Five years into Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, UK-based Eaglemoss Collections has developed a large fanbase among Trek model enthusiasts, producing over one hundred scale reproductions of vessels from throughout the Trek franchise.

From the earliest Constitution-class ship concepts to 29th Century timeships, from the Mirror Universe to the Kelvin Timeline and everywhere in between, Eaglemoss’ ships have been rendezvousing on fans’ shelves month by month with plenty more still yet to come.

This month, Eaglemoss takes its first step into 2016’s Star Trek Beyond, with another Kelvin Timeline special edition: the USS Franklin.

Launched just a few years before Jonathan Archer’s Enterprise NX-01, our historical analysis of the Franklin has been one of our most-read articles ever published, and we’re happy to see this 7.8″ larger-size starship join our own Federation fleet.

Eaglemoss’ Franklin is the largest version of the weary starship released to date, with both a mini-ship and all-plastic edition originally debuting last year as companion bonuses to the Star Trek Beyond Blu-ray release.

As with most of Eaglemoss’ starships, this model is made up of a combination of die-cast metal (the top half of the saucer) and tough ABS plastic (the underside of the saucer, nacelle struts, and nacelles) which gives the Franklin heft in the hand but not so heavy that it has difficulty staying on display in the included model stand.

This is also the most detailed version of the Franklin yet to arrive. From the tiny hexagonal hatch above the main bridge, to the ringed array encircling the top of the saucer, to the damage from its crash and subsequent relaunch from planet Altamid, this ship has a lot of texture to it which Eaglemoss has included in abundance.

While we really like this model, there are, however, a few paint-related issues that take some points away from the overall success of the Franklin model.

First, the aft hull and nacelles have none of the red striping details that are present in the on-screen, digital Franklin model, as well as the prior 2016 models. It’s not a big thing, but it’s an unexpected omission compared to all previous versions of the ship we’ve seen to date.

The Eaglemoss Franklin loses the red striping seen in STAR TREK BEYOND.
The red striping appears on the nacelles and aft saucer of the earlier models.

In addition, the lettering used for the U.S.S. FRANKLIN NX-326 text is substantially thinner than the graphics seen in Star Trek Beyond, which has made the dorsal registry difficult to read, and seems to have also caused a bit of a misprint on our model’s underside.

Thickening the text even by half, and reducing the depth of the hull plating indentations, would have made the hull markings easier to read and possibly easier to apply to the model as well.

The Franklin model vs. the digital Franklin seen in STAR TREK BEYOND.
The underside of the Franklin model, with a bit of text-printing messiness.

Finally, the painted-on starship windows are a bit of an oddity on this Franklin.

While some windows seem to be painted on with no relation to physical hull detailing, others are placed in such a position that they seem to be misaligned from the ship’s molded windows – an odd yet seemingly intentional positioning, seen the same way on Eaglemoss’ official promo photos of this model.

The front saucer-edge windows are painted on, seemingly misaligned from the model’s physical detailing.
…or are they? Side-saucer windows painted on with no matching hull indentations.
Just one row of saucer windows is seen on the Franklin in STAR TREK BEYOND.

The viewscreen/window portal at the front of the bridge is a bit rough as well, in our opinion with a quick splash of white paint to serve as a window into the Franklin bridge. A darker, more cleanly-applied paint would serve better in this space, or perhaps even an inserted dark piece of plastic (if manufacturing processes allow).

On the whole, this is a nice, mostly-faithful recreation of the USS Franklin — the beat-up 22nd Century starship that debuted in Star Trek Beyond — with a few paint-related quirks that could use a bit of fine-tuning, and would earn our top marks if adjusted.

Included as always is a multi-page, full-color magazine with interviews and concept art from Franklin designer Sean Hargreaves, much of which we’ve featured here on TrekCore over the last two years.

Eaglemoss’ 3.7″ Enterprise NX-01 compared to the 7.8″ USS Franklin.

*   *   *

We reached out to Ben Robinson, who runs the Official Starships Collection for Eaglemoss, and he with us a lot of insight into the development and production of the Franklin model – and why some of the detailing isn’t quite the same as seen in Star Trek Beyond.

Making the Franklin was a challenge for all sorts of reasons. In fact, I think it’s one of the most difficult models we’ve ever produced so it’s very gratifying that it’s getting such a positive response.

So why was it so difficult? We got the 3D model from CBS while [‘Star Trek Beyond’] was still in production, along with the Swarm ship and the revised Enterprise. I was ready to start work when the first trailer came out and I realized that the Enterprise on screen was different to the model I had. I’ve been burned like this before.

One of the things about doing CG in a movie is that you can keep tweaking it right up to the last moment.

Suddenly, I had a bit of a panic. What if the CG I had turned out to be nothing like the finished ship? I probably shouldn’t have, but I decided to wait until the movie was out. Of course, when it did, the Franklin turned out to be pretty much the same.

The next problem was that the reference material I had was based on Sean Hargreaves’ model and not the finished CG. The differences were subtle, but it was enough to be frustrating. Paramount weren’t handing over any more reference material and the movie wasn’t out on Blu-ray yet.

I couldn’t wait any longer, though, as I have bosses who want a certain number of specials a year. So I started doing my best to piece what I could together from the various trailers.

One of the things that I find with CG is that some details are built into the geometry and some are added with textures and bump maps. Ideally you want all of that when you start, but this time I was retrofitting some of the details like the position of the windows. Ideally they’d have been built into the model, but sometimes they had to be dealt with as paint.

The next problem was the color: the Franklin looked like it was made of concrete rather than the standard Starfleet materials. Getting the color of a ship right is surprisingly difficult. Color isn’t fixed – it changes as it interacts with light. After years of working on these ships I’ve got a range of colors for different eras, but the Franklin was something new and different and that meant lots of testing.

The bigger problem was the way the Franklin was distressed. The factory are very precise and they want to make every ship exactly the same. Distressing and damage really challenge them because they are random. Trying to work out how to ‘rust’ the ship was incredibly difficult.

The factory’s first attempts were horrible – they looked as if someone had just scrawled on the ship with a marker pen (maybe they had). I kept sending it back and eventually we arrived at something I could live with. I still don’t think that ‘rust’ is the right color, but hey, it’s not too bad.

So the model gets locked, with my best guesses about how it should look. That was months and months ago. Manufacturing and shipping take an incredibly long time. Then they release the movie in 4K. As I’m working on the magazine I can see all the details that I couldn’t see before. Arrgh! Still, I’m pretty satisfied with the end result and to this day I don’t think I’ve made a model that I’m completely happy with.

On the up side Sean Hargreaves is great. And I love the magazine we are able to put together. His artwork looks amazing and he’s really interesting about the design process.

And best of all now the model is out, people seem to love it! That’s always the gratifying bit and makes all the hard work seem worth it. And, of course, it’s ages since I moved on to the next thing. I’m working on models that won’t be released for another year. They all have their own problems. Some are easier than others.

I just hope that in the end they turn out as well as the Franklin.

*   *   *

We’ve heard from Eaglemoss that the Franklin has been one of the fastest-moving Star Trek models they’ve released to date, with orders coming in hot from fans shopping through both their UK and US stores – so if you’re interested get your orders in quickly!

For fans in the United States, you can order the Franklin here at Eaglemoss’ store, with shipments heading out now. In the UK, you can order here, where shipments of the Franklin are already going out to fans in that region.

In Eaglemoss’ US store, TrekCore readers can use promo code TREKCORE at checkout for 10% off any ‘Star Trek’ collectible purchase $50 or greater (Starships, Plaques, Binders, Graphic Novels).

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Eaglemoss USS FRANKLIN Starship Model
SHARE
  • James

    Eaglemoss always struggle with getting the window indents aligned with the paint. There is a lot of variation, some models that I have are waaaay off and others like the NX01 are near perfect. Misaligned paint on their large scale models is unforgivable and is why I haven’t purchased the large 1701 model.

    • Locutus

      Yeah, that would discourage me from buying as well.

      • James

        It’s not so noticeable on the normal sized issues. Once you have seen it though, it spoils it somewhat.

    • Tone

      I think these problems come from the communication between Eaglemoss and the Chinese factory where the models are made.

      At least thats what I hope, and it’s not just fly-by-night management…

      • mswood666

        Not all the copies of each model have the same error with windows. I have often sent for a replacement to get a copy that is either accurate, or really close to it. I once did it 4 times on one model, and they never once complained about it. For some reason people don’t seem to try this that often. I have three different subscriptions to this collection and I make sure at least one copy is the best I can get it.

    • Bethany Clarke

      Why would anyone put money into a dead movie franchise shoehorned in to canon by people who are responsible for a massive rejection of canon?

      • James

        I don’t understand your response, I was talking about the paint being misaligned with windows. Eaglemoss make the models because people buy them.

        • Ryan Withers

          You understand the response and it’s paralells perfectly.
          You’ll not win an argment with that attitude.

          • James

            what?!
            All I’m saying is that the model of Kirk’s 1701 has windows that don’t match the indents, but Archers NX01 does. I’m pointing out that some models have this defect, but not all of them. The NX01 model and the Klingon BOP are quite brilliant – well done to Eaglemoss. The 1701, not so great.

            There’s no argument here.

          • Tone

            I think you’ve got a couple of trolls on your tail…

            Your talking about an Eaglemoss model, and they are talking JJ politics.

          • James

            Yeah, I hadn’t read the posts up-thread, so had no idea of the context. Was replying through hotmail. The comments genuinely made no sense to me when I read them. Now I get it.

          • Bethany Clarke

            Did you know that 87.3% of people who have lost an argument resort to claiming trolling? And are you aware that 17% of those people consistently resort to personal insults in an attempt to win a failed argument?

            The more you know 🙂

          • Otto Hansen

            Did you know that 99% of people who list random percentages are lying to win an argument?

  • Ryan Withers

    What I don’t understand is how a crashed ship and it’s crew were unable to fix the ship, yet some woman fixed nearly all of it, then Scotty walked in finished up in a day.

    Odd that we didn’t see this class of ship in Enterprise either, where were they all when the xindi attacked earth? The convoys in the timeline where earth was already destroyed? The ships which escorted the battered Enterprise back to earth at the end of season 4?

    Oh, no, that’s right, continuity doesn’t belong in newtrek. Neither does shoddy merchandise.
    What they can give us though is generous lens flares, explosions and action, because of course that’s what we all really want to see.

    #failtrek

    • The Science Fiction Oracle

      I think you are posting on the wrong article. This discussion is about a starship model?

      • Ryan Withers

        The model of a non-canon starship.

        Newtrek is not canon, period.

        • The Science Fiction Oracle

          Go bitch somewhere else about that DIFFERENT topic, troll

          • Ryan Withers

            manners maketh man.

            Learn to identify a differing oppinion without having an eppy

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            Learn to present opinions that actually relate to the topic of the article, and leave your other “agendas” for articles that actually fit it.

          • Ryan Withers

            I see from your profile history that your witty retort is to
            routinely brand anyone with a differing opinion a troll, then you proceed to
            personally attack the individual.

            Do you not have any valid response to the argument?

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            Nice try — you will not be successful in baiting me to support your little Trek Beyond canon whine-fest here. Nor does your lame personal attack attempt here bother me or impress me.

            Any objective person reading this article and posting here can see that you are attempting to troll here about NuTrek, which is not even close the topic of this article.

            Bye bye, troll….

          • Bethany Clarke

            The epitome of Mumsnet. Yell and bully everyone invading your little corner of the internet with rational thought, which just so happens to go against yours as much as you like. You are far, far too afraid to publish your opinion elsewhere, because you know only too well that you’re minority original star trek obsessive way of thinking is completely defunct, rejected, and dead.

            You are a laughing stock, please don’t be offended by having
            this point drilled home time and time again, because the more you push it, the more hysterical and outdated you appear to be.

            You my dear are in a very, very small minority, and yet somehow are the biggest part of the major problems that has vomited STD in everyone’s faces.
            You sicken me.

          • “Ryan Withers” and “Bethany Clark,” please stick to one username going forward. (Yes, we can see that you are the same person.)

            Your previous account was banned for over-the-top insults on other users and this site’s staff – please discontinue your antagonistic posting style. There will not be another warning. Thank you.

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            Trekcore, thank you for stepping in here!

          • “The Science Fiction Oracle,” we’d advise you relax a little too — no need to keep the arguments going with your replies.

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            Fair enough! You may want to reign in Michael as well — he is continually just hating all the Discovery stuff you post and making stuff up that really irritates many of us.

          • Michael

            I have the right to have my opinion regarding Discovery.

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            “making stuff up that really irritates many of us, and trying to bait people on politics/Hillary.”

          • If you have problems with other users you may email our team through our contact portal. Continuing this back-and-forth bickering in the comments is exactly what you were asked not to do above.

          • Michael

            I never made stuff up. I was mislead by a source. And political themes have always been present in Star Trek. Talking about them is not “baiting”

          • DC Forever

            Come on man, that’s nearly all you do here is bait people — on Discovery, politics and other topics. And everybody knows now that your supposed sources are made up nonsense. Give me a break. :-))

          • Michael

            Punish him, he enjoys arguments and provokes them. He abused Xandercom over and over until he left. A fellow member of the industry.

          • The Science Fiction Oracle

            If that were true, it would have been a public service.

          • “Xandercom” did not leave. That account was banned due to abusive language aimed at other users and this site’s writers.

    • “some woman”? I’ll assume that wasn’t meant to sound as demeaning as it did.

      Also, agreed concerning continuity. They should just officially say that this version of Trek did not diverge with Nero, but in fact was already different, which I believe Pegg has at least hinted at.

      • Ryan Withers

        Dude, I’m a non-heterosexual non-male. I can assure you that
        “some women” is an equivalent to “some dude”.

        Do you have an alternative more suited to your sensibilities?
        Just who do you think you are being offended on behalf of?

        I would say that the “some chick” derogatory is worse, I’d prefer “some woman”
        than “some chick” or “some babe”.

        Did you come here to debate, or are you just out to be offended by what I can categorically advise is of no offence to me.

        I’m beginning to understand this USA division the world is facepalming. Stop trying so hard to be offended upon someone else’s behalf. You appear to be angry fools propping up an establishment of political correctnes no one asked for.

  • Tone

    There are way too many errors and inaccuracies on that model. I can’t stand that, as it triggers my OCD when it comes to this kind of thing.

    That error with the window decals is just a straight QC fail, maybe I can give them some leeway for the missing red decals, but there is also those terrible looking blue capital I’s at the back of the saucer that are not decals but actually a part of the model’s mesh and structure!

    Then there is the forgotten “distressing” on the lower part of the saucer section edge, oddly enough, the same place where they printed the window decals, so that is a screw-up between designer and factory right there. Then there is the totally messed up font for the ship registry…

    To be honest I stopped looking for more, as I consider this to be an unfinished mess that needed to go through QC at least once more before being released.

    This is not the first time I have seen this kind of rushed and bodged job on an Eaglemoss model. It has totally put me off of buying one, which is a shame, as I would love to own many of their models, but the inconsistencies and mistakes as well as manufacturing errors just stop me dead.

    Eaglemoss should fix this model and re-release it, as well as fixing all the problems with their other models. Seems like a very amature company only interested in making quick coin, at least that’s the impression they give me. YMMV!

    • The Science Fiction Oracle

      They way over-did the tiling as well. Every gap between the titles is way to big and deep.

      • Michael

        I… agree with you. If we both agree, something is seriously wrong with the product. 😉

        • The Science Fiction Oracle

          Yep!

    • Bethany Clarke

      They relied upon the “shut up and take my money” mentality, which burned through all goodwill and expired around a decade ago.

      You’ll not get any accuracy in these newtrek days, the manufactures just don’t believe in the product enough to expend any amount of time into it’s development. Exquisite design practice took nearly a decade to build a specialist following. What you have here is generic print houses throwing out products which are in no way specialist, and give no step beyond entry level model construction. You are essentially back to the 5-9 yearold kit quality.

      That’s what happens when the target audience is mass production at low, low prices, instead of refined production aimed at a specialist market willing to pay significantly more for quality.

      • They’ve announced that McFarlane Toys is already licensed to produce planned “Discovery” items.

        http://trekcore.com/blog/2017/05/mcfarlane-toys-lands-star-trek-discovery-toy-license/

        • Michael

          Which will fail because Discovery is already hated by fans

          • Otto Hansen

            It really isn’t. Star Trek fans have a group that has always been noisy, whiny and then turns around and loves the things they complain about.

          • Michael

            Yea, like taking canon Klingons in the prime universe and making them look like Xindi reptillians?

  • The Science Fiction Oracle

    Great model review, Trekmovie — thanks!

  • Fiery Little One

    Although I have the plastic model from the Walmart exclusive, I think I’ll wait for Hallmark’s version considering the mistakes here.

    • Mark Bernero

      I’m doing the same!

  • Michael

    Incredible amount of mistakes. Very sloppy work. Why even do it if you don’t get it correct?

    • DangerousDac

      Did you read the article? These models take at least 9 months to make. It was being designed based on guesswork from trailers and an unrealised concept version before the film was even out and came out a few months after it had hit blu ray.

      Also, Disqus? Don’t fucking delete my comment after you make me sign in.

      • It’s a fairly thankless job producing these models. Deadlines simply don’t matchup with availability of information. Perhaps the answer is to not produce models of ships from movies and television shows that have not been released. Considering that the audience for these ships tends to be die-hard fans who are a bit obsessive about details…

      • Tone

        Then maybe they should take 10 months, and get it right.

        Plus the mentality of getting it first seldom pays off in the long run. I would buy their models if they just spend a small amount of extra time on getting it right.

        • DangerousDac

          Then it wouldn’t be out until January of next year, and would still have a fair amount of guesswork due to the fact that the only concrete reference material is screencaps from the movie.

          • Tone

            Rather late than crap. And if you’re a serious collector, you won’t mind. One or two errors are totally forgivable, and also the odd manufacturing error too. But as these things are supposed to be collectables, they should at least be 95% right, and what is unforgivable, is that if you buy this model in 3 years time, it still will have the same issues.

            Maybe Eaglemoss should look in to exactly why it takes nearly a year to produce a model, especially as they were given the studio model, which I would say is more than 60% of the work done for them right there and then! It is much easier to make changes a finished 3D model, then to create one from scratch.

      • Michael

        Perhaps they deleted what you wrote bcause cause you are rude? Cursing is lame and a sign of low intelligence.

  • Michael

    Stop outsourcing to the Chinese and get the damn models made in the U.K. and get them done right.

    • I must admit, I had a bit of a laugh about “made in the UK” being a badge of quality.

      • Tone

        At least we can still get stuff made in the UK… 😉

  • Michael

    The audience for these models are diehard fanboys living in their parents basement. They want ACCURATE models so they can stare at them as they curse the fact the Star Trek universe is fake and will never be real. They want accuracy so they can fantasize about living in a better world before they have to start their shift at McDonalds.

    Wait until you have all of the source materials. To mass produce a model based on incomplete details is absolutely stupid and will eventually doom the business.

  • Io Jupiter

    I wonder if we will be able to get a miniature from Franklin Mint of the Franklin in mint condition?

  • Michael

    Eaglemoss is like the younger brother who can’t do as good as his older brother no matter what

    • DC Forever

      Perhaps in two months you will tell us all that you got bad infromation, and the model is actually outstanding?

      • Michael

        The model is crap. Obviously you did not read the review, nor the numerous other fans reviews in the comments.

  • Michael

    A disaster, just like the failed Kelvin timeline movies.

    • Now this is just getting into spam territory. Sorry, friend.