Tuesday, January 20, 2015

EMvTW 19 - USS Stargazer NCC-2893 (Constellation 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.]

I'm happy to report that article number 19 of my Eaglemoss vs. The world series brings back the comparisons again.  For those of you new to my series, I use these articles to compare Eaglemoss ships with other similar sized pre-built and pre-painted ships by other manufacturers.  This information was something that I wish I had access to back when I first started collecting small scale pre-manufactured starships, so I figured, I would finally provide this service myself.

This article is going to focus on the USS Stargazer.


As you can see, my current collection consists of an Eaglemoss, a Furuta and a MicroMachine model.  I also purchased a Cozmo Heavy Industries model which I built, painted and wrote a review on.

Real quickly, let's take a quick gander at the MicroMachine model.

 

The big controversy around this was that Galoob modeled thier after the model that Captain Piccard had in his ready room rather than the actual filming model, hence the reason that it is yellow.  If you look past the color issue, it's a nice tiny model representation if you collect those sorts of things.

Eaglemoss vs. Furuta

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 vs. Cozmo Heavy Industries

Eaglemoss vs. Furuta vs. Cozmo Heavy Industries

Normally, I would not include a model that I built, but since it is 1:2500 in scale, I felt that it would give a better idea of the sizes of the other models.  As you can see, the Eaglemoss ship is much larger than the Furuta model.  There are some subtle differences between the two, making each unique and good in thier own way.

Eaglemoss

 
 
 
 

I love the fact that Eaglemoss decided to tackle this ship and give us thier rendition of it. HOWEVER, the most glaring issue that immediately stood out for me, involved the saucer section.  

Filming Model As Seen In Episode

Now, Eaglemoss claims that thier models are the most screen accurate.  The magazine goes into detail about how the filming model was made.  This involved, gluing two top halves of Constitution class refit saucer sections together.  Every model I have ever seen, every picture I have ever seen of this ship, shows the saucer section as being thicker than a Constitution or Miranda class ship.  

Eaglemoss Model

Yet, Eaglemoss, even after stating that it was thicker in thier magazine, has given us a model with a thin saucer section.  That's not very screen accurate.

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

So, I can safely say that another issue that I had with my model, and it seems that I'm not alone with is that the nacelles are not squared off with the saucer section when you look at it from the front.



This model seems to be chock full of manufacturer issues too.  One more common issue that was noticeable to me on my model and others have also point out is that the seam around the saucer section is not very flush.


Now that I'm done bashing the flaws, let's talk about some very good things about Eaglemoss' model.

The sculpted and molded details on this model are fantastic.  All the key pieces are represented.  The underside of the saucer section is great, especially with Eaglemoss' attempt at representing the various greebles the show's designers had put on their filming model.

As far as painting goes.  They have done some nice detailing in some places.  There also is a light aztecing pattern on the entire saucer section.  HOWEVER, there are other areas that are missing paint that would have made the model really pop if they had just applied a little more paint there.  The impulse engines are a main example of missing some detail paint.  In my opinion, even though aztecing produces a nice effect for a model, if you are on a budget, you should skip the aztecing in favor of detailing the more important areas of the ship.

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.

Unfortunately, the Constellation does not have a noticeable deflector dish, so this will be my first Starfleet vessel review to not have a close-up view of this part.

Looking back on this article so far, that seems like a rather harsh review.  Overall, I find the ship good, but not one of Eaglemoss' better designs.

Furuta

 
 
 
 

I always like to point the following out for my first time readers.  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.

Overall, I am pretty happy with Furuta's attempt at making this ship.  The thickness of the saucer section is appears to be correct and thier molded details all over the ship are pretty good.  The painting is where they lose some marks in my opinion.  

The first, and most noticeable paint issue is the lack of detailed painting of the phaser banks.  No Starfleet model should be missing these, period.  

Although they did paint a little detail to the impulse engine crystal, they could have taken it one step further and added a dash of red to the exhaust ports to finish this area off.  

Once again, I don't have a deflector dish area to show off for this review so we will just move on.

Over all, I thought that Furuta gave us a pretty decent model of the ship.

Conclusion

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 writing.

Eaglemoss = $25
Furuta = $21
Micro Machine = $15

When I first wrote this article back in January of 2015, the Furuta model was going for around $44.  It seems that it has come down a bit in the year since the original writing.  Also, the MicroMachine model seems to have doubled in cost so you really just never know where the market will go.

So here we are, at the part of my article where I tell you what I think would be the "Best Bang For The Buck".  That's my crude way of saying, which one is the best buy.  

And this is where the pricing can really affect my decision.  I like to try to recommend a good model that isn't going to break the bank.  When I first wrote this article, the Furuta cost of $44 knocked it out of the running for my recommendation.  The price drop for the Furuta model has made it a much more compelling recommendation.

HOWEVER, even with it being better priced, when you compare the ships side by side, you seem to be getting more for your money with the Eaglemoss model.  And that is taking in consideration all the issues I mentioned earlier.

As long as you are willing to overlook the saucer thickness issue and the lack of painting details in certain areas, then you would best be served with this model.



BONUS ROUND!!!

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.

As I shared at the beginning of this article, I also own a Cozmo Heavy Industries resin kit of this ship. 

USS Gettysburg (NCC-3890)
Constellation Class




 
 
 
 


Normally I would not have bought this kit.  I typically only build models to fill gaps in my collection with ships that I can't buy in an already built and painted state, like Eaglemoss, Hallmark and Hot Wheels.  I follow Jay, who owns and operates C.H.I. over at his FaceBook page and was entertained by his buildup of this ship.  So, I figured I'd give it a go.

I was rather impressed with the kit and wrote an extensive review of it.  Rather than repeat all of that material here, you really should go check it out at THIS LINK.

USS Contender (NCC-2604)

Challenger Class
1:2500 Resin Modeler kit


 
 
 
 

From the reading I've done on this ship, it served as a prototype design for the Constellation Class (USS Stargazer) that Captain Picard first served as captain on. For all intent and purposes, this ship is pretty much is a science vessel.


The model maker labeled the ship as a Contender class, but I ended up renaming the classification for this ship to Challenger class. While I was researching the ship for an upcoming review of the resin kit, I found some additional information about the vessel that supported my decision. She appears in some of The Next Generation comic books.

Once again, I actually have a review that I wrote up about this kit.  Rather than repeat all of that material here, you really should go check it out at THIS LINK.



And as usual, 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:

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