[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
Since this is the more recognizable configuration of this ship, I decided to do some kitbashing and molding with sculpting putty to make this ship.
DeepSpace Pat's Paint Scheme
As I stated in my C.H.I. review, I decided to make my own rings from a thicker styrene. Although they certainly appear more sturdy, it was a real P.I.T.A. to make them. It is is extremely difficult to hold the bent styrene in place while the super glue sets. In fact, I ended up making slightly thicker cross beams in order to compensate. I then filled the cross beams in to make them look like weapons systems or sensor pods.
The first thing that needed to be changed was the command module. I sawed off the stock one and ended up forming my own from modeling putty.
According to the history book, the drive system was also upgraded so I opted to use some Klingon drive greebles in place of the stock drive greebles.
Other than struggling with the ring assembly, and waiting on the putty to harden, this was a super easy build.
Shortly after her upgrade, the Enterprise had to help evacuate Alpha Centauri because they were overrun during the war. The ship led a small fleet on the run for three years.
I imagined that either during that run or sometime after, she may have been refit yet again and I added two additional support struts with the canon fixtures again. The nice thing about my build is that I did not need to glue those struts on so I can actually display the ship with or without the struts attached.
If you want any advice about the original model kit, please refer back to my Cozmo Heavy Industries 1:2500 Declaration Class kit review.
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!"
Additional Links To Photos Of My Collection: