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Polar Lights 1:350th NCC-1701 U.S.S. Enterprise Model Kit Review

Article by Paul Nortness

"Space... The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It's five year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before."

Those words are embedded in the memories of sci fi fans around the world. Up until a few years ago, if you were a "Trekker" and a modeler you didn't really have many options when it came to building a replica of your favorite starship. Polar Lights began releasing Star Trek kits around 2003 and in 2004 came out with the holy grail for Star Trek modelers, the 1:350th scale U.S.S. Enterprise. This model kit disappeared when Polar Lights closed their doors. Then, in 2010 a company called Round 2 took over and re-released this amazing kit. The kit represents either the "refit" as seen in the Star Trek Motion Picture through Search for Spock and also includes parts and decals for NCC-1701-A from Voyage Home.

star trek model kit

The Box

The first thing you will notice is the box. It is thick, sturdy cardboard that feels solid. The box art is amazing, with a large painting of the Enterprise on the front and detailed pictures on the back. As you pull the cover off, you will see a picture of Captain Kirk with a few quotes from Star Trek. It's all very classy looking. I could literally rave about the box alone!

star trek model kit 1

Inside

Opening the box will leave you speechless. The parts are gigantic! The model measures a little over 35 inches once completed. The saucer and engine nacelles are the first parts to greet your drooling face. The nacelles are longer than my forearms. The sheer size of this model is unbelievable.

star trek model kit 2

The saucer is much bigger in diameter than an LP (bonus points if you remember LPs!). The molding is very crisp with almost no flash at all. Parts are nicely detailed with clean recessed panel lines. The kit also includes a fully detailed shuttle bay complete with several shuttles. The bay is so well detailed, I have even seen people display the bay separately. Upon receiving the kit, I popped in the blu ray of "The Motion Picture" and watched the scene with Scotty flying Kirk around the refitted Enterprise while in dry dock. The designers of this kit did not miss anything.

star trek model kit 3

From docking bays to windows, everything is in place and fully detailed. The included stand even matches the pattern of the dry dock in that scene, a very nice touch. Another nice touch is the pre-drilled view ports. This makes installing a lighting kit (which I will touch on shortly) much easier as everything is ready to go. They have also included several interior sections that can be seen from the outside, such as the Arboretum deck. The model is held aloft on it's stand with a thick metal rod.


The Decals

But wait! We're not out of awe inspiring territory yet. At the bottom of the box, you will find a large bag of decals. The decals are amazing...

star trek model kit 4

Not only do you get a complete set of markings for the NCC-1701 and 1701-A, you get 4 huge sheets of "Aztec" decals. These are large decals that cover the entire surface and give it a pearlescent appearance and accent individual panels. Markings are provided for the aforementioned shuttle craft as well. This is the first kit I have ever seen where the decals had their own instruction sheet, and that sheet contained more steps than the building instructions!

star trek model kit 5

Aftermarket Options

There a many aftermarket options available for this kit. The photo etch sets available are the most affordable, costing around $35.00. These sets include window framing, girders and supports for the shuttle bay, even 350th scale crew members! There are also several resin sets available. If you intend on building the Enterprise-A, you should look into the resin shuttle bay. It is different between the two versions and the kit only includes one version. You can also get resin sets of shuttles and travel pods. The more expensive aftermarket sets for this kit are lighting kits. While this kit builds into a fine looking model without lights, it turns into a piece of art with lighting. These kits are not cheap however, ranging in price from $150.00 to $250.00. The cheaper versions usually come as a kit, with the builder having to solder all the connections whereas the more expensive versions are pre-wired and just require you to install it into the model.

star trek model kit 6

Whether you choose to add all the aftermarket options or just build it straight out of the box, you will have a stunning rendition of the starship Enterprise in this model kit. It is very evident that the designers did their research and created an amazing kit. It is almost an insult to call this a model kit, it's like calling the Mona Lisa just a painting. The 1:350th scale NCC-1701 USS Enterprise is a masterpiece.

Now boldly go to your local hobby shop and pick up this amazing model.

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