Modeler’s Workbench: Motion Picture Set & 2012 Releases from Round 2 + Coming Attractions

boxsetGot some extra money from the holidays burning a hole in your pocket? Perhaps a late-model starship is within your budget. Join TrekMovie’s Rob Lyons as he gives us a comprehensive out-of-box review of the new 1:2500 release of the USS Enterprise, USS Reliant, and Klingon Battlecruiser from the original Star Trek motion picture era. Our first look video follows the cut, together with some tips and observations from the assembly process, and an overview of 2012’s releases from Round 2.


Cadet Series Motion Picture Era Set
This particular three-piece set is a new addition to the popular Cadet Series lineup, presented in 1:2500 scale. This is the first time that the Klingon Battlecruiser and USS Reliant have been made available in this scale from a licensee. Our out-of-box video includes looks at each of the three kits, as well as the decal sheet for the set.

During assembly, the Reliant has the most issues, followed by the K’t’inga. The Enterprise is very well engineered, and was the easiest of the three ships to assemble. Let me most strongly impress, however, that the detail on the K’t’inga is superb, as I hope the photos will show.

The Reliant saucer and torpedo bay have some barely perceptible flash above the intended upper surface of the connection pin receivers. This resulted in some hobby knifing to get a closer fit on the parts, but I still ended up doing some puttying to get a filled seam. The torpedo bay is, by far, the worst, and it wasn’t until I had painted several coats of primer and base that I was finally sure I wasn’t going to have to do some more detail sanding and repaint the entire ship. In the assembly phase, the Reliant was the only kit I found a need to putty, though, in retrospect, I wish I had filled the base of the warp nacelle pylons on the Enterprise.

The K’t’inga has some issues on the upper secondary hull surface where a part joins… and I didn’t dare putty for fear of messing up the engraved panel lines. I was hopeful that some primer on the model would take care of the gap. By the time I finished with the primer coat, I felt that it would be sufficient, and I think the final result bears out my decision. One suggestion on the K’t’inga in particular – go skimpy on the glue. It is engineered fairly well and needs only the barest amounts and some pressure for a good connection. I used too much glue on the neck, and needed to do a bit of fine sanding to take care of this issue.

One thing to take into consideration early with this kit is the fact that it has no stands. I went to my local hobby shop and purchased some thin gague brass tubing, and used a pin-vise with a small diameter drill bit to make holes in the bottom of the ships. I then purchased some inexpensive wooden disks at another hobby shop to use as a base. I may consider getting a larger disk and placing all three on the same base before I finish up that portion of the project.

Use a dark primer to prevent the copyright notice from marring the finished model.

Temperatures around here made arranging for painting difficult… but I was able to get a corner of the garage up to about 55 degrees for a few hours. For the kit I used gray Rust-oleum gray professional primer on all the ships. Whatever you do, especially on the Enterprise and Reliant, do not use a white primer. A darker primer will ensure that the copyright notice printed on the inside of the saucer does not show through when your models are in the light. The two Federation vessels were then painted with Rust-oleum gloss white enamel, and then given a coat of Tamiya TS-45 pearl white. The Klingon vessel was painted with Testors 1253 Graphite Gray Metallic. (This is not the recommended color from Round 2… I decided to go rogue with this one!) The paint was given 72 hours to fully set up before the decaling process began. Since the surfaces of all three ships were quite glossy, I skipped a clear coat before decaling.

White paint, overlaid with clear colors, give the illusion of a living vessel.

I decaled the Klingon vessel first, since it was the simplest job. I did not use all of the decals, because several of the detail decals were not printed over white, making it difficult to discern the already dark window decals. Otherwise, I used all the provided marking decals. I ran into a small problem – my kit’s color decals were printed at a slight offset to the white underlay around the Klingon Trefoils and the nose art, resulting in a small, but discernable, halo effect on some of the decals. I then went back and highlighted certain areas of the ship with white paint – namely the forward and aft torpedo tubes, the impulse thrusters, and portions of the warp engines (or, for my fellow TAS afficianidos, the S2 Graf Units). I let this white paint set up for 24 hours before coming back and painting in some colors in those areas. I used Tamiya clear orange for the impulse drive, Tamiya clear red for the torpedo tubes, and Tamiya clear green for the engines. All in all, this creates a very pleasing ‘glow’ effect under the right light. I am particularlly happy with this ship.

Compensations were necessary for decal shortcomings.

Next came work on the Reliant. This was the first ‘wallpapered’ ship of the kit I tackled, and I learned a lot. On the whole, the decals are thick and required significant amounts of Micro Sol and Micro Set in order to properly conform to the surface. They were also very tacky, which made floating the decals and working them extremely difficult. On the upside, they were nigh-on indestructable, which is always a good thing. In particular, I was very pleased with the Reliant’s nacelle decals… they wrapped perfectly on the engines on the very first try… all four decals. To particular dissapointments on the decals were found on the saucer’s rim, where the sensor bands are not long enough to cover the necessary space. I improvised by using a Pigma Micron .5 pen to freehand a docking port in the bow. It’s not canon, but it was the only way to fill a big white gap. The other issue is that the phasers on the Reliant seem slightly oversized, and are missing the emitter nodes. Using the same .5 pen, I hand-dotted the ship’s six standard phaser banks to create the nodes. I also used the small gague pen to do some detail painting on the nacelles. This is my first time working with a Micron pen, and I found it came in very handy.

Difficult to decal, but worth the effort and the patience.

Finally, the Enterprise took center stage. She took much longer to complete than even the Reliant… the more complex curvatures of the ship presented many issues when it came to getting decals to lay down… and even the thicker nature of the Round 2 decals didn’t always stand up to my pushing and prodding. I managed to clear up most of the issues with some patience, some Micro Sol, and some Q-tips… but it took the better part of two full nights of work. The Enterprise saucer rim decals were almost long enough, but I played it safe and cut them at the proper locations to allow me to create small gangway hatches on both sides of the saucer. On both the Enterprise and Reliant, I dotted the saucer and warp nacelles with green and red paint pens to create running lights. They turned out a bit overscaled, and I wish I had used a Micron pen instead.

The completed set on bases fabricted from poplar disks and brass tubing.

The temperatures here in Indiana are now hovering in the 20’s most evenings, so I have been unable to get the garage warm enough to allow for the painting of my wooden bases or to shoot the models with clear and dull coats. I hope to do so when the temperatures rise late next week.

Twenty hours of work produces a very nice display.

All in all, from box opening to now, I have put about twenty hours of work into the kit. On a personal note, my three year old daughter also helped me with this kit… she dabbed the colors over the white areas on the Klingon ship, and was excited to see it ‘glow’. As a result of her help with this kit, we have an Apollo Command/Service Module on our workbench just for her! This was a kit that made some fun family memories for me, but , but it presents some challenges to be sure. It is not for the beginner, but if you have built a model or two in your life and have a moderately steady hand and some patience, this new kit from Round 2 creates some sharp little models that are truly big on detail.

Round 2’s 2012 Releases
If the 1:2500 scale is not to your tastes, Round 2 has provided a bevy of plasticized starship goodness for your amusement, frustration, and admiration.

USS Enterprise Lunchbox Tin Edition
1:1000 Scale

This kit is a repop of the Polar Lights TOS Enterprise in a collector’s lunchbox tin. The kit is molded in white plastic this time, as opposed to gray, and continues to feature the raised copyright information on the underside of the primary hull which will need to be sanded down. (learn more about sanders here) The kit also does not appear to contain the sticker package that the traditional boxed editions have contained in the past – which is no great loss to most modelers. Of note is the fact that it does not include the new universal mounting base that many of Round 2’s kits are being retrofitted for – thus, the flimsier delta-shield / girder arrangement remains the only kit-offered means of display.

Adversary Set: Klingon Bird-of-Prey and Ferengi Maurader
Klingon @ 1:1400 Scale
Ferengi @ 1:3700 Scale

This kit is a reissue of a portion of the old three-piece adversary set from the AMT ERTL days, but with a few upgrades (specifically in the decal department). Like the new Cadet Series set, this kit does not include a stand for the models.

Romulan Warbird
1:2300 Scale

The Romulan Warbird issue for this year was the third kit that had been included in the old AMT ERTL adversary set. Some upgrades include full window decals, glow in the dark engine nacelle options, and the new universal dome base which is much sturdier than many of the past bases included with Star Trek products.

Deep Space Nine
1:3200 Scale

This DS9 kit is molded in clear for lighting and includes updated window decals. Also included in the kit is a mini-kit with a 1:2500 scale Defiant, also injected in clear.

USS Enterprise (TOS)
1:350 Scale

This is the holy grail… the one that Star Trek fans have been waiting for since they first watched the Original Series on television – a large scale replica of what is arguably the most iconic version of the starship Enterprise to ever grace the screen. The kit is available in two versions:

The standard edition of the kit features an internal shuttlebay, shuttles, and bridge. The windows come in various colorations (clear, black, smoked) to facilitate various display choices. The premier edition includes a lot of extras, including a lighting kit, parts to produce both pilot versions of the vessel, and extensive weathering decals (though no aztek – or hull plating – decals). All of these add-ons are available to purchase separately.

Reports are that this kit is very difficult to find in local hobby shops at the moment, with many in the modeling community reporting that their local stores have sold out of the first shipment.

Round 2’s 2013 Plans
Round 2 is releasing several additional kits in the coming months to entice Star Trek modelers…

Romulan Battle Cruiser
1:1000 Scale
January 2013

This kit is a repop of the Polar Lights Klingon D7 Battlecruiser, but totally dedicated to Romulan livery. The major change to the engineering of the kit involves the substitution of the dome base in place of the original plastic base, which was always fairly flimsy.

Klingon K’t’inga
1:537 Scale
January 2013

This is a reissue of the popular Motion Picture era Klingon kit, last made available under the Star Trek VI banner. It is in scale with the larger-scale Reliant kit currently available and the historic refit model that was available from 1979 through the late 1990’s, but which is no longer in production. This kit has been retrofitted with a more stable dome base and metal rod system as opposed to the original kit’s plastic base. TrekMovie’s review copy just arrived in the mail… so look for more information on this kit soon.

Original Series Enterprise Bridge
Summer Release (Date TBA)

This is a reissue of the classic Bridge model, but it includes panels for all stations on the bridge – meaning it will fill in the gap between the turbolift and the viewscreen from previous releases. The kit also features better-defined figures, and viewers for Spock and Sulu’s stations.

Classic TV Cadet Series
Enterprise, Klingon Battlecruiser, and Romulan Bird of Prey
1:2500 Scale
March 2013

The previous Cadet Series tooling of the Enterprise will be used, but the Klingon and Romulan ships are brand new.

NX-01 Enterprise
1:350 Scale
June 2013

A reissue of the Polar Lights kit, but without the Aztec decals.

Spock Lunch Box Figure
June 2013

A reissue of the old AMT kit in a collectible lunch box tin.

Classic Enterprise Space Seed Edition with Botany Bay
1:1000 Scale
August 2013

A reissue of the Polar Lights Enterprise kit with a newly tooled model of the Botany Bay from the episode Space Seed, also done to 1:1000 scale.

Round 2 Models provided kits for this article.

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Very nice, Robert. Much nicer than any of MY ham-handed attempts at model building!

No stands included?! Strange.

They’re so tiny looking.

Does anyone know when a 2009 Trek Enterprise model will be out?

It should be also be noted that Revell Germany will be releasing a model kit of the JJ Abrams Enterprise from Star Trek Into Darkness in May.

The 2009 model looks sharp. I know a lot of the so-called “fans” hated the new Enterprise but I always thought it looked real sleek and modern.


Thanks for the Revell-ation!

Nice job. Used to build the model kits when I was a kid. Probably don’t have the patience for it now….

the 1:350 scale Enterprise kit is nothing short of amazing. With a visible shuttle bay, and visible bridge, there is no shortage of detail. It’s over 30″ long and with the available light kit installed can rival the studio miniature itself. you can also get an accessory kit that converts it to either pilot version. it’s not a cheap kit, it’s under $200…but it’s HUGE. Also, considering the Master Replicas same-scale miniature was around $1500, it’s a steal.
If building kits is your thing and you love the original Enterprise, have the room to display it, (and an understanding wife lol) this is a great price for a premium kit.

For such a small kit, why not just sell them already-built?

Seriously! You spent an entire article explaining your technique and prep work, and post pics of models with decent decals, but the worst hand painting I’ve ever seen. Theres so much paint that the decals have lumps under them and there are glue splotches and scratches. I think I know now why they call it the Cadet series.


So let’s see some of your masterpieces, Mr. Critic …

…and the Ass-of-the-Day award goes to…

…..VerticalHover!! congratulations!!

12 – Come on. If I tried to work at that scale, I’d have to carve a Scotty and a polished off case of Saurian Brandy to blame my sloppy work on.
I think Bob’s got a great hobby and he’s enjoying himself. I’m impressed.
Now I have one more thing to use during retirement to drive AdmrR nuts.

Actually, there is no premier edition which included the lighting kit, weathering decals and photo etch set. There was a preregistered Premier 1701 Club which was a presale club that Round 2 had setup and was limited to 1701 kits for the first 1,701 people who signed up. What the club members got was the regular kit to produce the production version of the ship plus all the parts to make either pilot version of the ship plus a certificate for the Club with the number of the kit you got of the 1,701 premier kits produced. You still had to buy the other items separately or all in one box, i.e, lighting kit, PE, and weathering decals. The premier kit was only available to 1701 Club Members. This info had been released by Round2 more than a year ago and hasn’t been a secret. You should check you facts before publishing incorrect information.


So, VerticalHover, just what VERTICAL object happens to HOVER up your ass right now?

@12. Did you bother to check scale? These models are about the size of the palm of your hand. Some people like to model the smaller kits, so pardon them all to hell if they don’t match up to your studio quality masterpieces….I suspect you probably don’t have any hobbies of your own, except to sit in your dark basement and flame what other people do who are nice enough to share. Get a life…

Oh, and Robert, thanks for the article. When I was a kid I used to build the kits, and painting was not my strong suit. Of course, a steady hand is good, too….

ooo…just reread the last post, and don’t want to pull a verticalhover. To be clear, I was not good at painting my models, probably why I quit doing it. Your models are fine.

Awesome news about the new JJ-Prise kit. Sounds like it should be roughly the same size as the old AMT Enterprise kits.

Here’s hoping it doesn’t get cancelled like the last one was…

#7: “The 2009 model looks sharp. I know a lot of the so-called “fans” hated the new Enterprise but I always thought it looked real sleek and modern.”

So-called fans?

Not to be combative or anything, but since when do you get to decide who is a fan and who is not?

12. VerticalHover

I think he did a great job It was enough to impress his daughter and he will now be spending quality time with her making a model of the Apollo Command/Service Module. When you receive your “Ass of the day award”. i hope its fresh and still warm

JJ is directing SW — the biggest story of the year — and we get stories on old Trek models????


24. Now, now.

#12 You sir are an ass. Anyway…

I have bought the 1/350 scale TOS Enterprise. The ultimate Big E Model. I also have bought the lighting kit also which in retrospect I believe I am going to leave it off. I believe installing the lighting kit and making the model meet my expectations is beyond my abilities. So I am going to shoot for a close proximity to the model Shatner holds in some Promo shots.


#24 – MJ

In the grand scheme of things, Anthony’s absence is really not worth getting upset about.

Although, like you, I think it would be a nice touch from AP to get an OOO (out of office) notice when this happens :).


Why not just sand off the copyright notices on the inside of Enterprise and the Reliant?

I picked this kit up last week, and it is indeed a nice set.


The light set is beyond easy to install on the 1/350 kit. Take the time to do so. The results are amazing and the instructions are dummy proof.

I’ve been building one with lights as well as putting blue lighting along the sides of the warp engines and fiber optics into various panels on the bridge

I recieved the Premiere Edition NCC-1701 club notification some time
ago, registered for it, paid with my credit card, and recived it 7 days
later. It was worth the wait. You get the parts for the first pilot, the
second pilot, or the standard production version, plus a numbered
ceritficate of authenticity and a note from the staff about how the
kit was 4 years in development and 2 additional years for working out
the bugs. I also purchased the light kit and the brass photoetched
parts (all have to do with the grid work on nacelles). Plus the box art
is reflective chrome in color. A very nice kit and worth the $149.99 I
paid for it as well as the wait.

I admire Robert’s modelbuilding skills! Thanks for the detailed report. I think the color on the K’tinga is a little too dark, but perhaps that’s only only the picture.

I have the new cadet series. In the process of building the big-E, i broke the engine supports to the pylons. I have to reglue now.

My hands are too big!!!

Also Robert you could have sanded the copyright markings before you glued it. xD

Why do they keep releasing toys and whatnot for the old school shit? Knock it off, they would make more money producing contemporary toys.

Re 33: On the risk of troll-feeding I’m gonna answer this: the fact that these items are being produced is clear evidence that you can make enough money with them.

Investors want to make money. New shit doesn’t sell. Old school does. It’s simple math.

Nice looking model kit. Hopefully they will make the other Trek ships and DS9 in the same scale so they can be easily displayed together.

Enlarge the images. Sorry, but Vertical Hover is right, there is some horrible painting here.

I love 1:2500 scale. Both collectable and game-ready if you have a good set of rules. I just used the 1701/A/B set to kitbash a Phase II Enterprise. Turned out OK.

There’s a difference between providing constructive criticism and just being a jerk. There’s nothing constructive about the word “horrible”. I would suggest getting a lighted/magnifying visor such as an opti-visor to help see and paint small details.

I am so chuffed that a TOS bridge is being brought out this year and that it will be full circle!

I may just have to get me one of those…

Nice work! I look forward to tackling it! I have such a backlog of kits, I feel like I’m waiting for retirement!

BTW, the 1:2500 1701 makes an amazing antennae topper!

An article on starship modeling. On Trekmovie. This is awesome.

I have a few of these cadet series models. They drove me insane to build. It’s just so small and even with magnifiers and my handmade mini-brushes painting is an adventure. Bigger is better. I will be getting the 1:350 TOS Enterprise and will be getting the light kit. When I will get around to actually building it is another matter entirely as I have a couple dozen models ahead of it including a 1:350 refit, and a C57 D, both of which I fully expect to put about a year each into.

Good news on the bridge models. I have one of the originals that I was going to purchase a matching kit so as to build the full circle. Now I’ll just get the new one and have some spare parts (plus a full bridge crew).


The 1/350 scale Enterprise, even with lighting, is incredibly simple to put together. The paint job is not that advanced and the light set is super simple to work with. There are plenty of awesome build diaries on youtube that you can look at for helpful hints. I plan on putting videos of my completed model on youtube.

I would recommend if you get the light set to order the Polar Lights Photoetch set, the window masking sheets from Aztek Dummy and the phototetch set from Paragrafix. The paragrafix set has additional details like crew that you can put behind windows and in the bridge/shuttle bay, and railing for the bridge as well as console overlays and enhanced decals. The most helpful of the photoetch parts is the lines to put into the engine fan. Helps bring out the lighting when the engine spins.

Also, on the same site (Paragrafix website) you can order an extra row of either blue or purple LED strips to put along the sides of the warp engines. The producers and designers of the original 11′ model intended the sides to be lit up, but budgetary reasons forced that to be ommitted. The Polar Lights set includes the clear warp grills, but you have to salvage lights from one part of the model to fill the warp engines.

On a side note, the 1/350 Kit is almost identical in every way to the Master Replica kit, which makes me think that the Revell reboot NCC-1701 will be identical to the QMx model.

#43 Robman007

So are you telling me that the 1:350 TOS E is an easier build than the PL 1:350 refit? Because I’ll jump all over it if so. I want to do the refit up right but I also know that to do so is a monumental task (for me). And sometimes I just open up the box of the C57-D, moan a bit, and wonder just what I am going to be getting into.

I LOVE to model and I realize that there are thousands of modelers out there that are much, much better than me. But owning a business plus being something of an independent contractor along with having a large and often times hungry family puts my free time at a minimum. I really like builds that take about a week to a month or so.

@44 THX-1138

It is a MILLION years easier to work on then the Refit. The refit had a very complex paint scheme and the engineering on the kit, while MILES better then the AMT refit, was a pain in the ass as times.

The TOS 1/350 is a beauty. Nacelle sag is no more. The primary hull can practically be snapped onto the secondary…that neck is the best ever in any kit.

the Polar Lights 1/350 TOS Enterprise is the best model I have ever seen. I’m not a “expert” model maker, but I’ve been working on models for most my life (or helping my dad when I was a kid) and I’ve seen some clunkers and some good kits..and this makes them all look bad. Even the lighting set is a thing of beauty. Easy to install and just as amazing as the MR lights.

Good to know, bro. I’m in!

@ 44 THX-1138

If you skip the lights, you can still make a VERY nice kit and it goes together smoothly. Very little to putty, and they give you black and white colored “window” pieces. Very little to paint.

It just goes together so smoothly.

Go on youtube and look up Model Man Tom and his videos. He shows just how amazing this kit goes together. With a few pieces of painters tape he had the kit put together and showed how solid and easy a build it was….

and for those who have critized Mr Robert Lyons on his build…get a damn clue. You don’t mess with model builders like that…not everyone can build an ILM studio model. I put together a refit 1/350 scale and I won’t post pics online because of morons who wanna be funny and make fun of builds (I did the aztec pattern myself and while it came out awesome, it was a bit too dark…and some jack@$$ would point that out and laugh)…

Seriously, act with some damn class. Good job on your stuff, Mr Lyons. Keep building and keep posting the reviews. I love the model reviews on this site and have missed them.

Star Trek model building news… on
This is like combining my two favorite sites (the other being into one great destination.
Curious: How many Trek fans are also model builders?
I proudly count myself as one– for over 40 years– and appreciate the info supplied here. Keep the info coming: eagerly looking forward to a JJ Abrams era Enterprise kit . Thanks for the info supplied here!

@49..ah, then you are in luck. A JJ Abrams Enterprise (1/500 scale, which means it should be about 3 feet long) is due out in May.