Tuesday, 10 November 2020

The Ultimate Ten: Our Final Look Back at The Official Starships Collection 1-180

One thing I promised to do was give a final rundown on The Official Starships Collection and pick the Ultimate Ten; those ships which represent the best of the best from Eaglemoss and made the series worth collecting to the very end.

...And to help out with tis one, I've welcomed back Simon from The Engage Podcast to split the pack and ensure we're lining up the Must Haves from all 180 issues...

Over to Simon first!

Firstly, I’ve got to say that second time around it was an even harder question to answer… as Eaglemoss have produced many incredible models over the seven years (since their UK launch in 2013).

On that note, I’d just like to thank Ben Robinson (and Eaglemoss) for what has got to be an called nothing short of an astonishing collection. As they managed to faithfully recreate numerous starships that us fans (or Ship Geeks) have wanted to own for decades. From the obvious to the obscure they covered them, and we couldn’t have been happier. Because through the hard work they put into every starship you could tell how passionate they are about what they’re doing.

I’d also like to spend a moment to recognise Zoe from over on their Facebook page as I can talk from personal experience (like other fans) if you’ve got a problem, she’s the person to talk to. She’s a real credit to the company, thank you Zoe for everything you’ve done. 

Just like before the ships I’ve chosen are (in my opinion) a higher quality than compared with some of the other models Eaglemoss have manufactured. Which is partly due down to the construction of the ships, as they have a higher ratio of die-cast metal than plastic. Which I think makes the ship ‘more realistic’ and better value for money.

Issue 52
USS Centaur NCC-42043

If you asked me at the start of the collection “what starships are you most excited about 
getting Simon?” this model wouldn’t have been on my list but Eaglemoss have done a great job recreating the USS Centaur which briefly appeared in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode A Time to Stand;. I also picked this model, as I think that the magazine that comes with it is also really well put together. Specifically, the ‘Designing the USS Centaur’ section which explains the unusual origins of this kit-bashed starship.

Issue 95 
New Orleans Class

In a similar vein to the USS Centaur, I’ve chosen the New Orleans Class as I think that it’s 
a great model of a starship we never saw in any real detail at the Battle of Worf 359 (wreckage seen in The Best of Both Worlds, Part II).

There are many other Battle of Worf 359 starships I could have chosen, but the New Orleans Class always intrigued me. This model also comes with another well put together magazine which once again looks specifically at how they ‘Designing the New Orleans Class’ including the clever use of highlighters in another one of the franchises kit-bashed starships!

Issue 142
Promellian Battle Cruiser

This starship design I’ve always loved since it’s appearance in the Star Trek: The Next 
Generation episode Booby Trap. So, when Eaglemoss announced that they were producing it I was ecstatic, and I wasn’t disappointed by what I received.

The level of detail on it is spectacular. As the greebling makes it highly tactile and really adds to the feel of the starship. Well done Eaglemoss! PS (from Clive: If you hadn't picked this one, Simon, I would have done...!)

Issue 148
Jem'Hadar Battle Cruiser

Seen on-screen for the briefest of moments in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode 
Valiant the menacing Jem'Hadar Battle Cruiser is as dangerous to your wallet as it was to the members of Red Squad. As Eaglemoss have done a fantastic job with all the Jem'Hadar starships scattered throughout the collection, but the Jem'Hadar Battle Cruiser is my favourite out of them all down to its quality and it’s sheer formidable ‘shelf presence’.

For my final choice I’ve decided to choose what is (in my opinion) the definitive starship Eaglemoss have produced. As it shows off what they’re capable of doing at their best… and it’s no secret amongst fans but that’s undeniably recreating the “ships of the week”. But because they were so fantastic at doing it, I’ve decided to put two starships in the spotlight.

Issue 88 and 175
Vahklas and Mondor

Like I say I couldn’t decide between the two, as they both have an amazing attention to detail 
for their size. They equally have an almost total metal construction… but differ in the way that they’re worth buying.

The Vulcan Vahklas (seen in Fusion) is worth putting on your desk for the hull design work. Whilst the Mondor (seen in Samaritan Snare and incognito during Lower Decks finale No Small Parts) is worth picking up simply because of its incredible accuracy paint apps.

I think that both are unfortunately somewhat overlooked but are great value for money. Great work Eaglemoss!

Now back over to Clive for the Final Five...

Issue 143

Famed for its brisk demise in The Search for Spock plus its multiple reuses in The Next Generation et al, the Merchantman model is a spectacular feat. The metallic paintwork, the engine detail and that sweeping body shape are an element of the '80's in one single starship package. We waited for ages for this one and were not disappointed. Nearly ruined by the choice to then produce the modified version only a few issues later when they could have been separated out a little bit more (also worst offender for that - Bajoran Transport and Smugglers' Ship).


Issue 49

ECS Fortunate

The ships from Enterprise never failed to impress; even the rubbish ones from a single episode, but with the Fortunate the gauntlet was laid down firmly - here was a single episode ship with an incredible finish. The slender shape was sharply detailed and each of the cargo pods numbered. It was a minor point but given the tiny scale of this one, it has to rank as one of the collection's greatest achievements in such a small package.

Further note, I could have easily picked five models from Enterprise for my selection but I managed to restrain myself!

Issue 77
Romulan Shuttle

Here's a curveball choice and not totally because it's a cool model.

The Deep Space Nine single episode appearance of the ship from In the Pale Moonlight made a big impact on fans - possibly just because of the brilliance of the story - but also because this was an unusual Romulan ship never seen before or since. The model was a real pleasure to photograph with all those metallic surfaces and clever use of negative space which is in keeping with the larger D'deridex warbird that is echoed in its design. 

Issue 54
Steamrunner Class

A brutal, chunky muthaf**kin' badass ship design one step away from being the big brother who would come and punch up the school bully for you after he stole your pocket money, the USS Appalachia is the pinnacle of the anti-Borg 24th Century Starfleet redesign strategy. Eaglemoss, I think, succeeded more with this than they did with the earlier USS Thunderchild and created a model that effectively demonstrated its nature. Side note, I do love the design so I’d have been gutted if this had been cocked up.

Issue 4
Enterprise NX-01

My god. Still to this day just looking at this one gives me chills and cemented the fact that the collection was going to be immense in every way. I was fortunate enough to have this one sent to me by Eaglemoss pre-release (but after the trial run) and I was bowled over in a second. The detail, the highlights, the panelling, the decals, the scale and even the weight of the damn thing are spot on perfect and even though this isn't close to being my favourite ship in the franchise, Eaglemoss smashed this - NAY OBLITERATED - the park a mere four issues into the collection. Was every other ship since that date rated against this one...totally.

With that we're closing out out coverage of the collection. Thanks again to Simon for his input - but do you think there were better selections to be had? What are your ultimate ten?

Read all our other reviews of The Official Starships Collection from issue ONE here.

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