Tuesday, December 23, 2014

EMvTW 12 - USS Thunderchild NCC-63549 (Akira class)

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

Moving along to issue number 12 of my "Eaglemoss vs. The World" series, we are now going to be treated to one of the shortest articles in my fledgling writing career.  This is the first Eaglemoss ship that no other small scale ship manufacturer has built in a pre-built and pre-painted format so it's going to be tough comparing her to anything.

It feels out of place not taking a "collection shot", but there is only one ship, so with out further stalling, here is my write-up on Eaglemoss' model.

We are introduced to this ship in the movie "Star Trek: First Contact" where the USS Thunderchild takes part in the Battle of Sector 001.

Per Memory Alpha and Beta, "The Akira-class was a class of Federation starship that was in service with Starfleet by the early 2370s. Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards was one of the sites this class was constructed at in 2371.  Akira-class starships were featured prominently in the Battle of Sector 001 and the Dominion War."  They go on to say, "The USS Thunderchild (NCC-63549) was an Akira-class heavy cruiser starship in service to the Federation Starfleet in the late 24th century. It was named for the fictional British warship, HMS Thunder Child, from H.G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds, and had an illustrious service career."

The Eaglemoss magazine also confirms that this ship also served as a carrier with pass through hanger bays

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

Akira Class Information: Memory Alpha LINK and Memory Beta LINK
USS Thunderchild (NCC-63549) Information: Memory Alpha LINK and Memory Beta LINK

Eaglemoss vs. ummmmmmmm

Well, I guess there won't be any "gravy shot" size comparison pictures this time either...



Now, just to clarify something for my readers.  I have read online where a lot of people like to complain, and complain wrongly about this ship looking too much like the NX-01 Enterprise.  The Akira class was not modeled after the Enterprise from the series Star Trek: Enterprise.  The Akira class came first.  In fact, Doug Drexler has stated that he actually modeled the NX-01 after the Akira class.  OK, I'll get off the preacher pulpit now.

Eaglemoss is up to thier usual attention to details with this model.  The sculpting, molding and painting compliment each other very well, giving you a really neat looking ship.  

Those molded details are plentiful, with tons of windows, escape pod hatches, phaser strips and a nicely done bridge module.

Sadly, some of the details suffer from what I have called the Eaglemoss Melted Marshmallow Syndrome, or EMMS.  This is best described as a softening of details where they appear more rounded, less edgy and a bit out of focus.  Sort of what happens to a marshmallow as you heat it up to it's melting point on a camp fire.

Luckily, there are so many details, that I'm willing to give Eaglemoss a pass on the EMMS effect.

The paint work is well done, however, it is lacking in some places.  All those windows and escape pods that I mentioned earlier have been given their due diligence in painted details.  Looking at the topside of the "saucer", my real complaint is that the bridge section isn't detailed enough.  and looking at the rear of the "saucer" shows us that the impulse engine are strangely powered down and lacking any red paint.

Eaglemoss did a fair attempt on the weapons pod.  I say this because, although there are some neat molded details, this area of the ship is also lacking some contrast paint to make the weapons ports stand out more.

When you look at the bottom of the weapons pods, you can also see that the join seam is extremely noticeable too.  The join and seam work is also slightly noticeable near the front bottom of the "saucer" section.

Unlike the decal mistake on the Defiant, Eaglemoss has at least got the Starfleet logo going in the right direction on both sides this time.  But alas, they again screwed up, and this time did it in a big way.  Apparently, Starfleet doesn't know how to spell FEDERATION and you can see this on both sides of the ship.

The use of the clear plastics on the nacelles is really well done, with this plastic work highlighting both the grills as well as the bussard collectors.

The inside of the nacelles is a bit on the plain side.

At least the Akira class has a deflector dish so I still get to fluff the article out a little more.

Anytime 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.

I liked the use of the clear plastic for the dish.  It makes it stand out.  Unfortunately, it also allows the flaw of a bad plastic cut to stand out.  I've seen worse dishes on Eaglemoss models though.

And sadly, that is all the fluffing my writing skills can give you for this model.  Which brings us to the pricing portion of my article.  As usual, 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 (March 2018).

Eaglemoss = $33

NOTE: Prices were researched last on March 19, 2018.  As of the writing of this article, you can also currently order the Eaglemoss model right from the company themselves for around $23 (shipping unknown).

And so, in conclusion, if you ask me what the "Best Bang For The Buck" is, I'm going to look at you funny because you obviously didn't read the article and take notice that there is only one choice.  Seriously though, it was very exciting for me when I found out that the Akira would be part of the collection.  And this is one of the strong points of the Eaglemoss collection in general, you will get more ships, more quickly, than with any of the other manufacturers, and usually for rather decent prices too.  And in the case of this model, it is well worth the investment to add it to your collection or fleet.

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:

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

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