from "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" (1984)
About the Design
Dubbed "The Great Experiment," the U.S.S. Excelsior incorporated all the traditional Federation starship components -- saucer, engineering hull, twin nacelles -- and displayed them in a distinctly longer, more streamlined configuration. Beautiful to some, ugly to others (Some critics described the elongated engineering hull as resembling a half-squeezed toothpaste tube), the Excelsior was meant to represent the "next generation" in Starfleet capital ships when it debuted in "Star Trek III."
In fact, the Excelsior spaceframe reappeared repeatedly in future "Star Trek" incarnations. The ship itself became the first command for former Enterprise helmsman Hakiru Sulu. A modified version subsequently appeared in "Star Trek - Generations" as the Enterprise-B. Excelsior-class ships were also featured in episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."
Because the design appeared to have survived from Kirk's generation to Picard's, the Excelsior spaceframe has been called the must successful in Starfleet's history.
About the Kit
Like the Klingon Bird-of-Prey, which also made its debut in 1984's "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock," the Excelsior had to wait a full decade before the powers at AMT/Ertl go around to casting it in plastic. The model itself was relatively small for an AMT "Star Trek" kit, due in part to the relatively huge size of the ship the model was meant to portray. Unlike later "ST" models, the Excelsior did not have its "Aztec" surface pattern molded into his plastic.
The stand resembled a plastic saddle in which one was to set the engineering hull; however, the smooth curved nature of both pieces caused the model to slide around quite a bit unless it was glued firmly into place.
Like the BOP, the Excelsior was manufactured in great numbers and, right up to the point AMT/Ertl ceased producing "Star Trek" kits, it was often commonly found in model shop and toy store discount bins. Now, with supplies dwindling, its value is finally starting to increase.
This model was built from an original issue