Monday, February 22, 2016

EMvTW 57: Romulan Bird of Prey (23rd century)

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

Welcome to article number 57 of my Eaglemoss vs. The World series.  In this issue, I'm going to focus on an oldy, but goody, the 23rd Century Romulan Bird Of Prey.


As you can see from my picture, this will be a relatively short article as I only have a Eaglemoss, Hallmark and two MicroMachine models.

The TOS era Bird Of Prey is a very plain looking ship that one might think would not translate very well into small scale.  HOWEVER, two of the pre-built and pre-painted manufacturers have done a decent job of making this ship.



MicroMachine did produce thier own version of this ship.

 

They did a very nice job for such a small version of this ship.  The only slight difference is the lacking of "feathers" on the upper part of the nacelle struts.  The ship does suffer slightly from the rubber bending in spots though, but this was common in Galoob's MicroMachine toy line for Star Trek.

Eaglemoss vs. Hallmark

As I started getting into collecting and wanting to expand my collection, I found a serious lack of  comparative data out there showing the various small scale pre-built and pre-painted ships available to the collector.  And so I set out to provide this information myself and hopefully help someone make a wiser decision in which model to buy.

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

 Eaglemoss vs. Hallmark

 Eaglemoss vs. Hallmark

 Hallmark vs. Eaglemoss

Eaglemoss vs. Hallmark

As you can see, the two models are very close in size.  Hallmark is a bit disproportionate in certain areas though and we'll talk more about that later.

Eaglemoss

 
 
 
 

As I said, the original filming model was rather plain and from what I understand went missing so there wasn't a lot of material to go on when trying to reproduce a screen accurate model.

That being said, Eaglemoss did an excellent job with thier model.

The sculpting and molding on Eaglemoss' model is very well done.  For such a simple ship design, they managed to put in some subtle details that make it a less boring model.  The ship has definitive portholes and windows all over it.  And a very cool feature that they added to thier model can be found on the bottom.  They choose to add in molded details of landing gear hatches.  I found this to be a nice touch on Eaglemoss' part.


The join and seam is slightly noticeable on the top side of the model, but is not really that glaring.

Let's talk about the paint job.  Once again, the overall paint is rather bland and plain, just like the studio model.  From the top side, you see some signs of "feathers" on the wings and rear of the ship.  And then you turn the model over and BAM!

Well done Eaglemoss, well done.  That Bird Of Prey paint job is simply amazing!  I also like the fact that they also did some "feathering" on the actual nacelles too.

My only complaint about the paint job is when you look at the rear of the ship.  Eaglemoss chose to mold some impulse engines on the rear, as well as paint them to make them stand out.  I think this was a great idea, however, the paint didn't quite line up with the molded details.


I do confess that I read a couple other reviews of people's take on Eaglemoss' models just so I can get a feel for whether I missed something or to see if my model has something out of the ordinary.  There seems to be a bit of a debate about the "ramscoops" on the nacelles.

Eaglemoss choose to use clear blue plastic to represent this part of the ship.  From what I've seen of on screen appearances, and any pictures of the studio model from the internet, the ramscoops appear to be white.

 

I quite frankly am not overly concerned about the ramscoop color.  Is Eaglemoss' ship screen accurate?  With the above pictures as evidence, the answer is no.  HOWEVER, I think the blue adds a little bit of color to an otherwise dull looking ship when viewed from the top.  So given my preference, I prefer Eaglemoss' approach in this regard.

Hallmark

 
 
 
 

In 2011, Hallmark released thier rendition of the Romulan Bird Of Prey.

As you saw in the comparison pictures at the beginning of this article, Hallmark's model is slightly disproportionate in several areas of the ship.  The two areas where this is noticeable, is the height of the primary hull, and the actual nacelles.  They most likely had to do this in order to house the lighting mechanisms for the model and quite frankly, I never noticed it, or thought anything was out of the ordinary until I had something to compare it too.

Speaking of not noticing things until I actually compared it to another similar model...  Hallmark did a very nice job on thier model as well in regards to the sculpting and molding in of little details like windows.  AND, they also choose to include some detailing on the landing gear areas for the ship too.

Their paint job is on par with Eaglemoss' although thier bird of prey on the bottom of the ship does not quite stretch all the way to the rear of the model.  This is probably do to the battery compartment and making it difficult to do such a nice log if it was broken up my seams and joints.


The only place where the Hallmark model does not match up is in the rear of the ship.  Although they did sculpt and mold details into this section of the ship, they choose to not paint it.


As with other Hallmark ships, this one does light up.  Being a newer model, it is battery powered and does not require a light strand to power it.


The ramscoops light as well as the plasma torpedo launcher is lit too.

Conclusion

And that is all the pictures and comparisons I have to share on this ship at this time.  Which brings us to the pricing portion of my article.  As usual, I will continue with the tradition of rounding up the most inexpensive Buy-It-Now prices from eBay at the time of this article's writing.

Eaglemoss = $23
Hallmark = $17
Micro Machine = $6

I would now like to wrap this article up by giving you my opinion on which ship gives you the best bang for your buck.  That's my crude way of saying, which one is the best buy.

Typically, when I do these sorts of comparisons and reviews, my decision is nice and easy.  Not so this time around.  the pricing on both models is pretty darned close so I can't really make the decision on price alone.  Although the Hallmark model is a little disproportionate on certain areas of the ship, this is because it lights up so I can't really knock it out of the running for that.  Eaglemoss' model is VERY good as well.  Although it is a bit better from the details point of view, it doesn't light up.  Tough decision this one is.  Hmmmm.

I guess that if I could only choose one model, then I would probably have to go with the Eaglemoss ship as it is a more crisp representation of the Romulan Bird Of Prey.  



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.

My original intent was to share some models that I did that were Bird Of Prey like in style, but as I looked at my fleet, I realized that there were actually quite a few ships to share.  When I have that many ships to share, it warrants a whole separate article.  So when you have some free time, be sure to check out my Romulan Invasion article by clicking on THIS LINK.



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:
Eaglemoss     Hallmark      

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