Friday, November 7, 2014

EMvTW 02 - USS Enterprise NCC-1701 (and -A) (Constitution Class Refit)

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.  That's actually kind of humorous... a refit to the article about the refit ship.]

It's time to move along with my Eaglemoss vs. The World series and talk about the second ship in the series.  The ship we will review this time round is the Constitution Class Refit, known as the USS Enterprise (NCC 1701 and the NCC 1701-A).  I will group both of these together as they are in essence the same type of ship.  In fact, the studio models used in the movies for both of these ships was in fact, the same model.  so there you go.

Just a quick reminder as to what this article will review... My collecting tastes tend to stay with the small scale starships.  I like the ships in my collection to stay under 6 inches in length as they tend to display better.


The picture above shows the various versions I own of this ship.  I currently own an Eaglemoss, two Furuta, a Hallmark, a Hot Wheels, and a MicroMachine variation of this ship.

A quick note about Furuta.  They actually produced two ships of this classification.  HOWEVER, for some reason, the ship they produced in thier third series was MUCH smaller in scale than thier previous release.  In fact, most of thier third series ships were about the same size as MicroMachines.

 
Furuta volume 3b

 
MicroMachine

The Furuta (3rd Series) Enterprise is just slightly larger than it's MicroMachine counterpart.  It is still well detailed for what it is.  My biggest issue though was that they had already released a Constitution Class Refit during thier Volume 1 run.  That ship looked great.  I think that they should have used this "slot" in the collection for a different ship that hadn't been produced.

Furuta volume 3b vs. MicroMachine

MicroMachine vs. Furuta volume 3b

Eaglemoss vs. Furuta vs. Hallmark vs. Hot Wheels

OK, enough of that.  On to my gravy shot picture.  As I stated before, 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.

Hot Wheels vs. Furuta vs. Hallmark vs. Eaglemoss

Eaglemoss vs. Hallmark vs. Furuta vs. Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels comes out as the largest of the group and Furuta comes in as the smallest.  Honestly, all of the ships have thier pros and cons as you will soon read.

Eaglemoss

 
 
 
 

This was Eaglemoss' second ship of the line in thier collection.  I do a lot of research and reading of other people's reviews to make sure that I don't miss something as well as measure up how good of a job I did when looking over the ship myself.  The average review on this ship tends to put it down as not being very detailed, especially when you compare it to the Enterprise D that proceeded it in the collection.  I'm not sure what those people's issues are.  They are two very different ships.  If they had Aztec detailed this ship like they did on the D, it would have made her ugly.  Eaglemoss based thier coloring and details off off the first movie's version of the model.  Yes, she does lack some of the details that my other models have, but she also has some details that the other models don't have so it kind of evens out in my opinion.  Considering she was the most inexpensive of my models to obtain, I'm even less concerned with this supposed lack of details.


The top side of the ship looks pretty good.  Although I can't seem to find any reference pictures that support thier use of shadow effecting the registry numbers in red as much as they did.


The bottom side is equally well done showing all the obligatory cargo bay hatches and what not.  Once again there is that annoying shadow effect on the registry.  What is interesting, I've had this model for almost a year now and I never took notice of this until I wrote this review.

The sculpting and molding of the metal and plastic is very well done and help bring out all of the important details of the ship.  And as far as paint goes, they did a fine job in my opinion.  Not every model needs aztecing to look realistic.  They covered all the major parts of the ship and highlighted them with a good paint job.  I really like the use of clear plastics on this model.  Those grills on the nacelles look really nice with the plastic.


Initially, I had written that I seemed to have a fixation on the deflector dishes on my Galaxy class ships, and that I'd continue that tradition.  In reality, I have found over the 50 some issues that I've reviewed that looking at this section of the ship gives me a very good idea of the level of attention that the manufacturer puts into thier model.

This is where I can see where people might complain about lack of details.  On every other variation I have of this ship, the deflector dish has some sort of definition, whether it is from some subtle color variations or just plain lines on the dish.  This is rather drab looking.  I think I would have added a little color to the torpedo bays as well just to make them stand out a little more.

Furuta (Volume 1)

 
 
 
 

As I pointed out in my last article, Furuta 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.

This was Furuta's first go at making the Constitution Class Refit Enterprise.  And quite frankly, they did a good job for a cheap bubble gum machine toy.  The sculpting and molded details on the plastic is very well done.  She is extremely detailed, almost too much.  The color scheme seems way off on the nacelle pylons and secondary hull. This is also one of the more rarer variants to get a hold of and as such is the most expensive to acquire at the time of the writing of this article.


The top side view also shows that they didn't paint the phaser banks causing them to just blend in with the rest of the saucer section.


The bottom side shows you what I mean about the going a bit overboard on the detailing and the wrong color scheme.


As we take a gander at the deflector dish, you can clearly see how these are machine painted in a bit of a rush.  I do like the fact that the dish has details molded into it but the paint on it as well as the paint on the secondary hull nose just plain detracts from this cool detail.  I guess thier version doesn't have any torpedo launchers either.

Hallmark

 
 
 
 

In 2005, Hallmark released thier rendition of the Enterprise A.  This was the first year that they started making the ships take batteries so that they did not need to be plugged into a light string.  They did a really nice job with this model, covering all the details as well as they could and not going overboard.  The only thing I can really find fault with this model is that the nacelle pylons are really thick.  They needed to do this though to hide the wires as well as keep the ship from being fragile as hell.


I have not personally found anything wrong looking at the topside of this ship.


And the bottom side is equally well done.  They did a nice job hiding the button to turn the lights on in the curl of the secondary hull near the hangar bay.



Looking at the deflector dish, I have to say that Hallmark knocked it out of the park here.  I like the detail lines on the dish and it lights up as well.  This is a very cool feature that makes this model stand out from the rest.  And the photon torpedo launchers stand out as well with the subtle addition of some well placed paint.


As I stated earlier, this model lights up.  Here is a nice picture of her all lit up.

Hot Wheels

 
 
 
 

Hot Wheels in its on-going quest to cash in on it's license license with Paramount as much as possible had released three variations of the exact same ship during thier run of making this sized toy.  There was the original variant of the ship, then they re-released the same ship with battle damaged tattoos that were heat applied on.  Then during the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con, they released a special issue of the enterprise being repaired in Spacedosck.  Once again, they plastered on heat tattoos to simulate the construction work and the box it came in looked like the grid work of a construction dock.  These "damaged" variants are actually cheaper and if you are skilled with hot soapy water and an exacto knife, you can remove the tattoos to give yourself a "undamaged" variant.  Given that the price difference isn't too much at this point, it would be more worth your while just to buy the "undamaged" one.

I'll be honest with you, I wasn't super impressed with this ship.  If people thought that the Eaglemoss ship was lacking in details, then they never held one of these.


Looking at the topside, we can see that the phaser banks are not detailed and the ship name seems way to small.  The RCS thrusters are also missing.


The bottom side shows an even more lacking of detail, both in the phaser banks again as well as the cargo bay doors.


The deflector dish was a nice surprise in that they at least molded some details into it.  They also added some color to the torpedo bays so they at least stood out a little more.

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.

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 writing.

Eaglemoss = $17
Furuta Volume 1 = $42
Furuta Volume 3b = $16
Hallmark = $51
Hot Wheels = $112
Hot Wheels Battle Damaged = $45
Hot Wheels Repair Dock = $25
Micro Machine = $10

The first time that I wrote this article, I had stated that the Hallmark model got my "Best Bang For The Buck" seal of approval, because of it's pricing and the fact that it lit up.  Now that I am re-writing this article, prices have fluctuated quite a bit.  With that being said, I'm changing my decision to that of Eaglemoss' model.  If you are trying to populate your small scale fleet on a budget, then thier model seems to be the clear cut winner.



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 have three additional ships to share with you.

AMT (Dougherty)

The first one I'd like to share is my very own flagship, the USS Dougherty (NCC-7448).

 
 
 
 

She originally was part of the AMT Round 2 1:2500 Enterprise Set.  This ship is probably one of the oldest models in my collection.  She is over 20 years old and up until about a year ago had never been painted.  She had been played with heavy when I was a kid and has survived several encounters with Borg Moving Boxes.  When I decided to get back into model building, and more importantly make an attempt to paint the darned things, she was one of my first to undergo a "refit".  My universe story line has her being salvaged by Admiral Patrick Dougherty and being refitted and upgraded around the time that the USS Lakota received all her upgrades.  Sadly, in my universe, she was also destroyed quite a few years later.


OK, yes, now I'm being silly but my ship was getting dish envy.  Anyway, I never said I was very good at painting.  at least I tried to detail the dish and torpedo launchers.

I have really dug the AMT 1:2500 ship sets and have used them extensively for my kitsbashes.  

Polar Lights

My nephew also is a huge fan of what he calls the Enterprise A, which is he term for the Refit class in general/  It's taken him a while to break him of that.  Anyway, he wanted to build one of his own but do something different with the paint job.

 
 
 

After doing some research for him, it was determined that the Polar Lights model would be a good first ship for him to build.  As it turned out, he built and painted it as if it were commandeered by the Klingon Empire.


He he he.  No comment from me here.

AMT (Creeper Baden)

My nephew has a younger brother who ended up being a little jealous.  I decided to build the little guy his very own "Enterprise" but opted to also go with the Klingon motif for it as well.  This one was another AMT 1:2500 kit.

 
 
 

I had gotten the color idea from when my own son ended up painting a Romulan Warbird using Testor's Jade Green Spray Paint.  The effect on the hull is just down right cool.  For mine, I used Testor's Metallic Green Flake which basically is the same thing.  The purple was done up using Metallic Purple flake.


And no, that is not a gigantic Gatling gun on the from of the ship.

And for one last bonus, I have finally reached Issue #72 in my collection and have gone on to review the U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) that Eaglemoss has produced.  You can read that review at THIS LINK.



11/2016 UPDATE: I have had several questions about whether I was going to review Issue #72, the 1701-A version of Eaglemoss' ship.  Well, at long last, I have acquired that model and you can read my review of it at THIS LINK.



Anyway, 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 #02     Furuta v1     Furuta v3b     Hallmark
Hot Wheels     MicroMachine     Comparative Shots
AMT (Dougherty)     Polar Lights     AMT (Creeper Baden)

10 comments:

  1. Are you going to do an update with the new release of the Eaglemoss NCC-1701-A? It has a completely different paint job now that includes aztec and is in much lighter colors that I think looks a lot better than the gray of their first version of the refit.

    Also, have you considered adding the Konami or F-Toys versions of these? I have both, and they each have their own pretty nice aspects, plus they're both pretty cheap; the F-Toys can be found for less than $10 on Ebay, and the Konami for as low as $13.

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    1. I haven't bought the Eaglemoss version of the Constitution refit myself, because I don't like the drab gray of the first release, but I suspect when compared the Konami version might have a pretty good run at best bang-for-buck.

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    2. It's funny that you ask that. I am currently awaiting delivery of my Eaglemoss 1701-A right now and should have an article out in the next two weeks.

      I never got into buying the F-Toys or Konami toys because Furuta, Hot Wheels ans Hallmark filled the gaps of my collection rather nicely.

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    3. Are you at all geographically close to NC? I might be interested in loaning you some of the miniatures from other lines if you're interested in adding them to existing articles. And sorry for the delay in reply.

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    4. Hi there! Unfortunately I'm not, but thanks for the offer.

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    5. Not interested, or not close to NC?

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    6. Sorry, was in a bit of a rush yesterday. Unfortunately, I'm a good 12 hours from N.C.

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    7. Well the more I think about it the more interested I am in loaning them anyway. Is there a way I can send you a private message?

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  2. email me at pdougherty999@gmail.com .

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    Replies
    1. Sent. Look out for an email titled "Eaglemoss VS The World".

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