29 May 2014

Trek Review: Official Starships Collection - Romulan Warbird

Issue 5 brings us to the mean green machine, the Romulan Warbird from the 24th century. This has long been one of my favourite alien ships.

The Magazine
This is the second alien race for the series and an appropriate green motif is brought into the magazine's presentation for the Romulans. 

For the flagship of a recurring race like the Romulans, there isn't as much information to go on from its appearances throughout The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. The magazine does a good job of covering the important details, locations of primary systems and going through the design process - including how the ship would originally have been turned 90ยบ into an imposing and unorthodox vertical orientation.

Just like the NX-01, there is no section about filming the Warbird, instead we take a look at the development of the Romulans and how they were designed to reappear more often throughout the Original Series which instead went to the Klingons for budgetary reasons - pointy ears are expensive! There was also some interesting information regarding how the Romulans were very nearly killed off in The Next Generation in a storyline that was started but never given chance to mature. I do like the Romulans and this section was a good read, but I couldn't help but feel it came at the expense of information or images about the great Warbird - a ship that dwarfs a Galaxy class starship and part of a fleet that held the Dominion at bay during countless engagements during the Dominion war.

I'll have to say I'm not the greatest fan of the use of past tense in this issue. Lines like "The Romulan Warbird was..." don't read so well. I have not noticed it in the other issues so I figure they might be using present tense instead - which I think is more appropriate for those of us who like to feel more immersed in Trek lore and thinking it's all real or at least has a sense of being real and current. I also noticed a few other errors coming through from spelling to grammar (it's instead of its) and others. It just takes away from the quality feel of the issue.

The Ship
The Romulan Warbird was one of my favourite alien ships since I first saw it - which wasn't during the run of the series The Next Generation, but as a toy and in literature. It was only later I would see it in action and become even more amazed. The Warbird also had the distinction of being only the second Romulan ship to appear on screen after the Romulan Bird of Prey in Balance of Terror (not including the Klingon Battlecruisers in The Enterprise Incident) and what an imposing sight it was.

Eaglemoss have produced another faithful replica of the formidable Romulan flagship that intimidated the Federation, fought alongside and against Cardassian's in Deep Space Nine and was even portrayed in Voyager as part of an elaborate plan to steal a Federation starship. The hollow hull is indeed hollowed out (unlike the Micro Machine version which has a central support) and the green hues are recreated nicely to represent the main Romulan militant colour as opposed to the grey/blues of the Tal Shiar Warbirds. The painted body appears to have a weathered effect to it which also highlights areas and details of the ship.

Windows are etched and printed into the hull and the claw-like details underneath are on show. There are no translucent parts to create the warp engine glow like on the Federation models however. The Romulan Warbird doesn't wear many exterior markings aside from the logo of the empire which is recreated at the front of the ship.

The stand attaches to the rear, similar to the Klingon Bird of Prey but with a much better grip - although the Warbird still managed to fall from its perch while I was photographing it!

It's another worthy addition to the collection and aside from some of the minor issues with the magazine itself, the high standards remain. I rate this an 8/10.

No comments: