Thursday, November 20, 2014

EMvTW 06 - USS Voyager NCC-74656 (Intrepid Class)

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

My sixth installment of the "Eaglemoss Vs. The World" series is going to focus on the USS Voyager from the series titled "Star Trek: Voyager".


Compared to some of the other ships I've reviewed from this series, this is a rather small selection of models to share.  I have an Eaglemoss, Furuta, Hallmark and MicroMachine model in my collection.


Per Memory Alpha and Beta, "The Intrepid-class starship was a Federation design that entered service in the later half of the 24th century. The Intrepid-class was designed for long-term exploration missions. At less than half the size of a Galaxy-class starship, it was considered "quick and smart."""  these sites go on to say this about the USS Voyager, "The USS Voyager (NCC-74656) was a 24th century Federation Intrepid-class starship operated by Starfleet. The vessel was famous for completing an unscheduled seven-year journey across the Delta Quadrant between 2371 and 2378, which was the first successful exploration of that quadrant by the Federation."

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

Intrepid Class Information: Memory Alpha LINK and Memory Beta LINK
[Ship Name] Information: Memory Alpha LINK and Memory Beta LINK

The MicroMachine unit is rather unique in that it features movable warp nacelles.  In fact, it is the ONLY small scale version of this ship that I have that has this feature.  It is also very detailed for such a small model.

 
 

And that is all I'm going to focus on in regards to the MicroMachine model as these reviews are meant to focus on larger scale models.

Eaglemoss vs. Furuta vs. Hallmark

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.

Next up 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. Furuta vs. Hallmark

Eaglemoss vs. Furuta vs. Hallmark

All of the ships in this grouping have the nacelles in a fixed position.  Furuta comes in as the smallest, but not by much.

Eaglemoss

 
 
 
 

The Eaglemoss ship makes for a very nice addition to any collection.  Although when I compare it to Hallmark, there are some issues that come to mind.  

The sculpting and molding is what perplexes me a tiny bit.  


The top half of the ship which is the die cast metal part, and it seems to not be as detailed as other ships that I have.  


The detailing on the top part of the "saucer section" also seems to be softer than on the bottom half leading one to see the ship as being a bit out of phase with itself.  The proportions of the various parts are spot on, but they just seem to be "off" on the top half.  


The bottom half of the ship is much better.  The plastic molding was done in such a way to allow the ship to look crisp.  I almost wish they had just done the whole ship in plastic which would have made my final conclusions on which ship is better much easier.

Perhaps a little extra paint to detail out parts of the top section of the ship would have been a good move here.  Overall, the entire paint scheme of the model is a bit of a dull grey with no aztecing details.  Lack of aztecing is not always a problem for me though as I do feel that not every starship needs aztecing to make them look good.  What I mean by extra paint is that certain details are lacking.  When looking at the model, you can definitely make out the escape pods as they all have been painted, HOWEVER, Eaglemoss chose not to paint in most of the molded window details.  


The rear of the ship is not the best representation of this class of starship either.  The impulse engines are a bit sloppy with thier painting and the hangar bay is just a swath of grayish paint.


One neat detail that Eaglemoss did well was the Aeroshuttle docking port.  The molded details show it off nicely, however, they could have probably skipped the dab of paint on it because what they did put on was not aligned correctly.


The joins and seams for how the model was put together are actually hidden well on this model.  The only real noticeable spot is on the nacelles.  I have usually been impressed with the clear plastics on Eaglemoss models, however, the plastic work on this model shows off too much of the inside of the nacelle, thus spoiling the effect.  The bussard collectors were painted red instead of using clear red plastics like on other models.  


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.

In the case of this ship, there are two sections that I think warrant this closer inspection.  the first on is at the front top of the "saucer section".  


I'm not really sure what  Eaglemoss was trying to accomplish here.  Talking about being wonky!  It looks like the sensor assembly is being peeled away from the hull.

The deflector dish on the engineering hull is very good, both in detailing and color choices.  The molded part is crisp and clear and the paint job is well done.  I particularly like that they added a little paint to bring out the photon torpedo launcher details as well..


Although Eaglemoss has brought us a good model of the USS Voyager, I'm afraid that I'm not as impressed with it as I have been with other Eaglemoss models.

Furuta

 
 
 
 

I want to refresh everyone's memory that 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.

For something that was meant as a cheap little toy, the detailing of this model is pretty darned good.


Although they are not the most clear in some areas, this model is loaded down with lots of molded in details.


I will admit that some areas of the ship are not in the correct proportion.  For instance, there are several observation "decks" on the top side of the saucer section that just look plain awful when compared to the Hallmark and Eaglemoss ships.


That being said though, the paint job is rather eye catching and colorful.  Although the paint application is a bit sloppy in some areas, these were probably machine done in a hurry and low production costs meant that the level of attention to quality was probably non-existent.


At least Furuta remembered to put some sort of detail work into the Aeroshuttle.


When you look at the rear of the ship, that lacking detail stands out even more when you notice that the impulse engine seem to be extinguished and I'm not sure what to say about the banana yellow hangar bay.


The work on the nacelles is fundamental and gets the job done.  there isn't anything good or bad to write about here.


The sensor array on the primary hull is actually better done than on the Eaglemoss model.


Although the deflector dish also suffers the proportions issue as other parts of the ship, the colors are nice and there is some molded detailing on it.  I also like that they painted the torpedo launchers so that they stand out.


For what it is, Furuta actually produced a somewhat decent looking little model.  

Hallmark

 
 
 
 

In 1996, Hallmark gave us thier rendition of the USS voyager.  Like thier other ships, this one plugged into your Christmas tree light strand to get power and light up.


Unfortunately for you, I have cut the wires off my model so that it could hang better.  Finding a picture of it lit up for you was rather difficult and this was the best I could find.


Hallmark did a fair job on recreating this ship.  I was really impressed with the plastic molding details that gave the ship windows.  But like Furuta's model, this one also seems to be a little out of proportion.  


The first glaring issue is the nacelles.  They just seem too fat.  Hallmark probably needed to do this for the lighting, however, it affects the over all look, especially when you don't light it like I do (or don't).  


The ship also seems to look like it has been squished from front to back, making her look shorter yet fatter when compared to pictures from the show.


I'm not sure if I'm a fan of how much Hallmark choose to highlight the Aeroshuttle on the bottom of the saucer.  It makes it stand out a little too much, especially since they never actually showed the shuttle in action on screen.


They should have saved the Aeroshuttle paint and used it to add a little color to the sensor array on the primary hull.


I think they could have thrown a little paint to highlight the torpedo launchers near the deflector dish.  I do like that the Hallmark's dish illuminates when the ship is light up.  The molded plastics for the dish add some nice detail as well.  



The seam work between the upper half and lower half of the ship seems (pun intended) a little shoddy around the deflector dish.  

While Hallmark's paint job on the impulse engines is not great, I think that of the big three manufacturer's, Hallmark made the nicest looking shuttle bay.


I think it would have been nice for Hallmark to paint a few of the windows as well.


While the Hallmark model is not the best representation of the USS Voyager, she is still nice to look at.

Hot Wheels

Ha ha, fooled you.  Hot Wheels never made one.  I wish Hot Wheels had made one though as it would have been cool to see if they tackled the movable nacelles.  Given the quality I've seen on thier other ships, I'm sure they would have done a very good job.

Conclusion

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

Eaglemoss = $30
Furuta = $20
Hallmark = $10
Micro Machine = $31

NOTE: Prices were researched last on February 5th, 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.

This is another one of those tough calls for me.  The big three are all priced pretty close to one another.  If the Hallmark one was able to light without the need for a Christmas tree light string, it would have probably won out for me, but the wire coming off the bottom makes it so hard to put on display.  And the soft details on the top side of the Eaglemoss ship detract from the beauty of the overall model.  The Furuta one is nice, but way out of proportion.  I would have to say that if I could only have one of them though, I would probably go with the Eaglemoss as it does display nicely and is probably the best in terms of being screen accurate.



BONUS ROUND!!!

Every once in a while, I'll have a little extra to share with you.  This bonus was not part of my original article either so it worked out that I saw it fit to refit it.  That hurt my head to type.  LOL.

Issue #48 of Eaglemoss' models brought us the armored USS Voyager from the show's final episode "Endgame".  


Rather than repeat anything from that article, here is a LINK to it.  If it peaks your interest, feel free to go check it out for yourself.




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     Hallmark
MicroMachine     Comparative Shots

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

2 comments:

  1. Had you ever been aware of Johhny Lightnings USS Voyager, or Heroclix Voyager? Johnny Lightnings Voyager has the posable nacelles.

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  2. LOL. I get asked that question all the time. Back when I got into collecting these things, I was trying to keep everything around the same size as my Hallmark ornaments. I had avoided Johhny Lightning because they were smaller than what I wanted, and as time went on, they became harder to get at a decent price so they never made it into the collective. Every once in a while, I see something come up on eBay, but either the timing or the finances keep me from adding them in. I did have someone offer to lend me his collection for comparison, but I've been so busy with re-writes that I just don't have the time to do it. Someday though, I'm sure that there will be an addendum to several of my articles.

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