Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Closer look at Round2's 1/1400 scale Clear USS Enterprise D

This iconic ship was made famous in The Next Generation Series, encompassing 7 seasons and 1 movie where she was ultimately destroyed in favour of the Enterprise E. This ship is massive compared to the classic series and has over a thousand crew members. That's a hint there if you decide on building this ship. She is suppose to look massive and superior.

I did an initial review HERE where knowing that this kit now comes in transparent plastic means it was going to be tough working on her. Its a material I'm not particularly fond of when it comes to sanding, drilling and puttying. The potential of cracking the clear plastic parts is very high. I did mention that this was going to be the one kit I was going to pass, but after seeing her in person, I may actually decide to change my mind later.

You see, a very good friend had asked me for help to get him one, so I placed an order with Starship Modeller, and took the opportunity to have a quick look over when it arrived - with his permission of course. I'll admit I was very surprised when I looked at it. The kit itself is actually quite impressive.

First thing that caught my attention was the packaging. The box art was alright and I have to admit Round2 did a nice job with this kit's packaging, almost like they gave her some extra loving attention. 

Top Box Art
Bottom Box Art with highlights on their other Star Trek product range
 Another thing that caught my eyes was the box itself, sturdy and strong unlike its' predecessor's (earlier version had the box soft and flimsy). I am guessing it needs to be so, since it had to protect all those fragile transparent parts. Or it could also be that the box itself is now much smaller and compressed, making her sturdier. The earlier issues were quite long and broad. All the parts with their spruce trees and decals were wrapped within their own individual plastic bags, and they actually fitted quite well inside eliminating any redundant space. 

Though I had permission to remove the parts from their plastic bags to do this review, I decided against it as my earlier highlight already had images of the parts with their spruce tree. I'll give that honour to my friend, after all, it is his kit now. But believe me, I was tempted.

The decals are actually fascinating. They looked so much better than their earlier issues, and now contain the dreaded Aztec patterns. What I particularly liked about it was its presentation. The decals were neatly arranged, and were protected with wax papers sealed within their own plastic wrapping - nice touch since we know how these decals can easily get damaged when kept too long in their boxes. Round2 actually provided 4 A4 size wax papers, each fitting the individual decal sheets - nice touch.

Another thing about the decals, they look comprehensive enough and the grey shades tell me they're designed more toward the movie version. One thing's for sure, it sure beats masking the whole ship when it comes to painting her. That just saved a lot of modelers about one week's worth of work and masking tapes.

Here are better images of them in all their glory

The one thing I didn't notice until my friend took possession of her and showed me, was the molding on the kit itself. Holy cow ... I'm not sure how but I believe this kit was actually molded using the original molds, making it a "smoothie" version, as in when she was first launched by AMT. Later versions had all those incorrect fancy panel lines incorporated unto their surfaces that required major sanding off. This means you'll only need to sand off the life boat panels to get her to look more like the actual studio model kit (you have the decals so you don't need those panel lines there anyway). Its definitely a plus point there.


Ooops ... my bad. Teach me to review stuff without removing the packaging. The panel lines on this kit is apparently there. They're fine panel lines and I wasn't able to see them through the plastic wrappers. The changed area on this kit was on the phaser banks. They're lower and smoother. Sorry about that

OK, back to the regular program .....
However, the original mold did have inconsistent parts which this kit now inherits. You'll need to rework those areas, such as the bridge, and the bottom saucer windows for Ten Forward. One GK that supplies such parts is Don Light and Magic. You can browse his site to see what you need there.

In conclusion, this kit may not be that bad after all. Its definitely something different to work on except that she's a little pricey for a plastic kit.


  1. Dang. Now my hands are itchy.

    Please SMS me the price again to stop me from buying it, Bruce.


  2. Chow ... I'm afraid the price is cheaper than what you paid for the Tron's disk ..... sorreeee

  3. In that case, I am intersted in one.

    No, make that two.

    No, no, I want three.

    Aw, heck, give me a container load. They'll be great for plastic plates in high-tea buffet...


  4. Thanks for the "clear" pictures, especially of the decals -- way more detail than I could hope to paint on myself. I always thought it would be so much easier if they made a clear plastic version, or a version with the windows already cut out. Now it's here!