AMT 1/2500 DS-9

KIT #: 1245
PRICE: $50.00 or so
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Donald Zhou
NOTES: SAdvantages: Well detailed, simple, large. Disadvantages: some fit issues, Keldon not clear, some tiny parts (the antennae on top of the Ops station). P.S. All clear edition


When the Federation took over the Cardassian space station “Terok Nor” after the Cardassians abandoned the planet Bajor, they found the stations in ruins. The “Carddies” did a great job of trashing the station completely, necessitating the Federation, who came in to help Bajor at the behest of the Bajorian provisional government, to nearly completely rebuild the station. The rebuild took on a whole new meaning when then Commander Sisko made contact with the “wormhole aliens” and opened up a stable wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant, shaving years of travel at warp speed to only a few seconds. This immediately made the Bajor sector of strategic importance to the Federation and DS9 of vital importance, especially since once Cardassians heard the news, they constantly tried to incur upon the territory to see if they can get the wormhole under their control.

The station itself guarded the wormhole for years, under constant threats from both the Cardassians and internally from Bajorian terrorists and separatists who wanted Bajor to leave the Federation. When the Dominion was found in the Delta quadrant, an emergency update and upgrade to the station happened in secrecy that saw both the station’s shields and firepower massively upgraded, including the addition of half a dozen photon/quantum torpedo launchers in the docking towers with several thousand torpedoes each and several pulse phaser emitter blocks on both the habitat and mining rings. These proved to be absolutely deadly when the Klingons, led by a shiftshifter posing as Martok convinced Gowron to attack the Federation. The station fell to the Cardassians for a short time during the Dominion and Alpha Quadrant war but Sisko took it back in a daring gamble. It stayed at the forefront of that brutal war until the end, when Cardassia fell under the combined might of combined fleet of the Federation, Klingons and Romulans. (Have to give a call out to Andrew Robinson, the unsung hero of the entire DS9 series. Considering the fact the writers at first just thought of him as an afterthought, Garak later grew to be an important part of the entire DS9 arc! At the end, Andrew gave one of his most moving performances. At first went absolutely ApeS**t when Damar died and then talking to Bashir, saying “what home do I have now” at his destroyed planet).

In order to give the station more protection after the discovery of the Dominion, Sisko eventually decided to complete a project started by him to combat the Borg. This would become the USS Defiant, NX-74205. The ship was described as a “convoy escort” officially but unofficially, it’s the Federation first official no nonsense warship! Packed with firepower and squashed to a pancake like structure, the ship had four times the firepower of a regular, non-upgraded Galaxy class explorer. Due to her immense firepower and shielding, she almost flew apart during her initial trials and put on the backburner after the Borg threat receded. However, Sisko and O’Brian later tackled and solved most of her problems and equipped with a Romulan cloaking device, explored the Dominion threats before permanently assigned to DS9. The initial Defiant was destroyed by the Breen and their energy damping weapons. A new Defiant was then assigned to the Station, this was the former USS Sao Paulo.

One of the main nemesis of the Defiant, and the station was the Keldon Class cruisers of the Cardassian Empire. This is a major upgrade to the basic Galor class cruisers. The additions includes a massive triangular backing that included more spaces for troops, weapons and shielding. A new tail was also added that includes more aft shielding and firepower and better sensors and warp field modulation. These powerful ships were first seen when Thomas Riker, William Riker’s twin doppelganger stole the Defiant to search for a hidden Cardassian base that turned out to be a ship building yard building these ships for the Obsidian Order (similar to the Gestapo crossed with the CIA). They were eventually used by Enabrian Tain, father of Garak, and former head of the Obsidian Order, in conjunction with the Romulan Tal Shiar (Romulan version of the Gestapo crossed with the CIA) to attack destroy the Founder’s home planet. Unfortunately, the plan went completely sideways since a Founder posing as a Tal Shiar agent already warned the Dominion what was up and the combined fleet met their doom over the Founder’s homeworld when no less than 200 Dominion ships attacked them.

As a kid, I did not think too much of DS9….Older now, I’m finding myself every once in a while watching various episodes of this great show. DS9 is what I like to call, the “grown up men” Star Trek. It explores topics and points only an adult will understand. Yes, the first two years were slow but the show really picked up after season two. The aforementioned “Improbable Cause” and “The Die is Cast” being two. Later on, it touched a subject that’s still very relevant today in Homefront and Paradise Lost, questioning “what price are you willing to pay to safeguard freedom” and “what is “freedom” when it is so “guarded” it’s no longer freedom””. And then there is absolutely one of the best episode in all of Trekdom, “By the Pale Moonlight”. Andrew Robinson, in one of his most sublime performances, with a bloody lip after Sisko punched him, with a twisted smile only Garak can give, said “Ohh come now captain, the Romulans are now in the war….You know there is no way you can do this over the official channel, that’s why you came to me! …All this at the cost of one Romulan Senator and a miscreant’s life…and the dignity of a Starfleet officer?...I say that is more than worth it!” Near the end, Sisko looked at the camera and basically admitted it that it was all worth it when he said, “…You know, I can live with that!”….Makes you wonder with the F’ups in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, how many military officers and politicians said to themselves, “…You know what, I can live with it!”……And ohh yeah, with my own twisted smile, If you think Federation did not need or have their own version of Gestapo crossed with the CIA….The later revealed Section 37………..The Federation own version of Gestapo crossed with the CIA…….


Anyways, rambling over. The first Deep Space Nine model, the station itself that is, was released by AMT/Ertl back in 1996, three or four years before the show finally ran its course. I of course, built that model, painted red brown cause that’s what the station looked like mostly on tv at the time, and then had to give it up after graduating from college. Warp so many moons later. I actually wanted the station back. Several years back, AMT, now under Round 2, had re-released the station with a cute little model of the Defiant packed in, cause at the time of the original release, the Defiant just came on the show and thus, was now ready for model form and in all clear to facilitate lighting. I always wanted that kit but by the time I got back to State side, it was long out of production. There was one last kit on the shelves of my local Hobbytown but I hesitated too long and it was gone when I decided to jump and I could not find anything left ever since. Sigh….

…..Well, several months ago, AMT all of a sudden announced this September or so, they would re-re-release this kit, again, all clear with the Defiant and now with the Cardassian Keldon Class cruiser thrown in for around $50-$55. I immediately wanted to jump but hardly any place was taking preorder so I decided to wait. September came and gone and no word on it at all. Then finally, this November, it finally dropped and I got one on Amazon for $50 (well, more like $55 after tax).

So, what’s in the kit? Well, again, this is the exact same model as the old AMT/Ertl kit except in all clear and detail slightly crisper. The parts breakdown is exactly the same so if you built this kit before, it should be all familiar. The only new additions are the USS Defiant, which is of course, not all that new since it was in the kit since the re-release…..Strangly, I’m kinda miffed at this decision at Round 2, unlike the Keldon, which is separate, the Defiant is casted onto one of the tree that contain one of the outer mining/docking ring. Since the rings are divided into three parts, you get three Defiants so you can build a fleet of Defiant Class warships! Unfortunately though, the decal sheet contains only one Defiant marking….Hope some aftermarket people can come to the rescue here.

The other new addition is of course, the Keldon. Unlike the rest of the kits though, this is casted in white resin so no clear parts. The breakdown is very similar to the Galor class starship (The ship was built simply by using an extra Galor class model, adding on a new back and a new tail). Just a warning though, since a complete Aztec decal markings are provided for the ship, it’s not a good idea to cement the head and back onto the model since there are some decals that skip under them.

Construction is a very simple affair. Again, unless you jump the shark and got one of the 1/350 scale models, Star Trek models are the definition of easy. The first step covers the habitat ring/promenade. The power core assembly and the upper and lower docking pylons are next and it’s slightly more complex. Here, notice the six power transfer couplings. These are small so do becareful not to feed the carpet monster. The mining/docking ring is next. Again, this is divided into threes and a defiant is attached to each one of them so you get three Defiants in the process! After the docking rings are assembled, time to put the habitat ring and the power core in the upper and lower positions of the docking ring. After the upper and lower docking pylons are put in place, the model is already 80% complete. Up next are the Ops Station assembly, again be really careful with the shield generators and the little antennae on top…Might wanna save those after painting and decaling is over. The last two steps shows the construction of the Defiant and the Keldon.

As for the painting and markings, the first one I did, I painted it Red Brown since that’s what the station looked like in the show. But the real station is more of a Neutral Grey, washed heavily with Gunship Grey with Desert Tan or Dark Yellow (it’s definitely NOT gold, as called out in the color chart) and red brown highlights and details. I’ll paint it correctly this time.

As for the decals, this time, a comprehensive decal sheets are provided. The first iteration did not have any decals so you had to paint the windows on your own. This time, if you choose not to light the station up, the window decals are all provided and thank goodness Round 2 decided to make these windows white, and thus “light up” instead of black, “dark and turned off”. A set of Aztecs are also provided for both the Defiant and the Keldon and again, there is only one set for one Defiant so you have to think of other ways of getting some markings for the other two Defiants, such as asking your IPMS mate of printing some extra markings for you. Also, be forewarned, DO NOT throw away the box. All the decals and painting instructions are printed on the side of the lower box. Now, the issue is, nearly all the color call out are wrong! Again, It’s definitely not Gold on the Dark Yellow highlights on the Station and definitely not Gold as the main color of the Keldon. Strangely, AMT got the call out correctly with the Galor, which should be Yellow Zinc Chromate, which should apply here with the Keldon. Thank goodness I still have two bottle of this stuff left with Model Master!


And since the next Atlanta Con IPMS Show theme is “Anything and Everything from T.V. or Movies”, I’m in a hurry to try and get this on the show since it of course qualify for the theme! A few minor hitches here and there but it should be a quick build. Ohh, just to be forewarned, I didn’t make the initial re-release of course, but if it’s anything like the first AMT/Ertl release, expect some seams. But anyways, time to collect some paints and get this started…..Alongside my K5E Leopold of course!

Donald Zhou

November 2021

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