Friday, 14 May 2021

Out in the Beyond: Star Trek Starships: The Borg and the Delta Quadrant

Never ones to slink away from a good book, HeroCollector have continued their Shipyards series by taking us into Voyager territory.

Now, the observant among you will of course be screaming "But this is just the Official Starships Collection magazines in a book!" - and to some extent you are totally correct. This first (of two) volumes covers the Borg plus A-K in the alphabet of Delta alien ships and yes,there's a degree of repetition which is unavoidable.

However, it's much more than that. Pages 10 - 44 are pure Borg with the Cube, Sphere, Queen's Ship, Renegade Ship, Tactical Cube and Probe all lifted page for page from the original 180 issue collection. There is the inclusion of a size chart but this is hardly going to get established fans and HeroCollector collectors(!) reaching for their debit cards. 

No, that's coming from the second section from pages 48 to 221. 

There are again some obvious culprits we've read before - Alice, the Bo'Mar Patrol Ship, USS Dauntless, Dala's Delta Flyer, the Hirogen Warship etc etc but of the 48 ships in this part of the book, 34 of them are brand spanking new. Yes - 34 and that's probably surprised you!

There is a real mix in there with some serious rehashing of established models from TNG and DS9 and would be recycled again for ENT. It also shouts out that there were a few significant craft that didn't make the 180 cut (looking at you Kazon Carrier) but are thankfully at least included on paper here. 

Certainly having them all in a smaller volume is going to save some weight on those shelves but the key is just how much the book expands onto lesser known ships both detailing their appearance in episodes and in some cases even adding in a whole new set of plan views.

Typically you do find that the ships covered in the magazines have a significantly larger amount of space handed to them. But this doesn't take anything away from the new CG of the Trans-Stellar Rally competitors, the odd Cravic Starship from Prototype or the spindly Dinaali Hospital Ship from Critical Care. The Hirogen Venatic Class is a standout entry although that Kazon Carrier is one that should have been, similarly the Fighter. The tragedy is perhaps that in some instances there's barely a paragraph on the ship and 3/4 of the page is taken up with a single picture. Maybe an opportunity to add in some background info - but then that's what the Designing Starships book series is there for isn't it...?

As the text of the book is kept "in-universe", HeroCollector have wisely added a couple of sections to the back of this volume detailing episodes A-Z where the ships appeared and immediately after an A-Z the other way of the ships then aligned to their respective episodes.

There's really nothing not to like here even given the amount of repeat content. There's a lot new in a very familiar layout that all Collection collectors will recognise in a heartbeat. Ben Robinson and Marcus Riley have put together an even more extensive book and in a lot of ways you can understand why they're gone this way.

There are a fair few ships in here that, while it's great to read about them they really didn't need to get the metal and plastic treatment as much as some others. The phrase "scraping the barrel" has been heard a few times as the series came towards its inevitable conclusion and although there are a couple of unforgivable misses, the authors have done well to condense and expand the Star Trek Starships reference material in a whole set of new avenues. 

Star Trek Shipyard: The Borg and the Delta Quadrant is available NOW from HeroCollector 

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