Northstar/DeBoer Enterprise Refit
And I Have To Knock Some Holes in it.
Welcome one and all!
Okedoke then, let's get down to business here.
Now this beastie has a long and colourful history and has gone
through at least two sets of modeling hands before coming to me.
I won't bore you with the gory details but with that in mind, here's what I have to work with as a basis...
The saucer, neck and secondary hull already put together.
Well it's kind of a start.
Next up we have the warp nacelles and pylons.
And the detail bits that attach to those along with the ViP lounge interior,
bridge part and planetary sensor array.
Some parts for the interior such as the hangar/cargo bay, arboretum and rec deck.
Clear and optional blue tinted parts for the warp grilles.
The destruction booklet and waterslide decals pack.
A shit load of Aztek Dummy vynil masking.
And the instruction/suggestion sheets for where they do go.
Right then, that's the basic package of bits so "what's to be done?" I hear at least someone remotely interested asking.
Well it's like this...
Build and paint with lighting optional and interiors not required.
Also do with a more grey scale/pearl than fully pearl paint job.
Also do up like the 'Search for Spock' version with all the battle damage...
As far as the surface paint look is concerned, i've been asked to replicate, or as close as possible
the look on the surface of the larger section model used for the movies.
Looks like this...
With me so far?...
Moving on then!
Now the surface quality is none too shabby and the grid lines are finely done which is how it should be.
Ditto for the saucer and pylons so that's all good.
Now we have to come to the not so good.
Now before I start, all fairness to the previous persons who didst fiddle with this
and i'll not comment on what has been done to the build done so far,
so i'll focus on the obvious wrong bits on the kit parts...
and there's a few of them.
To begin with, the grilles that sit either side of the warp nacelle at the front.
Here's the said bits on the studio model...
Now the inset the grille sits on is flat front to rear and with only nice, graceful curves
where it comes out to meet the flat of the housing at the front.
Also, the housing has almost equal height on the top and bottom of the
part surrounding the grille, where it curves up and down to meet the nacelle side.
All good but here's the kit parts....
As you can see, the grilles sit in a depression rather than a flat,
the shaping on the inset is too small bottom to top
so not really the right shape going on there which throws the shape of the grille out also.
And for the serious nit pickers, there's 3 fewer ribs on the kit supplied grille parts.
These bits will be rebuilt to get closer to the studio model look.
Moving on and speaking of grilles, the warp ones for the inner side of the nacelles.
Now in the kit there are clear cast ones for the warp grille.
I believe the blue tinted ones are an optional extra which the buyer did shell out the extra for.
Now to repeat from the pic above...
All good except they are flat rather than concave as they should be.
Also there's only four slots when there should be five.
See below piccie of the studio model for reference purposes.
See what I mean?
Another couple of candidates for the rebuild queue and since they won't be lit, then result there.
As for the planetary sensor array, i'll call that an almost but not quite.
If nothing else, the grille/vent depressions are way too small and the dome just a wee bit too wide methinks.
As for the bridge section, well having a flat bottom would be nice.
No, it had not been touched apart from a coat of white primer, I did check.
Moving on, the deflector housing...
Now ever since I first saw pics of this in part or built, it's always struck me as not quite right
In depth and the size of the lumpy bits on the sides and the bottom.
Now size wise, let's take the deflector housing from the Polar Lights 1/350th kit.
Maybe not the best example bit it's bloody close dimensions wise.
That kit part measures from front to rear not including the step in, 21.35mm or 0.840".
The DeBoer one, well as below...
So after shoving those figures in to my handy dandy scale calculator and going
from 1/350th to 1/260th it should measure 28.70mm or 1.130".
Not that much in it but I think it makes a difference.
Differing cameras, scales and the like granted but the below rough comparison pic.
You tell me if it looks the same to you.
Well I for see some lathe work for a replacement part here!
Now the saucer depth at the edge is another thing that's just doesn't sit right.
Again with the scale calculator.
1/350th 18.52mm or 0.729".
1/260th 24.90mm or 0.980"
The DeBoer actual...
Almost a 2mm too deep but I taking that off think is not going to be enough.
Have to say i'm leaning toward about 6mm meself
I foresee a bit of seam splitting and rework hereabouts.
Not that big of a deal as the seam is already cracked.
That is partially because the saucer top has only the thickness of the bottom saucer edge to rest on and
there's no top to bottom bracing for the saucer included in the kit that I know of.
There will be once i'm done with it though.
Other areas of interest are the impulse drives,
the grilles of which are a little too deep top to bottom
and the hollow brass square run in the pylons for the wiring to the
nacelles sits a little to close to the surface in the castings for comfort.
And before you ask, no it does not extend in to the secondary hull so not a proper bracer
as such but a little tinkering from yours truly and it will be.
Like all the faults, they can be corrected and will be.
Now i'll grant you, a lot of this may seem like nit picking and to some,
that may be true but please bear this in mind that while I grant you,
It could be considered a garage kit and at times they have their faults but,
this beast in kit form will give little to no change from $2000 USD.
Just think about that for a sec...
2000 George Washington portraits.
Add to that and doing a copy and paste direct from the manufacturers website:
We wanted to make the patterns as accurate and beautiful as possible.
No argument that the patterns were damn nice.
Unlike others kits where the detailing is close, this model is right on!
For whatever my take on it is worth,
no, the detailing is not right on.
This is the kit for the serious collector who demands only the best!
It is for the serious collector with serious money, that much is true and in the scale, it's the only one there is currently.
Most certainly in a kit costing two grand I would demand only the best!
Which to be honest with you, I am just not fuckin' seeing it with this.
But that's just my opinion.
So in closing, a bloody big Refit at 46" long which is no bad thing.
I'll do my best to make it look as the client wants but we'll see how that goes
after dealing with everything that's been done to her so far.
Many a part to remake to my satisfaction with much cleaning up to sort and i'll say it now,
I am no fan of a battle damaged Refit but I do what i'm paid to do and that's all there is to it.
It will be a little while in the future before I get to having a serious grapple with my favourite Starship so that's all for now.
Go easy out there all o' ya!