Friday, 12 November 2021

Mermaid of Space: Picard's La Sirena XL

Landing in two sizes, La Sirena is the most exciting lead ship in a Star Trek series for a good 30 years.

A controversial statement but the hero ship from Picard certainly stands out in a crowd. Not just for the striking paintjob but for being the first Star Trek series where the main vehicle/station isn't under Starfleet control.

This is an independent ship captained by an ex-Starfleet first officer and is a far cry from the designs of Utopia Planitia.

La Sirena is a very chunky model. It's very blocky with very few extremities, aerials and offshoots to get in the way. Eaglemoss have certainly nailed it's form equals functionality and aside from that Van Halen inspired paintwork, it's not really as exciting as the curves of a Sovereign Class.

Packaged in the new style "display" box, the ship sits in its own black foam with a snap-magnet lid. It's a bit snazzier than the standard blue fold open boxes with the polystyrene inners and it's a decent first impression.

The ship itself is once more recreated from the work on the show, providing fans with as exact a duplicate of what's on screen as is possible given costs, size etc.

Picking her out, La Sirena has a fair bit of weight to her as the whole upper red sections of the ship, with the exception of the engine pods, is metal. The underbelly and those two propulsion units are in turn plastic.

The eccentric paint scheme is certainly the thing that hits you as is just how symmetrical the panelling and that pattern are across the whole surface of the ship. I had hoped (and thought) that it was a bit more haphazard however in the flesh it's incredibly uniform, Note too that on the ship there are heavy set panels defined and also a subtle second set of "lesser" markings on the hull that are only visible in a large part due to the dirty wash that covers the surface of the freighter. Alongside that, it's good that the dirt wash isn't symmetrical showing a decent degree of attention to detail. 

Given that the red parts are not exactly clean, it's a little strange that the charcoal grey hull pieces are surprisingly clean - especially when you take a look on the ventral side of La Sirena. However there is a lot of very intricate circuitry marked out on the inside edges of the forward prongs and along the hull right by the engine pods. We also don't get to appreciate the flaked paint at the edges of the panelling as seen in the magazine which adds another layer of age and detail to this unusual design. Nor do the lattice of red struts at the front of the prongs get coloured as they would be within the recessed grey sections. It's little things like this that show up elsewhere that HeroCollector need to be aware of as fans will spot those differences a mile away.

The disappointing piece here is the blacked out cockpit window. For budget reasons it would be too expensive to do something with the interior but it does lessen the finished effect of this otherwise excellent recreation. Even the tiny La Sirena nose art from John Eaves is in place and HeroCollector have even added on the retracted landing gear on the bottom edge of the side prongs. Really, there is very little avoided in duplicating the onscreen item. 

The engines are unexpectedly sturdy and also carry the red/white shattered paint pattern. In keeping with the rest of the ship there's a dirt wash on both units plus some recessed circuitry on the grey sections fore and aft. 

The most impressive detailing though might be to the rear of the ship which isn't seen that well on screen. Designed as the point where the freighter would be connected to cargo containers, there are some variances in the hull design with lighter blue areas most prominent. These suggest connection points to additional pieces and also explains why the engines are out to the sides - if they were at the back they wold be blocked by whatever La Sirena would be pulling!

The magazine, which is inside the box, spends the vast proportion of its pages talking about the design of the ship itself. There are multiple suggestions to see in here as well as progressive CG on Rios' ship and on screen clips to ensure you can cross-reference the finished item to its "real world" version. It's a good deep-dive into a subject that has yet to be heavily covered in print and is an excellent introduction to the behind the scenes work on Picard.

La Sirena is a very, very different take on starships (and hero ships) than we've experienced before in Star Trek and HeroCollector have managed to convey that unique feeling as well as the age and purpose of the ship perfectly in this presentation. While not as intricate and fiddly in some respects, the end product here is very representative of the original. This is one well worth getting as a hero ship although t might not be for everyone's tastes given its very un-Starfleet look. I'm not a huge fan of the design itself but this is a really fine piece to adorn any collection and essential if you're a fan of the main line vessels.

Check out all our Starships posts HERE

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

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