Northstar/DeBoer USS Reliant
To paraphrase a well known Star Trek bad guy...
"You Still Remember This Ship, Old Friend,
I Cannot Help...
But Be Touched...
in The Head."
OK gang, got this as part of the payment so to speak for doing the DeBoer Refit.
Now it's a part started and generally fiddled about with
bit of work but it's all there so certainly not beyond salvage.
Now since it's going to be a personal build, that gives me the freedom to do whatever the hell I want...
Which is going to make a nice change.
So let's get to it with what I have to work with.
Top hull outside and inside.
Now true it has been painted and windows sort of drilled out but it's all stuff to sort and/or rectify...
and it will be!
The rods on the inside are brass square section tube for re enforcement.
There's some aluminium foil tape presumably for light blocking but that will get stripped.
On to the underside hull outside and inside.
The LED light strip, wiring and so on will get removed.
i'll be making an internal armature for the hull to ensure support and stability,
that will also assist in fixing top and bottom together as there is bugger all
other than the very edges of the epoxy fiberglass moulding's to mount the parts together.
Like so with top hull and bottom hull edges shown...
Gotta say, pretty damn poor planning on the manufacturers behalf but it is what it is and it will get sorted.
The detailing is reasonably crisp on both parts but with some air bubbles present.
To be expected with a hand lay up laminate and air bubbles are no stranger to me so not a big deal.
The saucer edge has the same problem as the DeBoer Refit
In that it's too thick top to bottom by about 2mm or maybe a bit more.
Again a problem for purists and me as well to a certain degree.
Rest assured it is but one more thing to rectify and by no means the end of that list.
The back end of the lower hull now.
Detail is pretty good but one of the hangar doors has been removed.
This was done as the previous builder was going to install a hangar bay.
I have that as well but we'll get to it in a bit.
The warp nacelles and pylons.
One nacelle is assembled, the other not completely done.
As you can see from the open one, it has been fitted with LED's and two
cold cathode fluorescent lamps for the warp engine lighting.
Again, all the lighting will be removed.
The nacelles suffer from the same thin edge to edge fixing as the hull
with no larger lip surface/locating join areas or the like.
Detail parts now.
The top and bottom of the roll bar,
top and bottom of the photon launcher pod,
impulse drive and impulse top crystal housing.
Again, detail is not too shabby.
They are something to work with.
The bridge dome part is the same as the Refit part, thus inaccurate to how the studio model is.
And the bottom is not flat, same as the refit part.
This will be used as a basis to make a more accurate one by removing
the 'M' shapes on the top dome part and reworking the skirt
to close up the floodlight holes, they should be more narrow than on the Refit.
Also the flat strip area above the lights should have more of smooth a curve
as it goes up toward the rear of the dome on Reliant.
Like so on the Refit and Reliant studio models respectively...
To be honest, i'll probably just drop kick the supplied part in to the bin and make a fresh one from scratch.
Easier in the long run methinks.
The inner warp grille on the nacelles has exactly the same problem of
being inexplicably bloody wrong as it does on the DeBoer Refit engines.
The outer grilles are no problem and more or less correct in concave shape.
The inner grilles should also be concave.
The studio model below...
And the DeBoer one...
Nope, this isn't anything to do with how it's been assembled by the last builder before you ask.
They are like that in both kits and both have only 4 grooves where there should be five.
The front smaller side grilles of the engine, also incorrect.
Well I say 'incorrect', the grilles do sit in a slight depression as they should but
they are just repeat parts from the Refit and as such, the wrong shape.
The studio model ones are a lot shorter in overall length and have a raised panel at the rear.
The studio model...
And the kit part...
Scrap and build fresh there!
So last bits that it came with.
Front and rear photon torpedo tube fascias,
a couple of mystery circuit boards that won't remain a mystery for much longer,
several CCFL lamps with inverters,
several low power laser emitters,
roll bar end phaser pods,
switches and a damaged impulse crystal that was going to have an interior damaged section under it.
I have that damaged section model.
And also the hangar bay bits that I mentioned earlier.
The required paperwork of course.
What's left of the kit supplied waterslide decal sheet,
several sheets of laser printed waterslides I did for the original builder MANY moons ago
and what's left of a set of Aztek Dummy vynil masks.
Nay prob on the markings, they will probably get done in dry rubdown format
like the ones for the 1/350th refit I did a wee while ago.
Ok then, final roundup!
This is a first issue kit and with that in mind...
Now I can't say for sure but I think some of the parts for the Reliant underwent some reworking not too long ago.
That said, after looking at the pics of one built up on the DeBoer Hulls site,
the bridge dome has been redone ever so slightly but still not enough to be convincing.
As to the rest, I see no difference between the one I have and the one pictured on the site.
So as to what we have here, well it looks pretty much like a Reliant.
As long as you don't look too closely and/or don't have some knowledge of the studio model.
If you do look close/have knowledge then the errors kinda tend to smack you up the back of the head.
And they did here I can tell you!
All I can say in final note is that this kit can set you back $2500 USD.
My opinion for whatever it's worth...
DeBoer could have and bloody well should have done better for the money.
For $2.5K I would expect it to be spot on in all things,
no arguments or excuses considering the info/pictures on this ship that has been out there for a fair number of years.
Just feed the words 'Reliant studio model' in to Goggle or
pull up a chair, crack open a cold one and watch 'Wrath of Kahn' for christ sake!
At that price point, only eight words come to mind...
Not fucking worth that amount in any way.
For myself, didn't pay that but should recover that with some on top once she's been shown the TLC she deserves,
cleaned up, repaired, rebuilt, painted in pearl and FULLY LiT in proper fashion.
How and most importantly, when that will happen is another matter.
Untill next time, you merry mob go easy out there now.