Kit preview of Starcrafts' Steamrunner-Class .

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Starcrafts' 1/1400 Steamrunner-Class Preview

By John Lester - images & text © 2000

Scale: 1/1400 - about 10" (25 cm) long when complete
Parts: 6 resin, plus base
Instructions: 1 page, with paint guide
Decals: ALPS-printed waterslide, markings for one ship
Molding Quality: 8 - best yet from Starcrafts, but watch for bubbles
Detail: 9 - crisp
Accuracy: 8 - looks very good, though the underside is conjectural
MSRP: $70 USD, available from Federation Models and Q's Continuum
Overall Rating: 9 - looks very nice.


Star Trek:First Contact® debuted a number of interesting new Federation ships, including the Akira and Steamrunner classes. It took almost three years, but finally a 1/1400 kit of the Steamrunner is now available.

[Parts - click for larger view]

^ This is all the parts to build the ship. Click here for larger view.

Image: The top side of the "saucer".

[Bubbles lurk]

^ There are a few noticeable bubbles lurking below the surface, especially up near the tip of the bow. Be careful while sanding!


^ The decals look to be complete.
The wait, I think, was worth it.

What You Get

Inside the typical sturdy Starcrafts' box are the typical Starcrafts' packing peanuts, four white resin pieces making up the ship, a white resin base and two clear red resin bussard scoops. Also included are a small, but complete, decal sheet and one page of painting/assembly instructions.

The white resin pieces, cast by Starcrafts, are sharply detailed and (for the most part) well molded. The windows in particular look better than any I've seen on their other models (at least the Prometheus and Akira). Scribed lines are straight and of uniform depth, something that has not always been the case in the past. The only problems I can see are the typical rough edged mold seams and small bubbles lurking just below the surface. The bubbles are almost all found on the front edge of the "saucer". They should not present a problem, however, as there is no flash or prominent mold seam that will require much sanding in the area, though the front edge will need some light cleanup. Be careful not to get too enthusiastic with the sanding stick, and all will be well. The mold seams on the warp nacelles and the back edge of the saucer will take a bit of effort to fix, but shouldn't require anywhere near the putty and sanding those on my Akira did (though to be fair, my Akira was from a mold nearing the end of it's useful life, and this particular Steamrunner is from a fresh mold).

In what I hope is a new trend, the bussard scoops are provided in clear red resin. Molded by DLM, they samples in my kit have a rough surface, and were stuck to the inside of the protective envelope (though fortunately not to the decals also in that envelope!). These will require polishing and a dip in Future to look their best - no big deal.

ALPS-printed waterslide decals provide markings for one ship, USS Appalachia. They're sharp and in register. I'll probably overcoat them with a light coat of Microscale Decal Film, just to be safe, even though it looks like they already have such a covering.

Rounding out the package is one 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of combined paint guide and assembly tips. While there is no exploded diagram showing where the parts go, it's really pretty self-explantory - and the parts only fit one way in any case.

Is it accurate? Looks that way to me. All the detail, including the four shuttlebays, that I've seen in published sources appears to be present on this kit. I don't know as we've ever seen good, clear pictures of the underside of this ship. The details there, while conjectural on this model, appear like they belong.

Assembly & Finish

I have dry-fit all the major components together and I'm happy with the fit. The warp nacelles are keyed to fit into slots on the saucer. The port side on mine fit perfectly; the starboard side will require a small amount of trimming of the key to get perfect. The roll bar in back fits perfectly to the warp nacelles. The bussard scoops just slipped right in place. I forsee no real difficulty in building this. Just remember to give the model a good cleaning, using a non-abrasive cleanser like "Soft Scrub" to get rid of mold release agents.


Looks like Starcrafts has produced a winner with this kit. I like the First Contact ships because they are a departure from the usual "saucer over blob with nacelles" Trek designs. This kit captures the look nicely, in a size that fits the space I have available to display it, at a price that won't kill the checking account. If the design interests you, I highly recommend this kit. It's simple enough even a novice can put it together, and would make an excellent first resin project.

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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