26 April 2014

Trek Review: Official Starships Collection - USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D

As mentioned in a previous post, Eaglemoss have brought their Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection to Australia and it begins, guns blazing with a beautiful representation of the Enterprise -D, hero ship of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The Official Starships Collection Issue 1
The Magazine
First thing I noticed with the magazine was that it doesn't appear to be that 'big' with regard to the number of pages. However, I had to admit I was very impressed with how it's all presented. Pages are mostly black with a simple white, sans-serif font keeping the feel very modern. Layouts are nice and uncluttered making information easy to find and follow.

Non-subscribers get their ship and magazine 'presented' on a large cardboard span with a slot for the magazine and a place for the ship's box to sit. Having seen Issue 2 in newsagents recently, this appears to be the norm while subscribers receive theirs without the card backing - leaving the magazines to the mercy of Australia Post - like trusting a Ferengi to mind your gold-pressed latinum.

The Enterprise -D is probably the most well known and covered starship to bear the prestigious name and so, fitting all of this information into the magazine would probably have been problematic for the Eaglemoss team. What we end up with is a fairly nice, if a bit simplistic balance of information - I say simplistic for die-hard Trek fans who may be looking for a bit more. I'm happy to say that I did learn some new stuff though, from the 'making of' section in particular where some new concept sketches are shown that I have not seen in other literature.

Areas that look at the ship's history are very light again, glossing over some major events but as said, with seven years of television and a feature film of events - just how do you summarise that into a single issue?

From my point of view, I think there is a decent balance of information and from what I could see there were no glaring errors in the information that was presented. So I think the magazine is still a winner here.

USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D detailsThe Ship
There have been many miniature versions of the Enterprise -D over the years. I still have a Galoob version lying around from when the series first aired in the late 80's. Galoob's diecast version had the ability to separate the saucer. My brother had the larger scale Playmates light-up and Transwarp (which could be transformed into the All Good Things... dreadnought) versions, Micro Machines and so many more... so Eaglemoss certainly had their work cut out for them entering into a pretty saturated market for this ship.

Eaglemoss have likely produced one of the most detailed versions of the Enterprise -D with the aztec pattern on full show and all the hull details and markings. It's an impressive piece considering the scale. My one main issue is that the name printed on the rear saucer near the main shuttlebay doesn't read 'ENTERPRISE' as it should, instead it reads (something like) 'INTIPARISU' - not sure why - and it seems there was a batch released with this error, while there are some with the proper name out there. I wouldn't mind sourcing a more accurate version, but the font is so small, it's negligible for most. The rear shuttlebays in the engineering section aren't correctly sized either (they appear too symmetrical on the model) and a concern for some fans might be that the ship can't be separated - but there are few versions out there that do. Galoob being one, and there was a Micro Machines version (for Star Trek Generations), but most of the others are permanently connected. In any case, the Eaglemoss model is a model and not a toy and I doubt many fans will take issue here.

The display stand is sturdy and supports the main hull and saucer. They're also apparently numbered, if you can make out what the alphanumeric characters on the base actually mean! The ship itself isn't too heavy, but this is when you realise that not much of the ship is actually diecast metal. Aside from a portion of the saucer section, the rest of the ship is plastic, including the entire engineering hull. Translucent parts in the warp engines allow for a nice effect when held up to the light.

Enterprise -D from rear, with glowing nacelles

Still, this is quite a beautiful recreation of the Enterprise -D that it's definitely worth the introductory price being charged. It also sets the bar fairly high for the future releases...

Overall, I'd say the Enterprise -D is worthy of a 9/10. It's early in the game but this is a wonderful model. It would probably score full marks if the printing error didn't exist and the shuttlebay's were represented more accurately - but I can be quite picky about such things!

For a final pic, here's the Eaglemoss model alongside the Galoob version from 1987. They're comparable in size and I'm actually more surprised at just how detailed the Galoob version was with the etched details. I should note mine has been modified slightly with paint to highlight the engines and phasers.

Eaglemoss vs Galoob Enterprise -D

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