By John Lester - images & text © 2011
The original Star Trek series' Klingon Battlecruiser was first issued in the late 1960's by AMT. AMT built two models for the show, one of which was pantographed to make the model kit. In overall proportions, if not details, the AMT kit is quite accurate to what was seen on screen - a rarity for 1960's-era sci-fi model kits. Ah, but the devil (as they say) is in the details...
The model has been reissued continuously over the years; I remember building my first one in the mid-1970's, and it was one of the first things I built after I returned to the hobby in the mid-1990's. With the demise of AMT/Ertl it lloked like this old warhorse would not be seeing another pressing - but then Round 2 got the molds.
^ What you get
Image: Revised impulse deck grille
Image: Revised command "bulb" parts
Image: Revised warp nacelle detail
Image: Decal sheet includes windows now
What You Get
Inside the box (or, in this case, the collectible tin; Round 2 is issuing a "deluxe version in the spiffy metal box and a regular version in the more traditional cardboard) are several bagged sprues of minty-green plastic parts, a sprue with chrome-plated parts, a display base and stand, a sheet of silk-screened waterslide decals and a fold-out instruction sheet with paint guide.
The molds have held up well over the years. There was very little in the way of flash, sinkmarks or other molding flaws evident on my kit. The chrome plating appears relatively thin - sometimes chromed parts can look like they were dipped in cake batter, but here the details are not obscured. The crome bits provide various engine details and the photon torpedo tube.
So, what sets this repop a part? Round 2 has done their homework and have gone to the effort of revising some of the detail inaccuracies of the old kit:
Gone too are the clear green bumps on the top of the "bridge" and the "stair step" pieces on either side of the command bulb. The original parts apparently went missing, and the replacements were not accurate, so Round 2 have molded these details directly on the larger kit pieces (see the images at left). One last change: Round 2 ditched the old kit display stand in favor of their standard balack dome base. This required the mounting hole in the model be moved.
The new decal sheet is an improvement as well. In addition to the Klingon trefoil insignia and "ICS" logo, you now get all the windows. Not a big deal, but it will help the model come alive.
Assembly & Finish
Despite detail improvements, this is still the classic AMT kit - with all that implies. Parts fit isn't atrocious, but you will need putty in places. Scott Scariot has an article on building the kit that explains it all.
The painting guide included with this kit has been updated as well. It no longer calls for an overall coat of grey - instead, you're shown where to paint the blue-grey and green to match that used on the original filming prop.
It's good to see these old kits pulled out, dusted off and spruced up for a return engagement. The work Round 2 did to make the kit more accurate is welcome - there's still some issues to address for the truly .... dedicated .... but most of us will be happy with what's been done. Round 2 will be issuing this in a regular box as well, so you can skip the nifty tin if you like (but it is a pretty spiffy tin...).
Bottom line: recommended to all skill levels.
For some more background on the original kit and this reissue, please see Round 2's blog.
Many thanks to Round2 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!