Saturday, 2 December 2017

Radiant Defiance: Eaglemoss' Luminescent Bonus Edition


Surely with the release of the USS Enterprise, the Mirror ISS Enterprise and the SS Yorktown there are enough versions of the classic Constitution Class to go around?

Apparently not as Eaglemoss have now presented us with the first (and so far the only announced) Glow in the Dark starship, the Constitution Class USS Defiant as featured in The Tholian Web. Now, being a total sucker for that episode I had to have the Defiant. One because it's the guest starship and two; so it can sit alongside the other Defiant. But what exactly is it that makes this worth the punt at £14.99?  

Good question and there is the straight forward obvious answer because this classic does exactly what it says on the magazine and glows in the dark. As you'll spot straight away there is a distinct hue to the paintwork on the Defiant and it's nowhere near as grey as the issue 50 USS Enterprise NCC-1701. This is down to the point that the whole thing is finished off with a layer of luminescent paint which allows it to give off a radiant green glow and appear to be slipping out of phase with our universe just as she did in The Tholian Web.

It's a simple and genius idea that was neatly coupled with it's release around Halloween as something a little bit spooky and unusual. Having it glow in the dark is a cool and unique move which meant that this became an essential addition. I must at this point thank Rob Gibson for gifting this ship to me as part of a starship exchange programme(!) and I have to say I was eternally grateful for this arrival. It doesn't need too much of a tan to get that paint glowing either and within a few minutes you can see the colour change as the Defiant gives off a green, very visible tinge; it’s just as if you’re about to be transported into the Mirror Universe.

At its core though this is simply a re-registered version of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 model as featured in issue 50 but what else is there that might interest and make you want to part with your hard-earned moola?

The other clear difference is the yellowed bussard collectors tipping the warp nacelles and which give off an equally lovely green glow in low lighting. Taking a look over the hull we evidently have the NCC-1764 registry to denote that this is the USS Defiant and that’s spotted on the underside of the saucer and on the war engines along with being emblazoned across the top and front of the circular primary hull.

The primary hull, in metal is nicely detailed with a few call outs, minor red stripe decals and a smooth finish mirroring her more famous sister ship from the collection. There are a couple of smudges around the registry but they are almost unnoticeable unless you're really, really looking. We still have that annoying gap around the lower third of the secondary hull however but on the Defiant it seems that the slight tonal change in the paint and the choice to dowse her in a final luminescent overcoat has almost hidden the seam. I say almost because near the shuttle bay it is all too evident and just as gappy as version one - which is pretty much what we have here anyway. 

At the from of the engineering hull there's that glaring orange translucent deflector dish. After the various attempts at this model you would have thought Eaglemoss could have AT LEAST for it painted a more appropriate colour? I understand the yellow bussard collectors because it adds to the glow in the dark effect but the deflector is just damn wrong. Can we get one a more golden colour in the future IF there's another variant? (Wait for a USS Comstellation to be announced)

In reference to the underside of the saucer its good to point out that the raised triangular hull sections do align perfectly to the darker grey paint which highlights them and that all the windows aren't out of sync as there are no recessed window bays on the whole model. The white markings for the bridge, lower sensor dome and two at the rear of the saucer are tightly painted in with no bleed into the rest of the hull - something i also noted about the four grey piping sections at the rear of the warp engines.

The challenge I would have with this one is that the finish does seem a little sloppy in places with the paint being scuffed in a couple of spots which does - and will - play havoc with my OCD.  Watch out for that stand clipping as well as I noted in the original NCC-1701 review it was tight then and nothing has really changed with the Defiant. The last thing you want is to rub off the glow in the dark paint effect with two perfectly straight stand lines behind the bridge. Also, minor that it is, but my port warp engine does have a slight lean towards its starboard relation at the back end. Ever so slight but you do catch it out of the corner of your eye on occasion. 

What does make the price tag a little sweeter is the inclusion of the USS Defiant Glow in the Dark bonus edition magazine. Now, I may have mentioned my love of The Tholian Web in this article and maybe the odd occasion before so I continue to be obsessively biased towards this one. The magazine, for me, is a huge indulgence going into the background of the Defiant not just in the classic episode I cherish so much but also into the sequel/prequel that was Enterprise’s In a Mirror, Darkly.

It is a real treat covering the creation and then the REcreation of the classic bridge for the starship plus we have words from writer Judy Burns who was responsible for coming up with the concept of The Tholian Web and the starship Scimitar (they'll never use that name...!) that would morph fully into the realised TV installment. 

At the heart of this bonus edition there is very little new as we saw with the three Mirror Universe editions however the background included in the magazine and the minor tweaks plus the rather personal love of the story make it a must in my books. Maybe for some it’s the issue too far and that gimmick that doesn’t need to be bought - heck, I felt the same about the SS Yorktown and the change of a few decals. Cool if repetitive addition that might well be a money-grabber but hell, it’s something different!

For the full review of the original USS Enterprise from The Original Series follow the link here or you can visit the full Some Kind of Star Trek Eaglemoss The Official Starship Collection vault here.

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