It’s been quite some time since I wrote my initial kit review of the Multi-Verse Models Phobos class starship kit! After I reviewed the ship in late 2015, the kit languished in the kit pit for almost 2 years. I didn’t actually stat building this little gem until May of 2017, and even then it has been subject to my spotty building schedule. What should have been a week to two weeks tops turned in to an 8 month marathon. As we near completion and the ship makes ready to sail, I thought it would be a great time to share some construction photos of this fantastic little kit.
The first steps of any resin model are almost always the same. Step one: WASH. Resin models come to us with mold release agents still on the surface of the kit parts. In some cases, this may not be a big deal. In others…..well, I have seen model parts that look like they were doused in wax when they come out of the box! In any case, you should always, always wash your kit parts. Warm water and a mild abrasive such as Barkeeper’s Friend, followed by simple dish soap, then a good long rinse will usually do the trick. After the kit is dry, it’s time to go in and start looking for voids to fill. In this case, there were only a couple spots on the warp engines that needed attention. I used Perfect Plastic Putty to fill in these small voids. Next up: PAINT! Light coats of grey primer, sanded and cleaned, followed by multiple passes of Reefer White acrylic to give it a nice white base coat.
Much of the detail on this model is going to be represented in decals. Since the model didn’t have grid lines scribed in to the resin (Yes, I still think that was a mistake on the builder’s part at this scale), they provided a large decal that had the lines drawn in. “OK,” I thought, “But let’s get some REAL detail in here.” I knew I wanted an Aztec pattern on the hull, so I scanned in the Round2 decals for their Enterprise A model and scaled them down to 1/1400 size. While not perfect, they are definitely good enough to do the trick. I started by giving the model a nice gloss coat with Future clear acrylic. Then, starting on the bottom of the hull, I began adding pie wedges of aztec decals. Lots of ’em! Once I was done with the bottom, I moved to the top of the hull. I found it was best to start my decals in the very front of the saucer, so I could get an eye for where the grid line will be going in future steps.
As each pie wedge of Aztec pattern went on the model started looking more and more like a starship. Once the primary hull was done, I moved on to the warp engine pylons. I wanted the details to be familiar to the Enterprise A, but of course the two ships look nothing alike. A very large amount of creative thinking and cutting was involved to make my Enterprise-A decals fit to this model. Warp pylon decals, and then lower hull panels, really fleshed out the kit and gave it a sense of scale.
The cut and past nature of the decals almost became an organic evolution of what part would make the most sense in a given spot.
The decals for the warp engines were particularly challenging. There are about 15 separate decals per warp engine here, all of which need some slight trimming to fit the slight size variations of these parts. As you can see here, there’s still much to be donw with the tops of those catamaran hulls.
The hull tops have a lot of painting detail that needed to be added. So rather than mess with decals here, I opted to fill the Reliant-esque equipment bays a nice grey color, and I finished painting the bridge area. Next up…..it was finally time for the grid! Or….so I thought.
Hmmm. Why are we looking at bare hull again? Well, I’ll tell you. I went to apply the first sets of gridline decals to the bottom of the hull, and unfortunately disaster struck. The decals I used for my aztecs did not play well with the kit-provided gridline decals, and the result was a hot mess of yellowed carrier film and silvering all over the place. The only way to remove the damaged decals was tt take it back to bare white hull. Ah, well. Whatever the cause of this, the gentleman at MVM was a true hero and agreed to let me print out the gridline on my own decal paper. I was able to get the grids printed out, and began applying them in similar pie wedge pieces like I had the aztecs.
I’m happy to say that the new decals laid down just fine over the panel details. Within just a few minutes, the kit was really starting to move forward. Now to pick a name. The Phobos is the common name, but MVM had provided a few different options for people if they chose. Thus, the USS Luna was christened:
The model jumped forward at warp speed by this point. I was gifted a weekend with almost nothing to do, so I had myself a nice little marathon session of decal application. MANY, MANY decals…..and most of them miniscule. But these are the things that separate a good build from a better build, in my opinion. When you find yourself looking at those last tiny decals, just think to yourself how great the finished product will look with those extra details on the hull.
I’m so happy to say that all of the other kit provided decals went on like a dream. No silvering or folding, and they laid down over my decals with hardly a fuss. As you can see, some of the decals were….a bit small. MVM provides some great detail bits in decal form. For anyone looking to buy this, let me give you some advice about the impulse engine decals. They’re beautiful, but you will want to trim them RIGHT to the printed edge. They fit perfectly, but you can’t leave any extra film or they won’t snuggle down correctly.
And here’s where we’re at right now. The kit is essentially finished, just waiting on her display stand and a final semi-gloss coat to seal in and protect all that decal work. This model was a blast to build and detail – so much so that I may be getting another for kitbashing purposes in the future. If you want one, don’t hesitate to contact Delbert at Multi-verse Models to add to your stash. Happy modeling!