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Revell Germany 1/500 scale "Star Trek Into Darkness" USS Enterprise

Kit:04882 // Scale:1/500 // Price:$69.95
Revell Germany
Good fit and detail, clear windows, extensive decal sheet
Clear Bussard collectors must be installed in the warp engines before seam work can be done; color guide for Revell paints only
Injection-molded, 91 parts, decals

Revell Germany has released a model of the latest starship Enterprise, from the J.J. Abrams-directed 2013 movie "Star Trek Into Darkness." Molded in white and clear plastic, the model features good surface detail. For those who like to light their models, Revell Germany's design makes the job easier. All of the major assemblies are open to wiring, and the main and auxiliary hulls have clear windows.

A large instruction booklet features clear assembly diagrams along with extensive painting and decaling information, and a huge decal sheet covers all of the markings. Not surprisingly, only Revell paints are referenced. 

I built my Enterprise in four main subassemblies: main hull, auxiliary hull, and the two warp engines. While adding the parts to the saucer, be sure to check for ejector-pin marks; while none are visible, some can affect the fit of parts. I added all the clear parts to the saucer because I originally planned to assemble it completely before painting. But I wound up leaving it in upper and lower sections until final assembly. Leaving off the clear parts would have eliminated some masking.

I assembled the auxiliary hull completely, leaving off only the main sensor dish (Part B39). All the seams required some work, but the poorest fit was the upper engine pylon (Part H35) and the bottom center piece (H29). I filled seams with Mr. Surfacer 500; poorer fits required a couple of applications. A few dabs of epoxy putty filled minor gaps where the front piece (H36) fit the body.

Assembly of the warp nacelles posed a few challenges because the Bussard collector assemblies and the rear clear parts must be trapped between the nacelle halves. I assembled and painted these parts, leaving the masking on the clear Bussard collector domes to protect them during seam work and painting. I left off the clear bottom details (parts B78 and B79) for final assembly. Stretched sprue filled some slightly larger gaps at the top rear of the nacelles before a final coat of Mr. Surfacer.

Besides updating the look of the Enterprise, the movie reboot also stars the Aztec paint scheme first seen on the refitted starship in “The Motion Picture.”

To create the Aztec scheme for my Enterprise, I turned to Orbital Drydock’s excellent vinyl masking set. I was impressed with the fit of the masks, especially to the complex auxiliary hull and warp engines. While prepping and applying the masks took a lot of time, the effect is worth it. I custom-mixed Tamiya acrylics to an off-white (A color) and light gray (B color). On the main hull, I painted the B color first, applied the masks, then shot the A color. On the auxiliary hull and warp nacelles, I reversed the order: A first, mask, then B. 

After a coat of Vallejo clear polyurethane gloss, I applied decals. They are very thin and a bit brittle. I also found that they were difficult to move unless kept wet (I used Micro Set). They responded well to Micro Sol, especially where they needed to conform to complex curves. The numbers for the inside horizontal stripes on the warp nacelles (nos. 71 and 72) are reversed on the diagrams. Just make sure the angle at the front is correctly positioned and you’ll be OK. While most of the decals fit well, I couldn’t get the decals for the inside of the warp engine pylons (nos. 60 and 61) and the trim around the bottom of the pylons (nos. 45, 46, 47, and 49) to fit. So, I masked and painted these areas.

I spent 67 hours on my Enterprise; most of the time went to preparation for and application of the masks and decals. But if you built it right out of the box with a simple all-white scheme, you could produce an attractive replica in much less time.

Because Revell Germany’s license permits selling Trek kits in Europe only, you’ll need to shop around to find this one. But if you’re a Trek modeler, it’s worth the search.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the July 2014 FineScale Modeler.


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