Review: SSV Normandy SR-1 By Monkey Works


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Out of Box review of SSV Normandy Sr-1 By Monkey Works:

This kits been out for a while, around 6 months i believe, maybe a bit longer.

When i first received the Normandy Sr-1 kit form Ed a few weeks ago i gave it a cursory glance over, and was very thrilled by the kit, It wasn't Quite as large as i had anticipated but, as men we tend to think that 9 3/4 inches is longer then it truly is.

You get with the kit 12 parts and a pattern for two front fins on the Normandy's nose. the parts are as follows Hull x1, Engine Wings x2, Small outer engine x2, Large inner engine x2, Front vane for large inner engine x2, A vertical / horizontal stabilizer wing fro the top rear of the hull x1, two copies of the antenna for the stabilizer fin, and two mounts for the larger inner engines to sit on. You also receive a flat cast plate with a pattern on it that you can use to replicate the fins for the Normandy's nose, or if you so chose you can cut / sand these two pieces out of the sheet.

You also get a small sheet of Four decals by JT-Graphics for the Normandy, Two name plates saying NORMANDY and two name plates saying SR1 the decals look to be the appropriate shade of grey. They are however slightly larger then they should be the SR1 is fairly accurate, but the Name plate of NORMANDY is about 1/8 an inch too long and about 1/16 too tall.

The casting on the Kit by Ed Holt (Monkey Works) is superb, Very fine flash denotes the casting line across the hull it took me less then 5 minutes with a 240 grit sanding pad to clean it up, and wipe the dust back off of it. ( It should also be noted i feel that the casting i am referencing here was actually an Extra throw away cast of the hull i had requested Ed send me to mess around with, The actual good cast i have of the hull has even less clean up involved in it. )

The casting of the remaining parts Is as well very clean, very few pour stubs to clean up and all of them are in areas that attach to flat surfaces for easy clean up. the casting lines on all parts as well are just a simple to clean up as the hull were. ( i haven't cleaned these parts yet, but i estimate a total of around 10-15 minutes to clean them up good. )

On to the pattern

First it must be said that the gentleman (His screen name on is Faye, I am unsure of other forums) who patterned this kit did an excellent job for his first time making a pattern. the kit will build into a beautiful ship and come very close to resembling the In game model from Mass Effect 1 for the SSV Normandy Sr-1. That being said there are a few inaccuracies.

The first one i notices was with the large inner engines themselves. about 3/4 the way form the front to the back, there is a disk shape with cutouts around it on these engines, these cut outs are not supposed to be there. There is a round panel line in this area but not a circular one. This can easily be fixes with some Aves, or putty of your choice, and or even some strip stock if you have some to spare in the right size ( roughly 0.040" wide and as thin as you can get it for easier blending) there is also a slight inaccuracy with the shape of the rise on the engine just fore off the disk that shouldn't be there, The down slope on the panel assembly should be about 1/4 of an inch to the rear, with a slight build up at its base that is parallel with the engine assembly its self. and there is a lack of engraved panel detail in this area as well.

The mounting system for the inner larger engine is workable, but inaccurate This will be one of the hardest parts of the model to accurise. There is a .. half oval shaped build up that should be against the side of the hull, with a set of hydrolic pistons and hinges to hold this wing ( in game you'll see in the Normandy flight movies, that this wing /engine can pivot up and down on this assembly) The feature could be replicated fairly well with some styrene or even sculpted with aves. but it would take some work to accomplish and good reference for the ship.

The smaller engines are actually fairly accurate. they are slightly longer then the game model engines, the mounting plate that is used to attach them to the wing assembly should be about 3/4 shorter then it is. and a lack of engraved paneling details is apparent, both of these issues are as well easily fixed by most modelers with little / no trouble.

the mounting system for the outer wings also is made with a bit of an issue, The tabs that were build into the hull aren't deep tall or wide enough to easily fit in the stub for the wing, i will most likely modify the wing its self to correct this issue, My thoughts on it are to completely remove the wing side of the attachment mechanism and build something that will fit into the hull on my own. Maybe tap both pieces with some brass rod to hold the weight and support the fixture. I haven't decided yet.

The accuracy of the wings them selves seems to be pretty good in their shape and size. there is the same aforementioned lack of scribed paneling detail on the wing but about 30 minutes or so with a scriber and some Tamiya tape can fix this for you no problem.

Last but not least, the hull

While the hull is an elegant sleek shape and a thing of beauty to look on. and again much credit to Faye for being able to sculpt this shape as well as he did, there are a few issues with the overall shape of the hull. At first when you look at it, you are greeted with all of the major lines scribed into the surface, with the exception of the window trench, that will have to be completely hand added to the ship. i will most likely use my micro engraver and a diamond burr to accomplish this. the next issue is that the hull shape its self is slightly wrong, the front should be a bit wider then it is, and the belly allows more room for the docking bay then should be afforded. the profile of the ship is thicker in the rear and back middle section the it should be, the docking bay should follow the same sleek flowing curve to the rear as it does the front leaving the rear of the ship only slightly thicker from top to bottom then the front.

All in all, i am Very happy with the kit, It has a lot going for it, the least of which is the fact that to my knowledge its the ONLY kit of this subject on the market at the moment. the issues mentioned above are a small price to pay for this kit and the ship you will be able to build out of it in the end. My thoughts are that it is no more troubled then a mass produced styrene kit you might get form Round 2 or the like. With a little work and a little love you'll have a beautiful Normandy SR-1.

I will do a build review in a short while once i have time to dedicate to this ship and build it fairly quickly.

Pictures of the Kit parts will follow probably tomorrow, maybe tuesday ( waiting to receive my new camera in the mail first. )

Any questions on specifics, feel free to post them here.
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