24 May 2014

Trek Review: Official Starships Collection - Enterprise NX-01

Another delivery brings us Issue 4 of the Eaglemoss Official Starships Collection and this time we go right to the beginnings of Starfleet with the Enterprise NX-01. Controversial at the time of release (breaking the belief that Pike/Kirk's Enterprise was the first) and leading a series that brings up all sorts of arguments among Trek fans old and new when it comes to 'canon' - she was the lead ship for four seasons of Star Trek: Enterprise before it was cancelled.

The Magazine
This issue continues the format set out and we should expect this to continue (so I might even stop commenting on it!) With four seasons worth of information, there's plenty to go through and the narrative describes in fair detail the decks (A-G) of the ship and points of interest that can be found on each of them.

Weapon systems are looked at and the early issues that surrounded those during the ship's service as well as the engines and how a stable and more efficient warp field was generated and controlled.

Much like Issue 2 (USS Enterprise NCC-1701 refit), there is a section about the orbital drydock facility and homage to Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Unlike the previous issues, there isn't a section on how the ship was filmed. I guess this is probably due to the fact that the NX-01 was all in the computer, but they do go through the design process - on how the newest (at the time) incarnation of the Enterprise was also going to be the oldest shown in the series to date. There are drawings from John Eaves which looked very similar to Pike & Kirk's Enterprise and notes from Doug Drexler himself, the designer of the final version and the inspiration taken from the Akira class, designed for Star Trek: First Contact.

My favourite section would have to be the NX-01.5 two page spread which actually details the Enterprise's unseen upgrade which may have occurred if the show went onto a fifth season. A shot (lifted from the Ships of the Line calendar series) of the SS Enterprise with a secondary hull is included and information on Doug Drexler's realisation of the ship becoming more like her descendant in the NCC-1701 of the 23rd century. The magazine is worth it alone for that, I'd only have liked a couple more photos included to show the refitted ship from the front!

I can only nitpick a minor typo on the rear page.

The Ship
This is the third Starfleet (not Federation :P) starship (and the third Enterprise) in the collection and the high Eaglemoss standard continues. Most notably, the aztec design is back and it really makes this model look great. Every detail has been covered, elevating this ship to Enterprise -D levels of awesome. 

The model feels solid and is a little harder to differentiate the diecast and plastics in the main hulls. The engines and pylons are of course plastic, with some of the construction around the engines showing seam lines from how intricately they appear to have been put together. Mine unfortunately arrived with the port nacelle detached, but it's a clean break and easily fixed. Held in the right light and the engines light up again which is a nice effect.

Hull markings are all on display and appear to be accurately recreated, especially the cargo bays on either side of the saucer. The deflector dish is probably the least accurately represented item on the ship.

The stand is a bit like the Klingon Bird of Prey's but it has a tighter grip on the ship so it doesn't fall easily when on display. It mounts behind the saucer between the engineering hull booms to the engine pylons.

I'm going to give this one a 9/10. We're back to Enterprise -D levels of detail and nearly worthy of full marks again aside a few very small issues I can point out. At four issues in and an average score of 8.25/10, I'm liking my "investment" in this collection so far.

Subscriber Gift - Enterprise -D Dedication Plaque
Along with the delivery of this and Issue 5, I received my first subscriber gift. Not the free binder for my issues, but the Enterprise -D dedication plaque.

This is a nice recreation and made from solid material. It appears to accurately record all of the names of those involved with Star Trek: The Next Generation including Gene Roddenberry, Rick Berman etc.

I only just noticed while photographing mine that there are some issues around the 'U' of U.S.S., but otherwise it's a nice piece. 

In a recent survey that was available via social media, Eaglemoss had asked about the possibility of creating other dedication plaques for the Defiant, Prometheus and Voyager. I also suggested that perhaps fans would be interested in those for the other Enterprise's, Excelsior and perhaps even the Titan (Riker's ship post-Nemesis). It will be interesting to see if these pop up over the course of the series. I have to admit, I'd probably just prefer more models myself!

No comments: