Thursday, September 24, 2009

AA/ DST Spotlight-
U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701
(HD Version)

Item Name: U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 (HD Version)
Manufacturer: Diamond Select Toys

DST released this HD Enterprise as part of it's Starship Legends line of ships.

The Rundown: DST has brought the Enterprise back to stores! This time, she's been repainted to replicate the new CGI version from the High-Def Remastered versions of Star Trek (thus "HD Version"). So, what's new here?

The most obvious change is the addition of weathering and grid lines to the saucer section. The original 11 foot shooting model of the Enterprise received this detailing back in 1991 during one of the Smithsonian restoration projects (you can read a little about this here). The CGI model used in the Deep Space Nine episode "Trials & Tribble-ations" must have used those changes as reference, since the grid lines and weathering are obvious there. Same goes for the Master Replicas Enterprise; it too has the more obvious grid lines and "rust ring". The Remastered Star Trek episodes also feature the grid lines, but do not seem to have the weathering, so I'd say the "HD" name is a little off on her, but that's splitting hairs. Any way you look at it, the addition of the grid lines and "rust ring" are justified changes on this model. The lines are clean and the weathering is nicely handled.

The next obvious change is the loss of the "plugs" from the bottom of the saucer. The original DST version had small circular plugs on the bottom, covering up mold holes. This version has totally eliminated them. It's a change that really improves the look of the saucer. Kudos to DST for taking the time to make this change!

There is a bit of a bummer on the underside though: No grid lines. You can see them on the show, and they are on the MR version, but they're sadly missing here. I'm not sure what the reason is for them not being here; could be an omission designed to cut costs, or simply something that was missed at the factory (like the neck windows on the Enterprise D). The ship still looks good even without them though. And to put things into perspective- The MR version cost around $1000, while this one falls in the $30-$40 range. There's only so much detail you can squeeze in at that price, so if something had to go, I'm glad it's the underside grid lines.

The rest of the ship looks pretty similar. I couldn't really spot any differences. All the great detailing from the first version is here again.

And of course, the ship is still loaded with some excellent electronic features. The lighting effects seem to be the same as the original version, but they were awesome enough on the first go-round that there wasn't much room for improvement (although the lights seem a tad brighter, but that may be due to new batteries). The sound effects are where things got changed up a bit, with more Shatner lines than before. Here's what you get:

-"James Kirk, commanding the Starship Enterprise"

-"Mr. Scott, ready the transporter room"

-Photon torpedoes firing

-"Energize", followed by transporter sound effects

-Ship running effects

-"This is Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, representing the United Federation of Planets"

The back of the box mentions red alert and phaser effects, but they aren't present and the instructions don't mention them. I guess that was just a carry-over from the original effects list...

The ship again includes a switch-out battery cover and display stand. The stand seems to be sturdier this time, but time will tell if it has the same issues as the original release.

One small gripe- The seam lines on my ship aren't as tight as I'd like them to be, especially near the shuttlebay doors. There's also a pretty noticeable paint smudge on one of my nacelles. I'd say it's just mine and not a widespread problem though, but it may be something to watch out for.

So is this worth a pickup? I'd give that a big yes. For those who don't have the original version, it's a no-brainer. The ship looks great, and everybody needs an Enterprise. If you do have the original, this one has enough cosmetic changes to make it seem like a different ship (imagine this as the old girl near the end of Kirk's first five year mission). Plus, if you have the first 3 DST Enterprises, this one compliments them quite well and makes for a really nice "Evolution of the Enterprise" display! It's hitting stores and online shops now, so go grab it!



  1. I have been making your blog a daily stop and just waiting for you to review this ship. I have the playmates version and was holding out for the HD version by AA/DST, so I can officially say I'm sold, I'll have to pick one up.

  2. You are in for a real treat, going from the Playmates version to one of these! I still love the old Playmates ship, but this one just looks so good...

  3. I can see from your aft shot that the little green dome above the shuttle doors was not inserted properly (it's crooked). I think this contributes to (if not outright causes) the seam gap. I have the same problem on one of my original 1701 ship releases and it really ticked me off. I was hoping by now they've improved quality control enough it wouldn't show up again but there it is. :(

  4. I'll have to try and give it a twist and see if I can get it together a little more tightly. My other 3 versions are totally fine, so maybe you and I just happened to get bad ones?

  5. I tried to fix mine too, but IIRC it's glued in. I didn't want to break it beyond repair so I left it alone. I have two of the original 1701 releases; the other is perfect. If you figure out how to fix it, let me know, but don't break it!

  6. I got one of these ships from, actually I ordered a mirrorverse enterprise but i got this one instead. Anyway, my top dome light doesn't go on at all, and i just wondered if anyone could tell me if and how i could fix it.

  7. Is it in the same scale as the old Playmates Romulan "Balance of Terror" ship? Even barely so?

  8. James, as to the grid lines on the top of the saucer being added during the 1991 restoration of the filming model; that's incorrect. Through all of the various touch-ups and restoration attempts on the original miniature over the decades, the Smithsonian has dictated that no changes be made to the original paint on the top of the saucer ( except for minor neccessary repairs. The bridge dome has been replaced and the bridge itself retouched, and there have been touch-ups to the decals, but otherwise that saucer decor is original. If you check out the link below, you will see pictures taken during the controversial restoration. On close-ups of the saucer, you can see faint grid lines drawn on in pencil ( which were replicated on the Master Replicas version ). According to various - and occasionally conflicting - sources, the grid lines on the top and underside were added at Roddenberry's request and over Matt Jeffries' protests sometime well after the model was refitted for lighting and redetailed, becoming the production version it's best known as. Apparently as a compromise between Jeffries' and Roddenberry's wishes, the grid lines were added faintly, and thus never really showed up that clearly on screen. Although in some underside shots on television, you can very faintly make out what looks like the radiating grid rings.