Kit preview of Resin Ranger's Galileo Shuttlecraft .

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Resin Ranger's Galileo Shuttlecraft Preview

By John Lester - images & text © 2000

Scale: 1/35 - about 7.5" long assembled
Parts: Approx. 50 resin, brass and styrene.
Instructions: 1 page, pictorial
Decals: Waterslide (inkjet on coated paper); markings for one craft.
Molding Quality: 5 - Average, with plenty of cleanup required.
Detail: 8 - What's there is faithfully reproduced and reasonably sharp, though some is marred by casting flaws.
Accuracy: 9 - far superior to the ERTL kit.
MSRP: $80 US, available from Resin Ranger
Overall Rating: 8 - worth the effort if you want an accurate TOS shuttle on your shelf.

[What you see is what you get]

AMT (now AMT/ERTL) built the original Star Trek® Galileo shuttle set way back when, as part of a deal to produce kits from the original series.

[Hull parts]

^ Hull halves. NOte the correct underside profile and the curved strakes up top.


^ Decals. You may want to use the ERTL kit ones instead, at least on the outside.
It's amazing how inaccurate that old kit is, considering the references they had available to them. One can only assume that the plastic kit was made from pre-production drawings ... or that AMT just didn't care that it wasn't right. In any event, one could either scratchbuild a more accurate model, accurize the kit, or live with the flaws. Until now.

What You Get

Resin Ranger's first production is far superior (as far as accuracy is concerned) to AMT/ERTL's model, both inside and out. I am by no means an expert on the ships of the original series, but as far as I can tell, Resin Ranger has gotten the details right. That's according to my references, which include the excellent Star Trek Mechanics Vol. 4. The entire back end is correctly reproduced, with the multiple steps (in profile) seen on both the filming miniature and the full size mockup. The small ridges running along the top curve inward, as they should. The landing pads are recatangular and detailed, as opposed to the featureless circular items found in the ERTL kit.
Consoles and materials for the instruments are provided inside, except for the astrogator and window glass, which it looks like I'll have to provide (no big deal - any clear plastic card packaging will work). The warp nacelles are longer than those provided with the ERTL kit and look longer than those on the filming miniature. They appear, however, to accurately portray the nacelles found on the full size mockup. If I found one flaw (and I'm not sure) it's that the detailing on the two nacelles is different - one has the three sets of angled ridges, as found on the ERTL kit, and the screen detail found on the back parts are on the same side (I believe they should be "handed", i.e., both face inboard).

The kit comes in a plastic bag closed tightly with a header card. All the smaller parts are safely enclosed in bags inside the two-piece hull, to help prevent breakage. The original was not overly detailed; the detail molded on the kit appears acceptable. Casting quality is typical for sci-fi garage kits. Most parts are pockmarket with small pits and bubbles, and several have prominent mold seams. Just about every one of the smaller pieces has a rough texture, which will be a challenge to deal with. Both the warp nacelles in my sample are warped, but that should be easily fixed with hot water and patience. Harder to fix will be the prominent mold seam on the parts, the mis-shapen warp "balls", and the grill details on the side. The latter two will almost certainly have to be replaced, in fact. The rear wall on the top half of the hull is curved inward at one corner - a problem with the master, it appears.

The instructions are generally adequate, but there are several ambiguous points where good references will be helpful. No painting or marking guide was supplied with this kit. No matter - between the Franz Joseph book and Starfleet Mechanics, there's plenty of references available.

Decals are provided for both the interior (consoles) and exterior markings. They appear to be printed with an inkjet on special paper, then overcoated with a carrier film. The bits I tried slid off the paper easily enough, and are not overly thin. Still, I think one would be better off using the exterior decals from the ERTL kit, or the old Webgames sheet for the 18" Enterprise if you can find it.

Assembly & Finish

Assembly appears straightforward. The biggest chore will be filling in all the bubbles and sanding down excess resin and bumps - and that's just tedious, not hard. Fit of the major parts appears to be fine. Perhaps the biggest challenge will be hiding the seam between top and bottom hull halves - on the inside. There is no seam visible on the TV show; if one elects to cut the door open and use clear window panes (they were shown open and closed at various times in the series), a false wall will need to be built up from 5 thou sheet. That is, of course, only if you can't live with a visible join there (I can). One nice extra is a recess is already provided for Lightsheet on the roof of the cabin. The space between the rear wall and the impulse engines is just big enough to take an LDX-5 driver to power the light.


Despite it's drawbacks, this kit is a credible first effort and I'm eagerly anticipating their next release (a Type 9 shuttle). If you're not concerned about total accuracy, or have a limited budget, find the ERTL kit. If you want an accurate shuttle, get this one - it will reward effort and patience with a very nice display model. I would recommend this to the intermediate modeler with some experience working with resin.

Many thanks to Resin Ranger 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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