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Built Review
USS Enterprise

by: Graham Townsend [ RIPSTER ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights


I enjoy building large-scale warship models as much as the next man, but they do take a toll on the wallet, and of course displaying the finished article is a consideration too. To say nothing of the time taken to build them (compounded by the absolute NEED to add photo-etch super details!), and last but not least the far from insignificant question of just how much you tell your “significant other” that you’ve actually spent on this latest masterpiece…

So now and again it’s time to try something completely different for a change of pace. Revell’s relatively new “Miniships” range certainly fits the bill – they are small, quick to build, and can be bought for no more than the small change in your pocket.

What’s in the box…

As you can see the sturdy cardboard packaging comes with some attractive box art. Inside you’ll find two bagged sprues of mid-grey plastic, an instruction leaflet and a small sheet of decals – there’s really not much to this kit, indeed the ship itself assemble from just 12 pieces, not including the aircraft supplied. The hull is moulded from a single piece of plastic, as are the flight deck and the island.
The instructions provided are basic but well up to the task in hand, with colour call-outs provided at stage of the construction. The kit itself dates from 2004, and this is backed up by the fact that all parts are crisply moulded with very little in the way of flash, sink marks, or ejector pin marks. The single-piece flight deck shows some very finely moulded arrester wires, crash barriers, and aircraft lifts – these are very well done and make it all the more surprising that no detail whatsoever is provided on the sides of the hull, not even anchor hawse pipes. I must confess this was quite a disappointment…
As I mentioned in my introduction I picked up this kit for a total change of pace from some more involved builds I have on the go, and so I opted to go for a completely out of the box build and see just what the result might be like. Advanced modelling syndrome was NOT to be allowed, there was to be no fiddling about! I was hopeful for a nice quick build…

To that end I cracked on completely in accordance with the instructions. The hangar deck sections fit snugly into the hull, with just a touch of filler required here and there (I decided that filling and sanding wasn’t breaking my self-imposed OOTB rule). The hangar decks and stowed aircraft were then painted before moving on any further. A word of warning at this point – the flight deck fits in place with a series of fairly large pins, take care if you decide to dry fit this as they locate very tightly, and you may find it difficult to remove the deck again! I would also advise using some strong clamping to hold the deck in position whilst the glue is setting. Remaining on the subject of the flight deck, don’t forget to apply the decals before you glue the forward aircraft in place as well.

Once the flight deck is in place you’re pretty much home and dry to be honest. The island has quite a noticeable mould seam along it which needs cleaning up, take care not to damage the moulded-on masts while you’re doing this. There is a row of what at first appear to be ejector pin marks along the starboard side of the island, but since there are actually several of them in a row immediately next to each other I think that they are actually supposed to be there, and so I left them well enough alone (I’m sure someone who knows more about the Yorktown Class carriers, which is probably most of you reading this, can put me straight on this point).

A quick lick of paint, courtesy of Vallejo, a coat of Klear (or Future if you prefer), and it was on with the decals. These are nicely done with a commendably thin carrier film and went on easily enough. My only gripe was that although the instructions indicate a ‘6’ should be placed on both sides of the island, only one decal is provided. The sheet also includes a frankly huge white ‘USS Enterprise’ decal which Revell state should be placed around the stern – regardless of whether it may be historically accurate or not, I thought it would have looked way overscale and pretty daft to be honest, so it was consigned to the large round filing cabinet. All that remained was to glue the aircraft in place, of which Revell kindly provide plenty enough to make a nice busy-looking flight deck, and finish everything off with a coat of matt varnish. The whole build took only a couple of days, and could easily be achieved in less – the longest part of the process was waiting for glue to set, something I used to have trouble with years ago when I first started model-making as a child…

At present the Miniships range includes the Enterprise, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Tirpitz, Bismarck and New Jersey. You could feasibly buy them all for a touch over £20, build them in a week and have a very acceptable little 1/1200 collection that will fit comfortably on a bookshelf! Okay these are not kits for the rivet-counter, but they build up very quickly and easily into most acceptable representations of some great old warships. With a little more work on detailing they could become something quite special, and as they stand they only take a day or two to put together, and thus are a good break when you are getting bogged down in a complex kit. I will certainly build some more of them, and recommend this model in particular to you.
We're talking warships here, not spaceships - sorry to disappoint any Trekkies but this is a review of a WW2 Yorktown class carrier...
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1200
  Suggested Retail: £3.49
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 25, 2006
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Graham Townsend (Ripster)

Copyright ©2020 text by Graham Townsend [ RIPSTER ]. All rights reserved.


Good review, Graham! Looks like it was a fun build, to boot...thanks for the efforts, mate! Keep Modeling! ~Gunny
AUG 24, 2006 - 04:54 PM
How big are the aircraft! One bad snip and they're gone!
AUG 28, 2006 - 05:13 AM

What's Your Opinion?

Click image to enlarge
  • USS Enterprise 000
    Box Art Revell Miniships 1/1200 USS Enterprise
  • USS Enterprise 001
    Kit Parts
  • USS Enterprise 002
    Building phase
  • USS Enterprise 003
  • USS Enterprise 004
  • USS Enterprise 005
  • USS Enterprise 006
  • USS Enterprise 007
  • USS Enterprise 008