Thursday, October 29, 2015

EMvTW 40: USS Enterprise NCC-1701-B (Excelsior class refit)

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

[Editor's Note (June 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.]

Issue #40 of my Eaglemoss vs. The World series brings us a ship that had about 15 minutes of screen time, the USS Enterprise B.


My current collection consists of an Eaglemoss, Furuta and MicroMachine Model.  I also have a Round 2 model that I did up as a practice run back when I got back into model building.

For what it is, MicroMachines did a pretty good job on thier version of the ship.  The paint is blotchy in some places and some key ship components are not painted, but hey, it was super small and at the time, super cheap.

 

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.

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. AMT (Round 2)

Eaglemoss vs. Furuta vs. AMT (Round 2)

Normally, I don't share the models that I built in the comparison pictures, but I felt that the 1:2500 AMT Round 2 kit would provide a great comparison for size.

As you can see, both the Eaglemoss and the Furuta models are roughly the same size, however, they are both smaller than a 1:2500 scale AMT Round 2 kit.

Eaglemoss

 
 
 
 

One of the biggest worries I believe that many Eaglemoss collectors had was in regards to what kind of quality they were going to get from this model.  If you've read my review on the Excelsior or anyone else's for that matter, you would find that there were better versions of this ship in the small scale department.  Eaglemoss' original Excelsior class ship was a bit of a let down.

Eaglemoss' Enterprise B vs. Excelsior

Eaglemoss' Enterprise B vs. Excelsior

As you can see from the side by side comparison, the Enterprise B is slightly bigger than the Excelsior.  This ship is very different from it's "older" counterpart.  It is very clear that they did not just remold thier original model and add on the new greebles like Paramount did with the filming model.

Although this model is still small when compared to other Eaglemoss models, I think that this was once again necessitated by the fact that they are trying for a relatively equal box size across the collection.  I do like the fact that they made it slightly bigger than the Excelsior, because according to statistics she was bigger in universe.  So this gives a feel that she is to scale with the other model

As far as the paint job goes, they did a bang up job this time round.  There is a nice aztec pattern over the entire ship, although the bottom rear of the engineering hull seems to be light on theses details.  All of the major components like RCS thrusters, impulse engines and phaser banks are represented and the other paint details like stripes and rings are evenly represented both on the top and the bottom of the saucer section.

The sculpted and molded details on both the plastic and metal parts are well done too.

I liked how they handled the clear plastic parts on the nacelles.  They just look better on this model than they did on the Excelsior.

The joins and seams are hidden well too, giving the model a nice solid look.

Whenever I get to review Starfleet ships, I often times take a really close look at the deflector dish.  I feel that a manufacturer's attention to detail can really be determined by taking a good look at this small part of the ship.


This is where Eaglemoss dropped the ball.  First, the deflector dish is just super plain.  It's blah!   There is very little detail.  The paint work on the dish itself is shoddy.  They also failed to detail paint the photon torpedo launchers so they really don't stand out well either.  And depending on what angle you look at the dish area, you can see that the metal has a jagged and chipped look to it.  The molded metal just looks terrible there.


Honestly, given what a wonderful job they had done with the rest of the ship, it actually ticked me off to see this.  

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.

The Enterprise B was released in 2004 as part of Furuta's Volume 2 line-up of starships from star Trek.

Up until Eaglemoss released thier model, this was the only small scale pre-built and pre-painted version of the ship you could get.  And quite frankly, for a cheap toy, it was pretty well done.

The top side of the ship looked fairly decent in regards to the molded details.  There was a serious lack of paint that would normally highlight the phaser banks.  The impulse engine exhaust was also not painted red for some reason.

The paint job overall is OK considering the low cost of the toy to begin with.  It's not the best, but is gives it enough varied color to give you a decent redition of the ship.

The bottom side of the saucer was not very accurate in regards to it's molding or painting.  The phaser banks were missing completely and so were the RCS thrusters.


And now we start to hyper focus on the deflector dish.  Let me see, where do I begin?  Lack of molded detailing, no paint, and no torpedo launchers.  I guess that we can quote Captain Harriman and say, "It won't be installed until Tuesday."

Honestly, I don't hate this model.  It allowed me to have a complete line-up of Enterprises back when I first started collecting the small-scale ships.  For all her flaws, she still looked good when lined up with my other Enterprises.

Conclusion

I am hoping that Hallmark gets around to doing this ship as well.  Now that they have stopped hyper focusing on the NuTrek ships, maybe we'll see one in the next few years.  If we get lucky and they make one, I'll definitely post an updated version of this article.

And now, let us 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 = $42
Furuta = $15
MicroMachine = $12

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.

When I first wrote this article back in October 2015, the Eaglemoss model was only $25.  It appears to have jumped up quite a bit since then.  And the Furuta model was only $12 at the time.  Which puts me in a bit of a dilemma for my recommendation.  

I originally recommended that you pay double the price and get your hands on an Eaglemoss version of the ship.  All around, it's just a better representation of the Enterprise B and you wouldn't be disappointed with it.  HOWEVER, since my focus is supposed to be on saving money, that big of a price jump forces me to lean more towards the Furuta model now.  And if I really was strapped for cash, and the paint job bothered me as much as it did, I would go ahead and do some touch-up painting to rectify the minor issues that I pointed out in my review.



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.

USS Lakota (NCC-42768) 
Excelsior Class Refit
1:2500 scale AMT Round 2 Kit

 
 
 
 

When I was started getting back into model making a few years ago, I started practicing my painting on my older models. This was one of the first ones' I painted. I used this ship as practice so that I could do a better job on the USS Dougherty (NCC-7448), a Constitution Class Refit in 1:2500 scale.  Honestly, the Excelsior Class Refit model at this scale is rather difficult to paint if you are a first time builder or painter.



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:

5 comments:

  1. This is another one where I feel Konami is probably a really good contender. Currently on Ebay you can find the Konami version of the 1701-B for less than $20, with better molding and proportions than the Furuta.

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  2. why does the USS Lakota name and registry number too big, it looks uglier if too big

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    Replies
    1. The Lakota was one of my old models from 20 years ago that never got a paint job until more recently. I was lazy for the labeling and used a label gun to produce the registry markings.

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  3. I like more the USS Enterprise B Micro Machines it looks better than Eaglemoss, Furuta and AMT, cheaper too if u get it on ebay

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, the MicroMachine models are too small for my tastes, HOWEVER, I do include them to help with the size comparisons. The reality is, based off of my criteria, they would never beat out a larger model.

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