Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Klingon Bloodwine

Vinport, makers of Star Trek branded wine, have announced a new exotic import in their collection, Klingon Bloodwine! Here's what they have to say about it:
Klingon Bloodwine
Klingon Bloodwine is a wine traditionally consumed in celebration and victory. Whether drunk while reveling in triumph or simply enjoying life among friends, this could be the finest vintage of Klingon Bloodwine until 2309. Traditionally twice as strong as whiskey and best served warm, this sanguine version of Bloodwine is more human-friendly at 13% ABV and can be served slightly chilled or at cellar temperature (60-65 F.)

The Labels
Star Trek fans everywhere will recognize the label of Klingon Bloodwine, a symbol comprised of the bat’leth or “sword of honor,” a traditional Klingon weapon. The back label includes the victorious Klingon phrase: “Celebrate! Tomorrow we may die!” (yIlop! wa’IeS chaq maHegh!). Also, "Bloodwine" appears across the middle of the back label in the original Klingon language (not transposed into the Latin alphabet).

The Wine
The 2012 Klingon Bloodwine is a medium-bodied red blend of Malbec, Syrah and Petit Verdot from the Paso Robles AVA in California. Klingon Bloodwine can be enjoyed with grilled meats and mature cheeses, or traditional Klingon fare such as Heart of Targ.

Tasting Notes from the Winemaker
Rich, rustic, fruit focused and complex. Concentrated raspberry and cherry aromas. Notes of spicy vanilla oak round out the nose. On the palate, the wine is savory and rich, with dark berry flavors and ripe plum. Velvety tannins and well balanced acidity lead to a smooth, lingering finish.
They will be shipping this in just a couple of weeks, and it is available either in single bottles, or packs of six.

Romulan Bird of Prey model kit

There's a new ship model kit on the way from Round 2 Models, the latest in their collection of 1:1000 scale models, the TOS Romulan Bird of Prey. The Round 2 blog has recently posted previews of the work in progress model, which is apparently pretty much done, and looking lovely. Just needs a nice big bird decal to finish it off (more images after the jump):



Monday, 24 November 2014

Press-Out and Build USS Enterprise

There's a newly released Star Trek Haynes Manual, but this one is a bit different to the previous technical manuals. The Haynes USS Enterprise Press-Out and Build Manual, is part book, part model kit, including a cardboard kit that builds a fifty centimetre long model of the original USS Enterprise. Here's the official description:
Trivia manual and model kit for the USS Enterprise, the main starship featured in Star Trek (the original series). The front portion of the book is packed with information about the ship that served under the command of Captain James T. Kirk in the popular sci-fi TV series that started in 1966. The back portion of this Haynes manual features a series of press-out cardboard shapes that assemble to make a large (50 cm) model of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701.

I believe the book component of this is reusing content from the Haynes USS Enterprise Manual, presumably focusing on the Constitution class section of that book, which covered all the main prime-universe starships Enterprise. Continue after the jump for a look at how the model is built:

Saturday, 22 November 2014

1:350 scale USS Reliant from QMx

QMx have announced a second artisan replica model of the USS Reliant. Earlier in the year they revealed their 1:250 scale model, complete with fully fitted out shuttlebays, and all the impressive details and lighting one expects from one of QMx's model ships. And now they've previewed a smaller 1:350 scale version, which at just under $5000 is half the price of its larger sibling.

The new sixty-eight centimeter long version still has all the high quality details and finishes we've come to expect from the artisan replica range (though no shuttlebays on this one), representing one-hundred-and-fifty hours of work by five of QMx's artisans. Like all ships in the range, you can also customise it, with options to change the base, add battle damage, or anything else you'd care to request, if the artisans can pull it off.

Perhaps most importantly, the small size means it is also perfectly in scale with QMx's artisan replica USS Enterprise refit, ready to recreate scenes from The Wrath of Khan (and if you just want all ships at one scale, the NX-01 artisan replica is also 1:350). This will be a limited edition of two-hundred-and-fifty ships. Lots more images after the jump:

Pop! vinyl TNG range revealed

A collection of eight new TNG characters in Funko's Pop! vinyl figure range have been revealed, thanks to new listings on Entertainment Earth. On offer will be Picard, Riker, Data, Worf, Troi, and La Forge, plus Locutus and a generic Klingon. They are all expected to arrive in March, check them all out, continuing after the jump:

Friday, 21 November 2014

Review: Metal Earth Vor'cha class

Newly available from Fascinations are the four Star Trek starships in their Metal Earth range of laser etched steel model kits. I've got all four to play with, and am going to take a close look at each.

Hoping the angular design might be easier than the curvy forms of the other ships in the range, I've opted to start with the Klingon Vor'cha class.

The kits are delivered on two square sheets of steel, which come packaged with extensive instructions in a flat packet which is about the size of a mass market paperback book cover.

The instructions recommend the use of needle-nose pliers to help build the model, and I also found a craft knife very handy to separate out the components from the metal sheets, where they are held on with small tabs.

The Vor'cha class is built from thirty-nine separate components, ranging from miniscule details, through to the two large pieces that make up much of the basic shape of the ship. These are all held together with little tabs which slot into small holes, and are secured by making a twist in the tab so it doesn't slide out again.

It's quite fiddly work, but very satisfying too, as small oddly shaped bits of metal suddenly turn into satisfying clusters of details. For this ship you basically build it up in two sections, forming the top and bottom, before the most fiddly bit of the job, lining up all the tabs to connect those two halves together. The head is then added on, and you're done, with the base having already been attached in the process of making the underside of the ship.

The final result feels surprisingly solid! Although I wouldn't want to test that rigidity too much! What's most impressive though, is all the detail; almost every surface is coated edge-to-edge in laser etched lines, building up the panels and other details all over the ship. Combined with all the 3D detailing from the built up sections, and the end result is quite spectacular. Plus, it's literally shiny - The steel finish looks great!

I thought these models looked pretty good in the preview images, but the result in hand is even better. With enough care, you can build a very solid and neat model, and that build is pretty fun too; it took me the better part of two hours to build the eleven centimeter long model - I'll be interested to see if I speed up with the other models, now I'm familiar with following the instructions and the building technique.

Continue after the jump for lots more images of the final model:

Latest Starships Collection previews

Online retailers have added listings for several new issues of The Official Starships Collection. Due out in February and March in the UK, and April in the US, issues forty and forty-one will be the refit Excelsior class USS Enterprise-B, and the Klingon Raptor class. Covers have been released for both (although the designs often change between solicitation and publication), but only the Raptor class model has been previewed. (Sources: Entertainment Earth, Big Bad Toy Store, Man of Action Figures)




As well as the regular issues, the fourth special issue, the Klingon D4 class, has also been solicited. Alas the model for that has not been previewed either, but here's the description:
The latest special in the STAR TREK: THE OFFICIAL STARSHIPS COLLECTION is a dramatic update of one of the most iconic enemy vessels in the STAR TREK universe - a Klingon patrol ship, from 2013's hit movie STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS. Every detail of this oversized model has been reproduced with careful reference to the original CG model created by ILM. The accompanying magazine explores the design process and includes never-seen-before concept artwork and new interviews with the ship's creators.
Here's the stand-in cover, plus the final cover for the third special, the USS Vengeance, which has already found its way to UK subscribers:


Continue after the jump for more new preview images from other issues in the series:

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Mini phaser ornament from QMx

Black Friday is a little over a week away, and when it does arrive, QMx will have a cool exclusive Star Trek item on offer. They have made a miniaturised version of the nuTrek phaser, ready to hang on your Christmas tree. Based on the full size version which QMx made for use in the films as well as offering replicas, the new mini version has all the details, right down to a rotating barrel which can be switched to either stun to kill! A little under nine centimeters on its longest side, the mini phaser comes in a neat little box, and will be available exclusively next Friday. Check out more images after the jump:

Comic bits: February previews, behind the scenes, and international releases

IDW have released their solicitations for February, which include three Star Trek releases. Check out the details of all those, plus some other Star Trek comics news, continuing below after the jump:

Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive #3
Written by Scott and David Tipton. Art by Rachael Stott.
It's the battle for the ages! Taylor has escaped the Planet of the Apes, and Captain Kirk must bring him back! Plus, the Klingon/Gorilla alliance makes its move against Dr. Zaius and Ape City!
The cover is by Rachael Stott, subscription cover by Kevin Wada, and variant Gold key style photo-cover (the latter hasn't been released yet).



Wednesday, 19 November 2014

New Star Trek business card cases

Icon Heroes, producers of Star Trek office products, have revealed two new items in their range. Coming in the second quarter of 2015 will be new embossed metal business card cases, available in designs featuring either the USS Enterprise or a Starfleet command division delta:



This is the second set of products aimed at those of us who like to distribute business cards; previously Icon Heroes have released a live long and prosper hand desktop card holder too.