Thursday, February 15, 2018

Star Trek Scale Model Kits

This post is a general review of Polar Lights 1:1000 scale "Star Trek" model kits. I'm going to go over five of these kits in this series.

           (1)- USS Enterprise 

             The Original Series 

USS Enterprise "Space Seed Edition" comes with Khan's sleeper ship, the SS Botany Bay, in scale with the Enterprise. The completed model is about 11" long & comes with a dome base capable of displaying the Botany Bay alongside the Enterprise.

Despite it's diminutive size, the model can be lit using LED's (as all of Polar Lights Trek kits can be). The dome base is big enough to house electronics (555 IC timers, a switch & power plug).

Spinning nacelle effects can be done in sequencing leds with a 555 IC + a 4017 decade counter OR mechanically spinning the inner dones using a micro geared 60 rpm motor. Both methods would require a certain amount of modeling experience. Simply lighting the domes works great too.

The kit is one of the most accurate of the original series Enterprise.  The old 1:650 AMT kits were just awful. The AMT 1:537 22" Cutaway is better than the 650's but were still inaccurate. 

The huge Polar Lights 1:350 scale version being the best at almost 3 feet long.

(2)- Klingon D-7 Battlecruiser
The Original Series

The new tooling makes for a far superior replica than the older, larger 1:650 AMT scale models. If you want windows to light, you gotta drill them out. There's plenty of room to place LEDs inside.

(3)- Romulan Bird of Prey
The Original Series 

Another great replica but with less room inside to light. The decal sheet is what gives this model the great look it has. The included base is the same as the other models in the series but it has a curved wire instead of the usual solid rod. Accurate details are a big improvement over the old 1:650 AMT version.

(4)- Refit USS Enterprise 
The Motion Picture 

This kit is one cool model. Plenty of clear cast parts, decal sheet for the Aztec patterns & more accurate than the old 1:537 AMT issues. The hull windows will have to be drilled out but it can be lit very effectively without them. I used  white 1.8mm leds for the strobing formation lights & 1.8mm leds (red & green) for the flashing navigation lights. Blue 3mm leds were used for the deflector dish, the warp engines with white leds for the bridge dome & lower planetary sensor domes. The base holds two 555 timer circuits to cotrol the flashing leds.

(5)- USS Reliant 
"The Wrath of Khan"

Another accurate kit that outshines it's old 1:537 scale AMT predecessor. No Aztec Decals are included like it's sister ship, the Enterprise, but not really necessary. There's plenty of clear parts and it can be lit up. Again, the windows must be drilled if you want them lit. There's not quite the interior room to run wires in the nacelle pylons and the roll bar weapons pod but it can be done with a little imagination. I used the same leds & 555 timers as my Refit build. A really great kit.

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