Science fiction has given us countless space faring vessels over the decades. Many have been one shot wonders, while select few have come to be considered iconic. But for my money there has never been a space ship more iconic, more graceful, or more beautifully designed than the Constitution Class Refit Enterprise. The ship made its debut in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, but it wasn’t until Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan that we really got to see the ship in all its glory, both trekking through the stars and slugging it out ship-to-ship in a bitter fight to the death. If I were to use one word to describe this incarnation of the Enterprise, that word would be “noble.” I can’t say exactly why, but she has a glorious nobility to her that has always embodied the values of Star Trek to me. And now, I finally have the Starship Legends version of this ship in my collection. Yep… too bad it’s a piece of garbage. Now would be a good time to remind you of my colorful language disclaimer. Ok, let’s do this… Set phasers to maximum disappointment.
We’ve recently seen the Starship Legends packaging for the Enterprise-D and the Bird of Prey, so this Enterprises’ box should look pretty familiar, although it is a lot more compact and while the other ships came completely assembled, the WoK Enterprise requires you to attach the warp nacelles. This worried me at first, as I like the option of storing the ship in the box. Fortunately, the nacelles can be easily removed again for storage. You get that same blue starfield deco, which looks ok, but doesn’t really convey the Star Trek franchise to me and the combination of the Classic Series font and the image of Kirk in his Classic Series uniform just feels out of place for a ship based on the feature films. The box is fairly collector friendly, although the two pieces of the stand are sealed under plastic, so you will have to tear them up to get those pieces out. Still, you can do it with minimal damage and return everything to the box, which is a good thing, because this is a toy that I’m not anxious to display.
Let’s start with the few good things I have to say about this Enterprise: First, let’s talk about the sculpt. The sculpted detail on this piece is bewilderingly awesome. From the tiny panel lines to the faint Aztec pattern, Diamond obviously did their research and meticulously etched it all into the hull of this toy. Second, let’s talk about the hull’s finish. I wasn’t too sure how much I’d like the pearlescent finish on the plastic, but in person, it really brings out all that detail in the sculpt. If you manipulate the ship in your hands and shift the light around its surface, it really brings out all of those amazing and intricate little patterns. Lastly, there’s the lettering. The lettering on the ship all looks crisp and clear. From the large and obvious printing on the top of the saucer section to the minuscule “United Federation of Planets” on the sides of the saucer and the sides of the primary hull. The lettering is excellent. That’s it, folks… the rest is all downhill from here.
The quality of the plastic on this piece is downright terrible. It feels flimsy and cheap like a ten dollar model kit. There’s a huge gulf separating the quality of this plastic and the stuff used for Diamond’s most recent Bird of Prey. If you silhouette this ship against a light, you can practically see right through it. Seriously, I can see my fingers right through the saucer section! That’s bad enough, but when you activate the lights, they bleed through the flimsy plastic hull and make for a terrible effect. But we’ll get to the electronics in a bit. I’m not done harping on the shitty plastic yet. The top rear of one of the nacelles looks like it was repaired with some kind of gloppy glue and it looks like crap. That right there is a complete absence of quality control. If I purchased this second hand on Ebay, I would accused the seller of shenanigans. Seriously, Diamond? You’ve got to be kidding me with this shit.
The paintwork on the ship is also pretty bad. There’s bleeding and slop all over the place and the deflector dish is painted black. Yes, black. Holy fucking shit on a tribble, why in the name of all the holy mother-fucking Gamesters of Triskelion would you paint the goddamn deflector dish black? Looking at it, it’s hard to imagine it wasn’t a decision that was made to deliberately ruin the whole thing, especially since this the toy is designed to light up.
Which brings me to the electronics. I could take this opportunity to bitch that there’s no option to display the ship with just the lights on, like there was with the Enterprise-D or the Bird of Prey. But that’s ok, because the light effects are so terrible, I wouldn’t want to. They basically just come on in sequence with the sound effects. Diamond made no effort to simulate actual running lights or any of the Enterprise’s on screen lighting effects whatsoever. The back of the bridge lights up, the impulse engine lights up, the area around that shitty black painted deflector dish lights up, and the interior of the warp nacelles light up. Virtually all of the lights that you see are actually just bleeding through the cheap plastic. The ship doesn’t look that great as it is, but it looks worse with the lighting effects illuminated. That’s quite an achievement.
The sound is a mix of sound effects and voice clips from the movie. I suppose I could bitch about the fact that most of the quotes are taken from instances that don’t actually take place on the Enterprise, but this thing is such a mess, I’m going to give it a pass. Here’s the rundown on the audio…
- Kirk: “Fire!” [ship phaser effects]
- Khan: “From hell’s heart, I stab at thee!”
- SFX: Warp
- Kirk: “I don’t like to lose.”
- SFX: Alert Claxon
- Khan: “Let them eat static.”
- SFX: Impulse
- Khan: “Fire!” [ship phasers effects]
- SFX: Hand phaser(!) … What. The. Fuck?
- Khan: “Times up, Admiral.”
- Kirk: “Lock phasers on target and await my command.”
- SFX: Ship Phasers
- Khan: “Time is a luxury you don’t have.”
- SFX: Explosion
- Kirk: “Kirk to Spock.”
- SFX: Transporter Effect
- Kirk: “I don’t believe in a no win scenario.”
- Kirk: Khan scream!
Wrath of Khan is a highly quotable film, so there’s some good material here, and I’m also a huge fan of the film’s sound effects. The transporters and the phasers sound particularly good.
I took a lot of issue with the stands included with The Enterprise-D. Well, the stand that comes with this ship is in some ways better and in some ways worse. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the stand itself is unbelievably cheap. The other stands featured two sides coming up from the Starfleet insignia base, making up a triangular cross-section, whereas this one only has one, making it seem like a totally deliberate way to shave a couple pennies of cost out of this thing. When I first took it out of the box I literally thought I was missing a piece. I mean it really is insulting and shameful to have a stand this shitty for a $60 collectible. On the plus side, the ball joint will actually hold the ship upright, which I attribute mostly to this Enterprise weighing a lot less than the Enterprise-D. There is an extra battery cover, which can be swapped out so the bottom of the ship doesn’t have the hole in it for the stand. It seems like a nice bonus, but than I realize the hole for the stand is the least part of this ship’s problems.
I have had nothing but good experiences with Diamond Select and Art Asylum in the past, which is probably why I’m so incredibly surprised and irritated over what a terrible ship this is. It’s so far beneath the other releases in the Starship Legends line, that it feels like it’s some kind of terrible and cruel joke. It just fails on so many levels that it’s almost inconceivable that Diamond would have the nerve to pack it into a box and sell it for $60. SIXTY DOLLARS!!!! Even at a third of the price, I couldn’t have been happy with this thing. I just look at it and think, what a waste of money! Even the novelty packaging Enterprise model that holds my 2009 Star Trek Blu-Ray is better quality collectible than this unfortunate piece of garbage.
Computer, initiate destruct sequence… I’m going to get some Romulan Ale and drink to forget.
This Feature was Re-Shot on 4/23/15
I so agree with your opinions of this ship. I had the the 1701-A version years ago and what it lacked in detail it had blue light up deflector dish and glowing red impulse engines which looked so good. The 1701 has painted over impulse engines and the area around them lights up instead!! I scraped off the paint and cut to size some wafer thin red plastic, hey presto red impulse engines!! I am now considering lightly sanding off the black deflector paint,mask off the rest of the ship and spraying it blue.
I wonder A. Is there a good place to order model from Star Trek that I can build and paint myself and not thiese crappy kiddy models either I’m talking nice size models that take awhile to put together and paint. Including the newer Star Trek movies just released. Please response someone
I’m way late on this! But I have to wonder why you left out the HORRIBLY OUT OF ALIGNMENT engines. My first-run 1701-A has the very same issue, as in it looks like the actual mold is wrong, causing the starboard engine to be pitched up by several degrees. It ruins so much, especially on something so pricey.
Oh well, at least I don’t feel like I got a dud anymore. No, I think it may be worse than that. My favorite Trek ship simply was sloppily done.
Honestly, I was probably blinded by how much else is wrong with it to mention anything about the engines. It’s such a shame, I think this is the sexiest spaceship ever designed but this model is such a piece of garbage.
This ship appears everywhere! Its so lame. Where can i get the one with a fiery box. It has a better worksmanship
Yes! The first run in that lovely box is supposedly loads better than this piece of crap.
I only knew about the black deflector. When I read through i have decided to rip out the batteries forever and repaint he deflector if i had it.
I happened upon your review of this disappointing Star Trek ship while looking up another model from DS Art Asylum. As a very young Trekkie in the late 80s I barely managed to build a few models of the refit Enterprise to have as a toy, which of course ended up being extremely fragile and unpainted- so I figured better late than never! I bought this about five years ago after hearing how awesome Diamond Selects were and figured all were of high quality. You can imagine my disappointment when I fired it up for the first time and saw a black deflector dish staring me in the face along with black top/back and impulse engines, some missing details and wrong colors. Fortunately I’m artistic and have the materials, so I removed the black paint on a dish and some on the impulse engines and replaced them with clear blue and orange acrylic. The other stuff I just painted over and made a decal ‘enterprise’ for under the shuttle bay. I now have an NCC-1701 movie Enterprise that would’ve pleased you far more then the one you bought. That being said this BS should’ve been totally unnecessary!
That’s awesome that you were able to salvage it! I wish I had similar skills.
The refit design is pure poetry to me and I wanted this to be good. Even so many years later it remains the single most disappointing purchase in my collection. I don’t even display it. It’s in a box somewhere.
I’ve had such mixed results with DST’s ships that I stopped buying them. The 1701-D is fantastic, as is the Klingon BOP. The Excelsior looks good but the electronics didn’t last a year. The rest of my ships are poor to mediocre.