"The Trek ramblings of a geeky Drag Queen"


Friday, 2 January 2015

Eaglemoss: Star Trek Official Starships Collection Review

I have been collecting the Eaglemoss Star Trek Starships since day one, yet haven't given them a mention in my Trek blogs... until now.

The collection has been a joy to have around the house.  It looks impressive when all the ships are en masse, but like most things complex and vast, niggles have cropped up (*resists urge to mention the backward Defiant decal*).

First impressions count and for their opening gambit they gave us the Enterprise D, which to this day remains the largest (aside from the specials) and most detailed model.  It also contains the largest portion of die cast to plastic component ratio. A lot of its charm possibly comes from the ships actual design, but the quality of this model can not be denied and I cannot foresee any other addition to the collection taking over the D's intricacy and beauty.

USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D. The most detailed yet?,

One thing that this collection gives us is models that have never before been physically created and the variety is astounding, partly due to the project runners' passion and familiarity with Trek, and partly because the people behind this collection are listening to the fans and supplying us with what we are asking for (within reason). The Krenim Weapon ship and the Bajoran Solar Sailor are models that I would never have expected to own, and now that I do, I can appreciate them on a whole new level.

The two most difficult things about being an Eaglemoss collector have got to be dusting and displaying. The dusting could almost be a daily job, though I admit I don't do it quite that often. The black rounded bases tend to show up every speck, and I find that a quick wipe over with my hand as I pluck each ship off it's stand to fly it around the room (with sound fx of course) extends the time needed between the 'big cloth and spray dust downs'.

Fancy displaying: how do you display yours?  There are several methods, and I've seen examples of each one posted on Facebook, all looking rather impressive, and they all have their own merits. The obvious display strategy is Federation ships together and alien ships together.  As with things Star Trek, nothing is that black and white (other than the natives of Cheron), and there are a few random 'which fleet does this belong to' moments.  For example, The Maquis Raider, a Federation built vessel but used by the bad guys... or are they really the bad guys? Well, you see what I mean.

As the collection gets larger, it's possible to start splintering off and creating small sub-groups of ships on display. I have taken all the Romulan ships out of my alien fleet and grouped them together. This is going to work particularly well with the Klingon ships, as there is a very handsome line-up of  Empire ships and many more planned for release.

For some of the stand-alone ships like the Nausican Raider, I have actually displayed them in colour groups, which look aesthetically pleasing on the shelf (Cardassian, Ferengi, Bajoran and Nausican ships are all a brown/gold colour).

Then of course, ahead of the others are the all important 'ships named Enterprise', which I've found looks spectacular facing outward in circular formation with Deep Space Nine in the center (pictured at the end of this blog).

Bad guys on top for once!

The Pesky Dusty Romulans.

Size matters: naturally, the scale of the ships is inconsistent.  If not, the Enterprise D would be the size of a dustbin lid in comparison to the Defiant, for example. It does seem that the larger ships have more detail, clearly because the smaller things are the more fiddly they become.  But as time has gone on, some of the ships have become a little on the small side for my liking - the Vulcan Surak Class and Species 8472 Bio Ship spring to mind. Aside from this issue, the plastic content seems to have risen slightly since the beginning of the collection. Another concern at the moment are the transparent components used to denote light-up sections such as nacelles and ramscoops. In the past, even the smallest of nacelles like on the NX01 were a realisticly coloured transparent plastic, yet some of the newer, larger models like the Runabout now have simple painted areas on the nacelles, a practice that I hope is not permanent.

The Specials: every so often, Eaglemoss release a 'Special Edition' model, which are larger than the general collection and, other than DS9, they have all up to now been from the JJ Abrahms universe Trek. It was of course important to include these Reboot Trek ships for the new fans, and I for one am glad that they have decided to keep them separate from the Roddenberry/Berman Trek generation, another testament to the fandom of the model series coordinator Ben Robinson. The JJverse Klingon Bird of Prey and the USS Kelvin are planned as upcoming specials.

Popular Demand: it is always good to listen to the fans, though Rick Berman once said he was never held to ransom by viewers demands. I'm hoping Ben does the same here and holds true to the all-important Star Trek canon. There has been a lot of talk about ships from ST:Online and ships from Trek novels making their way into this model series. I believe that the current 'Prime Directive' which Eaglemoss are following when deciding which ships to make is that they have to have been seen on screen in one of the five TV shows or twelve movies, and I've got to say 'Amen' to that. We can't just start designing our own ships and demanding that they get made just because we are a little Trek-starved at the moment. The only ship which may transcend the canon rule is the USS Titan. Seeing as this ship was mentioned on screen, I have less of a problem with it making it into the final line up, but I fear this could open a can of Ferengi Gree worms and start portions requesting other unknown and obscure vessels. Also, don't forget that this is a magazine series too, and the lack of and quality of information on an obscure vessel would make for a bland and pointless booklet. Perhaps a Star Trek Online model series could be an entirely different collection (if the demand really exists?) but I certainly wouldn't care for them contaminating the 'real' Trek stuff.

What's Next?: there are many great ships planned for the coming year, including some of my favourite bad guys; The Hirogen and The Malon, and of course the remainder of the Enterprise legacy; the 1701-C and Kirk's original ship.  But what is left to announce, suggest and speculate over?   Personally, I'd like to see the intricate, orb-like Xindi weapon from Star Trek Enterprise and Neelix's trusty little freighter from Voyager.

All in all, this is a great collection, and if you're just picking up the ships that you feel are most prominent in the show, may I suggest that you subscribe and collect as many as possible because you will often be surprised at the quality and unique experience of holding the three dimensional versions of some amazing space craft designs which Star Trek has produced over (nearly) 50 years.

The mothers of all ships.

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