the instruction sheets and seam lines, which were both very minor for me. Very highly recommended!

Many thanks to Jeffrey's stash-o-cash for providing the review sample. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 3000+ readers a day? Contact us!

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