It’s safe to say that I’m not a fan of what passes for Star Trek these days. For me the only good thing to come out of Discovery and Picard was that they reignited in me a desire to go back and watch the real stuff. Hell, even the worst of Voyager seems like a masterpiece now! I’ve also been building me a fleet of Eaglemoss ships and it’s long past time I open some of these up! And where else to start but with my favorite ship design in all of science fiction history… the singularly majestic Refit Enterprise!
My preference would have been to go with the original 1701, but I happened to find the 1701-A at a really good price and decided to compromise. This is the XL version, which makes it more than twice as big as Eaglemoss’ standard ships (in this case about 10 1/2-inches long), but it still features die-cast metal and plastic construction. It comes in a fully enclosed box with some pictures, including the fail of using a reversed image on the front, rendering the registry on the hull backwards. Ooops! Inside the box, The Enterprise is sandwiched between two styrofoam bricks, and the only assembly required is putting the stand together. Oh, and I’m shooting the ship without the stand for most of the review, for reasons I’ll get to at the end.
Oh what a beauty! I could pour myself a glass of Jameson and gaze lovingly at this ship for hours. When I call this my favorite ship design in sci-fi history, that’s not hyperbole. Them’s the facts. I just love to get lost in its iconic profile and the noble human drive for discovery that it represents. And boy is this a great model! The top half of the saucer is die-cast, giving this ship a hefty, albeit very front-heavy, feel. And if you’ve had some experience collecting Enterprise models, you may know one of the biggest fails tends to be the warp nacelles not aligning properly. Here, they are perfectly straight and parallel, giving the model a gorgeous three-quarter view.
The grills (thermal regulator system) laid into the nacelles looked black to me at first glance, which is how they are usually depicted on most models of this ship that I’ve owned. But much to my surprise, they’re actually cast in transparent blue plastic, which makes for a cool effect when held up to the light. The deflector dish is also cast in transparent blue plastic, which reflects light quite nicely. It doesn’t really resemble a glowing effect, but it does make it stand out. Meanwhile, the hull of the ship is a beautiful off-white, which is smooth and even throughout.
One of the things that really shows the model maker is committed to detail is the aztec pattern in the hull. Here it’s exquisitely executed and manages to be both easy to see and yet equally subtle. Additional paint applications are applied sparingly, but all the most notable points of interest are here. Particular stand outs include the bright yellow Antimatter Fill Port Hatch and the bright blue dual rows of observation windows. The dome on the impulse engine is painted blue, and they even printed the red outline for the cargo hatch under the shuttlebay. Other details include the gray paint on the emergency landing pads on the bottom of the saucer section, and the individual phaser turrets.
The sides of the secondary hull also include the delta emblems pointing toward the deflector dish, as well as the red racing stripes with some damn tiny printing between them. Here you can also see the two circular docking ports, circled by red rings in four segments. There are also some black painted windows scattered around the secondary hull.
The printed lettering on the saucer is sharp and crisp. Each character of both the registry and the name are outlined in red. A close up of the bridge module shows some more blue and red trim, some more tiny windows. The VIP lounge windows can be seen on the back of the bridge module, as well as the tiny bridge docking port. You also get more tiny printing along the edges of the saucer section.
That’s not to say this model is perfect. There are some details omitted, particularly around the edge of the saucer, and there is an unfortunate seam along the bottom of the secondary hull just below the observation windows. And yeah, now I’m really nitpicking. Because all in all, for a ship in this scale, I think they hit all the right points.
Finally, there’s the stand. I both love it and hate it! I love it because it is pretty rock solid and holds the model firmly. There’s no chance of this toppling over. Also, the bottom of the base is covered in swanky felt. On the downside, even though the stand is transparent, I don’t like how it ruins the profile. That’s why I didn’t use it for most of the pictures in this review. Also, sliding it on and off the saucer section makes me worry about scratches. That’s a problem because I constantly want to pick this thing up!
And for all the gushing I’ve done over this model, it had better be damn good, because it set me back $75. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I only need refer you back to what is sadly one of my most viewed reviews, where I trashed the Diamond Select Starship Legends Wrath of Khan Enterprise, and how disappointed I was with it. It was probably the single most disappointing purchase I’ve made in all my toy collecting years. I got into these XL Eaglemoss ships to finally replace that piece of junk and I’m so very glad I did. Sure, this Enterprise is smaller and has no electronics, but it’s beautifully made, extremely durable, and most importantly it looks so good on display. Maybe too good, because I’ve been keeping it on my computer desk for a few weeks now, and I constantly find myself picking it up and wooshing it around. For a non-articulated hunk of metal and plastic, this thing is still loads of fun to me.