Bandai Refit Enterprise First Look by Martin Burkey

from 2003:

Bandai Refit Enterprise

1/850 lighted snap kit

available through many online hobby shops expect to pay $90.00 from domestic sources

review by Martin Burkey

Got my new Bandai Enterprise a couple of days ago from Hobbylink Japan. It’s an impressive piece of work. I’ve not started assembling yet, but some 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 good 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. What you wind up with is something roughly akin to the Art Asylum 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. Bring on the Polar Lights Trek kits!



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