Thursday 15 August 2013

Starships Collection set to launch next week: news and review

The first issue of Eaglemoss' exciting new Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, a fortnightly magazine and model series, is due next week in the UK! Issue one should be available from the 21st. US fans will have slightly longer to wait, Eaglemoss have announced a launch date for the US will be the 9th of October.

Ahead of these launches the Starships team have been busy promoting the collection on their ever expanding range of social media. You can now follow the collection on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Google+! They have also added a new issue list to their website, which confirms a few more issues beyond the initial list of of the first twenty-three they released a while ago. Later issues in the series are now confirmed to include (UPDATE: a couple more added to the list):
  • #24: Xindi Insectoid ship
  • #25: USS Prometheus (Prometheus class)
  • #26: Tholian ship (22nd century)
  • #27: Romulan Bird of Prey (22 century)
  • #28: Maquis Fighter 
  • #29 Jem'Hadar bug
  • #30 Klingon Raptor
The page also includes images of many of the ships to be featured, the actual models for the first few issues, and the CGI models they are using to make the model for later issues. For example the Akira class and Xindi Insectoid ship:

The Starships Collection also attended the recent Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, where they had many of the ships on display. Amongst the fleet assembles below you can see for the first time the Akira class, Galor class, Nova class, and Jem'Hadar cruiser:

They have also released their UK TV advert, which should be appearing on screen to promote the launch of the series next week:

If you don't want to subscribe to the series, or want to pick and mix your favourite ships, several retailers now have listings up for the first four issues:
As I was fortunate enough to sign up to the test run of the first few issues last year I've been able to enjoy the first three ships for a little while now. As you might be able to tell from my enthusiasm for this series, I wasn't disappointed by what I got! I'm planning to do thorough reviews of each issue as they come out, but thought a look at the issues I've had so far might be of interest:

Of course the main draw of the series is the ships themselves, and they really are superb. They're all about the same size (14cm or so at the widest point), so obviously they're not to scale, and the different designs mean some are more substantial than others; the Enterprise-D for example is relatively squire compared to the narrower design of the 1701 refit, so is a bit larger as a result of them being about the same length.

The models are pleasingly weighty, as they are about half metal, with the more detailed sections tending to be made of plastic. Comparable in size to the Hot Wheels model range, the highly detailed paint jobs, and sharper finishes to the molded details, make these ships looks much more impressive.

Another really nice feature is how the ships are attached to the stands. There are no plugs or clips, they all hold on to the ships by extending arms around or into parts of the ship. This looks a little odd sometimes, but has the huge benefit of not interrupting the design of the ship to put them on the stands, so when you take the models off they don't have random extra holes. Each stand is cleverly conformed around the ship, the Enterprises' arms have slight notches to hold the sides of the engineering hulls, so they are very stable, while the Klingon Bird of Prey's slots neatly into the gap under the impulse engine.

Each ship is delivered in a neat little box, which I think works pretty nicely for displaying them in too:

Of course it's not just a model you get, there is also a glossy, richly illustrated eighteen page magazine with each one. The magazine explores the ships in-universe; giving specifications, orthographic views, histories, and explaining key features. It also goes behind the scenes, looking at the designs and filming models, including concept art and behind the scenes photos. Of course each one of the ships in these first three issues have been extensively covered in previous technical manuals and behind-the-scenes publications, so they can't offer much new information, but do feature some attractive new CGI renderings. Later in the series, as we get more obscure ships, the magazines could be very interesting though. I especially look forward to the coverage of designs from Enterprise, which have had almost no attention in existing reference books.

Eaglemoss have posted sample pages and photos of the models from the first couple of issues, featuring the Enterprise-D and refit-1701. Continue after the jump to see those:


Sean Scott said...

I will be gutted if we can't get them in South Africa

Dan Gunther said...

Any word on the subscription option being open to people in Canada?

8of5 said...

Canada's definitely on their to-do list, not sure when it might be starting yet though.

Not heard anything about South Africa yet I'm afraid, although the magazines do list customer service details for the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia, and Singapore. So far only the UK, Ireland and the US have confirmed starts though.

Dan Gunther said...

Cool, thanks! The collection looks pretty sweet, I'd hate to miss out. They'll have at least one guaranteed customer here!

Unknown said...

Make that two!

Unknown said...

The magazines are great, but many of the magazines I gotten comes kind of wrinkled or crinkly (sorry for my bad English). Anyone else get the same problem? Not sure what to expect with the way they wrap the magazines with the ships.

8of5 said...

When they send out the subscription ones they come loose in a box, rather than being wrapped up in a plastic bag, so that avoids any damage to the magazines. If you're buying them from a shop you could point out the damage and ask them to pay more care so not to damage the product you wish to buy from them?

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