Saturday, 1 December 2018

Firm Footing: The Official Starships Collection Bonus Edition


After the flight and attack versions of the Klingon Bird of Prey, the third and final - Landed - option was inevitable.    

For all intents and purposes it's exactly the same mould that was used for issue 3 and then altered with wings swept down for the later attack edition and both were featured in the run of regular issues. However collectors wishing to complete their trio of Birds of Prey will now need to invest outside of the standard collection as the final Klingon variant has been released as a bonus edition.   

Truly there's very little to say about this one that hasn't already been said on the reviews of the previous two editions so this might be rocking in as the shortest starships review of all time. What i can say about the service with this one is that while it arrived merely 24 hours after ordering it did arrive damaged but was replaced within 48 hours by Eaglemoss, no questions asked (although I did send some pics through as proof).   

The swept up wings and landed position is something we've only experienced on this craft twice in The Search for Spock and the subsequent The Voyage Home movies. The detail on the ship body and the upswept wings is absolutely the same as the previous editions and the only new addition is the pair of landing feet added to the bottom of the hull.   

The tragedy here is that both on the cover of the magazine and on the ship itself there is no indication of where the feet retract into meaning that in both instances it looks like they have been roughly slapped on to the Bird of Prey as a bit of an after thought.

Maybe they have but the weighting in the craft is absolutely perfect which means that you can do away with the black base and clear plastic clip and display this model as it was meant to be - on its own two feet. All that's missing is a landing pad at the foot of Mount Seleya.

The detail on the Bird of Prey itself is faultless on the upper side with the same weathering effects in full bloom but the bottom does leave a little to answer for and not just because of the "add-on" landing gear. It's still a bit too clean and empty of features that goes right against how the rest of this classic ship looks. If you do compare you might be able to tell there's a bit more dirt on the bottom of this one but not by much.

It's 100% a completist ship with only the wing positions of the three variants being different and as of time of writing you can now buy all three options in one handy box. This is one that fan demand...demanded...and got and rightly has ended up as a special rather than a regular issue because subscribers might have been a little narked to pay for this one again after the cruise and attack position variants dropped in.

Note too that the issues with the detail on the folding front plates of the wings have still not been resolved either even after several email conversations with Eaglemoss directly.

The magazine is actually a really good piece of reading even if you do think the Bird of Prey cash cow has been milked dry. Giving a skant overview of the already extensively covered ship, we move into The Great Bird of the Galaxy which covers the design and creation of the craft for The Search for Spock and includes some early storyboard and sketches of what could have been. Also in here we have photos from the original build and photography work that was done of the Bird of Prey for the third Star Trek movie.

Inside the Bird of Prey talks about - and shows - what the interior of the ship might have looked like as well as explaining why the bridge ended up looking the way it did plus some background to Lord Kruge's snarling pet. There's a brief - but good - segment on the creatures created for the Genesis Planet as well as how Kruge's death was filmed  before closing out the bonus magazine with the imagining of landing the Bird of Prey in The Promised Land.

It's a magazine well packed with information about the well-used Star Trek ship and how it made it to the screen. Definitely one of the best and most impressively illustrated volumes to date in the collection as a whole.

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Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Yesterday's Enterprise - XL'd

Liam MacCreadie joins us once more to take a look over the latest XL Starship from Eaglemoss...


Welcome to this month's review of the latest starship to get the XL treatment, the second most anticipated supersize release since the Enterprise-A. 

I must start by saying I’ve always liked this ship since seeing her in Yesterday's Enterprise. Although she only gets a small amount of screen time I had to buy the AMT model kit so this release has been high on my radar since it was announced.


First impressions from opening the box is that she’s a very chunky ship. The level of detailing on the saucer is incredible; the top of the saucer is diecast with the bottom plastic and we have raised areas for phaser strips and lifeboat hatches which are well painted.  

The windows from a distance look well done and numerous, it’s not until you get close that you realise she suffers from the same window misalignment that afflicts other ships, however as the indents are so light it isn’t noticeable until you get right up on it. The big let down for the ventral though is the yellow either tractor emitters or sensors painted over the escape pod indents, something I’ve only just noticed, and something you can’t unsee unfortunately.

The registration and name look bold with the correct red outline on the black lettering that was missed on the previous XL USS ReliantThe underside of the saucer is much the same story with detail , raised escape pods and phasers, however the window alignment is a lot worse underneath with not only missing the indents but the black and white lines are on different heights, again from a distance it’s a trivial thing.

The secondary hull and neck are mainly diecast which adds the weight to the model and feels great. The windows are well aligned on this section on the diecast at least but the plastic slips again, all decals look great and mine has the pennants the correct way up unlike some. The biggest flaw though on this model is the deflector dish. This time we have the correct inset dish however as its transparent you can see the joining peg inside and a lot of models seem to be affected with glue visible on the interior. This could have been solved by having a solid backing, a simple addition that would make a lot of buyers happy.

Aft we have the much hyped impulse engine a detail noticeably missing from the regular sized model and something I’m glad was included, although I can’t help but feel it should be red and not blue - feel free to correct me if not the case! 

Carrying on down to the back we have a very nice shuttlebay, which is luckily well aligned, again on some models this is not the case.

Nacelles and pylons are nice and straight with bright plastic bussard collectors and warp grilles, something we’ve been use to seeing on a lot of these models. Registration numbers and pennants are all in place and correct too.

Before I finish I’d just like to compare her to the regular issue we had back in issue 46. First off we have moved the pylons from straight up to a more sloped back design with registry numbers now applied. The blue deck lines on the edge of the saucer have been omitted on the XL as happened on the Enterprise-B. 

As mentioned earlier we have the impulse engine present, the correct deflector dish and lastly the sensor dome underneath the saucer has changed completely from the Zhukov style on the regular to a correct Constitution class variant on the XL. 

Overall she’s a great looking model and I would rate her a solid 8/10. Like all the XLs it's a really great model only let down with silly little flaws but if a life long Trekkie I feel you can look past these . 

Have you been collecting the XL models from Eaglemoss? Which has been the highlight so far?


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You can also find Liam on Twitter as @prysmos1980


Saturday, 24 November 2018

Learn the Ferengi Way with Galactic Enterprises


After the joy that Fluxx brought into the Star Trek corner of my world i was skeptical to play Galactic Enterprises - how could this be as much fun to play? 

The Star Trek Club of Stoke on Trent stepped forward to help get this one checked over...   Coming from Wizkids who are more renowned for Attack Wing, Frontiers, Heroclix et al, Galactic Enterprises is a pen and paper/card game for 2-8 players focusing on the nefarious trading exploits of the Ferengi. 

Players become the large-lobed wheeler-dealers of the galaxy, bidding for technologies over a series of rounds as well as fixing prices with or without the help of your competitors to become the First Clerk of the Treasury aka the Grand Nagus.   

The fairly slim initial rule book makes it sound a lot more mind-bending than it is and once you’ve test played a couple of rounds it becomes a lot easier and also a lot more interesting. The way that a round works is that the same number of Market Cards (goods) are dealt out onto the table and players then bid for the items available such as PADDs, Replicator Units, Synthehol and even Tribbles. 


Each player can only acquire one card per bidding round and once that’s been completed you can then fix the prices. Now if a couple of players have the same item you could choose a combined price but all of those with that item need to fix the same price to make a financial gain otherwise the person with the lowest price is the winner - yes, you can undercut your opposition!   

Being the lowest or second lowest does mean there's some form of latinum payout but if you’re the highest you’re left with empty pockets. We played a full eight player game at last week’s meeting which was the first time id had it out of the box and after those first couple of rounds it became clear that bidding on items that no-one else had early on meant you could max the price as the only vendor and build up a bank against later rounds where everyone may have acquired said technologies. 

The end result is, of course, to make as much latinum as possible and it's a hell of a lot of fun getting there. As more players start acquiring assets the chances to maximise profits become less and the profits you've made early on become more useful to secure the rights to more items - do you spread your opportunities across multiple things or do you try and monopolise in one area?

Seems as straight-forward as you could wish for huh? Totally - until you include the Action Cards.  Each round an Action Card is auctioned off for a minimum of one latinum slip. You also get an Action Card once you've won an asset from the table and these can come in real handy. 

Action Cards can be played in turn while others can be dished out at any time allowing players to steal or swap items from other players or counter other moves being played by opponents. A few of these did get played in the Stoke Club game including a rather confusing mirrored mirror move which meant that one of our more...junior...members ended up winning the game by a clear mile.

The rule book does make this game look a lot more complicated than it really is and we had a decent grasp of the rules within ten minutes. Playing with a big group will definitely mean there's less chance of early monopolies on assets but will take a much longer time (obviously) to run through a full eight rounds. 

Initial reaction was quite muted but once we all understood how it worked the game became a lot more lively. Absolutely one to recommend and I'd be getting this one on your Christmas list right this instant.

Thanks to Stoke on Trent Star Trek Club for their assistance in reviewing Galactic Enterprises.

Have you played Galactic Enterprises? What top tips do you have for success?

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Friday, 23 November 2018

Second Quarter: Calypso


A lost traveller awakens to find himself aboard the USS Discovery but something’s amiss.  

The ship is now being run by a sentient computer called Zora and it appears that she is waiting for the crew to return with explicit orders to maintain position - something that the Discovery has been doing for nearly 1000 years. So goes Calypso, the second of the four Short Treks that are feeding our Star Trek desires ahead of the second season in January 2019.  

Starring Sonequa Martin Green's other half, Aldis Hodge as ‘Craft’, it's much more of a one man performance than Mary Wiseman’s short last month. My personal belief is that this is what the Short Trek format should be doing; something new exciting and that aspires to be different.  Initially the relationship is one of doctor/patient but as the unspecified period of time passes, it blossoms to friendship and almost something more. 

Sprinkled in with references to 20th Century media such as Betty Boop and the Fred Astaire/Audrey Hepburn Funny Face musical, we learn that in 1000 years Alcor 4 is inhabited by humans (never heard of it before!) and that humanity itself has persevered. The reason as to why the Discovery is waiting is never explained nor is how Craft himself ended up in the escape pod although you might surmise that he has escaped from some form of battle given the description of what was on board his one man ship.   

Craft is a totally new character to the Star Trek universe and given the time span between Discovery and his lifetime thers a very low to extremely remote possibility that he will ever turn up again but in this 15 minute episode Hodge really brings him to life. There's a family, a mission and a real character that Hodge breathes life into.    

Where it does differ from the earlier Tilly-sode is in the questions it raises for the future of the series. Is there, somewhere in here, a bigger plan - an endgame that has begun to sprout? What fate lies ahead for the crew of NCC-1031 and how the blue hell did Craft get from his escape pod and onto the sickbay bed?!   

Calypso really stands out as one of Discovery’s best moments, encapsulating the need for human contact, the strong sense of family and a feeling of longing tucked in there as well. Its a brilliantly conceived work that cleverly advances Star Trek canon to its furthest point in the future and still leaves acres of room for storytelling and lore to be built. 

The closing moments bring everything captured in this quarter of an hour nicely together around the relationship between the computer and Craft - but does it really tie up anything else? Will this be a trend across the Short Treks and will there be any answers hidden away in season two?

What do you think to the Short Trek stories so far? What are your expectations for the remaining Saru and Mudd installments? Comment below!

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Cowboyed Cardassians: The Official Starships Collection Issues 136 and 137


Finally, finally, finally... after an eternity we at last have the Keldon Class in the Starships Collection. 

One of those "essential" ships, the Cardassian craft has been one of those entries that fans have been asking about for a long time but has that wait been worth it?   Well, kind of yes.

The Keldon Class is very much the motorhome version of the sleek original with the only major differences being the coffin shaped backpack and the additional fins to the rear. For a variant that appeared in all of three episodes you can understand why the alterations were kept to a minimum, allowing for the extras to be removed and the Galor Class to continue onwards through to What We Leave Behind. 

I mean, this is exactly the same as the Galor but let’s examine and see if there have been any significant improvements over the years. To begin with, the bridge module on this one is aligned correctly as, if you recall, my original ship had a wonky forward section. Admittedly this one is straight because it wasn't glued on and I had to set it myself but still, at least everything now lines up. 

The paintwork is absolutely a carbon copy of the first release being a muddy brown from bow to stern punctuated with darker brown/purple sections and recessed windows at all points. The panel detail does seem to be more pronounced and identifiable than before and would indicate that, along with other recent ‘redos’ that there has been some adjustment in how the models are finished. The lines stand out much more clearly and you can see the indents and grille areas much more easily than before. 

The windows in some cases don’t line up as we have all come to expect but the overall effect of the Keldon Class marks another step up in quality. Where there are a mixture of blues, greys and browns overlapping, especially around the bridge module, the colours have firm lines and each is clearly pronounced on the surface. Out on the curved wing edge, the warp intakes are also noticably sharper and better painted than before with the ridges of the surface again more visible under a thinner layer of paint.

The metal upper half of the craft certainly has the better detail but unusually for such a "later" model in the series it does still seem that the paint has been slopped on a little too thick and some of the final definition is lost. That original coat on the Galor Class sections also contrasts slightly to the plastic pieces notably the topside "coffin" which actually betrays the time difference between the original and this newer kitbash.

The coffin-top is nicely details, the panelling and fineries are really well finished and stand out because of the improvements in process. Now cleverly the underside plastic half is a slot-on to the metal upper which means that the fins are a simple remould and clip on rather than having to recast the whole damn thing. It's here that you can visibly see the difference in panelling plastic versus metal by comparing the centre section to the curved upper wings.

Personally I love the shape, the design and the finish of the whole thing here but those new pieces are glaringly obvious and could have done with being a little more flush with the Galor Class core of the Cardassian vessel. Finally out at the front is the translucent disruptor adding that final, necessary touch. It looks smaller than the one slapped on the front of issue 14's Cardassian cruiser - and for a further question, all the images of the Galor Class used show it with a blue disruptor bank and the Keldon with red but both models (and on screen) are definitely red. Hmmmm.

The issue 136 magazine retraces the origins of the class as you would expect by now including the updates made by the Obsidian Order and how the ships featured in the third season of Deep Space Nine. Lots of shots from Defiant and The Die is Cast's seminal space battle that trounced everything Star Trek had done before it. The plan views do emphasise the colour differences between the new and old sections of the model and the plastic versus metal comparisons we've mentioned because everything gels so well on the page.

Perhaps one of the most pointless sections we've had in a magazine for a while is the Keldon Class versus Galor Class Comparison. I mean, seriously, the whole magazine is about the comparison without it being screamed at you in a double-spread page filler. If we really wanted to compare couldn't we just put the two models next to each other?!

Last up is The Dominion Arc which offers a very high level view of the third to seventh seasons of Deep Space Nine with the focus on its main continuing storyline. It's very, very broad in its strokes with a larger leaning towards the third season to tie it into the Keldon Class' two appearances and also to the inclusion of the Cardassians in the arc.

Not a bad magazine but it does feel there's a bit of filler in here rather than quality in some respects, potentially because a lot of the main points would have been covered back with the Galor Class many moons ago.


Second out of the Eaglemoss box this time is the Xindi-Primate ship. One of those that you'd be hard pushed to remember from the otherwise excellent third season, this was "aka" Degra's ship and didn't get half the screentime of the other Xindi starships. Quite a shame because this is a pretty neat design for a starship and probably the most interesting of the Xindi craft.

Certainly sleek, the ship combines a green, mustard and grey colour scheme more effectively than you might think into something that is perhaps giving off the impression of being more dangerous than it actually is.

Eaglemoss have wisely crafted the reaching forward blades in plastic leaving the main weight to the back end. It's a design that reminds me distinctly of the speeder bikes from Return of the Jedi more than a Star Trek ship.

Those forks sweep backwards with some fantastic panel colouring into the main body. There is a bit of flex in the thin(ish) forks and that's to be expected but Eaglemoss have done really well to put the definition into the different segments of the surface here. The sweeping leading edge yellow detail is crisp and the whole upper plastic surface is alive with curved hull shapes however it's worth looking a little more closely as some of the panelling at angle changes doesn't quite line up.

The shape of the Xindi craft is masterly realised here in such a low profiled form with the additional lighter green "spoiler" clipped to the two rear left and right edges plus extending forward to attach smoothly to the rear of the oval, centre, command unit. 

Now what makes this model even more impressive is how seamlessly the metal and plastic halves come together. As mentioned, the whole of the top of the ship is rendered in plastic and fits like a glove into the metal section which runs as the oval shaped piece on the underside and then widens out to the whole width of the bottom.

The concave underside sees the metallic elements trade off the colour palette for some raised panelling while the forward sections in plastic retain the yellows, greys and browns over the darker green base coat. 


There are no overtly obvious engine emplacements o the surface of the craft to the rear and the finishing detail, if you step back for a second, is actually very simply effected. There are no intricate pieces here, no cutouts or translucent inserts. This is a very basic construct with three core parts which I suspect made it dead easy to recreate in scale.

Finally, the stand fit is just as smooth, gripping around the tips of the curved hull for a centrally balanced pose on that classic Eaglemoss black base. I think the biggest gripe with this one has to be that the magazine cover and the CG within it shouts out that the model is actually very basic in its detail and there are is a lot of pipework and more variation in the height of the plating on the hull than is conveyed through the medium of plastic and metal. 

Issue 137 kicks off with a detailed comparison of the ships of the Xindi fleet as well as the key features of the Primate cruiser and its strengths and weaknesses in the field. The magazine CG also highlights the lack of translucent plastics within the rear to bring out the engine exhausts as we've seen on other craft. The painted on look just doesn't cut it here although the choice to go down this route rather than additional pieces of plastic might be down to cost and the fiddliness of putting that together.

The plan views also reinforce how some of the visual elements haven't translated well even more especially those yellowed sections that run along the forward prongs. If I hadn't taken a good look in the magazine I would never have realised that they are linked in to the propulsion systems and aren't just there for hull decoration.

We have four pages then looking at John Eaves' design choices and sketches to do with the creation of this Xindi craft. Eaves' plans also included several different paintjobs plus it's interesting to discover the challenges of negative space in the model world against the CG world.


A nice parallel to the Dominion Arc covered in issue 136 is the, rather broad once again, coverage of The Xindi Arc from the third year of Enterprise. I love the concept of that season of Star Trek and this just skims the surface as to why and how it came about plus the highs of the arc and what it meant to the show which, unbeknownst to them, was past its halfway point.

A take it or leave it duo of ships from the collection this time round. Would I have been disappointed not to have them in the set? Probably not that much but the latter does round out the Xindi group and the Keldon Class is an important player in the events of Deep Space Nine's third season. Nice work on both but on the flip side both are definitely missing some annoying details that would have bunked them up the scale. Not Malon Freighter quality but not NX-01 either.

Essential purchases or two to miss from Eaglemoss this month?

If you've enjoyed our review please like and share. For more, visit the Starships Collection index.


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Tuesday, 6 November 2018

State of Fluxx: Cards on the Table


Sorry to say but I am totally addicted to Looney Labs fantastic card game.

At first I wasn’t that fussed. It’s a card game that’s Star Trek. Should be ok. Meh, let’s give it a go.

Here’s the basic spin of the game. There’s a 100 card pack in play and each player (up to eight can join in) are initially dealt three cards each. 

To start the basic rule is draw a card from the deck and play a card. It’s very straight forward - at least initially. Within the pack are different types of cards - Goals for example are items you need to collect to win the game; Actions are tasks that can be performed during the game; New Rules add a twist to play such as having to play five cards not just one or limiting the number of cards you can hold in your hand.

As you play and new rules get introduced, the dynamic of the game can change a lot. One minute you have nothing to play and the next you have loads to put down but can only play one. It sounds like brain scrambling madness but after a couple of games to get used to some of the plays it becomes incredibly enjoyable and also very, very tactical. 

The aim of completing a Goal - which can change from turn to turn by the way - is to collect Keeper cards which feature a piece of Star Trek tech or a character. Each Goal card asks for a combination of two of any of these items and maybe a Creeper.

A what?

Oh yes. Forgot to mention. Creepers are cards that can stop you from winning by simply possessing them however they may also be your ticket to victory if held in the right combination. You can have the Mirror Universe card combined with a character or the Enterprise or perhaps the Malfunction card linked to the Transporter. Anything is possible which play and winning moves never being the same in any game. 

The overall formula of Fluxx may well be generic should you pick any of the other packs available such as Batman, Firefly or even Mathematics(?!) but the Star Trek pack is exceptionally well illustrated and conceived. Character drawings are sharp and even badges are correct to the role. The ships and equipment look like they should and, amazingly there’s even a Fizzbin Action that just about makes sense.

I’ve played this a lot over the last few days and even my six year old has grasped the game and won a couple of rounds through some very devious outmanoeuvring of the Old Man I might add.

At the last meeting of the Stoke on Trent Star Trek Club we held a massive eight player game as the group’s first foray into playing and it was certainly eventful with new rules, Keepers and Creepers flying into the game all over the place. It also meant we were easily distracted and nearly missed the winning play - including the person who put the card down!  Just goes to show that with more players you have to keep your eye on the ball - or cards - very closely.

You do find that the amount of rules in play at some points can become overwhelming and you do end up missing out on the benefits of a couple if you’re not paying attention. Same goes for keeping track of the Goal. With the speed that a new one can be in place you need to keep an eye on your played and unplayed Keeper cards as a couple of times I could have won and hadn’t spotted a combination that I had on the table or Goal card I should have put down to secure victory. 

Star Trek Fluxx really made me think and concentrate and the playing time is great for evenings running anywhere upwards of ten minutes dependant on your skill or just how much of a git the players want to be with rules and delaying tactics. While my maximum game time has been around 25 minutes I can imagine a few players have settled in for the long haul.

I absolutely love playing this. It's dead easy to pick up, simple to get into and doesn't require three hours of preparation. Ideal for those nights in the hotel at conventions (Hi DST'ers!) and those rainy evenings at home this winter. If you're loving it to another level then pick up the Bridge Crew expansion and The Next Generation set to make the game that little bit longer!

Star Trek Fluxx is available this very second from Looney Labs direct or via one of those popular retail websites we all know and love.


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Sunday, 4 November 2018

Deep Space Truckers: The Official Starships Collection 134 and 135


Aaaaah. Starships...maybe one day you will arrive early for subs once again...but not this month. 

But enough reminiscing of the old days, lets plough on to discuss this time’s stellar duo in the shape of issue 134’s Vulcan Survey Ship from Enterprise’s second season Carbon Creek and the faux Delta Flyer from Voyager’s Live Fast and Prosper

If you'd never seen it before, the colour of the Survey Ship would immediately point to the fact that it's from the Vulcans. That dusty paint scheme is evident on all of the ships from Enterprise belonging to the green-blooded logicians. While the survey ship does carry some traits from the other ships, it has a very distinct appearance with a hint of those mammoth rings for one and a decidedly pointy visage however it has a lot more to offer in this replica from Eaglemoss.

For a start right there on the nose we have some unusual signs of weathering with paint chip damage speckled on to the surface in a very very rare move - usually these are produced as if just dropping off the production line.

This plastic top section carries a lot of very prominent and deep panel lines around its circumference. As part of this we have the oval sensor platform front and centre with some segmenting also visible within its form. The scale here means that these lines don't clutter the hull and allow for distinct sections on the surface without one thing seemingly falling over another. Just above this ring of panelling we have the main bridge area marked out with a ring of four-sided, yellow-shaded windows. These portals really allow for an idea of the scale - as do the two docking hatches just forward of those upswept winglets.

Take a good look into some of the corners of the Survery Ship too around this middle bridge "tier" and you'll spot some more weather-effect finishing with the sunken corners appearing a little darker and some of the grilled panel work at the back of the bridge space also dirtied up. 

The subspace transceiver array sitting atop the Vulcan craft seems to be a little under defined and by that I mean to say that the mold doesn't seem to have created enough of an impression. This leaves the array a little flat with a lot of the detail from the original there but just losing that final millimeter of sharpness on execution.

To the rear of the array we have the upper of the two impulse engine units. As with the hull there's a good level of panel lining on the module and again a nice touch of weathering in the corners plus it's finished off to the rear with an opaque yellow exhaust port segmented by lines in the same colour as the rest of the hull. Now that might not seem a big deal but to get that level of finish on two pieces (both impulse engines) is pretty spectacular and there's not colour outside of those crossed lines on either exhaust.

The central horizontal recess in the hull which runs right around the Survey Ship is a handy design feature that separates the upper plastic from the lower metal part of the craft. Weirdly it's only when I hold her up to the light and look specifically at the warp engine covers that I can tell which is one material and which the other but only by a tiny shading difference in the sandy top coat. It's very minor but it does show up under bulb-light.

The metal underside doesn't miss out on any detail from the original but there is less going on down there than we have on the ventral section. The front of the ship again carries some space damage and rather than just the speckles that dot the top there appears to be some indication of streaks of paint abrasion. It's dead odd to see this on an Eaglemoss model and I genuinely can't think of a ship from the other 133 regular issues that has this. Those of you collecting the specials might well compare it to the heavily weathered USS Kelvin but on this scale and cost the aging of the Survey Ship is a big, welcome move.

Moving backwards, the main hull panels remain mostly clean with some shading in those edges and recesses with fin-like vents and two arcing cargo doors(?) taking up most of the bottom surface. 

Cleverly the second impulse engine and the curved winglets all combine into one snap on section of the hull which sits onto the ship underneath. Again that plastic versus metal colour shift is ever-so slightly noticable yet the panelling and effect remain constant to the other, larger pieces.

Just for note, the warp engine covers here are shown retracted while in virtually every shot (not that there were many) they were open - it's a minor niggle and not one many might notice but worth just pointing out!

Now the magazine has quite a good slab of info in regards to the internal layout of the Survey Ship, its bridge and its capabilities before spiralling into recounting the events of Carbon Creek. Pictures of the ship from the episode are few and far between in this edition so we have to make do with the CG recreations. In fact the only image of the Survey Ship is from the back as it's crashing to Earth!

Designing the Vulcan Survey Ship is an odd one too as we have John Eaves' sketches and artwork for what was conceived as the vessel but was actually so good it was used for the D'kyr Class Vulcan ships. It seems that the story behind the eventual Survey Ship shape has been somewhat lost over the years!

The final section deals with the second season of Enterprise which, in my opinion, is one of the most middling batches of Star Trek episodes over the last 52 years. Certainly this section pinpoints the highs, lows and necessary changes of that season and makes for a good read around why certain alterations were made for season three.

Now to a ship that's only six metres longer than the Vulcan Survey Ship with Dala's 'Delta Flyer'

Something of a cross between a camper, an MOT-failing truck and a minivan, Dala's ship has all the finesse and grace of a brick. It's ugly as sin which, bizarrely, makes quite a change from the usual style of starships.

The wide-fronted ship has a very basic two-tone grey coating sprinkled with a few raised, darker grey panel sections and two distinct pieces of surface wiring on the right hand facing side of the nose and also on the engine sidepod. These are both in the same colour as the hull and do blend into the surface.

The forward detail on the nose does show the docking port but the clamps along the leading edge of the engine pods is lost because of the level of detail Eaglemoss are able to achieve. They are however noted on the plan views in the magazine.

Note the low amount of panelling evident on this one against the hull of the Survey Ship. Very different approach with a minimal amount of detail being transferred across.Moving back towards the centre "spine" and navigational deflector (the curved piece at the front of the spinal ridge) the only additional piece of detailing is the red stripe running to the rear.

It is a very basic design, more function than form and widening out to the engine pods we have a further splash of colour from the warp engine intakes and to the rear the warp engine grilles in translucent blue. 

The model is exceptionally close to the televised model, keeping its "beat-up" appearance although it could have done with some more weathering akin to the Survey Ship to really finish off the effect. The detail on the leading edges of the pods is a bit disappointing as is the lack of grilles and panelling along their sides. The mock Starfleet mock pennant is in place on both sides but even the two-tone paintwork doesn't drop over the sides. 

If you do look along the sides you'll also spot that the front section is also missing the same paint finish; again a bit of a surprise at this point in the evolution of the collection.

OK. Running to the rear we have a chunky cargo pod carrying significantly more blue-coloured highlights than it seems to have anywhere else - along all four sides in fact. In respect to those pieces they appear to be a dark blue in photos but here are the same colour as the warp grilles and look unnervingly out of place. Even more annoying is that the front and back blue insets are out of line with the places they should sit into (and by a smidge). I suppose I can say that the eight pod clamps that line the sides of the cargo section are at least darker than the rest of it. 

Eaglemoss only managed the underside inset piece in metal this time. It's fully two-toned as with the upper hull with more detail and panelling to the front. We never got to see the underside in the episode so it's not that exciting except for the four plastic "clip-in" additional cargo containers that sit under the protruding pod/engine/wing structures. 

The sloping nose adds more detail to the front by book-ending the barely-there docking pot but in summary this is one model that I do feel missed its potential by some way - and that's saying something since it's not exactly one of the more intricate designs that Eaglemoss have had to deal with over the years.

Standing her, the grip slides firmly around the rear of the engine pods and holds the faux Delta Flyer firmly in place. I'm not too fussed though as I don't think this one's going to be displayed for long at all...!

Right - magazine's got to make up for some of the shortcomings here, yes? 

 Totally because it shows up all the points I've mentioned above and makes the model out to be a lot more interesting and visually appeasing than the physical block we have with issue 135.

Detailing the run-down nature of Dala's ship, the magazine refreshes us on the sixth season Life Fast and Prosper  and the events that led to the con-artists posing as the Voyager crew. There are some good photos in here for comparison to the model as well as the excellent (and still terribly labelled) plan views that scream out all of the missing or over-worked details on Dala's ship. 

Covering John Earls' work on the craft is very interesting and the notion that the ship was given life through the reuse of the Defiant's sets from Deep Space Nine influenced the outside as well as the internals. That makes sense when you look at the formation of the engine pods close to the main hull and the forward docking module that resembles (slightly) the Defiant's deflector.

Six pages of visual effects are discussed in relation to the penultimate year of Voyager covering Life Fast and Prosper as well as Tsunkatse, Virtuoso, Blink of an Eye  and Fury among others. These sections provide a good background into the making of the show and some of the more interesting challenges that came up during production.

So, an alright month in all for the collection with two smaller ships sharing the limelight from, once more, two ends of the Star Trek timeline. The Survey Ship is definitely the stronger entry this time and that CG work on Enterprise pays off once more. Dala's ship doesn't hit the mark for me and it's one of those that we could have gone without for another few years and not missed - and talking of that, next month we have the Keldon Class Cardassian ship from Defiant coupled with the Xindi-Humanoid ship from Enterprise's third season arc.

Additional note - much better packaging from Eaglemoss since the warehouse move and nice not to have boxes just strapped up and nearly falling apart - they're actually taped up!!!

What other Enterprise series ships do we need in the collection? Is the fake Delta Flyer up to the usual standard or not?

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