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Probert Designs' Standard Shuttlecraft
(Type 7 Shuttlecraft)

By Steve Chung - images & text © 2008

Scale: 1/76 - about 4½"/ 102mm long when built
Parts: 3 resin: hull and two engines
Instructions: One sheet with instructions, paint and decal guide. Adequate for building kit as the concept design.
Decals: ALPS-printed waterslide markings for original concept livery. My build was intended to show a later season configuration of the shuttle, so some of the included decals were not used.
Molding Quality: 7 - minimal flash, noticeable pitting near forward end of main hull
Detail: 8 - panel lines are clear
Accuracy: 8 - panel lines match those of the original concept; actual filming models were slightly different
MSRP: $35.00 USD (~$40.52 CAN/ 25.77 EUR) available from Federation Models
Overall Rating: 9 - A nice addition to any collection of Star Trek small craft. Well worth the price!

[Please click to enlarge]

The Type 7 shuttle is a warp capable personnel shuttlecraft that was used primarily in the first four seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The design of the craft was created by Andrew Probert.

[Please click to enlarge]

^ Kit parts (after some filling of pits)

Image: Box

Image: Parts after priming

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^ Fit check of parts after priming

Image: Assembled kit after painting

Image: Right side

Image: Left/rear

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^ Done, with base

Image: Right side

Image: Front

Image: My revised decal art

The smooth curved shape of the hull was difficult to model in a full scale mockup, and the Type 7 was eventually superseded in the series by the geometrically simpler Type 6 shuttle.

Unlike other ships from the series, I have never seen production kits or replicas of the Type 7, so I was excited when I found out about this kit. This kit was intended to represent the original concept design of the shuttle, mainly identifiable by the long side windows. The decals and marking instructions follow this configuration. I wanted to build the model in the configuration as it was seen in the fourth season of the television program, so this required the creation of a number of custom decals.

Parts

The parts, instructions, and decals are packed in a cardboard box with foam pellets. As mentioned in a preview of the kit, the designer's autograph is on the outside of the box. There are the main hull and two engine nacelles, made of resin. The nacelles are identical and interchangeable between the starboard and port sides. An odd thing about the three parts is that they were all cast in different colors of resin. One of the engine nacelles was molded in pink, which made it require quite a bit more primer to paint correctly. The most significant issue encountered with the parts was a noticeable amount of pitting near the forward end of the main hull. Applying a small amount of modeling putty and sanding resolved the problem. The construction is very simple, and the positioning of the engine nacelles is pretty self-evident.

Painting

The majority of the effort in making this kit was the painting and detailing. Most of the hull is a two-tone color scheme. The instructions call for FS37722 for the upper side of the hull. Not being able to find a model paint with that FS number, I used the closest match I could find, "Aqueous Hobby Color" H21 (Off White) for the upper hull color. The interface between the two colors wraps around the back part of the hull, and the boundary is difficult to mask. I found it easier to paint the lower hull color first.

I chose to paint the engine nacelles in a "powered up" appearance. The parts of the actual filming miniature are translucent and illuminated by lights, and so look black when they are powered off. The instruction sheet recommends FS28915 (Fluorescent Red); this looked too orange by itself. I created a mixture of Testors No. 4632 (Guards Red) and Fluorescent Red to approximate the color in photographs. Not being able to find FS 23564, the panels with the aft RCS thrusters and position lights were painted FS33613 (Radome Tan).

The RCS thrusters and the recessed band on the engine nacelles were painted FS33538 (Insignia Yellow). The long grilles on the sides and rear of the nacelles were painted with Tamiya X-14 (Sky Blue).

The position lights were painted in the standard aeronautical fashion, red on the port side and green on the starboard. The strobe on the top of the hull was painted white.

Decals

The included decals were used for the ship name. The standard position for the shuttle name is between the forward position lights and the aft end of the window. "Galileo" (number 07) was the only name of the three that was short enough to fit neatly on that area of the model.

Instead of the long red stripes, long windows, and registry numbers included on the decal sheet, I used Paint Shop Pro and created a new registry number (truncated in the 4th season fashion) and shorter side stripes/insignia. Shorter side windows were made to match the production filming miniatures. The new insignia were printed on transparent decal paper using an inkjet printer, and a protective coat of Testors Decal Bonder was applied.

The deck graphic shown in the photos was made in Paint Shop Pro based on screen captures from the program. It was simply printed on regular paper and cut to fit a display case.

Overall

This was a simple kit that makes an accurate representation of the craft. Some modifications to the markings are needed to make production variants of the shuttle. This is pretty much the only model of the ship out there, and it is well worth it.

Please click here to read the kit preview

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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This page copyright © 2008 Starship Modeler™. First posted on 9 October 2008.