Thursday, January 21, 2016

EMvTW Special 05: USS Kelvin NCC-0514 (Einstein Class)

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

[Editor's Note (March 2017): This will mark my second re-write of this article.  Now that I've written over 75 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.]

One of the last things I bought myself for my birthday was the latest of the Eaglemoss Specials, the USS Kelvin, which means I can now finally write an Eaglemoss vs. The World article for it.  And I'm happy to report that I have several other manufacturers models of this ship so that I can share those with you as well.  I've already complained before with the last three specials (JJprise, Vengeance & the Klingon D-4) about a special being wasted on NuTrek ships, however, it was pointed out to me that this is clearly the fault of CBS and Paramount as they would only release the rights to produce the ships if they were done as a special edition.  It really is a shame that the time and materials and the cost as well were wasted on this ship in particular when it could clearly have be done in a smaller scale.


My current collection of USS Kelvin consists of Eaglemoss, Hallmark and two Hot Wheels models.

Officially, there has never been a class name given to this ship.  It is referred to in the cannon references as a Kelvin-Type vessel.  In non-cannon works though, it has been agreed upon by many to call this type of ship an Einstein class vessel.

You can read more about the Einstein Class by clicking on these links for Memory Alpha and Memory Beta.


Eaglemoss vs. Hot Wheels vs. Hallmark vs. Furuta

I started writing these articles as a way to provide a little more information to the collector than what you normally get in a review.  I found a serious lack of size comparisons of the various pre-built and pre-painted small scale models and so I set out to provide this information myself and hopefully help someone make a wiser decision in which model to buy.

Eaglemoss vs. Hot Wheels vs. Hallmark

Eaglemoss vs. Hot Wheels vs. Hallmark

As you can clearly see, the Eaglemoss model dwarfs the rest of he ships.  Hallmark and Hot Wheels are very close in size.

Eaglemoss

 
 
 
 

My ship came out of the box with a manufacturers defect.


My saucer section was undergoing some non-emergency separation procedures.  Luckily, I'm a model builder and this sort of stuff doesn't phase me.  Although this one took a little more work involving super glue and several clamps to hold it together while the glue dried, the end result was a nice looking model again.

I have heard from several other collectors that thier models also suffered the same fate so this seems to be a manufacturer issue/defect, so if you buy one, be prepared to either send it back or fix it yourself.

Once I did the repairs on mine, it looked really nice.  The joins and seams for all the parts are well placed and hide them well.

The sculpting and molded in details of the plastic and metal parts is really well done and brings out the important aspects of the ship like the phaser turrets.



I was really amazed at the excellent paint job.  Not only did they do a good job with the aztecing, but they managed to weather the ship with streaks and smudges that gives her that old and heavily used look.  They could have added a little bit more paint to the underside phaser turrets, but I'll let this one slide considering the amount of details they did paint onto the model.

I felt they did a nice job with the use of clear plastic parts where they were needed, EXCEPT for the bussard collector.  I don't think they did a good job of recreating the bussard collector with what they did here.


Perhaps, an opaque.piece here with that paint scheme would have worked better.  With it being clear, I expect to see mechanics underneath the dome.

Unfortunately, I didn't find a good enough close-up picture to show, but the shuttlebay doors are a bit of a disappointment as well.  It looks like a piece of plastic was just stuck in there and forgotten.  A slight shade of different colored paint would have gone a long way.


Long time readers of my Eaglemoss vs. The World articles know that anytime I review a Starfleet ship, I like to hyper-focus on the deflector dish.  I find that this up close look usually gives me a good idea of the level of attention to details that a manufacturer puts into thier models.  Let's face it, this is a very important part of the ship and should be accurately represented.


Eaglemoss did a nice job going for a clear blue plastic piece.  It stands out, is crisp and clear, and just downright looks good.

I do read other peoples' reviews before I write mine to see if there is anything I might have missed.  I also like to see if my model has issues or lack of issues that other people have seen on thier ships. I have seen a couple of complaints about there being a lack of windows and RCS thrusters on the edge of the saucer.  Honestly, I don't think these reviewers actually looked at pictures of the ship.  There is a serious lack of them on the model, because there is a serious lack of them in the movie.  And given that the other manufacturers have opted to "miss" them on thier models, I'm not going to give those reviewers any credit for that complaint.

Hallmark

 
 
 
 

In 2013, Hallmark released thier version of the USS Kelvin.  They also released a limited edition run of  1575 copies of a "battle damaged" version of the ship.  These were available at the 2013 San Diego and New York Comic-Con conventions.


Although I'm not a big fan of NuTrek, I was happy that Hallmark decided to have a go at producing this ship.  The molded plastic parts do a super job of bringing out all the important details of the ship.

The paint job is what really impressed the heck out of me.  They not only painted her to represent a Starfleet ship, and covered all the important little bits, but they also managed to weather the ship to really make it look old and heavily used.  Every time I pick her up, I'm wowed by this aspect of the ship.  This probably is one of the best paint jobs that Hallmark has done in a long time on one of thier ships.

I had pointed out on the Eaglemoss model how the bussard collector was not that impressive to me.  Hallmark hit it on the money with what they did with theirs.  I like how the molded in a texture to give it the look that there was something underneath without actually showing through the plastic.


And then when it's lit up, it looks even more impressive.


Hallmark also chose to go with a clear blue plastic part for thier deflector dish.  I think the fact that it lights up makes it a better representation.


The model is part of thier newer line-up of lighting in that it is battery powered instead of using the light strand.



They did a fantastic job of lighting every important part of the ship that you would expect to light.

Is Hallamrk's model a perfect recreations?  No.  there are little details missing, but as far as Hallmark goes, this is probably one of thier best works.

Hot Wheels

 
 
 
 

As my collection picture shows, I actually have two Hot Wheels models.  I forget why I decided to repaint (if you can call it that) my Hot Wheels model and label it the USS Kirk, but given that they were relatively cheap, I ended up purchasing another one so that I had an untainted one for the collection.



In 2013, Hot Wheels also released thier own version of the Kelvin.  Although it was close in size to Hallmark's it was a lot heavier, being made of a mix of die cast metal and plastic.

They chose to go with a cleaner look to thier ship, giving us a fresh out of space dock feel to her.

Actually, other than all the molded details, she looked a bit lack-luster.  Even with the molded details, thier model was missing some key parts, such as the phaser turrets.  Over all, she just looked plain and needed a lot more paint to fix this issue.

I did like thier rendition of the deflector dish.  They added color here to make it stand out from the rest of the ship and they molded the plastics enough to give it a dish look..


Since I looked at the bussard collector of the other two models, let's look at Hot Wheels' as well.  Although the plastic has been molded to give it some details, the ring of yellow was not enough to make it stand out all that well.


It was nice that Hot Wheels produced the ship, but their going cheap on the paint seriously hurt thier presentation.

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.

NOTE: Due to the popularity of this particular ship, the prices for the various manufacturers have fluctuated drastically enough in over the last year to warrant me mentioning the differences.  This will sometimes change my view later on in the article.

Eaglemoss = $40  (03/2017 = $65)
Hallmark = $25   (03/2017 = $28)
Hallmark (Battle Damaged) = $175  (03/2017 = $337)
Hot Wheels = $27 (03/2017 = $35)

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.

NOTE: After going over the article again, and looking at the new prices, I'll share that I kept this next part intact and am sticking with my initial recommendation.

Personally, the Eaglemoss special edition ships have been a bit large and cost more than I like for my small scale collecting tastes.  I tend to try to keep my small scale collection to 6 inches in length or less to conserve space.  When I make my choice, it is based off of getting you the best model for the least amount of money.  The Hallmark model has roughly stayed the same cost from when I bought mine which made the recommendation the same.  And for that reason, I have to say that Hallmark comes out as a favorite for me.  The dirty look to it and the fact that it lights up, makes it a nice little addition to your collection.

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.


Given the rugged nature of these ships, several individuals felt that had the timeline not been altered, it would be very conceivable to see this ship still in operation during the TOS era.  Several people even went so far and made models of it in this style as a early refit.  I not only build a 1:2500 scale version of that style, but took it a step further and built one as a TMP era refit.  

USS daVinci (NCC-0515)
Einstein Class Upgrade (TOS Era Refit)
1:2500 Scale AMT Kitbash

 
 
 
 

USS Darwin (NCC-0516)
Einstein Class Refit (TMP Era Refit)
1:2500 Scale AMT Kitbash

 
 
 
 


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

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

Additional Links To Photos Of My Collection:

AMT (TOS     TMP)

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