Polar Lights Scorpion
|PRICE:||$15.95 when new|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Scorpion is a Reman design in use with the Romulan
Empire from circa 2378. Starfleet intelligence had gained some intelligence on
the craft, but relatively little was known about them. The first close up look
was gained when Captain Picard and Lieutenant Commander Data used a Scorpion to
make their escape from the Praetor's flagship Scimitar. The Scorpion is
essentially a militarised shuttlepod - small, relatively limited in its
capabilities, but easy to produce in quantity. Its flight performance is
insufficient to allow it a serious role as a fighter craft, and it most probably
serves as a ground attack craft.
The armament is light even by those standards - a single disruptor cannon is carried, and although no hard figures are available this was used by Picard during his escape and appeared to be approximately the equivalent of a Starfleet Type IV phaser as used on many Federation shuttlecraft. Mounting this on the dorsal surface limits its field of fire against ground targets. There was no sign of any torpedo launcher or other weapons, though possibly these can be fitted externally if required.
The lack of shields or armour would make lingering over, or even near, hostile forces an unlikely proposition. The Scorpion is most likely intended to be used in support of Romulan (or Reman) ground troops, loitering above friendly territory and then making fast diving runs at the enemy's forward areas before rapidly escaping. Even so, the casualty rate against the kind of defences mounted by Federation forces would be quite high.
This kit was released in 2005 by one of Round 2's various companies, in this case, Polar Lights. The kit is molded in black and is fairly complex as these things go. No scale is provided, but it appears to be around 1/32, based on the size of the included figures. There are no decals in with the kit, but there are stickers for the instrument panels and the few exterior markings.
The instructions are fairly lightly printed, which makes it a bit difficult to read for older eyes. As a bit of a throwback to older kits, each of the construction steps is written out with the step drawings being more of a guide. The instruction sheet is written in French on one side and English on the other.
It has a fairly complete cockpit, and while there is no landing gear per se, there is a rear skid assembly so it will sit upright when the kit is completed. The kit is marketed as a snap kit so this would be suitable for younger modelers or those who simply want something trouble-free. Paint references are provided in the Model Master line, though I'm not sure how many are still around since Rustoleum seems determined to kill off Testors paints. The overall color is Euro 1 grey, though you can paint it whatever shade you want.
Apparently this did not sell well when initially released, despite having the already painted figures of Data and Picard included. The kit is still fairly readily available in the $10-20 range.
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