To answer the question of Would I devote an entire years of precious model time and funds for one large project? The answer is YES! For years now there has been one subject that I've always wanted to go to town with. It's one of those 'retirement' projects, like fixing up that old car that's been sitting in the garage for years. In my mind the situate is the same, I would probably buy the kit and let it sit until time avails itself. Spending that in-between time to plan every step of the build, all the extra detail I would be adding, testing colors and lighting effects so that it would end up just right. No rushing, no need to get it done over a weekend (like that ever happens). More of a sip your coffee, have a doughnut and do some work on the project.
The subject in question is the Enterprise. That's right, a sci-fi starship. Not the Kirk movie version, which I admit to having three already, but Capt.Picard's ship from ST:The Next Generation. She's a grand lady, her curves are timeless and I could spend all day looking at her. To what level of detail would I go to? For me, the ship looked best in season 4, when the studio began to use the smaller but more detailed 4 foot model of the ship. One of the standout features was that the aztec paneling was not only painted but was raised, lending a chunky feel to the ship. This is a detail that I would definitely want to incorporate in the build. She would be fully lit up of course, with blinking formation lights, warp engines and such. I would also include the main shuttle bay and make a custom display stand. And by this I don't mean a metal rod in a plank of wood but something fitting for such a project. A company by the name of Sovereign Replicas made a 1:650 scale of it in clear resin but recently became Titan models and I'm not sure if they still produce the kit. I know that Custom Replicas uses a modified version of this kit for customer builds.
Since I don't have the funds to source the kit at the moment nor the space (at 1:650 she's 40-inches long) that's as far as it's gotten. Regardless, it's nice to daydream about it. _pL
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