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.
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.
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