Love, hate and the AMT Enterprise model

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by jayrath, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I bought the very first version of this when it first came out - big box with the drawing on the cover. There were two grain-of-wheat lights for the saucer, and the front sensor assembly on the engineering hull rotated to act as an on-off switch. Three big divots in the lower saucer; my friends and I assumed they were torpedo tubes. The sensor dish was huge.

    It's my all-time favorite model kit.
     
  2. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    I've had a few of them over the years, the ship, the bridge etc...
     
  3. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I built all the AMT Star Trek kits in the '70s, along with the Revell and Monogram kits from the Apollo program.

    I thought about buying a second "Enterprise Bridge" kit for parts to complete the circle, but never did. That was a great kit, though.

    The Enterprise itself was the only kit I built twice, and that was when the boxes were saying "Build the entire fleet!" -- a slogan that cleverly fired a boy's imagination. I named the second one Lexington and went with the Franz Joseph number for it.
     
  4. feek61

    feek61 Captain Captain

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    The first one I bought was the one with the little lights in the bridge and lower sensor dome. I must say that this kit must get the award for the most insanely horrible attachment where the engine pylons connected to the secondary hull. Trying to get that plug thing in the loop at the bottom of the pylon to hold up the engines about drove me insane as a kid, lol. The horrible sag really depressed me, lol
     
  5. xvicente

    xvicente Captain Captain

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    Jan 16, 2013
    aaaand here they are:

    [​IMG]
    Image0605 por vicentox1999, no Flickr
     
  6. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    The current reissue of this kit has some tweaks and the parts to make the complete circle. It also has extra figures I believe.
     
  7. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    Bat part fitting seemed to plague many 60's sci-fi model kits from AMT and Aurora. Somehow, most of their car kits had no trouble reaching a nice fit, even with all of the engine and interior parts. Go figure!
     
  8. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That is the way the AMT should be viewed--not a representation of Datin's film model (we have the 1/350 for that) but of our memories.

    The AMT model was more than just a model. It is different than any other kit in terms of its place in time--and the associations with it.

    To me, the AMT was a summer with the old window unit air conditioner running--almost speaking--in its breathy susurrus as chimes on the porch blew in the warm breeze.

    It was smell of paper and pencils--as they used to smell. The AMT kit was healthy parents, Apollo on all the television channels that forced everyone else to look up as we already did. And yet Trek was something special, something only a handful seemed meant to enjoy. It gave shelter, but pointed in its mature, responsibly cerebral fashion, towards the future adulthood that awaited us all.

    It was never just a model. Those came later in their accuracy, good, but....

    Expert modelers amazed us as we were welcomed into the Lodge.

    Where the AMT was the warm fire in the hearth, later incarnations were just snuggies.



    Same here.

    My very first Enterprise was an early version, with the smooth aft nacelle caps. Knowing even then as a little rug rat that I couldn't do anything right, I convinced my Dad to put one together for me. For a jig he used stacks of Funk & Wagnalls. He actually seemed to enjoy this model. I think he even fixed the nacelle seating using a pocket knife.

    My Dad was an amazing man. He never finished high school, and the only way he kept a roof over my head and my Mom was that he worked for the L&N (Seaboard System/ Family Lines/ Chessie the Cat) that became CSX and was a member of the UTU.

    Once we had a grey cat that got a forelimb stuck in a chair, breaking it. Somehow, this man set its foreleg with two popsicle sticks and a curved metal brace/splint that went around my pinky that got caught in a door hinge at our old house in Inglenook, across from the old firestation that became a library:
    http://www.bplonline.org/locations/branch/Inglenook/

    With a little tape and a lot of patience, the cat got full use of its leg.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I'm sure I pestered him: "That doesn't look right"-- but he made that model gleam.

    Well, once on a visit to my Grandmother on my Mom's side in Vernon Alabama, around the time Guin got nailed in the '74 Superoutbreak, I took that model with me.

    I was warned: "You'll break it."

    "No I won't" I replied. Well, I had fun until my little brat cousin Donny Tubbs (he was just like his name sounded) showed up, all James Dean and crap. I tried to hide it because I KNEW what would happen. Then my Mom volunteered that I had the model.

    "Let him play with it."

    I lost it--I put it up--finally "No Grandma, he'll break it --I know he will."

    Next thing I know the little hellion is running all over the house until such time as he hooks an ankle against my Grandmum's recliner that looked to date from the Precambrian. A sledgehammer could not have done more damage.

    I think that's when I had a light stroke--and for once tough guy was scared of me. :0

    "He broke it He broke it.I knew he would."

    Calm down they said.

    I went through the things. One had a booksatchel thrown on it. I couldn't seem to keep one.

    When driving back, my Mom said I told you so and blamed me.

    I can look back on it and laugh now. Donny had a bad childhood, and everyone there is dead except for me--which is really the saddest thing.

    I never had a model that good. The preacher's son had a newer one, with spheres on the caps. I had the D-7 though. Later a kid played with it. He asked about the D-7 Cobra head: "Does this come off?"

    Before I could say no--it did. Sigh.

    That was the day I swore that, if I ever got near my guardian angel--I'd punch him in the face.

    Other memories:
    http://federationreference.prophpbb.com/topic752-140.html#p10657

    Shaw's fine work
    http://www.shawcomputing.net/racerx/trek_stuff/models/AMT_1966_project/1966_test_assembly_004.jpg
    http://federationreference.prophpbb.com/topic752-130.html#p10459
    http://federationreference.prophpbb.com/topic752-150.html#p10960

    In Arena, the original effects had the phasers looking different. This actually had to do with Jefferies and the AMT:

    The Enterprise's three double phaser bursts, which Sulu says constituted a full discharge of phaser banks, fire from an unusual location in this episode – not from near the glowing dome at the bottom of the saucer, but from much higher up, closer to where Matt Jefferies originally located the main phaser banks in his early diagrams of the ship. These schematics appeared as display diagrams in other episodes and also on the sides of the early AMT Star Trek model kits.

    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Arena_(episode)


    Lastly, here is some new work on an old favorite
    http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=387046
    http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=388623
    http://www.hobbytalk.com/bbs1/showthread.php?t=390398
     
  9. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    Not yet on the market. but here's the product description from Round2...

    http://www.round2models.com/models/amt/star-trek-bridge

    Looks like one will be able to assemble every recurring character except Chapel.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  10. CrazyMatt

    CrazyMatt Captain Captain

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    Trying to focus....
    Like most of you, I had at least half a dozen stretching between retoolings and re-releases, mainly in the early to mid 70s. Each version seemed to have it's own problems... drooping nacelles, scondary hull upper halves that didn't line up just right... etc.

    The two things that stand out in my memory as I type this are.. first, the difficulty in ensuring the saucer was glued on straight... it attached to the main strut with a skimpy tongue and groove piece and it didn't always fit tightly--if you weren't carefull, it was too easy to glue it at a less than perpendicular angle.

    Second, I remember how the caps on the nacelles never looked quite right when painted a solid color (usually bright red)... the christmas light effect on the 11-footer was a major aspect of the shooting model and the models I built always looked "fake-er" in the absense of that effect.

    Oh, one other memory... me and my friend burning an Enterprise model in a sand pit behind his house... making a Constellation, maybe... and breathing in that pungent black smoke from the burning model... I wonder, what mysterious things are going on in my body from that?
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2013
  11. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    The nacelles didn't just droop. Shaw talks about a fix he is working on. I think the fabricators made the mistake of assuming the nacelles and secondary hulls were cylinders. If that was the case, everything would line up well.

    My dad shaved the back of the neck pylon. That lined up the saucer with the nacelles, but the secondary hull pointed down and to the front. I liked that, in that the nav dish could 'scan' below--look-down shoot-down radar style.

    Now in case anyone else wants to do a model, here is a suggestion. Break the model up into more pieces.

    Now the assemblies consist of trying to join three tubes with two struts--and to me that is a mistake. Not just droop, but toe-in, toe-out issues can be expected.

    An idea I had would be to make a triangular one piece bracket.

    Now imagine That there is a perfect Enterprise model, and that a laser were to cut it (top to bottom--straight down) in two places--right in front of of where the nacelle support pylons join the nacelles to the secondary hull--and another similar cut just behind.

    This would leave a triangular bracket not unlike what I have seen on some engines.

    Now imagine if a machine tool were to fabricate this, or you had a one piece mold.

    The result would be that the join line at the base of the nacelle supports and where they join the truncated nacelle segments up top would now be parts of the model detail itself. No possibility of droop or mis-alignment.

    Then you attach the forward and aft nacelle bits to the each top of the bracket FLAT-to-FLAT.

    Same with the secondary hull front and back.

    The triangular bracket might even have threads where the parts may screw in.

    No more droop.
     
  12. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ If I understand correctly, what you describe is pretty much how the nacelles and struts are engineered on the Polar Lights 1/1000 scale TOS Enterprise kit. The inboard halves of the engine pylons and the section of the secondary hull between them are all molded in a single piece of plastic. The upper ends of the pylons have tabs that lock into slots in the nacelles. If you build it right, the nacelles are aligned and won't droop.
     
  13. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    Here's my attic:
    [​IMG]

    And add to that "one of each" on the on-deck pile in the basement, plus at least one case each of Polar Lights' 1/1000 TOS and Refit. It's... a sickness.
     
  14. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hey Forbin, do you ever worry that summer heat in the attic might warp the plastic?
     
  15. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Brockville, Ontario, Canada
    That's a good way of putting it. I have very fond memories of my first kit in 1970---it really fired my imagination. Even my disappointments with the way the kit was supposed to go together (that stupid pylon setup) didn't dampen my enthusiasm. I built a number of them through the next few years, but none matched the first one for pure joy.

    Today I can look at the kit (including the present version) and see what's lacking, but childhood isn't about perfection but rather about perception.
     
  16. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    Got no choice, the basement is full too.
    They've been up there for at least a decade, and when I pull one out I don't see any warpage, so I guess it's okay. The decals don't always survive, though.
     
  17. aridas sofia

    aridas sofia Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    May 3, 2002
    Has anyone ever blueprinted the differences between the later pressings on the AMT kit and those from the 1960s? I know they have been described, but I mean taking two built models and actually showing the differences graphically or in photographic form?
     
  18. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    I don't know about comparing the different "pressings" of the kit, but Shaw did create at least one set of drawings based upon one of the earlier releases, using it to compare with proportions of the 11 foot filming miniature, the 3 foot ship, the FJ blueprints, the MJ diagrams, etc.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  19. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    My kit was from the 90s, I didn't like how the plain plastic looked so I spray painted it white. My modeling ability isn't very good, but it seemed to hold together ok. The worst problem I had putting it together was getting the upper and lower saucer pieces to fit. I don't remember any particular problems with the warp engines, but if they were a little off, I probably wouldn't have noticed.



    I had a TMP Enterprise that had lights that need 'C' batteries.
     
  20. TOSalltheway

    TOSalltheway Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Canada
    I had all the Star Trek model kits in the 1970s. What I remember about the Enterprise kit was two things; the stand was inferior and it would fall easily, and trying to get both nacelles perfectly symetrical was a pain.

    On the other hand I had a blast burning the crap out of one and numbering it as the USS Constellation.
     

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