Wednesday, December 16, 2015

EMvTW Extra 01 - Shuttlecraft Collection

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.]

Here comes one of my longest "Eaglemoss vs. The World" articles to date.  I was recently able to get my hands on Eaglemoss' Shuttlecraft collection.


Normally I don't order stuff directly from Eaglemoss because they have a tendency to advertise stuff they they don't even have in stock.  And after you order it, I've heard horror tales about waiting one or more months to get your items.  As was the case with this set, I did get a notice AFTER they got my money that the shuttlecraft were on backorder.  But surprisingly, they came about two weeks later so I think I fared rather well.

Editor's Note (June 2016): When I bought my set directly from Eaglemoss, I paid $75 plus shipping for the set.  When I looked up the pricing for this article's re-write, I see that Eaglemoss now wants $100 plus shipping and I've seen the entire set on eBay for around $100 with shipping included.  This will become relevent later on in this article when I start giving my thoughts and recommendations.

The first thing you should know about these shuttles is that they are SMALLER than the typical Eaglemoss releases.  BUT, you do end up with three shuttles that no one else has produced in the small scale pre-built and pre-painted format.


They come in a nice looking box which is more like a sleeve for the contents.  I placed a quarter in the picture for a sense of scale.


Inside you will find the standard Eaglemoss packaging as well as 4 mini magazines.  I was pleasantly surprised when I saw these as initial reports were that the models only came with plastic sheets called ‘Okudagram’.  The down side to the "magazines"is that they do not mount into the binders like the ones from thier larger scale cousins, and they do not talk about the typical behind-the-scenes stuff that the larger magazine cover.

The stands for the models are much different than other models from Eaglemoss.  They are basically tiny little tables that the shuttle rests on.

Speaking of the Okudagram,  they are essentially schematics of each shuttle created by Mike Okuda.  He was famous for his designing these for ship's computer displays.


All but the Class F shuttle are done up in his traditional LCARS interface style.  That shuttle's Okudagram is done up in a TOS style of rectangular "buttons".  I'm not a big fan of the feet that attach to the Okudagram.  You can't really use the feet without covering over some of the information on the bottom of the displays.

This will be a rather unique article from me as you will be getting 4 different types of ships reviewed at the same time.  Let's get started and we'll just go through them in the order of the magazines that came with the models.



Class F Shuttle
TOS Era


The Class F shuttle is the one shuttle that I can do some serious comparing with other manufacturers.  My current collection consists of an Eaglemoss, Furuta, Hallmark and a MicroMachines model.

First off, let's just take a quick look at the MicroMachine model.

 

The fact that the actual ship is basic and simple in design lends well when you do it up in such a small scale.  I really don't have anything bad to say about thier version.

Eaglemoss vs. Furuta vs. Hallmark

I write these Eaglemoss vs. The World 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 anyway.

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.

Eaglemoss vs. Hallmark vs. Furuta

Furuta vs. Hallmark vs. Eaglemoss

Eaglemoss vs. Hallmark vs. Furuta

Of the three models, Hallmark is the largest with Eaglemoss and Furuta being close in size to each other.  They each have thier quirks that make them stand out from the other.

Eaglemoss

 
 
 
 

I took a picture of the model next to a quarter for size comparison.  For such a small sized model, Eaglemoss did a pretty decent job with representing it.  The molded plastic and metal parts are all well detailed, for a ship that originally didn't have a lot of detail going for it.  They even managed to squeeze in the clear plastic bussard collectors on the nacelles which by the way, match Issue #50's Enterprise bussard collectors.

I do have one tiny complaint about the paint.  In most on screen appearances, the nacelles seem to be a darker color than the rest of the ship.  In fact, the other two model makers seem to have gotten this fact right.

Honestly, I liked everything about this model, until I turned it over.


What the heck is that monstrosity???   I think they went a little overboard on the size of that landing pad.  I've seen in some cases where it is actually circular.  Now, they are correct that it is rectangle, but as you can see from this photo of the freshly restored full size film prop, they made it a bit too big.  For a company that is taking pride in being screen accurate, umm, try again folks.


Every time I look at this piece that Eaglemoss has slapped on here, I want to snap it off of my model.  All of thier shuttles are shown in a flight mode.  I think that Eaglemoss would have been better off showing this part in a retracted mode.  Otherwise, they should have also shown the landing pads that extend from the bottom front of the nacelles.


Here is a side-by-side comparison of the shuttle next to Eaglemoss' TOS Enterprise.  Incidentally, you can read my review of the original enterprise by clicking HERE.


And we'll end the Eaglemoss review with a parting shot of the shuttle flying away from her Enterprise.

Hallmark

 
 
 
 

Before you get into yelling at me, yes, I know my power cable has been cut off.  I explained in an older article that I did this to all of my older Hallmark ornaments because I display them year round, and that unsightly green cable just looked horrible hanging down in my display case.

Hallmark released this model back in 1992 and it was thier second ship that they produced.  When you pushed the button on the bottom of the ship, you would hear a special holiday greeting from none other than Spock.


Here she is lit up.  They put more money into the sound chip than the lighting.

I had a couple of thoughts about Hallmark's rendition of this ship.  First and foremost, they went too dark with the dark grey parts of the ship.  Although these areas are indeed a darker color than the upper parts of the ship,  they went a little overboard with thier coloring.

The bussard collectors are lacking any color whatsoever.  Now this would be OK if the ship was idle in a hanger or on planet side, but if they were going to light her up, they should have done something with this part of the ship.  HOWEVER, back then light technologies weren't that good yet so I suppose they left it unlit for safety reasons.

I know the actual film model is pretty devoid of a lot of details, but I think Hallmark's model is extremely lacking on the belly of the ship.  Most of the surface is pitted with speaker holes thus preventing them from doing anything exceptional down there.

Last but not least, the lack of black paint on the housing on the back of the shuttle really ruined the overall look.  That is compounded with the fact that the openings that they opted to paint black are the wrong shape.

In the end though, for the longest time, Hallmark had the only version of this ship in this small scale format so we were forced to go with thier product.

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.

Not counting the MicroMachines toy, Furuta produced the smallest of the variants.  The shuttle came during Furuta's Volume 3 era, which meant they were producing much smaller models.  My guess is that they were finding it too expensive to maintain the licensing and therefore cut back the size to save on production costs to compensate.  Unfortunately, this meant that in most cases, the ships were no bigger than MicroMachines.  It also afforded them less model to actually detail.  I was not really happy with a lot of thier volume 3 models.  However, since this shuttle craft was already pretty plain to begin with, they were able to do a good job of representing it.

For me, the first bad thing I noticed was the single window on the front of the ship.  And for that reason, when sitting next to all my other shuttlecraft models, it becomes the most glaring inaccurate issue.

The molding in the plastic is good and the paint job is decent as well.

I'm on the fence about the landing pads with this model.  Furuta obviously attempted to make thier model appear to be in a landed mode.  Unfortunately, thier model is not film accurate with these parts, especially the circular landing pads on the nacelles.  HOWEVER, I have seen some Do It Yourself models from very reputable companies that have these same round pads on the nacelles as well as on the rear landing assembly too.  I am not sure where that interpretation is coming from and if you know, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section.  Since those other reputable companies also use round landing pads, I won't detract points from Furuta for doing the same.

Class F Shuttle Conclusion

Due to the nature of this particular Eaglemoss vs. The World article, I'm going to break slightly from my normal traditions.

At this point, I would 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.

Furuta = $11
Hallmark = 10
MicroMachine = $10
Eaglemoss = $25

When I first wrote this article back in December 2015, the shuttle set was still VERY new and hard to come by.  In fact, eBay sellers were only selling the shuttle individually and at VERY steep prices.  In fact, this shuttle was going for $75 by itself!!!  Thankfully, some Top Rated sellers have gotten thier hands on the sets and pricing has come down to matching what Eaglemoss is selling the set for.  The $25 I am quoting as the price is based off the fact that if you separated out a $100, four ship set, you would be left with a $25 model.

Normally, at this point in my articles, I like to wrap them up by giving my opinion on which ship gives you the best bang for your buck.  That's my way of saying, which one is the best buy.  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.

I'm going to do a recommendation for this shuttle as a separate entity and then at the end of the article I will give my final thoughts on the entire set.

I have to say that of the three models, I did like the Eaglemoss ship the best.  Even with that ugly landing pad attached.  And now that the pricing has stabilized, I'm even willing to pay twice as much as the other models for it..



Type 6 Shuttle
TNG Era

The next vessel in the shuttlecraft pack is the Type 6 vessel that we first see in The Next Generation.



My collection of these shuttles is rather small and only consists of an Eaglemoss and an MicroMachine model.

Here's a quick look at the MicroMachine toy.

 

Galoob did a pretty nice job with such a small toy.

Since I don't have any other larger versions of the ship, we'll just jump right into looking at the Eaglemoss model.

Eaglemoss

 
 
 
 

Eaglemoss did a fantastic job with this model.  Everything from the molding on the plastic and metal parts to the finely detailed paint job just screams Eaglemoss excellence.  They even managed to use some clear plastic on the nacelles for the grill work.  I can't find anything wrong with my model.  The shuttle makes for a nice companion to your Eaglemoss Enterprise D.


Here is a nice side-by-side comparison of the shuttle next to the Eaglemoss Enterprise D.


And like we did with the Class F shuttle, here is a parting picture of the Type 6 leaving her home base.

Type 6 Shuttle Conclusion

And now, we'll do that quick check on eBay...

MicroMachine = $5
Eaglemoss = $25

Well, the choice is quite clear as there is only one to choose from, but in all honesty, anyone else trying to make this ship in small scale is going to have a hard time topping Eaglemoss' work.



Type 10 Shuttle
DS9 Era

The next vessel in the shuttle pack is one that we get to see as an auxiliary craft for the Defiant.  It was apparently meant as a replacement to the Type 18 shuttlecraft.



I only have one manufacturer's version of this ship to show off so here it is...

Eaglemoss

 
 
 
 

Compared to the last two Eaglemoss shuttles, this one is a bit on the small side.  Which is why I was so surprised with just how well they detailed this ship.  The plastic and metal parts are molded really well, showing off all sorts of little details on this ship.  In fact, she is far more detailed than the last two Eaglemoss models we just looked at.  Take a real good close look at the top and bottom of this ship and you will see what I mean.  They also squeeze in some clear plastics into the nacelle housings.  The painting is superb and highlights all sorts of things on her.  Honestly, I thought I was going to be disappointed with her when I saw the size, but as I held her and looked closer at her, it instantly became a favorite of mine.  


Of course she isn't to scale with the Eaglemoss Defiant (check out my Eaglemoss vs. The World Article on The Defiant HERE).  That would be rather difficult to do, but with some angle perspective shots, you can make a nice little escape picture with the two of them.


Since Eaglemoss is the only company to produce a pre-built and pre-painted version of this ship I'll just jump into saying you can get one on eBay for $25 if you buy the whole set.

It really is a nice little model and will display nice right next to your defiant.



Type 9 Shuttle
VOY Era

The last of the four shuttles is the Type 9 that we first see in Voyager.


As with the Type 6, I have two of these in my collection, the Eaglemoss and an MicroMachine.  the Eaglemoss is bigger, but not by a lot.

 

This was another one that Galoob impressed me with for doing a really nice job with something so tiny.  It's a shame they stopped doing them as there were so many other ships they could have done.

Eaglemoss

 
 
 
 

This is the smallest of the Eaglemoss shuttles, yet they still packed her full of details.  This was another one that I thought the small size was going to lead to disappointment, but was very happy to have been proven wrong.  They have yet again, done fabulous work with molding and painting details into the model.  They yet again were able to squeeze in some clear blue plastic on the nacelles too.  It boggles my mind that they can do such fantastic work on such a tiny little model, yet miss out on painted details on say the super large D-4 Bird Of Prey.


I decided to share with you a side-by-side comparison of the Eaglemoss Voyager, next to the shuttle and as you can see, they are not to scale.  If you haven't read it, check out my Eaglemoss vs. The World article on Voyager HERE.  the distance perspective shot didn't turn out so well.  the camera had a hard time focusing.


Type 9 Shuttle Conclusion

And now, we'll do that quick check on eBay...

MicroMachine = $41
Eaglemoss = $25

OK, apparently, the MicroMachine version of this ship is more on the rare side and I was lucky to obtain one at some point in my collecting hay-day.  And once more, you should figure that Eaglemoss price to only be $25 for the ship if you buy the entire set.

And once again, the choice is quite clear as there is only one to choose from.  Quite frankly though, as with the other shuttles, other manufacturers may not be able to compete.



Is It Worth It?

So ultimately, the question that will be asked is, "Is it worth buying this set and from where should I get it?"

I could go into all sorts of comparisons of how much physical matter is being used up by these models and the special edition models.  I could go into the differences of the magazines of the shuttles compared to all the other releases.  Eaglemoss did include the Okudagram's, but I could also say that I didn't really need them.

Let's face it though, you end up with three shuttles that no other manufacturer (other than Galoob) has produced.  Even though they are smaller than the traditional Eaglemoss ships, they are in some way better quality than a lot of thier bigger cousins.

I will admit though, that as a long time Eaglemoss collector, it did sting a bit paying more for these.  Ultimately, I would have to say that for what I paid for the collection, it was definitely worth the investment of $75.  Now that the collection is going for $100, I'm going to say that I'm still impressed and hoping that they do another set in the future.

My original article stated that Eaglemoss is the best place to go to get them if you don't want to get ripped off on eBay.  The $75 a ship that I was seeing on eBay at that time was way too overpriced for what you would be getting.  At this point, I really think that getting them from either eBay or Eaglemoss directly is about the same.  I just hope that Eaglemoss can keep up with the supply and demand side of it though.  I remember horror stories of people waiting for months to get thier DS9 station.  This in turn made me go and order my station from a third party.  I paid a little more, but got it a lot sooner.  But that is in the past?  From what I've seen on Facebook and other review sites, it seems that most people are getting thier shuttle collections in a somewhat timely manner.  I think thhe longest I read that someone waited was a month.  Mine came in two weeks.  So, it seems to me that Eaglemoss is indeed keeping on top of the supply and demand.



It looks like that is all I have to say about this collection and I can finally bring this monstrous article to a close.

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:
Class F Shuttle (TOS): Eaglemoss     Furuta     Hallmark     MicroMachine     Comparative
Type 6 Shuttle (TNG): Eaglemoss     MicroMachine     Comparative
Type 10 Shuttle (DS9): Eaglemoss     
Type 9 Shuttle (VOY): Eaglemoss     MicroMachine     Comparative

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