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USS Prometheus Kit Preview

By John Zook - images & text © 2003

Scale: 1/1400, around 11"/27.9cm long when built
Parts: 8 resin, including base
Instructions: 1 page with painting/marking guide
Decals: ALPS-printed waterslide, makings for U.S.S. Prometheus
Molding Quality: 6-Very few bubbles, some warping
Detail: 8 - Sharp and crisp
Accuracy: 8- Matches reference material
MSRP: $65.00 USD (~ $99.09 CAN/ 60.51 EUR) available from Federation Models
Overall Rating: 7 - Great looking kit

[Boxart]

I have always enjoyed the look of the Federation starships in the Star Trek universe; from the early Constellation to the Akria each class had it own style.

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^ What you get

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^ "Saucer" section/ Alpha ship

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^ One ship to bind them ....

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^ 'Beta' ship

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^ 'Gamma' ship

I looked forward to when new starship designs were introduced, but for a while we were subjected to the designs of kitbashing, giving the starship a cut up and thrown together appearance. That changed when the Nova class and the U.S.S. Prometheus were introduced in ST: Voyager giving the audience streamlined designs and continuity from one section of the ship to another rather than a piecemeal effect seen with kitbashing.Starcraft has brought the U.S.S. Prometheus to the modeling world in a highly detailed and beautifully cast resin reproduction.

What You Get

You get a sturdy box, a mass of protective packing peanuts, 8 white resin pieces that make up the model (one piece is the communicator badge shaped base for the kit), an instruction sheet and decals.

The details of the resin pieces are remarkable, I am always impressed with the craftsmanship of Starcraft kits, hull lines are straight and the windows are aligned with each other. The details of the components on the ship such as the warp nacelle, the bridge, impulse engines, docking bays and raised details match images of the reference material I was able to locate. A far as the mold itself, some underlying bubbles in the edges of the nacelles and secondary hulls are apparent but these don't pose a problem unless you start picking at them, although one nacelle does need some fill due to a bubble, but that is a minor repair. Some clean up of flash on the smaller separate warp nacelles and along the edges of the larger warp nacelles is necessary, as well as some cleaning up along the edges of the primary and secondary hull, removing this flash wont take too much of your time.

The kit is made up of three large pieces, a triangular "saucer" section, and the split secondary hull allowing you to display it as 3 separate battle ships or as one complete starship. In battle mode the ship is separated in its three sections, the "saucer" section becomes the Alpha ship and the secondary hull splits lengthwise to give you the Beta ship and the Gamma ship.

When the ship's combined you have a four nacelle starship; when split into battle mode the beta and gamma ships each have 2 nacelles while the alpha ship has two tiny warp nacelles protruding from the top and bottom of the "saucer" section. The nacelle pylons on the beta and gamma components had some slight warping but to be honest I can't tell if that is the way the pylons are designed or a flaw in the casting process. After test fitting the spilt secondary hull, the Beta and Gamma sections, I found that the edges match up perfectly but a gap exists between two sections. This was going to be a problem because the two pieces are supposed to snap together.
The primary "saucer" section has four smaller pieces to create the complete Alpha ship, these consist of two small warp nacelles with pylons, another nacelle without a pylon and a extension block that fits over the bottom for when the Alpha ship is in its separate component. This extension is suppose to snap into position but I can't test fit it because it will need to be cleaned of flash before fitting into the "saucer" section. One of the smaller warp nacelles does have a small chuck taken out of the front which will take some fill and sanding to fix but not impossible to repair. I couldn't find any air bubbles on the "saucer" section but some small amount of flash exists along the edges and will need to be cleaned, but overall this piece is highly detailed, the lines and raised components are sharp and straight. The test fitting of the "saucer" to the engineering hulls did not go a well as I hoped because after combining the two engineering hulls and then trying to snap the "saucer" section into place I found that the edges of the engineering hulls (once combined) are going have to be sanded to allow the "saucer" section to properly fit over them. The instruction sheet is one page explanation of decal placement and the overall color scheme for painting the model; it also explains where the tiny nacelles are supposed to be added to the "saucer" section. The kit includes a waterslip decal sheet, ALPS-printed, with the bare minimum decals to complete the model as the U.S.S. Prometheus, NX class.

Assembly and Finish

The only gluing involved in this kit is the tiny nacelle to the bottom of the extension piece for the Alpha ship. The two small warp nacelles for the top of the Alpha ship are not supposed to be glued because they just sit in the recess designed for them, this is due to fact they are suppose to be interchangeable; one for display in battle mode and the other for display in one ship mode. I personally don't want to just leave them sitting on top to the model without some type of anchor because they are small and could be easily lost in the carpet. The three ship pieces are suppose to snap into place to complete the one ship mode but until I warp the engineering hulls and they fit together I won't know if this is the case. The kit also comes with a display stand shaped like a communication badge but no support rod or any indications on how to mount the model.

Conclusion

The attention given to detail, lack of clean up, and very few bubbles to fill makes this an excellent addition to your 1/1400 fleet. If this is your first time working in resin I would suggest trying smaller model with less pieces because your going to have to take care while correcting the warping problems in the nacelle pylons and the secondary hulls, or you are going to damage the model trying to straighten the pieces. The builder is also going to have to solve the problem of how to display model because if the secondary hulls wont snap together you are going to have to get creative on how to keep them from sliding apart. I believe Starcraft has developed a great looking model from limited reference material and it is well worth the price.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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