Reader reviews of a kit featured on Starship Modeler.

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Your Two Cents: USS Enterprise (refit)

The following are reader's opinions of the USS Enterprise (refit) made by Bandai.

Reviewer   Jerry baldwin
Date Reviewed   May 7, 2003
Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
Comments I may have beat every one at building this great kit.
UPS woke me up at 8:00am Monday morn. (my day off) and construction was complete by 11:20. I never left my bed.
The kit goes together with the precision of computer designed masterpiece. Yes, it's rather toyish at first, but the overall finished product is VERY respectiable. Infact WOW!!!
It's awsome.
The only down side was a lack of touchup paint or even a paint color for the common knife slip or BOo-BOo. Of coarse the VERY small but obvious seams let out way too much light without some addressing.
Overall I would get another kit anyday, infact they sent me TWO.

Reviewer   Martin Burkey
Date Reviewed   May 7, 2003
Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
Comments Just some in-box observations:
1. Is it a model that looks like a toy? Is it a toy that you build like a model? Can you enter it in a model show? I'll bet there will be a lot of discussion.
2. Engineering for ease of assembly and fit seems to set new standards.
3. Is it the ultimate Enterprise kit? I would say 'yes' if you're willing to do some improvements. I question how many people want to commit to that kind of work on a $70-90 kit that's admittedly pretty nice right out of the box.
At this scale, seam lines would be obvious, so you'd want to fill them and re-paint. The pre-painted panels and markings are attractive, but the accent colors too dark at this scale; the double red stripes around the bridge section are too thick; and some window openings appear too large. Together, they yield a toylike effect. I'm not cozy with the idea of adhesive strips to cover the nacelle pylon wiring.
What you wind up with is something roughly akin to the Art Asyllum NX-01 or some of the well-done Hallmark ornaments or Franklin Mint replicas. This is the way the industry is going in order to lure people into modeling but the lure of pre-painting and glueless assembly are offset by the cost.

But these are just nits. If you hate to glue, fill, paint and decal, the Bandai E is easily your starship of choice. Personally, I'd prefer a larger scale with the same attention to detail and fit, delete the window holes and electronics, add aftermarket quality decals and a complete set of adhesive paneling masks. And bring down the price. Bring on the Polar Lights Trek kits!

Reviewer   David Buckley
Date Reviewed   May 8, 2003
Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
Comments I couldn't wait to get this kit, with the initial photos being posted here on Startship Modeler News some months ago. And now, that it's built, I must say it makes a nice little display piece, but it is not what I would call a great kit.

A great feat of engineering, to be sure. It is thought out very carefully and has a lot of plusses, especially the ease of assembly. Except for the real pain of the secondary hull, it goes together very nicely, with only the wiring being a problem, it does not like to stay where the designers want it to go. Glue it in to the little holders if it doesn't like where it should be as if it is not EXACTLY where it is designed to go it will not fit together very well.

Some of the seams are quite evident, even on the box the model comes in. The front of my Enterprise's saucer section resembles Lauren Hutton's teeth, which I'm sure dates me. Younger folks should think Mike Tyson, or Austin Powers, perhaps.

The lighting is ingenious, and looking at pictures you'd never guess that there are only six lightbulbs inside the model. However, the biggest windows on the Enterprise are not lit. The rear of decks 2 and 3, just beow the bridge, and the large windows on the side of the secondary hull are painted blue. Also, light transfer to the dorsal attaching the saucer to the secondary hull is weak, resulting in many unlit or dim windows in the center.

The wires running down the outside of the engine pylons is just stupid.

All in all, it's a kit that should take just a few hours to build, (I took less than two, but I've always been very good with my hands.) It looks pretty good when done, and needs just a modicum of skill. Experienced modelers desiring a beautiful film-quality type model should look elsewhere, however.

Reviewer   Frank LaMarca
Date Reviewed   May 8, 2003
Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
Comments I recevied my kit I built it when I got in from work and got it done in about 4 hours but I also painted on some extra things like the the side main gangway,the nav lights,the markings on bottom ya'know little things and also used a soldering gun to the wire harness for a better connection. Overall well worth getting.

Reviewer   Sean O'Leary
Date Reviewed   May 16, 2003
Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
Comments I think the Bandai kit was worth the money I paid for it. The thing I liked most was the fact that it came prepainted. I hate to think of manhours it would have taken me to create the subtle "Aztec" pattern over the entire ship. I also like the fact that the ship's markings were printed on the model as well. This sure beats water-based decals, which tend to reflect light from the excess film that usuallly surrounds small numbers and letters.

Although the model was fairly well constructed, people who want a model faithful to the original will be partially disappointed. Here's a list of five inaccuarcies that I was surprised to find:

1. The upper bridge dome and lower navigational sensor are smooth on the Bandai model. These elements should have concentric lines etched into them.

2. The red border that surrounds the yellow plate of the phaser banks is missing. Bandai did remember to include this red border around the reactor control thrusters (the 8 yellow triangular areas that are located along the edges of the primary hull).

3. The words "STARSHIP U.S.S. ENTERPRISE * UNITED FEDERATION OF PLANETS" are missing on the sides of the primary hull. This is the same text that is printed on the sides of the secondary hull.

4. Some windows are missing or placed in an incorrect position. Also, the rectangular windows on the Bandai model should be rounded at the corners so they're shaped like capsules.

5. The bottom of the secondary hull is missing several markings that are meant to outline the position of loading/servicing hatches.

There are many more inaccurcies I could have catalogued, but it would be easier for you to go to the following website and compare the Bandai model with pictures of the original. You'd be surprised at how much detail is missing from the Bandai kit. See pictures here

The lighting on the Bandai kit looks good, except for the windows on the secondary hull. Some of the windows emit too much light, which degrades the subtle lighting of the rest of the model. I should also mention I had difficulty making the parts of the secondary hull fit tightly together. Unless you glue the parts together or use some putty, you're likely to have some unacceptible light leaking between the seams.

I'd be very happy to see Bandai produce a larger version of this kit. To keep the cost down, they should forgo the lighting effects and focus more on accurizing the model. Overall, I'm still very satisfied with the kit I purchased, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to create a reasonable replica of the movie Enterprise.

Reviewer   Craig Mah
Date Reviewed   May 28, 2003
Overall Rating       Average. Get it if on sale or you love the subject.
Comments This model should not be referred to as a "snap-together" model. Bandai has made a new genre of models: The "squeeze-together" model.

I may be a little more harsh on Bandai's Enterprise than other reviewers. Don't get me wrong, the finish of this kit is absolutely amazing. The paint job and the parts look great. The lighting system is very straight forward and the Bandai provides templates to cut the wire to the proper length. When placed together, this model is perhaps the most accurate representation of Enterprise. The packaging was absolutely amazing and this kits sets a new standard for packaging. The box, instructions and separately bagged sprues are first rate. It was my intention to build the kit right out of the box. This kit should look like a museum piece...


The fit of this model is not great. I paid $94.00 CDN for this kit from Hobbylink Japan (Not to mention the $17.00 duty). For this much money, the parts should fit together and not be forced. Total construction time was five hours. The last hour and half was assemblying the secondary hull which leaves much to be desired. I had to apply a great deal of force to insert the nacelle pylons into the secondary hull. I resorted to using a pair of pliers to squeeze one pylon in. It took that much force on my kit. I used cardboard to protect the finish from the pliers. I was afraid that I would break parts with the amount of force I was applying.

The secondary hull has a skeletal structure that consists of the wire hub; light bulbs and two large clear pieces to distribute the light evenly. The interior is very crowded. The exterior hull pieces are attached to this skeleton. I didn't have any difficulties with the top and side pieces. The bottom piece was another story. There was a lot of resistance when trying to "snap" the bottom piece into place. The part wouldn't mate properly and popped back out. This single stage of construction took the most effort. Careful examination revealed that the connection pins were too large for the receiving piece. There was evidence that the connection pins were not fitting into the receptacles. I ended up cutting down four of the six pins to get the piece to mate with the rest of the hull. This is absolutely unacceptable! Even with the parts cut down, there is a hideous seam.

The seams on this kit are unacceptable. The warp engine nacelles also have a nasty seam that runs the entire length of the structure. The aft ends of the nacelles don't mate properly. In addition, a modeler must be very careful when separating the part from the sprue. It is easy to marr the finish of the kit.

Perhaps I received a lemon but I didn't not enjoy the process of building the kit. The high cost of this kit combined with the fit problems prevents me from providing a higher rating. While constructing this kit, I thought "There is no way a kid could build this by him/herself." I have twenty years modeling experience and that secondary hull proved very taxing.

Overall this is a great looking kit minus the hideous seams and fit problems. Modellers with some experience may want to glue their kit together or "re-engineer" the parts to minimize the seams. The only people who should spend this kind of money are true Enterprise fans. The casual Star Trek modeler should hold off and save their money for Polar Lights or the Art Asylum Enterprise.

Reviewer   Marco Scheloske
Date Reviewed   May 28, 2003
Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
Comments Well, a lot of the things i wanted to say has already been told in the other reviews. So let me just mention a few things:
  • The aztec pattern is fantastic, and very subtle as it should be - so why does the secondary hull looks like it is camouflaged???
  • simply FORGET the german instructions - the translation is a) funny and b) simply wrong in some points, which could lead into problems.
  • You should cut out the arboretum windows to light them also - otherwise EVERYONE will ask you why the BIGGEST windows on the ship aren`t lit...

    But besides from that little things, i like it. It could be bigger, but in its current scale it fits in my living-room showcase, so its ok for me.

  • Reviewer   Ricky Wallace
    Date Reviewed   May 28, 2003
    Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
    Comments I think this kit was great; it took me about 4 & 1/2 hours to get it together. The only problem I had was getting all of the wires to fit into the secondary hull properly. I was very suprised at how well this kit turned out; it certainly looks better than anything I have ever built and painted myself!

    Reviewer   Andrew Lock
    Date Reviewed   May 31, 2003
    Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
    Comments I've ordered mine from Japan and I hope it will arrive here in the UK this week. Obviously I haven't seen it yet, but from the photos all I can say is that I'm extremely optimistic. The scale you may have thought could have been larger. BUT, Bandai have already announced that the NCC-1701-E is due out this year. If its the same scale we are MOST certainly going to be in for a treat!!

    Reviewer   Andrew Smith
    Date Reviewed   Jun 9, 2003
    Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
    Comments I bought this kit not knowing what to expect! I was very pleasantly surprised at the accuracy and time Bandai took to make this as close to the movie version as they did. The model itself was fairly straight forward and instructions easy to follow. I suggest if building this keep all the wiring at the length it is until everything is ready to come together then cut to the correct length..This helps not to have a lot of extra wire to tuck and hide later, Especially if you do any upgrading. I chose to add blue LED's, one in each nacelle in place of the bulb and one in the front deflector, This one I recessed into the clear backing piece and kept the original bulb behind it. ( If you check out the Movies you will see usually the deflector array is lit blue) I also cut out the lower hull windows that are painted blue and put thin blue lexan behind them....What a difference with those lit up!! I also soldered all the wire connections for a sure contact. Other than that just small touches like painting the hull navigation lights etc... I also noticed the lettering on the hull missing but found some other trekkie on ebay who created them specially for this model, They are the finishing touch. I can't wait for Bandais next release in this scale!! I would love to have all the Enterprises and Voyager in this scale with this quality in the accuracy. I also like the size, being not too big as to require a room of its own, but not too small not to see all the details!! A pretty cool model!!

    Reviewer   Rob Theriaque
    Date Reviewed   Jun 9, 2003
    Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
    Comments I am by no means a hardcore kit builder, but I enjoy having replicas here and there of my favorite subjects. Sitting at the top of that list is the refit Enterprise- she captured my imagination as no other vessel has, and I was ecstatic to hear about a kit that would take care of that blasted Aztec paint scheme for me.

    I read the reviews before I purchased the model, and I was prepared and properly intimidated in a few ways. The size, of course, is a bit of a shock when the model is sitting in the box, but the completed display is a great size, especially for my college apartment. Other cosmetic details that bother me include the clear deflector (rather than the far more often seen blue), the gaping gaps in the warp nacelles and saucer, and the little black marks where the tree didn't seperate perfectly. Oh, well. She still looks nice from across the room.

    As far as construction goes, there are many things that just leave you shaking your head in awe, as well as disbelief. I was nervous about the nacelle wiring running outside of the pylon, but it's actually taken care of quite nicely. If I was able to do this, anybody will. I swore I was going to break the secondary hull a few times, but it managed to remain undamaged throughout my swearing and crushing. One uses less force to take the alternator out of a late-model GM product than getting that secondary hull together. I still can't believe the damn thing didn't break. Good rule of thumb- if the warp pylons aren't going into the secondary hull, just push harder. If they still won't go in, make a jig where you can ram your car (holding the pylon) into a brick wall (holding the secondary hull bulkhead). I only had to ram my car into the wall at about 25 MPH before the parts finally mated.

    The only modification I had to make was to the base- I sat there with my digital multimeter for awhile trying to find the break in the circuit (made more puzzling by the fact I soldered everything) before I finally realized the contacts where the post meets the base weren't mating properly. A little aluminum foil took care of that, and voila! Lighted model.

    It would be an impressive feat to get the proper blinkers in a kit this small, and one I certainly am not capable of. The light leaks are minimal, even through the gaps. The saucer's light diffuser is no doubt the savior here, as it disperses light only to the windows and has slots where the gaps are. Seems like they realized ahead of time the gaps would be big and found a way to compensate, at least in the dark.

    All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable kit. You get an interesting feeling of satisfaction when the thing goes together (somewhat akin to that of a mind-bender puzzle finally going together). I'd recommend this kit to anybody with less than the best modeling skills who still wants a good representation of this beautiful starship.

    Reviewer   Michel Morrissette
    Date Reviewed   Jun 12, 2003
    Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
    Comments This week I received my shipment of four New STTMP Enterprises from Ban Dai. I had already been reading the reviews prior to receiving this kit, taking mental notes of issues so I would be ready for the challenge when they arrived. So, 2 days ago I embarked on building this rather impressive little kit.

    I would like to say that the packaging of this kit is beautifully done. And even more impressive were the contents inside. Beautifully painted and detail parts all bagged by sub-assembly with an assembly "booklet" manual that is as impressive as the packaging and should be used as the gold standard for assembly instructions by other scale model manufacturers.

    I wished that the actual making of the model had been as spectacular as everything else had been presented,but,alas, this was just not meant to be.

    I decided to build my first kit straight out of the box, so I could experience problems,improvements or details I could add to another build of this kit at a later date. I followed all of Ban Dai's instructions to the letter.

    I have been noting the relatively short assembly times that people have been completing their models in. I am not a stranger to building models and I build a lot of models from scratch, so I thought I could, also, complete this model in about the same time as everyone,else It didn't turn out that way Build time for me was an exasperating 14 hours. I am going to just list the problems and difficulties

    1. The force needed to snap parts together varied considerably- from light-medium force fit to "Sumo" force and then some. ( I could not get the bottom piece of the secondary hull to close up completely on the port side of the model and there is an ugly gap. Upon further inspection of this problem I found that part of that bottom piece is resting just ever so slightly on the bottom edge of the wire terminal block inside the model, so I will try, again toight to see if I can get by that area and see I the gap will narrow. At the other end of the spectrum, the nacelle pods and struts fit togther so loosely and fit poorly that they would fall off everytime I had to apply any force to the secondary hull pieces to attach something. In the end,I left the nacelle pods snap loose, super glue'd the struts at both attachments points to make sure they stayed put.

    2. Could not get the model to light AT ALL! (after 2 days (6 hours actual) of wrestling with this, I gave up. I confirmed power in the base unit and support, but not getting any juice to the inside wire terminal block at all. I tested all the light bulbs before I begun, and they all functioned fine. I tried putting some alum. foil around the contact points at the terminal to try to establish a current flow connection, but to no avail. The wires are not staying put and in contact with the terminals.I am not handy with a soldering gun or iron, so I am looking for suggestions from all of you as to how I can remedy this issue for my next build.

    3. Some included base/primary color touch-up paint would have been welcome. While I found that if you cut the part sprues inward toward the insides of the parts at an angle, 75% of the time you get a clean break-off of the part, every now and then they wouldn't break-off clean and the end result is that your left with a little black dot. These black dot break areas detract from the overall look, somewhat. If there had been some included touch up paint, these would be easily fixable as well as the occasional knife slip.

    In the end, with all of these issues, the model looks good for what it is, a desktop display model.

    There are waaay too many seam gaps for it to be used for filmimg or photography (unless you want to fix these problems in an image editing program)especially given the relatively small scale of this kit.

    In reference to scale, the scale of this kit is close to Franklin Mint's 30th Anniversary Die-cast TOS Enterprise. If anyone has this, scale comparisons are close. Making it possible to note just how much more attention to detail Ban Dai put into this kit.

    The quality and quantity of painted detail and finishing is excellent. (I hope Art Asylum's offering will be similarly detailed) However, the hull plating details vary too much in contrast. The visiblity of the plating pattern on the primary saucer should have been done in this way for the whole model. The secondary hull plating and blue-green areas are too dark given the model's scale and the plating detail on the nacelle struts and pods is TOO Subtle, you can barely see it, unless you are viewing the model in strong light. Personally, I would have like to have had this model painted they way it appeared filmed in STTMP(overall pearlescent/stainless steel look). I assumed that the color scheme is what the model actually looks like before it is filmed.

    For my next build, I will try to build a version without lighting, add some painted details such as coloring the different navigation and running lights, darken(probably use flat black) the photon torpedo exhaust area at the lower part of the dorsal section, change the flat black grille color on the outside nacelle pods to a darker copperish/black color to give this area more depth and three dimensionality.

    Can't wait to see what Ban Dai does next.

    Reviewer   Rich Dula
    Date Reviewed   Jun 19, 2003
    Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
    Comments From what I've read and seen, the kit looks really good and I am planning on adding one to my Star Trek collection as soon as I can. However, make sure you shop around before you buy the kit. From the preview article it looks like the kit has a SRP of under $60.00 USD, but a local hobby shop in my area had the kit (one copy only) priced at $90.00! I know that there is always a slight markup from the SRP, but 50% is kinda crazy.

    I've spoken to one person who did buy the kit on-line and built it in about six hours. Doug took extra time to fill some of the seams and to tamp down the wires in the nacelles. One of his complaints was that Bandai did not include any touch-up paints in the kit. If you do need to do a touch-up, you've got to be VERY careful in trying to match the colors.

    The model is definitely in the "model toy" category with its pre-painted scheme and decals. Doug said he enjoyed the model because he didn't have to spend countless hours painting the aztec pattern on the hull. He said that he spent more time on making sure the wires were going where they were supposed to go. He also liked the size of the model and its ability to fit into a smaller space for display.

    His model looks great, and he set it up in a dark spot in his office with a backlit starscape behind it. The stand almost disappears into the starscape and it looks like the ENTERPRISE is ready for warp speed. As soon as I can find one in a decent price range I'll be adding one to my fleet.

    Reviewer   Ray Schmuland
    Date Reviewed   Jun 24, 2003
    Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
    Comments Like everyone else who is an Enterprise fan I was very excited to here Bandai was going to release this kit. I had visions of the perfect Enterprise sitting in my display case. After completing the Finemolds X-wing I expected it to be of the same caliber as that kit. Virtually no seams and detailed beyond anything that has hit the shelves before, but alas it was not meant to be.

    I will echo the others who have gone before me in saying that the finish on this kit is awesome. That is until you actually start buliding the thing and you realize that looks aren't everything.

    Huge seamlines and poor fit on most subassemblies prevent this kit from being what it should be. There should be touch up paint included with this kit also. I managed to mix up a very close match for the off-white colour and pre-painted the inside of the seams in the pre-assembly phase. This way you can't see black seam lines, you see white seam lines instead. It looks much better and if you squint your eyes the seams disappear completley.(that's a joke by the way)

    The lighting is topnotch, but of course with gaps like this light leaks are abundant. I tried to fix this with "Milliput", and it actually did a very good job. It doesn't attack the paint and its water soluble, so you can put it on, pack it into the joint, then wipe off the excess with a damp cloth. I then touched it up with a little paint, it's not perfect, but its alot better than the giant gapping black hole you just fixed.

    It does look great when finished, from a distance that is, or when the lights are turned off and those nacelles are glowing bright. "Is the word given admiral? The word is given...warp speed".

    Yup! You can almost hear Kahn laughing.....almost!

    Reviewer   Steven Vasko
    Date Reviewed   Jun 24, 2003
    Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
    Comments Well, I got the kit in the mail last week, and I've already put it together...on the whole it's very nice. The pre-printed paint scheme is wonderful, as a previous reviewer said, much better that I could have done on this scale. The lighting system, when the kit is assembled, is spectatular, better than anything I have done in other kits with fiber optics. However, the parts fit is a little spotty, leaving gaps and light leaks throughout the model, which in my case required a measure of spot filling and painting (super-glue for assembly is a must, espically when it comes to the warp engines.)

    On the whole, the finished product is very sharp, and a real attention-getter, though for a $70 snap-together kit, the parts fit could have been better. (Also, the packaging for the kit is a wonder to behold-art and design classes could buy the kit just to see how well an item like this can be produced and designed. The package design itself rates 5 stars in my book.)

    Reviewer   Aurore de Blois
    Date Reviewed   Jun 24, 2003
    Overall Rating       Average. Get it if on sale or you love the subject.
    Comments I'll try not to repeat what everyobe else is saying, although i agree with pretty much all of them...

    My take on this kit is that the feeling of 'wow, this thing is so ingeniously engineered' wears off pretty fast.

    first things first:

    my advice on the wiring is this: the wires themselves are remarkably fragile! if you have never stipped a wire before, be damned careful. it is very easy to cut oof the actual wires instead of just stipping off the coat. these wires are cheap.

    that said, there is lots of room to stuff wires, so add a little extra length just in case you do cut the wires off while stripping them. also, strip off about 2X as much as they say to- believe me, you'll be glad you did by the time you have to put all the wires into place at the end, you'll need the extra bare wire for wrapping around the little posts. if you have big chubby fingers, may god help you trying to get those wires wrapped at the end.

    i didn't like the way the instruction photos were printed. they were dull and flat, with little or no detail in order to aid in understanding the way wires go. featureless is a good way to describe them. it takes a lot of careful study to get it right.

    the paint scratches off very easily, so be extremely cautious about the sprue removal, and be sure you got it all, these parts are often impossible IMPOSSIBLE! to fit together, so don't be suprised if you have to scratch the bits here and there to get them to fit.

    the engine struts are one example, it took me an hour of stuggling before i decided to try scraping them a bit, and even then it still took immense effort to force them VIOLENTLY into place on the top piece of the secondary hull. this was also made more difficult because the parts are so very small that it is hard to get any grip anywhere on it in order to have some kind of leverage to actually force it in place. mine still don't look like they're in place at all, but they match the nice colour photos in the instruction booklet, so i guess they are in place.

    getting the wires all together at the end takes patience, so go slow there. big fingers? good luck bub.

    that bottom secondary hull piece will have you inventing new swear words. it is sheer hell to get in place. it took me an hour to get it, and even then, i was scraping bits in order for it to fit.

    I managed to avoid light leak over most of it, just a tiny bit on the secondary hull, but overall it is quite light-tight.

    as for the lights, it would have been nice to have some more where they count, flashing, etc. but it is still a pretty thing as is. why the sensor dish isn't the pretty blue-green like the other parts is beyond me. dumb idea. even the movie stills on the box show what colour it's supposed to be.

    the engines also only have the lights on the inside edge, which is odd to me. i prefer the 'real' enterprise, so i'm not so knowledgable on the refit enterprise, so perhaps i'm wrong there.

    most of all, i wish it were bigger, because much of the time i felt i was going to crush it while trying to ram parts together, (Ram? oh yes, you'll see.) Hulk Smash! even though i have tiny delicate hands, it still felt i was going to destroy it during construction. if it was bigger it would have made that bottom secondary hull part a bit easier to manage.

    i do like the pre-painting, it is quite lovely although a little bottle of touch up paint included just in case would have been nice. considering it's cost (way overpriced i think) it should have included one.

    it looks like only a few details were missed in the painting, but overall it looks nice, i even like that dumb ugly so called 'aztec pattern' for once.

    in all, i like the little thing, it's a nice finished piece, but it was very aggravating to put together. overpriced by easily 30.00$, and too small.

    i include no pictures because, well, they all look the same.

    Reviewer   Peter Varley
    Date Reviewed   Jul 3, 2003
    Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
    Comments I'll just touch on one or two items where no Bandai Enterprise refit modeller has gone before, as it were...

    For all the technology brought to bear in applying the aztec pattern, why in God's name did Bandai decide to vary the contrast from one area of this thing to another? The primary hull appears perfect. The pattern on the engines and pylons is as good as invisible, and the secondary hull finish looks like something I might have done by hand in this scale.

    The deflector dish should be pale blue overall, nearly clear at the centre to suggest the intensity of the power source and then darkening toward the rim. This can be simulated by tacking a very small ball bearing on the inside surface, dusting the inside with transparent blue aerosol from a perpendicular position, then removing the ball.

    The seams an occasional black spots from sprue removal are a (excuse me) snap to fix. Apply PollyFilla using a damp fingertip. Wipe off the excess. It dries the exact shade of off white required, and fills the sprue chips at the same time. The filler is only visible when a seam crosses a darker surface colour, but you'd need to be a seriously maladjusted obsessive to care.

    With these simple steps, you're a lot further ahead.

    Reviewer   Marco Scheloske
    Date Reviewed   Jul 9, 2003
    Overall Rating       Not good at all. You really have to want it bad.
    Comments Well, yesterday i finished my one, and i must add some points to my above review, and also i must change my rating. So here you can read why:

    Some of the tabs broke off while i try to get the parts together (especially at the neck and the nacelle pylons), the seams are much more obvious than i thought they would be, the whole kit is too colorful to me (ok, maybe correct compared to the studio model, but hey, have you taken alook to the movies? MUCH more subtile color variants there), i damaged the painting in some spots while detaching the parts from the sprue, and i really HATE the space between the saucer-edge parts.

    It will look nice with the lights turned on FROM A DISTANCE, but i won`t allow a closer look. Will i buy another one, or another Bandai-Trek-model? I guess not. Maybe yes if its the Reliant, just to give the Enterprise her most famous adversary. But no other ships. Sorry, Bandai, i awaited more.

    Reviewer   Joe
    Date Reviewed   Jul 29, 2003
    Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
    Comments Lots of seams make this a disappointing $70.00. The lighting looks good, but is kind of complicated to route. Do not use glue, as it melts the plastic.

    Anyone find a decent touchup paint???

    Reviewer   Alex Jones
    Date Reviewed   Jul 30, 2003
    Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
    Comments The enterprise refit is cool i am getting today i saw it in a shop and it said new for 2003 so i looked it up on the net and wow how she looks in the dark with the lights it is a 100% a trekkes dream so get it now .

    Reviewer   George Hill
    Date Reviewed   Aug 13, 2003
    Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
    Comments Awesome kit! This is the first kit I ever tried to light, and it looks great! The detail is so awesome, and it really looks like the Enterprise, unlike the AMT kit, which had so many problems with detail, breaking, and the panel lines. There are only a few things I was not entirely happy with. First is the price. It is an expensive model. It's well worth it, but it will set you back a bit. Second was fitting the wiring in the warp nacelles. I found it very difficult to close up the nacelles without gaps when I put the lightbulbs in. Third, I kind of wish it were marked as the Enterprise-A. But this is only a minor concern. I'm sure someone will make aftermarket decals with a "-A" on them.

    But these things are all minor concerns. This is the first model of the movie Enterprise that I have built and been completely satisfied with. I'm looking forward to the Enterprise-E kit!

    Reviewer   Mike Earnest
    Date Reviewed   Sep 1, 2003
    Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
    Comments I put this fine kit together in about 1 hour. The pieces fit fairly well with just a few exceptions. There are gaps left on the saucer section forward which can be remedied easily with some putty. Take care to follow the instructions as many of the snap fits are permanent or semi-permanent operations. The secondary hull was a bit difficult as one must take care to push all the inner parts completely in before attempting to add more parts. The wiring system is quite ingenious as long as the directions are followed. You may be tempted to solder the wires (DONT DO IT!!). There are two small plastic covers for the wire terminals, so if you attach them correctly they will hold the wires where they go. The trickiest part for me was the base where the Starship attaches, I put the small plastic square with the angle in the wrong orientation making it impossible to slide the base onto the secondary hull. Once I oriented it properly, it slid right in slick.

    Overall I loved this kit because it is a great display model. I would recommend putting some kind of clear blue material behind the navigation dish to dull the light, straight on its unbelievably bright and un-realisitic.

    Reviewer   William Kan
    Date Reviewed   Sep 18, 2003
    Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
    Comments There is some minor problems e.g. too tigh to assamble in some parts and the light leak form the gap slighty. What's next model after Enterprise A and E, is Enterprise E relase slway, hopfully the next will be the Excelsior.

    Reviewer   Ed Erwin
    Date Reviewed   Oct 2, 2003
    Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
    Comments The only reason I give this kit a 5 is because it looks so cool when you get done with it, that is providing that you don't break something or throw it out the window like I nearly did.

    For the amount of money I paid for this model I would've hoped it would be easier to assemble. I got most of it put together and then started having a fit with getting the wires to stay in place in the primary hull. I put it on a shelf and left it for about four months. When I got back to it this week I thought I was going to pull my hair out. I would finish it, but the lights wouldn't come on. I will give them credit for making the parts tough. I don't how many times a nacelle or one of the struts came out and I disassembled an reassembled the primary hull.

    I did by the way tin the ends of the wires with a low wattage soldering iron. I didn't cause a problem, just go easy on the solder.

    Like I said, it looks way cool now that it's finished. I don't think I will pop for the E model though, unless I get a really good deal. I soon will be starting on a much more reasonably priced project,the Polar Lights Enterprise which for 11 bucks US looks like a steal.

    Reviewer   Cary L. Brown
    Date Reviewed   Oct 2, 2003
    Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
    Comments This is the best Enterprise I've seen, short of the Northstar Enterprise (which costs in the thousands of dollars!). There are issues; however, most of the issues are either fixable or explainable.

    Please realize that I'm writing this as a "nitpicking" guide. Overall, I'm quite happy with the model. But there are imperfections, and they ARE worth addressing.

    There are a number of coloration issues that I don't agree with. I'm really most disappointed that the painted panel detail on the secondary hull is SO much more prominent than that on the primary hull. I'm not talking about the "engineering paneling" area, I'm talking about the "white" areas of the hull. I suspect that Bandai referred to the exact colors used on the hull as seen in the Smithsonian here, but failed to take into account that the smaller the model, the less color variation is appropriate to give you a proper sense of scale (this is a trick I've always used). Otherwise, you end up with a "toy-like" quality, which is unfortunately present in the secondary hull.

    I have reviewed my DVDs of the Trek movies and have concluded that the paint scheme used on the bridge and upper primary hull superstructure is inaccurate. Possibly, the model was repainted at some point, but I go by what's seen on-screen as my guide, and that was never evident. For example, the sensor domes (top and bottom) should appear to be exposed metal (I use aluminum with a bit of white added to lighten it in my models), for instance, but in this model it is simply white.

    The engineering panels are one item that particularly annoys me. I've got a poster of 1701 from the first movie, with a high-res image of the ship, and those areas were grey, tinted SLIGHTLY towards the dark-blue range. In the other films, on screen at least, the colors continue to match this. Maybe this was painted greenish at some point for special-effects purposes, knowing that the green would wash out in the green-screen process? In any case, the color does not match what is seen on-screen, so as far as I'm concerned it's wrong. The good thing is... this is an EASY repainting task, and I've already done it.

    Harder to fix is the presence of the medium-grey panels on the lower primary hull. There are a pair of wonderful high-resolution shots of the underside of the Enterprise p-hull in ST-TMP, and it's clear that these panels were not distinguished from the rest of the hull exterior. There is one exception to this... there are four panels that represent landing pads that are supposed to be darker, and those are among the panels which are painted grey. In order to fix the (as I see it) incorrectedly-painted panels, it would be necessary to replicate the Aztec pattern. An alternative, though a costly one, would be to obtain a second 1701-A kit and cut sections from elsewhere on the primary hull underside to replace the "wrong" areas. Time or money, in either case... and it shouldn't be necessary.

    There are four reaction-control thruster stations around the navigational deflector array. On the model you merely see four coppery-colored areas. These should, in fact, be the same color as the RCS thrusters on the primary hull (mustard-yellow). The RCS thrusters on the rear corners of the warp nacelle "intercooler" fins should also be mustard yellow.

    Looking at the hangar deck area, again based on ST-TMP and ST-TWOK in particular, you will note that the "black deck" around the hangar doors is not present, and there are two areas (sensor pallets?) to either side of the doors which should be dark blue-gray (with three horizontal light-blue lighted strips) which, in the model, are painted hull color. These are easy fixes.

    Finally, the phaser turrets are painted a uniform mustard yellow. This is fine, but to make them more accurate, there should be a very fine red outline, and the turret "balls" should be metallic. Again, refer to the flyover shots in TMP as a reference. The lone exception are the single-station phaser turrets at the bottom of the secondary hull... they lacked the yellow-lined-with-red warning areas in the first two movies, though they were given this treatment later (clearly visible in ST6).

    As for the design of the model, on the other hand, I have only one issue, and that's an explainable one. The darker gray ring around the deck2/deck3 superstructure... something that I've always thought was probably the exposed element of the subspace antenna... is supposed to be inset. However, this would have been impossible to mold properly. The AMT model "faked it" and this model simply forgoes this entirely. Ideally, the top layer of this "sandwich" would have been a separate part, but I understand why they took the approach they did. This is a great opportunity for an after-market part, though, to fix this issue.

    The lighting system is really very nice. There are a few issues, but these are understandable omissions in most cases due to the complexity of putting them in.

    I understand that Paramount (for some reason) required Bandai to remove the blue tint from the navigational deflector. This is, again, a very easy thing to fix. In my case, I just put a layer of blue gel behind the lens. You'll notice that when the system is "down," as seen in spacedock at the beginning to TMP, the dish is just grey. Later, as it "warms up," it starts to turn a warm orange color. Once it's at full output, it's a hot blue color. So, the lack of colored plastic here allows the modeler to make this into whatever "activation level" he wants. Of course, most of us will want the blue tint... but you have the option.

    The warp engines look nice, but I have chosen to "fix" them to look more like the effect in TMP. If you look closely, you'll notice that the inside grill is NOT blue. In fact, it's almost a pink color, and is not a continuous panel but rather a series of tranparent stripes in the black inner grill. While the effect built into the model is really quite adequate, I plan to use a bit of LightSheet, with a pale pink gel over it as a replacement. Also, on the OUTBOARD warp engine cooling grills, there should be a light source at the forward edge of the grill - I'm not sure how to implement that yet. The spotlights on the lower edge of the forward nacelles are present only as dimples in the plastic. I doubt I'll be able to make "real" spotlights there, but I plan to use acrylic rods to at least put point-lights in those locations. The same light source will also light another acrylic rod that will go straight upwards to represent the "amplification crystal." This will be pale blue, as it is in the films.

    I dislike the metallic tape that serves to cover the wire channels on the inside nacelle pylons. It's a really good solution to make a quick-and-dirty model look nice, but for a really good model, it's necessary to putty this and paint over. Besides, I'm going to have to run a few more wires down here! This will be a tedious process, since it will be necessary to avoid damaging the paint job outside the working area, but it should be worth it.

    There are two areas that should be lighted that were left out, and that's a shame. The Botanical Gardens, and the Officer's Lounge. They could have been done, perfectly adequately, with the lighting system as provided. Fortunately, again, these are relatively easy to add, and there are articles (including one on CultTVMan's site, I believe) discussing this.

    Lastly, the primary hull outer panels are ... OK... but to make a really top-flight model the gaps between them need filled, and the horizontal striping (sensor strips?) need to be painted a darker color (in the model, they're present but only as scribed lines in the sections). I think that Bandai realized that we'd want to fix this, so they didn't bother to add detail that would be lost in the fix!

    Regarding fit, well... there are a few issues. The worst is the secondary hull, which was a bear to get together when snap-fitting my test version. However, for my "accurized" version, this will all be loosened up and glued together. Once this is done, the actual fit between sections should be quite tight.

    Yes, that's a lot of complaints, but don't take it the wrong way. This is a really magnificent model, and will take a heck of a lot less effort than any other Enterprise model produced 'til now to make an accurate representation of the movie starship. But it still takes a bit of work to make it... well... PERFECT.

    Reviewer   Caligula
    Date Reviewed   Oct 5, 2003
    Overall Rating       Average. Get it if on sale or you love the subject.
    Comments If you know the color scheme of NCC-1701, you realize it is not the colors of this model. ILM repainted the Enterprise after STTMP for the second movie and again after the battle damage. There is simply too much blue and contrast on this kit. Remember, Engineering green was used for the refit Enterprise, blue on the 1701-A. If anyone can accuratetly paint me a Star Trek II enterprise, I would be interested in discussing it. The pieces had to be jammed in and I'll save my money for a Star Trek AMT TMP kit and customise from there. Once again, if someone can paint a kit for me to look as in STIII the search for spock, i'd be happy to talk to you, email me. []

    Reviewer   Mike Thomas
    Date Reviewed   Nov 3, 2003
    Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
    Comments I bought both Enterprise (1701 and 1701-E) Bandai kits and received them 2 days ago. I almost immediately went to work on the 1701. The detail and painting of this model are amazing. Unlike others here I am not going to complain about a lack of red here or too much blue there. I expect that designing and production of things are difficult enough that one is probably never going to satisfy everyone. This is the best commercial model of a star trek ship I’ve ever seen. If you’re an absolute perfectionist stop complaining about this one and build and paint your own.

    Building the kit took me about 3 ½ hours. Some parts took a lot of force (and I mean A LOT, I was so afraid of breaking them) and there are seams but I am going to attempt to knife down some things and see if I can’t get a better fit. The longest part was working on the wiring connections in the primary hull. I am going to have to solder the wires on as the lights don’t light up after I put the whole thing together. But as soon as I take off most of the primary hull it does light!

    I did not find I needed touch up paint. I was careful when I pulled the parts off the part trees and I shaved down the stubs with a exacto knife. I’m very happy with the kit (aside from the seams) and am excited about putting together the E, but it was 3am when I finished the first and didn’t want to tackle the other (it’ll have to wait until this afternoon).

    This kit is FAR better than the AMT 1701-D model I built years ago. The pre-painting is beautiful. Truly the best kit I’ve ever seen of the enterprise. Well worth the 60 bucks I spent on it.

    Reviewer   N.W.O.
    Date Reviewed   Dec 31, 2003
    Overall Rating       Average. Get it if on sale or you love the subject.
    Comments After reading about the new BANDAI 1/850 scale USS ENTERPRISE NCC-1701 kit for months, I finally received the fabled kit as a Christmas gift in 2003 from my Sister-In-Law.

    I was quite excited about it, and was eager to begin construction of the kit. I was very impressed with the kit when I opened the box. BANDAI’s concern for quality amazed me. The perfect paint and detail work is top notch. The almost OVER packaging of the kit was surprising as well. Most manufacturers just put all of the parts into one poly bag. Not BANDAI. They choose to package EVERY single part in its own poly package. A very nice touch. The box photography/art is very nice as well.

    After getting past the initial excitement and early construction, I realized that this kit has many problems.

    The wires on the outside of the nacelle struts are just hokey in my opinion. I realize that size limitations are in effect with this model, but since this is a ‘snap together’ kit I think that BANDAI could have made the support pylons a TWO PIECE assembly. That way the wires could have been INSIDE the pylons instead of running down channels on the outside. The ‘real’ Enterprise did not have huge cables running down her support pylons. Wait, maybe she did, however we just could never see them because they were covered with GIANT pieces of DUCT TAPE! Yeah, that’s it.

    The FORCE fit of the nacelle pylons into the secondary hull is a nightmare. I was finally able to get the pylons to seat into the secondary hull piece after uttering much profanity, and using enough force (with a pair of pliers, no less) to bend steel. I still don’t know how I managed NOT to break, or crush the secondary hull piece, or the support pylons.

    The fit (and I use that word very loosely) of the eight primary hull edge (window) pieces is just horrible. They don’t fit properly at all. There are HUGE gaps on the top, and on the bottom, and many of the pieces are not even long enough to close the gap between pieces! I tried everything I could think of to get them to fit properly. Hell, I even BROKE one trying to get it to fit like it should. I HATE when things don’t work like they are supposed to. Very poor engineering by BANDAI in my opinion.

    In order to ‘fix’ this problem, one would have to use massive amounts of milliput, sculpey, modelers putty, or some other type of major gap filler. Then one would have to sand and shape until their hands fell off in order to regain the proper shape, and contour. Then of course a complete REPAINT of the entire model would be required in order to make the whole base color match. By then of course, the WHOLE point of this model would have been defeated. Gone would be the beautiful BANDAI paint work, and detailing. Gone would be the perfect little pad/screen printed graphics.

    The model would then be a piece of junk unless one were a professional modeler who had the time, patience, and skill to restore the WHOLE thing.

    Another gripe of mine would be the lack of a color guide, and lack of suggestions for touch up paint colors. However, I did find a base color that VERY closely matches the color of this model. After I BROKE the Primary Hull edge/window piece (in TWO places, belie dat!), I had to glue it back together. Easy task, but after repairing the part I had two glaring black seams in it.

    I searched high and low for some paint that would match the flat, light gray of BANDAI. I found it! Buried in my modeling drawer I found a years old, unopened spay can of TESTORS FLAT LIGHT AIRCRAFT GRAY.

    I opened the can and sprayed a test piece. CRIKEY! An almost perfect base color match! I say ‘almost’ because the TESTORS #1233 is just a TAD bit darker than the BANDAI grey. No matter, the match is almost perfect, and with the glaring gaps in the edge/window pieces no one will ever even notice the slight color mis-match.

    Whew. Those are my main gripes with this kit.

    I applaud the effort BANDAI went to in painting, detailing and packaging this kit. I also liked the instruction manual. However, I berate the poor fit of many of the parts, and the major physical effort it took to get some of the parts to seat properly. The wires down the outside of the nacelle pylons are just unacceptable as well.

    I do not think I will buy a BANDAI kit of my own. Whether it be another 1701 kit, or the ‘E’ kit, or the new NX-01 kit. I don’t want to waste my hard earned money on a kit that does not go together properly.

    I had such high hopes.

    Reviewer   Simon Hill
    Date Reviewed   Feb 5, 2004
    Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
    Comments A much vaunted kit, I was looking forward to getting a copy myself, also being a self-confessed officianado of the Enterprise and refit version/s. I wasn't disappointed overall and was well impressed by the precision and quality of the parts as I opened the box and examined them. I thought how 'ideal' this kit was for someone like me who is an accuracy freak, but with insufficient time to take on such a project.

    The kit isn't a 'toy' it's too precision for that and I wonder how younger modelers will fare with all the wiring?

    The aztec panel designs would take an age to immitate on a model such as Ertle's larger kits and are so subtle and complex as to challenge even the most skillful modeler. I've given up as many times as I have tried on earlier examples, so this was a nice change, to have it done for me!

    Test-fitting is pretty important, and helps you to assemble properly, and I found that even this model needed some subtle sanding to get a near-perfect fit and reduce light leaks later.

    Take care in seperating the parts from the sprues, as damage to the subtle white outer paint can result, spoiling the overall effect. Cut parts away slowly and carefully with scalpal 'inwards' to avoid scratching or damaging the outer edges. Don't attempt to 'twist them off' their sprues too vigorously either as the same result will happen.

    The wiring was 'fiddly', but DO follow the Bandai recommended length's for the grain-of-wheat bulb wires, as there's no room for 'stuffing' excess length's of wire anywhere. The secondary cigar shaped hull fits together so tightly, there's no room for excess wiring or mistakes here, and is where all the wiring comes together.

    Be very careful when 'stripping' the wire ends after cutting them to length, as not to break them, they're darn small and fragile....

    The kit assembled well overall, but I encountered a few problems with the secondary hull 'fit', and this resulted in a few light leaks, which I'm sure others will by now have encountered. Disassembling the secondary hull and some jiggery-pokery were needed to get a better fit. Some gentle sanding down of some of the locations pins and lugs, to get tighter, and more snug fits was needed, and I finally got a more satisfactory finish.

    The engine nacelles required careful fitting together too, as did the pylons and their 'fit' into both nacelle and secondary hull. A tiny drop of superglue was used to 'secure' them once properly in place.

    A good kit as it is, I was surprised to note some paint inaccuracies compared to the Industrial Light & Magic movie miniature, and several omissions by Bandai. There are several, but the most noteworthy are the omission of logos along the primary hull sides and airlock details, such as "United Federation of Planets Starship U.S.S. Enterprise". The primary hull phaser banks yellow panels were without red borders, but this detail WAS added to the 8 reactionary control thruster panels arranged around the lower and upper primary [saucer] hull. Some other round airlocks were without red borders but this detail was added on other airlocks, such as on the secondary hull.

    I would have liked to see the large observation deck windows on the lower secondary hull surfaces lit, as a nice dramatic touch. A feature very much evident as the Enterprise 'soars' overhead in some of the movie scenes.... Some of the secondary hull windows were too brightly lit on the model, and some subtlety was lost here in the overall effect.

    I coloured my model's secondary hull main sensory dish 'blue' using an aerosal light cote inside, as depicted in the movie often. The dish was clearly lit blue as depicted in Star Trek II, during the battle in the Matura Nebula sequence.

    I'd like to see a re-issue of this kit with these inaccuracies taken care of, and if done so, this would be undoubtably then be the ultimate in Enterprise model kits, albeit small in size. There, that's my 2 Cents worth....

    Reviewer   Michael
    Date Reviewed   Feb 6, 2004
    Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
    Comments I don’t think I’ve ever before seen a model attract such a diverse and polarized reaction. Personally, I’m happy to accept the model on its merits, warts and all, it captures the spirit of the Enterprise perfectly. I’m a little surprised at those who seem to feel cheated in some way because the model’s not up to their expectations – no snap together kit is ever going to be perfect, it’s the nature of the beast. It still looks great despite the obvious drawbacks of its construction method. The Bandai Enterprise is certainly not for beginners, but nor is it a challenge for experienced modellers, though the wiring does add a fiddly new dimension. It took me about three hours; start to finish. Yes, some parts were a tight fit – but I found that filing the square edges of the locating lugs slightly helped smooth their way. The lights are no more complicated than a simple torch - battery, switch and bulb and, despite the instruction book's warning about maintaining the correct polarity, as long as all the red wires go to one side of the batteries and all the white to the other, you can't go wrong. If none of the lights work the problem can only be at the join between the stand base and the post or between the post and the actual model. I bent the contacts up slightly to ensure a more positive connection. The batteries are its Achilles heel, even a brand new set will only last about an hour or two, so replacing the bulbs with LED's is an option I'll pursue. Fitting blue LED's into the nacelles would be easy and effective but it would be trickier to fit LED's elsewhere and more would be required, especially in the primary hull. On the other hand the reliability, low power consumption and indefinite life would make it feasible to glue the model together permanently, thereby eliminating those infamous gaps. Rewiring the stand to accept a power supply is another option, I fitted a power input socket with two wires soldered to it. The bared ends of these are slipped under the two flat conductors on top of the battery compartment (polarity is irrelevant). A power supply capable of at least 1 Amp is required. The one I chose is a switch-mode model with multiple outputs from 3-12 volts. The model looks great at 4.5V but can also be run on 3V to prolong bulb life. The real issue for me is that many suppliers are seriously overcharging for this kit, some by as much as 70-80%. They are no doubt cashing in on the kit’s novelty, and I accept that it’s a case of “what the market will bear”, but it will leave a sour taste in the mouths of those who paid top-dollar early on.

    Reviewer   Michael R. Spressler
    Date Reviewed   Mar 5, 2004
    Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
    Comments I consider myself a professional model builder, it's been my passion and hobby for 32 years. The Bandai Enterprise absolutely amazed me. For it's scale, I was blown away by it's engineering, detail, and super tight snap fit. I encountered NO problems at all with this kit, as so I read in some reviews. It went together perfectly from start to finish! Since I didn't want my ship looking like a flashlight when powered up, I applied Testors "Transparent Blue" to the inside area of the sensor array, and also a light coat to the clear plastic piece that goes behind it, and talk about realism, it gives off a beautiful blue glow fading to a slight clear near the radius. When completely assembled, I did find some light loss near joining areas, I filled these areas with "DAP" Brand Light Gray caulk for aluminum, this worked very well and contained the light to where it's supposed to be, the interior. I tossed the metal adhesive strips, and applied "Plastruct" strip .010"x.187", painted it a matching blue-gray color, and cemented it on with two-part 5 minute epoxy. The supports now look smooth, and the two lumps from the red and white wires are now hidden. Before I assembled the display base, I painted it flat black, and sprayed on a coat of semi-gloss lacquer coat, I did this due to sprue marks, and by painting the base it looks more smooth and level. I had no problem wiring everything together, I must admit though, I did trim all the wires, to avoid all that extra slack in this area. Just listen to Robs advice, and mine and follow the instructions to the letter, and your assembly will flow smoothly. And your end result will be a fine ship! By the way... I did see a plastic resin after-market replacement part (Sensor Array) on a few websites for $11.00 plus shipping, but thought the transparent blue would work better, which I feel it did. The paint... $2.50 a can. And my Enterprise doesn't look like a flashlight when lit. I highly recommend this kit to the experienced modeler! And I sincerely hope Bandai puts out the NX-2000 Excelsior Starship, so I can display it side by side to the Enterprise. I am an avid fan of Star Trek VI "The Undiscovered Country".

    Michael R. Spressler

    Reviewer   Jeff Barnes
    Date Reviewed   Mar 8, 2004
    Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
    Comments I rather enjoyed this kit. After my experiences with the amt/ertl kits it's far more fulfilling a model. not to mention if you have the classic Enterprise from Polar Lights it's basically a match in scale. I did have a few issues however with the kit. The main issue is that the navigational deflector on the secondary hull is not blue but clear allowing the white light to shine through. Another issue is that the light doesn't illuminate the ships name and commision number on the top of the primary hull. The lighting constantly kills the AA batteries. The last one is that the only lighting on the nacelles is the inside part. Overall it's an attractive model and other than the size it put's my old ertl 1701-A to shame. It's realism makes me want to get another one so i can ad the battle damages from the battle with Khan.

    Reviewer   Chris Patterson
    Date Reviewed   Jun 1, 2004
    Overall Rating       Well worth getting.
    Comments I got this kit as this is the ship that I love the most from the Star Trek Universe..

    I live in Japan, and so this kit is everywhere, including the NX-01, and E-E, and it was calling my name.. I looked at it a few times, and for the price put it down.. After a while the curiosity got the better of me, and so decided to get it... I thought "hell" I could be paying US prices?

    As for the build, I had spent many weeks on different sites reading the reviews of many different people. And decideing on how I was going to build it.. Contrary to what I had read, this biuld was simple and easy.. I didnt try to rush it, and one Friday night while having a few cold beers, and watching TV, I decided to build it..

    I simply took my time, and let all of the parts fall into place.. After reading other peoples reviews, I was a little scared at the fit of the pieces.. Well, I had no problems with fit or light leakage, and the kit went together as I read the instructions to a Tee..

    I didnt need brute force or swearing. I simply took my time, and just let the parts fall into place.. I will say however for people that had secondary hull leakage that my answer is that you need to squeeze the clear rubber light ommiter very close to where the wires are all joined in the centre.. If it doesnt sit snug, then the outside panelles will not fit, and so causing light leakage..

    No mods where done other than cutting out a clear blue piece of plastic from a sports drink label, and placing it inside of the main deflector dish.. Painting it will make it look tacky...

    As for this model, and Bandai, I give it the 5 star thumbs up... Its simple, easy, and my wife doesnt ask what is taking so damnd long... I am getting the Bandai NX-01 and E-E from my local hobby store here in Japan for a price most of the world will cringe at, but for Japan, this is a great model!...

    Reviewer   George Fordyce
    Date Reviewed   Apr 7, 2005
    Overall Rating       Good kit, but with some problems.
    Comments Well for starters,the stand did not work properely when assembled,but in a wierd twist it works great with my Bandai USS Voyager model,So I went with it I switched stands,it works for me.Then as I am going along I had a real proble with the wiring,I got the entire ship together and the lights did not work properely,and I followed the instructions to the letter,I twisted the wires nice and tight,but this had no effect,so I had to take the lower half of the model apart again,and as I did that the left nacelle snapped off the ship broken,but easily repairable with some triming and some super glue,after I got the nacelle fixed I was able to concentrate on the wiring,after it took me 25 mins to retake the bottom apart again with carefulness to avoid breakage I soldered the wires to the connection and put it back together after I tested it to make sure it worked,and it did,but then I was curious if it would work with the stand that came with it,and it was a real bugger it still would not work with the correct stand,but it did with the Voyager stand,and Voyager worked with the smaller stand for this one,so I have left it as it is,and you know it worked out great on my display shelf.All in all this is a great kit,but a lot of care must be used and there is a real bad wiring problem,my only solution is soldering.And I would put it together again if I could.My Grade is: B+

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