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:

Here's how the Metal Earth model compares with the Eaglemoss version. While they are obviously stylistically very different, I think the etched details on the Metal Earth version might even be better than the Eaglemoss; which is pretty impressive considering Eaglemoss' high standards.

I've got the three other ships to build now. Any requests for which one to do next?


Mark Flessa said...

Enterprise-D, please! :)

Jerry said...

Word of caution with Metal Earth kits, don't always assume the instructions are correct. I've run into problems with previous kits where things were out of order. They provide great rotating images on their site that can be very helpful. You DON'T want to unbend and re-bend taps, they weaken and can snap, so measure twice, cut once as the saying goes.