Bandai 1/850 USS Voyager NCC-74656 Build Review
|Date of Review||December 2004||Manufacturer||Bandai|
|Subject||USS Voyager NCC-74656||Scale||1/850|
|Kit Number||131434||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Snap-together construction, pre-finished, internal lighting, fast build||Cons||Mold for stand is wearing out - flash! Out of Production|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
In the same timeframe of Star Trek Deep Space Nine and Star Trek The Next Generation, an Intrepid-class starship was launched and lost on its maiden voyage. Tasked to investigate a group of rebels attempting to destabilize the treaty with the Cardasians, the USS Voyager entered a spatial anomaly that trapped its crew clear across our galaxy in what is referred to as the Delta quadrant.
In this unexplored region of space, the writers and cast of the series took us on new adventures facing new and unusual situations each week. Thanks to some Hollywood magic, it didn't take Voyager the 75 years at maximum warp to get home. While Paramount has so far done nothing further with Voyager since its return (and series end) other than a cameo appearance in the latest Star Trek Borg Experience in Las Vegas, the show provided an outlet for the creative geniuses who wrote the episodes for our continued appetite for life in the Star Trek universe.
For a look at the kit out of the box, check out our in-box review.
Assembly of this kit begins with the warp engine nacelles. These units will pivot up and down just as depicted on the TV starship. The lenses and light pipes in these units are the best designed yet for Bandai. The only parts that don't fit that well on this kit are the trailing edge fairings of the warp nacelle pylons (Parts F2-5 and F2-6). These cover the impulse engine outlets, but no amount of work would get these to sit properly. The completed nacelles are fitted into the engineering hull, where the wiring for the engine lighting gets routed to the main junction.
The completed model sits atop the same stand as the other releases, which houses the batteries and power switch. This is another minor problem as the base is starting to show signs of flash around the edges where they've used this tooling for every other starship release so far. Please get this fixed before the next one!
The primary hull gets an interesting array of light pipes and a new set of lights which employ and even more interesting array of lenses/facets. The wiring for these lights are also routed out of the saucer and into the engineering hull for connection to the main junction. Everything fits together perfectly even though you don't have a clue before assembly how they're going to pull this off.
The engineering hull is the final stop where all of the wiring from the primary hull and engines get connected up with the main junction that also doubles as the mounting point for the kit to rest on the display stand. Unlike previous starships where the wiring is either twisted onto the junction points or clipped into place, this starship has metal loop leads soldered onto each wire and these all come together on the main junction held into place with screws. This is by far the best design Bandai has come up with yet and makes the wiring go much faster.
In the final steps, you are given the option of displaying the starship with its landing gear up or down (as those of you who've watched the series have seen the Voyager occasionally land on the surface). Even with this option you have an option - select the landing 'feet' flat as when Voyager is sitting on them or curled as Voyager is in flight. If you opt for the gear up, the landing gear doors are snapped into place, but you can always put the gear down at a later date.
I've built the original Enterprise, the Enterprise E and the Enterprise NX-01. With each new release, Bandai improves the product with better light distribution and ease of assembly. Of all of the above, the Voyager has the best fit, the best wiring, and by far the best internal illumination of all. This kit is recommended!