AMT 1/420 USS Defiant NX-74205
KIT #: 8255
PRICE: $30.00 in 1994
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Donald Zhou
NOTES: Advantages: Well detailed, simple, large, and easy to set up for lighting. Disadvantages: decals incomplete, some fit issues, details overstated


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.

To help with the Station and to give it some “legs”, initially, several Danube Class runabouts were provided to the station. These are oversized shuttle crafts with a small anti-matter reactor and capable of warp speeds. These shuttle did yeoman work on the station, providing everything from transports to in and out of the Gamma Quadrant, shore duty to Bajor, delivery of vital shipments/personnel/cargo and various other things. However, Sisko and the gang later discovered the presence of the Dominion, a large no nonsense empire that’s pretty much the 800lb gorilla of the Gamma Quadrant. The Federation at first sent the USS Odyssey, a Galaxy class starship to try and make contact with the mysterious “Founders” but the “Jem’haddar, the cloned, genetically enhanced shock troops of the Dominion kamikazied one of their fighter right into the ship, destroying it and killing everyone onboard. It’s obvious that a much meaner and stronger handed approach was needed. Thus the presence of the USS Defiant was later added.

The Defiant was an emergency project started after the encounter with the Borg and under the leadership of Sisko. Though at first stated as a “convoy escort”, it’s the Federation’s first no-nonsense warship. It’s a small, compact ship, squatted almost into a pancake like shape with warp engines folded into the sides with a very small frontal arc. It has virtually no science and medical stations. Crew comfort was minimum and crews have to “hot bunk” (submariners will probably know this term) and replicators offer only the barest of all necessities. All other spaces were turned over to weapons. She’s armed with four forward firing triple redundant interlocked pulse phasers, four quantum/photon torpedo launchers and four regular phaser banks to cover her top and bottom. Small, maneuverable and packing a mean punch, she almost flew apart during her initial testing because she was so overpowered. After the Borg threat was over, the project fell into limbo until the Dominion threat. Sisko and O’Brian then worked the ship over to cure many of the overpowered problems plaguing her. Under contract with the Romulans, she at first was equipped with a cloaking device to explore the Dominion threat. She soon became a fixture at DS9 and was there full bore to take the full brunt of the Klingons when a shape shifter pretending to be General Martok convinced Gowron to wage war against the Federation and was at the forefront in the war against the Dominion when they joined with the Cardassians. The initial ship was destroyed by the Breen and their energy dampening weapon. As a result, another Defiant class, the USS Sao Paulo was given to DS9 and decompensation were given to Sisko to rename her to the USS Defiant. This ship participated in the final battle of the Dominion War by liberating Cardassia. Long before though, the Defiant finally entered full service cause by that time, the Federation realized there is a point in having some gut punching, face slapping warships on hand as when the Prometheus was stolen by Romulans, at least two Defiants and an Akira gave chase and they gave no less than four D’Dederex class warbirds all they could handle!


This is the original AMT/Ertl kit of the Defiant when she was first released way back in 1994. The kit, as always with any Star Trek kits, unless you jumped the shark and got one of the 1/350 scale ones, has very little parts and everything goes together. But the only thing to content are all the seams. It’s not as bad on this kit but they are there.


Main construction is simple. Again, not a lot of parts although I of course, just how this goes is now a little hazy….Hey MAN! I did this over 20 years ago so of course memory will be a little fuzzy!

Anyways, the front deflector dish is added to the nose, a back plate is added to the “neck” just behind the nose, and then the bottom clamp is added on, afterwards, a black rod/hose is added from the neck junction to the bottom of the nose section. This complete that.

The main top and bottom is now joined. A top plate is added. The main “fuselage is complete with the tail section.

The starship is complete with the addition of the warp sides. The front side plates are added first, the tail section before the top and bottom “clamps” are added to complete everything. There are also the four pulse phaser emitters. You can add them after main painting but I added during the main construction cause again, back then, I don’t have an airbrush so all paintings were done by hand.

The rest is just a lot of puttying and sanding to cure all sorts of seams all over the place. That was a problem with just about every single Star Trek ships I built back then, and it’s still present on some kits today…Looking at you USS Reliant!


Main colors are light ghost grey and dark ghost grey. Yeah, main colors on the real ship were a lot “lighter”. Main colors on the filming model were white (more light grey) and light blue. Now, back then, there were no color call out in the AMT/Ertl instructions so I had to go look for it during the tv show whenever that popped up! Now, the ship shown in the tv show is A LOT darker due to the lighting condition, which is what my model followed.

I first started with light ghost grey. Again, no airbrush so had to dilute and hand paint with a large brush. Once I was satisfied with the coverage, I used dark ghost grey on the parts called out by in the instructions. Afterwards, neutral grey was applied to the even darker areas. The final colors are the dark sea blue for four spots above the warp nacelles and radome tan on the nose and bottom areas. The rest concerns the warp engines. Red for the bussard ram scoops (and also the impulse engine and the rear photon/quantum torpedo tubes), light sky blue for the rear warp exits, and also around the eight top side, what look like some cylinders. The surrounding areas are light blue when activated while the cylinders themselves look like gunship grey. Finally, I used bright yellow to mark down the six RCS control exhaust ports on the ship and also the four pulse phaser emitters. The ship is now painted.

Finally, the ship is complete with the decals. The only thing I goofed was I planted the “USS Defiant” on the main circular bridge armor plate on top of the ship. I planted it too to the rear and thus, the name is a little razzled. Also, I had to cut the red strips following the name down due to the six red running lights there. Other than that, the rest of the decals are easy. Ship DONE!


The last piece actually is the display stand. The original like this one has a very nice bottom piece in the shape of the Federation insignia with the name “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine USS Defiant” imprinted on top. Now, some people went to town and colored that insignia in its respective colors and bold black letters for the name. I never done that cause that would distract the main subject, the ship itself! Now, the only big complaint is the nub that hold the ship in place on the tall “neck”, its plastic and let me tell you, after a few handling, it WILL break on you! Hence why Round 2 went with their black dome metal rod display stand. It may not be pretty, but it’s far stronger! Mine did and the display stand is broken at that point. After I got this ship back alongside my Enterprise-E, the display stand sadly, wasn’t However, I have several Tamiya 1/32 aircraft projects in the wings and not all of them will be on their display stands so I promptly grabbed a left over one and grafted onto this one! It works…Just that the tail is a bit heavy thus, gave the ship a “tail down” look but no big deal!

Now that I got it back and looking back on it, I have to smile at how far I’ve become from the days of god knows what I was doing and no spray gun to boot! I actually wanted to get the Round 2 re-release but that went out of production a long time ago and Round 2 seems to have no thoughts about re-re-releasing it. Sigh, I really do want it and the Aztec decal set to do it properly but that’s a dream at this point! This ship is still highly recommended since it does not have a lot of parts and is a cinch to build and leave a lot of people asking if that’s a Star Trek ship cause it just does not look like a Federation starship to say the least! Now Round 2, please release this again! I will definitely buy it!

Donald Zhou

2 November 2021

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