Friday, November 4, 2016

EMvTW 72: USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A (Constitution Class Refit)

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

This is one of those reviews that is going to deviate greatly from my normal flow of things.  And here is the reason...

After Eaglemoss collectors bashed Issue #2 on the internet, Ben Robinson, the guy who heads up the design team for the Eaglemoss ships, voiced his disappointment in that model as well.  He promised us that one day, we would see an improved version.

Left: Issue #02              Right: Issue #72

And this is supposed to be that improvement.  Honestly, instead of rehashing a bunch of stuff that I have already reviewed, it would be in my reader's best interest, to go back and read my original article EMvTW 02 - USS Enterprise NCC-1701 (and -A) (Constitution Class Refit) and then continue on with this article.

I was not one of those disappointed collectors that I spoke of.  In fact, the Eaglemoss model got my recommendation above all the others that I reviewed.

That doesn't mean though that I'm happy with this one too.  In fact, I'm quite the opposite, I'm a bit annoyed at this model, so I'm not going to pull any punches this time around about either the original model or it's "vastly improved" counterpart.

Other than the ISS repaints that you can buy separately from the standard collection, this is the first time in that standard collection that the model appears to be a re-use of an original mold.  That's right, it appears that the big improvement that Ben Robinson promised us, turned out to be simply a new paint job.  So, let us take closer look.


One of the things that I really loved with both models was the sculpting and molding of both the plastic and metal parts.  They did a fantastic job of representing all the key parts of the ship and the panel lines look fantastic.

Issue #02                                                Issue #72

Issue #02                                                Issue #72

The paint job, which was supposed to be the big improvement leaves me scratching my head a bit.

Issue #72 was painted white, instead of the battleship grey that Issue #02 was painted in.  Issue #72 was also given an aztecing pattern on both the top and bottom, which was a nice touch, but could have been left out in favor of a few things I'm going to point out.

I actually liked the job that Eaglemoss did on the top side of the saucer section.  All the paint is in the right places, and most of the colors are correct.

The RCS Thrusters on the saucer section are grey this time around instead of the traditional yellow.  At least they painted them on the bottom of the saucer this time, so I'm a bit happier there.

This version of the Enterprise should have some additional coloring on the nacelle pylons, but the Eaglemoss model does not.

Although the phaser banks on the top side of the saucer are nicely highlighted, the paint on the bottom is misaligned with the banks, thus leaving them in a white-out limbo where they just sort of blend in with the rest of the saucer section.

In Issue #02, Eaglemoss chose to paint the sensor dome on the bottom of the saucer section an off white to make it stand out.  In Issue #72, it is ignored, suffering the same fate as the phaser banks, and disappearing into a white-out condition.

Eaglemoss chose to not try to paint the little round windows this time, which I think was a smart move since they had a bad time of aligning the paint with the actual molding of the ship back in Issue #02.

Issue #02                                                Issue #72

I am very curious about the red rectangle like blob on the hanger bay door? Does anyone know why that is there?  It is not in any of the pictures in the magazine so it's presence detracts from the screen accuracy of the model.  I've seen this "blob" on other Eaglemoss collectors' models, however, theirs appears as a rectangle, while mine seems a bit more messed up.

I never made mention of this in the original review, but the joins and seams of both models are noticeable.  In fact, they are even more noticeable with the new improved model.  The joins are most noticeable where the nacelle pylons join the engineering hull as well as where the deflector dish assembly joins the engineering hull.

Issue #02                                                Issue #72

Issue #02                                                Issue #72

Once again, Eaglemoss does a great job with the clear plastics to represents areas of the ship that would normally glow.  These pieces add some nice pizzazz to the warp nacelles.

Traditionally, whenever I review a Starfleet ship, I like to hyper-focus on the deflector dish as it 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.

Issue #02                                                Issue #72

Ummm...  I think I said it best when I reviewed Issue #02 when I wrote, "This is where I can see where people might complain about lack of details.  On every other model that I have of this ship, the deflector dish has some sort of definition, whether it is from some sort of subtle color variations or just plain lines molded into the dish.  This model's deflector dish is rather drab looking.  I think I would have added a little color to the torpedo bays as well just to make them stand out a little more."

So there you go... I guess what I'm trying to say is that, for a supposed "vast improvement", I don't find comfort when that promise turned out to be nothing more than a new paint job.  I personally don't feel that this model was worth the trouble for Eaglemoss, nor do I think it was worth the wait as a collector.

I may not have been so annoyed with the model had Eaglemoss released it as an extra model that you could purchase, like the two ISS Enterprises (both an ENT and TOS era version) or the USS Yorktown.

Now don't get me wrong, it's still a nice little model.  And since it is the same (minus the paint job) as Issue #02, it still wins out as my recommendation for which model (as compared to all the other manufacturers) would be the best buy for your money.  And I guess, if you really need to be a completionist, it would round out your collection of Enterprises for now until the 1701-J is released.

And that is all I have to say about the Enterprise A from Eaglemoss.

I hope you found this article useful and informative.  Please feel free to leave any comments, questions or suggestions below.

So for now, "Live Long And Prosper!"

Additional Links To Photos Of My Collection:
Eaglemoss Issue #02     Eaglemoss Issue #72
Comparative Shots     

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