[Editor's Note (May 2016): Normally, I would say that this is my second re-write of this article. In reality, I've combined the older articles into one as it seemed silly to me to have two when I revisited the articles. 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 articles.]
While writing the review for the Cozmo Heavy Industries 1:2500 Declaration Class kit, I had shared that I liked the kit so much that I actually bought two more of that kit, just so I could build some variants of the ship.
The three ships displayed above are a Declaration Class, A Declaration Class Refit and an Declaration Class Upgrade.
A friend of mine introduced me to this series of books called the Federation Spaceflight Chronology, which had TONS of in depth information about the Star Trek universe up through the TMP and ending around the ST3:TSFS era. One of the neat things about Volume One was that it covered some very old style ships that were never seen on screen. It had a very nice section on the Declaration class and the history surrounding those ships.
Declaration Class Refit Story
According to these history books, the original Declaration class suffered from stress cracks along the ring support strut during the test warp trials. This issue was resolved by adding additional support struts. These additional struts had the added benefit of giving the ship additional hard points to mount laser cannons to.
I decided to build this variant using one of the extra Cozmo Heavy Industries 1:2500 Declaration kits I had purchased.
DeepSpace Pat's Paint Scheme
There was a real world advantage to building these struts for the model. As I shared in the kit review, there was a potential for ring drooping as time went on. My thoughts are that this addition to the kit will help alleviate the possibility of this issue occurring.
I built these support struts simply using some extra sprue that I had ling around. The laser cannons are nothing more than magazine binder pegs from my Eaglemoss Star Trek The Official Starship Collection magazine binders.
Declaration Class Upgrade Story