USS Kelvin

When the first of the new wave of Trek movies came out in 2009 this was our first glimpse of the re-imagined Starfleet. It didn’t last very long as within ten minutes of the movie it had been destroyed. It was long enough however to see an already battered and well used vessel obviously not a Constitution class. The unusual layout of the two nacelle-like hulls works well along with the more classical saucer section. It looks like there are two warp nacelles but in fact the upper hull section is more akin to an engineering hull, hosting the deflector dish and shuttle bay. This means there is in fact only one warp nacelle.

20151127_194104This is definitely a hit and miss model, thankfully more hit than miss. The saucer section is made of two pieces – die cast metal on top and plastic on the underside. I had to look closely to be sure as the join is almost imperceptible. That the saucer is so large and half metal it gives the model a decent weight, though it would be nice to see a bit more use of metal considering this is a special edition. The only obvious join is between the bridge and upper strut as in my model the two parts do not abut well.

20151127_194248The decor is simple but very effective. The paintwork is predominantly off-white with large blocks of dark and light grey all over. Streaks and smudges of ablated hull cover the ship, implying battle damage. Of all the models in the collection so far this has been the most successful in pulling off the worn and weary effect. The lettering is superb, chunky and oversized on the top of saucer, the registration repeated again on the sides of the nacelle and an odd off-centre ‘USS Kelvin’ at the back of the saucer.

20151127_194420I’m always looking out for interesting uses of material in the models, and most common is the use of transparent plastics. Here Eaglemoss has utilised a variety of pieces. The navigational deflector is a striking blue dish with a pointed centre. Too bad it is not decorated though. At the rear of the nacelle is a small concavity made of the same blue plastic and at the front an intriguing conical piece of clear plastic, its tip painted grey and yellow. It does a poor job of recreating its appearance in the movie, but it is interesting.

20151127_194442My main disappointment is around the lack of a few finishing touches. As I mentioned more decoration on the transparent pieces would look really good, and the nacelle grills are painted, but would have benefitted from the being plastic too. Also the shuttle bay doors are a real mystery to me – they are completely unpainted and crudely slotted in. These are all minor quibbles to be fair, but they do show up when closely scrutinised.

20151127_194116Minor detail issues aside this is a great model. It is well constructed and brilliantly decorated, certainly on a par with the Enterprise and Vengeance specials.

  • Detailing: 4/5 – excellent paintwork
  • Construction: 4/5 – very, very good apart from one poor join
  • Ship design: 5/5 – Cool, unusual yet distinctively Starfleet
  • Overall: 4/5 – let down only by a few minor details

8 thoughts on “USS Kelvin

  1. As usual with your reviews, once I read them I have to go back and look at my own model to re-examine some detail you’ve mentioned. So, I found myself once more unboxing my copy of the Kelvin. I would have liked to have seen a close-up photo of your shuttlecraft bay doors to compare to my own. While it is plain (a common problem with Eaglemoss and shuttle bay doors), it looks alright otherwise. I don’t see the ‘crudely slotted in’ aspect you mentioned.

    And, I don’t see a problem with the transparent plastic. In fact, I can’t think off the top of my head of any other models that use clear plastic anywhere, so that alone is novel. In fact, my biggest gripe with the Kelvin is that if anything, it’s too detailed. I would have liked to have had the aztecing and relicing toned down just slightly. It’s all just a bit over the top, and makes the ship look far too ‘busy’ compared to how it appeared on screen.

    Minor quibbles, tho. Overall, I like it almost as much as the JJ Enterprise, and much more than the Vengeance.

  2. Hello. You said about the odd uss kelvin at the rear of the upper saucer section, if you look at the front cover on the other side it is supposed to be the ships registration which they have just decided to leave off the model

  3. I don’t like the fact that there is no detail at all on the saucer rim. But I still will get one because I need something to go with my Vengeance and I don’t want the JJ-prise! I’ll just have to paint azteking on the rim.

  4. The Kelvin is a truly ugly ship design. I think that goes for most of the ship designs from the JJverse. That being said, I will probably pick this up when the price drops a bit. It sucks being an OCD completist.

  5. The Kelvin is the only JJverse ship that I actually like. Not perfect, and still a far cry from the wonderful ship designs we saw in TNG and DS9. But at least in the general ballpark, so long as you didn’t look too close. (Really? A big honking windshield? ) the flow of the ship and its movements on screen brought to mind the TNG era Constellation class such as Picards Stargazer.

    The model itself is quite nice. Probably my favorite of the specials, in spite of its minor flaws. The saucer paint detailing is what sells it. Granted “favorite of the specials” is not a high bar to cross.

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