It’s always a nice surprise to come across a ship I haven’t heard of before and even more so when that ship has an interesting design. The USS Horizon is such a ship, a pre-Enterprise but post-NX-01 class not even seen in the TV series except for a small model in Deep Space Nine. Its closest relation is the equally ungainly Olympic Class USS Pasteur which we saw earlier in the collection.
The most obvious deviation from standard Starfleet design is the spherical hull but the engineering hull is equally unusual being a long cylinder. This shape then consists primarily of basic shapes but in a form that is surprisingly pleasing to look at. A long neck joins the spherical hull to the top of the leading end of the main hull, and from which simple struts join onto extremely long nacelles. These are nacelles most unlike others I’ve seen. Again they are simple in design but bear the essential hallmarks of Starfleet: translucent orange ramscoops with pointed ends, blue exhausts and plain grills running on the inside of the nacelles. Those ramscoops are particularly cool and look very retro in design. The main hull is simple as is the sphere, simply painted and decorated but with enough detail to give it a small amount of colour. Mostly though the ship is uniformly light grey but impulse engines, swooshes and registration and clearly and colorfully added. Aside from the sphere the rest of the ship has banded hoops around the hull at regular intervals, much like a oil drum.
Construction is very good, solid with reasonable joins and a very good weight. The bottom of the sphere, neck, top half of the main hull and nacelle struts are all made from a single piece of metal which is very clever. This is what gives the model its surprising weight. All told this is a brilliant model in all aspects. The design is peculiar and bit of an ugly duckling but at the same time gives it a utilitarian workhorse feel that implies it was built without concession to aesthetics. I like that and the little touches like the fancy ramscoops and unusual ribbed hulls. Coupled with a great effort at reproduction this is definitely a full five out of five for me.
- Detailing: 5/5 (mostly grey but just enough colour, plus great ramscoops)
- Construction: 5/5 (clever use of metal)
- Ship design: 5/5 (more retro than even the original Enterprise this has its charms)
- Overall: 5/5 (an excellent model, a must for the Starfleet completionist)
We’re 100 issues into the collection now, having moved firmly into the realm of the obscure and niche. All the big name ships as well behind us yet the collection continues apace with a real mix of unusual models. Often they fall short but occasionally real gems turn up. Let’s see how the next thirty ships fare!