Tuesday, November 18, 2014

EMvTW 04 - Enterprise NX-01 (NX Class)

NOTE:  You can click on most pictures to get a larger view of them.

The fourth article in the Eaglemoss vs. The World series focuses on my favorite Enterprise.  I always liked the series "Star Trek: Enterprise" because it represented a time where we really didn't know what we were doing.  Captains made mistakes and literally ran things by the seat of the pants.  This series had so much potential in being able to tell some of the back stories of things we all take for granted from TOS and onward.  Unfortunately, when they finally got the formula down to tell good stories, mostly by telling them over two to three episodes, the series was canceled.


My current collection of (standard) NX Class ships consists of a Hallmark (hanging from the wire), and then along the front row, an Eaglemoss, F-Toys (Prime and Mirror), Hot Wheels, Johnny Lightning and a knock-off MicroMachine.


Per Memory Alpha and Beta, "The NX-class was a type of United Earth starship in Starfleet service during the mid-22nd century. The class is notable for having been the first to be constructed with the warp five engine, allowing Humanity to explore beyond neighboring star systems."  They go on to say this about the Enterprise, One of the most important starships in interstellar history, Enterprise (NX-01) was the culmination of the NX Project. The NX-01 was the first NX-class starship, launched by the United Earth Starfleet in 2151.  Enterprise established United Earth as a legitimate interstellar power and caused a wholesale revolution in Alpha and Beta Quadrant politics, paving the way for the creation of the Coalition of Planets in 2155, and eventually the United Federation of Planets in 2161.""

If you would like to read more official stuff on this type of ship, feel free to check out the following links:

NX Class Information: Memory Alpha LINK and Memory Beta LINK
Enterprise (NX-01) Information: Memory Alpha LINK and Memory Beta LINK

Although I say I have a MicroMachine version, it actually was done by a third party.  I was not happy with the guy's paint job so I ended up redoing it myself.

 

As is the norm with my articles, we're not going to focus on this MicroMachine too much as it falls outside of my normal collecting habits.

Eaglemoss vs. F-Toys vs. Hallmark vs. Hot Wheels vs. Johnny Lightning

And now, I present to you, what I like to call the "gravy shot" pictures.  As I stated in my first article, I wish someone had done this sort of comparison review for me when I got into collecting as I may have spent a lot less time and money on the collection.  But that is water under the bridge now.  And I get to do something no-one else has done.   My goal here is to give you some comparative data showing the various small scale pre-built and pre-painted ships available to the collector.  And in so doing, I hope to help someone else make a wiser choice on what they might like to buy.

Eaglemoss vs. Hot Wheels vs. F-Toys vs. Hallmark vs. Johnny Lightning

Eaglemoss vs. Hot Wheels vs. F-Toys vs. Hallmark vs. Johnny Lightning

The Eaglemoss, Hot Wheels and Hallmark models all come in around the same size while F-Toys and Johnny Lightning are smaller.  From what I read, these two models are close to 1:2500 scale.

Eaglemoss

 
 
 
 

As I said at the beginning of this article, this is my favorite Enterprise.  And as far as Eaglemoss  goes, this is one of the best models they have done yet.  Yeah, I know, we're only four issues in, but if this is what we can expect from the series, then we are certainly in for a treat.

As far as I can tell, the model is mostly die-cast.  Only the nacelles are plastic, thus giving the ship a good hefty and solid feel to it.  


The sculpted and molded details are crisp and clean, giving us lots of etched in panels lines and windows to look at.


The paint job on Eaglemoss' model is probably the key selling point for it.  The entire ship is covered in a very subtle aztec pattern that helps give the ship that more primitive look.  

All the key areas of the ship, like hatches, RCS thrusters and access panels, have been given some paint to help them stand out.  In other places, lines and blocks have been painted which just add to the finesse of the ship.

The joins and seam lines are scarce which means Eaglemoss did a great job of blending them into the natural lines of the ship.  

What seems to be a normal move for Eaglemoss is thier use of clear plastics on areas of the ship that are supposed to glow.


Their reasoning for doing this is that if you shine a light at them just the right way, you get the illusion of that glowing effect. While taking my standard photo-shoot series of pictures, I accidentally caught that glowing effect happening.


Whenever I review a Starfleet ship, I like to hyper-focus on the deflector dish as it usually gives me a good idea of the level of attention to details that a manufacturer puts into thier models.  Let's face it, this is a very important part of the ship and should be accurately represented.


The NX Class is the first model that Eaglemoss is doing where the deflector dish is a separate component, instead of being housed inside a major part of the ship.  It is supposed to stick out a little and look like you can break it off if you are not careful with your model handling.  

Eaglemoss tried to give the illusion that the dish was separate by having it raised away from the hull. They then painted it school bus yellow to help with the detail.  Although this approach gives us enough of an effect, it doesn't quite convey the idea properly.

F-Toys

I always like to inform my readers about Gashapon before actually reviewing this type of toy.  Gashapon toys are meant to be nothing more than cheap little $1 to $5 bubble gum machine prizes.  I like to remind my readers of this fact so that they can take any critical reviews I may make in the spirit it is given.  I am in no way expecting these toys to be on the level of a Hallmark, Eaglemoss or Hot Wheels toy.  I found a neat video about these types of toys and you can check that out at THIS LINK.

Up until this point, Furuta served as my "Go-To Guy" because of thier large selection of ships.  I was surprised and disappointed to find that Furuta never produced the NX-01.  Because of this, I expanded my search into other manufacturers that I normally would have avoided.  F-Toys was one such company and in thier case, they produced a two-for-one special.


Yup, they produced a prime universe as well as a mirror universe version of the NX-01.

Prime Universe

 
 
 
 

Mirror Universe

 
 
 
 


Right off the bat, I'll complain about the stand.  The quality of this stand just stinks.  The stand is flimsy and will easily break if you are not careful and I consider myself lucky when the ships don't nose dive randomly.  That picture just above, with the quarter, took me a good 5 minutes to position just right.  Basically, the stand won't keep the models in place.  

Both universe ships are exactly the same model, except the mirror universe version sports a bit of extra paint.


The sculpt and mold work are rough.  The model looks as if the ship has been through a battle with the Xindi and has all sorts of shoddy details on it.  


Honestly, this battered look gives this little model some charm.  The paint work adds to the rugged look as they choose to give it some weathering.  


The paint job on my mirror universe ship was not done well and often appeared smeared.  Apparently, my model took on a new name.

The nacelles don't look that bad though.


That poor deflector dish though looks like it didn't deflect all that well and has taken some hits from space debris.


Although I was initially excited to be getting two NX-01 models for one price, the final product was a bit disappointing.

Hallmark

 
 
 
 

In 2002, Hallmark tried something new and released a second ship "ornament" along with thier normal yearly release.  This one was a bit more special though as it was made of die-cast metal.  It feels like it is solid and is actually quite hefty for a small scale ship.  I thought that this was a cool idea for them at the time as it made the ship look more realistic being made entirely of metal.  After all, the ship on the series was metallic colored, so why not make a metal model.  I was disappointed that they didn't continue with this idea.


The sculpted and molded details are rather well done and the ship is covered in plates and windows.  All the major components are present.


Because it was supposed to be an all metal display piece, much like the Franklin Mint pewter series, it is lacking some color in a bunch of places that should have it, like on the nacelles and the warp field modulator.  They did squeeze in some gold highlights here and there as well as some black registry markings.


One cool feature of the nacelle was the addition of a clear red plastic piece for the bussard collectors.

They painted the deflector dish gold which made it really stand out and they made a somewhat decent attempt to make it look more like the real thing.


Although it didn't light up, it came with a talking stand which allowed you to display this ship all year round.  This still remains as one of my all time favorite Hallmark ornaments.

Photo Credit: Hallmark

Hot Wheels

 
 
 
 

I have to say that the sculpted and the molded details of this model seem more detailed over the Eaglemoss and Hallmark one.  The model just seems more crisp and sharp edged to my eyes.  There is less aztecing on this ship, however, the sculpt and mold of the metal make the plates stand out more so you have a better feel that this ship was built in some sort of a shipyard.  


The ship is colorful when it comes to the paint job, however, it falls short in certain areas.  The RCS thrusters are left a plain metalic color.  The warp field governor is lacking some paint and as a result, it just sort of blends in.


When I look at the bottom of the ship, the paint job starts to really disappoint.  The painted details down here are lacking quite a bit.  I did like the plastic inset for the sensor dome.  


The nacelles are nice to look at with How Wheels use of paint as well as clear red plastics for the bussard collectors.


I liked that Hot Wheels made the deflector dish it's own separate entity.  Although it looks slightly out of proportion, it is by far the most realistic attempt at a NX dish out of all my small scale units.


Other than right behind the deflector dish, the joins and seams are blended into the natural lines of the ship.

The only problem with this model is the price.  It seems to be a bit of a rarity and as such, the costs to get one are a bit higher than other models out there.

Johnny Lightning

 
 
 
 

When I first wrote this article, I had grouped the Johnny Lighting model under the classification of Gashapon, however, that was incorrect as you typically purchase thier products in blister packs in stores.  


Initially, I wasn't going to invest in a Johnny Lightning model except for a 1:2500 scale model build project that had come up.  I ended up buying a broken model (the nacelles were snapped off) one from someone.  I liked the finished look of the model so much, that I then bought a second one and then a third one to use in some other kitbashes of mine.  Can you tell that I really liked this model?  Honestly, the quality of the Johnny Lightning model far surpassed the F-Toys variant.  And in the end, I bought a fourth one, to keep intact, and add to my collection.

The sculpted and molded details are nice.  Important areas of the ship have been detailed out, however, the details are not quite as crisp as on the bigger models.  All those lines on the different areas of the ship have a bit of a softer look to them.


The paint job on this model is pretty decent as well.  I liked it enough that I really didn't need to paint my kitbashes except to touch them up.  All the major areas are given thier due diligence, including the RCS thrusters, and much to my surprise, navigation lights.


The nacelles look good too with the right colors of paint added in.  The nacelle grills are a bit messy, but considering the size of the toy, it was understandable.


While the deflector dish isn't as fancy as on the bigger models, Johnny Lightning made a good attempt at representing this part of the ship.


Overall, Johnny Lightning put out a decent little toy that looked good enough to use as a base for several of my model builds.

Conclusion

And that is all I really have to share at this point on this class of ship.  As for pricing, I will continue with the tradition of rounding up the most inexpensive Buy-It-Now prices from eBay at the time of this article's (re)writing (January 2018).

Eaglemoss = $23
F-Toys = $17
Hallmark = $28
Hot Wheels = $45
Johnny Lightning = $17
Micro Machine = $33

NOTE: Prices were researched last on January 23rd, 2018.  You can also currently order the Eaglemoss model right from the company themselves for around $23 (shipping unknown).

We now come to the part of my article where I like to give you my opinion of which ship gives you the "best bang for the buck", which is my rough way of telling you which one is the best one to get, for the best price.  To put this in a nutshell, when I write these, I am trying to give my opinion of which model is the best for the least cost.

Up until I got the Hot Wheels model of the NX, Eaglemoss was by far the clear winner when suggesting a model for someone, HOWEVER, when the Hot wheels ship came in the mail, I just went "WOW!".  I compare the Eaglemoss and Hot Wheels ships side by side and they each have thier own little subtle differences that make them a great model.  

This is one of those tough decisions for me to make when it comes to which one is the best bang for the buck.  I will have to concede though that if you are looking for great details at the best price, Eaglemoss wins out, hands down, no argument there.  If you are looking for a crisper looking ship with more accurate hull plating and deflector dish, then spend the extra money on the rarer Hot Wheels ship.  And if you want a fancy desk display, buy the Hallmark one.



BONUS ROUND!!!

Every once in a while, I'll have a little extra stuff to share with you that sort of fits in with my comparison articles.  This time round, I'd like to share my NX Variants that I've either collected or built on my own.

Johnny Lightning Kitbashes - Back Row: NX-R class, NX-D class, and NX-S class

As I stated at the beginning of this article, I'm a huge fan of the NX class.  As a result, I always liked to be on the lookout for variations of that type of ship.  The above mini fleet were all designs that I stumbled across on the internet that I then attempted to build on my own.  I've done a nice little write-up on my build of those three ships and you can read that article at THIS LINK.

Top: Polar Lights - Bottom (Left to Right) Resin Modeller, Eaglemoss, Resin Modeller

Of course, you can't talk about the NX Class without also discussing the very cool NX Refit that Doug Drexler envisioned for the ship.  Had we ever made it to a season 5 of the series, we would have seen the Big E go into spacedock for a major overhaul.  After 4 years of use, Starfleet would have wanted to make some serious modifications based off of lessons learned from her past missions.

Initially, my collection of this class consisted of a Polar Lights 1:1000 scale model and two Resin Modeller 1:1400 scale models that I built and painted.  You can read my review of the Resin Modeller's kits at THIS LINK and if you wish to buy and build your own, you can get them at the Resin Modeler Website.  

Eaglemoss eventually got around to producing this ship as a Special Edition and you can read my review of that model at THIS LINK.




As always, I hope you found this article useful and informative.  If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to comment below.

So for now, "Live long and prosper!!!"



Additional Links To Photos Of My Collection:

4 comments:

  1. I posted over in your newer D'Kyr blog post but this is actually the entry that lead me to your site. Thanks for the comparisons. The stock photos of the F-toys versions make it look so nice but I suppose that is advertising and a master model at work. The lure of getting both the Enterprise and Mirror Universe version for less than one of any other line was tempting. I'm still undecided though as the 1/2500 scale is exactly where I'd want it to be. The next smaller step (at least according to a google spreadsheet) is the Romando at around 1/3300 which could work as well.

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    1. Hi there again! There is a Micro Machine sized one out there that you can occasionally find on eBay, but they are almost expensive as they are typically made by garage kit makers out of resin. And at that size, there are usually a lot of issues with air bubbles and cruddy paint jobs.
      ---Pat

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  2. I would just like to say that this blog is one of my new favourite things ever, and you are a life-saver and a saint.

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    1. THANKS! I'm glad you like it. I've been on a bit of a hiatus due to finances, but am planning on another couple new posts very shortly. Stay tuned.
      ---DS Pat

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