Saturday, 14 May 2022

The Nebula Class: Eaglemoss XL USS Bonchune

Debuting in TNG's fourth season, the Nebula Class would be the first new Federation starship design to grace TV screens since the arrival of the Galaxy Class USS Enterprise in Encounter at Farpoint.

While it is a blatant reworking of the Galaxy Class itself, the Nebula Class would undergo several minor reworkings over its time on screen across TNG, DS9 and fleetingly VGR with the alterations here coming from one of the versions visible during DS9's sixth season.

Ok. Obvious one out of the way from the off, those windows ain't aligning perfectly. I know you expect it however, wise move is that most of the windows apart from the ones at the very edge of the saucer are all decalled on meaning there's no errors there at least. ON the underside, the deflector "squares" are all over the place but thankfully it's underneath.. Lesson learned? I doubt it.

Honestly though, the heavy saucer section of the Bonchune is gorgeous. The aztecing is sharp, lifeboat markings are in the right place and generally line up with the raised hull sections as they should. The ship registry is more than legible with a clear red outline on the numbers - it's all seemingly falling nicely into place here isn't it?

It really does have a great finish which leaves you head-scratching why the D wasn't updated after this. Anyway, we have the more sensible sensor pod at the back rather than the  AWACS monstrosity that was attached to the USS Phoenix or the mini-nacelles of the Melbourne

What I have noticed with this one though is that there are some little paint scuffs and flecks which I've not noticed as much elsewhere. However here along the edges of that triangular rear pod there are a couple. These stand out more because of the light base coat underneath over a darker green/brown segment. 

That said, the pod itself is well detailed with a large amount of grille work plus some very nicely painted up RCS thrusters. Also on the pod, something that I would never have seen or expected replicated - the ship registry and United Federation of Planets script. It's a minor detail but one that onscreen you may never have really seen. Minor kick here is that some of the gold detail has been misaligned and is 50% grey. I would also really like to know the significance of the numbers along the grille edges.

Even the connecting neck section between the pod and hull has been meticulously detailed up with some distinct panel work to the rear and again, the inclusion of a tiny ship registry. The Bonchune feels so very complete because of these touches. The painting in some places (especially around the pod) isn't at Eaglemoss' best yet there's something satisfying about the end result. God, even the fact that my sensor pod is sitting at an angle hasn't put me off.

The distinct aztec over the duck egg blue paint finish continues into the engine pylons. So distinctly reused from the Galaxy Class, the finish is incredibly clean and precise. This isn't shock, it's acknowledgement of a really good job. The use of translucent sections for the grilles and bussard collectors was a standard requirement here and would have made left the model a little flat but hey, they're all in there and look great.

One great touch is the precision job that's been done on the main deflector. Even though this is underneath the ship, the colours don't bleed and each ring of the element is clear to distinguish.

The problem does however lie with a good chunk of the ventral section of the secondary hull because, apart from the Starfleet pennant and the horizontal phaser beam, the alignment of windows and the cargo doors to their physical locations is criminal. The cargo doors are horribly all over the place so if you're displaying, stick this on a low shelf so you'll be looking down on her rather than up. OK, this means you don't see the lovely deflector but it's a price you'll have to pay to appreciate the finer parts of the Bonchune. Honestly, look at the emergency warp core eject hatch and that pennant and you'll see that the aztecing doesn't line up. It's not central and it bugs me to the ends of the earth. 

The accompanying magazine takes a let turn and focuses on TNG's The Wounded. Stepping more into the background of the episode, it discusses more around the prominence of O'Brien, the arrival of the Cardassians and Captain Maxwell than the Nebula Class. There is of course some page space dedicated to the development of the class and the use of the models onscreen both in space and as props.

Final line here; the Nebula Class manages to excite and disappoint with the simple flip of a hull. The top is gorgeous, clean and almost perfect aside from a few tickles that are more than likely issues of mass production. But then the underside of the ship just tosses that good will aside for some inexcusable misses. Is she worth a punt? Yes, but probably when there's a good Eaglemoss offer on because you might be upset at forking out the current price for an XL.

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Sunday, 24 April 2022

XL USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E

Re-released in a shiny, magnetically shutting display box, the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E is still a very sought after XL edition.

Now comfortably packed in a black box with black foam and the standard mini-magazine, the Enterprise-E XL is probably one of those Eaglemoss models that has the most to prove alongside the XL Excelsior Class editions.

Why? Because the original regular issues were frankly poor. The box size restricted the ship, the detail was horrendous and everything just seemed to go against them. In the larger scale there's a lot of room to make the necessary updates and kick those smaller ships out of the way.

In the case of the Enterprise-B this was exactly what happened and I was blown away by the quality of the XL, easily becoming one of my favourite display items. In the case of the Sovereign Class Enterprise-E I have mixed feelings.

Larger in every sense, this is still a mix of three different films, taking elements from First Contact, Insurrection and Nemesis to bring her to life. 

Lets start at the top. The first thing to get a handle on is that the surface is no longer as cluttered as its smaller predecessor. That had so much packed onto the small model that everything was falling over itself and the ship was lost underneath. Here there's more space for the ship to breathe and for the details to stand out for themselves. Lifeboat hatches (wisely decalled on) and markings are a lot more identifiable and the windows aren't crammed in with the aztec paint scheme.

That spacing means you can appreciate the scale and detail of the model itself much more easily. Yes, you know I'm going to touch on the point that window alignment is all over the place versus the recessed markers for them and annoyingly the RCS thrusters are a few millimetres out of sync with the hull. Those are fairly big disappointments but because of the issues with the small version your mind is willing you to really, really like it and ignore the flaws.

That aztec paint scheme on the ship is nowhere near as subtle as the magazine cover or the onscreen version might make you think with the contrast pattern dramatically blocked out across the hull. In contrast, the gold and gey patterning behind the bridge and over the main shuttlebay absolutely benefits from the scale increase as you can see the lining more clearly and again it's not clustered together.  There is a dip in the structure around this point which looks like a badly disguised join but at least the shuttle bay is recessed under the dock shuttlebay control box.

So too the plating detail along the top of the secondary hull. This does seem very cluttered but nowhere near as bad as before. The scale again allows this to appear more as a speckled finish than a blob. 

What I can't get my head around is how the more brown finish there and also on the underside of the E hull can be accurate. Everything else you see - including the magazine in the box - portrays this as a more grey colouring in keeping with the saucer patterning. However, on the model it's in a mottled beige/grey that just looks odd and this runs right the length of the ship. Bizarrely the top speckling/aztecing is the same colour but when it's condensed into such a small area there's no doubt it's giving off brown tones.

At the front of the secondary hull we do have the deflector dish, here rendered gold rather than a yellow that was seen on screen. I'm also questioning the colouring of the Captain's Yacht in its under-saucer dock because it's definitely in contrast to the regular edition version.

Onto the warp engines. These are more a replica of the versions that appeared on the E in Insurrection and Nemesis when they were slightly extended hence part of the reason this is something of a "cobbled together" final product.  The design of these pieces is excellent while the finish is a bit more questionnable.

For one, the striping on the pylons is slightly sloppy with the edges of the grey and black lines frayed in places. The bussard collectors are strongly featured and Eaglemoss have utilised their translucent plastics to open up the warp grilles along the top of each nacelle. To the rear there is some nice greyed inset detailing and of course the ship registries at the tips.

Tragically though, collectors will get to see just how those blue elements atop the warp engines are connected since they are pegged from the top in four distinct points. Rarely do we get to actually and obviously see build issues on these craft yet this is one that does stick out in a very glaring position.

In the magazine we focus heavily on First Contact with both the work that went into creating a design for the upgraded Borg and the introduction of the Borg Queen taking centre stage. It's a good read and completes the package by keeping close to the focus of the product which always gets thumbs up from me.

Overall construction on the Enterprise-E is pretty decent and there's a lot of weight to the front. The saucer and the upper "spine" section of the engineering hull are metal here with the remainder in plastic. I was actually surprised just how heavy this one is. Genuinely I want to love this model and also the E itself but the more I look at it, the more I'm not convinced by the design. In turn this might be affected by the paint job that makes it more brown than grey. That warp grille issue also bugs me to be honest and I'm not sure I can see past it.

The details on the A actually worry me less than they do here and while Eaglemoss definitely have stepped their game up from the regular mini version, it still feels a long way off an accurate edition of the Sovereign Class from any angle or movie.

Fans will want this one in their collection because of its screentime and significance but beware disappointment.

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Monday, 18 April 2022

Shuttles 8: It Ain't Starfleet

After seven set of Starfleet auxiliary craft, Shuttles Eight takes us into other territories.

Bringing together four ships from the Klingons, Ferengi, Xindi and Vulcans, this mixed set covers ENT, TNG and DS9 with something of a soup of appearances.

Each of the shuttles comes in its own package within the larger set box and includes a mini-stand, wafer-thin A5 magazine and lithograph print. The stands usually seem a bit of a waste but in the case of both the Vulcan and Xindi ships they are essential for display.

So let's tackle these in issue order. This set covers 29 - 32 which sort of adheres to the timeline of appearances. First up therefore is the Vulcan Shuttle as seen in ENT, more often than not docked with a Suurok Class vessel. It's the most streamlined of the four with some marvellous panel work and spotted detail on the hull. For a ship that was most often seen as part of another it's great to see it up close.

Of course it bears the marks of the Vulcan ships from the NX-01 era in its brown paint scheme and the hoop warp engine. What puts this and the Xindi Assault Shuttle apart from the Klingon and Ferengi options is that these two were CG creations. This shows through in the amount of surface detail they have in comparison to the ships introduced in TNG

The Vulcan Shuttle is by no means a very big craft, probably slightly smaller than some of the Kelvin Timeline (set four) Shuttles but with a more distinct finish. The stand also holds the craft in a certain way so watch out here the "kinks" are and line them up with the indents of the shuttle.

I do like this one even given its small stature because you can still make out the surface detail and the painting actually lines up to what it needs to represent - even down to the light blue of the warp engines on the ring. 

Number two up in this pack is the Xindi Assault Shuttle seen exclusively in the third season of ENT. Used by Degra and later Archer on an infiltration mission, the Assault Shuttle is insanely well detailed with extensive panelling from bow to stern. The metal finish is given a two-shade contrast to help distinguish the hull markings and it works more than adequately. 

The blue and darker grey elements are precisely painted in and assist in finishing off the industrial look of the vessel. The upper weapon spike is the main metal element here and ties the parts of the ship together. Visually you'd be hard pushed to tell what was plastic and what wasn't.

Seriously, the panel work is top class as is the colouring of the blue inset segments particularly up and along the edge of the upper weapons spike which protrudes from the rear. Again, it requires the stand and slots firmly in once you line it up with the half-circle grips. Sadly given its shape it just won't stand on its own.

Even the back end is well-worked with fantastic precision in the shell-like hull pieces leading back to the exhaust port. It is, like the Vulcan Shuttle, stupidly small for the price when you work out the individual price for each shuttle but it is well crafted.

Third, we have the Ferengi Shuttle. Most notably appearing in TNG's The Price and DS9's Little Green Men, the distinctive support craft is one that fans will have been waiting for in these sets.

Retaining the sandy Ferengi paintjob as well as the pincers which echo the larger Marauders, the shuttle is the highlight of the pack. With a two-tone hull colouring, the panelling remains simple but the grid lines are fairly distinct. Given the scale this s pretty nice to see and personally, the craft looks better here than it did on TV.

It's the little details here - the yellow of the warp engines and the Ferengi emblems being just two. The tonal shift on the surface doesn't even make it onto the cover of the magazine and definitely adds to the depth of this little ship. The top segment also includes blue engine exhausts to the rear and also the entry port, both of which are once more very crisply added to the model.

Last in here is the Klingon Toron Class Shuttle. Ok, this one is a bit of a love/hate model. Utilised as several other one-man craft over the course of TNG including Rasmussen's pod from A Matter of Time and the Nenebek from Final Mission, this version is as seen in season seven's Gambit.

Simple, blocky and if nothing else, functional, the shuttle bears zero similarities to any Klingon ships - but then you have to consider that the TNG production team were shaving costs wherever they could.

The pint on this one does seem a little heavy with the sharp panel lines we see on the magazine and on screen somewhat softened on the final product. With only two main colours - brown and black - there's little that can go wrong. Do note that there are some signs of wear on the surface especially around what I suspect are the engine units blocked to the sides and above the rear entry hatch. It's also quite weighty given its size but then the majority of the upper hull is full metal. 

Against the other ships in this pack, the Klingon shuttle sticks out a mile with its plain finish and blocky shape. It's also one that we would expect to turn up in this series but would it have been better as the Nenebek? I guess keeping it themed to different races took priority here.

As noted at the start, each shuttle also comes with a LCARS lithograph print. This was absolutely perfect for the Starfleet/Federation ships but with this selection it might have been more logical to use each of the different races own graphics as part of the illustrations. The LCARS images are also on the last pages of the individual magazines.

Unfortunately and in keeping with the previous 28 magazines, the CG in each of them is first class but there's almost no substance, no background and no design processes covered. I think with these fans would have appreciated a ton more detail on how they all came to be - and just how many redressed that Klingon shuttle had over time.

Shuttles Seven included the first non-Starfleet ship with Cyrano Jones' Spacematic so it was then only a matter of time until we have a series of alien race craft. These don't disappoint for the most part even if the Vulcan and Xindi versions could do with being a little bit bigger. Worth a look, especially if there are some decent Eaglemoss offers on the board.

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Sunday, 17 April 2022

XL USS Pegasus

Unusually for an XL, the name has been changed on this occasion.

The original collection version took the details of the USS Grissom from The Search for Spock while this upsized edition acquires the registry of the infamous USS Pegasus otherwise known as the testbed for the controversial phasing cloak.

Now before we get into how and why that certain piece of technology contravenes the Treaty of Algeron let's see what this huge upscaling of the Oberth Class has to offer.

On first inspection it's easy to tell there have been some key changes to the model that bring it in line more with the screen used item. The Grissom suffered from an incredibly dark paint scheme with blocky, dark grey segments not just around the bridge but also on the warp engines. Those engine panels are now gone and the darker grey has been turned down to a much less glaring shade that works better with the equally dialed down off-white of the main hull. 

Looking at the images of the Grissom from The Search for Spock it's evident that the original collection model wasn't all that aligned. We also have to remember that the Pegasus was the reworking of a model that had been in the Star Trek system from 1983 and had appeared as several vessels during the 10 years it had been used. 

That said, the Pegasus retains a light and dark contrast particularly round the bridge and with the silver elements that cover off the front of the secondary hull but it's more subtle in its appearance.

Windows on the hull are better defined here (but not better aligned) and the deep panel lines of the original are less severe. This in turn lets the aztec paint scheme flow more naturally across the hulls and actually add more detail to the large flat area to the rear of the dome. 

It's the little details too. The striping on the dome and the engine tops has less width to each of the lines but is more precise. The dark grey behind the bridge no longer slaps you in the face with the detail again a more realised blend of colours than a paint by numbers block. 

While Grissom onscreen did have a sequence of darker panels on the engines, they didn't seem to be as glum as those on the first version. Here on the Pegasus Eaglemoss have chosen to keep the units covered with the main paint scheme that in turn allows for the Starfleet pennants to stand out even more obviously against the lighter base coat. Check out the grilles to the back which aren't block painted but instead have each of the vanes coloured in. Big step up on the quality.

Also spot the removal of two darker panels from the pylons and a touch of highlighting just under the grilles to the rear of the engines themselves. Now both that  block on the pylon and the recessed detail panels on the underside of the primary hull are given a light blue paint up that offers up a less visceral contrast. At the thinned rear there has been a removal of, again, the darker panelling and in its place, the aztecing. On my original edition the painting at that point was pretty grim and feathered but not here.

Now, we have to take anything beyond about a third of the way along the Pegasus hull with a pinch of salt since it was all buried inside an asteroid but you can't deny that the painting changes make a huge difference to the look and feel of this impressive XL. 

As for the build itself, all the hallmarks of a revision to the original kit are there. The upper panel of the secondary hull fits more seamlessly, the definition of the warp field generator by the bridge dome is clearer.

On the underside - something that we didn't see clearly on screen - there's an additional Starfleet pennant on the forward silver hull section and I have to wonder if that ship registry shouldn't be the other way round. On the Grissom it could be read from the front while here the Pegasus registry arcs the wrong way. 

The model is pretty heavy too with the majority of that primary hull section coming in metal and the lower hull in plastic. But it just goddamn works in every sense. Ok, some of the screen accuracy versus the Pegasus has to be taken lightly but there's no question that the rehacking of the paintwork alone takes this XL up more than just a notch from the Grissom

Ok, some of the decals and windows on the dome are more than just a little out and this pisses me off royally however the positives very clearly outweigh the negatives. As we saw with the size increase for the Runabout, Delta Flyer and the Equinox, the smaller vessels do receive the best attention and upgrades when it comes to this larger scale. The detail possibilities go to a new expectation. 

I recall when the Grissom arrived I was a little dishearted but with the Oberth Class version because of that colour scheme which made it look more toy than starship. Here that's been obliterated with a lot more attention to that finishing look. Of course the larger size offers more significant panel definition from the off and that in turn just adds to both a more impressive visually and tactile response to the product. 

Let's just say it straight, Eaglemoss smashed it out of the park with this one and by some distance. There's no way I would choose to have the Grissom on the shelf when there's a Pegasus rocking it out (unless I was REALLY pushed for space!) but hands down this is one of those XLs that everyone just needs to get. This is an XL where Eaglemoss have learned, revisited their source material and made some strong design choices.

In the magazine we have a recount of The Pegasus from TNG's seventh season before diving right back into The Search for Spock and behind the scenes material from the key third movie. 

It's a brilliant package and one that eclipses the original by a country mile - quite a contrast to the 2009 USS Enterprise which didn't make that many step ups (reviewed yesterday). One hundred percent a core starship to add to the collection and even if you do have the regular-sized edition it's not even a thought that you'll need to add this.

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Saturday, 16 April 2022

XL USS Enterprise NCC-1701 (2009)


Of all the XLs this is the one where we see the least upgrades from the original. 

Not only that but it's a rare XL where the original was already larger than the regular editions. This was, if you recall, the second special edition and as such there's not a lot that's been achieved by making this ship slightly bigger.

Comparing this back to both the special edition and its screen ancestor, the Kelvin Timeline USS Enterprise, this version is pretty close to the original. The paint scheme picks out the aztec patterning and the grey panel highlights mirror the smaller version. One thing to notice immediately is that these grey elements are slightly lighter on the XL and the white a shade more crisp too. Admittedly my photography skills back in the day weren't the best but this newer edition does feel at least cleaned up.

Most significant are the joint lines on the engine and between the neck and saucer section. On the former the two halves meet much more cleanly at the top and along the length of the two warp nacelles. The grey detailing is now more prominent on the warp engines with even the rear exhaust ports gaining some much needed detailing. 

The secondary hull is now cleverly sectioned up with the sectioning changed from two hull left and right halves into a top and bottom section with an addition double section forming the neck. It is more complex but adds a great deal of structure to the ship and strength to the finish. Plus the horrid join line across the top of the secondary hull is now erased providing a cleaner curve. Underneath you can see how the new combination works with the bottom element extending front to back and slotting in to the upper piece.

Around the base of the pylons there's also been a tweak to the thickness of the grey striping which now goes all the way round rather than just underneath. Also just under the strikingly blue bussard collectors there are new grey cutouts adding to the colouring of the starship. Onde thing that is still missing however is the striping around the sides of the saucer but here that curve is just too tight to mark up. The collectors themselves also gain the white lining omitted before and look ten times better just with this screen accurate touch.

As for the secondary hull; on the special edition the joint line was gaping with the saucer only loosely fitting onto the secondary hull. The line from that point along the front of the neck is now a lot better aligned with the torpedo tube and element just below it now coloured - something that the slight size increase does afford. 

Docking ports on the side of the Engineering hull and also on the neck are now more prominent as are the RCS thrusters on the edge of the saucer. Ok, so this isn't a big rework but rather a refining of the first version released just under eight years ago and it does work. However I would be pushed to justify getting this if you've already forked out for the special edition. There isn't a huge amount different. Yes, the windows are slightly better aligned but the decals are just as good - except this version does now have the registry on the underside of the hull that was missing previously.

The upgrades of structure, painting and formerly omitted decals are the biggest things here and do add to the overall feel that this is more complete but anyone who already has a version will be disappointed. I am looking forward to lining this up with both the TOS version and DSC editions as a mini trio.

As for the magazine, the content barely touches the USS Enterprise and instead swings off on another direction linked to the 2009 Kelvin Timeline movie. Focusing heavily on the design and build of both the Enterprise and Nero's mammoth Narada, Eaglemoss makes it even more conspicuous that the antagonist's ship will never see its arrival in the collection. Lots of concept drawings and the standard array of background info is packed in here to cover the Romulans' mining starship from every angle.

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Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Bonus Edition: Talarian Observation Craft

Alas this is going to be a disappointment.

Even from just seeing this one in the box I was fairly convinced that the Talarian Observation Craft was going to be collection "filler" material. This is more relevant with the point that we've already had this ship in its more recognisable (later) form as the Tamarian ship from Darmok.

It's also very, very small. I guess that the vertical and horizontal dimensions forced it to be a certain size in line with the box but hey, it is what it is. In fact it's even packaged on its side.

At only just over the size of the black stand, the Observation Craft must clock in as one of the smallest (and probably most expensive) models released. 

Screentime for this ship wasn't extensive so comparisons have to be made more versus the CG images in the magazine. That said, the Talarian craft has a subtle two tone paint scheme that you can just catch in the light with some of its panels in a slightly more glossy finish. 

To be fair, surface detail is a little lacking here on both the metal and plastic sections of the main hull. The grilled portions of the two small rectangular wings are pretty clear but the mechanics that trim along the edges of the hull are barely raised. The scale utterly works against this ship with the differing levels of the hull surface blending a little too easily into each other. This in turn means that the darker brown paint detailing along the hull is patchy at best with the CG of the magazine showing up a lot of the challenges on this small scale ship.

At least the markings on the two vertical sail sections are spot on. At least. It also seems that the underside plastic insert has a degree more definition to some of its elements than the topside. Look in particular at the two pairs of circular elements two-thirds of the way along the hull and see how their shape seems that bit sharper in the plastic.

The same I think can be said for the grille work towards the nose. Now it's not that I don't like this ship. It's one of those I was surprised didn't show up in the 180 issues of the series instead of other multiples we endured that could have been left as bonuses. However, for the price Eaglemoss is asking (£19.99) it's a lot for something this small (also looking at you, Shuttles...)

The magazine recounts the events of TNG's Suddenly Human while also covering off the background of the Talarians and their various spacecraft. The designing section is awfully underwhelming and feels like it cuts off halfway through the story as you turn over after two pages into a piece on redresses of the model. Now I always love to see what else these things turn up as and this is no exception since it did the rounds quite impressively over the years.

Finally there's a much belated article on exec producer and writer Jeri Taylor who forged a good deal of Voyager's identity as well as key episodes from TNG such as Suddenly Human, Final Mission and the seminal Unification.

One hundred percent this is a completist ship that will leave a lot of collectors disappointed. It could have and should have been bigger to truly realise some of the detail but I guess this is all we're going to get. You're probably better digging out its incarnation from Darmok to appreciate the detail.

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Monday, 28 March 2022

XL Romulan Warbird

Debuting in TNG's first season closer, The Neutral Zone, the Romulan Warbird is easily one of the most recognisable starships in the whole of the Star Trek universe.

The big green cloaking machine has the notoriety in the original collection of being scarily unstable when docked on its stand. This one isn't much different so just be cautious where this is displayed and if in doubt, blu-tac/superglue/nail it into place.

As for the step up to XL, it's a positive move. The mould is a simple enlargement when it comes to the physical sections and Eaglemoss have made some improvements to ensure that it's not just a matter of cut and paste.

A common feature with the XLs has been the attention to paint schemes and the Warbird continues this trend. Coated in a lighter tone of green than the original, the darker sections then contrast more strongly against the base colour. That combined with an overall dirt wash do enhance the final visual effect of the model.

Right from the front the definition of the hull sections is a marked improvement. The windows on the nose section are raised and well painted on with, for the most part, colour and dot lining up. The plethora of porthole-shaped windows across the rest of the forward hull section seem sharper and more precisely applied. Right up on that nose there's also a much more detailed Romulan insignia. It's not 100% sharp but again, it's a step up.

Ok, so it's not quite the day-glo green of the TV show - and thank god it's not - but this seems more representative of the original craft and filming model not how it cleaned up for TV. The more apt paint scheme is definitely a major contributing factor but so is the panel lining. The inner surfaces of the neck and oval wing sections were neglected on the smaller issue four model but here there's no way to avoid those surfaces. Join lines are much cleaner with even more razor sharp panelling to be seen that helps bring the Romulan capital ship to life beyond the screen. Those inside surfaces are heavily panelled and just as well marked as the outer hull with Eaglemoss paying attention to add in the windows at the rear curve.

What you do notice is the asymmetrical panel patterning on both upper and lower surfaces. There are silver patches right across the ship dulled off through the dirt wash. That curved hull is very, very strong with every single centimetre of the hull seemingly packed with mechanical detail or some form of internal light.  The choice to dirty the Warbird up was a good one and what you do see more here is the unevenness of that hull finish. Plus it raises the detail to a more visible level. 

One consideration I was surprised didn't make it here are translucent elements in the front of the warp engines which leaves them a little "dead". The inner sides of them also have that lighter green warp grille and would have benefitted with a more energising finish than a coat of paint. 

But that's a minor gripe on what is an exceptional piece of modelling. The build quality of the Warbird is very solid and supported. The metal head and upper wing offer a good level of structure and effectively holds the thing together, also weighing it down slightly to the nose. 

The Warbird magazine offers a standard set of views of the classic starship before diving into the prolific work of its designer, Andy Probert.  Definitely worth the admission alone here complete with sketches and background material on his work. Just hope we get the concept Warbird sometime soon!

Check out all our Online Starships posts HERE

You can find out more on the Star Trek Online Official Starships Collection by visiting the Hero Collector website HERE

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