USS Enterprise NCC-1701-J

The Enterprise J is the last in the canonical line of Enterprises, three hundred years after the first NCC-1701. I’ve been fascinated by this ship ever since I saw the brief schematic in the third season of Enterprise. Little is known about it other than it is about two miles in length and that it took part in the Battle of Procyon V, a final showdown against the Sphere Builders. We can reasonably assume the Enterprise J is more like a city than a ship given its size, perhaps a little like the Voth City ship, but on a smaller scale. No matter our speculations it is obviously a far departure from the original NCC-1701 even up to the E though the basic design principles remain the same. Two nacelles, an engineering hull and of course a saucer section, oval like the Enterprise D, but considerably thinner compared to its diameter.

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It is a very fragile looking ship, and indeed the model has to be handled very carefully as the nacelles in particular are prone to damage. They are made of two very thin pieces, silver plastic for the nacelle itself and an intriguing piece of translucent plastic mostly blue but a light red at the front. It is an interesting effect I’ve not seen that done before on previous models, but unfortunately the scale means there is no other detail on the nacelles. The saucer is much more detailed with concentric circles of yellow and black windows on both sides along with a subtle aztecing that extends to the engineering hull. At the front in tiny, tiny letters is the registration, though no ‘J’. On both the top of bottom of the saucer is a spine that runs from the engineering hull and spreads out at the front of the saucer to accommodate a thin wide red deflector.

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The problem this model has is one of scale. Its dimensions mean it has to be spindly and lacking in detail. Fine details are lost so only the largest design elements are reproduced. Lighting and the attempt to show so many windows looks cheap and unimaginative, especially compared the CGI image on the front of the accompanying magazine. I certainly feel the collection struggles to deal with the largest ships and that’s a real shame as this is such a fascinating ship. Some marks need to be given for the innovative nacelles but unfortunately this model just doesn’t come together.

  • Detailing: 2/5 – Plenty of detail, but looks unrealistic
  • Construction: 3/5 – Only the saucer is metal and those nacelles are too fragile though intriguing.
  • Ship design: 3/5 – Spindly but unusual
  • Overall: 2/5 – Another giant ship is let down by the detail

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4 thoughts on “USS Enterprise NCC-1701-J

  1. I agree, It’s just too small to convince. I like the nacelles, but would have loved to see this one at the scale of the NX-01 Refit.

  2. It’s one of the ongoing problems with the whole series – scale. Some models like this one suffer from lack of detail (the city ship was another), while others are rendered too small to be of much interest (such as the Excelsior).

    The Enterprise-J was a great graphic, but was never considered for a practical design as a model (CGI or otherwise). As such, many things that looked so cool in the image don’t translate well at all in 3-D. The magazine tries to backpedal on some of this, unconvincingly, in my opinion. All the talk about ‘ape brains’ and such are just spin on ‘we never thought this through properly’.

    Just today I got the Medusan ship and the Horizon. Both are terribly flawed from the reasons outlined above. It’s looking more and more likely that I won’t bother to continue with these. I may give up after #100 just to put a round figure on it. Issues 1 – 50 had great ships with terrible manufacturing errors; 51 to now rely more and more on amazingly obscure ‘one-shot’ ships that are just boring. There were of course exceptions to this throughout, but I really feel like we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel now.

  3. This is one of my favourite models although I wished it was a bit bigger.

    I just love the idea/concept of a future Enterprise with what might be possible. At 2 miles long, those nacelles and pylons are not spindly. Windows top and bottom of the saucer section.

    I won’t be getting the Medusan issue. At just 81mm in length it is more like the shuttles. I will pick up the Horizon only because I have the Fortunate and they go together. The Kysuhu is the next hip I am looking forward too and then the Academy Trainer ship.

  4. This ship actually got me back into cherry-picking Eaglemoss ships. I started late (Summer 2016), and stopped collecting when I received the Refit Enterprise. I won’t rehash the well-known problems with it, but that purchase really made me gun shy.

    I’m really enjoying this site! Keep them coming!

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