Sunday 8 September 2013

First look at new Starships Collection ships, and details of future releases

In a flurry of posts on the Official Starships Collection Facebook page today, the publication's project manager, Ben Robinson, shared several images of forthcoming models and responded to readers questions and requests, giving lots of information about the series. Here are some really good looks at the USS Equinox (issue 15), USS Reliant (issue 11), and Deep Space 9 (first special) models, that he posted:

Robinson also confirmed a couple more issues in the line-up. Issue 32 will be the Cardassian Hideki class, followed by the Danube class runabout, specifically the USS Orinoco, as issue 33.

Responding to questions about which ships would be included in the series, Robinson confirmed all the main Enterprises would be included, NX-01, NCC-1701, A-E and the J. He also confirmed plans for the nuEnterprise as a special issue, and suggested the D featuring saucer separation and the ISS Enterprise might also be considered for special treatment. Responding to a request for the NX-refit, he said:
I would love that. Doug's work is brilliant but its a bit of an odd one from a licensing point of view and - for now - there are so many ships that have appeared on screen.
Also confirmed as planned ships are the Centaur class, Pheonix, T'Panna-Hath, Delta Flyer, and all the Federation designs featured in First Contact (Akira, Norway, Sabre, and Steamrunner). He also noted that the Excelsior will use the NCC registry. Looks like the New Orleans class might not be on the cards though:
New Orleans is a bit trickier since we never saw an undamaged version.
He also got into some of the technicalities of the models, noting the difficulties of adding moving parts or separation features:
Unfortunately, moving parts are a real problem at this scale. At this kind of cost we can't manage a small enough or precise enough joint. The same issues apply to separating the ships. So I'm afraid none of our models will be articulated. Separating ships are a possibility for specials though.
He also highlighted the series' use of translucent parts to give a lighting effect:
The nacelles light up when the ships are at warp and are dark when they're at impulse. Since the glows we're added in VFX most of the publicity pics show the nacelles in their dark state. If you hold your models up to the light you'll see they should catch it nicely and 'glow'.
Responding to criticism of the lack of aztecing on the 1701-refit he cited technical difficulties in trying to emulate the pearlescent paint job:
Aztecing on the TMP Ent is a really difficult issue. The A definitely has the same style of Aztec as the Reliant but the TMP paint job went through various iterations. The original version had a pearlescent, magenta paint job that was so complicated ILM scrubbed it off because they couldn't reproduce it. We tried to replicate it but we just couldn't. Somewhere I have a version that looks pink!
As well as model photos Robinson shared some of the tooling files which will be used to make the Jem'Hadar and Maquis fighters (note the stand attachment at the front of the Jem'Hadar ship isn't the final position):

Elaborating on these he explained the production process:
The J'H bug is issue 29. I sent the original CG model to the factory about six weeks ago and it will be on sale in just over a year! So it takes a while. To be fair, I'll have a physical version of this in a couple of months time and we'll spend a lot of time going back and forth over the painting and the correct colours.
Finally, after the jump, here's a preview page for this week's second issue of the series, featuring the USS Enterprise refit:

PS. For all the details of the Starships Collection, check out my index page, with a complete listing of the series and links to my previous coverage.


nwg said...

My main issue with the refit Enterprise is the colour used and the build quality.

My one is a dark grey. It does look lighter when photographed with flash but it is too dark.I would have been happy with a off white colour as that would have match what it looks like on-screen.

The lack of Aztec doesn't matter but I want a much better model for the Enterprise A with a more pleasing colour and Aztec.

The Reliant looks amazing.

Unknown said...

I've cancelled the subscription because of this model. What a let down, what a disaster. No detailing and completely the wrong colour. They should have left the damn thing white if they couldn't get the colour right - all they had to do was to look at the movie.

nwg said...


I would have even accepted a very light grey like the colour used for the Reliant model but shade of white should have been used.

There is about 20 ships I like to have but will be checking the quality first before buying.

nwg said...

Forgot to say that the refit does look a white when photographed with a flash (probably same when the original model was filmed), but it needed to be white anyway.

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