Sunday, 17 November 2013

Second Dose of Klingons: Eaglemoss and the K'T'Inga Class


K'T'Inga!

Never named onscreen but probably one of the most recognisable Star Trek starships from the last six decades is the Klingon Battle Cruiser that first appeared in The Motion Picture. It's essentially an upgraded version of the D-7 from The Original Series with go-faster detailing but I like it. 

SKoST archive
Cost-wise there's certainly less model for your money this time as the cruiser is fairly spindly. This is more The Motion Picture than The Undiscovered Country as we're told a few times through the magazine but this is therefore the ship we're more familiar with in clipped footage from Saavik's Kobayashi Maru test at the beginning of The Wrath of Khan. It's also the model basis of every single K'T'Inga class ship you've ever seen since there was only ever one filming miniature. Even Gorkon's Kronos One in Star Trek VI was just a redressing of the original from around 13 years previous.

Eaglemoss have done a decent job in the reproduction here. The model is light and the engine grill is back in the red that had raised a few concerns on some earlier released versions. I'm surprised the only perspex pieces here are the red impulse engines and the warp engines are solid plastic. 

SKoST archive
I can gladly note two things though; that the photon launcher is recessed into the command module as per the "real" thing and that the Klingon cruiser sits very nicely on its stand. This is probably due to the majority of the engineering hull being metal. The neck, warp engines and command hull are all rendered in plastic. 

While the raised detail marks this model out against the smooth body of the D-7 which we will see later down the line it's not the most exciting piece of plastic you'll see. So, minor point - I would have preferred to see this as Kronos One as I would have liked the Excelsior to be toting its NX registry number from The Search for Spock. But then that's really nitpicky.

The completists will be happy it's in the range as will the Klingon fans but it's not the most impressive or inspirational ship yet. Sadly I have to say that so far the models that have disappointed have both been from the movies - the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 refit and this cruiser. PS - in the magazine the underside of the ship has the Klingon symbol on it over the gold circle...guess what's missing from the model....

Certainly it does give you a great history of the franchise and how the details became more significant on later models and then highly intricate as CGI took hold in Voyager, Deep Space Nine and beyond. The movie ships certainly have been plain however we have not yet seen anything from the 1960's model department. The first of those creations looks set to be the Romulan Bird of Prey which is provisionally lined up for issue 34 (that's about a year from now!).

Let's move over to the printed word and the accompanying magazine. The history is fairly basic but it's good to see that the K'T'Inga's appearances in the movies, The Next Generation and latterly in Deep Space Nine and even Voyager (remember Flashback?) are included and really help to give a more all-encompassing story to the Klingon vessel class. 

The one thing you come to realise again is that this entire class and virtually every onscreen appearance was thanks to a single model that was created in the late 1970's and stayed in use until 1996. That's a good lifetime for a model considering that most would have lasted one or two episodes or maybe seven seasons at the most. 

Previously we've berated Eaglemoss for producing some very, very short and surface-skimming backgrounds but here there isn't a great deal to expand on. We've only been on board a handful of the K'T'Inga class and then it's two movies that give us the most in that respect. After Voyager's aeroshuttle in Issue Six though, the master systems display does seem like a real crash down to Earth and I can imagine this time's special feature proving to be a head-scratcher of a moment when the magazine was planned out. Nice illustrations but content-wise it's a little weak.

Once again though it is the design and filming sections (this is getting to be a bit of a theme) which champion this series. In fact I would go as far as saying it's a great selling point and also makes the magazine seem like it's not just tagged onto the model to make it look like you're getting a decent amount for your money. 


Again, you appreciate the different time in which this craft was designed and how hard it was to film in comparison to the techniques employed on the later shows - have to say the photo showing the arm which would have held the model in place during filming is great - and rare - to see especially in regards to this subject. The conversion of the model for the various incarnations of the franchise is fascinating reading and I personally didn't know that the model from The Motion Picture is the same one that would feature as the Klingon chancellor's ship in The Undiscovered Country with some slight modifications. 

It's fair to say that the K'T'Inga class has gone through a fair number of changes and developments since it's arrival into the Star Trek universe as a "replacement" for the D-7 of The Original Series and Eaglemoss have done as good a job as possible to bring this to readers and collectors in this issue. That concern over the "one episode" ships in the line still rears its head however considering the mixed bag we've had here - I'm intrigued as to how the three appearances of the Excelsior will be handled in two weeks.


Also don't forget to ask your newsagent to stock up on the first of the specials which will be out on the same day featuring that floating bicycle wheel Deep Space Nine in 3D technicolour glory with a larger than usual magazine into the bargain. If you've already purchased Issue Seven you'll have noticed the handy flyer that was inserted and we've also pictured here (right).

For those of you who might have missed them, Eaglemoss also added a couple of new shots of their upcoming issues and models recently. We've dropped them on below for reference. Can't wait to see both of them for real!

Magazine images from Eaglemoss

Issue Seven of The Official Starships Collection is available now at newsagents. You can also order and subscribe by visiting the Eaglemoss official website.



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