This OOP Estes Rocket kit number 1274 is a skill level 4 kit. It's a 25th Anniversary Commemorative Special Edition kit and comes in a very sturdy large black box with excellent box art on the front and even a schematic of the Starship Enterprise and Klingon Battle Cruiser on the bottom of the box.
According to the box this is a "Flying Scale Model of the Federation Starship Enterprise's chief adversary, the Klingon Battle Cruiser". Although OOP, this kit is still very easy to come by on ebay and regularly sells for around $20 including shipping which I think is very reasonable for what you get. However be warned, the first thing that struck me when I opened the box is how little there appears to be inside. Unlike the sister kit the Starship Enterprise, the components for this kit don't take up nearly as much box space. Don't let that fool you however because there's plenty of work that needs to be done in order to complete this excellent looking model.
I won't re-list the components since the first review did a fine job of that. I will just state once again that when you first open the box it looks like there isn't much to this kit. However as you start the build process you come to realize quickly just how wrong that assumption was.
This model is built using a series of sub-assemblies which I found to be well thought out and in logical order. It was helpful to read and re-read certain steps and compare steps to diagrams at times but all in all things went smoothly during the build. The instruction booklet is 12 pages in length and has a very good mix of diagrams and text.
As with the Estes Starship Enterprise there are a number of vacu-form parts that need to be cut, sanded, glued together, filled and re-sanded. This is a lot easier than it may seem. Following the directions coupled with sanding and filling provide excellent results on these components. I used CA on all of the vacu-formed parts.
What I did find a bit difficult to work with was the wood that the pre-punched fin and component materials were made from. I took extra care to make sure the pieces were cut all the way through so as not to have sections of the wood pull away. Sanding this wood was also a chore. I used a good deal of Elmers Fill'N Finish on all of the wood surfaces and edges as well.
There are a couple of odd angles to the finished fins on this kit but the included templates allow for proper alignment.
The only real change I made was to replace the original short elastic band shock cord with a newer and longer braided elastic shock cord.
At the end of the day this is a great skill level 4 build. I wouldn't suggest this to a beginner but someone who has some building skill under their belt and who enjoys a project that will a. take some time and b. not be a standard 3 or 4 fin deal, should enjoy building this model.
I decided to finish this rocket with a semi-gloss grey, it turns out to be almost a battleship grey. On top of that I used a semi-gloss clear coat. I really like the way the paint job turned out on this rocket. As the previous reviewer stated, the kit contains two different types of decals. I had no problem with either but I'm not a big fan of the press and stick type. In the end though both types worked well and look just fine.
Construction Rating: 5 out of 5
I've flown this model only a few times, each time on a C6-5 and it flies a lot better than it looks like it should. It takes an arching rather than straight flight path but it gets a good deal of altitude and each flight has ended in a chute ejection and soft landing. There's a good deal of nose weight in this rocket which help to keep it stable in flight.
I don't see any cons for flight other than the fact that you need to make sure you pack your chute small and use sufficient wadding. The chute sits close to the engine on this bird so you want to make sure you prevent any heat damage as a result of ejection.
Flight Rating: 5 out of 5
I really enjoyed building this rocket just as I enjoyed building it's sister ship the Starship Enterprise. It's amazing to me that both of these rockets are still so readily available for short money. I can't compare the two rockets flight wise because I haven't flown the Starship Enterprise. However when sitting on display together they both look great. One note about display of this rocket - I made a custom stand that inserts into the engine mount. That way it's pointing nose skyward and prevents damage or stress to the model.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
For the Star Trek Fan - The box bottom has a map of both the Starship Enterprise and the Klingon Battle Cruiser and here are the specs: