It’s shuttlecraft time again! After the success of the well received yet pricey shuttlecraft set back in 2015 comes the second set, another collection of four shuttlecraft. This time we get two auxiliary craft from the Enterprise D, an NX-01 shuttlepod and the executive shuttle as seen in The Undiscovered Country. As before each model comes with an okudagram and are all mounted on smaller bases, only resting on top not slotted in so you have to be very careful setting them up. Each model is separately packaged inside a larger box which is a big improvement over the first collection’s which was move like a sleeve than a box.
Before I move on make note the code SHUTTLES20 which is hopefully still valid and will reduce the price of the set by £20 down £55, making it slightly more affordable.
Shuttle 05: Executive Shuttle
Unlike all the other shuttlecraft we’ve seen so far the Executive Shuttle is not affiliated with any larger ship but used to ferry Starfleet personnel between star bases, ships and planets. It has no warp drive so it is strictly a short distance ship but can carry up to twelve crew. There is an interesting relationship with this shuttlecraft and the USS Jenolan which appears in a forthcoming issue as the latter is based on the former, but with additional warp engines.
I’m very pleased to see the same level of quality and attention given to this model as seen on the other shuttlecraft. It is very detailed with a some really nice decals on each side depicting the UFP logo, the registration and long red swoosh. The registration is repeated at the back in small lettering and again on the underside at the front. The design is simple with stubby little wings and raised sides that act as partial cowling around the hull. On the underside the engine manifold is superbly depicted which is great as often the underside can be overlooked. My personal favourite feature though is the large impulse exhaust. This is a wide grill backed by light yellow transparent plastic. The effect is subtle but shows real attention has been put into the reproduction.
The only real negative is the lack of metal in this model. As far as I can tell it is all plastic and so it is very light to hold. No quibbles over the assembly though, there are few obvious joins. The accompanying okudagram is nice and uses the LCARS theme, which is also reprinted in the small magazine. I don’t have much to add regarding the magazine as it has only one paragraph of text in it and a few images of the ship in CGI and model form.
So, another top shuttlecraft and a five marks from me. It almost loses a mark due to its lack of metal, but is well redeemed with the attention to detail.
Shuttle 06: NX Shuttlepod
Another impulse only shuttlecraft here, and small at only 6 metres in length. This is the NX-01’s shuttle and so its design follow a similar silver militaristic style. For the most part is it a really nice little ship. It is streamlined with small retractable wings, and a large engine block with four black exhausts. Interestingly the engine block is cowled by the sides of the main hull but don’t actually touch. The underside is disappointingly plain and looks unfinished, especially with the rather obvious joins. Fortunately the top side of the model is neatly decorated and packed with detail. Door hatches are not only painted but etched into the model and identifying text appears on both sides.
Unlike the Executive Shuttle this model is surprisingly heavy. The top half of the hull is metal including the wings and nose cone, but not the engine block. This gives the model a robust feel but you will want to leave it on the stand to hide the disappointing underside. I struggled with scoring this model but have finally settled on a four, but a very high one a shade below five due to lack of detail underneath. The okudagram is really good though and matches the era’s computer displays. The magazine is better than the Executive Shuttle’s with more detail, thoughthere is a limit to how much can be put into three pages.
I’ll review the rest of the ships in part two in a few days time.