Starfleet Academy Flight Training Craft

I opened my previous article with the concept of sub-categories in the collection. Here’s another I had forgotten about – fighter ships. So this is different to shuttlecraft and runabouts but are one or two person ships, generally winged and aerodynamically built for maneuverability. In this sub-category we can include the Maquis Raider, Jem’Hadar Fighter, Federation Attack Fighter, Bajoran Raider, Aeroshuttle, Federation Mission Scout Ship, Bajoran Assault Vessel, the Aeon, and now the Training Craft. This is a very loose and ill-defined category of mine and arguably not all of these ships entirely fit it but I feel the Training Craft captures the essence of this grouping. It is a small craft and vaguely fighter-jet shaped in appearance.

This is a very simple model and at first glance appears to be made of only two pieces – the upper metal half of the hull and the lower plastic underside that also includes the stubby wings. I nearly relegated this to the simplistic level of quality seen on other two piece models but on closer inspection realised there are seven tiny little pieces used to add a spark of colour. These are tiny transparent blue little warp exhausts at the end of the winged nacelles, three shaped pieces of red transparent plastic for the impulse engines and at the front of the nacelles tiny black inserts for the nacelle intakes. Now this is more like it! This is how to add value to a what could be a rather basic design and has often been neglected in the collection on many occasion. Whilst the addition of these pieces are minor and not even noticable at most angles I really appreciate the extra effort.

In general the design is basic but neat. There are no ground breaking ideas here – the ship is essentially a fighter-jet shape with smaller wings and obvious cockpit. You almost don’t realise it has warp nacelles as they are so compactly joined to the sides of the main hull. The detailing and paintwork does a lot to add to the design. It has a two-tone hull of beige and grey with a lot of red lines and edges. I know beige and grey hardly sounds like a great colour scheme but it actually works well especially with the panelling effect, various inspection hatches and components. Some of the panels have tiny, tiny writing on them which is just about readable. In front of the cockpit is the tiny Starfleet Academy logo and both wings have the Starfleet pennant and double red swooshes. Likewise the underside has a satisfying large Starfleet pennant and swoosh which is good as aside from this the underside is rather neglected.

This is not a ship to get excessively excited over however I am pleased that the collection has done its best to make it somewhat interesting. It is competently built with few obvious joins (apart from the back which on my model is very noticable) and does look pretty good on the shelf.

  • Detailing: 4/5 – Very good considering the simple design
  • Construction: 4/5 – Mostly good but some visible joins
  • Ship design: 3/5 – Plain and simple
  • Overall: 4/5 – A basic little ship well executed

The highlight of the magazine is the article ‘Wil Wheaton on Wesley Crusher’. Wil always have something interesting to say so definitely have a read.

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4 thoughts on “Starfleet Academy Flight Training Craft

  1. I don’t have mine yet, so I’m not sure, but I don’t think this is supposed to have nacelles or warp capability. There should be impulse engines and thrusters; maybe the magazine clears up my confusion.

  2. I can’t wait for this one. I have been waiting for it to appear on the webhop to order it with the Franklin special. I am still waiting and now Franklin is out of stock. I thought it was not out until at least 22nd and now it is out next week !

    It looks like a excellent model and will be pleased to finally get it. I just hope I get one with good paint and decals.

  3. Yes, a very well-crafted model of an extremely boring ship. The subtle touches like the tiny text (which seems to suggest this “Al Craft” needs serviced with “Grade JP-4 Or Type” just begs the question as to why other ships of similar scale don’t have this (but spelled correctly). It’s common enough on any modern Jet fighter and would add a lot to any model. And as I’ve mentioned before, why don’t these ships carry some sort of ID number? If you’ve got a dozen or so of these on a training run, having a way to visually differentiate one from another would seem to be a good idea. It works for large starships, after all.

  4. I don’t particularly care about this one. I’m really looking forward to the Franklin, I very much like the design of that ship, in fact I like it much better than the movie enterprise. I also look forward to the captain Proton ship. I grew up with Flash Gordon and Dan Dare in comics and Thunderbird’s and Star Trek on TV and in my opinion the captain proton episode with Janeway as queen Arachnia is a superb homage to Flash Gordon.

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