Among all the many fan-designed non canon Trek ships out there in the universe, the Phobos is one of the few that really shines. The Phobos class design grew out of the old FASA created Locknar class TOS era starship, just cleaned and polished to give it a late movie-era look. We have seen small 1/25oo scale models of the ship, and more recently a nice 1/1000 scale model of the design, but sadly, the 1/1400 scale modeling crowd never got any Phobos-shaped love for their collection……..
Thanks to Del from Multi-Verse Models, one of my “wish list” kits has finally seen the light of day…and I couldn’t be happier. After the requisite New Model Happy Dance (you know you want to see it) I whipped out the old credit card and placed my order. Shipping was quick, with less than a week between order and receipt and plenty of auto-ship communication in between. Mere days after I placed the order I came home from a long day at work to a well-packed small box sitting on my doorstep. After enduring a long-suffering look from the Spouse Unit (“ANOTHER model? Don’t ADD!”) I dropped my work crap, grabbed an Exacto knife, and popped the seam to see what I was in store for.
The model was packed extremely well. The kit consists of 5 resin parts and one base. The smaller delicate parts are bagged, and the rest are settled securely in a nest of pink foam peanuts.
The Phobos parts are all cleanly cast, with only a few minor bubbles to worry about. There is some small flash evident on the warp engines, and a minimal pour stub on the top of the saucer, and that’s about it! The kit comes with a single two-sided instruction sheet with the standard resin model kit clean-up directions and decal placement. 4 sheets of decals and a dome-shaped stand complete the package.
The parts fit on this kit is nice and tight — a rarity on resin models that is always nice to see. The catamaran style secondary hull slides onto the saucer with an almost seamless fit, and the weapons pod is so well engineered you can simply press-fit it into place. Warp engines sit easily on the small pylons and will only require minimal alignment while gluing to make sure they are straight and even.
As you can see, the details on this ship are quite good. The upper catamaran hull looks great, and the photon torpedo greeblies are all crisp and well defined.
If I have to complain about any part of the model, I have to admit it’s going to be about the primary hull. Fist, the detail on the lower sensor array seems a little soft compared to the rest of the model. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m used to the overstated detail on some of the other Movie-era offerings, but the sensor array was definitely less defined to my eye than what I expected. Secondly, and more obvious, was the lack of grid lines on the saucer. This is a pretty big piece of resin for just this part, and I have no idea why MVM didn’t scribe grid lines into the primary hull. Yes, I know there’s a decal for it (more about that in a minute) but grid lines at this scale only help enhance the detail and would have gone a long way in to helping to tie this model in with the huge library of already existing 1/1400 scale kits. Thankfully I can honestly say that neither of these issues is more than a nitpick, nor would either problem have prevented me from buying this very cool model.
Now, speaking of decals. This model comes with a comprehensive set of decals that quite frankly blows most other company’s decals right out of the water. The Phobos comes with what is essentially a full 8×11 sheet of decals (cut into 4 pieces) that give the modeler a great set of grid lines for the saucer, window decals, and a full set of small details that are often a little hard to paint on. I can’t wait to see how these beautiful details lay down on the kit.
It didn’t take long to gently tack the secondary hull on to the saucer and press-fit the other parts on so I could get a good look at the finished model. And of course it wouldn’t do to leave a review without some inescapable comparison shots alongside a couple OTHER 1/1400 scale models!
All in all, I give this model a solid “A” despite the lack of grid lines. I can’t wait to put some primer down and get started building this kit. If this is what we can expect from future MVM releases, I think they have a bright future ahead of them!