First Look: Polar Lights 1:350 Classic Enterprise part 3
The upper primary hull. Note the four rectangular and one circular opening for lighting
The underside of the primary hull.
A closeup of the primary hull, shows the finely engraved gridlines. They look great! I adjusted the lightning a little to show the slight texture to the hull. It is not polished smooth.
This shot shows the underside with the engraved circular rings. Note that these photos emphasize the texture of the hull. Looking at the model the texture is not apparent.
This shows the upper decks of the primary hull
This sprue has the interior bridge detail, along with shuttle bay interior, and nacelle details
Bridge detail on the kit
Bridge detail from the instruction sheet. The bridge can be mounted in either forward facing or skewed positioning, depending on your preference.
The decal sheet with all the markings including the wedges for under the primary hull, bridge details, shuttle bay details, and more.
Painting instructions are actually printed on the box.
A couple quick observations. This is a very impressive, detailed kit with a lot of research behind it. It is molded in colored plastic, reflecting the colors of the kit. Technically, you could build a pretty impressive model without needing to do much painting. Decals add a lot of details.
Round 2 is producing a number of add on parts to detail the kit. Notably, they will have a light kit out soon that includes motors to spin the “fan blades” in the bussards. The light kit will be ready to insert into the model without soldering. They also are offering a photoetch detail set for the nacelle grills. There is a decal set for weathering the model. And there is a separate registry decal set. Also notable is the “Parts Pack” which includes alternate parts so you can build the Enterprise as it was seen in either of the two pilots.
Paragrafix is producing a different photoetch set that includes other details for the kit.
A number of people are thanked for the model in the instruction sheet, but I think it is worth noting a lot of others that influenced this kit.
The Star Trek modeling community owes a great deal of debt to Paul M. Newitt. Paul wrote the StarFleet Assembly Manuals, some 35 years ago. Paul was the first person to take Star Trek modeling from the level of toys to a serious hobby. Paul was the first to attempt to research and detail the starship Enterprise, and ultimately light the kit and simulate the rotating fans in the nacelles. And it was Paul M. Newitt that first proposed a larger, three foot Enterprise model kit.
10 years ago, the folks at Playing Mantis first tried to produce a bigger Enterprise. Tom Lowe pursued the Star Trek license from Paramount and went on to release the large 1:350 Refit Enterprise and NX-01 kits. Dave Metzner was the Polar Lights developer who successfully produced the new, larger line of Star Trek kits for Polar Lights. Under his guidance, the company produced these kits and had plans to produce a larger 1:350 Klingon K’Tinga, followed by the ultimate 1:350 classic Enterprise. The sale of Playing Mantis ended that line of kits.
Eventually, a large 1:350 Enterprise was produce by Master Replicas. This was a fully finished, illuminated ship with rotating nacelles. It was very impressive.
Finally, the fan base who kept asking for a new 1:350 Classic Enterprise deserve a lot of credit. It just goes to show that a little perseverance will go a long way.
My first impressions are overall positive. Up until today, I had not looked very closely at the model. I had seen the build display kit at Wonderfest and iHobbyExpo, but a built kit can hide a lot of sins. I had heard a lot about this, but had little solid information about it. Round 2 decided to limit the amount of information they released about the kit, and so there have been few photos and details available.
I am looking forward to building this and when I find time, I will pass along any other insights and observations.