Kevin Stooksbury’s Star Trek Exploration Set


It looks like you have just about every ST kit ever made on your site built up except for a K-7 Space Station and an Exploration Set! Well…

I got this retro kit on Ebay in a torn and crushed box for a good price. Part of the Tricorder was glued together and a couple of parts were missing, but the major assemblies were basically all there. Surprisingly, the kit still had the instruction sheet in the box. My memory of the model was pretty hazy as I was 3 or 4 years old when these were out, but when I really looked at the parts I was amazed at how different they were in comparison to the “Original Series” TV props. As I did some reserach, I became convinced that this kit was based on the simplified, stylized designs of the “Star Trek Animated Series”. Those not familiar with this aspect of Trek can find various sites with pictures and cel frames of the hand props and ships online…anyway, the cartoon Trek started in 1974, and was primarily directed at kids. The prop kits are slightly less than 1/2 the size they should be, so they were a perfect scale for children to work with.

The building process was tedious – not because of the difficulty of the kits themselves – they are very crude – but because I was working backwards, restoring the models and making up for missing parts as I went along. Many of the parts present were broken and most of the chrome plated parts were scratched up and peeling. The fit of the major components was typical for a kit of this era. Once I built them up, I painted them according to my “Animated” sources. The major mods I made were:

PHASER: Replaced broken off emitter with a clear cast resin part, replaced knocked off control knob on the back with a part from my spares box, added the “LED” , the brass colored pin on the phaser II body, and cut a clear “power setting” dial out of plastic rod.

COMMUNICATOR: Added the three colored LED light bulbs and laid some wire mesh over the speaker.

TRICORDER: Modified the control knobs, cut out the viewing screen to give it depth and backed it with clear sheet plastic.

When I was finishing it all off, I had to make decals on my computer – the original sheet was long gone. I opted to paint the Tricorder screen “TV screen blue” rather than replicate the AMT provided black and white decal of “Balok”. I hope the TV Cult Man viewers enjoy seeing this kit – I had not seen one in 25 years and could barely remember what they looked like built up! This kit is getting really hard to find and most of the time they are just sealed up in a box. Also, it is interesting to see the 1970’s take on the props, inaccurate as it may be – models have come a long way over the years!

Kevin Stooksbury

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