Eaglemoss Star Trek Models: USS Orinoco

The USS Orinoco is one of many Danube class runabouts that appeared on ST:DS9. In fact the Danube class ships were the main Federation vessels in ST:DS9 until the Defiant showed up. I’ve always thought of them as similar to Starbug in Red Dwarf – cheap, small and prone to being destroyed.

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Eaglemoss have produced a satisfyingly chunky model in the Orinoco. It’s not quite as heavy as I’d like it to be as most of the hull is plastic – only the top most part of the hull and nacelle struts are die cast metal. Strangely the metal pieces seem to be lacking in sharpness compared the rest of the model. The hull plating and various components have an odd roundedness that means they lack a certain clarity, whilst the plastic parts are crisp and well defined.

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The detail is great in some places and poor in others. It’s almost as though two different teams worked on the design, one adding nice little touches and quality details such as the upper sensor platform and another who appeared to do as little as they could get away with. All Federation models so far have used transparent blue plastic for the nacelle grills, but here they are painted on. The ramscoops do use transparent red, as are the impulse drives. Also the underside of the model is very plain. There is no aztecing or shading, neither of which I’d expect but instead I’d have appreciated more attention spent elsewhere.

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It really is a frustrating model. At a glance it looks excellent, feels nice to hold and has all the right parts in the right places. It’s the odd variation of quality in detail and execution that surprises me here.

  • Detailing: 3/5 (really great in places and a let down in others)
  • Construction: 3/5 (good but not great – more metal please and why no transparent nacelle grills?)
  • Faithfulness: 5/5 (very well reproduced)
  • Ship design: 5/5 (classic Trek work horse)
  • Overall: 4/5 (a real mixed bad here – excellent and disappointing at the same time)
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5 thoughts on “Eaglemoss Star Trek Models: USS Orinoco

  1. I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. I really like the runabout, and don’t see the lack of clarity you mention. The metal parts are well-painted, with the use of dark grey for highlighting the recessed areas, and the decals are straight and sharp. The underside is plain on the body section, but the nacelles and forward section show what are obviously landing pads in strong contrast. A ship designed to land would probably not have much underneath that could be exposed to possibly alien or unfriendly terrain. The lack of blue plastic on the sides of the nacelles is not a detriment; they’re both painted with precision, and the colour is such a good match I didn’t even notice it was paint until you mentioned it.

    The Orinoco is, in my opinion, as good as the Reliant model. Probably better, since all the decals point the correct way.

  2. I love the runabout. OK I have one agreement with you. The nacelles needed trans blue plastic inserts instead of paint. But i love everything else about it. It feels nice and chunky in hand. I think I pick this one up and swoosh it around my desk more than any other while working.

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