Here is a special I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. We haven’t had a regular universe special since the first issue – Deep Space Nine. Normally regular universe ships make it too the main part of the collection (aside from the shuttle collection and mirror universe ships) but as the NX-01 refit has never appeared in either TV or film this is a non-canon ship; a first of for the collection. In fact its only real appearance was in the 2011 Ships of the Line calendar.
This is a supremely cool improvement to the pre-TOS stylings of the NX-01, showing a distinct lineage that leads onto the NCC-1701 and onwards. The design extends the nacelle struts further down to join up with a bona-fide engineering hull. The original hull linkages from the saucer section to the nacelle struts remain making the design more solid and less spindly than its future ships. According to the magazine this meant doubling up certain systems and affording some redundancy. There are now two warp drives, and two deflector dishes as the small one at the leading edge of the saucer is eclipsed by the grander dish on the engineering hull.
The saucer section is relatively unchanged whilst the nacelles have undergone a facelift. The Bussard collectors are a pleasing orange with old school points and the Starfleet pennant and swoosh replaces the outer warp grills.
The special edition allows for a more detail than the regular issues and this is no exception. The quality of the saucer section is excellent, from its matt metallic finish with light aztecing to the numerous painted and embossed details. This holds true on the underside, nacelles, struts and top half of engineering. Only the bottom half of under engineering appears plain as it does not have the matt finish used elsewhere. For once the deflector is not wonky on my model and indeed looks great in dirty orange.
Build quality is also very high. Eaglemoss is generally careful to ensure the major joins appear on the underside and on this model all are discrete thanks in part to the detailing. You will not be disappointed by this special edition. It’s a fun ship and I’m glad Eaglemoss are able to include non-canon ships in the collection this way. A final note about the magazine. It is full length, but only covers the ship’s design process. It is a good read and covers many interesting aspects about the design that have probably never been published before, but it does feel make the magazine feel shorter than usual.
- Detailing: 5/5 – Superb detailing
- Construction: 5/5 – No obvious joins and plenty of metal
- Ship design: 5/5 – A perfect improvement to the little NX-01
- Overall: 5/5 – A real talking point of the collection