U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701

Polar Lights

Note: Polar Lights has posted corrected assembly instructions at their website. 

Stated scale:


Actual scale:


Overall length:



Number of parts:


Stand included?


Decals included?

yes, both stickers and waterslide

My Source:

local hobby shop

Cost (w/o s&h):


Polar Lights has brought the classic Enterprise back to the market in a way that offers modelers some interesting options. If you're the sort to go all-out, plan to buy at least 4 of these, one for each build option:

PNT Models has produced a set of Franz Josef / Tech Manual conversion kits.

My first outing with this kit is going to be the I.S.S. Enterprise version, using the supplied, conjectural "Mirror Mirror" livery for the ship. That episode used stock footage from the 2nd pilot to represent the mirror Enterprise, so this is a 2nd-pilot build.

I've opted for a glue-assembly, so my first step was to reduce the fittings for snap-assembly on the kit. The nacelle halves, saucer halves and 2° hull went together well. Fitting the nacelle strut assembly onto the 2° hull required extensive filing and filling to attain a proper fit. The "clamps" surrounding the deflector cowling also needed extensive puttying to close the gaps.

I also puttied up the engraved lines on the sides of the dorsal interconnect and nacelle undersides, since they are too large for proper scale.

PLEnt_clamped.JPG (49505 bytes) ISS_Ent_PL1000_puttied.JPG (31929 bytes)

The nacelles fit onto tabs at the ends of the nacelle struts. I had to reduce the tabs' size and enlarge the opening in the nacelles in order to get the nacelles on the tabs such that the nacelles didn't tilt out at a slight angle. The nacelles end caps seem about 1/16" too large in diameter. I think I'll fit them so I can sand down the bottom edge to match the nacelle diameter.

In final assembly, I attached the nacelles first and got them lined up and even. I then attached the saucer and aligned it even with the nacelles.

ISSEtop.jpg (65924 bytes) ISSEbott.jpg (48989 bytes)

10/8/09 - Why build just one when I can build four? Three more of these are in the works for the three versions of the Enterprise - first pilot, second pilot, and series production. And all those nacelle ends caps are really bad-fitting. Another bad fit is the impulse engine - sizable gapping between hull and the piece. I think... yeah... knock off a half-star on the rating.

3/28/2010 - Working on the new Polar Lights refit Enterprise got me bugged to get back to work on these too. So, I grabbed the box and had at them with putty, files, and sandpaper. They're close to being ready for priming.

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3/31/2010 - Finished up the last round (I hope) of filling on these, so this fleet's off to the paint shop for priming.

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4/18/2010 - Tetra-prime! I held each one using a bent wire inserted into the nacelles (still in 2nd-from-left Enterprise) while spraying on the primer.

IMG_6234.JPG (724947 bytes) 1/14/2011 - Post-priming puttying is underway. I taped off the nacelle end caps to protect the ribbed detail so I could putty up the bad seam between nacelle and cap. I've also been puttying other remaining seams and gaps that became evident post-primer.
IMG_6247.JPG (530874 bytes) 1/16/2011 - In "dry" dock after a post-priming wet sanding session. After they dried I gave them a good inspection before passing them on to painting.

3/1/2011 - These four took a break while I worked on the four Franz Joseph design, Dreadnought, Transport, Destroyer, and Scout. Now, everyone is one big happy fleet, all together in the paint booth.