Tuesday, December 2, 2014

EMvTW 09 - USS Defiant NX-74205 (Defiant class)

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

[Editor's Note (February 2016): 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.]

And now we are on to number nine of my "Eaglemoss vs. The World" series.  It's time to focus on a cool and tough little ship, the USS Defiant.


I've managed to collect several versions of this ship, in the form of Eaglemoss, Furuta and Hallmark, not to mention a MicroMachine and a clear resin MicroMachine, which is supposed to make it look like it is cloaked.

 
  

Here are a couple quick pictures of the MicroMachine ships.  The clear resin one is a nice idea, but that plastic is very fragile especially for what I paid for them back in the day.  I had a "cloaked" Bird Of Prey at one time that fell off it's stand and shattered.

Eaglemoss vs. Furuta vs. Hallmark

When I started getting into collecting and wanting to expand my collection, 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.  This frustrated me and so I set out to provide this information myself and hopefully help someone make a wiser decision in which model to buy.

So now I present to you what I like to call "the gravy shot" of the "Big Three", a series of pictures I wished I had seen long ago, and the main reason I started this blog.

Furuta vs. Eaglemoss vs. Hallmark

Hallmark vs. Eaglemoss vs. Furuta

Hallmark vs. Eaglemoss vs. Furuta

There are some major differences between the Big Three.  Furuta comes in as the smallest and Hallmark is the largest.  Besides a size difference, each has thier own take on the details to accent thier version of this ship

Eaglemoss

 
 
 
 

Eaglemoss did a very nice job with this model.  It is surprising lightweight and the metal and plastic molding all over are well defined.  

One complaint that I do have that stood out immediately is the way the "head" of the ship attaches to the body.  There is a neck piece.  I went back and looked through the various on screen appearances of the ship and could not find thier justification for this.  It almost looks like you could easily snap the "head" off of the ship.




The painting is well done all over except for one glaring issue.  If you take a close look at the port side of the ship, the Starfleet emblem is going the wrong way.  It should actually be pointing to the front of the ship.


If you've been following my series, you'll know that I like to hyper-fixate on the Starfleet deflector dishes.  No, this is not dish envy but rather a good spot to take a close look at the manufacturer's attention to details.  I'm going to deviate slightly in this article when it comes to comparing the Starfleet ships.  This time around, I'm going to focus on a little more than just the deflector dish.  I will also include a closer look at the front and back of the nacelle housings.  I opted to widen our view slightly as the "nacelles" on each of the models is also a bit telling on the individual manufacturer's take of the ship.  


They got the coloring and detailing right on the deflector dish so I'm very pleased with this section of the ship.


I really like the choice of clear parts fort the bussard collector.  HOWEVER, they could have been slightly more detailed on the collector.  There are two very visible lines that cross the deflector that they could have easily replicated my doing some simple molding of the plastic.  If Hallmark was able to do this section right, Eaglemoss could have done so as well.  There is also a noticeable missing phaser cannon assembly in the lower part of the nacelle.  I point this out because another of the manufacturers actually detailed this on thier model.


Now let's swing the ship around and take a good look at her stern end.  The first thing that stands out is the fact that there is a gaping hole where the impulse engine exhaust is.  The should have filled this in and threw a dab of red on it.  The second issue I have with this model from this side is the rear of the nacelle housing is wrong.  If you look at any screen time images, or even at actual models that you build, you will see that this area is not completely blue.  those vertical lines running down the exhaust should be the same color as the rest of the hull.

My last complaint, is that the stand for this ship is a bit wonky.  It does not clip on and hold the ship tightly.  Which means, a slight bump near by the model will cause it to fall off it's stand.  Since this is not an actual model defect or issue, I won't detract points for it.

Furuta

 
 
 
 

Next up, we take a look at Furuta's rendition of the Defiant.  

I like to point out to my first time readers 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 like 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.

I'm actually a big fan of Furuta.  Let's face it, for how cheap thier toys were when they were initially released, the attention to detail is pretty darned good.  There is something I particularly like about the overall paint job on this.  The ship is painted with much darker colors than other models and I personally think it gives the ship a even tougher look to her over other lighter colored Starfleet vessels.  If it weren't for some issues mentioned below, this clearly would have been a favorite of mine.


Let's take a look at that deflector dish.  Although they molded some details in there and added color, it's not quite right when compared to on screen appearances.


As for the nacelles, well, this is where they got some things right, and some things horribly wrong.  Furuta did molding across the bussard collector that gives it the contours that I said Eaglemoss' ship was missing.  The problem though is that they decided to paint it yellow.  What is that all about?  They did however try to give her the details of having the phaser cannons so hats off to them on that.


And then we turn the model around and look at the rear nacelle housing.  Ummm...  What is that mess all about?  I guess they tried to get the molding right with a grid pattern and bars, but it just looks like a big mess back here.  The molding just flubs the whole assembly up and the paint, or lack there of, just compounds the ugly look going on there.  And like Eaglemoss, Furuta chose to give the impulse manifolds a nice hole instead of any color.

Hallmark

 
 
 
 

In 1997, Hallmark released thier rendition of the USS Defiant.  This was still back in the day that you needed to plug the model into a Christmas tree light strand to power it.

I've always like Hallmark's rendition of this ship.  Although it seems slightly disproportionate as compared to others versions, it still is a good solid model with nice attention to details.  The sculpting molding of the ship is done real well and thier painting gives the ship all those little details that you would look for on a Defiant model.  


Looking at the deflector dish, they did a great job detailing closely to the on screen version.  and when the model is lit, it does indeed glow blue.


I particularly like that Hallmark molded the lines into the bussard collectors.  Thier bussard collectors also glow red when the model is lit.  And as an added bonus, I particuliarly like the fact that they molded in details for the phaser cannons which is something other pre-made models seem to miss out on.


Swinging the model around, and looking at the rear of the nacelles, I think that Hallmark did the best job of the big three that I'm reviewing.  The molding is superb and the color choices just look plain superb.  The exhaust grille also glows blue and they did put in impulse engines that glow red.  This I feel is yet another major plus for Hallmark and none of the others bothered to highlight the impulse engines.

Although I cut the wires off my model for display purposes, I was able to find some pictures of it lit for you on the web.



The model also has blinking running lights on the top rear part of the ship.

Honestly, with the attention to details and the areas they chose to light up, this is one of Hallmark's best ships that they have produced.

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 from eBay at the time of this article's writing.

Eaglemoss = $25
Furuta = $21
Hallmark = $12
Micro Machine = $31
Micro Machine (Cloaked) = $7

And so, in conclusion, I now need to make a call on which one I think is the best bang for the buck.  Although Eaglemoss always does a fine job with thier models, they missed a couple little details.  Which then leaves me with the thought that Hallmark is the better choice.  For the price and what you get in details and the fact that it lights, it just seems like a great fit for your collection.

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     Furuta     Hallmark
MicroMachine     Uncloaked     Cloaked    
Comparative Shots

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