Thursday, November 6, 2014

EMvTW 01 - USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D (Galaxy Class)

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

Welcome to the debut article for a series that I'm going to call Eaglemoss vs. The World.  As I stated in one of my previous blog entries, I will do a review of the ships in my collection as they are released by Eaglemoss.  I may change that policy later but for now, this will be the format I go with.  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.

And without any further procrastination, the first ship in our series is going to be the Galaxy Class and more importantly, the most famous of these class of ships, the USS Enterprise (NCC 1701-D).

The picture above shows the collection that I currently have of this mighty ship.  Hanging on the wire are two Hallmark ornaments from 2012 and 1993.  Across the bottom, I own a beat up Galoob Die Cast model from 1987, a Hot Wheels model, the Eaglemossmodel, and on the right is a Furuta variant.  Sitting in front of the Furuta model are two tiny MicroMachines.

Per Memory Alpha and Beta, "The Galaxy-class was a Starfleet vessel first introduced in the late 2350s. It was one of the largest and most powerful Federation starship classes of its time, with many serving in the Dominion War."  They go on to say this about the Enterprise, "The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) was a 24th century Federation Galaxy-class starship operated by Starfleet, and the fifth Federation ship to bear the name Enterprise. During her career, the Enterprise served as the Federation flagship. The Enterprise was destroyed during the Battle of Veridian III in 2371."

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

Galaxy Class Information: Memory Alpha LINK and Memory Beta LINK
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) Information: Memory Alpha LINK and Memory Beta LINK

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of my reviews, let us talk quickly about the MicroMachine versions of this ship.

Good old MicroMachine produced two variants of the Enterprise D.  The original one they made was a static model while the one they produced as part of the collector's box set, actually featured a separating saucer section.  Here are some quick pictures of the Separating Version of thier model.


And that is all the attention I will give those models as this series of articles focuses more on the slightly larger scale models.

Eaglemoss vs. Furuta vs. Galoob vs. Hallmark vs. Hot Wheels

I decided that I wanted to start writing these articles as a way to provide a little more information to the collector than what you normally get in a review.  I found that there was a serious lack of size comparisons of the various pre-built and pre-painted small scale models 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 shots", the set of pictures I wished I had seen long ago, and the main reason I started this blog.  Had I seen this, my collection have have been vastly different as I may not have bought into Furuta.  Actually, that is a lie.  I still would have bought all the variations, but maybe not in the order I did as I would have focused more on what I thought was a better version first.

NOTE: Both Hallmark models are exactly the same size.  We will go into a more detailed look at those two models later on in this article.  For the sake of simplicity, I went with the better of the two for the following two pictures.

 Eaglemoss vs. Galoob vs. Furuta vs. Hot Wheels vs. Hallmark

Eaglemoss vs. Galoob vs. Furuta vs. Hot Wheels vs. Hallmark

Since this series of articles is called Eaglemoss vs. The World, perhaps it is fitting that we start with taking a closer look at Eaglemoss' version of this model.



WARNING!: The first thing I'm going to do is give you a little warning that I wish I had known or thought about.  If you get a brand new model, still in it's original packaging, BE CAREFUL WHEN TAKING IT OUT OF THE PACKAGING.  In my haste to remove it, I snapped off the saucer section at the neck.  Luckily, the model is all plastic at that section and I was able to glue it back together with super glue.

Eaglemoss' attention to detail on this model is just amazing.  This is probably because it is thier first one and they want to win us over with it.

While I review these pre-built and pre-painted models, there are going to be several things that you will hear over an over.  The first thing that I will tend to talk about is the sculpting and molding and how that affects certain details of the model.  When I talk about S&M (WAIT... er... NO!), sculpting and molding, i am of course referring to the physical details that you can see and feel on the model.  Tose ridges and phaser strips that stick up from the surface are all covered by this aspect.  These are created when the manufacturer makes thier initial model and then makes molds of that for the casting process.

Eaglemoss did a very nice job with thier sculpting and molded in details.  Most of the important areas of the ship are present, except for the tractor beam emitter and warp core hatch.  But given how much other details are present, they are easy to miss.

The other thing you will see me talk about when it comes to these sorts of models in the paint job.  I am a bit more hard on the manufacturers when it comes to this.  I collect these models so that I don't have to build and paint my own.

As for the colors on this model, Eaglemoss claims to have done extensive research both in the Paramount/ABC archives, TV/movies as well as the official CGI models to produce the most accurate coloring possible.  They even do something called aztecing to give the saucer section a more tech and machine like look.

I am not as pleased with the paint job on this one.  Eaglemoss choose to really highlight the azteching on the hull and as such, I feel like the model is darker in color than it should be.  One nice thing is that all those tiny little windows that are painted are actually properly aligned with thier molded in counterpart detailing.

I will also talk about the joins and seams of the model.  This is the part of the model where the different pieces have bee glued together.  When a manufacturer does a good job, you won't see these, or the manufacturer will try to blend them into the model's natural curves and lines.  

Unfortunately, the seam is a bit noticeable on mine along the length of the engineering hull and over the top of the deflector dish.  As time has gone by, this gap seems to have gotten worse from the weight strain of supporting the saucer.  Lucky for me, I'm a model builder, and a little super glue has rectified this hull breach for me.

Eaglemoss does a real neat thing with using clear plastics on some of thier models.  In the case of this model, they did this on the nacelles.  These clear plastics are supposed to simulate glowing effects of those areas by allowing you to shine light through them.

Does the effect work?  I'm not convinced, but I do like when they do this sort of thing as it tends to stand out more on the model.

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.

Honestly, I absolutely love thier rendition of the deflector dish.  It is well molded and the paint is allied nicely enough to just look great.

Since this is my first Eaglemoss review, I figured I would talk about the stand briefly.  This will probably be the only review where I mention it though, as I am trying to focus on the model itself.

Photo Credit: Eaglemoss

Some people do not like the stands that Eaglemoss has come up with.  The stand is clear plastic, and comes up mid-ship, hugging the engineering hull and then "clamps" on to the back of the saucer.  It makes the model look like it is sailing up and away from where ever you have placed it.  Personally, I like the stands.  They really are not that noticeable, especially when compared to the Furuta stands.  Also, this style of stand does not require them to put a hole anywhere on the model so you really do have a "realistic" ship.

The Eaglemoss models also come with a magazine in which they talk about the ship, both in universe as well as our real world.  In most cases, we get to hear about the juicy behind the scenes discussion of how the ship came to be.  Once again, my reviews will tend to focus only on the model itself.



Before we get started into picking apart the Furuta model, I would like to point the following out for my readers.  Furuta is a Japanese company that produced a series of gashapon toys.  Gashapon toys are meant to be nothing more than cheap little $1 to $5 bubble gum machine prizes.  I want 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.

Given that these models are mass produced and NOT hand painted, you would expect some mistakes.  I've bought the entire collection of Furuta models and have not noticed anything horribly bad about the paint jobs.  They are also snap together models meaning that you have to put them together.  That being said, there almost always is some sort of seam misalignment between the various parts.  this is a bit more noticeable on the deflector dish and warp nacelles.  You can see this better in a little bit.

The model is a battleship grey in color which matches all thier other primary Starfleet ships.  There is much debate on whether this is accurate or not but given that they are trying to hold all of thier models up to a standard, which makes sense as any fleet, whether make believe or real, tends to keep things standard.  This seems perfectly logical, and personally, I don't really care, so let's move on.

Looking at the top side of the model, they have covered the obligatory phaser strips on the saucer section and rear of the ship.  The model is missing the words USS Enterprise and the placement of the ship's registry numbers is a little to close to the bridge.  All that wording should have been one more ring out on the saucer section.

Looking at the bottom of the ship, we find that once again, the registry numbers are too close to the center and they are missing the phaser strips on the bottom of the nacelle support pylons.

I never noticed it until I was writing my review on the Galaxy X class, but it also appears that Furuta forgot to paint the impulse engines

The colors on the warp nacelle are nice and bright and allow this part of the ship to stand out, however, those bright colors also draw your eyes to the misaligned plastics along the nacelles joins and seams.

Deflector dishes are always a tough one for manufacturers of these ship models.  The coloring is technically true.  As you can see, the plastic work and paining is a little shoddy.  I feel like this is something to expect though with something this small, cheap and mass produced.



Let's talk about that Die Cast Galoob model next.  Apparently, Galoob tried cashing in on thier licensing for TNG by producing action figures and other toys.  According to this Memory Alpha LINK, this model is the only ship they produced in thier die-cast line.

I'm going to say that this is a fairly detailed model when it comes to the molded parts.  It is also fairly hefty as it has very few plastic parts.  

Being a die cast metal model does create a few issues for it though.  The most unsightly part of the model has to be those rivets in the bottom of the ship that hold this thing together.

The paint job is severely lacking on this model though.  The duck blue eggshell color just throws off the color for the entire model.

The nacelles are apparently painted in a "powered off" mode with all that dark copper coloring along the nacelle grilles.

Looking at the Galoob deflector dish is a major let down too.  They did not put a lot of thought into it, and once again gave us that "powered down" look.  The joins and seams for the model are even more evident in the part of the ship

The one thing the model does have going for it though is the fact that the saucer section can separate from the drive section of the model.


Up until I acquired my Hot Wheels variation, this model was the only one of my larger models that had a functioning detachable saucer section.


I started collecting starships of this size thanks to the work of Hallmark and thier Christmas line of Star Trek ornaments.  I grew impatient though with waiting an entire year just to add one more vehicle to my fleet so I started collecting other manufacturers.  And that is what started me down this dark path of comparative reviews.

Back in 1993, Hallmark released thier first Enterprise D.  They then re-released the ship in 2012.  Once I got the 2012 model, I hated to be wasteful and not display the old model, so, figuring I'd be "cool", I made some simple labeling for the older model and turned it into the USS Yamato.

1993 Hallmark


2012 Hallmark


As you can see from the above pictures, I "ruined" the 1993 model by cutting off the power cabling, which means mine will never light again.  I did this because that long cable made it rather difficult to hang and display in my stands.

The 2012 model was slightly more detailed, however, they permanently mounted it to a stand, and unlike thier other releases, this model didn't light up.  This fact made me extremely unhappy with Hallmark and kind of ruined my want to ever by any of thier re-releases.  And, I "ruined" this one by snapping it off of the permanent stand so that it could hang up in my display stand.  

What I don't understand about the 2012 version is, why would you put an ornament eye on the model, call it an ornament and then hard mount it to a strand?  Hanging the model up with that ungainly stand would just look awful on your tree

The overall ship color is a pearl white (Is that what you call it???) on both models.  As with Furuta, they did this to continue blending the ship with the rest of thier produced fleet.  I'm OK with this fact as it gives a consistency when you line up all of the Hallmark Starfleet ships next to each other.  And quite frankly, I'm really not that concerned about it.

I really don't have anything bad to say about the detailing on the top side of either model.  They are very detailed for a Hallmark ornament.  All the key features are represented.  And it was nice to see improvement in the quality of thee sculpt and mold after 19 years of making these things.


The painting of the 1993 model is rather light, no, missing is a better word for it.  A lot of the 1993 model's details were just left that pearl white.  It was also a pleasant surprise to see that they chose to highlight a few more areas of the ship with paint on the 2012 version.


 As for the nacelles, the 1993 version had clear plastics and the nacelles would light up.  Since the 2012 model did not have any lighting effects, Hallmark did away with the clear plastics and opted to paint the nacelles.  I think they did a pretty good job with it.


And now on to the important part of the ship.  This was the first time I've ever really looked closely at the deflector dish for these ornaments.  


I took a close look at the 1993 variation and although the colors are off, they at least had the inner piece flush with the outer ring so that you got that "dish" effect.  If you Google the deflector dish on a Galaxy class starship, there is always a ring of blue surrounding the outer part of the dish.  HOWEVER, the dish does light up when the model is powered on.  

And then I took a good look at the 2012 model's deflector dish.

After I looked at the 2012 model, I was very forgiving of the color variation of the 1993 model.

First, of all, the colors are way off on the 2012 model.  As I stated on Galoob model review, this color scheme makes it look like the ship is powered down.  They also raised the inner section.  I have never seen that in the show or on any other model.  The entire dish is supposed to be concave.  

In the end though, I felt that the 2012 model was the better of the two.  Deflector dish aside, the 2012 model was better detailed and just looked better when set next to her 1993 sister ship.  

There were a few other Hallmark renditions of the D.  In 1995, they released a tiny variant in a set called "Ships Of Star Trek".  This one was ideal for hanging on the Deep Space Nine ornament which I will be high-lighting in THIS future article.  

In 2007, Hallmark produced the future version of the D that was commanded by Admiral Riker.  That one was self-powered.  You can read about that ship in THIS ARTICLE.

Hot Wheels


WARNING: Let me address this right away 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 front of the ship 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 of most ships, once they break off the display stand, they will not look so graceful in your display case.

This is the newest piece to my Enterprise D family.  I managed to get her for a bargain on eBay and was very surprised and delighted to find that she featured a separating saucer section just like Galoob's version.


I have to say, Hot Wheels did a very nice job with this ship.  The coloring is a Battleship Grey ranging more towards a bluish color.  The stand makes for a good display on your desk or shelves, if you don't break it.

The top side of the ship appears to cover all the basics like registry and phaser bank placements.  I really don't have anything bad to say about it at this point.  The sculpted and molded details are crisp and plentiful.

The bottom looks pretty good too except for the phaser strips on the nacelle pylons.  First and foremost, the thing that stand out the most is that they were not painted like the other strips.  The second issue is that they are placed a little too low on the pylons.  Other than that, the paint job of this model is well done.

Like the Eaglemoss model, How Wheels opted to throw in some clear plastics for the nacelle grills which adds a bit of charm to that part of the ship.

I was pretty delighted with thier work on the deflector dish details.  They included some blue coloring in there.  

The one issue I see is that the dish on my model does not seem to be flush with the model.  This may have been a manufacturer defect.


And now, let us 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 = $34
Furuta = $11
Galoob Die Cast = $14
Hallmark 1993 = $20
Hallmark 2012 = $31
Hallmark 1995 Ships Of Star Trek = $14
Hot Wheels = $40
Micro Machine Original = $9
Micro Machine Separating Saucer Section = $18

NOTE: Prices were researched last on January 3rd, 2018.

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.

Had Hallmark not decided to re-release the model in a crappy non-ornament form, they would have scored some higher marks from me.  That being said, the Eaglemoss model is by far the best choice. Their attention to detail was just absolutely amazing. Although I do have to say, the Hot Wheels rendition with it's separating saucer section gives you a fun model that provides various displaying options.


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.

In May of 2016, I finally got around to re-writing my review to the Galaxy X Class and realized that I never tied this article to that one.  Feel free to see what Eaglemoss and a couple other manufacturers did to upgrade thier model.  You can read that article 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:
Eaglemoss     Furuta     Galoob     Hallmark 1993 2012   
Hot Wheels     MicroMachine Old School Separating Saucer
Comparative Shots

Other Reviewers Take On The Eaglemoss Model:
Some Kind Of Star Trek
Star Trek Starship Collection

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