Wednesday, February 4, 2015

EMvTW Special 02 - USS Enterprise (Constitution class - alternate timeline)

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

[Editor's Note (March 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.]

Moving right along with the special editions for my Eaglemoss vs. The World series, we are now treated to the NuTrek Enterprise from the rebooted series based in the JJverse.

First, I acknowledge that the NuTrek stuff has caused all sorts of controversy.  I myself am on the fence about whether I like NuTrek or not.  HOWEVER, this is not an article on NuTrek, but rather, the models, so please keep all comments to the designs and quality of the models.


My current collection consists of an Eaglemoss, a Hallmark, a large Hot Wheels, the smaller Hot Wheels, and a MicroMachine version that was made from a key chain.

As is tradition, here is a quick look at the MicroMachine model.

 

It was not a bad rendition of the ship.  I give props to the guy who converted the key chain bobble into a MicroMachine.

Hot Wheels vs. Hot Wheels vs. MicroMachine
AND
Eaglemoss vs. Hallmark vs Hot Wheels

As 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.  And so I set out to provide this information myself and hopefully help someone make a wiser decision in which model to buy.

I suppose the first thing we should get out of the way is the confusion some people seem to have when I give price quotes on the Hot Wheels version of this ship.  Some people did not know that Hot Wheels released two different sizes of this ship.  The larger is in what they call thier 1:50 scale and as you will soon see, is close to the same size as the Hallmark ornament.  The second version, which is MUCH smaller and thus, much cheaper.  That model is roughly the size of the MicroMachine toy.

Hot Wheels (Small) vs. Hot Wheels (Large)

 Hot Wheels (Small) vs. Hot Wheels (Large)

Hot Wheels vs. MicroMachine

Now that I got that out of the way, here are the "Gravy Shots", which are the real reason I write these articles.

 Hallmark vs. Hot Wheels vs, Eaglemoss

Eaglemossvs. Hot Wheels vs. Hallmark

The Hot Wheels and Hallmark models are close to the same size while the Eaglemoss ship dwarfs them both.

Eaglemoss

 
 
 
 

This is Eaglemoss' second special edition ship.  And it raised a few questions with me about thier line of thinking.  First, I wonder why this ship needed to be a special edition?  They could have done as good of a job with it in a smaller scale.  And I am also wondering why they are doing four ships in a row from NuTrek?  Now, I can understand the USS Vengeance, it's a huge ship and doing it as a special would bring that fact home.  But then the next two ships after that are not that great or important to warrant making them special edition ships.  We can also expect a Klingon D4 Bird Of Prey and then after that, they are going to do the USS Kelvin.  Both of those ships could be done in normal Eaglemoss size.  It makes me wonder if they are getting a kickback from Abrams.

March 2016 Note: Now that I've written five of these articles for the Special Edition ships, I now have an answer as to why Eaglemoss went this route.  We can thank the morons who produced NuTrek, Paramount, for this waste of special edition time and space.  Apparently, Paramount would only grant Eaglemoss the license to reproduce the vessels if they were done as a Special Edition.

Right from the get go, you will notice that there is a slight aztecing paint job all over the ship that does not become overbearing like some aztec jobs I've seen.

Overall, the ship does have a lot of neat little detail on it.  They did a very nice job on their sculpting and molding process with gives the ship a lot of nice physical texture.  And according to Eaglemoss, thier model is screen accurate.

The bridge module on the top of the saucer, as well as the sensor array on the bottom of the saucer are both lacking some paint details.  I've said this before in another review, but companies and modelers in general need to stop focusing so much on aztecing, especially if they are going to miss other details.  Speaking of paint, it was nice that they decided to paint in some windows on the model, however, thier painters missed thier mark on the secondary hull as the paint did not land in the window divots.

Unfortunately, the join seams are clearly and glaringly visible where the nacelle struts meet the engineering hull.  And they are also super noticeable on the bottom of the saucer section.

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.

I have heard from some fellow collectors that on the ships that they have received, there have been some instances of misaligned warp nacelles.  If you look across the saucer from the front of the ship, one nacelle is higher than the other.  To be fair though, mine as well as another reviewers that I follow did not have this issue.

Whenever I do a review of a Starfleet vessel, I like to do a close-up of the deflector dish.  I find that the level of attention that a manufacturer gives to this area speaks volumes to me.  Let's face it, this is a very important part of the ship and should be accurately represented.


I do like how Eaglemoss handled this part of the ship.  The clear blue plastic has nice molding to it.  It's one detail of the ship that doesn't annoy me and quite frankly, I do like it.

I'm going to end my Eaglemoss portion of this article by saying that bigger, doesn't always mean better.  Personally, I am a bit disappointed with this release from Eaglemoss.  With this being a special release, it obviously costs more.  With that higher cost, I personally expect better quality.  And even though this is a good rendition of the ship, the quality is a bit lacking in certain areas.

Hallmark

 
 
 
 

Although I'm still on the fence about NuTrek, I have to say that I was very impressed with Hallmark's rendition of this ship that they released in 2010.  The molded details as well as the paint job give you a very visually appealing looking ship.  The ship is also self powered via batteries, thus eliminating the need to plug into a light strand.  

Although the bridge is lacking paint like the Eaglemoss counterpart, it does light up when the ship is powered on.

My biggest complaint with the ship though was that they stuck the power button right on top of the saucer section in front of the bridge module, basically making the ship look like it has a zit.  They would have done better to have placed it on the back of the engineering section or underneath the ship to better hide the button.  

The nacelle struts are a little too thick, but this was a needed to be done in order to support the nacelles as well as house the wiring for the light up portions in the nacelles.

And upon closer examination, my model seems to have a very noticeable seam on the neck above the deflector dish.


It was when I looked at this picture that I noticed the seam, otherwise, I may have never seen it.  The dish itself is clear blue plastic with good molded details.  It also lights up when the ship is powered on.


Here is a picture of the ship with it's lights on.

I really did like the Hallmark version of this ship.  There are all sorts of nice little details that they chose to highlight.  One favorite of mine is the bussard collector covers.  Those little lines are a nice touch.

Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels actually produced two of thier 1:50 scale NuTrek Enterprise.  The first one was as it appeared in the movie while the second one was a battle damaged version.  The battle damage was in the form of heat applied decals which meant you simply couldn't just peal them off to give yourself a nicer looking ship.



Given the rarity of the undamaged version, I set out to make my own.  I managed to get a battle damaged version for a really good price and then after doing some research proceeded to "repair" it.

  

I did this by soaking the ship in a REALLY hot soapy bath.  I then carefully scraped off the damage decals with the back of an exacto knife.  I like how in that last picture, I made it look like the Enterprise was rising up out of the water.

Other than needing to touch up paint the gray area on the back of the impulse engines, I think I ended up with a nice looking ship.

 
 
 
 

I will state this for the record...  I'm not sure on the fairness of reviewing this model, since I'm not working with an actual "undamaged" version.

The top side of the ship looks pretty decent.  All of the major attributes are molded and painted.  I think they could have added a smidgen of paint to the phaser arrays though.

My nacelles have a slight bend or warp (ha ha pun) to them, making the ship look like it is making a right hand turn.

The bottom of the saucer section is seriously lacking the paint details.  Other than the two strips of gray, it is just plain, how shall we say it?  Well... plain.


I liked what Hot Wheels did with it's deflector dish.  It is molded plastic but they painted it in two different color which to me, added more depth to it.

WARNING: One last note about the Hot Wheels ship.  I used to think it was just an issue with one of my other ships, but as time has gone by, it appears to be a manufacturer issue with all of thier different types of ships.  The stand fits very snugly into the underside of the ship.  I started noticing that my ship was gradually tipping forward as the front of the ship was much heavier on the model.  I would periodically readjust it.    After the third time of removing it for pictures, the stand snapped off, leaving the ball joint stuck in the ship.  Obviously, these are not meant to be "played" with and are for display purposes only.  Given the shape of most ships, once they break off the display stand, they will not look so graceful in your display case.

Conclusion

And that wraps it up for the comparison and review part of my article.  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 = $65
Hallmark = $64
Hot Wheels (Big) [Undamaged] = $???
Hot Wheels (Big) [Battle Damaged] = $???
Hot Wheels (Small) [Undamaged] = $6
Hot Wheels (Small) [Battle Damaged] = $7
Micro Machine = $31

I'm sorry to say, but at the time of the writing of this article (February 2015), there were no Hot Wheels 1:50 scale ships available.  I paid $90 for my battle damaged ship and at that time, the undamaged version was going for around $300.  

March 2016 Note:  At the time of the re-write for this article, prices have fluctuated slightly on the other models, however, I again had a hard time finding the larger Hot Wheels models.  There were two listings, one for an undamaged and one for a damaged, both at $70 with shipping included.  However, the buyer was not a Top Seller, so I question the validity of the listing.

For those of you who are new to my articles, this is the part where I 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 buy.  I was severely disappointed that Eaglemoss didn't do a better job with thier more expensive Special Edition version of this ship.  They clearly had  more budget to work with, but in the end, you end up with a model that just looks plain.  Hallmark on the other hand knocked it out of the park.  Other than the power button and the battery access panel being clearly visible, it is highly detailed.  and the fact that it lights up on its own is just icing on the cake.  Hopefully the prices will continue to hold true for this model.

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:
Eaglemoss     Hallmark   
Hot Wheels (Big     Small)

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