The third of my newest four Eaglemoss vs. The World articles covers The Phoenix, Earth's very first warp capable vessel.
This article is a bit of a treat as I actually can share two different manufacturers this time. My collection consists of an Eaglemoss and a Furuta model.
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. Furuta
Eaglemoss vs. Furuta
As you can see, Eaglemoss' model dwarfs the Furuta one by a landslide. The other major difference between the two is that Furuta's nacelles can retract into the body of the ship while the Eaglemoss one does not have this ability.
So, besides those two things, let's take a closer look at each manufacturer's offering and see what you get or don't get with them.
The first thing I noticed about the model, was the big glaring seam along the bays that would house the nacelles. These joins seams are also very noticeable along the neck of the ship right behind the command module. I think the thing that made them stick out to me like that was the fact that those areas are devoid of any detail what-so-ever.
I think that if they had molded in so sort of rough machinery, like pipes, conduits, anything, along this area, it would have gone a long way to hiding the join seam.
And once my eyes were drawn to that, I could not help but notice that my nacelles actually were not an even horizontal positioning with the rest of the ship. The rear ends of of both nacelles angle slightly up when you look at the ship directly from the side.
I do confess that I read a couple other people's reviews and thier takes on the Eaglemoss' models. This allows me to get a feel for whether I missed something or to see if my model has something out of the ordinary. And in this case, I'm not alone with these two issues.
Since we're on the topic of kicking Eaglemoss' butt, there is one last issue that I found with my model as well as my fellow reviewers models.
There seems to be two small plastic spurs on the main rocket exhaust. I believe that these are part of the plastic molding process, but they did detract from the look of the model a tiny bit for me.
There! Done! OK! I got all that out of the way!
Not quite. The biggest complaint that I actually have about this model, and this complaint seems to resonate among many fellow collectors is over the fact that the nacelles are statically placed and can not retract. I will address this myself though and call myself and my fellow model collectors out on it. What do you want for a model that is supposed to stay at around $20 plus shipping? Had Eaglemoss put the work into making movable nacelles, then production costs would have sky-rocketed, which would then had to have been passed to us the consumer, and the next thing we would have seen is either, Eaglemoss would not have produced this model, or the cost would have been absurd for it's size. I do understand why Eaglemoss didn't make them movable. I'm just merely pointing out that I would have been ecstatic if they were capable of moving.
Now seriously, let's talk about the things that I liked. :-)
This little ship comes out looking fantastic at this scale. Because of the size of the model, it afforded Eaglemoss the ability to cram all sorts of cool little details into the model.
The sculpting and molding of the plastic and metal parts is superb! Other than the nacelles bays, the ship is covered from nose to engine with all sorts of panel lines, pipes, conduits and other fiddly bits.
I think that the main rocket engine itself is a masterpiece.
The painted on details really highlight the sculpted in details. The color choices stand out in a nice way and make the ship rather colorful in a pleasing way. I don't know if I would have went with the pastel blue color though for the top panels, or maybe a quick weather wash would have made it look more realistic.
This model also makes a nice use of clear plastics for the nacelle grilles, bussard collectors and nacelle exhausts.
I know that the start of my close-up look at the Eaglemoss model made it sound like I was very critical of this ship. I am however, very pleased with the overall package that Eaglemoss delivered. It's a nice piece of work that looks great on my desk.
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.
Furuta's rendition of The Phoenix was released in their Volume 3 line up of ships. At this point in time, I believe that they were looking to cut down production costs, probably because the licensing for Star Trek was expensive. What this meant for the consumer was that the Volume 3 line-up was much smaller than it's predecessors. In some cases, the model was not too much bigger than a MicroMachine. In my opinion, most of the Volume 3 ships were not that great.
This model was one of the exceptions. I was really excited when I got this model because at that time, it was the only one you could get of The Phoenix.
The molded details were great, giving you a very rough looking ship, yet all the important details were present.
They even did a pretty decent job with the engine. This impressed me considering how small the model is.
The paint job is pretty good as well, highlighting all the key parts of the ships, like the windows on the command module and the bussard collectors. They didn't paint the nacelle grills though so the blue glow is missing.
I think the thing that impressed me the most was the fact that the nacelles are movable. That could not have been an easy feat to pull off, especially at such a small scale while at the same time keeping the production cost down.
Furtuta did pull it off though which is why I raised an eyebrow at Eaglemoss' approach with a static display.
Eaglemoss = $26
Furuta = $10
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.
I'll be honest, this is a tough call. If I stick with my gut and go with the primary reason that I write these, then the Furuta model is the better deal. It costs less, looks good and you have a model with movable nacelles, but is a bit on the tiny side. If you are looking for a super accurate if not super clean looking model (needs some weathering), and don't mind paying more than twice as much, then the Eaglemoss model might be right for you. Like I said, a bit of a tough call for me. And that is, as they say, that.
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.