Monday, 18 August 2014

Starship Excitement Factor 9.99

"No, I'll not do anything on those announcements."

Famous last words to friend of the blog +Nils W. via why not joint post and get talking about the massive Starships weekend?!

For months fans have been nagging the team at The Official Star Trek Starships Collection to let us know what the heck is coming up in the next few issues. Then this weekend it went absolutely crackers with not one, not two, not three but well...LOTS of announcements about the range.

Before now we'd discussed the news that it would be going to 90 issues not 70 (which screwed this article we wrote back in April) and that the Enterprise from The Original Series, the Enterprise-C and the Negh'Var would be within the bounds of issues 41 - 50. So let's take a breath and regroup. What have we learned about the collection from this weekend?

Intentionally we held this piece back until today so we could fully round up but Friday kicked everything off with two new photos - the first of which not only gave us Ben Robinson's address (subsequently removed on an update!) but actual shots of actual models yet to be released.

Fans have been begging for some teasers for a while and the first picture for some time gave us four ships already ordered for issues 36 through 39 with the Oberth Class, the Andorian Cruiser, Delta Flyer and Romulan Drone all appearing on Ben's desk (with a cameo from the JJverse Enterprise to the left).

Let's look at these first, starting with the dominant Delta Flyer. Being smaller it benefits from being able to pack in a lot more detail. I'm guessing these are prototypes as the painting around the cockpit is a bit flared but I have to say this is a superb realisation with a rear stand. Also we can make out the maneuvering thruster (front below the registry) and the blue and red transparent sections on the warp engines.

Unfortunately the Oberth Class is half-hidden but taking a look at what we can see it's using movie style decalling - cleverly we've not got exactly which one of the class it will be but I'd bet Grissom. The same photo angling does mean bits of the Andorian Cruiser are obscured however we do get a good idea that it's going to be about half the length of the JJverse Enterprise and be one of the thinner entries to the collection. We can just make out the red and blue transparent engine sections towards the rear and some of the panelling detail on the silver hull. 

Official Starships Collection
The best view though is of the Romulan Drone from Enterprise. Once more a classic green in colour it has some of the most intricate detail yet seen on a collection model with a significant number of antennae protuding from the front and underside of the hull. Apparently this is now one of Ben Robinson's favourite designs and you can see why. The ventral view on the website doesn't do this ship justice - and yet again it's an Enterprise release that provides the highest quality.

Added Nils: "The Romulan drone looks like it might be the most intricately detailed model yet, and Ben reveals it is probably his new favorite. The Andorian cruiser looks perfect, and from what I can see the Oberth class will give the Federation ships a much needed break from the standard layout. Of course the Delta Flyer is up front and looks crisp and clean, and I can not wait for them all! I'm really looking forward to the Surok Class Vulcan ship, and would love to get a teaser shot for that one...."

Memory Alpha
By close of play on Saturday we knew what was allocated to issues 41, 42, 43, 47 and 50 (which meant we knew the previously confirmed Enterprise-C would be among the other five) and we had news that the next two special editions would indeed be USS Vengeance and, perhaps a little surprisingly, the Klingon Bird-of-Prey from Star Trek Into Darkness. This does mean that three of the four specials will have been from the reboot leaving some fans wondering what's going to be released in this line from the Prime Universe - we're thinking K-7 for special five.

The craziness continued on Sunday morning (we asked for issue 45 by the way) with another revelation that issue 49 would be the ECS Fortunate from the first season of Enterprise and that issue 48 would be the ablative armour version of Voyager from Endgame. Both of these are total curve balls which no one saw coming and definitely ensure we're getting infinite diversity through the selection and the order. I'm not thrilled by the Fortunate however the Voyager variant looks sleek and will be the first ship to appear twice. The only other 'repeat'  as such we know of apart from this one is the Enterprise-A. Again it seems that the armoured Voyager has been planned since day one. Well done on keeping that a secret,  Ben! 

Official Starships Collection
Issue 46 then popped into reality with the inclusion of the already announced Enterprise-C. We do hope that the final model isn't exactly like the pic featured on the Facebook page since it's not 100% accurate to the ship we saw in Yesterday's Enterprise. Great to have it's position in the release order but not that big news. This meant that there was a Voyager and an Enterprise entry still to come by 5pm GMT.

That Voyager entry turned out to be the Malon freighter from season five and the final entry came out later that night as the Intrepid from Enterprise. I', more enamoured with the latter of those two which should be as good as her warp five successor. I'm still surprised we're not getting a Vidiian, Kazon or Hirogen first.  

Those final announcements made three from Enterprise, one from The Original Series, two from The Next Generation, one from Deep Space Nine and three from Voyager.

What a weekend for Collection fans huh? So what does ace photographer and friend, +Nils W think to all this?

"There is a lot to be said for letting the excitement build up. It was getting to the point where fans and subscribers were more or less begging for more news on just the next TEN issues beyond #40. And then, he gets online with a fantastic teaser. A photo of the models on his desk, and boy do they look great! (Also, saying that there will be AT LEAST 90 issues and more if we want.)

Courtesy of Nils W.
I have a little bit of mixed feelings about the specials though, and from what I can see, I'm not the only one - we want more space stations!!! The Deep Space Nine special was simply awesome, and it felt.....special. Larger, not just a ship. Almost all metal. I just think that the slightly larger size lends itself perfectly for stations like K-7, or Regula One, Space Dock etc... and they make nice center pieces for our expanding fleets to be displayed around.

Of course some ships would be extra nice as specials too. Imagine the Ring Ship, or the Phoenix, or even V'ger as specials! I'm afraid that Ben will get a fair amount of grumbles (maybe less so if he had picked the Kelvin) if he goes through with three specials in a row all from the NuTrek movies. I would be far from angry about the NuKlingon ship as special issues # 4, but I will admit I'd rather it was a station or something from a different show/movie just to mix it up. Of course I want the NuKlingon ship in the collection though too! In fact, I want them all!!!!!"

Notably only two of our five wants have been included here in the USS Pasteur and the Negh'Var which means we're waiting for news on the Kazon warship, the Botany Bay and the Galileo shuttle. Hints have been dropped in conversation that we will get the SS Raven from Dark Frontier, the Borg Tactical Cube, the Enterprise-J and the Borg "Type 3" from Descent. It's going to be some time before we get another mass explosion of info from Eaglemoss but for now here's the confirmed list from 41 to 50 (and when they were announced) along with episode reference, our excitement level and pic. Enjoy!

41 Klingon Raptor 

(Saturday 16th August)
Picture of the ship plus CGI modelwork image for the creation of the final product - note the stand positioning! Enterprise: Sleeping Dogs. Also means they are doing every single Klingon variant.
SKoST Excitement Factor: 3 (out of 5)

Official Starships Collection

42 USS Pasteur 

(Saturday 16th August). 
SKoST Excitement Factor: 5
CGI image only - which is superb! The Next Generation: All Good Things...
We've been waiting, demanding, expecting. Payday!

Official Starships Collection

43 Species 8472 bioship

(Saturday 16th August) 
SKoST Excitement Factor: 4
From Voyager: Scorpion, Parts I & II this is a lovely design and will be unusual. Colour and detail in the supplied image make us very interested in the final version.

Official Starships Collection

44 Intrepid

(Sunday 17th August)
SKoST Excitement Factor: 3
Featured in season three's The Expanse as well as the fan-favorite Twilight and season four two-part opener Storm Front it's one of the few Starfleet vessels to feature in Enterprise. Tight design and with a lot of similarities to the NX-01.

45 Malon Freighter

(Sunday 17th August)
SKoST Excitement Factor: 3
The intergalactic binmen turn up with their leaky ship. Hopefully the model will be more environmentally friendly.

46 USS Enterprise NCC-1701-C

(Sunday 17th August)
SKoST Excitement Factor: 4
Lost a bit of the excitement since we knew it was coming. Means we only have the J and the A left to appear. Will we get the Probert original later on?

Official Starships Collection

47 IKS Negh'Var 

(Saturday 16th August). 
SKoST Excitement Factor: 4
CGI again  and featured in Deep Space Nine: The Way of the Warrior and By Inferno's Light. Second of two Klingon designs in the ten announced and the only entry from Deep Space Nine.

Official Starships Collection

48 Ablative Armour USS Voyager

(Sunday 17th August)
SKoST Excitement Factor: 5
Dribble... Please be very silver. That is all.

Official Starships Collection

49 ECS Fortunate

(Sunday 17th August)
SKoST Excitement Factor: 2
It's a freighter from one episode of Enterprise and the first season at that. The detail will undoubtedly be stunning as the prequel ships have been the outstanding additions but there are more interesting ones out in this period. Didn't anticipate this one though did we?

Official Starships Collection

50 USS Enterprise NCC-1701 The Original Series

(Already announced as 50th issue)
SKoST Excitement Factor: 4
The classic, the original, the ultimate model? Fingers crossed - and it's the 50th...

Oh...and then...

Just when we thought the news was all over, Ben dropped back on Facebook today with the following statement:

Some hints for issues 50-59. 2 of these classes of ship have defended Earth from an invasion inside our solar system. One of these ships was hijacked. Two of them are operated by a race with pointy ears. Two of them are from the Delta Quadrant. We saw one of them fight in a war. One is both older and newer than a ship we've already done that has the same name. One of them had a captain who was played by two different actors. It'll be a while before I announce what they are though, so plenty of time for theories.

So to finish, here's our 51 - 59 theories...

  • Two classes that have defended Earth - probably a couple from Steamrunner, Saber, Centaur, Yeager or Norway Class
  • One of these ships was hijacked - USS Enterprise-A perhaps?
  • Two operated by a race with pointy ears - Romulan Scimitar and classic Bird-of-Prey? The Romulan scoutship from The Next Generation? Or could one be the Vulcan T'Plana'Hath?
  • Two are from the Delta Quadrant - there's two from the Hirogen/Vidiian/Kazon ships
  • One of them fight in a war - Jem'Hadar warship? Maybe the Breen ship from Deep Space Nine?
  • One is both older and newer than a ship we've already done that has the same name - Romulan Bird-of-Prey? Would make sense.
  • One of them has a captain who was played by two different actors - must be the USS Relativity from Voyager as Braxton was indeed played by Allan G Royal and later, Bruce McGill

So there you go - happy with the choices? Like the curve balls? Why not drop us a line here and let's discuss...

Thanks to Nils for his input and pics - think we'll be doing something like that again!

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