When I first saw the Nebula class starship I really didn't know what to think of it. My first thought was that it looked like someone had stepped on the Enterprise-D and squashed it! Not counting the Wolf 359 graveyard, the Nebula first appeared in the episode, " The Wounded". Here it sported an oval shaped sensor pod held onto the hull by dual struts. The pod was later changed to a heart shaped pod held onto the hull by a single pylon, as seen on the U.S.S. Sutherland.
I quickly began to appreciate this style of starship with its low slung profile eliminating the Enterprise D's vulnerable "neck area". The Nebula quickly became my favorite Star Trek ship of and I knew I had to have a kit.
The problem was that if you wanted a Nebula , you either had to scratchbuild one or buy a (now defunct) Macro-Trek conversion, with its poor fit and noticeable inaccuracies... until now! Here comes the U.K.'s "Warp" boasting a more accurate 1/1400 scale kit, with a one piece saucer section included. Just what the doctor ordered!
Since I knew I had to have this kit, I didn't let the rather expensive price (around $100 US) scare me off! I went ahead and ordered the Sutherland version (although I believe Warp makes the U.S.S. Phoenix with the oval pod, as well).
When my kit arrived I eagerly inspected it like a kid at Christmas time! All parts came neatly wrapped in plastic bubble wrap to minimize damage in shipping. The parts are molded in green colored GRP ("glass reinforced plastic"), making it lighter than ordinary resin. There are a total of seventeen parts, including four very small pieces that were almost mistaken for flash and thrown away! These pieces are the two impulse engines and the two photon torpedo parts. These parts are contained in a small zip lock bag, but be careful not to lose them.
Many of the parts have a lot of flash, but nothing a good sanding can't cure. I highly recommend wearing plastic gloves when handling this kit because it picks up deep fingerprints. These may be difficult to remove later. The quality of the parts is very good. My kit had no warpage and air bubbles were not a problem. I counted only a few minute air bubbles that will be easily filled.
Detail is good also, very comparable to ERTL's Enterprise-D with its raised panel lines and all. I especially liked the one piece saucer, requiring less assembly than the D (I'll take any short cuts I can get!). The saucer pieces on my D seemed to sag in the middle. No problem with sag on my Nebula. Accurate to the studio model, Warp has eliminated the impulse engines from the saucer and they are placed on the rear of the support pylon (neck area).
The windows are correctly placed on the saucer and hull section. The hull section is the correct size in relation to the saucer like the studio model. The sensor pod is accurate and the two separate halves make it easier to paint that center trench area.
You also get two styles of rear hanger bay doors to choose from, either the Sutherland or the Prometheus version. I never knew there was a difference but I do now!
The detail on the bottom half of my kit was lacking, or rather the panel lines just did not come out as well defined as the rest of the kit. These lines can be easily scribed over for better detail. Most parts fit together really well. Any seams can be repaired fairly easily. Problem areas would include the saucer to neck attachment (main pylon per instructions). The neck does not lay flush with the bottom of the saucer. Nothing that a good sanding can't cure. The main pylon and the hull appear to fit rather well, but they didn't pass the "light test". After dry fitting the main pylon and the hull I held them up to a light source and there was a noticeable gap. It's putty time!
Since we're talking accuracy here, the instructions call for you to make some adjustments to the ERTL's D engines. You have to turn the engines upside down and use the two provided pylon support pieces to connect them to the main pylon (neck) piece. The instructions say that this way the engines will be properly installed with the correct side up. I think I'll skip this part and install them without using the intended supports since you will have to cut the support ridge on the engines and fill them in. Otherwise the bottom of the engines will have fins and besides. Remember I like short cuts!
This kit should be fairly easy to build especially with its few parts. Painting should be easy as well. The instructions tell you to refer to the ERTLs D instructions for color reference. I am, however, dreading that #^*@!^ aztec pattern!
Last but not least, a nice set of water transferable decals is included, with the different Nebula designation numbers.
Warp's kit is by far the most accurate Nebula on the market today and I am very satisfied with mine. Do I have anything bad to say about this kit? Well yes, it's expensive at $99.00 a shot and its a conversion kit so you have to buy the Enterprise-D kit as well (yes, that two-kit double-whammy!). You need the D's two engines and the Bridge. I wish Warp had included these parts which would make this a much more appealing kit!
Also take note that this kit is brittle! I made the unfortunate mistake of dropping the main support pylon (neck) from a scantly four feet. To my horror this part shattered into three separate pieces! Rather than go into a deep depression requiring years of intense therapy, I mustered up all the courage a good little modeler could summon and got out the crazy glue. With a lot of patience, sanding, and rescribing I believe I have done an excellent job!
^ All parts are molded in lightweight GRP. This makes large parts like the Primary hull much less unwieldy.
^ You'll want to dry fit the parts before committing yourself to a permanent adhesive. The overall parts fit of the kit is good.
^ This kit depicts the second seen "mission pack" configuration, with the heart-shaped pod.
^ A look at the rear pylon assembly. In general the kit detail is quite good and accurate to all currently available material.
^ The kit comes with two hangerbay options: that seen on the Prometheus and on the Sutherland.
^ The kit requires the addition of the ERTL Enterprise-D's engine nacelles, as well as it's bridge section.
^ The waterslide decal sheet gives names and numbers for all known members of the class.
^ The secondary hull assembly.
So treat this kit like your grandmother's best antique china, kids, or you may end up with a kitbash project!
If you must have a Nebula in the 1/1400 scale, then Warp's kit is the way to go...especially if you're not a good scratchbuilder like me! So far the only way to buy this kit in the U.S. is through Q's Continuum.
So if you're a Nebula nut like me, go out and buy this kit. You deserve it!
Editor's Note: Check out our Nebula reference pictures for more help in building, painting, and detailing this kit.
This page copyright © 1997-90 Starship Modeler. All photos and text copyright 1999 Kevin Parkison.
Last updated on 3 March 1999