Federation Constitution-Class Heavy Cruiser (CA)
U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701

Minor Conversion 1:3788 Scale Amarillo Design Bureau Gaming Miniature

2012 Jim Lewis/GunTruck Studios
All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Finishing materials and sequence can be found here on this page.

Awards & Honors

What else can one do to model the most iconic starship of all time, that hasn't already been done before? I have no idea, I think every iteration of the Starship USS Enterprise has been done in various scales by many modelers since it first graced television screens. Seriously doubting I'm blazing any new trails, I set out (finally after nearly 30 years of having SFB gaming materials) to add a small-scale USS Enterprise to my gaming miniature collection. Since ADB does not have license to include certain aspects of Paramount's Star Trek megaverse, the legendary crew and ship USS Enterprise does not hold the same distinction and reverence in the game universe. In fact, to avoid copyright infringement (intentional or unintentional), it is a subject barely even touched upon - a crew that shall not be named and a ship's name just one amongst many in the Federation Star Fleet.

When I build my Star Fleet Battles / Federation Commander gaming miniatures, I always catch myself humming the music score and daydreaming about adventures in Star Trek: The Animated Series (ST: TAS). A very good piece of trekdom relegated to non-canon hell for reasons not appropriate to get into here, ST: TAS just doesn't seem to get a lot of love, though references are made back to in ST: Deep Space Nine and ST: Enterprise television series to lend it validation.

To give it some context within the broad Trek Universe, ST: TAS is generally thought to take place 2269 - 2270, during the last months of Captain James T. Kirk's first five-year mission commanding USS Enterprise. The crew is the same as appearing in the television series, except for Pavel Chekov, who has left the ship for either training or a different assignment. USS Enterprise herself is pretty much fitted out the same as it was in the preceding television series, except for some minor equipment fits, the precursor to the incredible Holodeck showcased in ST: The Next Generation, an additional Turbo Lift serving the Bridge, a wide range of embarked small craft beyond what was shown on the live action series and a few experimental personnel items like the Life Support Belts. Externally, USS Enterprise displays no major difference between shows - which is good for modeling. Due to the inconsistency of hand drawn animation cels, I tried to pick out the most consistently appearing detail(s) for modeling in this scale, without driving myself into fits. What was helpful is Filmation's tendency to reuse (over reuse) stock cel drawings from episode to episode, though I would need little more excuse to watch all 22 episodes again. Lastly, I also included some SFB-specific painting details to help fit it in to the gaming universe.

Unlike my choices for marking my miniatures of the Balson-Class Command Cruiser and Victory-Class Escort Frigate that would appear in a timeline appropriate the ST: TAS, I decided to stick with the AmarilloUSAF-style lettering as drawn on USS Enterprise in the animated show due to familiarity. I know that likely none of my favorite ships are breaking new ground - there are many modelers who came before me in gaming scale to do their own conversions and renditions - but I enjoy building and showing them nonetheless.

While modeling any of these 1:3788 scale gaming miniatures, I find it helpful to mount the starship on its stand - and then the whole on a riser for handling. It keeps your hands off of it while finishing, and the riser gives you a handle for holding it in all of the angles that you're going to need to do to paint all of the details. The riser is simply a leftover powdered drink container with a little strip of double-sided Scotch brand tape to hold the stand firmly. Above, the ship is glossed for decal application, and is awaiting Secondary Hull markings, Warp Pylon Flush Vents and the Star Fleet Pennant for the opposite Warp Nacelle.

USS Enterprise in approach and profile drawings from the animated series - two of my favorites - which I like to refer to when doing the Federation Heavy Cruiser gaming miniatures. I incorporate details from these animations along with details from SFB/FC suggested painting guides to arrive at a final finish reminiscent of all of them - but not a direct copy of any of them.

And below is the drawing I use as a profile for the TOS USS Enterprise we all are familiar with - it illustrates differences with the ships as presented in the two series.

All content Copyright 1998 - 2019 Jim Lewis, guntruck.com, guntruck.us, guntruck.org, guntruck.net and GunTruck Studios.
All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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