With this issue, Eaglemoss brings us one of the most popular designs of the latter 24th century Starfleet, the Akira class.
While the title tells us that this issue is about the USS Thunderchild (never actually named on screen), it instead takes a good look at the Akira class in general.
Details on just how well armed and capable this ship is are presented and illustrated with detailed images and sketches from the ships development and creator. The Akira is a carrier and heavily defended although this was never fully realised on screen. The Akira was introduced in Star Trek: First Contact and got to show off some of its impressive capabilities in its quick appearance battling the Borg and would reappear many times throughout Deep Space Nine and even Voyager.
The interesting sections of this issue again deal with how the ship was designed including some really detailed sketches from designer Alex Jaeger. There's also great insight into how the ship was created in CG and it's use on screen and for the shots used in the magazine itself. They also don't miss the fact that the Akira was such a well received design that it served as the inspiration for the NX-01 that would be used in the series Enterprise.
This issue is filled with the sort of information you want to see and read about from a starship collection, although you will still notice that after reading the opening summary, most of the text accompanying the images in the rest of the magazine will merely repeat the same information. However, I think Eaglemoss have done really well here.
While there are some model kits out there of the Akira, Eaglemoss are likely the first to release a pre-built version. I'm a big fan of the Akira design so this is one of the more anticipated releases from the collection.
Much like the USS Reliant from the previous issue, the Akira is a compact and solid ship in model form. For a ship that probably hasn't had that many close ups on screen, the detail of the model appears adequate with the striping and markings accurate to what we saw in First Contact, to the fact the starship name wasn't actually printed on the hull and also the typo in United Federaion of Planets along the catamaran hull.
The upper side of the ship is fairly detailed and the engines include the usual transparent plastics. The underside of the ship suffers a little bit with less detail apparent and unfortunately the yellow Starfleet pennants are extremely misaligned from the red pinstripes on the sides of the lower hull.
The stand connects behind the saucer section in between the catamaran hull.
The model is a great representation of the popular design, I just wish a bit more attention went into the hull details, particularly underneath.
Light-up Borg Cube (Subscribers Gift)
Since we're reviewing the Akira, which was designed for the battle with the Borg cube in First Contact, why not also review the light-up Borg Cube subscriber gift as well?
This 'night-light' would certainly look at home among the other ships from the Eaglemoss collection due to its size but also lacks much of the detail we've come to appreciate from the fortnightly models. There's not much weight to the cube and the green light emits through plastic sections around the hull. The level of detail is extremely flat, especially when compared to the recently released Borg Sphere. Rumour has it that the Borg Cube will get its own model and accompanying magazine some time in the near future.