The Baxial is Neelix’s sturdy little ship, stored away in a shuttlebay aboard Voyager. The ship was rarely used over the next seven years, until Neelix left Voyager at the end of Season Seven. Now this is non-canon but according to Memory Alpha the Baxial is a Talaxian Drexia class freighter. I think it’s not unreasonable to assume it is Talaxian, even if never explicitly confirmed.
I wasn’t particularly impressed by the Baxial’s occasional appearance on Voyager. Indeed, I struggle to recall them. A boxy unimaginative ship of drab colours and little to boast about. However the Eaglemoss model has completely changed my mind on this. This is the complete opposite of the Voth ships, where ships of advanced technology looked disappointing and vague in model form. Here the Baxial is an un-assuming no-frills workhorse but the model is packed with detail and is great fun. This is also one of my favourite ships to hold. It is so compact yet dense and feels very sturdy. Often the models can lack some of the detail due to their small size, but for once I feel like the model has more detail than we see on screen with all sorts of interesting features.
My favourite aspect is the triple translucent blue exhaust cones aft, surrounded by ridged grey cowls and an array of piping. This is an excellent design and entirely unique in the collection. Most the ship is off white and decorated in brown and grey panels with various patterns and protrusions. One particularly peculiar item is a small black sphere, possibly a sensor, above the docking hatch. I think it must be glued on, but I’m not sure. The hatch itself is a bit disappointing as it is an unadorned recessed grey circle. No details at all. Likewise the underside is a bit neglected, with some decoration but mostly left alone.
Interestingly the two underslung pods aren’t flush with the hull and really are only attached by grey clamps. This is great as the model could have easily been constructed with these parts more simply affixed. Overall the quality of the build for the model is very high, with a high proportion of metal, plenty of detail (if muted) decoration and a lovely use of transparent plastic. This has certainly surprised me.
- Detailing: 4/5 – Not very colourful and plain underneath, but generally very good
- Construction: 5/5 – Surprisingly hefty and few joins
- Ship design: 4/5 – Blocky yet intriguing design
- Overall: 4/5 – Triple exhaust is excellent
By the way if you’re a fan of Ethan Phillips, then you’re in luck as special article in this issue is an interview with the actor who played Neelix.