[Editor's Note (May 2016): This will mark my second re-write of this article. Now that I've written a bunch of articles, I feel like I've developed a certain style and flow to them and I wanted to make all of them have that same feel across the series. Consider this the REFIT version of the original article.]
C.H.I.'s eBay Advertisement
The kit come with a total of 10 pieces an includes a stand base as well. There is a set of decals as well to help you give the ship some really nice details. The final model will measure in at around 12.5cm.
Although the kit comes with nacelle pylons, Jay, who owns and operates C.H.I. recommends that you make your own using sheet styrene.
DeepSpace Pat's Paint Scheme
There was a bit of trimming of excess resin off of the parts. Jay's struts require some major cutting and trimming and the end result for me was uneven looking struts, hence my reason for making my own.
The kit was fairly straight forward as far as building it. Having learned a bunch of tricks from previous resin model builds, I was able to get her done rather quickly and very little snags.
The only really tricky part was mounting the nacelle struts and then the nacelles. To mount the struts, I used the scotch tape trick I had taught myself when I did the Oberth Class builds.
The trick is quite simple. Use a piece of scotch tape to fasten the two struts together at a 90 degree angle. Once you have them positioned right, simply add the glue to the hull support and gently lay the struts onto the glue and let it set for a bit. Once the glue sets, you can carefully remove the tape and fill in the seams with putty or styrene cement.
Mounting the nacelles simply required a bit of patience of holding the part while the super glue set. I am not a patient man, hence my slight difficulty at this stage.
Painting the ship was a breeze. There are not any difficult to reach nooks and crannies. I do recommend painting the nacelles before mounting them and then scraping away the paint where you will be applying the glue.
This was the very first ship that I ever did a decal for. I felt that I needed to use one of the supplied decals for this one as there was no way I was going to be able to paint the landing deck details and have it look as nice as the C.H.I. decals.
If you are new to doing decals, then I suggest you check out my link in the Helpful Hints section later on in this article. The method I describe there worked really well with this rather large decal.
The final ship is actually rather interesting. The best way to describe it is that it looks like an interstellar flatbed tractor trailer. The kit does not come with any shuttles which is what I think it is missing. It truly looks very impressive with stuff sitting on it's back.
I happened to have some shuttle craft from a Strategic Space Command kit. I ended up painting them to look like Starfleet vessels.
I think the addition of the shuttle craft helps complete the kit. Perhaps Jay could offer an upgrade package where for a few bucks more, you can have some shuttles to put on deck. Or even include a small shuttle or two and just up the price of the kit slightly to cover the extra resin costs. Although I do have to say, painting a 1:2500 scale shuttle is rather tricky.
More recently, I acquired 1 1:2500 scale Aerie class science vessel (USS Raven from ST Voyager) through a different resin kit maker. I decided to play around and took this photograph of my USS Hornet (NCC-1775) delivering the USS Tern (NAR-33199) Executive Shuttle to Earth
Oh, I almost forgot, the stand base does not come with a rod. This is actually quite common with small scale resin kits from most manufacturers. If you are new to my reviews, be sure to check out the link to my DIY article on making a rod and Jay also explains his stance on stands in the section below about the garage kit maker.
This is a very neat kit to add to your small scale fleet. I love the details and the new saucer and engineering hull design that Jay came up with. However, given that I am writing my reviews with beginner to intermediate modelers in mind, I would say that it may not be a good kit to try out if you are new to model building or new to resin kit building. The nacelle struts and nacelles pose the most challenging parts of the build and a beginner may not want to try to tackle this sort of thing just yet. A more experienced modeler should not have any issues provided they follow standard procedures for a resin kit. I know that this turned out to be one of my more favorite builds.
I hope you found this article as useful and informative as I did while writing it. Please feel free to leave any comments, questions or suggestions below.
So, for now, "Live Long & Prosper!"
Helpful Hint Articles
NOTE: If you are new to my reviews, then please read on. This section talks about the garage kit maker that made this kit as well as a little about why I'm writing this review. If you are one of my regular readers, then feel free to skip the rest of this article as it is a word for word repeat of stuff from previous articles.
Kit Maker Information
Jay who runs Cozmo Heavy Industries sells all of his kits via eBay. He changes out what ships are for sale every Saturday evening so it is best to check in once a week to see what he has for sale.
Jay also maintains a FaceBook page where he likes to share his work in progress on future kit releases. I really like this approach as I'm a big fan of behind the scenes stuff.
Lastly, Jay does have a website, but it is more of an informational page about the business and he has hinted on FaceBook that he may be closing down that site.
I find Jay to be a very approachable garage kit maker. He has a regular day job and uses the business to not only allow him to make new ships for himself but to also help fund his love for the hobby. If you have ever followed Jay's work, you will know that he hand makes all of his kits from pre-existing parts, and he hand crafts all the other pieces for the ship. This allows him to produce all sorts of unique model kits. He loves to talk about the hobby and has lots of good advice about the hobby if you ever ask him for it. He will usually answer any questions you send to him within a day or two.
C.H.I.'s eBay Seller Profile: CLICK HERE
C.H.I.'s FaceBook Page: CLICK HERE
C.H.I.'s Website: CLICK HERE
Jay recently shared on his FaceBook page about his stance on stands. In it he wrote, "Everybody does theirs different. I use .055" piano wire and not everybody has that size drill bit. Plus, that tiny wire would put a hole in the bag and get lost. I have also seen people use clear rod, or use the base as a badge to apply to a larger stand." So there you go. And as I've said in other articles, I have yet to see a resin kit that comes with a rod.
I consider myself an intermediate model maker. I'm pretty good with assembling kits these days and OK on the painting side of things. I ultimately end up with ships that look good enough to me to display in my collection. I've found that there are all sorts of neat ships out there that no one has made a pre-built or pre-painted model of, so, in an effort to expand my ship collection I've turned to building them myself, either by kitbashing or purchasing ready made resin model kits.
There are several smaller garage kit makers out there that produce some very good kits. I've actually developed a good relationship with a couple of them and volunteered some of my time to write up reviews about the kits I've purchased from them. I have already warned them that I intend to be pretty objective, not pull any punches, and these reviews are going to be written from the point of view of an intermediate model builder. If this means that I warn away a first time builder from a particular kit, then they will need to be OK with that approach.
Lastly, due to the nature of resin casting, not every kit is going to be the same. Excess resin and air pockets are a part of the game when you get into this sort of model building. The kit that I got and built may be slightly different than your kit as far as minor quality issues. I will still point out flaws with my kit as those flaws could lead into a lesson of some sort for either you the reader or the kit maker themselves.