Monday, January 12, 2015

EMvTW 15 - USS Equinox NCC-72381 (Nova class)

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

Welcome to issue number 15 of my Eaglemoss vs. The World series.  In this article, we are going to take a good look at the USS Equinox, a Nova Class starship that was featured on Star Trek: Voyager in an episode titled "Equinox".  Although this will be a relatively shorter article as compared to the USS Reliant article, I am pleased by the fact that I at least get to still do some comparisons.

As you can see from my picture, I currently own an Eaglemoss, a Furuta and a Micro Machine version of this ship.

Per Memory Alpha and Beta, "The Nova-class was a type of Federation starship designed for short-term planetary research missions. It was placed in service starting in the late 24th century.  This science vessel was constructed at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards and launched in early 2370, approximately stardate 47007.1. By 2371, Captain Rudolph Ransom assumed command of the vessel. The Equinox was a limited role starship, designed for short-term planetary research and boasted a top speed of only warp 8; however, it was one of the first vessels to be equipped with an Emergency Medical Hologram. As a Nova-class science vessel, it was much smaller and thus not as well armed or provisioned as larger starships, such as the Intrepid-class had been, while Captain Ransom himself was primarily a scientist, and with arguably little command experience; he showed tendencies towards misdirection and overall avoidance of direct combat.  In early 2371, the Equinox was pulled into the Delta Quadrant by the entity known as the Caretaker. During the vessel's first week in the region, 39 crew members – roughly half the crew – were killed in a conflict with the Krowtonan Guard. "

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

Nova Class Information: Memory Alpha LINK and Memory Beta LINK
USS Equinox (NCC-72381) Information: Memory Alpha LINK and Memory Beta LINK

As is now a tradition, if I have a MicroMachine version of the ship, I like to show it off rather quickly as my reviews are geared more towards the larger scale models.  Actually, my MircoMachines variant is in fact, a Heroclix, but since they are the same size, it goes well with my MicroMachine fleet.


Eaglemoss vs. Furuta

When I got into collecting and expanding my pre-built and pre-painted small scale starships collection, I found a serious lack of  comparative data out there showing the various models 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.

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

 Eaglemoss vs. Furuta

Eaglemoss vs. Furuta

As you can see, the Eaglemoss model is a bit larger.  There are some other subtle differences between the two models and we'll cover those further in to this article.



The sculpting and molding work from Eaglemoss give this model TONS of little details, like phaser strips, windows and escape pod hatches.  They even molded in some exposed paneling on the saucer section.

Sadly, some of the molded details suffer from what I have come to call 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.

As you take a closer look at those escape hatches and exposed areas along the top of the saucer, you can see what I'm talking about in regards to EMMS.

The painting on this model can best be described as phenomenal.  The paint work makes the details really stand out on this ship.  Although there is no aztecing, the attention to the little details, like the escape pods, windows and phaser strips is really nice.  I'll be honest, the paint job on this makes it one of my more favorite Eaglemoss ships.

One really nice note about the paint job, and the attention to details, is highlighted on the bottom of the saucer section.  Eaglemoss chose to really detail where the the Orbital Shuttle, known as the Waverider  was located.

The mold and paint work continues to be well done, even on the bottom of the secondary hull, where Eaglemoss decided to also highlight the landing gear ports, and the warp core ejection port.

When you look at the very back of the model, you can see that the EMMS is very evident where the shuttle bay resides.  And unfortunately, the paint work on the shuttle bay doesn't do anything to help fix the issue of a slightly messed up looking rear section of ship.

Another issue I was able to find, was that on the port side of the ship, where the primary and secondary hulls meet, the seam and join work on my model is a bit off.  Luckily it's not noticeable unless you are checking over the entire ship.

I do confess that I read a couple of other people's reviews and thier takes on the Eaglemoss' models.  This allows me to get a better feel for whether I missed something, or to see if my model has something out of the ordinary.

And I'm glad I did some extra checking, as I would have felt dumb had someone else pointed this out to me.

On the front of the ship, they made a slight typo in the ship's name.  They have rechristened the ship to EQUINDX.  The other areas of the ship where the registry information appears seems to be fine.

I was happy to see that Eaglemoss did squeeze in some of thier clear blue plastics for the warp nacelle grills, HOWEVER, they did not use any clear red for the bussard collectors and instead, opted to paint them red.

Surprisingly, my fellow reviewers never pointed out this issue.  In fact, in the 3 years since I first wrote this review, I had never noticed this mistake until I re-wrote the article in 2018.

And that mistake is that Eaglemoss missed painting the bussard collectors on the port side nacelle.

I am happy to say that it looks like we have a model where I can bring back the deflector dish part of my review.  Oh wait, this ship has two of them!

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 don't always trust the magazine that comes with the model, as the printed material sometimes doesn't hold true to the on screen model.  I did some Google searching and it looks to me like Eaglemoss actually did a very good job recreating the deflector dishes for this ship.  The EMMS does seem to be affecting both dishes a tiny bit, but not enough to ruin the look of the model.

Other than the minor issues that I could find, I feel like Eaglemoss has yet again produced a beautiful model.



Furuta is the only other company to have produced a finished ship.  

I always point the following out for 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

That being said, this model is actually very detailed for what it is.  Is it a great model?  Nope.  

All the major components are represented in some way either by molded plastic or painted on details.

Given the cheap production methods of making this thing, there are some serious proportion issues with the various areas of the model

If you look carefully though, Furuta did include some sort of molded details that represent the landing gear and thier representation of the warp core access hatch wasn't too shabby either.

Furuta's representation of the shuttle bay was non-existent, and clearly shows off the rough mold edging.

The warp nacelle detailing was really well done.  The molding and paint work highlighted a lot of great parts of this important part of the ship.

Every time I look at the bottom front of this model, I always stop and have to do a double-take.  There is just something off with the section surrounding the deflector dish.  I know this was a cheap little toy, but I think they could have been a little sharper with the edging.

From this angle, you can see what I mean about the edging.  Although thier coloring is inaccurate on the main deflector dish, it still is a good representation of one with the molding and color placement.

The only real eye catching issue that I have with the top side of the ship is that the sensor dish on the saucer section looks a bit odd.  As you will see in the picture below, Furuta took a very lazy approach to representing this part of the ship.  Unfortunately, it doesn't even look like a dish, and instead looks more like a sensor pallet.

In the end, we have a ship that looks OK, and might serve as a cheap display item in your fleet.


And that is all the pictures and comparisons I have to share on this ship at this time.  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 (April 2018).

Eaglemoss = $30
Furuta = $24
Micro Machine = $29

NOTE: Prices were researched last on April 1st, 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).

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.  I would have to say that Eaglemoss wins this one hands down.  For the price, you are truly getting a superb model, with very excellent details for your collection.


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.

Eventually, Eaglemoss is going to produce another Nova class starship, more accurately, a Nova Class Refit in the form of the USS Rhode Island (NCC-72701).  You may read my review of that ship 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     MicroMachine     
Comparative Shots

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

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