AMT’s “Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise” Model Kit Redux
After my recent do-over on the Eagle 1 model from Space: 1999, I started eyeing another kit to take to the next level. AMT’s old-school model of the Enterprise was the first kit I built in my recent return to modeling. At that time, I was pleased with how it came out. That said, after some of my latest builds, I was itching to take another swing at the old ‘garbage scow‘.
This time around, I bought AMT “The Tholian Web” USS Enterprise kit, which is basically the same as the original AMT kit, with two differences. First, it comes with the two Tholian ships that constructed the web around the Enterprise during that episode of Star Trek. Second, the pieces are molded in glow-in-the-dark plastic. This way you can build the USS Defiant and it will appear a ghostly green. Unfortunately, the way this old AMT kit is molded, you’ll also be left with unsightly gaps and seams. Basically, I picked up this kit because it was a little cheaper, and for the two Tholian ships as well. I want to build a better Enterprise, not Defiant.
Just like the standard AMT Enterprise kit, this one comes with plenty of decals. Enough for any of the original Constitution-class ships and their “Mirror, Mirror” counterparts. Some of the decals are in pretty tight spots, so you will need to be good with the scissors or blade. Personally, I think the fit and finish of this particular kit was not as strong as the standard kit. Perhaps it was just this box, or maybe glow-in-the-dark plastic is a bit different, but I found the gapping and seaming on this model was a bit worse than the collectors tin version. That being said, AMT’s Enterprise model was never particular well designed. The secondary hull has very few molded connections, and is a pain to get right. Even then, there is no way to avoid seaming. Same with the engines and the primary hull. The upside, it’s exactly like you remember. With work, the AMT Enterprise kit can turn out quite nice.
This time, I went with Testors flat white as a primer. There is a lot of conjecture about the ‘true’ color of the hull of the Enterprise. For me, I wanted something that captured the ship, as I saw it, on the TV screen when I was a kid. To my eye, that color was always a kind of weird baigy-grey. Originally, I was going to go with Testors Camouflage Grey, but it seemed a bit too light, like khaki’s. After spending too much time staring at spray paints, I ended up picking Testors Light Aircraft Grey, and it looks about 99% perfect, I think.
For the front of the engine nacelles, I selected Testors copper, and for the deflector array, Testors gold. For the tips on the backs of the engines, I used Testors flat steel. And, for the cooling ‘fins’, the tops are in standard Testors grey, and the insides in Testors flat black. The window decals really show well against the Testors Light Aircraft Grey hull. The kit was finished off with a couple of coats of Testors gloss finish. Like with the Eagle 1 model, this Enterprise spent a good deal of time under the putty knife and sandpaper. While I wasn’t able to eliminate all of the seams (shakes fist at sky), I am really happy with how this built came out.
- Often a little cheaper than the standard AMT Enterprise model, plus the Tholian ships.
- Not too small, or too big, like the Polar Lights kits.
- Fun built, which can be a very nice looking Enterprise model.
- Still uses AMT’s decades-old castings, so, the molding is not great.
- It will take work and patience to get it too look ‘right’.
Verdict = Recommended.
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