Wednesday, October 21, 2015

EMvTW 36: USS Grissom NCC-638 (Oberth class)

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

[Editor's Note (May 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.]

It has been quite a while since I've written any of my Eaglemoss vs. The World articles.  As I stated in a previous post, life got in the way of my modeling and collecting.  Now I'm back with what I hope to be a good revitalization of posts.

The first of the next six comparative articles will focus on the Oberth Class vessel that we saw very briefly in Star Trek II: The Search For Spock.

I have never been a big fan of this class of ship.  It seems like it was simply designed to be nothing more than cannon fodder or if it was lucky, a personnel transport for a brief walk on appearance in an episode.  When you sit down and actually read the specifications on Memory Alpha and Memory Beta, it really isn't well suited to do any sort of deep space exploration unless it was part of a small fleet of more heavily armed vessels.  Although it is unique in it's looks, there are some design issues with the ship that have caused all sorts of fan confusion in regards to the secondary hull and what it is actually used for and whether it is manned or not.

Although there have been some companies producing a pre-built and pre-painted version of this ship, they have tended to be on the small side, like MicroMachine size small.  There also isn't many model kits of this ship either.

My current collection consists of an Eaglemoss, a Furuta, several Cozmo Heavy Industries resin kits and a MicroMachine model.

I have mixed emotions on whether I like the The MicroMachine toy or not.  The shape is right, but the painted details are splotchy.


Eaglemoss vs. Furuta

I write this particular series of articles to give a good side-by-side comparison of the various pre-built and pre-painted small scale starships available to a collector.  I found that there was a serious lack of material showing what they looked like next to each other thus not giving me a good informed choice on what to buy.  I decided to start providing this information myself since I ended up buying the different manufacturer renditions of the same ship.

Eaglemoss vs. Furuta vs. Cozmo Heavy Industries vs. MicroMachine

Eaglemoss vs. Furuta vs. Cozmo Heavy Industries vs. MicroMachine

As you can see, the Eaglemoss ship is rather large when compared to everything else out there.  I have to say this, I was very pleased with this fact.



The first thing I'm going to say about the Eaglemoss ship is that it is by far the largest of all the Oberth models out there.  It is probably also one of the larger Eaglemoss ships from thier standard lineup.  I'm a big guy and this thing fills my hand.

And the BIG advantage Eaglemoss had with making it larger was that they could pay more attention to details.

The seams and the joins on this ship are almost non-existant.  Eaglemoss did a fantastic job of hiding them.

The overall painting of the ship was real well done.  For example, there is a nice aztecing pattern across the key areas of the ship.  And the grills on the nacelles were a nice touch too.

I did see some minor smudging due to the paint not setting well on the molded details.  One glaring example was with the ship's name and registry on the saucer.

Another area where the paint could have been better is all of the windows on the saucer.  The blue paint that was supposed to be in the window molding, is badly mis-aligned.

The molding of the plastic and metal parts was well done and added a lot of details to the model.

Unlike other Starfleet ships, the Eaglemoss Oberth does not have any clear plastic parts on her.

And this class of ship has no visible deflector dish so we can't hyper-focus on that area as I usually do in my reviews.

Normally, I would not comment on the magazine as that is not what my reviews are about.  I usually find the magazines very informative as they get into "real world" information about the filming models and design processes for the ships.  So when ever possible, the editors would actually interview the original model makers.  In this particular case I think they dropped the ball.  There has been some wide-spread debate over whether the secondary hull was manned and how exactly one would get into that area to even service the equipment.  I think that talking to the designers of the model and ship and asking them thier opinion would have been a great way to finally put this debate to bed.



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.

Furuta's entry in this ship class is rather small, being only slightly bigger than a 1:2500 scale resin model that I own and a bit bigger than the MicroMachine toy.  It was part of thier 3rd volume set which is where in my opinion, they tried to save money by making smaller models than thier earlier Star Trek toys.

Although I was disappointed with her size, Furuta still did a pretty good job with the molded and painted details considering how little she is.

At the time I got her, she was the only pre-made model available so it did add some nice variety to my collection, so overall, I was actually pleased with my purchase at the time.


I would love to see Hallmark make an attempt at doing thier rendition of this ship.  Perhaps now that they are off of thier NuTrek kick we'll finally get to see one done by them.

At this point in my articles, I like to do a quick check on eBay to get some prices of the ships I've shared with you.  I will continue with the tradition of rounding up the most inexpensive Buy-It-Now prices (with shipping included in that price) from eBay at the time of this article's writing.

Eaglemoss = $25
Furuta = $11
MicroMachine = $11

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.  Unfortunately, there are only two different pre-made ships to really pick from.  Although the Furuta model is cheaper and rather good in what it has to offer, the size and level of details clearly makes the Eaglemoss version the better pick of the two.


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 couple resin kits of this class that were produced by Cozmo Heavy Industries.

SS Anaheim (Cargo Hauler)

SS Serrano (AEW&C and Science Vessel)

SS Rocoto (Missile Frigate)

USS Jeanette Isabelle (NCC-6199) (Medical Ship)

Rather than rehashing the materials in those articles, you may feel free to read them by following either of these two links: 

As always, I hope you found this article useful and informative.  If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to comment.

So for now, "Live long and prosper!!!"

Additional Links To Photos Of My Collection:

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