Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Delivery from Doomsday: The Official Starships Collection Special Edition - The Planet Killer

One of the franchise’s most iconic alien spacecraft has unexpectedly joined the Official Starships Collection.

Rocking in at 22cm in length, the Planet Killer from Star Trek’s brilliant The Doomsday Machine is initially an odd choice to supersize as part of the specials but there is a twist to the tale here.

The very shape of this one is odd to start with and Eaglemoss haven’t taken the easy route by simply making it symmetrical along the centre vertical axis which could have been enticing. Instead the shape and surface is uneven, angular and twisted just as we saw in the classic 1967 episode. The rear third of the craft is metal while the front two-thirds are plastic and separated into an upper and lower half - with good reason!

Aligning this to the original was potentially easier since I would expect the CG renderings for the remastered The Original Series would be the prime source to get this one screen accurate. The larger scale definitely benefits the contorted shape of the Planet Killer as does the point that this is 100% decal clean, finished only by the mottled blue/white/grey paintwork. The painting is totally different with the combination of colours creating a sort of organic/metallic feel that resembles the finished craft onscreen and gives the sensation of depth to the otherwise smooth, stepped hull. It's also a very crisp and clean paint job with no screaming errors and fantastic consistency.

This covers the whole thing so you might feel the price tag is a bit steep for something that is a very simple (but well executed) design. Yet this one does pack a unique feature which illustrates that Eaglemoss are thinking outside the box just as they did with the glow in the dark USS Defiant as part of the bonus editions series. 

Hidden under a well camouflaged and magnetically closed panel is a small battery compartment which takes two SL41 watch-style batteries. Fitting is a little fiddly with you needing to unscrew the top of the internal compartment and then push the batteries in and then cram back into the gap for the unit.

Fitted back into the Planet Killer, there’s a little push button which activated an LED bulb set at the back of the craft’s open maw. This illuminates the interior space and does, quite literally, bring the ship to life. The bulb is a dead simple solution very well inserted into this distinctive ship design and does escalate it beyond the usual standard of models. The interior of the maw is also an inset rippled plastic piece which gives a rather cool visual effect that makes this feel as close to the original design as can be. The inset does stand a little proud of the rest of the hull but that doesn't detract from the visual power of the light effect.

The lighting effect is decent but not overpoweringly bright, giving off enough light to illuminate the cavernous mouth of the Planet Killer and it looks ace. Certainly it’s one of the simplest models from all strands of the collection although not as basic as the Fesarius since there’s a worn, uneven and angular hull that gives that awesome look.

For display the craft sits atop a double cupped cradle which doesn’t offer anything in the way of support l, more providing an aesthetic display than ensuring it won’t be maw-planting the carpet/wood floor/quarry tiles in the coming weeks. Make sure it’s on a deep shelf would be my suggestion!

The special edition magazine has a lot of CG images newly created and also from the remastered episode. The model shots from the original episode are conspicuous by their absence and it’s not sitting well that the original vision of Star Trek seems to have been cast aside in favour of the updated versions from only a few years back. 

Covering the episode, the magazine relates the events surrounding the encounter with the Planet Killer as well as views of the craft to compare to the "real" thing. The rest of the pages are turned over to discussing the development of The Doomsday Machine episode from the mind of Norman Spinrad plus some side notes on how he nearly contributed to Star Trek beyond The Original Series. It's fairly standard background information and is kept very relevant to the model it's packaged with.

The Planet Killer is perhaps not the most inspiring model to arrive and for some it may seem overpriced especially as it's a special rather than a regular issue. That said, the larger scale has allowed the welcome inclusion of the lighting element which makes a big impact when used and gives a more impressive feel to the end result. 

A rare chance to get hold of a decent scale model of this creation and definitely one you should go for.

The Planet Killer is available now at selected retailers and online via the Eaglemoss shop RRP £29.99

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