Space & Sci-Fi Vehicles

Reviews of products for scale space and science fiction vehicle models.

U.S.S. Excelsior

Published: May 25th, 2017     
U.S.S. Excelsior
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1:1000
Company: Round 2 Models

The U.S.S. Excelsior has been a Star Trek favorite for quite some time now - one of the most elegant designs ever made for the Star Trek universe. I didn't notice this at first, but the designer was strongly influenced by the 1930s Art Deco Streamline Modern style, which features rounded shapes with straight fluting - quite a retro look when you stop and think about it. I remember a friend of mine, upon first seeing the Excelsior in detail, quipped "This model isn't so much a spaceship as a fashion statement." When you look at the extensive use of piping and other fine details, it's hard not to see his point.

AMT released a model of this lovely ship quite some time ago - almost 20 years, if recollection does not betray me. As a hard-core Star Trek fan and modeler I built this kit when it first came out, and still have it in my collection today.

However, Round 2 has really done this model justice on their re-release, updating and refining the parts to give the modeler the basis for a really stunning rendition of this iconic ship. A quick review of the redesigned parts reveal:

Excelsior Aztec Decals

Published: May 18th, 2017     
Excelsior Aztec Decals
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Scale: 1/1000
Company: Round 2 Models

Round 2 Models has released a large 3-sheet decal set to accompany their newly revised and released U.S.S. Excelsior kit from the Star Trek series. Printed by Cartograf, these decals are commendably thin and for the most part, feature little to no carrier film to deal with. They respond quite well to MicroSol, which I used to help them conform to some of the compound curves found on the model.

These sheets actually perform two functions rather than one; first, they provide decals for virtually all of the elaborate paint scheme for this model, eliminating an incredible amount of extremely tedious masking and painting. Second, they provide surface texture in the form of tiny panels. Let me deal with these two aspects separately.

Maschinen Krieger MK 44 Ausf.B Hammerknight

Published: March 10th, 2017     
Maschinen Krieger MK 44 Ausf.B Hammerknight
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell, IPMS# 49715
Scale: 1/20
Company: Hasegawa

For a long time now I have loved the look of this range of kits and have wanted to build one, so I jumped at the opportunity to build this kit. It is an excellent kit in the Hasegawa Machinen Krieger series. The kit is very easy to build as long as you watch the instruction details carefully.

In the Box

  • 11 x red sprues
  • 1 beige sprue
  • 1 clear sprue
  • 1 dark grey vinyl sprue of polycaps
  • 1 vinyl/rubber sprue
  • 1 decal sheet
  • 1 painting guide / collectors card
  • 1 instruction booklet
  • 1 small correction sheet for the instructions

All the sprues are extremely well molded with no flash and great detail. The decals allow you to finish the Mk 44 in many different ways. The painting guide shows 4 more, and 2 more on the back of the box.

Construction

Assembly begins with the feet and legs in steps 1 thru step 11. These are moveable due to the use of the vinyl polycaps in each joint. Construction of the legs and feet was very simple with no issues, and the parts fit nicely.

British Secret Projects 5: Britain's Space Shuttle

Published: February 17th, 2017     
British Secret Projects 5: Britain's Space Shuttle
Author: Dan Sharp
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Crecy Publishing, Ltd.

Dan Sharp studied history at the University of Liverpool and has worked as a writer and editor since 1998. As a hobby he began doing primary source research that has resulted in quite a few historical aviation books. These include Cold War - Sex, Spies and Nuclear Missiles (2013), Messerschmitt Me 262: Secret Projects and Experimental Prototypes (2013), Messerschmitt Bf 109: Secret Projects and Experimental Prototypes (2013), Dueling Above the Trenches - Sopwith Aircraft of the Great War (2014), D-Day Operation Overlord and the Battle for Normandy (2014), Luftwaffe Secret Jets of the Third Reich (2015), Spitfires Over Berlin (2015), The Hated Volksjager: Histories of the Heinkel He 162 (2015), and Luftwaffe - Secret Bombers of the Third Reich (2016). Dan Sharp currently lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children.

Star Wars Republic Star Destroyer

Published: December 31st, 2016     
Star Wars Republic Star Destroyer
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell, IPMS# 49715
Scale: 1/2256
Company: Revell, Inc.

This is a re-issue of a first released a few years ago by Revell Germany.

This is a kit of a Republic Star Destroyer from the Clone wars era of the Star Wars saga.

In the box is:

  • 4 x light grey sprues
  • 1 Upper Hull Section
  • 1 Lower Hull Section
  • 1 Decal sheet
  • 1 Instruction booklet

All the sprues are extremely well molded and great detail; the instruction booklet is easy to follow and well-illustrated.

Construction

Stage 1, 2 and 3 is the construction of the ships upper super structure and is very detailed. I decided to paint each sub assembly as I built the kit. I used a light grey spray can primer and this was a perfect match for the paint finish I wanted for the ship.

Stage 4 and 5 is the assembly and painting of the lower hull of the ship. This needed a lot of masking etc. for the best finish to the ship. I also weathered the side details of parts 39 to 49 at this stage to allow me more access to the parts before the hull assembly later.