The SS Botany Bay is the oldest Human ship in the collection, having been launched in 1996. (By the way this didn’t actually happen.) As the warp drive had not yet been invented it travelled at sub-light speeds, but did have artificial gravity. As such there are no warp nacelles, in fact nothing at all that indicates any similarity to a Starfleet vessel. It’s closest cousin is the Y-class freighter such as the ECS Fortunate, but even that is a far cry from this rather unattractive ship.
Whilst some ships are ugly, ungainly or misshapen the Botany Bay is just plain. Its main hull is pencil like, with its tip as the nose, and just behind is a conning tower such as you would see on a submarine. Further back still are five triangular compartments arranged around the main hull. The design implies eight compartments could wrap all the way round, possibly next to another set of eight. Right at the rear is the engine section with dual solar panels on struts either side. The panels look surprisingly small, but maybe they are extremely efficient. Nothing particularly inspiring, but as the magazine explains the designer based wanted an antique and outdated ship, something that looks old-fashioned even for the Original Series.
The uninspiring design has meant Eaglemoss has had little opportunity to spice up the model. The ship is the same mottled and worn grey all over and the few decals that exist are darker grey. I can’t fault the reproduction, but there little to get excited about. However it is good to see a ST:TOS ship in the collection. This is definitely a model for completionists – a rarely seen yet rather plain little ship.
- Detailing: 2/5 – like most other ST:TOS ships, plain and drably painted.
- Construction: 3/5 – well made, but no transparencies.
- Ship design: 2/5 – An intentionally dated looking ship
- Overall: 3/5 – a classic addition to the collection, but nothing special to look at