Tuesday, November 11, 2014

EMvTW 03 - Klingon Bird Of Prey (23rd Century)

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 article.]

It is time for the third installment of my Eaglemoss vs. The World series, the Klingon Bird Of Prey.  I found it a little hard to write this article as this is not one of my most favorite ships.  I don't know what it is, I just find them a bit ugly as starships go.  but I will look past that as I compare and review this design.

The picture above shows the collection that I own of this ship.  Currently, I own the Eaglemoss, Furuta, Hallmark, Hot Wheels and two of the Micro Machines variants.

The MicroMachine versions of this ship are OK.  The wings seem to suffer from rubber droop, meaning that the wings are never quite straight, and sometimes are just downright warped.


Furuta vs. Hallmark vs. Hot Wheels vs. Eaglemoss

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.  

Top Row: Furuta vs. Hallmark
Bottom Row: Eaglemoss vs. Hot Wheels

Top Row: Furuta vs. Hallmark
Bottom Row: Eaglemoss vs. Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels clearly makes the largest of the ships with Furuta making the smallest.  They all have thier charms and quirks.



Eaglemoss knocked it out of the park on this one.  The sculpting and molding of the parts is just downright cool to look at.  It is incredibly detailed both on the top as well as the bottom.  The red "feather" paint job pops and gives this ship a really nice look to it.  Unlike the previous two Eaglemoss models, this ship is almost entirely die cast, except for the wing tip disrupters.  It has a hefty feel, although I'd be afraid to drop it onto a hard surface as it also seems like it could easily break.  The wings are stationary and in the cruising position which makes her a little wider than the other Eaglemoss ships.



I like to point out when I'm reviewing a Furuta model that this company is a Japanese company that produced a series of gashapon toys.  Gashapon toys are meant to be nothing more than cheap little $6 bubble gum machine prizes.  I like to point this out to my readers 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.

Excluding the MicroMachine model, this one is the smallest of my Bird Of Prey ships.  I'll be honest, for the price that I had paid to acquire her, I was severely disappointed with this one.  The details are OK, but not that great, I would not say that they are awful.  This ship's wings are also stationary, but this one's are in the downward attack position.  

Speaking of wings and positioning, I'm not sure if it was just my copy of this ship or if this was a defect across the board, but my wings were warped, giving her more of a seagull look than that of a dangerous predator.



In 1994 Hallmark released thier version of the Bird Of Prey.  Hallmark did a very nice job on thier version of this ship.  All the major details are covered and although she's not as colorful as her Eaglemoss counterpart, she does a good job of representing the class.  I particularly like the weathering paint that they applied to the molded details, which give her a bit of a dirty and used appearance.  Like Furuta's model, her wings are also stationary in the attack position.  

As I have stated in one of my earlier blog posts, I cut the wires off of all of my Hallmark ornaments so that they hang and display better in my display cases.  It is actually rather hard to find pictures of what this ship looks like lit up but here are two I could find.

Here's a fun little fact about the Hallmark ship.  In the Deep Space Nine episode titled "The Way Of the Warrior", the script called for a large fleet of these ships.  So as to not damage the original filming model, the special effects people brought in a bunch of Hallmark ornaments to be used as "stunt doubles" and be blown up for the battle scene.

Hot Wheels


Hot Wheels actually released three variants of this ship design.  One was a traditional Bird Of Prey, one was a "battle damaged" and the other was a HMS Bounty variant from Search For Spock.  The damaged ship and HMS Bounty were reprints of the original ship with heat tatoos applied.  The detailing on this ship was way up there, almost to the level of Eaglemoss' rendition. 

What I particularly liked about this version though was that the wings were hinged so that you could move and position them in the three different configurations.

Cruise Mode                                      Attack Mode

Landing Mode

WARNING: One last note about the Hot Wheels ship.  I used to think it was just an issue with one of my other ships, but as time has gone by, it appears to be a manufacturer issue with all of thier different types of ships.  The stand fits very snugly into the underside of the ship.  I started noticing that my ship was gradually tipping forward as the saucer was much heavier on the model.  I would periodically readjust it.    After the third time of removing it for pictures, the stand snapped off, leaving the ball joint stuck in the ship.  Obviously, these are not meant to be "played" with and are for display purposes only.  Given the shape if most ships, once they break off the display stand, they will not look so graceful in your display case.  Luckily, the BOP can actually sit on the surface in a "landed mode".


And now we come to the part of my articles where I do a quick check on eBay to get some prices of the ships I've shared with you.  I typically will just round up the most inexpensive Buy-It-Now prices (with shipping included in that price) from eBay at the time of this article's writing.

Eaglemoss = $16
Furuta = $20
Hallmark = $11
Hot Wheels = $31
Hot Wheels (Battle Damaged) = $29
Hot Wheels (HMS Bounty) = $25
Micro Machine Original = $6

This is by far a tough one to make a call on.  If you are looking to keep your pricing down, the Hallmark one is a great choice.  If you are looking for better details, it is a close one between Eaglemoss and Hot Wheels.  Personally, if I could only afford one, I would probably go with the Hot Wheels one due to the fact of the movable wings.  This is a cool little extra detail that no other manufacturer has reproduced yet with thier ships.


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 have a special kitbsahed ship to share with you.


IKS Hegh Ha'DIbaH (Death Beast)
X-65 Class Prototype Attack Vessel
1:2500 Scale AMT Kitbash

I have always wondered what a ship like this would look like. When the Star Trek Modelers Group on FaceBook decided to have a Star Trek/Star Wars crossover contest. This seemed to be the perfect time to give it a try since she would be very X-Wing like in appearance. The class name in fact is what the original class name was taken from the T-65 name for the X-Wing.

Like it's D-12 brothers, the X-65 also featured variable geometry wings that had similar positions for flight mode and planetary landing mode.

Cruise Mode                                        Attack Mode

Landing Mode

I have actually written a very in depth article about this ship so if you wish to read more about it, go to THIS LINK.

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     Furuta     Hallmark 
Hot Wheels     Comparative Shots
AMT (Model     WIP)

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