In a slight departure from the norm I’m reviewing two pre-Federation models, the issue 82 Warp Delta and the issue 84 NX-Alpha. Don’t worry I will return to the issue 83 Bajoran Assault Vessel in my next review, I just didn’t want to miss up on a chance to review two closely related models at the same time. The Warp Delta can be considered a proto-Starfleet ship in that it has the basic prerequisites – twin warp nacelles and a streamlined (though not saucer shaped) hull. The NX-Alpha harkens more closely to the Phoenix even though it was developed after the Warp Delta. So what are their claims to fame? Well the NX-Alpha was the first ship to reach warp 2, a vast improvement over the barely warp capable Phoenix, though slow compared to future ships such as the NX-01 which benefited from the advancements made in the NX program. The Warp Delta class can be considered the first warp capable Starfleet ships, armed and built for defense.
Let’s take a closer look at the NX-Alpha first. Its design is clearly based on the Phoenix with the same rocket shaped fuselage and heat-shielded forward cockpit. The nacelles are set quite a way off from the main hull on rigid struts and are of the usual retro design. The ramscoops are made of a pleasing transparent red plastic and the barely visible grills are classic turquoise. The rear exhausts are gold spheres. Like the Phoenix there is a rocket exhaust at the rear of the hull, but this one is much smaller and matches the nacelle exhausts to a certain degree. It is surrounded by cool circular supports attached to several fins which makes the model look great when viewed from behind.
I like the lightly azteced silver design, so much better than other models that have no pattern (sorry Warp Delta!) This covers the whole model, even the nacelles. There are only a few additional decals, but enough to provide a touch of colour. I particularly like the several and varied small logos that are well painted and aligned. Initially I was sceptical about the model as it seemed a bit simple but actually it has several nice touches and it is very well executed.
- Detailing: 5/5 – Good paint work and plenty of small details
- Construction: 4/5 – Well put together with few joins
- Ship design: 4/5 – Neat, but not as cool as the Phoenix
- Overall: 4/5 – A great little model very well produced
The Warp Delta progresses the design of Human star ships showing the very beginnings of the saucer and twin nacelle layout. As with most Starfleet ships the nacelles are great and each use three separate pieces of transparent plastic – red at the front and turquoise for the grill and exhaust. The rest of the ship is not so great, but perfectly fine. I like the concentric circles and radial lines on the underside which I’m sure is a nod to the NCC-1701 and the small engineering section foreshadow’s the Enterprise NX-01’s. The rest of the main hull I’m less keen on. The shape feels a bit undeveloped and basic and the lack of aztecing unfortunately extenuates this simplicity. Its not a terrible design but next to other ships of the same era it lacks personality.
- Detailing: 3/5 – Except for the nacelles this is a bit plain
- Construction: 4/5 – No bad joins, but you can feel the hollowness of the main hull
- Ship design: 3/5 – Not particularly inspiring
- Overall: 3/5 – An average model
Both magazines contain articles on designing each ship, though the NX-01’s is particularly good. The NX-01’s magazine also has a great article ‘The Road to Warp 5’ which would not be out of place in a technical manual. The Warp Delta magazine has a lengthier article on ‘Planet Earth, A Secret History’ which is also a interesting read.
My next review will take us back one issue to the Bajoran Assault Vessel. Also keep your eyes peeled for the Jellyfish special review – hopefully I’ll receive mine some point this month!