Monday, May 2, 2016

Constitution Class Phase II Refit

NOTE:  You can click on most pictures to get a larger view of them.

As I was going through my oldest articles and doing some REFIT work on them, I came across my review of the Cozmo Heavy Industries Constitution Class Phase II Prototype kit.  You can read that review at THIS LINK.  I realized that in all this time of writing my articles and sharing some of my kitbashes, I have never shared my attempt at building the Constitution Class Phase II Refit.  This model has a special place in my heart as it was my very first kitbash.

So sit back and enjoy my tale of building my first and second attempts to build this unique vessel.

Per Memory Alpha and Beta, "Star Trek: Phase II, also known by its official title Star Trek II (not to be confused with the earlier 1975-1976 revitalization attempts bearing the same title), was planned to be the first live-action spin-off television series of Star Trek: The Original Series. While ultimately not realized, it did serve, in more ways than one, as the starting point for its immediate successor Star Trek: The Motion Picture."  They go on to say, "The Enterprise was to be refit, and new characters were to be introduced."

Planning ahead, the series producers figured that the ship would have gone through some changes from when we last saw her.  They went and did some major discussions and eventually came up with this slightly new looking design.  They had even gone as far as starting to build an actual studio model for her.  After the series idea was dropped in favor of the movie, the designers made even more changes and brought us what is now known as the Constitution Class Refit.

If you would like to read more official stuff on this type of ship and the series that never was, feel free to check out the following links:

Star Trek: Phase II Information: Memory Alpha LINK and Memory Beta LINK
     There is a second article at this Memory Alpha LINK as well.

Using some bad story telling methodology, here is what the final product of my first attempt to build this ship ended up looking like.

USS Valley Forge (NCC-1732)
Constitution Class (Phase II)
1:2500 AMT Kitbash (v1)

When I first got into kitbashing, my skill set was limited and I would never have dreamed of hacking up or modifying the nacelles, so I went the easy route and just used the TMP era parts.

NOTE: For the pictures of my second attempt's final look, using the correct types of nacelles, scroll down to the end of the article.

If you ever want to get into kitbashing, this is probably one of the easiest builds to start with.  And if you would like to keep the pricing down on building this model, then I will strongly suggest that you stick with the Round 2 1:2500 scale kits.

It has been a while since I built mine so I ended up doing some research on which models you would need to build her.  Michael Payton from the Star Trek Modelers Group FaceBook page and I had some major discussions about the current Round 2 1:2500 scale kits that are available, and this is what we came up with.

The basic design of the Pahse II Enterprise is a cross of the TOS Enterprise and the TMP Enterprise so you will need one of each of these models in order to build the model.   There are currently 3 kits from Round 2 that contain 1:2500 scale Enterprises of the TOS and TMP eras.  Depending on your skill and comfort levels, there are two routes you could go as far as what you need to purchase.

Parts Needed:

TOS Era Parts: Saucer Section, Deflector Dish and Deflector Dish Assembly

TMP Era Parts: Engineering Hull and Nacelle Struts

Nacelles: The nacelles on this model are different than the standard TMP era nacelles.  They are technically what the nacelles would have looked like between the TOS era and the TMP era time frames.  When I first built my model, I was just getting into the kitbashing arena so I so just went with the stock TMP nacelles since I didn't have any skills yet.  If you wish to keep the pricing down, you can do the same thing I did and just use the TMP Era nacelles.  If you are a skilled kitbasher, you could do some serious scratch-build work and modify the TMP era nacelles so that they are more accurate.

Editor's Note: I have confirmed with the garage kit maker that at the time of this article's re-writing (March 3rd, 2018), that he is no longer producing this item.  So sadly, your choices are back to either scratch building your own, or going the easy route.  To keep my original article intact (and because I'm too lazy to completely re-write this thing), I'll keep the original information in.

OR, better yet, I have finally convinced Michael over at SciFi4Real to  produce the accurate nacelles in resin at 1:2500 scale.


He is selling them for $17 (shipping is included) over at his eBay store.  You can find that store at THIS LINK.   If you happen to visit and he doesn't have them up, simply contact him through eBay to see if he has any in stock.

EDITOR's NOTE: I happen to have purchased a set of SciFi4Real's nacelles and did a review on them.  You can read that review at THIS LINK.

If you are comfortable with cutting parts off of one model, and fitting and gluing them to another model, then you could easily get away with just buying the "3 Enterprise" set.  The reason I say this is because the TMP era Enterprise that comes with this set, was molded with the deflector dish already on the engineering hull.

You would need to cut this section off.  You would then need 
to do some fancy fitting of the TOS era deflector dish to the 
TMP engineering hull.
You will also need the saucer section as well as the deflector 
dish and dish assembly.

If you are brand new to the art of kitbashing and wish to go the super easy route, then you will need to buy two different "3 ship" sets.  The TOS Enterprise that comes in both the "TOS Set" and the "3 Enterprise" set has a separate part for the deflector dish and dish assembly.  Which means that the only decision you need to make is in regards to which extra ships you want for your parts collection.  You would also need to buy the "TMP Set" as it's TMP Enterprise has a separate part for the deflector dish and assembly.

You will need the deflector dish and dish assembly.

This piece is already removed thus allowing you to fairly easily
mount a TOS era dish to the TMP engineering hull.

And to further confuse you, here is a small chart of the kits

The Build (v2)

Some parts of this build are simple and straight forward.  I glued the saucer section together so that I could start painting her.  I also started painting and assembling the deflector dish and dish assembly.


I did some dry fitting of the nacelles to the nacelle struts.  They fit great.  I will hold off gluing them on though until after I paint them.  Painting the nacelles is a lot easier when they are not attached to the struts.


I did some minor tweaking and dry fitting of the engineering hull.  It looks like I was incorrect in my assessment and you will still need to do a slight bit of cutting.  HOWEVER, you won't be messing up a perfectly good deflector dish assembly if you still go with the engineering hull that required it to be glued on.

In order to make the old dish assembly sit flush, you will need to cut off the protruding piece of plastic that would normally hold on the TMP era deflector dish assembly.  This is rather easily done if you have not glued the engineering hull together yet.  

For this build, I want to select a color that is between the TOS battleship grey and the TMP pearl white paint color.  I find that Testors #1123 (Light Gray) works great for this.

HOWEVER, it is very hard to get just a bottle of this.  It appears that it only comes in the Aircraft Finishing Set (Testors #9121) of paint.

EDITOR'S UPDATE (May 2016): I believe that I have found a new enamel paint that will serve as a good replacement color for future builds.  It looks like Testor's Model Master enamel paint line has a Light Gray as well.  If you Google search "model master enamel paint 1732" you'll find lots of links on where to get it.

The end result is nice though and comes in pretty darned close.

I started painting the nacelles at this point in the build.  I applied the base coat paint to a majority of the nacelles and then when that dried, started painting the finer details.  I decided to paint the inside grills of the nacelles.  I personally like giving them a glowing look to them.  Once I start base coating the back end of the nacelles, I will touch up any paint mistakes I made.

At this point, I felt comfortable enough with gluing the engineering hull and struts together.  I also mounted the deflector dish assembly and saucer section.  There is enough room in this current state to be able to paint on smaller details and even give you something solid to hold.

I then started applying the base coat to the underside of the ship.

Here is different angle of the work that was done so far.

While waiting for paint to dry, I mounted up some rods for stands that I had bought from Studio 739 Models.  I have written a nice HOW TO GUIDE on making cheap rods for your stand.  You can read that article at THIS LINK.


The next day, I applied a second coat of paint.  This is proving to be more difficult as the bottle of paint I have is old, and my last bottle.  That coupled with the fact that the paint is difficult to get means I'm trying to stretch it as best as I can. (Note: this was built before I found an alternative paint.)  After I applied it, it appears that I may need to do a little more touch ups before the final detail painting begins.

At this point, I felt comfortable with gluing on the nacelles.  The ship is really starting to look good.

The next day, I did some more detail painting and originally was going to call her done until I did some side by side comparison pictures with my v1 Phase II model.

I've decided to do a little more detail work to her. 

And after getting my butt kicked trying to paint some windows, NOW I can call her all done.

USS Revenant (NCC-1944)
Constitution Class Phase II Refit
1:2500 Scale AMT/SciFi4Real Kitbash

Other than my difficulties with almost running out of the paint, this was still a very easy model to build.  SciFi4Real's nacelles were well made and quite frankly, were just the perfect item to buy for the second build.  And in the end, I can now rest easy knowing that I have a very close version of the ship to this never before seen on screen starship.

As always, I hope you found this article useful and informative.  If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to comment below.

So for now, "Live long and prosper!!!"

Additional Links To Photos Of My Collection:

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