Sunday, November 22, 2015

EMvTW 46: USS Enterprise NCC-1701-C (Ambassador class)

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 #46 of my Eaglemoss vs. The World articles is a bit of an exciting one for me.  With it, we take a good look at the Ambassador Class, which we all first learned about in the form of the Enterprise C.  With this ship being added to my collection, I am now just one Enterprise away from having all of the hero ships that Eaglemoss has produced to bear that name.  It was also cool that I finally got to this point in my collection considering Hallmark just produced the same ship this year for thier collection.


My current collection now consists of an Eaglemoss, a Furuta, a Hallmark and a MicroMachine model.

Galoob actually produced a MicroMachine version of this ship.  For a tiny little model, they did a nice job of making it.

 

Eaglemoss vs. Furuta vs. Hallmark

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.

As we get further into the Eaglemoss Collection, these side-by-side reviews are coming further apart because Eaglemoss is producing more and more unique ships that no one else has done.  Luckily, with this particular ship, we have some good stuff to look at.

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. Hallmark vs. Furuta

Eaglemoss vs. Hallmark vs. Furuta

Eaglemoss comes in as the largest of the three with Hallmark and Furuta being closer in size to each other.

Let us jump into look at each of the manufacturers as they each have thier own pros and cons.

Eaglemoss

 
 
 
 

As I said, Eaglemoss brought us the largest of the small scale versions of this ship.  And I want to say that it's also the most detailed of them.  HOWEVER, as you'll soon read, not everything is as it seems.

For the most part, the molded plastic and metal details are phenomenal. Their attention to the painting was really good too and in fact, I found very few misalignment with paint and windows or escape hatches.  In fact, they crammed a lot of painted detail onto this ship.

The clear red and blue plastics on the nacelles just plain pop!  The nacelles in fact are awesome to look at with molded and painted details.

All this attention to detail would have made this a fantastic choice for anyone;'s collection EXCEPT that they really didn't do a good job.  Their detail painting does a good job of trying to distract you, but I on the other hand caught a few discrepancies.   When you really start scrutinizing the model, there are some very blatant mistakes that could have easily been avoided if they had taken thier time.

Probably, the most glaring of issues is the fact that this model is missing it's impulse engine housing on the back of the neck.


From what I've read, one of the physical filming models was missing this detail too, but personally, I want my model to be accurate to the "real thing".  All they needed to do was stick a small square of red plastic, or a dab of red paint back there and I would have been much happier.  Actually, the back of the neck is devoid of a LOT of details.

From what I can see from various pictures, the lifeboat details on the top of the saucer section are incorrect, thus not making this film accurate.

The lower sensor platform (the bit in the middle of the bottom of the saucer) is also incorrect with the actual Enterprise model.  This part is correct for other Ambassador classes that later appeared in the shows.

Whenever I do a write-up on Starfleet ships, I like to take a closer look at the deflector dish areas of the ship.  I feel that this area can give you a really nice idea of how much a manufacturer cares about details.


I have a mixed bag of emotions when it comes to Eaglemoss' work on this area of the ship.  I like that they used a piece of clear blue plastic that was molded to represent the dish.  It looks great from that aspect.  HOWEVER, they made it a bit too big and it overwhelms that part of the hull.  Had it been a bit smaller, they would have had extra bonus points from me.

Looking closely at this part of the ship though, then points out another flaw and missed detail... where is the torpedo launcher?

Overall, it's a good model, just majorly flawed in that it is either missing parts or has incorrect parts.

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.

Up until November 2015, Furuta had the only small scale Enterprise C that came in a pre-built and pre-painted format.  And quite frankly, from a distance, this model looked great when lined up with my Hallmark and other Furuta models of the Enterprise line of ships.


Up close though, you knew right away that it was a cheap little toy.  Of all of the Furuta ships, this one was by far the most fragile and had the most issues staying together.  The nacelles and saucer section constantly fall off the model unless you glue them down.  I've actually broken the neck on two of these Furuta ships while putting them together so you might as well have your glue handy when un-boxing it and assembling it.  I would have to say that this is a common issue with this ship because it occurred on two different ones that I've owned of it.

As for looks, they actually did a pretty good job of keeping it proportionate.  The molded in details and the painting are actually really good for a cheap little toy.  They even have the correct sensor assembly on the bottom of their saucer section.  

Honestly, the neck is my only real complaint for this particular model.  It is too thin.  Not only does this cause the saucer section instability, but it just makes the ship look like it is starving.  HOWEVER, they did dab some paint on the back of the neck to represent the impulse engine so kudos to them.


The front of the neck is missing the photon torpedo launchers.  

Turning our attention to the deflector dish, we see that the paint is a bit sloppy, and the molding and joint seam are a bit rough.  HOWEVER, they did get the proportions correct.  And it looks like a deflector dish so I'm happy with this part.


Furuta's model does make for a nice inexpensive contender when it comes to collecting the Enterprise C.

Hallmark

 
 
 
 

For the first time in the last three years, Hallmark has finally deviated from the NuTrek stuff and gotten back on track with producing other ships from the various series.  I was thrilled when I learned this.  My hopes is that they do the Enterprise B soon to give us the full lineup of the ships named Enterprise.  Unfortunately, it looks like next year, we are going to be treated to yet another rendition of the TOS enterprise, this time it will be all gold and done up as it appeared in the pilot episode.  BOO  Hallmark!!!   BOO!!!

While un-boxing it, I became slightly disappointed right from the start.  She just looks too shiny and new.  I don't think I've ever seen one of thier ships that looks so bright and cheerful as thier Enterprise C.  It makes the model look toy-like.  Had they toned the brightness down, or better yet, giver her a weathered look like they had done with the Kelvin, I would have been more impressed with her when I first glanced at her.

The plastic molding was well done, showing off the important details of the ship.  They did a decent job of painting her too, although, like I said, it could have been slightly darker.  I particularly liked how they made the bridge into the power button to turn on the lights.  

They did a great job on the neck area too, and although this model is also missing the torpedo launchers, they did include the impulse engine.  and this part glows when the power has been activated.


They did a fantastic job with the deflector dish.  Of all of the manufacturers, I feel Hallmark did the best in this area.  And like the impulse engine, this part also glows when it it lit up.


Hallmark continues with thier self-powered ornaments with this year's entry.  People have mixed feelings on whether they like them hard wired or battery operated.  Since I display mine all year round, I prefer that they are self powered.

 

Conclusion

And now, let us do a quick check on eBay to get some prices of the ships I've shared with you.  I typically will just round 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 = $48
Furuta = $11
Hallmark = $24
MicroMachine = $19

Editor's Note (June 2016): The original price for the Eaglemoss model back in November 2015 was $25.  Apparently, thier model has become rather popular and harder to get, thus the price has almost doubled in seven months.

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.

In all honesty, normally Eaglemoss wins out in most of these comparisons, due to cost verses what you get.  But Eaglemoss dropped the ball big time with all of thier little missed parts on the ship.  I always expect them to do a really good job.  Granted, it WAS only a $20 model, but these guys get all thier data from Paramount and supposedly pride themselves on being screen accurate.  And now that the price has nearly doubled on the Eaglemoss model, I feel even more strongly about what I'm about to say.  Although Hallmark's model is really brightly colored, she lacks the mistakes that Eaglemoss has and as a bonus, will light up all the special areas of the ship at the press of a button.  So at this point, if you want a nice small scale Enterprise C for a good price, go with Hallmark's version.  I think you will be happy with your purchase.



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 Ironman
(NCC-26714) 
[1:2500 AMT Round 2 Kit]

 
 
 
 

Every once in a while, I like tho throw in some bonus from my collection.  Although this really isn't small scale, it is at least small enough to my liking.  She did belong to me until sometime last year when my oldest son inherited this 20 year old model.  I had built her, but never glued or painted her.  My son is a big time Ironman fan from the Marvel universe and decided to paint her up in that motif.



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:

3 comments:

  1. The Ent-C was my first Furuta model after having been introduced by accident to F-Toys' TOS and TMP Enterprise models. I discovered those by accident while browsing EBay, and had to do a little research to even figure out what I had bought!

    I was thoroughly impressed with both F-Toys models, and wanted an Ambassador class on my shelf (what Trekkie doesn't!?), so bought the Furuta one. For the price, I am very pleased. The model looks good. I didn't like how the stand made the ship pitch upwards, so I turned the base around (basically mounting the ship "backwards"), and problem solved.

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  2. PS I can't believe Eaglemoss missed the impulse engines! Completely unacceptable. The dorsal neck section makes the ship model look unfinished.

    You are providing excellent comparative information on these models. You are correct when you say this information is (was) lacking in availability. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Hi there!

      I found that Johnny Lighting makes better toys than F-Toys, but Furuta had a bigger selection. In fact, the NX class was the only one that Furuta didn't make that those other two Japanese companies had produced.

      Once again, Eaglemoss does have a certain budget to work with so mistakes will be made. But that is exactly why I make these reviews to help see those mistakes and decide which is the best choice.

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