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Star Trek Model Kits: U.S.S. Excelsior update

posted by JamieH 3:28 PM
Friday, February 26, 2016

This time I’m coming back around to the Star Trek U.S.S. Excelsior model kit that should be coming by summertime. I received the first test shots a couple weeks ago and they look pretty good for the most part. There are always bugs to work out of course. The main thing about this particular set is the rough surface texture left from the RP that was used to make the electrodes that cut the tooling. Most of that work will be done by hand at the factory. The staff over there will need to take special care not to impact the nice delicate engraved panel lines we have on parts of the lower hull.

We made quite a few improvements on this version compared to the old AMT kit you might remember. In the end over half the kit was retooled including the entire lower hull. We used Gary Kerr’s notes and research on the aft weapon array and interior detail to get extremely close to the look of the filming miniature.

The parts are subject to licensor review.

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50 Responses to “Star Trek Model Kits: U.S.S. Excelsior update”

  1. Michael Scarola says:

    Beautiful job! This looks much better than the old AMT kit did.

  2. Mark Belsom says:

    All I’ll say is ‘WOW’

  3. Peter Hicks says:

    So beyond the secondary hull, which other components are new, and which are “vintage”? Is this the only new/heavily modified Trek kit we should expect to be released in 2016?

    • JamieH says:

      The existing parts are the lower saucer and neck which we updated for our Enterprise-B re-issue, the pylons and nacelles. Originally, I thought we could get by with a little less, but misunderstandings at the factory worked to our benefit on this one.

  4. Looking great!

    Looks like that secondary hull was shortened a bit. Great observation, I did the same on an older version of this kit and it helped the profile quite a bit.

    Cheers!

  5. DavidWeimer says:

    its look nice model kit i cannot wait for it this summer time for this kit that is cool model then i will be getting the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-B as well.

  6. I enjoyed viewing this new offer in design for building.

  7. Ryan Thorne says:

    It looks good. Now do it in 1/2500. A new tool of the 1701-D in 1/2500 would be lovely, too.

  8. James G says:

    Will You guys Be rereleasing The 1/1000 Ent-B
    Will You Guy Release A 1/2500 scale Version

    I would Really Like A Reply

    • JamieH says:

      nothing planned at the moment, but they are strong ideas to consider down the road.

      • James G says:

        Some Said there There Might be A 2nd Motion Picture Set OF An NX/NCC 2000, A Bird of prey, AN Obreth Class in 1/2500 Scale on One of the round 2 sites

        • JamieH says:

          I might have said at one point that that seems like a good idea (and it is!), but there is nothing to report as far as us moving forward on it. I’ve also given a lot of consideration to doing the Oberth and KBoP in 1/1000 too, but nothing to report on that front either.

  9. Ed Bailey says:

    I notice the different parts for the front of the hangar deck for NX-2000 and NCC-2000. Fantastic!

    It sounds like the die makers in China are pantographing from the 3D printed part, instead of just doing CNC EDM.* Don’t they have that capability, and wouldn’t it save trouble?

    *(For the acronym-impaired, that’s Electric Discharge Milling, a way of blasting the surface of the metal with a very pointy electrode, using Computer Numerical Control.)

  10. Warp8 says:

    Ooh man… Looks like Christmas is coming early this year! 😀

  11. Jeff says:

    Looking forward to this!

  12. George Belknap says:

    Looks great. The Excelsior was always one of my favorite ships The original AMT kit wasn’t bad but they did get quite a few things wrong. Round 2’s new parts should make this a much better and more accurate kit.
    Looking forward to this one this Summer.

  13. Shane says:

    But really how accurate will it be? Will it be like every other Trek kit and have so many inaccuracies I’ll spend 200 bucks on resin after market parts to make it accurate? And why oh way cant you guys make it accurate from the start. It drives me insane to have to purchase something to find out it isnt accurate and I have to sell a kidney to make it so. Anyway I wish you all the best and I hope it sells bucket loads.

    • JamieH says:

      We made it as accurate as we could make them, but we had to work with the limitation of the existing parts. There is little definitive reference on the NX version of the ship and the images of the NCC version are limited. We were privy to some reference materials that can’t be found online that really helped, but claiming to be 100% accurate on this particular ship can be a slipery slope.

  14. Lee says:

    I think this is a huge improvement on the original, that rear photon launcher is great, much more like the studio model. The extra hull lines to show where it is blue it also a great addition. One thing though the original is difficult to put fibre optics around the saucer because the lower section fits in such a way it fouls on any fibres you have put in, has that been fixed?

  15. Dave says:

    The deflector dish looks different too. This ship really addresses all of the issues the original version was plagued with.

    Jamie, over the years as you folks have tweeked various kits, have you ever communicated with the individuals who originally developed the kits? If so, what was their take on the improvements that were made?

    • JamieH says:

      I’m not a model kit historian by any means. I know John G. stays in contact with some of the guys that worked on the car kits back in the day, but have never taken the time to learn who worked on the sci-fi kits.

      • Tye. G says:

        Well Jamie, once again you guys have done an outstanding job improving inaccurate kits we’ve had to live with for many years..so THANK you!
        I do have a couple questions, I know Im alittle late commenting on the Galileo, but I, like many other’s am extremely disappointed that after voting it to be the next kit done, and waiting many years now, to hear nothing has moved forward with it is very hard.But I do thank you for being honest about what’s really going on with it, I know that wasn’t easy for you to come clean about.But also hearing that it’s not dead and just delayed for the time being, made that bitter pill alittle easier to take,And even more so, I GREATLY appreciate you personally trying to to find away to get the kit done, and hopefully, as you said, SOONER rather than later.So thanks a million Jamie.And not to speak for anyone else, cause I know you take some flake here, but I know you taking the time to keep us fans updated as best you can is really really appreciated, even when the news isn’t good, so THANK YOU!
        Now,that being said,to my questions.
        You mentioned in the other blog, that you and R2 are well aware of the demand for the Galileo, as well as other shuttles and ships.
        I’d like to know if you and the other powers that be, either have already, or would consider some of the next Generation shuttles, like the type 6,7or 9, or after releasing a far from accurate, but greatly improved,bridge set, much better figure’s, but how about a Enterprise-D bridge and figures, I know you mentioned things being kind of tight this year, but this year being the 50th, as you already know, MANY of us are hoping for a new Star Trek release,more than one would be great, but at least one, hopefully the 1/1000 D ;-),but any rerelease’s in the pipeline, say, the Romulan Warbird,or the clear -D or at least a stand alone release of the decals that came with the clear D??
        Thanks for your time!

        • JamieH says:

          Hi Tye. Thanks for the sentiment. I really do appreciate hearing that even if the news isn’t good that just getting a straight answer is taken well.
          Others have mentioned TNG shuttles and though they are lower on my list, they are noted. It seems like doing more shuttles but at a smaller, manageable scale might be worth considering. I’d like to do a 1701-D bridge, but compared to the TOS version, it would be big and no parts would repeat. Repeating parts really help in cases like that.
          As far as additional re-issues, look for a clear 1:1400 1701-D. Aztec decals will be offered separately and will likely be made by Cartograf (as will our Excelsior aztecs). As something “different/unexpected” we’ll be offering an F-104 Starfighter with a 1/2500 TOS Enterprise included as a “forced perspective” value-add. A few other things of more interest are up in the air.

          • Paul Pratt says:

            I would really like the 1400 enterprise D to NOT be released. I think the primary contributing factor to the interest in 1400 is because of the widespread development of 1400 garage kits (which in turn were created because of the 1400 Enterprise models). Despite that I don’t really see a real future in the scale. I know there isn’t any major investments involved with a project like this, but I would really like to see something else done.

            From my simple, outside view, 1/2500 and 1/1000 I think are the better avenues. 1/1000 allows us to get all the favorite ships in a large, detailed scale and 1/2500 allows generally anything across the board to be made. I believe in 1/350 too, but that is an extremely specific and delicate category. Three scales is enough (although I would appreciate a 1/72 shuttle scale). There looks to be too much fragmentation in this already niche hobby which, again, to me, looks like it would lead to many wasted resources.

            In 1/2500 scale you now have a growing demographic in places like miniature gaming, particularly with the popular Star Trek attack wing game, people are interested in replacing the out of scale toy ships with scaled, more accurate models. Perhaps a partnership or developing a starship based game of your own would generate an interest in the models and allow you to begin branching out into other ships not called enterprise?

            Eagle moss, although not exactly the same as what you are doing, is stealing your ultimate result with the customer. Eagle moss, however, can’t deliver a scale experience, which would seem to be a desire in the world of trek ship collecting. People know the Enterprise D is larger than voyager or the jem hadar cruiser is larger than the defiant, they want to feel that and no one is delivering it. Only this company can deliver that feeling out of everyone currently in the market of making “ships” the selection here is limited, and has been largely cyclical since the late 80s.

            I think a new 2500 galaxy class with the ability to re-release elements of the kit as a nebula class would be more fruitful for the hobby if an enterprise is required to lead the way into a new place. That way the “marketing department (for lack of a better term – higher ups maybe – you – not sure?)” and the fans can be satisfied.

            Of course, i’m not sitting in your chair and I know these things take time and have numerous considerations. They seem so simple out here, but when tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars are wagered, things must be carefully weighed, things we aren’t privy to.

            Thanks for all your efforts and communication.

          • Tye. G says:

            Hey Jamie…
            In regard to the 1701-D, decals being released separately,which GREAT news BTW,I assume you have input on what the decals look like,and instrict the company doing them,I was wondering if, and this may just be me and my opinion, but the pictures I’ve seen of the Aztec decals that came with the clear D,and Ive never seen them in person, so it may just be how they photographed, but they seemed alittle dark.If true, they really need to be abit lighter and more subtle, came this be done?
            THANKS!

  16. Manuel Stocks says:

    Looks great! Will there be an aztek decal sheet available as well?

  17. Chris says:

    Nice! Me want!

  18. Brandon says:

    Kit looks really good. That neck however has been a pain in the rear for decades now. Someone please come in and do something about that thing. It is a nightmare! The test shots look great until you see that “neck”. It is painful to look at. I can’t be the only one that thinks this?

  19. B R says:

    So uh… How about a 1:350 version of this?

  20. Jeff says:

    Jamie, I sent an e-mail to R2 a while back and never got a response, so I’ll ask here.

    Is there any chance of the 1/1000 Refit Aztecs ever being sold separately? I’d buy a couple of sets for kitbashes and spares.

  21. Rory H says:

    Het Jamie I just wanted to let you guys know that you have the upper phaser banks in the wrong spots there should be two shield grid lines between them but you guys have three on each side after the first bank this ends up putting all the side phasers in the wrong spots.

    • JamieH says:

      One of the slight deviations we did was to make the grid lines on the top of the saucer match the ones on the lower saucer which were in error. There are more more “pie wedges” in the saucer on the miniature compared to what there are in the kit.

  22. Richard says:

    The kit looks pretty good overall, but the side profile shot kind of shows that the kit has a ‘banana’ shape. I hope this error will be corrected in the final kit.

  23. David says:

    Jamie, will the errors be corrected??

    • JamieH says:

      To the grid lines? Those are pretty much locked in.

      • David says:

        After reading your post last week regarding a comment made about the phasers placements I went and compared the new saucer piece to reference photos and have determined the grid lines are all in the correct positions and have the correct number of ‘pie slices’ for the upper part, and the only error I can see are the phaser placements.

  24. Mach7 says:

    Hey Jamie,

    Can you give some more info on the F-104/Enterprise kit?

    What F-104 will you be using? The old Hawk kit, The Lindberg kit, or the old AMT kit?

    What will the layout be?

    Thanks

    Mark

  25. mark bernero says:

    Will you be able to to ST:Voyager kits? If so witch scale(s)?

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