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.

Moving right along with the Special Editions Line 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 among Ster Trek fans.  I myself am on the fence about whether I like NuTrek or not.  HOWEVER, this is not an article on NuTrek, but rather, an article about 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, a Snapco model, and a MicroMachine version that was made from a key chain.

Per Memory Alpha and Beta, "The Constitution-class was launched by Starfleet in the latter half of the 23rd century in the alternate reality. The Constitution-class was in the Starship-class of starships.  The alternate Constitution-class dates back to at least 2255 with the construction of the USS Enterprise in Riverside, Iowa on Earth. The design of the starship class markedly differed from its prime universe counterpart following the temporal incursion by Nero and the destruction of the USS Kelvin in 2233."

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

Constitution Class (Alternate Universe) Information: Memory Alpha LINK and Memory Beta LINK
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) (Alternate Universe) Information: Memory Alpha LINK and Memory Beta LINK

Hot Wheels vs. MicroMachine vs. Snapco

At this point in my articles, I have made it a tradition to show off my MicroMachine sized model, if I have one.  Since the time I originally wrote this article, my collection of MicroMachine sized variants has grown to three.  While the three of them each have thier charm, they are sadly way too small for my collecting tastes and not really what the Eaglemoss vs. The World article series is about.  I will therefor just give you a quick cursory overview of these three models.

Hot Wheels

OK, so I lied already.  I actually will talk a little bit more about this tiny model further down when we take a closer look at his big brother from the same manufacturer.


This is actually not a MicroMachine, but rather a "cheap" knockoff.  It was not a bad rendition of the ship.  I give props to the guy who converted the key chain bobble into a MicroMachine.

Snapco (Walmart)

The Snapco model was part of a promotional gift included in the Star Trek Beyond DVD set from Walmart.  Now that I know a little more about the history of the JJprise, I can now say that my original assessment of this model had been slightly off when I reviewed in in my article called "Star Trek: Beyond (2106) DVD Bonus Ships".  You can read more about this model in that article at THIS LINK.  In my article, I wasn't really sure what to make of the Snapco model.  I didn't realize then that this model was considered a Constitution Class Refit.  Once again, we can talk more about that sort of ship later, down in the Bonus Round section of my article.

Normally, I wouldn't provide a "Gravy Shot" set of comparison pictures of the tiny ships, but since I have three of them, I figured that someone might be interested in seeing these.

 Hot Wheels vs. MicroMachine vs. Snapco

 Hot Wheels vs. MicroMachine vs. Snapco

With the tiny models out of the way, we can now move on to the bigger models.

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.

Now, we can present the real "Gravy Shots" pictures of this article, and these are the real reason I write my EMvTW review articles.   One last disclaimer, the Hot Wheels model pictured in these next two pictures are of the large version.  I know, there is some confusing stuff going on here, but I promise, all will be made clear when we get to the Hot Wheels part of my article.

Eaglemoss vs. Hallmark vs. Hot Wheels 

Eaglemoss vs. Hallmark vs. Hot Wheels 

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



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 Eaglemoss is planning on doing four ships in a row from the NuTrek movies?  Now, I can understand why they did the USS Vengeance.  It is a HUGE ship and doing it as a special edition sized model would drive that fact home.  But then the next two ships after the Vengeance are not that great nor are they important enough to warrant making them into 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 the standard Eaglemoss size.  It makes me wonder if Eaglemoss is 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 of the new movies if they were done as a Special Edition sized models.

As we jump in to looking more closely at the Eaglemoss model, I want you to understand where I am coming from as I pick this thing apart.  I base a lot of my upset with these models simply because these Special Edition models are more expensive.  Now granted, they are larger, but as I pay more money for a collectible, I expect the quality of the workmanship of that model to also go up with the price.  I DO expect better quality than we would get with the $20 standard edition line of models.

Overall, the ship does have a lot of neat little details 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.

My one complaint about the details is that they seem to be a bit on the soft side.  I have seen Eaglemoss models that have much more crisp details.

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.  I like the fact that the aztecing is subtle.

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 seam the bottom of the saucer section.  It almost looks like the saucer section is about to disconnect.  Also, if you take a really close look at the shuttle bay, you will also notice some gaps back there as well.

While we are looking at the shuttle bay doors, I will have to admit my disappointment in the execution of this part of the model.  There are no molded details, there is a serious lack of paint, and it looks like Eaglemoss did a lousy job of cleaning up the flashing from the molding process.

This model is actually chock full of interesting, yet half executed details.  The lack of paint is evident on the photon torpedo launchers where they just sort of blend in.

At least Eaglemoss decided to paint the impulse engines.  I would have had to return this for my money back had they missed this detail.

The huge and ungainly warp nacelles of the JJprise were not half bad as far as execution went.  The sculpt and mold details are really well done, with Eaglemoss even adding in details to the exhaust ports.  The clear blue plastic bussard collectors are a cool touch and they even sport some molded details.

Once again though, the paint slightly disappoints.  The paint on the nacelle struts is misaligned and the lack of color on the previously mentioned exhaust ports leaves you wanting more.


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, it adds a little pizzazz to the otherwise bland paint scheme.

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 edition 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.



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.  

My only nagging issue with this model is that Hallmark 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.  

If you are able to ignore the pimple, then the sculpt and mold work on this thing are very visually appealing.  There are a few places where the model seems just slightly out of proportion, however, this is probably so that Hallmark could run the power cables through the ship.

Like the Eaglemoss model though, the Hallmark model has some serious lack of painted details all over the ship.

Although the bridge module is lacking paint, the Hallmark version does light up when the ship is powered on, thus giving it a little something extra over the Eaglemoss version.

I liked that Hallmark painted some windows along the edge of the saucer section, however, the lack of painted windows on the neck and engineering hull helped counter balance this cool fact and thus left you feeling that you were looking at a rather plain ship.

The battery hatch on the bottom of the engineering section is a bit distracting as well, but this could not be helped.

The impulse engine exhaust ports also light up, so I consider this is a plus.

I don't know what to think about the shuttle bay.  Great work Hallmark for molding in some nice details to the doors, however, that painted highlight is just stupid looking.  As much as I said that the model was lacking paint, they should have left this unpainted as it would have been a far better approach than what we are looking at now.

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.

I really liked the nacelle work that Hallmark produced.  The overall molded details look fantastic and the bussard collectors benefit from the paint work.  The exhaust ports on the nacelles light up so I really don't think any paint was needed back there.


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 my lose-up picture for the deflector dish 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.

The ship is part of Hallmarks's self powered line of models, where it is powered via batteries, thus eliminating the need to plug into a light strand.

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

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 version is in what Hot Wheels calls thier 1:50 scale and as you will soon see, is close to the same size as the Hallmark ornament.  The second version is MUCH smaller and thus, much cheaper.  That model is roughly the size of the MicroMachine toy.

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 detailing 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, and thus the HUGE price gouging on eBay, I set out to make my own undamaged and pristine looking model.  I did this by purchasing 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.

NOTE: I am not sure what that discolored splotch is on the top of my model's saucer section.  That happened sometime in the last two years that I owned it and I didn't have time to try to tactfully clean the model before this review went out.  Whatever it is, it was not easily coming off.  Trust me, you won't have that blemish if you choose to get one of these for yourself.

The top side of the ship looks pretty decent.  All of the major attributes have been molded into this model so I have no complaints from that angle.

The paint work is where I start to really develop a frown. I think they could have added a smidgen of paint to the phaser arrays..

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.

The edges of the saucer section look great as far as those molded windows are concerned, but the lack of paint just causes them to blend in and then they are lost visually under certain light levels.

You can see in the next picture that I wasn't perfect in removing all the decals, and it looks like the ship ran through a mud puddle..  It was a rather difficult area to work and not permanently damage the model.

And once again, there is no paint detailing on the neck or engineering section.

The impulse engines do have the obligatory red paint, so that is a plus.

I REALLY like the molded details of the Hot Wheels shuttle bay doors.  Of all of the models, this one is the best as far as crisp detailing goes.  Sadly, a lack of any kind of paint to off color the doors makes them an easy part to miss.

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.  Such is the nature when dealing with "cheap" toys.

That being said, the molded details are fantastic and the paint work on this part of the ship isn't too shabby either.

Hot Wheels also opted for the clear blue plastic bussard collectors, and they do bear some molded details to give them a little more definition.  I like the fact that Hot Wheels dabbed some paint in the nacelle exhaust posts too.


Sadly, the photon torpedo launcher did not get any painting done and blends in and is sometimes lost when examining the model.  I do have to say that I REALLY liked the varying colors around the deflector dish assembly.

I liked what Hot Wheels did with thier deflector dish.  It is molded plastic but they painted it in two different color which to me, added more depth to this important part of the ship.

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 one of my ships 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 the model for pictures, the stand snapped off, leaving the ball joint stuck in the ship.  Obviously, these models are not meant to be "played" with and are for display purposes only.  Given the shape of most ships, once the model breaks off the display stand, they will not look so graceful in your display case.


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 (re)writing (April 2018).

Eaglemoss = $80
Hallmark = $65
Hot Wheels (Big) [Undamaged] = $148
Hot Wheels (Big) [Battle Damaged] = $30
Hot Wheels (Small) [Undamaged] = $6
Hot Wheels (Small) [Battle Damaged] = $7
Micro Machine = $ UNKNOWN

NOTE: Prices were researched last on April 5th, 2018.  You can also currently order the Eaglemoss model right from the company website.  The older #2 model is going for around $45 (shipping unknown).  The MicroMachine was a rare find back in the day when I paid $31 for it.  I was unable to find one for sale this time around.  That brings up a good point.  this is the third time that I am revisiting the shopping for these models and unlike other toys that I've reviewed, the prices for this ship seem to jump all over the place.  So don't be discouraged if you decide to buy one and can't find it at the same price I quoted.  Just be patient and check back on eBay often and new deals spring up all the time.

I stated all that last paragraph for one reason.  For my first time readers, 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 looks pretty 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, the model is highly detailed. The fact that the Hallmark model can light up on it's own power just seems like icing on the cake.  My gut feeling is that if I were to buy one of these models again, with what i know now, I would probably invest in the addition $20, or do some competitive shopping, and get the Hallmark model.

Before you go rushing off to buy anything, be sure to check out the "Bonus Round" part of my article first!


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.

At the end of February 2018, Eaglemoss released another Special Edition model of the JJverse Enterprise.  This model was based off of the refit look that the ship had taken on at the very beginning of the movie titled, "Star Trek: Beyond (2016)".  Even though Eaglemoss didn't send my magazine, I still was able to write up a review on the model.  Be sure to check out that review at THIS LINK before you make your final decision.

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:

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