Bandai 1/1700 USS Enterprise NCC-1701E Build Review
|Date of Review||November 2003||Manufacturer||Bandai|
|Subject||USS Enterprise NCC-1701E||Scale||1/1700|
|Kit Number||916424||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Snap-together construction, pre-finished, internal lighting, fast build||Cons||Instruction steps missing, internal lighting not as bright as earlier NCC-1701, out of Production|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
The Enterprise 'E' (NCC-1701E) was a Sovereign-class cruiser that was built to replace the Galaxy-class Enterprise (NCC-1701D) that was lost, not once, but twice in a 'Lost in Space' styled crash in the move "Star Trek Generations." Unlike the Enterprise D, the Enterprise E is the sport model of 'contemporary' starships. Its sleek design gives it the appearance of high speed whilst standing still.
This kit is the second Enterprise released by Bandai in their high-tech snap-together series. I had the pleasure of building the first Enterprise and I had no real problems with that build other than the tight fit and the amount of 'force' needed to get some of the parts seated properly.
In this version, there are at least as many parts as the first kit, but you are struck with the dazzling detail on the parts of this release. The Aztec patterns across the hull are breathtaking! There are a few improvements in this release besides the outstanding finish on the hull:
- The lighting system still consists of three pairs of lights, but one set of lights are pre-installed on the optical disk that goes inside the saucer section
- The leads on the four remaining bulbs have been pre-cut to length (you did this on the first Enterprise)
- The power distribution section in the lower hull is much simpler
Let me first apologize - while the first kit went together rather quickly, it still lent itself to stopping for a few photographs. This kit goes together far quicker and with less effort. As with the previous Enterprise, there is no painting nor gluing required. Everything literally snaps together, but as you assemble the kit from the well-illustrated instructions, you have to admire the engineering that made this complex kit go together so easily.
I built this kit straight from the instructions with only one problem - the instructions are missing an important step! Somewhere between Steps 14 and 15, the warp nacelles are magically installed to their respective lower hull sides. After careful examination (and a successful build), the missing steps have you snap the strut of the right warp nacelle into the starboard lower hull side (part C3). Take note of the orientation of the wires from the nacelle as you feed them through the narrow opening on the hull as you won't have room to flip them around if you get them backwards. Insert the optical distribution transparency (part L2) inside the engineering hull and set the subassembly aside. Repeat the process with the left warp nacelle, the port lower hull side (part C4) and the transparency (part L1).
Aside from that minor glitch, assembly is flawless and fast. Total time on this project, including the time to overcome the missing instruction step, was 2.5 hours.
As you can see, the model is magnificent. The lighting is not quite as bright as the first Enterprise, but in a darker room, every window in the hull shines as well as the warp and impulse engines. While this kit is more expensive than your average snap kit, you won't find a better looking model of the Enterprise E anywhere. Given the level of detail in the Aztec designs on the hull, I would be spending weeks of painting and masking to even come close to the finish that comes straight from the box of this Bandai kit.