This is the Ambassador class USS Enterprise-C. It was originally seen in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Yesterday's Enterprise," which was one of the most popular episodes from the whole series. The model was later reworked and has appeared in a few other episodes with different names. You can clearly see that they were trying to make a ship that would be 'between' the Enterprise-B and -D. It was assumed that the Enterprise-B was an Excelsior class ship, so the designer took diagrams of each and made an 'in between' ship.
The model was actually quite easy to build. There were only a few problem areas that were easily fixed. The biggest problem was the 'stair-step' saucer rim, when the studio model clearly has a smooth rim. The model is also a compromise between the way the Enterprise-C appeared and how later Ambassador class ships appeared. But overall, it's a great model for anyone of any experience level.
Painting and Decals
I went by a painting guide I found at Etopia Planitia, a site that no longer exists. The basic colors I used are Light Gray, Flanker Blue Gray, and Flanker Medium Blue. These paints are a great way to get past that 20%-80% paint mixing deal on the instructions. I decided to do this ship with the engines 'off.' I thought I'd give it a try and it turned out great. The nacelle caps are painted a glossy darkened red and the grills are just copper. I think it looks great.
I decided to get JTGraphics replacement decals found at Federation Models. They are extremely high quality and much, much better than the kit decals. Just to note, I got the decals with the 'clear lifeboats' option; I wanted to follow the paint guide I had and still get the life boats decaled. I the declas on after I had finished painting, drawing the windows on with an artist's pen, and giving it a gloss clear coat. I also used a few extra 'details' decals I had laying around to add a few little touches here and there.
Overall, I think this model turned out great. There are a few little problem here and there, but nothing that I would consider a major problem. I had a little trouble keeping the paint from running under my masking when I was painting the bottom, and a couple spots that could have used a little more putty, but other than that, it was all really minor problems. I opted to make my own stand since the one that came with the kit was huge. I just got out my cast and poured another copy of my standard stand. A small piece of wood dowel, a little black paint, and I was set.
I'd recommend this model to anyone who wants to start in the Star Trek field, or just modeling in general. It's a great kit and a great addition to my 1/1400 scale fleet.
Besides, it looks good next to my Enterprise-D.