USS Enterprise, Tholian Web Edition
This release of the original AMT Enterprise commemorates the original TV series episode, "The Tholian Web". In that show, one of the Enterprise's sister ships, the U.S.S. Defiant, is captured by the use of an energy 'web', spun by the Tholians. While Kirk & his team investigate, the Tholians make their move to take the Enterprise as well.
My thanks go out to Round2/AMT for updating and re-releasing this old kit for all us old fans (as well as the new ones) and providing this kit for review. I also thank IPMS USA for letting me do the review.
In the Box
This is the same kit that AMT originally released those many years ago, boxed in Retro-style packaging with original instruction sheet but with a few new features including parts for 2 Tholian Web Spinners, a cardboard backdrop depicting the "Tholian Web" and a nicely updated decal sheet that includes names and numbers of the other 'Constitution' class ships and many updated external markings that have been shown over the years.
All 36 parts are molded in glow-in-the-dark plastic, from the original AMT molds (which brings those issues as well). Real fans aren't too concerned about the scale accuracy. What they're after is a model that looks like it did on TV those years ago and this kit does it well, particularly with the updated markings.
Of course you'll not want to paint anything but the most noticeable details because you want it to glow in the dark but you do want to clean it up a little.
There are a couple little issues that came from the original molding such as the big molding 'stumps' you see on the saucer section. These things, on most of the vintage Star Trek kits, are always a pain to remove cleanly but it can be done with patience. Another issue is the alignment pins/sockets on adjoining parts. The engine pylon halves and lower hull part line up pretty close but are just noticeably off. Just as when I was a kid, I ended up clipping off the pins and using tape and clothes pins to hold parts together while the glue set. There is some minor warping (no pun intended) on the lower hull parts and at first they almost seem to be slightly different sizes but it works out. I used a piece of styrene stock to fill the gap between the lower hull and the saucer (the gap was about 3/32" but noticeable).
Round2 laser engraved their name and new kit information inside the saucer section. Since I wasn't going to paint the hull, I sanded the data off so it wouldn't show through while 'glowing'.
Finishing this kit is pretty easy if you only paint the highlight. You just need to do some masking and a light dusting of color. I didn't pay enough attention at first and didn't notice the decals for the pylon vents so I masked and painted them - oh well.
All I did was smooth the joints as best I could, minimizing the sanding area. Decals and an application of clear coat will hide most of the finishing marks.
The decal set includes all the window detail you could imagine (representing interior lights on (white), off (black) & dim (gray)).
The 'glow' of the completed ship works well, even through the decals and paint.
Original molding considered, this simple kit goes together well and quickly and gives even young, novice modellers the satisfaction they're after. The decals make a huge difference for the kit as far as detail goes.
I highly recommend this kit for anyone from the young modeler to the most rabid Star Trek fan. The assembled model looks great with the lights on or off and stirs our memories of better days.
Thanks again to Round 2 LLC and IPMS/USA for the chance to review it.