Note: This display setup is constantly changing as I add new models and have to re-arrange to cut down on crowding.
Originally my collection fit entirely on that brown bookcase you see in the pictures above. When I decided to expand the collection and fill in the missing items, it became painfully clear that I needed to expand the display area. That was when I bought the Dark Chocolate colored bookcase, some fishing twine and a bunch of eye hooks.
(Yes, I know that the next small section is a repeat from a previous post. Originally, I had one large post and decided that it should be broken down. This information was needed to make the rest of this post make sense so I'm repeating it again.)
Back in 1996, my (now ex) wife got me the Hallmark U.S.S. Voyager tree ornament and that was when the collecting bug bit me. Every year after that, she would either get me the next one, or I would go buy it myself. Eventually, I went on eBay and filled in the missing items in the collection so as of now, I have a pretty much complete set. What I mean by that is Hallmark has re-released some ships and I made a conscious decision to not duplicate most of those items in my collection.
I am not a patient man though. When I want something, I want it as soon as possible and not have to wait. Waiting a whole year for the next ship to add to the collection was starting to get on my nerves and I feel that Hallmark has sold out on some of the ships that they release. I mean, come on, who really wanted a Reman Scorpion fighter when they could have given us the Reman Bird Of Prey that kicked The Enterprise E's ass?
I also wanted to fill in the collection with more ships, but I really like the size that Hallmark had gone with. And so my search began. There are actually several alternatives to Hallmarks stuff out there, pretty much all of them are discontinued and only found through internet searches or cons.
(End of repeated material.)
There are several Japanese companies that had made Star Trek plastic toy ships. The first close and in my opinion, best choice to Hallmark ended up being a company called Furuta. Their pre-painted, snap together plastic models are slightly smaller than the Hallmark Ornaments but they were also highly detailed. In some cases, they are more detailed than Hallmark. The other pro for me was that they had quite a few ships that Hallmark didn't do and probably will never do. Originally, I only purchased the ones that were not duplicates of Hallmark's collection. I have since decided to complete the collection and as of the time of this story, I just finished bidding and winning some harder to find ones and now have the complete collection of thier ships.
Another short lived choice I came across was the Hot Wheels star ship lineup. These were die-cast/plastic ship that were also well detailed. They were a bit bigger than the Hallmark ornaments. I ended up purchasing a few of these, mostly just the ones that were not duplicated in the my Hallmark or Furuta collection at the time. Like my Furuta collection, I would like to one day complete this collection, however, I'll need to save up about $500 to do so.
Editor's Note: Sometime in late 2014, I did indeed complete the Hot Wheels collection (minus the "Battle Damaged" variants,)
I recently discovered a new company that is producing ships. Eaglemoss has been around for quite a while and they specialize in subscription based collections, ranging from Marvel Super Heroes, to Dr. Who and James Bond. This new collection is called Star Trek: The Official Starship Collection. You can find the subscription information HERE, but the gist of it is, you get two ships each month as well as a magazine with each ship detailing that ship. The price ($20 an issue) is amazing considering that these are die cast and plastic models that are super detailed and the magazine has a plethora of neat information both technical as well as about how the ships were designed for the show. The ships so far have been pretty much matched in size to Hallmark as well, so they blend in well to the collection.
My collection also has a complete set of Micro Machines. These actually were my first collectibles but they don't really count for size. Besides the ships made by Galoob back in the day, I've also purchased on eBay several other ships that are the same size to help round out the collection. It's interesting that they are so valuable though. My current Micro Machines collection would cost me more to replace than any of the other manufacturers.
I've also mixed in a couple models that I've built from AMT and ERTL.
The pictures below show you a shelf by shelf shot of the collection. As noted above, this gets re-arranged due to clutter and I'm already debating on shifting around the Starfleet shelves.
Editor's Note: Since the writing of this article, my starship model collection has grown to six full sized book cases.