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June 2023

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.


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


and in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country…


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


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.


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


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.

AMT843-Excelsior-buildup3 AMT843-Excelsior-buildup1 AMT843-Excelsior-buildup2AMT843-Excelsior-buildup5AMT843-Excelsior-buildup7AMT843-Excelsior-buildup6AMT843-Excelsior-buildup9AMT843-Excelsior-buildup8AMT843-Excelsior-buildup10

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.


Excelsior-aztecs-03  Excelsior-aztecs-02 Excelsior-aztecs-01

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…

28 Responses to “Star Trek Model Kits: U.S.S. Excelsior buildup”

  1. alan says:

    This was my first amt/ertl kit I got for Christmas after seeing Star Trek 6 in the theatres. I was 10 and I remember being a little miffed that it wasn’t THE ENTERPRISE, but after I opened it up I immediately fell in love with the ship. My dad took me to a hobby store and we got all the paint colors listed and supplies needed. I remember spending weeks on it, painting everything by hand, including the pharaoh’s headdress around the bridge – and it all looked terrible, lol! Thanks for bringing this one back, I’m really looking forward to doing an adult-build with a steadier hand.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wait, another company is producing star trek models? How is that not against contract?

  3. Eric says:

    Really looking forward to this one! The options with both parts and decals are awesome. I’ve got two of the original release, but will definitely be buying this one.

    And is that a Cartograf logo I see on the aztec sheets? Woo hoo!!!!

    Thanks guys!

  4. David says:

    Wow, she looks great! I had the original issue and it was a bit meh, but I am so looking forward to this one!

    Keep up the great work, and thanks! 🙂

  5. WarrenZ says:

    For the life of me I don’t understand why you won’t sell the aztecs with the kit.
    It makes it a real pain in the You know what.
    You did it with the Enterprise A and D. It makes no sense.

    • JamieH says:

      It is pretty simple. The cost of the aztec decals makes the price of the kit too expensive. We have done it before, but in hindsight we shouldn’t have in every case. This way, the prices of the kits stay manageable. (this is important for retailers as well as consumers) And anyone that wants to use aztec decals we make them available. If you add the price of the kit with the price of the decals, that shows you where the final srp would be if we included the decals.

  6. David says:

    Can’t wait to have this in my hot (not so) little hands.

  7. Tye G. says:

    WOW…that looks great..THANKS for posting.
    I especially love the decals, OUTSTANDING!
    Will the same manufacturer who made these decals, be doing the Enterprise – D Aztec decal sets?
    Lastly…I’ve been meaning to ask this for a while Jamie, and please forgive me if this has been addressed before already, Im unaware of it.
    With resources and money being tight this year, and the extreme disappointment many feel over not being able to get the Galileo shuttle kit made now, why, (and I know things were different at the time this kit was done)why do something like that Nemesis Scorpion fighter, when that money, resources, and energy could have gone into doing a kit of a subject that was much more popular and desired, than this minor,frankly irrelevant ship?

    Thanks for all your efforts Jamie

    • JamieH says:

      Thanks for the compliment. First, let me clarify that the decals shown on the buildup were home grown laser jet printed prototypes. They look great, but we can’t guaranty the final decals will match perfectly. The Excelsior Aztecs are being manufactured by Cartograf so quality is ensured. We hope to use them for the Enterpise-D decals as well.

      I’m somewhat confused by your question. I’m not sure if you are asking why was the Nemesis Scorpion was kitted or why the Excelsior was kitted. If you are asking about the Scorpion, I couldn’t tell you the circumstances around that choice as I was not involved. I’ve heard stories, but I’m not one to pass around rumors. If you are asking why do the Excelsior when the money could have gone towards the Galileo, the Excelsior was a fraction of the cost and allowed us to get a kit out. We have to maintain a certain amount of releases each year. We couldn’t just save some from this year’s budget and put it into next year without having product on the shelves.

      • Tye G. says:

        THANKS for the reply Jamie…

        I thought the question was clear,but
        I was asking why waste resources and money on doing a minor subject like the Nemesis Scorpion fighter.
        The Excelsior makes perfect sence,and Im glad you did it, that wasn’t my question.
        It just seems like a waste to do that Scorpion when resources are limited and choices have to be made, their could have been 20 things light years more popular, and desired than that Scorpion fighter.
        If you’re not a diehard, most people probably don’t even know what the Scorpion is?

        • JamieH says:

          The model kit industry was in a very different place back then. It was larger which made engineering kits more affordable. But yeah, consensus opinion is that the Scorpion was an odd choice.

        • spock62 says:

          Tye G., I think your getting the original Polar Lights company confused with it’s current owner, Round 2. Jamie can correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the Scorpion released when Polar Lights wasn’t owned by Round 2? Not understanding what a decision by “another” company has to do with the current owner of Polar Lights (i.e. Round 2). It wasn’t considered a good decision by modelers at the time, but Round 2 has nothing to do with that decision…the company didn’t even exist when the kit came out! Oh, and the Excelsior looks really good!

          • JamieH says:

            That is correct. At the time the Scorpion was released Polar Lights was owned by Playing Mantis. But PM was owned by Tom Lowe who now owns Round 2. Several previous employees have come (and some have gone) that had worked back at PM. (I wasn’t one of them.) Add on top of that that some of the talent that worked on the kits back at PM are now working for other model companies, I can see how the history would be difficult to keep track of…

  8. Mark Bernero says:

    Can you give a possible timeline for ST Voyager releases and what may be released.

  9. Dave says:

    I remember a survey a while back that mentioned a 1/1000 Stargazer.

    Can you say anything about those surveys?


    • JamieH says:

      I remember surveys too. 🙂
      There isn’t really much to say. Surveys like that help us understand the market a little better and they help us guide our choices. We have recently been putting a lot of thought into the next new kits to do for Star Trek. We have some big things under consideration. But to answer you directly in regards to a Stargazer, it isn’t something that is in the running at the moment.

  10. James G says:

    jamie are you guys going to put any more 1/2500 scale kits besides 7pc big E set in the next 8 months and any news on the sulco kit

    • JamieH says:

      We’ll see how things pan out, but at the moment there is nothing to mention in 2500 scale.
      We won’t be doing the Sulaco kit. That was permanently shelved some time ago unfortunately.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Can you make a USS Grissom in 1/1000 scale

  12. Justin Leighty says:

    Jamie, I just wanted to chime in and say I picked up the kit the other day. You guys did a great job of improving on the original release, making huge strides toward making it screen accurate. Kudos. I, for one, appreciate the ongoing effort you guys are making.

  13. Dave says:

    I just picked up an Excelsior yesterday. All I can say is WOW! It will be a bit before I need them, however, any idea when the decal sheet will be available?

    And as someone stated above…1/1000 1701-D would be awesome!

  14. MarkB says:

    I’ve been looking at the detail of this and while it is much improved, it still has a major mistake (which won’t prevent me from buying a couple of them). Almost no one gets the details of the upper saucer correct. The radial grid lines are at 16.36 degrees (or 1/22 of the circle)
    This affects the placement of the phasers and the RCS thrusters on the rim. This is how the original model was detailed as both Excelsior NX, Excelsior NCC, Enterprise B and Lakota (when the model was sold at auction. Time a d again I see a grid like at 90 degrees and the only thing at that angle on the original model are the running lights. The phaser and RCS are 8+ degrees aft of that. And even the model makers for the series goofed when they remade the model. So this is technically accurate for how Excelsior NCC appeared in Voyager, but not for Star Trek VI. I have vast photographic evidence to back this up in case anyone doubts what I am saying.

  15. David says:

    Cool model kit so far I will be getting ready to buy another one to match both USS Excelsior kit soon so I can build two one will be USS Excelsior NX-2000 and NCC-2000 I like to see another USS Enterprise NCC-1701-B and USS Lakota decals I like to see that kit reissue soon for my collection its hard to get one model kit.

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