AMT 1/1400 USS Enterprise NCC-1701E Kit Build Review
By Steve Causey
|Date of Review
|USS Enterprise NCC-1701E
|Ease of assembly, sturdy stand
|Flash on many parts; No provisions for lighting the hull
For a look at this kit out of the box, look here.
The E version or Sovereign Class first appeared in the Star Trek Movie First Contact. The kit contains 30 parts molded in a light gray glossy plastic, 10 clear parts, and a large decal sheet. Detail on the parts is basic but when painted and decaled results in a pleasing model. The model has been around since 1997 and the molds seem to be showing their age, almost every part has a small amount of flash. Once the flash is removed, fit of the parts is OK.
Assembly begins with the saucer hull and this is where you begin to see the kit needs some preparation in assembly. The 3 clear parts to be installed in the saucer hull: shuttle bay, and two impulse engines need to be painted before being installed in the saucer, and then of course masked off before painting the hull.
The warp engine nacelles will need the same efforts, the bussard collectors need to be pre painted and then installed inside the nacelles, and then masked off before the nacelles are painted. Fit on the upper and lower saucer parts is decent, but the warp nacelles need some filling and sanding to hide the seams. The engineering section or main hull needs the most work to get the seams addressed and the various parts along the seam to fit correctly. Part #21 the socket for the metal rod, has the worst fit and there is no locator slot in the hull to match the pin on the part. I needed to check the part before gluing and install the hull to the stand to make sure the angle of the ship was correct in relation to the stand. This section needs quite a bit of filler to hide the large gaps and seams.
The stand included in the kit is large and holds the ship very well with no tipping or wobbling. I built and painted the stand before the rest of the kit to give me a place to set the model as I was building it.
I left the saucer hull warp nacelles and pylons unglued to the main hull to ease painting and decaling. The kit includes a painting and decal guide that takes up a whole side of the instruction sheet. It is complex and requires some careful study. It does provide needed decal installation assistance, but the painting guide may not be as accurate as the builder might like. There are dozens of sites on the web that will help guide the builder in painting and masking. And you WILL need to mask and paint if you want a reasonable replica. The decal sheet only includes a small amount of the dark gray color for the hull. The sheet does come with all the life boats and striping however.
Once the main parts were dry, I painted the hull parts a light gray. Then I began the masking of the top of the saucer hull. Masking took several days, but the finished results were very pleasing. (I applied several shades of darker grays to parts around the ship.) The decals are the best I've seen round 2 include in a kit in years, perfect registration, and they released from the paper with no cracking or shattering. They responded well to the micro scale decal system too. I installed all the decals, again this took several days.
Then I clear coated the entire ship to protect the decals and give a uniform sheen. The saucer hull fit to the main hull like a glove, and the engines also fit well. When finished the kit is a pleasing addition to my collection. It would look better lighted but this would be a big project due to the solid molded windows.
AMT has brought back a great looking addition to it's Star Trek stable.
My sincere thanks to Round2 Models for this review sample