USS Centaur

The USS Centaur is a kit-bashed, rarely seen ship from Deep Space Nine. It’s a thin, spindly ship that uses major components from the Excelsior and Miranda classes to make an entirely new class of ship. The in-universe background to the USS Centaur is that it was hastily constructed following massive losses during the Dominion war. This has given us an over-powered ship with barely an engineering hull and long warp nacelles.

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In the accompanying magazine the ship’s history is expanded upon as is the design process, with some quite fascinating photos of the original model, made of other ships with various components glued on much like the USS Stargazer. As this is such an unknown ship it’s worth a read.

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It’s been so long since I saw the episode the Centaur appeared on in DS9 and screen-caps are hard to come by so I’m finding it hard to compare the model to the on-screen ship. Even Eaglemoss must have had a hard time as the magazine contains no images of the ship from the show either. It is a fairly simple model as Starfleet ships go with a perfectly circular saucer section with a variant of the Excelsior class structure adorning the top. A thick phaser array circles the underside of the saucer section, much like the Enterprise B‘s. The nacelle struts are the largest in relation to the saucer than any other ship, as too is the length of the nacelles. These appear to be Excelsior class style nacelles, but turned on their sides. Instead of an engineering hull there is a Miranda class style weapons hull with large torpedo launcher fore and aft. There appears to be no deflector dish, so either it has none (unlikely) or it is concealed. There are plenty of unusual components on the underside of the hull so it’s possible one or several of them replicate the deflector’s function.

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The colour scheme is striking with off-white as the primary colour complimented by muted blues, gold and the occasional red details. The off-white hull most closely matches the Enterprise B‘s hull whilst the gold is unique to the Centaur.

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I like this model. It’s for a supremely rare ship which interests me and seeing how parts from other classes can be thrown together to make a new class is fun. Eaglemoss have put this ship together well with a crisp finish and barely a join in sight.

  • Detailing: 4/5 – plenty of odd components and few blank hull places
  • Construction: 5/5 – I could barely see any joins
  • Ship design: 4/5 – kind of gangly in a fascinating sort of way
  • Overall: 4/5 – a one of a kind Starfleet vessel well put together
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2 thoughts on “USS Centaur

  1. I admit that I ended up liking this one more than I thought I would. It’s probably a nicer looking ship than the Excelsior class from which it (partly) sprung.

    But I’m not a big fan of kitbashing overall. I understand there are time and budget constraints on ship design for a weekly television show, and the explanation given in the magazine fits in well with the Trek Universe idea of a Federation scrambling to replace ships lost to the Dominion. But ultimately it’s a lazy approach, especially when you think about the time and effort in many ‘one-show’ ships. Why not several ships from tested and true designs, instead of trying to make each its own class? All these different designs in every era, yet whenever trouble beckons, the Enterprise is always the ‘only ship in the area’. Where are all these other vessels then?

  2. I always like that spindly little design. It reminds me of a few ships from the old FASA Starfleet game. Oh and when they say that this ship was “Kitbashed” they don’t mean that “in universe” Starfleet was bolting together components of other ships to modularly assemble new designs. They mean quite literally when Paramount needed new ships for large effects shots like Wolf 359 or Favor the Bold/Sacrifice of Angels, the FX team literally took piles of AMT/Ertl model kits and glued them together in new and interesting ways. The Centaur was an AMT 1/1000 scale Excelsior’s saucer and nacelles merged with the larger scale Reliant’s rollbar to form the engineering section and struts. Similarly the Constellation class USS Stargazer was 2 AMT Wrath of Khan Reliant kits. They glued the two saucer tops together to form the new saucer shape, then more or less bolted on both pairs of engine nacelles sideways and greeblied the hell out of it. Up until Voyager, when they went CGI, they did that a lot, going all the way back to TOS. In the original episode “The Doomsday Machine” Matt Deckers USS Constellation was an off the shelf retail model kit that they spent an afternoon on using a hacksaw and a BIC lighter. (Hmmm? I think I am sensing a future “Special” release). Actually before they redid everything with CGI any non Enterprise Starship seen on screen was an AMT Model kit.

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