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.

[Editor's Note: This will mark my second re-write of this article.  Now that I've written over 50 of these Eaglemoss vs. The World articles, I feel like I've developed a certain style and flow to the articles and I wanted to make all of them have that same feel across the series.  Consider this the REFIT version of the original article.]

My fourth article for the Eaglemoss vs. The World series focuses on my favorite Enterprise.  I always liked the series "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.


Yes, I know these are not all NX Class ships.  The back row is taken up by my NX variants that I've built from Johnny Lightning toys.  The actual NX class ships pictured here are from Eaglemoss, Hot Wheels, Hallmark, Johnny Lightning, F-Toys and Micro Machine.

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.

 

Before I jump right into my comparison of the three main ships, I'd like to do a quick discussion of two smaller variants done by F-Toys and Johnny Lightning,

While I was researching other small scale ships for my collection, I came across three names that constantly were mentioned.  Furuta, F-Toys and Johnny Lightning were all makers of what is referred to as gashapon toys.  Gashapon is to Japan what Bubble Gum machines are to Americans, except they spit out toys as opposed to candy.

None of the companies make Star Trek ships anymore, but my initial findings made me go with Furuta because they had a larger selection of ships in thier line-up.  Because Furuta didn't produce an NX Enterprise, I wanted to add a plastic version to my fleet.

Both F-Toys and Johnny Lightning ships are around 1:2500 scale which makes them a bit on the small side when compared to the big three I'm going to share with you.

F-Toys

After doing a little more research, I went with F-Toys because I could get a two ship set that also had the mirror universe NX as well.

USS Enterprise
 
 
 
 

ISS Enterprise
 
 
 
 


I'll be honest, the quality of the stand and the actual models is not that great.  The stand is flimsy and will easily break if you are not careful and I'm lucky if the ships don't nose dive randomly meaning the stand won't stay in place.


The paint job on my mirror universe ship was shoddy and smeared as well.

Johnny Lightning

 
 
 
 

I wasn't going to invest in a Johnny Lightning variant except that I had a project come up and ended up buying a broken one from someone.  I then bought a second one and then a third one to use in some kitbashes and I'll be honest, the quality of all three far surpassed the F-Toys variant.

I bought a forth one which I plan on keeping intact.

Eaglemoss vs. Hallmark vs. Hot Wheels

My whole reason for writing this series of articles is because I found a serious lack of  comparative data out there showing the various small scale pre-built and pre-painted ships available to the collector.  And so I set out to provide this information myself and hopefully help someone make a wiser decision in which model to buy.

Here is what I like to call "the gravy shot", the one picture I wished I had seen long ago, and the main reason I started this blog.  

Eaglemoss vs. Hallmark vs. Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels vs. Hallmark vs. Eaglemoss

All three of these models are roughly the same size.  Each of them have thier one unique charms as well as quirks.

Eaglemoss

 
 
 
 

This is another shining example of how awesome Eaglemoss can be with thier models.  First, this ship is mostly diecast.  Only the nacelles are plastic, thus giving the ship a good hefty feel to it.  They did a great job with thier sculpting and molding of the metal and plastic parts.  The detailing on top and bottom are superb.  Although there is aztecing, it is very subtle and if anything gives the ship that extra realistic feeling when looking at it.  Overall, the paint job is fantastic.


And now on to my strange fixation with deflector dishes.  Actually, I'm finding that taking a closer look at the dishes can speak loads on how detailed a company tries to be with thier models.  In the case of the NX class, this is the first dish that is actually a separate component, meaning that it is not built into the hull of the ship.

Eaglemoss tried to give the illusion that the dish was separate by having it raised away from the hull.  It gives it enough of an effect, but doesn't quite convey the idea properly.

Hallmark

 
 
 
 

In 2002, Hallmark tried something new and released a second ship "ornament", except this one was diecast 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.  They did enough gold high-lights as well as the addition of clear red plastic bussard collectors to make the ship look rather close to it's on-screen counterpart.  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.

Because it was supposed to be an all metal display, 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 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.

Hot Wheels

 
 
 
 

I have to say though that the actual molding of the metal seems more detailed on the Hot wheels model over the Eaglemoss one.  She 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.  I will say that the warp field pod on the back is not painted which is a minus when compared to Eaglemoss.

When I look at the bottom, the pod continues to disappoint and the details on the front part of the saucer section a lacking when compared to the Eaglemoss ship.  


I liked that they 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.

Conclusion

So that pretty much sums it up on this review.  As is usual with this article series, I will round up the most inexpensive Buy-It-Now prices from eBay at the time of this article's writing.

Eaglemoss = $25
Hallmark = $31
Hot Wheels = $45
Micro Machine = $41
F-Toys = $17
Johnny Lightning = $28

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 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.


Besides the four ships pictured to the right of my NX ships, I have two others.  If it was just three ships, I would have just shared them here.  

Instead, these ships ended up getting thier own article all to themselves.  Be sure to go check out my NX Class Variants article by clicking HERE.

As an aside note, if you want to build a 1:1400 scale resin kit of an NX Class or NX Refit Class, Resin Modeler has a very nicely detailed one for sale at a pretty decent price.



As always, I hope you found this article useful and informative.  Please feel free to leave any comments, questions or suggestions below.

So for now, "Live Long And Prosper!"

Additional Links To Photos Of My Collection:
Eaglemoss     F-Toys     Johhny Lightning     Hallmark
Hot Wheels     MicroMachine     Comparative Shots

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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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

      Delete
  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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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

      Delete