Klingon K'T'inga-Class Battle Cruiser
As a long time fan of the original Star Trek TV series (I watched it during its original run on NBC), I remember anxiously waiting for the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. After seeing how far Hollywood had come with special effects on the Star Wars series, I thought The Motion Picture (TMP, in fan lingo), with its great story lines and history, had the potential to be a great movie. Then, there in the opening sequences, were the three Klingon K'T'inga ships on the big screen with all the additional hull detail, approaching the big, unknown cloud-ship. Shoot first, ask questions later, right? Klingons...
All of us real fans forgave Hollywood for the movie's story, execution, and other issues, but the things we got from TMP were several great new model kits from AMT. One was the new K'T'inga class ship in 1/537th scale with the same new raised hull detail we had seen in the movie. It was slightly bigger than the D-7 class ship kit from the original series (a.k.a. TOS) but twice as ominous. Over the years, AMT declined and the tools and molds were finally acquired by upstart Round 2. Round 2 updated/retooled some and re-packaged and re-issued those great old AMT Star Trek kits we all remember and had such fun with back in the day, and is releasing all-new Star Trek kits that are even better.
My thanks go out to Round 2 Models for re-releasing these great old Star Trek kits and providing this kit for review, and thanks also to IPMS USA for giving me the opportunity to review it.
In the Box
This re-release of the K'T'inga-class ship is the same basic AMT kit as before, with the only difference being the new Round 2 large dome display base and aluminum post. When you open the box, you'll find it packed with individually bagged sets of parts, a double-sided instruction sheet in the traditional AMT fashion that contains the build-up & finishing instructions for the K'T'inga (~ 31 parts), and an improved decal sheet.
With only 31 parts, this kit goes together quickly. Depending on your experience level, desired finishing options, and technique, that time may be modified, but in any case the build is fast and fun. The ship is built up in sub-assemblies, then completed in the last step by putting the sub-assemblies together. The only issue that persists from the previous versions of this kit is that the alignment pins between halves of sub-assemblies may not exactly line up, and if you're not careful, each section can be glued just slightly askew (for new modelers, however, it's not that noticeable and still looks good). In particular, there is what looks like a molding tab on the engine pylon tab. This molding tab even shows up on the instruction sheet in step 5. It was easier to line up the engine pylon with the body without that tab, so it was removed.
The K'T'inga class, in the movies, only has a few windows in its bulbous head and a few in the front side of the main body, so a small drill and a couple LEDs and you've got lit windows, if you’re inclined. From there, it's up to the modeler as to how much detail to paint on. There are suggested colors in the instruction sheet, but in the movie the ships looked to me a little darker and more sinister. Later in the movie series, in Star Trek VI – The Undiscovered Country, the K'T'inga class "Kronos One" was seen with its distinctive gray, red, and white livery. This K'T'inga kit with its raised detail is ideally suited to be finished as the Klingon Chancellor's ship (search the internet for Kronos One to find images).
The quality of the new decals is excellent, and they include new window strips for the head. The decals are thick, strong, and forgiving, but a heavy application of setting solution is needed to make them conform to the complex curves of the surface, particularly on the head of the ship. You may want to hit the model with a coat of gloss finish before applying them, to give them something to stick to first, though. You can then go with a dark wash or other weathering technique over the whole ship to make the details pop, and add a final coat of flat/semi-gloss/gloss on top, depending on your preference.
I highly recommend this Round 2 re-issued K'T'inga kit for modelers of all experience levels, Star Trek fans and sci-fi enthusiasts alike. Like the AMT originals, this kit was fast and easy to build and finish right out of the box, which makes it great for beginners. This kit would be easy to light up if desired, but it looks great without. Whatever your experience level and finishing technique, this kit will turn out as an ominous looking display.
Again, I want to thank Round 2 Models for re-releasing these old AMT Star Trek favorites, developing the great new ones, and for providing this kit to IPMS for review. Thanks to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review it.