Sunday, 2 January 2022

STO Issue 15: USS Enterprise NCC-1701-F

Tracking back a few issues, we've located the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-F.

Already released in its original formation, the Enterprise-F here is the updated Yorktown Class variant modified after the Iconian War as featured in STO.

The basic formula for the flagship remains with primary and secondary hulls, a pair of warp engines and those twin necks. But there have been some updates to the design over time and it's a good one to compare against the bonus issue Eaglemoss released.

Most if not all of you will remember that the original Enterprise-F was released in two variants - the STO livery and also the "real universe" grey livery that fitted (apparently) with the rest of your collection if the much more striking colour palette wasn't to your liking.

But as usual lets take the refit as its own case.  This model is incredibly light and even when holding it I still wasn't sure if I was. The primary hull is metal but with it being so small and, strangely fragile, there's very little solid material there.

Putting her alongside the original version (Online livery), the differences in not just the level of detail but the quality improvement is significant. Lots more coloured panel section, better defined RCS thrusters and much sharper decals. The amount of windows painted in have increased tenfold. There are notable parallels in the black hull striping and the overall shape of the craft however this newer, refit version has a lot more going for it.

The impulse engines are more prominent and the three (black, white, grey) colours offer a more varied finish to the starship. One minor glitch is the alignment of the decals at the ends of the phaser banks which are sitting much higher than they should while on the original version they were spot on. So too are the decals for the heavily increased number of lifeboat hatches just that little bit out - but not as much as the phaser strips. Yet, given the increased level of detail, this is a minor blip on an otherwise great entry to the Online Collection.

The engine pylons feature a new flat-fronted and rear swept design with the warp nacelles themselves being of a far more intricate design and sadly painted in rather than having translucent bussard collectors and warp grilles. The paintwork on them though is superb with a little flick added to the back end that's a little similar to the Excelsior Class.

The has retained its unique double neck design which has received a decent level of window detailing before sweeping into the scooped Engineering hull. Even on her belly, the F has a great, precise level of painting applied with that decal quibble from the top still managing to slip in. The pennants both align on the port and starboard sides and the only real evidence of the combined model construction materials is the line running around the inner edge of the primary hull.

The detail really is striking on the Enterprise-F. The main deflector echoes the colouring of Voyager in its blue with gold framing as well as its shape. This is particularly well executed given the size of the dish and the model overall.

What I was really impressed with was the dagger sharp lines of the black painted sections of the hull. Underneath the edges are ramrod straight and culminate cleanly around the Enterprise's support craft docked right at the rear. This too has seen some detail improvement since the original F design with much more clarity on its hull features.

Taking this away from the model for a second, the refitted Enterprise-F is a great improvement on its first incarnation and shows the steps taken since it first emerged from its digital drydock. It is a little disappointing that the model has some decal issues however it's a good replica which could benefit from the XL treatment. Not one of my favourites but with the "confirmation" (use that loosely) thanks to Picard's prequel comic, we can assume that this is what the next Enterprise would be after the Sovereign Class. That comment should cause a few grumbles but I guess it's one of those things we have to accept in this new Trek era.

Within the pages of the magazine we get to grips with the story of the refit as well as become familiarised with the Enterprise-F captain, Shon and explore some of the features of the Federation's flagship. There are also two pages of customary plan views just in case looking at the model wasn't enough.

The Enterprise-F pack is one of the standouts from the 20 editions in the series. One; it's an Enterprise, Two; it's an improvement on the first version as a model not just as a design. The structure feels better and with the updated packaging it ticks a lot of boxes. To say it's a must is a no-brainer, even more essential if you've got the bonus version in either (or both) colour scheme.

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

Enjoyed this article? Why not like and share to spread the word!

Like our page on Facebook 
Follow us on Twitter

No comments:

Post a Comment