USS Franklin

Time for another special edition! As is often the case for the specials this model comes from the Kelvinverse and is the first ship in the collection from the latest movie. We should be seeing a swarm ship from Beyond as a special at some point too. The Franklin is an old ship, uncovered on the planet Altamid in an abandoned but ultimately salvageable  condition. It predates the NX-01 by a few years though the comparison between the two is difficult to make due to the design differences of the two universes. There is much about the Franklin’s story I don’t understand – it was abandoned by Krall/Edison and his crew to the point where they had either forgotten about it, or didn’t care. It wasn’t terribly hard to repair either so seems like its purloining by Kirk et al was a massive oversight on Krall’s part. Oh well, it’s a cool ship so I’ll let them off. I’m sure someone will be able to explain to me in the comments!

Having escaped from Altamid the Franklin looks a little dirty yet has unscathed structurally. It appears it made a smoother landing than the Enterprise did which is too bad as actually I’d be interested to see a damaged ship in the collection. This model is on a par with the fascinating USS Kelvin special. The ship’s design is almost as simple as you could get for a Starfleet vessel – two huge warp nacelles, angled struts and oval saucer section. Most notable by its absence is the engineering hull, instead the struts attach directly to back of the saucer section. There appears to be no deflector either though why may be due to the ship’s small size. At only about 137 metres long this is one of smallest Starfleet ships ever, almost half the length of the compact NX-01.

There are plenty of interesting details and design decisions to see. Take the cut out section at the back of the saucer, this flows really nicely nacelle struts emerging from the saucer on either side. Likewise the grill design curving around the top of the saucer is very unique and gives the ship a much more utilitarian design than standard Starfleet ships (yes I know the ship was built pre-Starfleet). The whole model is detailed with barely any untouched area, especially as most of the hull has a worn, streaky patina that darkens the otherwise cream colouring. Most of the painted details use the same charcoal colours, such as the various grills, hatches and panels so it is a very monochrome ship. The only bright pieces are the wonderful nacelle ramscoops, nacelle exhausts and tiny red rectangles for the impulse engines. The nacelles follow the aesthetics of the Kelvinverse Enterprise as they are chunky and gently taper towards the exhausts. Detailing on them is good with the same worn effect, and the structure has embossed grills and panelling. I really like the huge ramscoops as they use a translucent orangey-yellow with a painted on cross detail. For the first time I’ve seen in a model the nacelle exhausts also have tiny little translucent domes too which is a nice touch.

Overall the design is very good and its reproduction likewise. The saucer is impressively detailed with so many layered sections and textured surfaces. This is what you should expect for a special edition really, that extra level of detail and thoughtfulness. One glaring flaw is the bridge window though – a plain section with a very bland white rectangle which appears completely at odds with the rest of the model. What is really unusual is this section is a separate piece from the main metal saucer section and I’m not sure why. Aside from this I’m very pleased to welcome this model onto my shelves and it is one of my favourite special editions.

  • Detailing: 5/5 – Complex detail and design
  • Construction: 5/5 – Well put together and very sturdy
  • Ship design: 5/5 – Fascinating design
  • Overall: 5/5 – This is a cool ship and a cool model

The magazine is one large article covering the ship’s design. Interesting enough, but not much variety unfortunately.

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9 thoughts on “USS Franklin

  1. Very nice. The bridge window seems to be the biggest mistake on this ship. I guess it could be worse. It’s pricey, but I will eventually get it.

  2. Yes, outside of the window, which seems a bit off-center in mine (like in the picture above), it’s a very detailed and interesting model. It would difficult to pick a “best-of” special edition, but this could certainly qualify for the spot. The magazine was indeed interesting, but seemed to end somewhat abruptly.

    I remember being a bit annoyed by this ship in the movie, as it’s such a glaring plot hole (warning! spoilers!) – a functioning ship that’s simply abandoned, yet so easy to restore AND launch after… decades? It’s like finding a WWII plane that came down in a field somewhere and not only can still fly, but located in a spot where it’s well-hidden, but conveniently able to take off from.

    At any rate, it’s a great model; it just reminds you how lacking the regular issues can often be in contrast, however.

  3. My one has both misaligned windows on the saucer edge and a off centre view screen. It also has some rough bits on the nacelle strut so it is not totally smooth.

    Love the ship and the overall model.

  4. Always excited for a new review. And I was just a confused with those plot deficits as you were.

    One thing though: The images used to be more clear and contrasted for a good while (probably mostly due to better lighting than camera resolution, though that seems to have gone down as well with this review). Any plans for the image quality to rise again in the future?

    Thanks!

  5. Only explanation I can think of for Franklin is maybe as it was coming down the crew escaped in escape pods. The ship may have managed to land itself on autopilot and the crew assumed it crashed.

  6. This is gonna sound weird, but I think I’m going to stick with my collectors edition one that came with that Amazon 4K blu-ray set. Just a tiny but smaller and all plastic, but the paint looks better and the whole thing was only $35 shipped. Looks great next to the rest of my eaglemoss stuff.

  7. The paint job is a nightmare, all the windows are off their normal position, on all models of this ship I saw on internet. Eaglemoss has no QC on this product, and for the price, it’s a shame…and I’m not talking about the orders never delivered…yes, I’m a sad unhappy customer.

    1. Not just this model, nearly all the Federation ships have misaligned windows.

      The new issue 100 Horizon is even worse. Half the window indentations don’t even have painted windows on or near them. The rest (on the bottom of the sphere) are painted but misaligned. They also used blue not black for the windows. It looks awful.

  8. Well, I had to wait a bit longer for this one, it’s a big sea between Brittan and the Netherlands, but I like it. I don’t like the movie Enterprise, but this is a nice and sturdy looking ship. I also like the rough appearance and yes it’s not perfect but fine enough.

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