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.

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, which we are introduced to for the first time in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode titled "The Search, Part I".  After that, the ship continues to make it's presence known throughout the series as well as in the movie Star Trek: First Contact.


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


Per Memory Alpha and Beta, "The Defiant-class starship, officially an escort vessel, began development around 2366 as a small, highly-powered, heavily-armed warship intended to defend the United Federation of Planets against the Borg. The USS Defiant (NX-74205) was the prototype of what was to be a new Federation battle fleet. However, the ship had numerous design problems that were made apparent during its shakedown cruise. These flaws, combined with the decreased urgency of the Borg threat, caused Starfleet to table its plans for a battle fleet and put the Defiant in storage.  The Defiant prototype was pulled out of storage in 2371 when the Dominion threat emerged. After several upgrades by Deep Space 9 Operations Chief Miles O'Brien, the ship was deemed worthy of use and more ships of the class were constructed."

There is a lot more information on the Defiant and it's class of vessels.  If you would like to read more official stuff on this type of ship, feel free to check out the following links:

Defiant Class Information: Memory Alpha LINK and Memory Beta LINK
USS Defiant (NX-74205) Information: Memory Alpha LINK and Memory Beta LINK

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 also had a "cloaked" Bird Of Prey at one time, however that fell off it's stand and onto the floor and shattered.

 
Non-Cloaked

 
Cloaked


That will be all that I share of those two models as my review is meant to focus on some slightly larger scale builds.

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.

 Eaglemoss vs. Furuta vs. Hallmark

Eaglemoss vs. Furuta vs. Hallmark

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

 
 
 
 

Overall, Eaglemoss did a very nice job with this model.  It is surprising lightweight and the metal and plastic sculpted and molded details are well defined.  


Eaglemoss tried thier best to blend the joins a seams into the natural lines of the ship.  Unfortunately, they can still be clearly seen on the nacelles.  On other parts of the ship, the joins take on a welded look where the flashing wasn't quite cleaned off.


And as you can also see from the above picture, there is a bit of a mistake with one of the wing tip Starfleet pennants pointing the wrong way.

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 Eaglemoss could have thrown a dab of red on it.  


Other than those issues, the paint work is rather well done.  


I do have a major concern for the ship's structural integrity.  That whole front section, that contains the deflector dish and the "warhead" looks like it is barely connected to my model.

 

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.

I really like the choice of clear parts fort the bussard collector.  HOWEVER, they could have been slightly more detailed on the collector.  When you look at pictures of the Defiant's bussard collectors, there are two very visible lines that cross the collector that they could have easily replicated my doing some simple molding of the plastic.  

 

I don't like to foreshadow my own article, but I feel like, if Hallmark was able to do this section correctly, then 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 that I review actually managed to detail this on thier model.

Eaglemoss also opted to use clear blue plastics on the rear of the nacelles, however, this brings up yet another issue I have with this model.  The rear of the nacelle housing is wrong.  If you look at any screen time images, or even at actual models that you buy and 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.

 

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 am very pleased with Eaglemoss' handling of the deflector dish.  They got the molded details down and the coloring is good enough to get the point across.  

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.  You just need to either not display it on its stand, or not display it close to the edge of your display case, lest the Defiant go into a self induced attack dive from which she may return with a bit of battle damage.

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.

There is something I particularly like about the overall paint job on this.  The ship is painted with much darker colors than other manufacturers' models and I personally think it gives the ship a even tougher look to her over the other lighter colored Starfleet vessels.  If it weren't for some issues mentioned below, this clearly would have been a favorite of mine.


Although the molded details are a little on the rough side, they still do a good job of giving the model some texture while showing off the important parts of the ship


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 the bussards yellow.  What is that all about?

And then we turn the model around and look at the rear nacelle housing.  Ummm...  What the heck is that mess?  

 

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.  

While we are looking at the rear of the ship, I can't help but notice the join and seam lines.  And just like Eaglemoss, Furuta chose to give the impulse manifolds a nice hole instead of any color.


Let's take a look at that deflector dish.  

 

Although Furuta molded some details in to thier deflector dish, and they added a nice blue color, it's not quite right when compared to on screen appearances.

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.  

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.

The Hallmark model was my first model of this ship.  I've always liked this rendition of this ship.  Although this model seems slightly disproportionate as compared to others versions of the Defiant, it still is a good solid model with nice attention to details.  

The sculpted and molded details that are etched into the ship are well done.


Hallmark's paint work gives the ship all those little details that you would want to see on a Defiant model.  


I particularly like that Hallmark molded the lines into the bussard collectors.  Their bussard collectors also glow red when the model is lit.  And as an added bonus, I particularly like the fact that they molded in details for the phaser cannons around the bussard collectors 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've reviewed.  The molding is superb and the color choices just look plain superb.  The exhaust grille also glows blue.

 

And then when you finish off your tour of the ship with the very rear end, you will find that Hallmark continued to top the other manufacturers by actually adding impulse engines that also glow red.  


Looking at the deflector dish, they did a great job detailing it closely to the on screen version.  And for one final bonus, this part of the ship also lights up when the model is lit up.

 

Although I cut the wires off of my model for display purposes, I was able to find some pictures on the web of the Hallmark model to show you what it looks like when it has power.



Looking at that last picture reminds me that 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 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 (re)writing (February 2018).

Eaglemoss = $26
Furuta = $41
Hallmark = $10
MicroMachine = $24
MicroMachine (Cloaked) = $29

NOTE: Prices were researched last on February 27th, 2018.  As of the writing of this article, the Eaglemoss shop is sold out of this model.

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.

Can you beleive how much that cheap little Furuta toy is worth these days?  WOW!  And although Eaglemoss always does a fine job with thier models, they missed a couple little details this time around.  Which then leaves me with the belief that the Hallmark is the better choice for the cost.  For the price, you get a very nicely detailed model that even lights up under the right conditions.  In my opinion, it just seems like a great fit for your collection.


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 (Uncloaked     Cloaked)
Comparative Shots

Other Reviewers Take On The Eaglemoss Model:
Some Kind Of Star Trek
Star Trek Starship Collection [Not One To Speak Of]

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