I received my shuttlecraft set yesterday much to my excitement. I think of all of the items in the collection this is what I’ve looked forward to reviewing the most. I’m impressed by the size of the box, though it’s not really a box, more like the cardboard cover you might get for a DVD box set.
Inside each shuttle comes in its own box the same as any other model, containing the model, a tiny little base and stand plus an ‘Okudagram’ and it’s own set of two feet. Also inside the main box are four booklet sized magazines.
For some reason the smaller scale makes the models appear very cute and more toy like, though certainly of a similar quality to the regular sized models. For comparison here is the Type-10 next to the full size runabout.
Let’s look at the models in chronological order, starting with the Galileo Class F shuttle from ST:TOS. ST:ENT is not represented in the collection which as a shame as every other series is, but I guess this is because the NX-01 had shuttlepods instead, a non-warp capable predecessor to the shuttlecraft. This is an excellent scale for the Galileo as the shuttle is rather plain and would look a bit out of place in the main collection.
As it is the shuttle’s plainness is less apparent at this scale. The stand set-up is slightly different to the regular model’s, and is the same for all four shuttles. The black oval base is smaller, but has the same sized description and production number sticker on the underneath. The plastic stand has a flat surface for the shuttle to rest on, which it does fine but certainly won’t stand up to even the lightest knock.
The Galileo is comprised of two metal parts for the top and bottom of the hull, whilst plastic is used for the nacelles and landing leg. This means the model is mostly metal and has a very satisfying weight to it. There is not much decor here, but that’s ok as it is TOS-era and the simplicity is appreciated. Red swooshes with its registration (NCC-1701/7) run along both sides of the shuttle and the nacelles. The outline of the side door is embossed on the right hand side, as are the windows which are painted black. At the rear a few more details alongside the registration again and a large gold landing strut, very thoughtfully reproduced. My favourite feature are the little apricot coloured translucent hemispheres on the nacelles.
This is a great model and makes a fantastic companion piece to issue 50’s original Enterprise. I’m going to give the set an overall rating at the end, but my individual rating for the Galileo is a full five out of five. It’s cute, well made, and has a few nice little touches that finishes off the model perfectly. I can’t fault it.
This is a very expensive set at £55 after the presumably limited discount (the code is ‘SHUTTLES’ – not sure if it still works), making each model cost nearly £14 each. They do come with a magazine each, which I’ll come to later but Eaglemoss obviously felt they needed something to make this slightly better value. Their solution to this are the ‘Okudagrams’, essentially schematics of each shuttle created by Mike Okuda in the style of the LCARS interface he invented. They are a slightly lower quality than I had imagined as I had hoped they would be made from perspex or some similar rigid plastic but are in fact made of a thinner, bendy plastic, being only a couple of millimetres thick. The cheap looking feet provided allow them to stand upright and actually once each is setup they look brilliant, especially with a bit of light behind them.
The Galileo’s Okudagram is not LCARS, but the ST:TOS interface of coloured rectangular buttons. As you can see from the picture above when the schematic is lit up it is very colourful – a kind of geeky stained glass window I suppose!
Next up is the Type 6 ST:TNG shuttle, specifically the Goddard, it’s lineage to the Class F very obvious. It’s blocky, simple in design and has the twin nacelles that double up as landing legs much like the Galileo. There are plenty of improvements though. The retractable landing strut is gone, as are the stubby wings above the nacelles. The bow is considerably more streamlined, which makes sense as it is designed for atmospheric flight, and the nacelles match the Enterprise D’s.
The Goddard is of a similar build quality to the Galileo, though I think it might use less plastic as it feels a bit lighter. The shuttle is a uniform grey but does have a few panels, grills and windows embossed and painted on. On the rear is a large access door with darker grey panels. My model seems to have some sort of manufacturing defect here, with small lumps attached to the door. The Starfleet pennant and swooshes decorate the hull, along with it’s mother ship’s shortened registration (1701-D) and name (Enterprise) and the shuttle’s name itself.
The nacelles are nice and use the classic transparent turquoise to good effect for the grills. Like the Goddard does with it’s parent vessel, it looks great next to the NCC-1701-D. Check out the Okudagram above too, it’s fantastic. This time the model does still warrant five out of five, but only just. The manufacturing defect nearly lost it a badge.
Next post I’ll review the Type 9 and 10 shuttles, take a look at the magazines and tell you whether it is all worth shelling out £55 on.