Sunday, 27 August 2023

Mid-Titan: More of Eaglemoss' Unreleased Treasure Trove

Designed for a book cover in the mid-2000s, the USS Titan has since gone on to become almost as iconic a starship as the lead vessels in each Star Trek series.

Eaglemoss did produce a smaller bonus model in line with their regular collection back in 2017 which reflected the original Sean Tourangeau design (2005) for the Pocket Books competition which led to the book cover for Sword of Damocles

While Star Trek Online would enthusiastically include the Titan and therefore the Luna Class in its digital universe, the ship would only gain its first onscreen, canon, appearance in Lower Decks' season one finale, No Small Parts.

Featuring a radical new paint scheme and some other alterations for the animated series, the Titan made a big impression, receiving an XL model as part of the Eaglemoss collection. 

But there was more because along with the USS Cerritos and USS Vancouver (and apparently the Yosemite shuttle!), the Titan was to be featured in the Star Trek Universe series of mid-sized starships. This has now been dropped to the world thanks to Master Replicas finding a load of them in one of Eaglemoss' multiple warehouses and it's a blinder.

Doing away with the two tone flat grey colour scheme of the original model, the Lower Decks USS Titan explodes with colour. It retains the darker grey base coat but has the phaser bank arc in a striking blue with the recessed sections of the hull in a light purple/lilac that draws out the detail on the hull.

Comparing the two, the basic primary hull panelling is near identical although the lifeboat hatches are more defined. The paint scheme is the big winner in really bringing this model to life. Reflecting on the original, it might have been accurate but it was incredibly bland. The siing up has meant that lines have been crisped up and the markings especially behind the bridge just sit more prominently.

The number and alignment of windows has also been changed with those at the outer edge of the saucer moved closer to the lip and a second set now added inside the phaser ring where there was only one previously.

Note too that the registry is a more realistic size and less crammed into a tiny space between the phaser bank and the recessed hull detail. Even the NCC code has an added red border which was conspicuous by its absence on the original. Even the navigation lights have been added to the front, port and starboard positions on the saucer making this a superior replica at every step.

Ok, so this is the animated version so it is brighter and perhaps not the way it would be portrayed in a live action series but Eaglemoss have produced one of the most exciting and vibrant ships in their collection with the Titan

The pod sitting atop the saucer seems to be a little longer on this edition and has equally received a repainting with the recesses in blue rather than the inset squares. This did bear the navigation lights but only as painted on features while the mid-size version has them as raised elements. It has also gained an upgraded paint job with the panelling itself remaining unchanged in layout.

Moving back along the Titan, the lilac/grey split colouring continues and draws the rear lifeboats and shuttlebay doors out. Eaglemoss have added landing strip detail here as well which was absent previously.  The pylons now bear more lilac than grey and this is where the most updates seem to have occurred. The ridging on the pylons is now painted up and navigation lights added to the tops of the engines.

Eaglemoss retained the painted in warp engine grilles but the front of the nacelles have had a massive revamp as evident on screen. The tips are now slimmer and have lost the split casing in favour of much rounder sections connecting to the translucent bussard collectors.

With the pennants, the wording is more in line with the scale and "Starship" has been added before USS Titan with the red striping extending to the halfway mark. The registry to the rear is now in a more suitable font (as per main hull) with the red edging in place.  In every sense it's a big upgrade that sings of better precision and maybe half a decade of learnings from the series as a whole. 

If you think you can't love it any more, take a look underneath. The underside of the saucer is alive with colour and more rows of windows painted onto the raised panelling. The features once more mirror the original down to the number of lifeboat hatches and the lower sensor platform at the centre. The colours just work here even though there's probably no difference in the way that the panel levels are defined against the original. 

On the smaller version the paint wasn't too heavy so the detail wasn't lost as it had been on the issue six Voyager and it's just built on here. Importantly and something that is new is the separate piece used for the deflector dish. Not just a painted (poorly) circle now, the deflector is an individual section slotted into the front of the hull and the colour seems much more suitable. It's even in a translucent blue just to drive home the point.

The build overall is very solid with the main hull in metal linked to the plastic secondary hull, pod and engines. There don't seem to be any evident gaps or dodgy seams either which is very reassuring but also a gut punch since this was to have been one of the later models released. It showed a lot of love for Lower Decks and one of Star Trek's most interesting designs.

As with the engines, the pennants along the sides of the small secondary hull have been reworked and refined to a better scale. Yes, the original was constrictive when it came to the script but lessons have been learned and scale increased to produce one of my favourite models from the whole collection.

Yes, even I'm shocked I've gone that far but it truly is just exciting to look at from every angle and adds that "ping" that a shelf of grey starships might just need sometimes. If you can find one, get it, you won't regret it.

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