Sunday, 19 December 2021

The Official Starships Collection: USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D XL

The XL that started them all, the Enterprise-D provided a template for the series and actually demonstrated what worked and what needed work.

This version it should be noted is delivered in the new magnetic clasp presentation box rather than the blue thin card version. Looks like this is one of several "upgrades" which are also costing a further £10 on top of the original price.

The criticisms that were laid at this XL's door were that, for all intents and purposes, it was just a copy and pate job up to a larger scale. Problem is, in most respects that's absolutely correct. One common theme on the XLs though is to change the base colour of the ship and here we have exactly that. The Issue One version carried a dour grey/beige finish with Eaglemoss upgrading the XL to the duck egg scheme as it should be. The aztec pattern is identical to it smaller predecessor and the slightly out of alignment registry is of a better quality but that's where it starts to fall apart a bit.

Neither the windows nor the lifeboat hatches line up with the raised and recessed sections of the ship with these being most blatant when you flip her over and take a look on the underside of the saucer. The square impressions are miles off...miles. Everywhere you look from bow to stern, the black and white lines just don't match to where they should be. Nor are the windows around the very edge of the primary hull marked in at all. At this stage of the series and with a couple of D versions under their hat, this should never have been an issue at this stage... but it still is.

Also the paintwork on the saucer's wraparound phaser bank is dreadful with a horrid feathered edge right the way round which should have been nailed off by now.

What has been added are the two transporter emitters either side of the bridge/shuttlebay central module so there has been some note of errors however just a few centimetres later we have the two "neck" shuttlebays unlabelled and also bay two is the wrong size and just a mirror of bay three. The windows again are a total mess even overlapping. At least the aztecing is on point huh...?

The warp engines bear the expected translucent bussard collectors and warp grilles. These are much less plasticky with running lights marked in and those red striped Starfleet pennants finishing the job.

On the first issue edition the Enterprise-D suffered from scale when it came to the main deflector. The orange and blue elements really mixed together with the XL allowing them both a bit more room and therefore the chance to see the dish detail as well as the surrounding shroud ridges. It's a lot clearer here and one of the things that does succeed when it comes to the sizing up of the Galaxy Class vessel.

Even on the underside, while the decals are spot on and much better than before, the placement of anything that resembles a window is atrocious and utterly ruins this model. Eaglemoss need to take another look at this one and get their printer in alignment. I mean the phaser banks are well integrated onto the model, the physical build is good and structurally sound. Even the weight reassures you that this isn't a cheap reproduction but the windows are such a downer and my apologies for repeating it a few times in here.

Into the magazine with the Enterprise-D and we have some more quite repetitive material around the origins of The Next Generation and casting of the main crew. It's decent reference work but the trouble once more is that these kind of articles are over repeated and have been since 1987.  Good content here but nothing spectacularly revelatory for experienced fans.

This is a great ship, period. The problem with its arrival in this line is that the bigger errors of the collection have not been addressed, leaving this one missing the mark and its potential straight away. This could have done the XLs a lot of damage and still needs working. 

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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  1. Yup, that XL model really is bad. The aztecing is too strong, the window misalignment is awful, the shuttlebays are the wrong size, the seams to obvious and the deflector dish is a travesty.

    The Battlestar Galactica line is so much better than the Star Trek line. What gives?

    1. Not a clue. OK, this was an early XL but it learnt nothing from the original issue one and in fact compounded existing problems while adding some more in for good measure. Very confusing....!!! And yeah - why are the BSG models better?!?!?