Eaglemoss' Star Trek Starships Collection is immensely popular, but does their new Enterprise measure up?
To collectors of Star Trek memorabilia, Eaglemoss have become a sudden shining light in the last couple of years. A respected publisher of “partwork” publications since 1975, they currently sell a number of titles that bring with them detailed figurines and models, to either build up a collection or a large (and usually expensive) item. For example, you can join their collection to build a scale model of the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future, or you can collect a single statue from the Alien and Predator franchises every two weeks. But for Star Trek, it's like building a fleet.
Eaglemoss Star Trek Models
The Star Trek collections are set into three sections, with a separate collection for ships from Star Trek: Discovery. There are the normal starships, which are about 13cm long, and then there are the XL editions, which each run about 27cm, and as appropriate are about four times the price. Then there are the special and bonus editions; primarily the size of the XL editions but sometimes smaller, these include ships from alternate canon sources, including the Kelvin-verse series of films and video games – one of the most recent of releases was the USS Enterprise 1701-F from Star Trek Online. The Discovery collection ships are all in the XL size, and the ship I'm reviewing today is the most current at issue number 12.
The models themselves are made from die-cast metal and ABS plastic and come with their own display stands. The sculpting and paint-jobs are impressive, to say the least. Especially in the standard line when you consider the size, but perhaps the most impressive thing of all is the depth of the collection. It's possible you won't want to purchase all of them, but there's a great many you will want, with more to come.
Consider that the latest issue – number 135 – is Dala's 'Delta Flyer', used by the imposter Janeway and Tuvok in the Voyager episode “Live Fast and Prosper”. Just a cursory glance at the recent issues shows ships like the USS Yeager from the Dominion War arc of Deep Space Nine, a Klingon Bird of Prey in landing mode (one of three configurations the ship is available in), the Enterprise XCV-330 Ring Ship from the images on the recreation deck in Star Trek – The Motion Picture, and a special glow-in-the-dark USS Defiant in Interphase from the TOS episode 'The Tholian Web' where the ship phased between universes.
The Enterprise from Star Trek: Discovery
So, let's look at the Enterprise. First of all, the ship itself. This Enterprise first appeared at the end of the finale of the first season of Discovery, “Will You Take My Hand?” and is for all intents and purposes a series-appropriate update of the classic Enterprise as commanded by Captain Christopher Pike, originally seen in “The Cage” and “The Menagerie”. Veteran designer John Eaves looked not only at the TOS Enterprise but also the refit from The Motion Picture, and came up with something in the middle which, to be frank, blows Ryan Church's Kelvin-era Enterprise out of the water. I particularly like the new impulse engines, blue engine effects on the inner side of the nacelles, the swept back pylons, and the retention of the deflector dish, as well as keeping the bussard collectors as the classic red.
Eaglemoss' model is simply fantastic, beautifully sculpted and painted, with the traditional Aztec paintwork (as introduced with the refit Enterprise) reproduced excellently. It's perhaps a lot darker in shades than we're used to from previous TOS ships, but the delineation between the shades – this ship is grey, grey, grey – is excellent. The ship's markings are also set down excellently, particularly the shuttlebay parts and the pennants on the secondary hull. It also feels hefty. I'm not sure exactly what percentage is die-cast metal – to me, it feels like mainly the saucer section – but the secondary hull in particular feels like its made of solid plastic, so it's not roto-cast. The included display stand fits the ship perfectly and allows it to sit on your desk or bedside table without worrying that it's going to fall off every five minutes. It just feels great, especially without the stand – the perfect weight for you to have mini-adventures at the final frontier of your den.
It also comes with a 20-page magazine which looks at the design evolution of the ship, showing lots of close-up views of the ship and running through a lot of the different sketches made. All of this also comes with interviews with designer Eaves, 3D modeler Scott Schneider, and texturer and detailer William Budge. This gives the impression of a running commentary on the development challenges, touching on everything from adding RCS thrusters to how close to stick to Matt Jefferies original design.
I do have a couple of minor nitpicks. The bussard collectors on the model are more orange than the red color on the ship, and there are a couple of misaligned paint applications on the saucer and the impulse engines, although these are only really noticeable when you're looking closely at the ship. The holes on the rear nacelle tips are also painted instead of sculpted, which doesn't look the greatest but may have helped keep the cost down. I can't fault the packaging and presentation – it's solidly packed so there's no chance of breakage, even if your mailman is a part-time juggler.
I definitely recommend this ship – it's a beautiful design and Eaglemoss have done a great job with the sculpting and paint. If you want to start a collection, there's no better place to start.