Saturday, 6 August 2016

Polished Mirror: The ISS Enterprise NX-01 Special

As only their third web-shop starship exclusive, Eaglemoss have now brought us the Mirror Universe version of the Enterprise from In a Mirror, Darkly.

Fairly short-lived, this is, in essence, just a repaint of the issue four NX-01 model plus a brand new magazine dedicated to the two part Mirror Universe prequel and The Tholian Web sequel. I'm hoping this isn't a sign that all of the future web specials will be just slight reworkings of main issue craft since the only other larger craft in this "M" series was the ISS Enterprise from Mirror, Mirror. However, the fact that we've had the shuttles set (and potentially more of those to come) does negate that a little.

So to the Mirror Universe ship and the quality of the model is undeniable. So often do I refer back to issue four with a loyal fondness that every one since has to live up to that level of detail. It set the bar early on in the way in which the aztec paint job had been applied, the intricacy of the engine construction and the attention to the precision of the decal application. The stand attachment to the base is still unique to this craft and while a tight fit it does the job more than adequately.

The Mirror Universe NX-01 continues the fine tradition established by its Prime Universe counterpart. While the magazine notes that there are several differences internally, there are only a few changes that mark the two apart from the outside. The ship's name has been changed to reflect the ISS addition plus there are two smaller Terran Empire emblems to the rear of the saucer as well as the large sword and planet front and centre. Perhaps the biggest and most noticable change are the two bright yellow "pincers" that reach around the curves of the primary hull to the port and starboard.

The underside and the engines are unchanged from the Enterprise of issue four although the accompanying magazine does reveal that things could have been very different had Rob Bonchune and not Doug Drexler been responsible for the final design.

The ship is, of course, a damn fine model but the magazine is just as much a highlight. Based purely around In a Mirror, Darkly, we have in depth info on the differences between the Prime and ISS versions of the warp five starship in regards not just to the craft but also to her crew who are quite unlike the characters we came to know in the rest of the Enterprise series.

Designing the craft does offer a look at the NX-01 that might have been complete with teeth and a striking red paint job that extended beyond the saucer alterations that Drexler brought into sword markings on the engines and on the lower side of the primary hull. I actually think the Bonchune design is much more striking and interesting but I also get why they chose the Drexler adaptions since they would be easier to see on screen given the bright yellow contrast.

Rounding out the issue - which is standard length rather than the bigger "specials" magazines - is a feature with In a Mirror, Darkly writer Mike Sussman explaining the origins and desire to do a Mirror Universe story much earlier than season four. I'd also go back and read the article from the M1 edition to link the Shatner Mirror Universe story from the Reece-Stevens into the other potentials that never happened. 

Will we get any other "M" series ships? Who knows - I can only think that we might get something from Deep Space Nine but that Defiant was an absolute carbon copy of the original so that seems very unlikely. As for now this is a good addition from a solid early entry to the series that is still one of its best in every single way possible. Maybe one for the ultimate completest given the minimal changes but that takes nothing away from the quality of the final product.

What other ships should appear in the "M" line? Are there other online specials that should be done?

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