Friday 10 November 2023

All About the Base - Starbase 1; Eaglemoss Official Discovery Starships Collection

An absolute behemoth of a model, Starbase One needs a tall shelf.

A stunning construction, the circular base and spire mark a truly amazing piece of design work that, even in this very small scale, is conveyed exceptionally. 

Perfectly docked in the cup-like stand, this is impressively stable and at every point the detail is just extraordinary. The whole structure is covered in white dots denoting windows and providing that essential concept of scale. In-universe this dwarfs just about everything and was featured in Discovery's superb second season before it made the 1000 year jump.

Every piece has a layered feel to it with the lower elements jutting out past the hold of the stand. There's some lovely weathered/hatched effect work on the hull detail here which only appears at this lower point. Above this, the structure widens out into the larger docking ring marked with a series of eight arms to welcome ships. Again the edges of the ring are dotted with clusters of windows and an excellent, textured upper surface that not only provides a three-dimensional feel to the ring but also has some very well created weathering. This worn effect adds to the aging on the towering station.

The docking ring and lower section add even more stability to the structure here as the large metal elements to which the plastic buttresses and tower are then attached. That choice makes the model atouch better since the ring section has that ridged effect in play.

Visually it's one of the most striking of all the starbase/station products that Eaglemoss made. That huge spire section, which dominates two thirds of the model, is just as well weathered as the upper portion of the docking ring and fortunately it's not just a simple copy and repeat pattern as you take a look around the structure.

The striking tower leads up to what can only be described as a mast marking its highest point. The pictures and images of the base from Discovery don't really allow for an indepth look at the structure although it does give an idea of the scale thanks to the array of docked starships we see there. Even then the size of this as a model is pretty overwhelming and there are only a few other pieces in the collection that come anywhere near. Those are probably the Sarcophagus Ship and the Section 31 starbase. Potentially the Jupiter Station creeps into this "supersize" category but nothing seems to do it quite so eye-catchingly as Starbase One.

Build quality is also pretty decent. There are some evident seams around the edges of the docking ring but those are fairly minor. The central core of the station appears almost one single element although on a closer inspection you can make out the odd joint line and in some places a touch of digital decal sticking.

It really is an impressive piece that might actually be too big to sit on some shelves due to its radius and height. At best this has to be about a foot from mast top to the bottom and then there's the additional height of the stand to contend with. 

In the box we also have the standard Discovery magazine which, in this case, directs readers attention to the design of Starbase One as well as its role within the second season of the show. The magazine contains a series of excellent concept work on what the exterior and interior could have looked like including the multiple environments that would have been contained given its gigantic proportions.

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