Thursday, February 5, 2015

EMvTW Special 03 - USS Vengeance (Dreadnought class)

THIS ARTICLE IS UNDERGOING SOME EXTENSIVE REFIT WORK.  PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!  THERE WILL PROBABLY BE SOME BREAKS AND TYPOS AS THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS.  YOU MAY WISH TO CHECK BACK IN A DAY OR TWO AS WE WILL HAVE FINISHED RE-WRITING THE ARTICLE BY THEN.

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.]

I count myself lucky to have acquired the third special edition ship from Eaglemoss two months early from my supplier, so I now get to do this review that much earlier.  In this edition of my Eaglemoss vs. The World series, I would like to cover the USS Vengeance.

Before I go any further, 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 of this ship consists of an Eaglemoss, a Hallmark, a Hot Wheels large model and a Hot Wheels small ship.

This is one of the few ships that I have not collected a MicroMachine style version of so we can just skip over that part of my article.

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

This may sound like a repeat if you read my NuTrek Enterprise write up, and you would be right.  I find it necessary to first address 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, just like they did with the NuTrek Enterprise.  The larger sized ship is 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, is roughly the size of a MicroMachine toy.

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

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

For those of you who are curious, here is the NuTrek Enterprise next to the Vengeance.

All Hot Wheels

And although the next two pictures are not to true scale from the movie, having both sized ships allowed me to have a little fun.

 
"The Chase"                                "The Face-Off"

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 that I've addressed the potential confusion of Hot Wheels vs. Hot Wheels, let us move on the the "Gravy Shot" portion of my article where I give you some comparative pictures of the larger scale ships.

Eaglemoss vs. Hot Wheels vs. Hallmark 

Eaglemoss vs. Hot Wheels vs. Hallmark

As you can see, the special Edition Eaglemoss model dwarfs the other two models.

Eaglemoss

I went on a rant in my last article about Eaglemoss focusing on all NuTrek ships for thier special edition line-ups.  This is the one ship though that I will admit deserved to be in the special edition category.  Given the size of the actual ship in the movie, it made sense to me to make it big in the collection.  The next two ships being released are not that great or important to warrant making them special edition ships.  We can 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.

 
 
 
 

Although I am not a big USS Vengeance fan, I am a fan of this particular model.  She's big, she's on the heavy side, and she looks the part of a ship that is meant to kick some butt.

Eaglemoss dis a great job of sculpting and molding in crisp details all over the ship.  The bridge is particularly well done.  They even managed to mold in windows on the inside of the saucer.

Their paint job is superb.  They probably could have toned back the aztecing a little bit.  Their attention to the details though was astounding and they showed off aspects of the ship that my other models did not.  One big item they covered will be shown off when I take a closer look at the deflector dish.  They even managed to paint the fore mentioned windows on the inside of the saucer section.

There is not a lot of clear blue plastics on this model.  I learned through my Eaglemoss magazine that the Vengeance had an extensive cowling system that covered up key areas of the ship to cut back on her sensor profile.  These areas included the bussard collectors as well as the deflector dish.  I believe that the lack of these blue pieces is by calculated design.

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.

My only gripe with this ship, and I at first did not notice it until someone else pointed out is that the seams around the area where the nacelle struts meet the engineering hull are a little gaping.  They could have done a slightly better job joining these two parts.  The join seams are also noticeable on the inside of the saucer section.


I like to take a close look at the deflector dish areas of Starfleet vessels because a manufacturer's attention to this area speaks loads about the detail accuracy of the ship.

And Eaglemoss hit a home run on this.  The clear blue plastic that they used is crsip and clear as far as the molding goes.  The cowling that would slide over the deflector dish is present.  And out of all of the manufacturers that produced this ship, Eaglemoss also did the best job of showing off the drone phaser balls of death.

This is one model that I keep picking up and admiring, it really is that good of a model.

Hallmark

 
 
 
 

In 2014, Hallmark released thier rendition of the USS Vengeance, and quite frankly, this is one of those Hallmark ornaments that just ticks me off.  And I get into more arguments online with people when they start to say how great a model it is.  And that is when I whip out my larger  Hot Wheels ship and shut them up.

My first complaint is that of all the ships at Hallmark's fingertips, they chose to do yet another NuTrek ship.  I would have been OK with this choice, except I feel they dropped the ball and produced a lousy version of it.  

The sculpted and molded details are fine on this ship.  They detailed key important parts of the ship like the bridge and as you will see later, some little known areas of the ship.  

The biggest problem is that there is a major lack of painted on details all over the model which leaves you with a blah taste after looking at it.  Although I'm not a big fan of aztecing, this is one model that could have used a light dose of it.


As you can see from the close-up, the molded details are pretty good here.  The deflector dish, which lights up in powered mode, also has the protective cowling present.  Although they are present, I am slightly disappointed with the drone phaser balls of death.  The look like a pair of boobs to me.


When powered, the bussard collectors and the deflector dish light up.  It is nice that the model is self powered via batteries.  However, the lighted areas of the ship seem kind of lacking.  This may be because of the fact that the ship is supposed to be heavily armored and maybe Hallmark was presenting thier model in "stealth mode".

Given what I paid for this ship when it came out in the store, I would have been less angry at it had Hallmark given it a slightly better paint job.  And that really sums up my dislike for this ship.  If it was the only Vengeance in my possession, I probably would not know any better and would be singing praises of the ship, but when I compare it to the others in my collection, it shows up lacking greatly.

Hot Wheels

 
 
 
 

Although the larger Hot Wheels version is not perfect, I thought it was better than Hallmark.

The sculpted and molded in details are good until you look at the deflector dish area.  

Although this ship has a lot of painted details, their aztec pattern is very overwhelming.  I do think that Hot Wheels could have toned the aztecing down a bit.  

The ship is clearly lacking any clear plastic parts that all of the other Hot Wheels ships seem to sport.  I believe the explanation for this though is the "Stealth Mode" capabilities.  In all honesty, I think this was a cheap way the cheat thier way out of certain manufacturing expenses.  


When you take a close look at the deflector dish area, you can see what I mean about the protective cowlings being in place.  The dreaded drone phaser balls of death are disappointing as well, looking more like a set of insect eyes on this model.  

In all honesty, I'm glad I don't show close-ups of this area when I knock down the Hallmark lovers as this area is kind of lame when compared to the other manufacturer's ships.

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 = $50
Hallmark = $40
Hot Wheels (Big) = $29
Hot Wheels (Small) = $7

This is the part of my article 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.  In all honesty, when I write these, I am trying to give my opinion of which model is the best for the least cost.  

March 2016 Note:  At the time of the re-writing of this article, it appears that while the price for the Eaglemoss model has not changed that much, the prices have fluctuated quite a bit on the Hallmark and Hot Wheels (Big) Models by give or take $20, which of course allows me to change my initial opinion.  In February 2015, the Hallmark model was only going for around $25 while the Hot Wheels model was going for $40.  And back then, this was my recommendation: "Given the pricing of the various ships, I have to begrudgingly give this one to Hallmark.  You can't beat the price.  However, if you are willing to spend the extra $20, you should get the Eaglemoss model.  It is well worth the extra cash for a truly remarkable representation of the ship."

NOW: I can now officially boycott the Hallmark model, like I do anytime someone tries to sing it's praises.  Don't bother buying it, it's a load of garbage.  If you are looking to save money and add this ship to your fleet, go for the Hot Wheels model.  It really is a nice looking toy that will be an impressive addition to your collection.  If you don't mind spending the additional $20+, then you really should go for the Eaglemoss model.  It is by far, the most impressive of the three.

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)

2 comments:

  1. So, for you eaglemoss is the best representation of this ship?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By default, I try to recomend the cheapest best option for people and at the time of this article, unfortunately, Hallmark was it. As I stated though, if you are willing to pay more, then yes, Eaglemoss is the best version you can get.

      Delete