The “B” class way station is a design that was first seen in the background of an illustration done for the 2006 Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendar by an artist known as Meni. This conjectural space station is similar in design aesthetic to the “K” class stations seen in the Original Series, although possibly older (given the like-new appearance of the station and the USS Bonaventure starship seen in the illustration). In 2013, Millennia Models International designed a very attractive model of the kit and sold it through Fantastic-Plastic. He has since reacquired the masters back and is selling the kit directly through Starshipmodelers.com at this time. MMI also produces a range of other 1/2500 scale stations, including an accurate K-7 style model, and a J-type large starbase that’s similar to the Vanguard series of books.
I’ve had my eye on the Waystation model for a while now, so when funds allowed, I nabbed it from the Starship Modeler store. Shipping was super fast, 3 days from order to delivery, and it didn’t take me long to rip into the package to see what kind of kit I was getting into.
First of all, the boxart is well made. I’m a sucker for good packaging when it comes to garage kits. I feel like if the designer takes the time to build a good model, it behooves them to finish the job and design a good boxart. MMI doesn’t disappoint. It’s packed in the now-almost-industry-standard sturdy white cardboard box, smaller than I expected, but when I opened the package I was impressed with the sheer number of resin pieces that were well-packed inside. Let’s take a look.
Twenty-nine, count ’em, TWENTY NINE resin bits and bobs, all for a model that’s roughly 3 inches in diameter! The parts breakdown includes 2 main hull halves, an upper and lower main hull tower and bottom cap, 3 main hull deck inserts, 3 connecting towers, 6 heat vanes for the connecting arms, 2 parts for the lower reactor, 8 tanks (you’ll only need 6), an upper and lower spire, and a clear plastic part for that glow-ey…..thingy….between the interconnecting arms. Some sort of massive energy transfer conduit, I suppose, but who the hell really knows. Point is, it’s there, it looks cool, and MMI has made it easy to light that part. Good job, MMI.
The model parts are all very nicely cast, and required very little clean-up. The bottom sections of the station will need perhaps the most work. The lower spire has some flash around the very thin and small tank mounting points and will need some care to clean up. Similarly, the tanks themselves are all small, and they have tiny spires in them as well which are super delicate. I suspect MMI sends along 8 because they know that those mini spires might get damaged. Detail inside the connecting arms is crisp and looks great.
The main hull detail is excellent. MMI kept the TOS design ethic of spartan square windows. His notion of “1/2500 scale” is debatable, and the windows here make me wonder if this station isn’t supposed to be much smaller than they’re implying. If these were really in 1/2500 scale, these windows would be massive floor-to-ceiling jobs. Who knows…maybe they really are supposed to be. Point is, this model is going to look good no matter how you choose to display it.
There was very little flash to deal with on any other model part, and the kit practically clicks together.
The model is mostly hollow, so it can be lit, but it’s going to take a little imagination to do so. The connecting arms are solid, so we’ll need to route a small groove in them in order to get power from the lower to the upper pod…..and I have yet to decide where to mount a power jack (or even a mounting rod!) to this kit. It’s possible I may run this off of batteries. Time will tell.
One nitpick I have to mention: My model came with decals that were pretty heavily scratched. There’s not much on these decal sheets that’s truly useable, and I feel like perhaps these decals got skipped when it came to clear coating the sheet at JBOT. It happens. A quick email to MMI confirmed that they would be happy to ship me out a new set, free of charge, right away. I may take them up on that, but I can just as easily re-draw them myself. MMI’s instruction sheet is a single 2-sided well printed page of assembly instructions and alignment tips.
When all is said and done, I’m really happy with this model. It looks spot on to the subject matter, it’s easy to build and somewhat easy to light, it’s not too big but not so small as to lose detail, and at $53.00 USD, it’s a decent price for the amount of resin and silicone that went into making this kit. At 29 parts (I’m still giddy about this) it’s more akin to a plastic model than most resin kits on the market, and that’s absolutely not a bad thing. I’d give this model a 4.5 out of 5 stars, and I definitely recommend this model as a fun weekend project that can be really polished up by an experienced kit builder.