Thursday, 15 June 2017

100 - Our Top Ten Regular Issues and Looking Ahead

With the Eaglemoss Starships Collection hitting its 100th regular issue we decided it was time to club together and come up with our definitive top ten starships from the ton of models to date. 

Be ready for a few curve balls as we pick out the ones that made us smile and a few that didn't...! Welcome back to Tiff, Chris and Rob to help pick out our selection.

Enterprise NX 01

Everything that came after issue 4 was rated against the quality of the NX-01. The Aztec panelling, the lines, the clean finish and the beauty of the thing all worked harmoniously together to create Eaglemoss' most near perfect model. Whacking a Terran Empire sticker on her was just a blatant excuse to get it again. 

Armoured Voyager

"A daring and radical choice for Eaglemoss." says Chris. Too right because it was the first time the collection had effectively duplicated a ship (issue six being the original Voyager). This one came from the end of the show's finale, Endgame with the starship covered in ablative armour to shield it from the Borg. A beautiful if simple finish and a good tester for future modded issues such as the Rhode Island also from Endgame!
Another Enterprise winner which benefits from gorgeous finishing detail on such a small and thin frame. An utter surprise at how great this was on arrival have etched it firmly into our top ten ships from the collection. 

The Runabout

"Bit clunky but spot on." says Rob while Chris comments; "Great size, solid as hell and they really nailed the detail. It also had the torpedo rollbar which was effing cool."
Very cool indeed and the size of the model really played to the collection offering the chance to get a fantastic replica. 

A real stunner that benefited from being a regular issue rather than being crammed into an alien shuttle set of four. Popular from the moment it made its one and only appearance during In the Pale Moonlight, Eaglemoss crafted a replica that had to be bought. Well made, well finished and a classic stand out issue.

Romulan Drone

I'd say this is the most intricate model the regular editions have produced with antennae sticking out all over the place and a body that is split into multiple armoured sections and then covered with various holographic projection points. While it's not one of my favourite ships, the model here was spell-binding and a real work of art. She displayed well and was intriguing from every angle. A true collection masterpiece if not one for everybody.

USS Centaur

Explains Rob; "The greatest kitbash! Right down to the spindly nacelles and the tiny greebles!" 
Yep, a very popular ship from the latter 50 to date and one that opened up a whole new range of possibilities for Eaglemoss and hope for collectors that a lot of ships would get variants. Step forward Saratoga et al...

USS Appalachia

Steamrunner Class

One that Chris and I agree on is this classic from First Contact. "...unlike the Akira Class it has epic tattoo effect aztecing despite the rubbish deflector. It's a tough ship and looked badass."
Yep, I'd still have to class this among the best of the collection not just because I love the class but because it's a well-crafted tank of a starship. Gorgeous to the tip of its nacelles.

Jem'Hadar Fighter

Another early issue but a good one nonetheless. A simple two-tone silver and purple paint scheme highlights an incredible level of hull detail from bow to stern. The "bug" aesthetic really shone through on the model for the Dominion starship and made it an essential for all collectors. 

USS Horizon

Rob is all over the 100th issue, adding it straight into the top ten; "It's a model I never thought I would get to own. It has origins right back to the creation of Star Trek and is a fantastically simple design that Eaglemoss has managed to improve with the addition of sensor palettes, hatches, weapon points and the deflector. It fits right in!"

And the Worst...

Malon Freighter

Hilariously referred to in certain circles as the "poop ship", the Malon Freighter is just, well, brown and dull. Modelling-wise it has some fine detail in there but it's a brown slab from front to back that packs all the excitement of an empty chocolate wrapper. Uninspiring but necessary.

USS Enterprise 

NCC-1701 Refit

Or "How to Disappoint Your Collectors in One Move", the second issue of the collection was a bit of a disaster. The NCC-1701-D was gorgeous and a treat for starters but this was awful. Bad joins, wonky engines, a terrible paint job with no aztec scheme and a badly stuck on deflector dish. Not up to scratch in any way and the "A" variant 70 issues later only corrected a few of the blips.

Federation Holoship

If the Malon Export Vessel was the "Poop Ship" then this is the TV Remote. No offence to the John Eaves design but this is essentially two pieces of plastic stuck together. Best they could have done? Quite possibly but it's a real oddment from the series that sets course for Boredom.


Now onto the next few issues and our usual glance to the future of the collection - what are we looking forward to...?

Klingon D5

One for the Enterprise fan among us but no question this will be a high detail extravaganza as any of the prequel models are. Always good to see the Klingons but not one that many will really remember even though it is a lovely design.
Anticipation Level: 2/5

Vidiian Starship

Looks weird, flies weird, it's pink. The Vidiian starship is a big chunk of kit and we are promised that the Voyager baddies' ship will carry a subtle aztec paint scheme. Personal opinion this one should have been done a lot earlier. Now, which way round is it....
Anticipation Level 3.5/5

USS Jenolan 

One more for the kitbashers with the ship from the brilliant Relics. Formerly an executive shuttlecraft in The Undiscovered Country it got flipped and nacelled up to become the Sydney Class NCC-2010. Very much wanted and very much looking forward to this one. Model looks good from the preview pic.
Anticipation Level: 4.5/5

Smugglers' Ship

Previewed recently in its full model mockup, the ship from Unification makes a wanted appearance and ahead of any news on the much-used craft from The Next Generation's Gambit. One of those briefly seen ships, this craft has been on a few must have lists I've seen dotted around. Early shots look good.
Anticipation Level: 3/5

Kazon Warship

Another one as with the Vidiian starship that should have appeared some time ago BUT saying that it would mean that we were just getting oddballs every issue. A very distinctive shape, the Kazon vessel will keep a lot of Voyager fans happy but seeing as this and all the other versions are virtually identical except for size I doubt we will see any others.
Anticipation Level: 3/5

Klingon Bird-of-Prey 

(attack formation)

Waaaaaaaaaaay back in issue three the Klingon's most distinctive starship appeared in its cruise configuration with wings up and open. Now we have one of the rare variants within the series following on from the likes of the Reliant/Saratoga and the standard and armoured versions of Voyager.  One I have seen requested but I don't think we will get a 'landed' option anytime soon. Should be well detailed and will be interesting to see if the modelling has moved on much since those early days.
Anticipation Level: 3/5

Cheyenne Class

The second of the infamous Wolf 359 collection kicked off with the New Orleans Class USS Kyushu in issue 95. More compact, this kitbash is sure to be a huge success when released because we all love a good Federation starship especially one that doesn't get much press. Love the styling with the quad-engines here and those pencil warp nacelles.
Anticipation Level: 4/5 

Borg Queen's Diamond

Wow. The preview pic on this looks absolutely gorgeous. Without even a blink of an eye this has to be the best Borg ship to date and is based on the design used in Voyager. Fingers crossed that the preview is the finished item with this one!
Anticipation Level: 5/5

Springfield Class

Straight from Ben Robinson on his birthday came this new shot of the USS Chekov; a curvy screen-filler that is the third of the Wolf 359 quartet. Nothing seen of this one except those lovely original model pics but promises to be a stunner from all angles. There's clear echoes of the Nebula and Galaxy Classes here but I'm most intrigued about those back end lines - one of the more bizarre Federation starship designs if ever there was. Glad I held off posting this up until this shot appeared!
Anticipation Level: 4/5

Captain Proton's Rocket Ship

Another one we've had a shot of recently in all its monochromatic glory. Have to admit this wasn't one I was expecting at any point in the series namely because, technically, it doesn't actually exist being only a recreation on the Voyager holodeck. If nothing else that fact alone makes it unique. The Rocket Ship will most certainly stand out from the other ships because of its distinctive '50's paint-job and styling. Really excited for this one just because it's different!
Anticipation Level: 4.5/5

USS Phoenix

These issues after 100 are sure supplying a lot of variants with this being one more on the pile. The big difference between this and the USS Bonchune Nebula Class from issue 23 will be the AWACS style read pod that adorned this, the first of the Nebula Class ships to appear in The Next Generation. I'm not gagging for the arrival of the Phoenix but the collection would feel incomplete without it. Just need a USS Bozeman now and everyone's happy.
Anticipation Level: 2.5/5

Lokirrim Fighter

A modified Akritirian warship, the fighter and the warship versions of the craft were not dissimilar in the Voyager episode Body and Soul. One of the more random alien craft from the show it makes me wonder when things like the Vaardwar fighters might make an appearance. Am I bothered about this one? Only to complete the set. Possibly my most unanticipated ship of the series which means it'll be an absolute blinder.
Anticipation Level: 1/5

Challenger Class

Just when you think they're all done along comes the fourth and final ship from the Wolf 359 fleet. This one has some weird lines - just look at the nacelle angles on this Rick Sternbach kitbash photo. Admittedly it was a quick fix for the graveyard scene in The Best of Both Worlds, Part II and whether Eaglemoss make adjustments will be interesting...
Anticipation Level: 3.5/5

Tellarite Starship

The Lokirrim fighter is one thing but this is another entirely. While they are an oft mentioned race it is again one of those that won't be on many - if any - must have lists. A reuse of a season two Enterprise guest craft (Arkonian Destroyer) it would see action again as the Xindi-Arboreal ship. Bit meh in my opinion and again an issue filler. Best pic I could find is this rendering from Reddit
Anticipation Level: 1.5/5

Shuttles Pack Three

We already know that pack three will contain the Observation Pod from the classic movies, the Work Bee alongside the Type-11 shuttle from Insurrection and finally the Argo from Nemesis. The first two have already been teased and look stunning so I can only believe that the latter pairing from The Next Generation movies will be just as damn gorgeous. While the pod will have a blanked out windscreen, the Work Bee WILL have clear plastic to show off the interior. Definite plus points and a first for the collection.
Anticipation Level: 5/5

USS Aventine

One from the ever-continuing novel series and under the command of Ezri Dax, the Vesta Class starship's arrival is the result of The Trek Collective's online petition to have her and the USS Titan included. The recent preview pic has given us all hope that this will be an awesome model and one that will be quickly snapped up by collectors. I'm impressed!
Anticipation Level: 4.5/5

USS Titan

Riker's command after the end of Nemesis is a big fan favourite from the novel series and the Tobias Richter designed Luna Class is another ship destined to be in the online shop soon. The preview pic here to the left looks a lot lighter than the model we saw on Ben Robinson's desk a few weeks earlier so I'm anticipating that this has been photo-shopped down a couple of shades as it looked better in the darker grey. 
Anticipation Level: 4.5/5

And that's your lot! A good range of ships to come and now that we can say these are the ones due out between issues 102 to 115 plus the two "novel" starships I'm happy to preview with some certainty! What are you excited about?

USS Horizon image courtesy of Rob Gibson

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