Polar lights Enterprise 1701 Refit
1/350th Scale

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Page Number

The Goal!

First off Thanks to Raytheon for letting me use his nav buttons.

This is the first model kit I have built in 20 years and I really wanted to do this one right.  After reading all of the forums, being inspired by Krako, Ratheon, Starseeker, etc. and not being in practice at all when it came to airbrushing, I decided to start with the constructional accurizing details.  After much reading on the forums and looking at pictures, I decided that I would implement the following corrections:



Darn it! The Kit Doesn't Match the Studio Model Perfectly



1) The window slots for the rec deck need to be made slightly larger by filing out the top of the top slot and the bottom of the bottom slot so the window edge is even with the sensor band groove. See Studio model shot below.

2) Add small triangular extensions to each vertical wall of the lower sensor dome projections.  i.e. the wall to each side of the face where the lights are.  The slants are incorrect.  Their angle should be 126degrees  (interior angle) for the side and rear extensions and 124 degrees for the front extension relative to the top surface of the part. Also extend the roof of the front facing projection by approximately .04 in for the proper proportion relative to the 2 grills.

          Kit Part                                                        Studio Model


Note increased slant of side walls of each projection compared to studio model and slight curving of the roof end line where the kit part is basically straight.  

Also the slant of the curving sidewalls (between projections) is too steep on the kit part.  Fortunately the outer diameter is correct and the plastic is thick enough to simply file it down.  If a new arc for the top edge is drawn .055" in from the kit arc the wall can be filed down to this mark and produce the proper sidewall slant.  The rectangular bosses must then be added back in via sheet stock.

3) Add the raised broad ring detail around the base of the lower sensor dome that is missing on the kit part.

4) On the 2 kits I have examined so far the windows that are positioned around the B-C Deck indent are not aligned well.  On one side the circular windows are on a slant and on the other side the slot window is on a slant.  They are also not centered well from top to bottom.  They should all be the same distance below the upper edge of the indented area.  These will need to be filled and redrilled.

Studio Model

PL Kit

Note the uniform tape spacers vs the actual window positions on the kit.  The window spaces will be filed correct using the clear window parts as a guide and the gaps filled in with apoxy sculpt.

5) The curving forward deck surface below the slot lights is a raised detail with molded in pairs of radial lines.    This area, Lt Blue on the studio model, that fans out around the front of the bridge on B deck is too far raised and is too wide at the sides and corners.  In the studio model this is a painted on detail with no raised surface profile.   This area should be sanded down.

6) The forward flat deck just above the slot lights and below the start of the dome is not quite wide enough.  This shows up in the kit where the walls between the light slots are slightly forward of the leading edge of the flat deck.  I checked against studio model photos and the scaling agrees that the deck needs to be wider by about 0.020 inches.   If this is done it matches the molded in wall sections correctly.   This can be corrected with a 0.020x0.060 strip glued on and melded into the contour.

7) The slant of the B/C decks is slightly steeper on the kit than on the studio model. To illustrate this I took a picture of the area at a matching viewpoint to that seen in STTMP when the forward upper saucer light comes on.   To allow me to see the overlay I tinted the kit image blue and made it partially transparent, then carefully matched the sizes.   You can see below where it is really the upper slope that is at fault and only by a little bit.  The difference is accentuated by the raised detailon the surface just below the slot windows.  Which should only be a painted-on detail (see #5 above).   This matches Thomas's correction drawings by the way and appears to be a correction that was not implemented.  Removing this slight amount of slope should be done all the way around including the rear slope over the officer's lounge windows.

8) Modify the bridge docking port to add the PE door detail and the light slots.

9) Add the DLM Impulse engine part which is much closer to the studio model.  To make it look right: thin the saucer top piece over the impulse engine (from the inside) down to .030 inches thick.  This will match the outer left right and bottom surfaces of the DLM part (which are the correct thickness) to match up the border thickness all around. 

DLM Part with Thinned Impulse Deck

[Note:  There are a couple of corrections that need to be made to the DLM part.  First, look carefully at the DLM part and you will see some small left to right asymmetry.  The left side needs some small adjustments to match the right.  Second, with the thinning of the saucer top deck the top of the center trapezoid boss will need to be filed down to fit.  This reduces the boss to being almost dead on.  Third, a bit of fill will be needed to match the center strip of the impulse deck to the engine part.  Fourth, Once the now symmetrical (corrected) part was matched to the saucer I found I had to file off the surface of the DLM part's center trapezoid to bring the plane in proper alignment.  Finally, as can be seen in the picture above and those below, the edges of the center fore to aft boss of the impulse deck and the center trapezoid of the impulse engine must have their corners and edges rounded more (to a true quarter round) to match the studio model.

Studio Model                                Original Kit Part

                   Studio Model                                                            Kit


10) Looking at the pictures above you can see that the engraved rectangles along the center boss start to far into the circular deck area and thus their size is off on the kit.  They should start even with the join between the ring and the bar detail.  These will need to be filled in and rescribed to match the studio model.  I also think that the kit has the rounded half circle and bar at the left (forward end) of the deck to thick compared to the studio model.  It should blend in a bit more smoothly.

11) As can be seen in the picture below the rectangular areas that surround the phaser bumps are NOT raised details.  They are simply areas of the hull that have been painted.  Not sure how to correct this carefull sanding and replacing the phaser domes or sanding around the domes.

This is a good shot to illustrate the point.  The lighting is shallow to throw shadows well and comes in from an angle that is on a diagonal to the rectangles that surround the phaser bumps.  Note how there are distinctive shadows from the phaser domes and no shadow at all where there should be one towards the corners of the rectangular areas.

12) Add Rec Deck interior room to the saucer

13) Use Krako's idea and put decals on the inside of the general window clear parts to give the illusion of seeing rooms behind the windows.


1) Sand down the parallel sectioned panel detail that runs up the length of the top surface of the pylon on its top surface to bring it flush with the surface and rescribe the lines.  All detail pictures show this as a non raised detail. Note the Studio Model photo below; while the triangular blue panel near the nacelle shows that it is below the general surface, the linear detail up the pylon is flush.

2) After gluing the pylon to the nacelle extend the flat rear surface to meet the nacelle.  See Nacelle picture below just below nacelle detail 3.

3) As can be seen below the front contour of the pylon base is slightly more rounded and flowing on the studio model where the flat of the front pylon edge flares into the base.  This can be adjusted during assembly with putty.

                       Studio Model                                                     PL Kit


4) Gunstar1 called my attention to the front and rear edges of the pylons.  First the front edge.  I think he is right that the kit edge as seen in the photos below, needs to be tapered / thinned down slightly to match the studio look.

                      Studio Model                                                    PL Kit

5)  The rear edge looks to me to be a pretty good match and can probably be left alone.



1) Replace the flux grills with modified DLM parts.   To get the proper look carefully sand in the top to bottom cylindrical curve (right photo below) into the DLM parts and recut the grooves.  This gives the closest match I have found to the studio model.

2) Sand a slightly more rounded contour onto the front bottoms of the nacelles.

3) The slope angle of the front of the nacelle is a bit too steep compared to the studio model.  In order to match this up the slant must be increased so that at the forward most point ( where the horizontal banding is) the front surface moves forward by 0.125 inch.  You can see this in the picture below.

Checking the reference spots...

In the picture above I have taken the best orthographic shot I could get and overlaid it in photoshop with a 65% opaque shot of the kit nacelle.  Points to note.  All points marked "A" line up perfectly.  Also the front edge (also indicated with an "A") of curving detail at the top of the nacelle, that frames the slot running back to the blue dome lines up identically.  What this means is that to fix this area the top detail must be left alone and the area below it cut away in such a manner as to allow the noseto move forwards as shown at "B" Then the front must be bent slightly to slant outwards the additional 0.125 inch to match.  I believe this will require a slanting cut starting just in front of the curving detail and running all the way down into the curve at the bottom of the nacelle as shown below.

One last thing to note, as you can see in the overlay the slants of the area behind the flux grills has its slants a bit off.  The shadow lines are the kit part.  The rear slant is best left alone as it is close.   It may be possible to fix the front through some careful sanding.

4) The linear (approx. quarter round) detail to each side of the grill running along the top front of the nacelle (see pictures below) is to shallow.  As is the second raised detail down from the top.  

Its inner wall should be .050" taller than it is.  This can be fixed by adding a piece of 0.040 square rod and then gluing on a precurved strip of 0.010 sheet to form that detail and provide the correct hollow edge look from the back.  This can be confirmed with the studio pictures below.



5) The lengthwise top bulge details: (For Ref. see also the 'Kit Parts' picture below.)

Graphic Courtesy of Gunstar1:  Red - PL Kit, Blue - Studio Model

The second one down from the top is the correct thickness at the rear but too thin at the front.  Once the curving detail of # 4 is fixed this will need to be built up to match.

The uniform thin boss detail will then need to be added back in.

Finally the area around the dome may need to be built up slightly to blend with the new top boss.

6) Fill and sand down the rear lower pylon support bulge (the part the pylon attaches to) contour to match the closeups of the studio model (the bulge extends too far to the rear as it merges up into the nacelle on the kit.

Studio Model

Kit Parts

7) The rear vertical face pieces in the kit seem to have the correct bumps but are switched right for left.   If you look close on the kit part, assembled per the instructions the large square bump that should be just above the horizontal wing is on the opposite side.  Custom filing will allow them to be switched for the proper look.

8) The leading edge of the pylon where it joins the nacelle is a bit too square and abrupt.  it should be a slightly more smoothed and narrowing curving join.  See the pictures below

PL Kit                                               Studio Model


9) Finally Gunstar1 was correct, the side to side width of the rear nacelle profile needs to be thinned on each side to match the studio model.  I measured  multiple pictures and the kit.  Three dimensions were measured, the top to bottom distance, the width just above the horizontal fin and the width of the vertical fin at the same point.  My theory was that the vertical fin was the correct width.  I then checked the ratios against the top to bottom distance.  Conclusion the fin width and top to bottom measurements are correct.  What is off is the overall width.  Approximately 0.070 inches needs to be removed from each side by sanding.  Build up the interior with apoxie sculpt where needed for support.


10) If you look at the top of the vertical center piece you can see that the raised boss on the PL kit does not go close enough to the top of the piece.  An extension to the boss made from 0.010 x 0.100 in.  stock needs to be glued on to extend the boss.  In addition the basic top of the kit piece neds to be beveled  to match the studio model.  

11) The raised bumps on the pieces that outline the vertical wing are not right.   Also note that they are slightly different from the right to left nacelle.  These are correctable with  some careful filing and grooving work.  For reference:


Engineering Hull

1) Redo docking ports to use PE doors and add light slots

2) Move the 2 slot windows on the port side just above and forward of the arboretum forward about 2mm so as to match the studio model.  They should not line up with the upper three slot windows (as they do on the kit).  Note this is only true on the Port side.  On the starboard they do line up.

3) With careful fitting of the kit clear deflector dish part the concentric detail at the front of the hull can be made very close to the studio model for the set of concentric rings right at the deflector dish.  This can be accomplished by adding a piece of 0.040x0.040 strip to each of the alignment bumps ( for the clear part) inside the white plastic forward-most hull piece.  This gives the correct inset to produce rings that are of equal size like the studio model.

4) The concentric detail at the front rear is off.  The first, outermost ring is too short in width.  It would need extending slightly to be a correct match.   A 0.030x0.030 strip, precurved in hot water, can be added to correct this.

5) The ridges that extend forward from the three energy field attraction sensors are completely parallel in the kit part where (as seen above) they actually slant in slightly on the studio model.  These will need to be sanded off and redone.

6) Finally the flattened dome and finger detail refit pieces are not quite right. The kit has them as a molded detail on the flat surface of the dome.  On the studio model the finger detail rises up on a slant relative to the flat of the dome and meets the extended piece at the top of the dome.   In order to match this the kit pieces will need to be sanded down flat and this detail added back in correctly along with slightly extending that outer finger extension.


1) The kit shuttlebay doors are the wrong curve and do not correctly follow the rear hull contour.   Add open shuttlebay doors to rear.  Recurve, under heat, the existing kit part to form the closed doors with the correct curve.

2) The observation deck over the fantail
After careful analysis of the Christies and Cloudster photos I have concluded that it does indeed extend the proper amount.  What is off is the following:

a) The outer edges of the upper pair of windows need to be corrected.  The parallelogram evident on the kit needs to be corrected to a slightly trapezoidal shape.  The inner "vertical" edge is correct and the outer edge needs to be corrected to match. 

b) The angle formed by the top surface of the observation deck extension (over the shuttlebay doors) and the lower slanting wall of the deck (the surface with the 5 windows) is too shallow.  The interior angle of these two surfaces should be 88 to 90 degrees.

c) As you can see in the comparison below the transition from the rounded bulge of the observation deck to the flat slant of the main wall is a bit too abrupt on the kit.  This should be corrected by filling and blending.

Studio Model Fantail                                    PL Kit Fantail

3) As you can see above and below, the end of the raised spine running down the top of the engineering hull ends in a semicircle.  The surrounding flat area matches the shape of the spine and also has a semicircular end.   The curving top surface of the observation deck widens at each side to meet semicircular flat. In the PL Kit shown below you can see that the curve of the flat is cut off and not semicircular.  This needs to be corrected to follow the red arc and then the join seam will need to be correctly scribed.

Studio Model                                                             PL Kit           


3) The outermost lower windows need to be masked to the proper shape as the shape of the opening in the kit is a bit off on the outside edges.


4) The inset curving triangular panels to either side of the doors with all of the detail work (tractor emitters) are too tall on the kit.  They should only extend up to the level of the bottom of the observation deck. (see picture above)

5) Note also that there are 4 not 3 slots (tractor emitters) to each side of the door that glow blue.  (see screencap above)

6)  When you look at the engineering hull with the deflector to your left and the fantail to your right:  Near the base of the angled wall of the fantail and just a bit forward of it is the spot where two of the grid lines intersect (there is a triangular panel formed to the lower right).  On the kit part at this junction are 3 small square bumps.  (seen in the blue tint in the comparison photo below) These should be removed as they are not present on the studio model on either the right or left sides as confirmed by both STTMP and Ent A pictures.

7) The thickness of the fantail at the rear is a bit too thin.  To bring it up to the proportions of the studio model about .030 will need to be added to the bottom of this area and blended into the flat curve of the bottom rear of the engineering hull approximately where the first vertical gridline comes down.  See Comparison photo below.  

8) The fantail is slightly too short.  The outside curve should be adjusted to add 0.050 at the center point (rearmost point).  Measurement E was used for comparison and the results correlate well with the added thickness element.

                Studio Model                             Studio Model-PL Kit Comparison


9) The gridline that runs around the perimeter of the underside of the fantail on the 1701 part of the PL kit should not be there on the 1701. (see above)


1) The rear slanting surface of the kit part  narrows towards the bottom.  It should be a uniform width "B" equal to the kit width at the top.  Fill both rear sides and contour to match.

2) Fill and sand rear side walls of the torpedo deck so that the rear facing surface maintains the same width "A" as the ridge on the engineering hull for its full length up to the deck surface.

3) In the refit the torpedo exhaust port piece is correct at its rear slope "C" but too wide at its forward end.  In the studio model there is a noticeable step between it and the outer dorsal surface "D".  Alter the part to match the studio model.

4) On the front surface of the dorsal the indented rectangle between the red lines is too long from top to bottom on the kit.  Reduce by adding approximately 0.1 in fill to the top to produce the correct sizing.

Studio Model


5) Round the inner and outer contours of the outer housing of the photon torpedo bay.  The kit is too square cornered here.

6) The curving blue detail along the top of the dorsal is contoured incorrectly on the kit.  The curve tip should come down to the red lines not way past as in the kit.  Sand the contour back to match the studio model and rescribe the horizontal lines where necessary.

7) Redo the docking ports to add PE doors and the light strips.

8) Move the vertical line of windows along the scribed vertical panel detail closer to the scribed line and parallel to it in order to match the studio model.  The kit spacing of the bottom two windows (0 and A) looks good.  However the spacing between A and B, is too small and that between B and C slightly too large, resulting in the top most window being too low.  It should be the same amount above the horizontal inscribed line as the forward window "D".   They are not uniformly spaced as on the kit.  The correct spacing for the kit from center to center is (starting at the bottom) 0 to A -> 0.34 in (correct on kit), A to B -> 0.42 and B to C -> 0.365.

There is also one other problem  The kit windows also slant away from the vertical scribed line instead of being parallel to it.  This can be seen in the picture below.

Original Kit Part                                          Corrected Kit Part

9) On the PL kit the interior center (between the launch tubes) top pillar details on the torpedo bay part are reversed from left to right vs the studio model



Shuttle / Cargo Bay

1) The kit cargobay is 3 containers wide where it should be 4.  Expand the cargo bay, elevator bay and rear end of the shuttlebay to conform with the correct 4 container width per the picture below from Mr. Probert's site.

2) Change stepped rear wall to a 3 cargo container vertical rear wall to match set photos.

3) While not strictly accurizing: Add 1/2 raised elevator to allow it to be seen from the door point of view.

4) Add cargobay interior beams along upper walls to roof.

5) Add elevator bay sidewall beams up to roof.

6) Referring to the screenshot above you can just see that the sidewall beams in the elevator area continue up to the roof and merge with roof beams that run across to the opposite side beams.  These ceiling cross-beams run directly across the ceiling light strips along the surface of the ceiling.  In kit scale they look right at 0.040" wide by 0.020" thick.   This is confirmed in Mr. Probert's drawings as well.

7) If one looks along the hangerbay ceiling (picture above) just above the workerbee you can see that there is a raised gray strip running down the center of the roof along the roof section between the light strips.  This detail is missing on the kit and needs to be added.  I used a section of 0.080 V-groove panel cut cross-wise and sanded down to a thickness of 0.025"  This is confirmed in Mr. Probert's drawings.

8) Add the 4 vertical elevator support beams to each side of the elevator bay between the walkway and the deck itself.

9) Change the workerbee bays to the correct slanting bays per the movie mattes and Mr. Probert drawings.

Movie Screen Shot

10) Cut in the doorway through the cargobay / elevator bulkhead wall along the upper walkway.  This is visible from the hanger doors where the lower one is not.

11) Add cargo containers

12) Do custom decals for proper floor markings on the expanded floors.

13) Add 3 TOS shuttles to go with the ST5 shuttles.

14) Modify workerbees so they fit into collar docking holes per Mr. Probert's drawing.

15) The nacelles for the ST5 shuttles are upside down relative to their support struts.  One could try to alter their ends by resculpting them (a pain) or better yet buy a couple of the aftermarket shuttles that are now available that have correct detailing.

16) The travelpods are not quite the correct shape and the DLM aftermarket parts will be used instead.


1) Grind off all trees and bushes and detail with miniature landscaping trees and bushes.

2) Add doors to side walls.

3) Replace kit roof with slightly curved roof with entire roof covered by a sky and clouds decal / illuminate through the decal for the correct look.


(Based on STTMP)

Navigation Strobe Lights

There are four locations: on top of the bridge, at the bottom of the secondary hull (between the 4 phaser turrets), and one at the rear top end of each nacelle.

These flash at approximately once ever 3/4th second.  Duration 0.0417 seconds on, 0.75 seconds off.

Saucer Running Lights

There are 10 locations total; 

Top and bottom front (more an incandescent than white color)

Starboard - Right side (standing on bridge facing forward) -  top and bottom green

Port - Left side (standing on bridge facing forward) -  top and bottom red

Two on either side of the impulse engine (more an incandescent than white color). The intensity should be fairly low.  

Top of Secondary Hull Above Hanger Bay Doors (more an incandescent than white color)

Secondary Hull Fantail Underside on Floodlight Housing (more an incandescent than white color)  (this one at some point in the movie series to became a constant on light)

The intensity should be fairly low

Thefron and side lights of the saucer  flash at a rate of 1.083 sec on, 1.083 second off.  The ones near the impulse deck and on the engineering hull do not flash.

RCS thrusters. ( Found on the primary hull, warp nacelles and in the Nav Deflector housing)

Yellow lights - Always On, not real bright  These come on after at station keeping.  They are not on when just the window lights are on.

Deflector Lighting

A rosy copper color at low (below impulse speed) thruster speeds and at rest strengthening to blue at when the ship goes to impulse and remaining blue at warp speed.

Impulse Engine Crystal

Redish Orange -  (Same color as impulse engines) Only on when Impulse Engines are on, off at warp speed

Impulse Engines

Redish Orange - On during travel at Impulse speed, off (black grills seen) at warp speed

Ramp Up / Ramp Off time (dark to full on and visa versa) - .5 second

Magnification Crystals (above each Bussard collector on warp nacelles.)

Blue - Off at impulse.  On when Warp Engines are on

Inboard Grills on Warp Nacelles

Glow Blue (only at bottoms of slots) during warp drive

Slot light at front of outboard nacelle grills

Incandescent white color - On when at Impulse or Warp

Shuttlebay Exterior Observation Ports (above bay doors)

Red - Always On 

Docking Port Slot Lights 

White - Always On

All other lighting for windows, spotlights, lower sensor dome and bridge deck lighting assumed to be white.

In Dry Dock Hull Illumination Turn on Sequence

1) Sulu acknowledges"Thrusters at station keeping" 

Turn on Running Lights and saucer RCS clusters immediately

2) "Thrusters at station keeping" to Engineering Hull Pylon Spot On - 2 seconds

Turn on Engineering Hull Pylon Spotlight

3) Engineering Hull Pylon Spot On to Nacelle Forward Spots On - 1.8 seconds

In theory the next step in the sequence is the spot on the dorsal and the torpedo deck spotlight that shoots up the dorsal and then further on in the sequence the spot on the Engineering Hull Pennant appears.  From an aiming and spot position these in theory, are due to the Nacelle Spots.  How to resolve the timing quandary and still preserve a neat sequence that it logically consistent?

I propose to light only the Dorsal spotlight on the nacelle for step 3 and leave lighting the other spot for later in the sequence. So step 3 becomes :

Turn on the Inward Nacelle Spot, the dorsal spot effect and the torpedo deck spotlight.

4) Dorsal Spot On to  Rear Nacelle Spots and Nacelle RCS Cluster on - 1.8 seconds

Turn on both inner and outer rear nacelle spotlight effects and RCS clusters

5) Rear Nacelle Spot to Lower Saucer Dome Lights - 1.8 seconds

Turn on all lower saucer dome lights and spotlight effects

6) Lower Saucer Dome lights to Upper Saucer Bridge Deck Lights - 1.8 seconds

Turn on all Bridge Deck Slot Lights and main forward spotlight effect

7) Upper bridge Deck Slot Lights to Engineering Pennant Light - 1.8 seconds

Turn on outboard Nacelle spot light, Engineering hull pennant spotlight effect and forward engineering hull RCS thrusters 

8) Engineering Pennant Light to Deflector on .25 second

Turn on Deflector Copper Color as a 1 second ramp up from off to full on

9) Start of Deflector Ramp-Up to Navigation Strobe Lights first flash - 2.2 seconds

Photon Torpedo Firing

Black when not preparing to fire.  Glows red in a constant fashion preparatory during and after firing, the torpedo leaving the tube is a blue flash    (blue photon torpedo effect)

Black to full on Red - .6 second 

Steady Red followed by blue flash (approx. 0.1 second)  then steady red

Blue Flash occurs in the center of the red dwell time

Dwell time at full on Red - 1 second

Followed by a 0.6 second ramp down to black.  



As you can see by this list I decided if I was going to do it, I might as well do it REALLY accurately.  OK maybe I'm just crazy.  On to actual Construction. 


Click for page 1...don't say i didn't warn yaPage 2, right here, right now!Now if you click, you'll wind up at page 3, honestWaddya 4Yea verily, 'Tis page 5Egad's page 6...Narf!Yep, we upto number 7 already

Page Number