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Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek’

With a great license like STAR TREK, there is no end to the subjects we can introduce as new kits, but sometimes the question does arrive of “What should we do next?”. That question is usually tied to the investment needed for tooling the kit. It isn’t easy to do large, grand scale kits very often, but there are plenty of ships to consider at smaller scales like our popular 1:1000 scale kits. Except for maybe the Klingon K’t’inga, we have represented most of the recognizable ships in one scale or another. However, it seems like nearly every time we’ve asked modelers what ideas they had in mind, we often found one ship asked for over and over… The U.S.S. Grissom. The Oberth-class ship is a bit of a departure from the usual Starfleet fare. Though a fan-favorite, the Grissom was infamously taken out by a Klingon Bird-of-Prey in STAR TREK: The Search For Spock before other Oberths went on to appear in three more films and several episodes of ST:TNG. The ship is a relatively small design with an accepted length of 120 meters. That gave us bit of pause to do as a 1:1000 scale kit. A kit of this size wouldn’t be substantial enough to stand on its own. Though a 1:350 scale kit of the ship seems very appealing, we felt the need to check the reaction to a smaller investment first and come back to a large scale later if that seems feasible. So, what could we do? We could have reboxed our Enterprise Refit and included it in that like we did with the Botany bay in our TOS Enterprise kit, but I wanted to hold out on that and see if teaming the Refit with a dry dock kit might be viable later on. With the Refit still available and our recent U.S.S. Excelsior release, it became apparent that the last of the ships from STIII: The Search For Spock was the Klingon Bird-of-Prey. A smaller ship with a debatable length of about 90 meters, we could afford to team the two ships together in a 2-piece set and allow modelers to build a collection of every ship from that film. The KBoP is a beloved design and is in my personal list of top 5 space ship designs.

The Grissom is based on CAD work by Angelo Bastianelli and the KBoP will be based on our larger AMT kit. The Bird-of-Prey will come with two sets of wing baffles to build in either cruising or attack modes. Both kits will feature snap assembly to fit right in line with our other 1:1000 snap kits.

A few things to note on the mockups. On the Oberth, the factory made a couple mistakes. they grew an earlier copy of the deck. So the mockup shown here has the incorrect detail on the back the rear edge of the deck also shows more detail than we will end up with in production. They put a base rod hole in the bottom large enough to accept the rods for our 5″ dome bases, but these kits will come with our small bases, so that will be less obtrusive. On the KBoP, they forgot the base hole altogether. More significantly, they were supposed to grow two sizes of the ship. the one shown in thepics measures about 3 1/2″ long and would be comparable to the kit included in the AMT Adversary Set. At this length the ship would have been 90 meters long “in real life”. However, this deviates from the debated, but generally agreed to length of 110m. The second mockup was to be about 4 1/2″ long to bring it in scale with that measurement. The detail looks great at the smaller size, but we will most likely kick it up to the larger size. Let us know what you think in the comments.

Here, for the first time, is a look at the upcoming kits. The set is scheduled to be released by May 1st. So look for it at Wondefest 2018.

 

 

Now, I’ve been mulling “something” over… We are working on another brand-new kit. It will be big, and probably unexpected. I wish I could talk about it. It is really driving me nuts. It has been in the works for a long time already, and we are nearly finished with the CAD work. We will probably get a mockup within the month of January. I was hoping to hold out on this announcement until Wonderfest, but if we manage to stick to our development timeline, the kit should be out in August. In which case, we will probably announce it before that. I’ve been considering announcing it now as a Christmas gift to all of the sci-fi modelers out there. BUT, we all know how these things go. Any number of circumstances could crash down on the project. So I won’t say any more except…

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! I hope one (or more) of your gifts is a model kit, but even more than that I hope you receive the peace and joy behind the season.

Star Trek Model Kits: U.S.S. Defiant kit update

posted by JamieH 1:41 PM
Thursday, December 14, 2017

Things rarely go according to plan. I was hoping to show the mockup for our NEXT new Star Trek kit this week, but delays at the factory are preventing that this time. Good news though that we already have test shots for our all-new U.S.S. Defiant snap kit! So here’s a quick look. I’m also showing a look at the decal sheet. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fit the additional registries some have been asking about. (Updated) We are also including a cap (not shown in pics) to seal the base hole for those that choose to use a different mounting method.

We are pretty far along with this kit with packaging underway. Jim Small may be showing off some pics of our buildup soon on social media. We’ll be sure to share those pics on our Facebook page.

Everything shown here is subject to licensor review.

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

posted by JamieH 12:16 PM
Friday, December 1, 2017

When we offered a re-issue of the AMT U.S.S. Defiant from STAR TREK: Deep Space Nine a few years ago it turned out to be a nice solid seller for us. It offered a substantially-sized kit at the odd scale of 1:420. However, the sweet success was short lived. After just a few production orders for us, the tooling was catastrophically broken. It was going to cost us the price of a new kit to fix it. So we decided to do just that!

It took us a while to get to it, but when it came to deciding on our next 1:1000 release, the Defiant seemed to be the perfect choice. As a kit, the subject is simple from the tooling standpoint. We aren’t just making a smaller version of the old AMT kit though. We are making sure that this one is nicely accurate even if it is smaller. 1:1000 puts the overall length at about 6 5/8” long based on an established length of 170 meters. (Yeah, I know the ship was infamous for changing size to meet the need of the shot.) We had Angelo Bastianelli draw up the CAD model which was based on the filming miniature.

The mockup looks great. It features some pretty fine engraved panel lines which the factory states they can match in production. We’ll see how it looks when we see test shots. They captured some nice greebly detail in just the right spots. The kit will include clear parts as needed unlike the older kit where things like Bussard collectors were merged into opaque bulkhead parts. The forward-facing weapons on the nacelle cowls, front “mouth” (did they refer to is as a deflector? It obviously isn’t a “dish”) and round exhaust vents on the back are also clear.

I have to admit I like most of ST:DS9 less than other incarnations of Star Trek. I was one of the viewers the show lost by the time the stakes were raised around the Dominion War. But I have to admit the more I look at this mockup the more I appreciate this ship. If the details translate into the test shots, this will be a great looking little kit!

Star Trek Model Kits: 1:2500 scale Enterprise Box Set

posted by JamieH 2:44 PM
Friday, March 3, 2017

Here’s a quick update on another exciting Star Trek kit that should be arriving on hobby store shelves before summer. The U.S.S. Enterprise Box Set should arrive on store shelves in April.

This set features snap-together kits of all seven ships from Enterprise to The Original Series and on through Star Trek: Nemesis. The NX-01 is all-new for this release for the first time in 1/2500 scale. Display bases are included for every ship in the set. One last minute change from our previous announcements about the set is that instead of pressure sensitive decals, such as those that come in Gundam figures, we will now include standard water-slide decals for every ship. The decals come on five large sheets that are packed edge to edge with technical markings as well as aztec paneling. Each ship comes molded in its appropriate base color leaving only a few spots of paint to be needed for completists.

In an upcoming blog I’ll feature our new 22″ Eagle with cargo pod and touch on the packaging for that to lead up to a full reveal of the new kit’s packaging.

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Star Trek Model Kits: U.S.S. Enterprise D & Aztec Decals sneak peek

posted by ChrisP 5:25 PM
Thursday, September 22, 2016

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Here is a preview of 2 upcoming Star Trek releases, the AMT955 1:1400 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D kit and the Aztec decal set for that kit.  They will be sold separately.

The U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D model kit will be coming out first.  This all-plastic model kit is 18 inches long when fully assembled, and features a removable saucer section and dome base with metal support rod.  This special edition is molded in clear plastic, which allows the modeler the option of lighting the kit.  (Light kit not included.)  Also included are standard marking, pennant, registry, and lifeboat decals; and complete instructions.

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The 1:1400 U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D Aztec decals will be released shortly after the base kit.  The set will include 4 – 9.25 x 13.25 inch decal sheets and placement instructions.  If you pick up the Enterprise D kit make sure you don’t miss out and keep you eyes out for the Aztec decals!

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Round 2 Model kits: Building a Reputation

posted by JamieH 3:43 PM
Friday, September 9, 2016

First a quick apology… Technical difficulties prevented me from posting this yesterday, which would have made it a bit more pertinent.

Nostalgia… We are fully aware that this factor may be the most significant thing that provides the success we have with our AMT, MPC, Polar Lights and Lindberg models. Many of us remember building kits as kids. Some saved their builds and have done their best to hold onto them to this very day, but I’m betting the greatest majority suffered similar fates trying to withstand a black cat or twenty. Even still the surviving “fan” in each of us has drawn us back over time and Round 2’s faithful (and usually improved) reissues of vintage plastic kits supply the kits we remember so well the in WAY that we remember them.

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I’ve made no secret of my love for comic books and just as most modelers do, I have my own list of “Grail” comics, but I was lucky enough recently to obtain the one item at the top of my list. It is something I thought I would have to wait a long time to find and had limited hopes of having the cash on hand to purchase when found. But the stars aligned for me this time so I could experience the jubilation of landing the “thing” of my dreams. Some middle-aged men need a hot rod. Others are equally as happy to obtain a 1/350 scale TOS Enterprise or 22” Eagle Transporter. For me, it was a comic book spinner rack just like we remember from our childhood. Some of my earliest memories are of going to our local supermarket (the building still stands and was only ever as big as a 7-11 we have today), going to the cereal aisle to pick out the one box that seemed to offer the best balance of fruity/chocolaty/sugary goodness with the best prize soon to be dug out of the bottom. This was immediately followed by a jaunt to stand in front of the spinner rack while my mother shopped. It was for all intents and purposes my baby-sitter for the rest of the trip to the market. Mom had no fear I would wander anywhere else. And in those days, it wasn’t child endangerment if any other adult was around to ensure I wasn’t kidnapped. Oh, what a difference 40-odd years makes… But now, I have one of my own to fill with reading copies and books I clearly recall buying directly “off the rack.”

I mention this tale as a means to touch on the fact that I know what it is like to finally find a fan-grail and how I appreciate the opportunity to create products that fill that level of demand for our consumers. Though I can’t “regret” it, because it is out of my control, I just wish we were in a position to do more and more quickly. That said, I want to assure you we have the ball rolling on a few big things… Grail-level things. Things sci-fi modelers have been asking for for a long time and I’ve been saying “maybe someday” kinds of things.

As I’ve been filling my spinner rack I’ve taken notice of some of the model kit ads that showcased our brands. Heck, half the fun of looking at old comics is looking at those goofy old ads. Here are a few I’ve found…

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Lastly, I’d like to take a moment to officially commemorate the 50th anniversary of STAR TREK. We can all appreciate the future it imagined for us and even the gadgets we already enjoy 250 years ahead of time. With hand held communicators & computers and now replicators, transporters should be right around the corner. The characters are truly iconic and will always be… but because of my relationship with the model kits we’ve developed, I think I like the U.S.S. Enterprise the best. She was a character, and most of the episodes I liked the best featured her as a main component. So, here is to STAR TREK, Captain Kirk & crew, and the U.S.S. Enterprise. Live long and prosper…

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

posted by JamieH 11:01 AM
Friday, July 22, 2016

I promised a while back to show some photos of the buildup from our upcoming release of the U.S.S. Excelsior kit from Star Trek. I was kindly reminded of that, so here I am to honor my word.

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As you know the fan-favorite ship was featured in two films Star Trek III: the Search For Spock…

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and in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country…

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Between the films the original shooting miniature made and appearance in the debut episode (among others) of Star Trek: The Next Generation…

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Along the way certain details changed and our kit includes parts to build either the NX-2000 or NCC-2000 version.

Another smaller miniature was later built for an episode of Star Trek: Voyager which featured a few additional variations in paint scheme.

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Later still, a CGI version of the Excelsior-class ship was used for some memorable episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

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The CG model was faithful in shape to the earlier appearances, but the color of the “strongbacks” was shifted. As an additional bonus to add to our aztec decal set, we have included alternative registries and names of the key Excelsior-class ships as well as the deeper blue strongbacks as featured in DS9.

Without further ado, here are a slew of pics of our buildup.

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And here is a look at the decal art for the sheet included in the kits as well as what to expect in the Aztec decal set.

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Ask your retailer for AMT843 U.S.S. Excelsior and MKA017 U.S.S. Excelsior Aztec Decal Set. Both should be out by the end of August.

A quick word about our friendly competition’s entry into Star Trek modeling… I hope they fair better than George Kirk did in his voyage into the new frontier…

Round 2 Models: Wonderfest 2016

posted by JamieH 12:10 PM
Thursday, June 9, 2016

We had a great weekend displaying our product and meeting the modelers that attended Wonderfest 2016. As promised, we were able to show the first test shots of the smooth 1:350 TOS Enterprise saucer, and more than one person took advantage to rub them like a genie’s bottle wishing they would come sooner than the scheduled September release date. Many folks were also complimentary of the U.S.S. Excelsior buildup on display showing the new improvements we have made over the old AMT kit. It is great to be recognized for “bringing the kit back and giving it the Round 2 treatment” as described by one fan. A small display board advertised a notable new tool we have in the works targeting the end of the year. The product will be a Star Trek 50th anniversary commemorative boxed collection of our 1:2500 scale snap Enterprises, which will include a NEW NX-01 kit. To make the product appealing to the widest possible audience, we will include pressure sensitive decals (high quality, thin stickers) in this release. We received praise for bringing back the U.S.S. Enterprise-D in clear plastic. This version will come in ABS rather than styrene which tends to be brittle. The main reason for that switch is to allow us to include our standard dome base this time around. Aztec decals will not be included in the kit, but will be offered separately. Many remarked about the re-issue of the classic 5 Space Ships of the Future from Lindberg. The kit will use the highly collectible vintage box art for the release. of course people were still in awe of our 22″ Eagle kit. many remarked about how great they found the kit to be. Several folks stopped by with kit in hand to take a look at our display piece. From what I understand it seemed like the big Eagle was the “kit of the show” with many being offered and sold at the event.

Admittedly, this year’s show may have seemed “light” on news as far as new and upcoming releases goes. We DO have things in the works, but it is too early to discuss them with 100% certainty. In some cases, two plans for a license are being evaluated for 2017. Sure, expect more re-issues, but I can guaranty more NEW stuff IS in the works.

For those that weren’t able to attend, here is a look at this year’s display. Feel free to ask questions int he comments section and we’ll answer as best we can.

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It was a special treat to meet Nick Tate in person at this year’s show. Nick played Alan Carter in the classic sci-fi show, Space:1999, in the mid-70’s. His storied career led to numerous roles on stage and on screen in shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation, Lost and The X-Files as well as voice over work. As you recall, we offered signature cards in our early releases of our 12″ MPC Eagle kits that featured Nick’s autograph. Nick was happy to share tales from his career with anyone willing to lend an ear. It was an incredible opportunity to get to know him. Thanks to friend of Round 2, Peter Greenwood, for arranging his appearance and thanks also to Steve Iverson of CultTVMan.com for sponsoring his appearance at the show.

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As always, one of the highlights of the show is the modeling competition that offers all kinds of sci-fi and horror subjects from big to small (and sometimes small is more impressive than big in cases like this). We always sponsor two awards for the best use of a kit from our brands. We give awards in the junior/teen and adult categories. The junior/teen award-winner walks away with a prize pack of kits while we award a $100 credit to our own autoworldstore.com site. The level of quality in the competition is always impressive which makes our decision tough. here are is a selection of a few models that caught our eye followed by this year’s winners.

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These next two were co-runners-up for our adult award.

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This impressive kit bash was award to the junior/teen winner. Congratulations Alex tabor for your USS Castor Federation Depot Ship build!

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…and this year’s adult award-winner is… Dave Olszewski for his Vulcan Shuttle tribute to Leonard Nimoy. David’s impeccable handling of our admittedly faulty decals that got mixed into that kit cemented his position as winner.

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Please keep our awards in mind for next year and future shows. We want to see as many of our kits on the table as possible. The show organizers sent out the challenge at the end of the awards ceremony to blow away their previous record and attain 800 entries in next years competition. (if I can find a way, I may even make the time to build and enter something…)

We have posted higher res images of all of these buildups, our boot and every other model identified as one of our kits on our facebook page. Let’s continue the fun. Go to our facebook page and “Like” the model you think looks most impressive and we’ll tabulate the results on June 30th and send the winner an award. (this year’s contest winners will not be eligible for a second award)

Click here to go directly to the Wonderfest 2016 photo album.

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Star Trek Models: 1:350 scale developments

posted by JamieH 2:44 PM
Thursday, May 26, 2016

UPDATE: It now looks like a strong possibility we will have test shots of the new saucer parts at Wonderfest. See you there…

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It has been a while since we’ve talked about upcoming sci-fi releases. I’ll spill the beans on a few things, but focus on what we have in the works for our 1:350 scale kits that should arrive later this year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of STAR TREK: The Original Series.

Part of the fun of fandom is holding the great debates… DC or Marvel…? Star Wars or Star Trek…? Chicken or egg…? When developing our 1:350 TOS Enterprise kit, it was “engraved panel lines or no engraved panel lines…?” In order to serve what we considered to be the widest range of modelers, we opted to engrave the panel lines on the upper and lower saucer. We did so knowing that it might upset some, but would satisfy others that didn’t have the skill or tools to install them in pencil like the filming miniature had. We have decided it is time to reverse course and offer the saucer without the panel lines. We will be releasing the saucer as an accessory piece so everyone that already has untouched kits can supplement them with these replacements and save the time and effort from filling and sanding them. Along with that change, we have corrected the position of two sets of windows that were off by a few degrees, but got by us. The “toothy” surface texture will also be removed so the saucer should now be as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

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Some may say “Well, if you are doing that, you may as well include them in the kit that way now.” To which we say “Yes, indeed.” And while we are at it, we will be updating the color reference to reflect new-found information gleaned by the team of experts that are restoring the Enterprise filming miniature. Our go-to Star Trek guy, Gary Kerr, has played a key role in the restoration and is dutifully documenting the untouched/unseen areas of the miniature to determine the exact paint colors that were used. We’ll finish off the offering with an updated 50th anniversary scheme on the packaging. We plan on giving the Pilot parts accessory pack the same treatment and everything should be out by the end of the year. Additionally, we’ve heard the demand for more light kits and a new batch is on a boat as I write this. Expect them on store shelves within a month. If you have been on the lookout for a set, let your retailer know you want a copy (item number is MKA007).

There is a slim chance that we may have a test shot of the saucer on display at Wonderfest. We should have a preliminary look at the 50th anniversary packaging at the show as well. As usual, we look forward to seeing everyone at the show. It is a personal highlight of mine every year to get a chance to meet the builders that enjoy our products so well. We will once again be sponsoring two prizes in the model competition. We will present awards for what we deem to be the best use of a Round 2 model (any brand or subject) in the junior/teen and adult categories. The junior/teen winner gets a selection of kits from all of our brands. The adult winner will receive a gift certificate to autoworldstore.com which despite the name does deal in sci-fi kits as well. Good luck to all who enter. see you at the show!

Star Trek Models: My Enterprising Journey pt. 3

posted by JamieH 5:00 PM
Thursday, April 21, 2016

Here we are with Michael Scarola’s third part of his build process of our classic AMT U.S.S. Enterprise kit.

 

My Enterprising Journey: Building the Classic AMT 18” Enterprise – Part 3

There have been many discussions and articles that talk about the color of the TOS Enterprise studio model. On screen it appears anywhere from white to blue to green-gray to silver. It’s been revealed by Richard Datin that the studio model was actually a light gray with a hint of green. Datin chose the WalMart Concrete color chip as a near perfect match to the Enterprise’s hull color.

I started my research with a WalMart Concrete color chip and found Tamiya JN Grey appears to be a little too green. I had access to Gary Kerr’s actual paint samples of the hull color and the color that appears on the leading edge of the dorsal and also a sample that was matched to the Master Replicas TOS Enterprise.

The mixture I came up with is 3 parts Tamiya JN Grey, 1 part Sky Grey & 4 parts Flat White. It looks neutral with a color shift towards green when viewed under indoor lighting and it even appears to shift a bit blue at times. It’s right in the ballpark of the 3 samples and is very close to Gary Kerr’s hull color, only lighter, which is a good thing for the smaller scale AMT kit.

After the main hull color was painted I drew on the saucer grid with a pencil using the scaled blueprints, a straight piece of styrene sheet and a compass.

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I mixed a darker shade of gray to pre-shade the grid lines and toned it down with the hull color.

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I mixed some Testors Acryl US Navy Blue Grey, Pale Green and Flat White for the leading edge of the dorsal and used Testors Acryl Neutral Gray for the darker colors. The nacelle grills are painted Tamiya Chrome Silver and the ends of the Intercoolers and Control Reactor are Testors Acryl Neutral Gray lightened with white. For the triangles on the bottom of the saucer and the darker areas on the undersides of the front of the nacelles I mixed a darker, more neutral, variant of the hull color.

Weathering and decals…

Dark gray and green pastels are used for most of the weathering and rust colored pastel chalk for the ‘rust ring’ on top of the saucer.

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I did my best to represent most of the look of the weathering of the 11 foot studio model while toning it back a bit for this smaller project.

The decals that come with the Round 2 kit are very accurate. I did, however, separate the saucer’s U.S.S. ENTERPRISE/NCC-1701 decal into pieces.  The ‘U.S.S. ENTERPRISE’ seemed to sit a bit too close to the ‘NCC-1701 and the spacing of the ‘U.S.S. was a bit too much compared with the 11 foot studio model.   In addition I also separated the NCC-1701 into individual decals. This eliminated the clear film and due to the grid on the saucer I was able to place them according to the studio model’s placement. Other than this, the decals actually are very accurate. The below image shows the placement of the decals on the top of the saucer.

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I sprayed Future floor polish over the model before applying the decals and sealed them with Testors Create FX acrylic flat clear, with a few drops of semi- gloss clear added to keep the surface from appearing chalky.

All in all I had a lot of fun working on this project. This is my first time building the AMT 18” TOS Enterprise and I’m glad I started with the Round 2 release. The smooth top of the saucer and the wonderful decal sheet really improved this classic kit.

I’d like to thank Jamie Hood and everyone at Round 2 for giving me the opportunity to share my build.

Michael Scarola

 

Take a bow, Mike. Great job. Have a gander at these beauty shots of the finished model.

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