Kit Preview of Alliance's 1/1400 Intrepid-Class

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Alliance Intrepid-Class Preview


By John Lester - images & text © 2002

Scale: 1/1400 - about 10"/ 25.4 cm long when assembled
Parts: 3 resin, plus resin base and two plastic rods
Instructions: 1 sheet combined assembly, painting and decalling guide
Decals: ALPS-printed waterslide; markings for USS Voyager
Molding Quality: 8 - overall good, but I found bubbles in hard-to-fix spots
Detail: 9 - plenty and excellent
Accuracy: 9+ looks spot on to me
MSRP: $60.00 USD (~$92.44 CAN/ 62.67 EUR) available from Federation Models
Overall Rating: 7 - nicely done and more accurate than the Monogram, but assembly may be difficult (see review)

[Box Art]

Those wanting to build USS Voyager in the same scale as all their other 1/1400 Star Trek® ships have had to hunt up the Monogram 3-ship Voyager set, now out of production and very hard to find. Alliance's latest issue, the 1/1400 Intrepid-class Starship, fills that gap.

[Click to enlarge]

^ Topside

[Click to enlarge]

^ Bottom

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^ A closer look at the bridge area

Image: The decals are sharp and perfectly registered.

Image: The assembly diagram leaves something to be desired.

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^ The nacelles can be made to be positionable using the rods provided.
What You Get

Inside the sturdy box, nestled amongst the packing peanuts, are 4 resin pieces (including a base shaped like a TNG communicator badge), two plastic rods, instructions and decals. The plastic rods and the resin warp engine/nacelle assemblies are bagged together.

The ship is made up of three solid resin pieces. All are well cast, though I did find resin bubbles in three of four deeply indented window "banks" toeards the back of the secondary hull. There was no flash and just the barest hint of mold seams, however. Detail is crisp and consistent throughout. Engraved panels are uniform in depth and width, with no over- or under-runs or crookedness. Raised detail is well-defined - which should make painting details and accents easier. The resin base is sufficiently large and heavy enough to support the model securely. You're on your own to provide a rod or similar method of attaching model to base, though.

Decals are ALPS printed and coated with a clear flat for protection. All the markings necessary to make USS Voyager are there, down to the lifeboats.

If there's a weakness in the kit, it's the instructions. What you get are some general resin assembly tips, a brief diagram showing an overhead exploded view of the parts, and a decal placement guide. The "assembly diagram" could really stand to be larger, and have text telling you how to make affix the nacelles to the ship while making them positionable. Looking at the diagram, I infer that you need to chop each rod into equal thirds and affix them to either the hull or the nacelle with glue where the "X"'s are. That could have been explained in English.

The painting instructions, like those of the Runabout, are clear enough -- if you know what each part of the ship is called. Color call-outs appear to match those in our Voyager Paint Guide (written by Rick Sternbach). You may well want to get a copy of the instructions from the larger Monogram kit as a visual aid, as well as looking over your references.

Finally, the decal placement section is clear enough, except for the postioning of lifeboats. It shows where the three next to each other (decals 10, 11, 12) go - but doesn't point out what decals are to be used for the other liefboats, even though they are shown. Fortunately, URLS for two reference sites online are provided, including ours.

Assembly and Finish

If you wish to build this with the warp nacelles in either warp-flight or sub-light mode, then assembly is easy. Simply trim the plastic rods to length, glue to the hull, then glue the nacelle in position.
Making them movable, as the box top says you can, will take more work. In that case, I'd replace the solid rod with a brass tube of the same diameter, cut it in thirds and then glue the front and rear parts to the model. Next, I'd slip the middle tube in place, run a rod through all three tubes to keep them together, clamp the nacelle in position and glue the middle tube to it. Thin disks punched from sheet plastic or even paper would cover the ends of the rod/tube assembly - glue those to one or the other but not both.

Conclusions

It's a nice kit: accurate and well-molded. Is it worth junking your Monogram 1/1400 scale kit for? That depends on how badly you want a somewhat better detailed model of the subject. If you don't have the Monogram 3-Ship Voyager set, then this is the kit to get (rather than trying to score one of eBay). Due to the trickiness of affixing and aligning those nacelles, I'd not recommend this to a novice builder, but anyone with some experience building kits should be able to make a decent model from it.

Many thanks to Federation Models for providing the review sample. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 2000+ readers a day? Contact us!

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This page copyright © 2002 Starship Modeler™. Last updated on 19 June 2002.