AMT 1/1400 Enterprise E "First Contact"
|PRICE:||$29.00 in 1995|
Well detailed, simple, and easy to set up for lighting.
Disadvantages: Life boats decals, some fit issues and may have some accuracy issues.
The Federation starship USS Enterprise, NCC-1701-E was a Sovereign Class starship launched approximately 2372 with Captain Jean-Luc Picard commanding. She was the sixth ship to bear the name of the Enterprise, preceded by the Enterprise-D, a Galaxy class starship and succeeded by the Enterprise-E, a Sovereign class battleship. During its 7 year career, the Enterprise-F, an Odyssey class starship.
In her service, the ship was heavily involved in several incidents such as the second Borg incursion of Earth and saving the Romulan Empire, and the Federation from Shinzon and his deadly thaloron weapon. During that fight, she was heavily damaged when Picard ordered the ship to ram right into Shinzon’s flagship, the Scimitar. By 2408, she was replaced by an Odyssey class starship, the Enterprise-F.
This kit was bought in 1996, after the release of Star Trek: First Contact. This is the original “First Contact” version. Currently, you can still find the Round 2 version available. Don’t know what that kit is based on, but it seems to be based heavily on this kit.
When it was first released, it was a sensation. The kit is heavily based on the original studio model and is mostly accurate. However, some very astute trekkers have spotted several accuracy mistakes. 1. The saucer edge. Yes, back in those days, the edge is heavily stylized with ridges that should not be on there and two the warp pylon to warp nacelles insertion points. The point supports should be flatter and rounder, this one is much more prominent and sharper. There are now a resin version that’s supposed to be more accurate and simpler to build but I think I’ll just stick with this one. Also, in another sign of AMT laziness in those days, the life boats details are nothing more than decals…..Should’ve been details molded onto the ship itself….
Constructions are easy peesy! Any Star Trek models are filled with no more than 50 parts. Again, unless you jumped the shark and get one of the 1/350 scale kits, the rest are just study of simplicity. Construction went as:
Saucer section, top and bottom, insert the two clear impulse impellers from behind, insert the main shuttle bay doors, and attach the two halves. Done!
Secondary hull consists of attaching the long front piece with the main torpedo launcher and inserting the clear main navigational deflector dish from behind. Attach the bottom piece with the bottom phaser strip, add in the display stand insertion point, and attach the rear end piece with the tractor beam emitter. Done.
Warp nacelles construction includes attaching the two clear bussard ram scoop pieces, add in the top piece, add in the rear end piece, cement the two halves together and then add in the clear warp expeller piece on the top (which of course, will not occur until final construction since the piece is completely clear and painted light sky blue on the inside). Done.
Now, attach the finished warp nacelles onto the warp pylons, which consists of a top and bottom pieces. Then insert them into the secondary hull with the saucer section too.
Model DONE! Yes, it’s that cheesy easy! The only problem, once again, are the seams from the fit, which isn’t all that terrible but still need some putty to patch up. Again, took no more than two hours for the main construction, but over 12 hours for the puttying and then the sanding to get it really done and ready for the paint shop. For detail painting, I used red for the bussard ram scoop, golden yellow for the deflector and light sky blue for the clear warp expeller.
Also a note, just be warned that like the original Excelsior and Enterprise-C, the neck tend to jut the saucer up from the left and thus cause the saucer to tilt to the right. You need to sand down the left side in order to make the saucer sit right on the neck.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
Main painting again, consists of light ghost grey with dark ghost grey. This time, to make the dark ghost grey slightly more blue, I used medium blue instead. The instruction calls for light grey as the main paint….Maybe in all of her movies that she appeared in, I swear the Enterprise-E is a much darker grey and light ghost grey fits the bill. Again, everything is hand painted as I didn’t have spray gun during those days. It actually turned out well. Details include dark gull grey for the phaser arrays, silver for the quantum torpedo launchers and bridge top and gun metal for the warp grill.
The hardest part with any Federation starships are the windows. This time, I used silver for the “on” windows and flat black for the “off” ones. They are done randomly over a week worth of time since my eyes get crossed if I do more than two hours and there are quite a few of them.
Decals go on easy enough. Again, they are not complete but these days, you can get the completed version from third parties. One note, all the life boats, a pertinent part of “First Contact” are denoted as decals in this kit…I just hope Round 2 had corrected this massive mistake!
P.S. The kit also contains a very nice looking display stand with a base that’s in the shape of the Federation starship insignia at that time. However, I did not paint it. As someone once said about these nice display stands, paint them up, dole them up, and they will distract from the main model. So yes, it has survived my 20 year journey and no, I still will not paint it cause I do not want it to distract from the main show here. The last thing anyone want is for someone to say, “OMG! That’s a nice looking display stand!!!!”….Talk about ironies!
And Final Construction just consists of putting on the two clear warp expellers, painted light sky blue from the inside onto the warp drives. Now, these expellers do have a central thin section that’s light ghost grey…And yes, during those days, my parents won’t even get me masking tape so I just eye balled it! AHHH!!!! Ain’t childhood grand?
This model, along with the Enterprise-D and C have been sitting in a box since I graduated from college (GO BBBUUUCCCKKSSS!!!). Again, can’t thank the friend who kept that box in his basement for the past 15 years or so while I was on an adventure to California, then China, then met my wife then have two sons before coming back States side enough about this. You can imagine what it was like when I opened the box and saw all of them. Now anyone that has the Round 2 version can write a review about that so I can compare the difference!
P.S. Yes, I DO hope Paramount can wise up and get Patrick Steward on board and make one last hurrah of a movie specifically about perhaps Adm. Picard on board the Enterprise-F…….If it is good, I’ll be the first in the movie theater to see it!
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