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Ravenstar's Guardian-Class Battleship Preview

By John Lester - images & text © 2001

Scale: 1/1400 - about 9"/ 23 cm long
Parts: 2 resin
Instructions: None
Decals: None
Molding Quality: 8 - minor clean-up required
Detail: 7 - see review
Accuracy: N/A - it's not a canon design
MSRP: $60.00 US + shipping, available from Ravenstar Studios
Overall Rating: 8 - a good weekend project, and with only two parts, a good first resin kit

Ravenstar Studios have a nice line of starship models inspired by Star Trek® in it's various incarnations. My favorites are those that we've never seen on screen, but should have. One of these is the Federation Guardian-class battleship.

The model is based on an AMT/ERTL Excelsior-class saucer (yes, I know that kit is 1/1000, but all Ravenstar's Trek line are in 1/1400). What they've done to it, though .... just like the Border Cutters reviewed earlier, the design is plausible for a Next Gen-era ship, and different enough that it really catches the eye.

[Topside - click to enlarge]

[Underneath - click to enlarge]

^ What you get - one heavy model. I applied a quickie black wash to bring out the surface details.
What You Get

The model comes as two parts: the ship itself and an AWACS-style sensor dish that sits off to the port side (when I bought the kit this dish was not yet available, which is why you don't see it here). No instructions were necessary, and is good because I didn't get any. No decals were provided either, but since this uses the ERTL Excelsior /Enterprise-B saucer and an Enterprise-B hull, there are plenty of options available from the aftermarket.

There's all sorts of detail spread around the ship, including engraved lines, phaser strips and lifeboats. All the engraving is fine and uniform, though there are a couple places where it looks like the scriber overshot and extended a line further than it was supposed to go. The raised surface details are nice and sharp and uniform. The surface of the hull, however, has a number of rough spots that are hard to spot without a coat of primer. Two areas in particular will need clean up: the tunnel for the deflector dish and the bussard scoops on the underside. The first is a bit .... bumpy; the latter has a number of small pock marks (not pits or bubbles, but something that was on the master).

As with all the other Ravenstar products I've seen, casting is quite good. There are no bubbles, pits or noticeable voids - Ravenstar pressure casts their kits, and does a good job of it. However, there is a slight mold seam, most prominent around the inboard sides of the warp nacelles, that will need to be sanded down.

Assembly and Finish

There's no assembly required with the kit I bought; if you get one with the sensor dish there's just one part to superglue onto the hull. This is one model you'll want to prime before painting, and maybe even apply a dark wash to. This step will allow you to see any rough spots that need fixing before you start painting the top coats. You'll also want to scrub the surface to release any mold release residues prior to priming.

Painting ... is an exercise left to the imagination of the reader. By the design of the warp nacelles, I see this as a TNG/DS9/Voayger-era ship, so that's the direction I'll go. Decals and markings I'll get from my spares box - I have several old sheets for Excelsior and Enterprise-B variants, so no worries there. If you don't have such a luxury, there are plenty of sheets available from the usual suspects.

Since the model is a solid hunk of resin weighing at least 5 lbs, you'll want something sturdier than the usual brass rod to mount it to whatever display base you choose.


This is a nice kit, one that should make a great rainy-weekend project. If you've never built a resin model, this is also a good place to start - with only two parts it can't get much easier. Is it worth $60? That's a decision you'll have to make for yourself - I'll just point out that the model is considerably bigger, and uses more resin, than many similiarly priced kits. I like it - it was worth the price to me.

Many thanks to my wallet 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 © 2001 Starship Modeler™. Last updated on 25 September 2001.