A while ago I bought the 1:2500 Constellation Class which was sold by Resin Modeller. The model retails for £15 plus postage (which was just 1st class post in the UK). I had a number of issues with the detail and the quality of the casting on it which I fed back to Resin Modeller at the time and we had quite a useful discussion. The upshot of this was that he decided to remaster this kit using a 3D printed version. This took sometime to produce but it is now available.
I will start with the original model.
The basic model looks to be a relatively accurate version of the Constellation class, which is seen in New Generation as the USS Stargazer. Effectively this is a 1:2500 Movie Enterprise primary hull grafted to the rest. You got the primary hull, 2 nacelle supports, 2 sets of nacelles and a little piece which fitted onto the underside.
The details were relatively basic on the underside and there was a lot of flash around the parts. Some of the flash was across detail parts unfortunately and there will need to be some details rebuilt. This was especially noticeable on the rear part of the saucer, the bit sticking out at the back, where all the detail has been lost. This would require a complete rebuild and replacement as it just wasn’t salvageable.
One set of nacelles (one on the left below) was also substantially misshaped and was curved in both direction. Both would require very substantial clean-up before it’s possible to see how much detail has been lost in the casting process.
The insets around the edge are a little deep for my taste but are not there isn’t anything to say they aren’t accurate.
This model really represented the old school garage kit. In comparison to something like the Delta Quadrant Bonaventure Class, which is $25 and so very comparable in price, which is a 3D printed model and a resin kit with no distortion and virtually no flash, this was much more of project which was going to need a significant amount of clean-up and rebuilding, which only comes with basic decals. Overall I couldn’t say that it was value for money. A lot of the parts as sent will need to end up in the bin and would have to be replaced by parts from styrene kits which would effectively double the cost of the kit and waste parts that could have otherwise been used for another build.
In the end I decided this wasn’t really worth the great deal of time which would be required to rebuild the parts, substituting parts from other kits to make something decent. So it went into my box of things that might one day come out again but would likely stay there.
So fast forward from June 2013 to April 2014 and I got the replacement model sent out from Resin Modeller.
So this time the master has been 3D printed which can be seen from the stepping that has come through from the master. Not seen this on other 3D resin kits. The parts breakdown is more or less the same as before with a change to the way the piece at the rear of the saucer has been made. Instead of being attached this is now separate and slots into from the rear.
The main saucer is now much cleaner cast but will require some cleanup around the perimeter where filling is going to be needed. The nacelles still have a substantial amount of flash on them and will need a good cleanup, although this is now mainly restricted to areas without any details which can be cleaned up much easier. There are a scattering of airbubbles about although these would not be an issue for anyone who has worked on resin kits before.
Details on the underside are substantially improved and are now detailed rather than being little blobs.
Did get one of the nacelles cleanup up a bit and noticed how soft the resin is. It can be bent back to shape very easily, or indeed out of shape. I’m a little worried about how long this would last and would strongly suspect it will sag with time.
So seems to be an improvement over the original although casting is still very much in the garage kit arena and not at the level of some kits. Sorry to hark on but the Bonaventure but as you can see from this image of how it came out of the box the degree of cleanup is a quantum level different.
So a good improvement on the original and should actually be buildable without massive amounts of work but could still do with some improvement to the quality of the casting.