USS Enterprise "Space Seed" Edition
Continuing to leverage and proliferate the Star Trek brand, Round2 Models has released another episode-specific rendition of the original series (TOS) Enterprise, this time under the Polar Lights label in 1/1000 scale. Joining the AMT TOS Enterprise and its “The Tholian Web” offering is the “Space Seed” edition, featuring a newly-tooled 1/1000 scale SS Botany Bay.
In The Box
The Enterprise kit is the standard Polar Lights “Snap-It” kit which has been on the market for several years now, and is molded in light gray plastic with a sprue of clear parts and a sheet of decals with options to build an of several Constitution Class starships. The stand from the “Refit” (1980’s) movie version of enterprise is included with an adapter arm to suspend Botany Bay alongside Enterprise. Parts are well molded and assemble into a respectable and convincing rendition of the classic starship. Build options are included for the “production” version from the TV series and for the original TV “pilot” episodes and one for an mirror universe Enterprise from the “Mirror, Mirror” episode.
Botany Bay is also a “Snap-It” kit and is molded in rust-colored plastic with no clear parts or decals, and builds into a very convincing replica of the studio model.
Build of both kits is straight-forward, as would be expected for any Snap-It kit, but a number of issues arise for those wishing to go a bit beyond a standard snap-together model. My emerging junior modeler, Camden (age 8), took the helm during these builds, and the following observations are shared from a junior’s perspective with commentary from and experienced hand.
While Botany Bay’s handful of parts pretty much fell together, Enterprise posed a number of challenges in the areas of fit. Most notably among these was the fit of the upper and lower primary hull (saucer) halves, which required extensive filling and sanding and the fit of the warp nacelle pylons to the secondary hull, which left a large gap between parts and protrusion of the pylon base above the surface of the hull. From dad’s experience with the same kit a year prior, a fair amount of dry-fitting, hacking with sharp objects and coarse sanding sticks, followed by generous amounts of putty, is required to get a suitable fit here. It would seem a small investment by Round2 to tweak the tooling for the warp engine pylon base would make this problem go away forever and make the kit far more appealing to modelers.
Despite the challenges, the kit appears to be properly-proportioned and a suitable representation of the TOS Enterprise.
Painting and Finishing
Upon completion of construction, Camden primed the ship with flat black as a preshade, then applied Testors Model Master Acryl US Army/Marine Corps Gulf War Sand and the primary color with an airbrush. Once cured, the pastels were drybrushed to simulate wear, scorching, and 200-year accumulation of “space crud” on the 20th Century vessel.
Walmart gray spray paint was applied directly from the rattle can as a primer to flag any gross imperfections remaining and to provide some “tooth” for the Model Master Acryl Light Ghost Gray which followed. Ironically, the Light Ghost Gray was nearly indistinguishable from the primer. The deflector/sensor dish base was masked and painted with Testors Enamel Copper from the little square bottle, and the dark gray warp nacelle details were highlighted using Vallejo Dark Grey wash in order to avoid the need to mask in tight places. A couple coats of thinned Minwax Clear Acrylic Gloss were then airbrushed to provide a smooth base for decal application. Decals were found to be well-registered and went down well using the Microscale System, and were then sealed with a couple coats of 50/50 mix of Future and Model Master Acryl Flat. The quantity, size, and thin nature of the decals, however, were a very big challenge for Camden, and parental intervention was needed on a number of occasions to help get decals properly positioned and aligned without damaging them.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Despite the fit issues with Enterprise, Camden thoroughly enjoyed building this combo, and now has an even deeper interest in Star Trek – TOS. As a dad, it was a lot of fun coaching my son through this build and sharing my enjoyment of the hobby and of all things “Original Trek.”
So, all things considered, we Recommend this kit to all modelers of Trek lore and of all future Starfleet Cadets with any signs of interest in scale modeling, although expectations of younger modelers should be tempered appropriately regarding overall fit and decal application.
Thanks to Round2 Models for the sample kit and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to go where father and son had not yet been before!