Thursday, 16 November 2017

Tribble Trouble: The Official Starships Collection Deep Space Station K-7

What is not to love.

Since Deep Space Nine - actually more likely since issue one of the Collection, fans have been asking/demanding that we get more starbases - Spacedock, Regula One, the Caretaker Array - and one in particular.

K-7 is as iconic as the episode in which it featured in 1967. A spinning outpost packed with quadrotriticale and the centre of attention for both the Enterprise and the IKS Groth, it’s unusual design makes it instantly recognisable. 

Now Eaglemoss have brought that beauty down onto the diecast level and by gum has this been worth the wait. Arriving in one of the biggest specials boxes to date, K-7 is, as always, styrofoam packed to ensure damage-free delivery. 

Easing her tenderly out, this is definitely one of the largest models to date with a diameter of xxcm so be sure to plan your shelf space in advance. 

Starting down at the cylindrical base, the series producers have even managed to include a shuttle bay and not just sealed doors with actual depth to the open deck disappearing back into the main structure. The panelling here and at every point is kept very simple with everything seeming to spread out from the central core of the station. There are one or two panels highlighted in a darker shade but these are few and far between on this item.

Travelling vertically the shuttlebay is connected by a slender strip of plastic which leads up towards the main central hub of the station. Here, first, there’s another larger circular section from which the trio of outer modules are attached. As with the other classic remastered vehicles from The Original Series, the detail is minor, with the shape and overall style being more in dominance of the design rather than a lot of flashy finishing touches.

That base actually sits into the claw shaped display holder. It's a good fit and with the base being a hefty metal weight it certainly keeps K-7 grounded and looks fantastic out on display. Wish Deep Space Nine had something official to stand it on like this one but hey, different times...!

Now we do like a good greeble but putting this alongside the NCC-1701 or a Klingon D7 if it was super detailed would just look plain wrong. Here minimal is optimal and from that grey mid-cylinder you are drawn up to the large mushroom head of K-7. That uniform space grey colour is in every orifice of the station yet even on the top of the central unit there are defined panel lines which do function to take a degree of over-simplification away. Eaglemoss have scored the panelling in very precisely on this circular hull and there’s no horrid blobby buildup of paint.

Topside is the most prominent of the details on the station being the United Federation of Planets banner printed around the structure and K-7 just above on the cone-shaped command unit. All the windows here and out on the KA, KB and KC trio of pods are, as you would expect from Eaglemoss, completely misaligned with the surface details moulded onto the station. In respect to the upper ones on the central structure, they almost slip onto the darker grey top aerial. My aerial did come a little bent however with some encouragement it has now gone straight.

The station, above the shuttlebay is totally plastic and it's the only way that the three outer units would feasibly work. scored with vertical panelling lines, the arms reach out to the three small structures, two of which are "lit" red and the third, "green". Aside from the lettering and colours, the three are identical and there's not even a glimmer of difference in quality between them. Very nice and to some degree they are scaled down versions of the large central piece with the cylindrical unit replaced with the connecting point of the arms.

I love the 1960's basic design here. The lines are so clean and the lack of detail makes this even more enticing as a piece. Even when you turn her over the underside is equally simple; just the grey and that splayed panel design which has everything emanating from the middle of each unit whether outlying or the large core.

This feels like a no-brainer for any collector and while it is more expensive this is such a lovely model and one of the few that seems to have retained its distinct appeal and look from The Original Series. I've appreciated the ships from the remastered episodes but this has something more exciting to it. It represents not only a classic moment from the first series but also from the revisit in Trials and Tribble-ations. Apart from the horrid window alignment which now seems to be an Eaglemoss hallmark of "quality", it is a stunner and does make me kind of forget about the blandness of the previous Swarm Ship special. 

As for display purposes this has something that Deep Space Nine lacks - a stand! However, hang on from singing its praises because the stand is more of a cradle and the station isn't totally secure. It can spin and lift out very easily so just bear that in mind when you're lifting it onto that top shelf. Also has anyone else noticed that the plastic "grip" pieces are not fitting as well into the black bases on a lot of models recently?

In the magazine there's a skant overview of the station and it's role within The Trouble with Tribbles (shame it missed getting in the nod made in Choose Your Pain from Discovery). Second in is a section narrated by David Gerrold, writer of The Trouble with Tribbles covering the development of the episode and then we have a further piece on the creation of Trials and Tribbleations and the technology involved to bring it to life. 

The magazine is lacking some plan views of the station for print reference however in the bigger picture the episodic info is far more useful and a better utilisation of the space available. The content is wonderful but I would have loved more background on the model especially as it's only the second space station that has graced the collection in four years.

Absolutely love this one and now just need to make a big enough gap for it to take a good spot on display!

What's the next space station we should get from the collection?

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