Kit Review: 1/2500 Shenzhou: Parts 2-3

Happy Sunday everyone!

I missed last weeks post so I decided to combine these next to parts of the Shenzhou build!

I had originally had based this kit in the show’s gunmetal silver, but I decided to go with the more traditional hull grey to go with my custom decals. You can really see the purple clear sections pop out on the deflector area. The detail molded here is pretty screen accurate for my eyes.

I left a couple sections the gunmetal for contrast on the model. Unlike the discovery kit, this is a pretty small ship at this scale and is fairly soft on the details on most of the vessel. As before the reliance on the decals is clear. I am not sure if that’s a bad thing to note on the kit, but I felt its worth mentioning on the review.

Like the discovery, the shuttle bay looms large enough to drop in a aftermarket part to show it open. A note in the nacelles, the clear section is not very visible on the kit. I’d like to see more of those sections on non-lit kits.

After finishing up the painting portion and letting the clear coat base dry I applied the dorsal section decals. With the custom decals for the blue sections and registry, this was challenging to cut the kits hull plating and crossing it with the custom decals. Again, my biggest compliant is the registry being included with the hull panels. Hopefully if the kit makes it to the larger scale this is changed. You can also see the size difference. The Shenzhou is tiny compared to the discovery!

Here is he leftovers for the red panels. I bagged them for a future project. I really like the red color, and I’d like to see more ships with this hull paneling.

Here is the ventral side after the decals. Again, splicing the custom blue panels to the kit decals was tedious to say the least, but I think the results really hit the mark.

Here is an overview of the final project before one more coat of clear coat and the finished photos.

Final thoughts:

• R2, separate the registry for the hull planets! Please!

• This kit feels like a 1/2500 kit compared to the discovery. The Shenzhou would be perfect in the proposed 1/1000 or 1/1400 scales. You could really add some detail at those sizes.

• The clear nacelle pieces are not really visible on this kit. I wonder if it’s worth having them molded clear.

Kit review: 1/2500 Shenzhou

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I wanted to share a few shots of the Shenzhou model tonight. So far in ST Disco she is my favorite ship. After holding the model first with Eaglemoss and then the R2 model, it ranks up in the top ten. I dig the underslung bridge, the general layout of the hull, and the nacelles.

Here is a quick shot of the over box contents. The kit is pretty small. In the next installment I will compare it to the Eaglemoss subject, EM is slightly larger. Parts count is under 30 I believe and is molded in the hull color.

Building her will be straight forward. After trying to dry fit a few sections to appease my excitement, I’ve already enlarged the female connectors to make it slide easier. Maybe I have butch hands but I felt I was going to smash it trying to secure the underrack.

The new base we have been introduced to and the clear spruce are up next. I am surprised how little of the nacelle clear parts you see. I will be going with all purple for these pieces. The deflector is clear to allow for any light to come through, I will be coating it silver to match the show piece.

Finally the two decal sheets. Great quality but as indicated in other reviews, having the registry on the main panel really puts a damper on any customization with the kit decals. I’ve ordered a blue scheme to try and match my STO Walker class.

Final thoughts:

• Another home run for R2. These kits are fun, easy, and accurate.

• They need to make it bigger! After building two Crossfields and this one on deck, I think at 1/1400 would make the most sense. This kit especially would sit just larger than the TOS-E and still look right without taking up too much shelf space.

• Separate the decal panels and the registry. As someone who rarely builds hero ships, this is my only really critique.

Comments and suggestions welcome! Please enjoy this review!

1/2500 Crossfield build: version 2

Happy early Friday!

I wanted to share a few shots of my second version of the Crossfield class model. This time I went with the metal silver color. I used a black base and hit it with a citadel gunmetal. The clear pieces were hand painted a amethyst purple, which really pops out, and blue for the nacelle caps. Decals were the oob and I had some a custom registry.

Overall a great little weekender project!

NCC-0508 U.S.S. Shackleton

U.S.S. Shackleton

NCC-0508

Einstein Class Deep Space Cruiser

By the end of the 22nd century, the borders of the Federation had nearly tripled in size and volume, expanding far deeper into the void of space that the founding members ever anticipated in 2165. With the aging fleet of cruisers hitting the fifty year life expectancy of their classes, Starfleet Command authorized a massive expansion and modernization of the fleet. The project would consist of two design arms, one following the unorthodox Discovery capital cruiser program based on Andoria , while the other followed the Jeffries initiative program, based on Earth. The new program and its unique division arms would usher in what many consider to be the foundation of the classic Starfleet, including the Boneventure, Einstein, Walker, and Cardenas classes.

The Shackleton’s keel was laid with the first class of thirty based on the Einstein Class design. Initial trials proved the design elegant and simple, allowing the vessel type and its sister designs to be widely produced and provided Starfleet with the ships it needed to patrol the ever increasing borders and conduct its exploratory role. The first production batch of the Einsteins were designated deep space explorers.

The Shackleton, or warmly referred by her crew as “the Shack”, was tasked with deep space exploration of nebulae near the galactic core. Under the command of Andorian Renos Ch’ziannan, the Shackleton charted 14 occurrences of a rare spatial disturbance causing the space around the nebulae to distort causing fissures in deep space.

The Shackleton was later commissioned under the Corps of Engineers to establish a series of starbase outposts in the sector were the disturbances were found. Those outposts continued to operate well into the 24th century.

The Shackleton continued in service until its destruction during an operation to the ice world of Antarcian, where Captain Ch’ziannan piloted the vessel manually after a critical failure of the warp core forces the crew to evacuate. The crew survived on the frozen world for 4 months before another vessel conducted an investigation to the disappearance of the Shack.

Kit Review: 1/1000 Kelvin: Finale

Happy Fourth of July weekend everyone!

I wanted to share the completion shots of the Kelvin kit. I had a chance to finish the decals and to nurse some sunburns this weekend!

The decals for this kit are pretty sparse. With the size of this kit, you would think there would be more detailed ones to offer. Beside the Kelvin registry, there are only a handful of decals that would not be missed.

I included some hatches and and cargo doors on the lower saucer to break out some of the empty spaces. Those decals came from the TOS generic sheet leftovers I had from a prior build.

I included some windows on the ventral primary hull and some hatch covers on the nacelle casing. I decided on the UFP pennant banner to add a splash more color.

Here are two side shots for the registry on the nacelle. I really like this look. It’s clean and not too cluttered with the pinstripe down the casing.

A shot of the custom registry. I originally was going to use a 3 digit number but decided to stick with the same theme. The registry is the birthday for my wife!

I included the “license plate” decal beside the shuttle bay door.

I included some panels and red boxes on the top of the secondary hull as well to balance out what I had done to the lower section.

A final quarter overview to see her all together.

Final thoughts:

• 1/1000 is a great scale for trek models. You can go to town on the details or keep it out of box. The subject size gives you maximum shelf display vs space usage.

• This kit should have come with Aztec decals and additional detailing. For the coat, the Kelvin would have been a home run with a full set of decals. Some of us don’t like to mask!

• Post construction wise, I had a lot of problems with the stand post connector. If this gets a revamp in the future, I hope this part is structured differently.

Kit review: 1/1000 U.S.S. Kelvin: Part Three

Good afternoon everyone!

After another wonderful weekend exploring New England I decided to get another entry for the build review for the Kelvin.

It’s always a pleasure to do a new build and follow along with the instructions. If you’re like me, I’ve built a lot of the subject cases multiple times I can do it by memory! Moebius kits are very detailed on assembly. This is like the franklin kit, especially on the saucer section and I had some initial troubles fitting the edge sections in place. I suggestion working from either panel next to the impulse drive and working your way around!

I decided to go with the closed panels for this build. I like the turrets but may wait to see what comes out after market wise for some detailed turrets. The saucer fit will together and the best way is to line it up with the slots for the nacelle and secondary hull.

The nacelle and secondary hull went together nicely. The kit is pretty large and I am again struck by how much larger they are compared to the TOS nacelles.

Now I came to the crossroads all modelers face. Whether to build the whole kit and detail or work on sub assemblies.

I am a sucker on seeing the kits together personally so I decided to get all sections in place and let it set to allow the glue to cure.

After letting everything dry and hold together, I prepped my pastel wash to dirty this up. I picked up this trick a couple years ago and it’s a great tip for weathering models. I use a mixture of light tan pastel, one drop of soap, and water.

I decided to work counter clock wise on the saucer and will do two passes to get the right color.

This is the second round of washing. I worked my way around the saucer and made my way aft. By the time I got done with the last sections, I was ready to start the second coat.

This wash technique really allows you to weather to your hearts content. I’ve used it with charcoal and rust before and found it to not overwhelm the base hull color. The second part of the pastel wash tip is to clean off the excess debris with ear cleaners.

Rubbing and scraping the hull helps apply a blend of the two levels of wash and makes it more subtle. After everything was dry I hit it with another clear coat seal to let dry for the evening.

Here are the final shots for today. Next entry will continue with decals and the custom registry.

Kit Review: U.S.S. Kelvin: Part 2

Happy Fathers Day everyone!

After a great day at the beach, I needed a chance to cool down and nurse the sun burns, so I decided I could tinker with the Kelvin kit today.

This afternoon was the big push to get a base coat and try and put in some detail paint. A quick shot of my primary tools for this par:

I do have an airbrush setup but until I have a better location to set it up. These items can picked up at your local hobby store or big box locations. I highly recommend the paint and gilding pens. I think the copper and gold are rich colors and the blues/reds are great for impulse engines and nacelles.

The first step was to hit the ship with a base of black to get the hull color to stick better and add some layering. I try to keep it light for federation grey colors.

At this point I hit the metallics. I try to use a gun mental color for these parts. I decided to bridge this ship between the different timelines and make a silver deflector, similar to the Shenzhou. Discovery really opened up the field for me on adding some pop to the otherwise dull color schemes of Starfleet.

After the base coat set, I hit the hull pieces with my go to gull grey.

I also decided to drill the windows out. I still haven’t ventured into any real attempts on lighting, but at this scale, the windows look sharp when you can see the inner trim. I used my dremel for the windows. I also decided to dry fit the ship to see what the final product will look like:

Moebius really killed it with this kit. It is the perfect size and can be built at any level.

At this point I had intended to clear coat and call it a day, but I had a flash of inspiration. As you may know, sometimes you get this idea and it turns into a gamble on if it’s worth risking the progress of the project.

After reviewing my work so far, I couldn’t shake the federation blues(grey). This thing needs some color. I pulled out paint pot bucket and found my Chevy red color. It’s a great TOS orange and I thought why not give it a whirl.

Incredible! Yes I know it’s a small splash of color but I really felt good about the scheme. It has almost an x-wing/falcon feel to it. At this point, I felt my luck would not hold further, so after finding some choice panels I coated the first round in clear coat to set.

Stray observations:

– the molding on the kit is great. If the panels on the nacelle and secondary hull had been replicated on the saucer, there would be no need for aztecing.

– the turrets remind me of the galactica turrets. It is worth noting the ship does have tradition beam turret panels. Maybe a combination of the two armaments?

– this kit would look great with lighting. Enough space to wire and not too cramped.

As always, comments and suggestions welcome!

Kit review: 1/1000 U.S.S.Kelvin: Part 1

Good evening everyone!

This is the first part of my next kit review segments. The next few entries will be for the Kelvin kit!

This has been a dream kit for a long time. From seeing it glide onto the screen, the Kelvin has been one of my favorite ships. It reflects the modern era and pays tribute to what came before it.

The box is a pretty decent size, similar to the Franklin kit. The box itself is a work of writer and has some good beauty shots on the back to drool over during construction.

The decal sheet offers two options: either mint condition or worn down. At a glance it’s hard to tell, but the closer you get the details show up. The kit is lacking in some extra details which I plan to supplement with some generic tos hull sets.

The primary hull comes in two main pieces and the the edge sections separately. As you can see, this ship is pretty large, dwarfing the sentinel kit of the same size.

The hull detailing is a great! You can really spend some time on this kit or throw it together over the weekend and still get a great product.

Personally I don’t mind the raised section of panels on the far side of the saucer. I think my preference would have been to see that pattern all over but it’s not detrimental to my thoughts on the kit.

Here are a few shots of some dry fitting and some what-if scenarios. Unfortunately, the kit is a bit too pricey yet to by several to kitbash. I’m hoping g to eventually get a few more to make a newton style vessel and commandeer the saucer for another enterprise attempt.

Here are a few shots of the spruce trees. Again, you can see the detail and the size of this ship. The nacelles have a lot more heft to them compared to the polar lights TOS enterprise kit.

The windows on the kit will be great for anyone who wants to light this one up. I may end up drilling out the windows but I am goi g to make that call later on.

One thing I really enjoyed about the NuTrek movies were the phaser turrets. I thought the bolts were a fun change of pace and gave more WW2 battleship turrets feel. The kit comes with open and closed pieces. Still up on the air for this one…

Finally, a few shots of the stand and a few shots of the instruction booklet.

Stray observations:

Pros:

• Great size for the kit. Not too big, not too small. It will fit on my shelf.

• Moebius creates a fan favorite kit and compliments the work done on the Franklin.

• It has actual instructions and detailed photos. I detest the box instructions for some of the smaller trek kits.

Cons:

• A lacking of decals. I think having some extra red lines or some hatches would make the kit have some more depth. I am ordering a custom name for mine.

• I do wish there were some Aztec decals. I will probably not mask this ship so this might be a TOS paint job unless someone is offering them.

• The price. It’s a great kit, and I got a great deal at 39.41, but it’s still too steep to buy several for kitbashing.

U.S.S. Carillon NCC-1755

Historical Archive Report:

U.S.S. Carillon

NCC-1755

Shepard Class

Capt. Jose Cristianson

The Carillon was a Shepard class defense cruiser deployed by the Federation. The ship launched one year prior to the Klingon war that fundamentally changed how fleet operations occurred within the Starfleet.

In the early 2240s, the Corps of Engineers were tasked with replacing the outdated border and exploration fleets, many of which were manned by the now aging Shepard class vessels like the Shenzhou and Aldenville. Starfleet was beginning to reshape it’s fleets to become more streamlined, and the angled vessel styles were fast falling out of favor to the sleek and bold style which culminated in the Constitution class. The Shepard class vessel was the bridge between two generations of vessels.

The Carillon lived up to its namesake under Capt Cristianson. The vessel was deployed right at the edge of Federation territory near what would later be discovered as the Cardassian Empire. During the war, in an effort to not flat foot the entire fleet. The Carillon and it’s sister ships were kept to prevent other governments from taking advantage of the Federation’s worsening situation with the war.

The Carillon was deployed in orbit over Semara IV when the planet was assault by a flight over bird of preys that decloaked over the medical facilities. The Carillon and her crew withstood the assault for 20 hours, playing a cat and mouse game with the bird of preys until several Andorian cruisers arrived to reenforce the position.

The Carillon continued in the post war era as a vital defense vessel during the reconstruction of the fleet.