This model can fall into two possible categories, non-Starfleet human ships and Borg. The latter is certainly more fitting and I’m pleased to report that this is probably the best Borg model in the collection. This is not a difficult accolade to achieve as the previous models have been particularly poor. We’ve had the Borg Sphere, Tactical Cube and Renegade ship all scoring two or three at best. The problem so far has been with recreating the intricate Borg aesthetic of exposed components and tubes on such a small scale. With Arctic one the collection has done much better and for once we really can see the gnarly and complex Borg structures in 3D rather than a textured 2D effect.
It is immediately obvious that Arctic One has suffered huge and inhuman changes resulting in a huge cancerous-like growth of technology that dominates the rear end of the ship. Likewise other vaguely recognizable structures have been ‘improved’ and as a result are overly complex and bristling with details. Before assimilation the ship would have been a fairly run of the mill design, symmetrical and understated but the Borg enhancements pay no notice to this. The detail in the huge lopsided structure is amazing especially as it is made from so few pieces. Pipes and tubes of various size emerge from the structure bend and twist back on themselves. A surprising variety of antennae protrude from different angles adding further complexity to the higgeldy piggedly mess of components. The two large weapons on either side of the hull are excessively pointy matching other similarly pointed structures emerging from elsewhere.
To maintain this level of detail the top half of the ship is plastic so for a change the underside is metal being the far simpler part of the model. Regardless even this has an abundance of protrusions and paneling ensuring that all surfaces maintain that irregular Borg effect. However whilst plenty of effort has gone into the structure of the model the paintwork is less impressive. All components have the same sparkling black finish which isn’t bad in itself but there is little more to add colour aside from a few splashes of lime green. This is a good attempt at a Borg colour scheme though really, being essentially soulless with the occasional glowing power source.
Overall this is a very good model. It is basic in its colour scheme yet superbly detailed and very well constructed. It’s not quite a classic of the collection but it a real talking point.
- Detailing: 5/5 – best of the Borg bunch
- Construction: 4/5 – Very solid yet intricate
- Ship design: 4/5 – Fascinating but ugly
- Overall: 4/5 – Finally a Borg ship we can admire
As a final aside the stand is one of the best I’ve seen. The model fits snugly into it and unobtrusively with no chance of it slipping free.