Friday, 20 July 2018

Third Instalment: The Official Discovery Starships Collection Issue Three: USS Kerala

Eaglemoss' latest Discovery release is the Shepard Class USS Kerala NCC-1255. Liam Maccreadie is our new collection reviewer and here's his first entry! 

I don't recall seeing this ship during Discovery, so which one is it you might ask? Well, it's the ship that's become affectionately become known to me as the upside down Shenzou. If you're really keen you'll probably spot it during the Battle at the Binary Stars back in the episode of the same name!

The Kerala also reminds me of the NX class Enterprise but re-envisioned. I'm going to call it more than a passing family resemblance but don't get me wrong, this isn't just a cheap cop out by reversing the design as she has all her own perks.

Let's start with the registry which looks great in white and is the proper way around unlike the sideways saucer-running NCC-1227 on the Shenzhou.

Carrying on along the dorsal section the aztecing is really well pronounced and helps separate the detail with the grey sections of the hull. Heading on along the warp nacelle struts are some nice decals and small window details, which luckily aren't ruined by misalignment as there wisely are no indents which have ruined the final impression of many a regular collection starship.

Over to the warp nacelles and they are reminiscent of the Discovery engines although they are slightly shorter in this case. The paint application is well executed on the bussard collectors to the front complimented again with some nicely defined Starfleet pennants on the sides.

Flipping to the rear and we have bright red impulse engines however I can't help but feel they would look better with plastic inserts instead of just painted blocks. The fronts of the nacelles are nicely detailed and recessed, almost the "upsode down" versions of the ones from Discovery minus a bit of that substantial tapered lengthThe double nacelle struts are a nice touch and give the ship an impressively detailed look from the back.

Saving the best until last, the ventral section is what I consider to be her best side.

The underside is almost entirely metal and we have some really nice detailing starting at the rear and running along the middle; think Shenzhou top side but slightly more discreet. We also have aztecing, running lights, lots of tiny windows and Starfleet pennants running along several different hull levels. Indeed there's lots of great work has gone in here which culminates on the deflector housing and dish. This has been askew on a lot of models and can be easily adjusted but on mine was fine.

The magazine has a nice feature about designing the USS Kerala and shows how the design came about. Subscribers also get their hands on a free binder which has some wonderful shots of the upcoming ships. Personally, I prefer the magazine size as they store a lot better and take up less space than the regular collection issues.

The previous two ships in the collection have been great and this is no exception. I'm glad I decided to keep with the subscription and already the preview shots of issue four - the Klingon Bird of Prey and issue five's USS Europa are showing Eaglemoss is continually pushing the barrier to deliver us better ships each month and if these carry on at the £30 price tag it's a very reasonable price to pay for the quality..

What are your thoughts on the Kerala? Good execution by Eaglemoss?

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