Tag Archive: model kits


Review by C.J. Bunce

For all the complex technology inside the Chain-Program Robot, a fully-functional, all-in-one model robotics kit, Tamiya, Japan’s premiere modelmaker, has made a surprisingly straight-forward, project to build in a day or less for anyone looking for a great hobby project right now.  A motorized robot that resembles Number Five from the 1980s comedy classic starring Ally Sheedy and Steve Guttenberg, Short Circuit (“Number Five is alive!”), that is actually programmable, in a kit that includes everything you need to build and operate it, except a hobby knife, screwdriver, and double-A battery?  Thanks to Plaza Japan, the world’s best online store for authentic Japanese action figures, model kits, toys and puzzles, we gave the Chain-Program Robot a try, and it is every bit as good–and fun–as it sounds.  Take a look at a detailed rundown of my experience with the build process, and a video of the robot in action, below.

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Looking for something to do at home?  Check out the Insight Editions Incredibuilds series of 3D wooden model kits.

As a follow-on to its Harry Potter crest, Hogwarts Express, Golden Snitch, and Time Turner, Firefly Serenity spaceship, Star Wars Death Star, Millennium Falcon, Star Destroyer, AT-AT, X-Wing Fighter, and TIE Fighter, Marvel’s Iron Man and Infinity Gauntlet, DC’s Flash helmet and Batmobile, Ghostbusters Ectomobile, Assassin’s Creed hidden blade, Disney Beauty and the Beast characters, and even Santa Claus, a monuments collection, and animal kingdom wooden model kits, Insight Editions has released its three latest 3D models, and they feature iconic ships from the Star Trek franchise.  Just released as part of its Incredibuilds line, you can choose from the original Federation starship U.S.S. Enterprise, the U.S.S. Enterprise-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation, or a Klingon Bird of Prey.  Or grab them all.

Recommended for ages 10 and up, each kit comes with a full-color 32-page softcover booklet discussing the specs of each vessel, the history, appearances, and notable Star Trek characters that have served on each ship, dozens of photographs from the TV series and movies, and a section discussing behind-the scenes materials.  Each is written by Dayton Ward, Star Trek novelist, all in the style of the fan-favorite technical sheets that once appeared in Star Trek magazines over the years.

 

Like all model kits, adult supervision is a good idea, and the need for patience to avoid breaking any parts–the nature of wood makes these easier to build than the more difficult to assemble and more breakable Metal Earth kit counterparts.  And these are a bit sturdier than the classic balsa wood kits you may be familiar with.  An easy to follow, fold-out instruction sheet is included for each ship, and a single sheet of laser-cut, FSC-certified wood with easy-to-assemble, punch-out pieces.

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Polar Lights Ent 1701A A

If you’ve been waiting to build your own Star Trek Enterprise model until the right kit came along, we think we found what you’re looking for.

Entertainment Earth is now featuring on its website the Polar Lights/Round 2 1:350 scale model of the premier ship of the Star Trek line and fan favorite: the Enterprise NCC-1701-A.  We’ve previewed the kit and think it’s the most incredible Enterprise ship on the market for modelers of all skill levels.  At a ginormous 35 inches long when fully assembled it is bigger than the smaller filming model of the ship used in the movies.  Highly detailed with parts and decals to identify the final project you build as either the Enterprise NCC-1701 refit from Star Trek: The Motion Picture to Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, or the Enterprise NCC-1701-A from Star Trek IV to Star Trek VI, this kit will be a fun build for anyone age 10 and up.

Ent 1701 A close up A    Polar Lights Ent close-up

Just check out the detailed photos of a completed build (above).  The model includes more than 150 parts, molded in white, as well as a sturdy display base.  The instructions, downloadable for previewing here, provide a list of all recommended paint colors, and show the “Aztec” decal patterning provided and the decals for both the 1701 refit and 1701-A.  Of course, more advanced modelers may want to paint each element from screencaps at Trekcore instead of using the Aztec decals, or even go all-out and light it up with LEDs or other lighting method.

The biggest win with this kit is the detail, particularly the visible interior cargo and docking bay.  You have several display options, and the Polar Lights/Round 2 website even includes instructions to build your own separate display to show-off the docking bay details.

Just look at this movie screencap of the cargo bay (center and left) and hangar at upper right:

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