You may think you’ve seen this ship already early on in the collection. That was the USS Equinox, the Nova class Starfleet vessel way back in issue 15. The USS Rhode Island is a refitted Nova class, very similar to the Equinox with only a few minor changes. It is different enough that the models have certainly not been cast from the same die. The Rhode Island appeared at the very end of Voyager in the two part concluding episode captained by the future Captain Harry Kim. We don’t see it that much, but more than most other ships that are popping up in the collection recently.
Let’s start by comparing the Rhode Island to the Equinox. Both have a very similar design and a lot of the details and layout are the same but there are plenty of large and trivial differences. The most noticeable difference is the Rhode Island’s white hull compared to the Equinox’s blander grey. Neither have any aztecting but that’s fine as there is plenty of other detail. The main structural difference is the Rhode Island’s arrow headed prow, whilst the Equinox has a cut out section with a large secondary deflector. Other subtler differences is the Rhode Island’s slighter thinner and fin-less nacelles and both have a different bridge design on the top of the saucer section. Underneath there is less difference, just a bit less panelling on the Rhode Island.
The construction differs more considerably. Both are the same size and use metal for the upper half of the saucer, but the Rhode Island is lighter as more of its underside is plastic whilst the Equinox also has metal nacelle struts. The underside of the Rhode Island is improved as the saucer underside and engineering hull are one piece with a seperate piece for the well defined and painted deflector. Also there is more use of transparent plastic as the ramscoops are now red translucent plastic. The blue grills do lack the corrugated effect though. Both are great models of a pretty cool design and I’m pretty happy to have two Nova class ships in the collection. I like aspects of both ships so it is a hard call to say which I prefer.
The model is very detailed both in terms of panelling, painting and lettering. There is so much to see here with all the Starfleet hallmarks on display. Even the underside is very good with the outline of the neat little aeroshuttle. The design is first class with a suitably ‘modern’ arrowhead shaped saucer, swept back nacelle struts and slimline Enterprise-E style nacelles. I’m really happy to see another excellent Federation ship following the great USS Kyushu. I think we can agree Eaglemoss are generally pretty good at Starfleet ships if a bit wobbly on other races, though I’m keen to hear what our learned commenters think?
- Detailing: 5/5 – Superb level of detail
- Construction: 5/5 – Some improvements over the Equinox – more translucents, but less metal
- Ship design: 5/5 – The Nova class is sleek yet classic
- Overall: 5/5 – A really lovely well considered model