PNT New Orleans Class Reviewed by Steve Cramsie.

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PNT New Orleans-Class (refit) Starship Preview

By Steve Cramsie - images & text © 2001

Scale: 1/1400 - about 10"/25 cm long when built
Parts: 10 resin, including 5"x7" Trek logo base
Instructions: 8 - very straightforward text with cartoon-style diagrams
Decals: Waterslide, typical Thomas Models quality and detail
Molding Quality: 9 - excllent for a resin kit
Detail: 8 - see review
Accuracy: 9 - production kit has been meticulously researched, despite limited reference material
Fit: 8 - only one gap that required putty during assembly
Ease: 7 - more challenging than a styrene kit, but quite easy for a resin kit
MSRP: $65.00 USD + shipping (for a limited time) , available from
Overall Rating: 9 - very nice kit of such an elusive subject in the Star Trek universe

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One of the main reasons there has been so much hype over the release of the New Orleans-class in kit form has a lot to do with the elusivness of the subject itself.

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^ Size comparison with the Monogram 1/1400 Voyager.

The original New Orleans (as the USS Kyushu) was a study model that ended up being used as part of the debris field in the Next Generation episode "The Best of Both Worlds." This pivotal episode had spinoff plot aspects that launched Deep Space Nine, as well as Star Trek: First Contact. Viewers only got a brief glimpse of the Kyushu, and even then only as a piece of wreckage shown in the corner of the main viewscreen. Anyone who owns the "Star Trek: Encylopedia" knows that two more images of the ship then appeared: a top view, and a bottom view. Both images were "pre-damage." With the release of the reference book from Japan, "Star Trek Mechanics", yet another color reference photo was available. Seeing that the New Orleans-class design was essentially just a chop-n-stretch modification of the Galaxy-class design, scratchbuilders soon went to work on their versions. This review takes a look at the first kit offering for the New Orleans-class ship.

The Kit

Part of the reason why it has taken so long for the release of this kit is because it has gone through so many incarnations. When the kit first debuted, many people were disappointed because the ship had been "refit" with newer Voyager-style elements throughout. This of course wasn't the New Orleans people wanted because it wasn't the one that the pics we have show. So Thomas went back to the drawing board and decided to completely retool the kit so it looked exactly like what we see in the few photos that are available. The kit that I built was one of the test shots during that process. The assembled model is 10.5"/26 cm long, and 7"/18 cm wide at the saucer. Though my kit differed from the original offering, it still had some Voyager elements that I had to remove, so that it would be as close to the final kit version as possible. Keep in mind that the kit that is now being offered is more accurate and exacting to the original studio model.

The kit was very well detailed and smooth. There were no pits, bubbles, and hardly any flash at all. You get nine resin peices that make up the kit, not including the stand. The production kit will come with clear red resin for the bussard peices, as well as a brass tube which my kit lacked. It will also come with very easy to follow instructions with cartoon images throughout, to help you along.

The decals are very good and are loaded with extras--typical for Thomas Models. Expect markings and numbers for the New Orleans, Kyushu, Thomas Paine, Renegade, and Rutledge. The kit went together fine, with the only gap I encountered being where the upper main peice connected to the secondary hull. On the Enterprise-D, this would be right where the central impulse engine is. Since this is the largest connection point, the gap was easy to fill. This should be corrected when the final version of the kit is made.


Considering my total lack of scratchbuilding experience, I was very excited when I received this kit from Thomas. Finally, the ellusive subject that has caused so many modelers to scratch their head was staring at me in 3D. Don't get me wrong, the ship itself is ugly. This design looks decent from the top and bottom, and looks like a Galaxy-class from the front, but from the side? Well, let's just say that it's no wonder Starfleet Admirals sent these ships into battle to die. But if you have to have this ship as part of your 1/1400 collection, it is wonderfully done. I look forward to any more offerings in the future from PNT models.

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This page copyright © 2001 Starship Modeler™. Last updated on 15 August 2001.