We continue our look at Eaglemoss’ Official Starships XL series today with a look at their latest upsized ship model, Jonathan Archer’s Enterprise NX-01 from Star Trek: Enterprise, released to collectors in late October.
Like the classic Enterprise, the Enterprise-D, and Enterprise-E before it, this enlarged NX-01 is generally a scaled-up version of its smaller predecessor, the 5.5″ version that Eaglemoss debuted all the way back in 2013 in the early days of the Official Starships subscriber program.
This XL Enterprise is nearly double in size and at least double in weight, as the nearly-all-metal model — only the nacelles are plastic — now measures in at about 9″ in length, and almost as wide as the original NX-01’s full length.
While the ship may be much larger in size, it does seem to be a pretty identical sculpt as the original NX-01 model, with identical join lines at on the saucer and warp nacelles — but when closely compared to the subscriber-sized Enterprise, there are some noticeable improvements in the XL ship.
The gold paint on the bridge dome is given a much brighter and more metallic look on the XL version, compared to a relatively muddy dark yellow tone on the smaller ship — though a spot of the gold paint is missing in the area (compared to the small version) behind the bridge.
In addition, the gunmetal grey paint on the rear saucer ‘fins’ and upper saucer is a slightly lighter shade, and is much cleaner around the bridge module.
The other thing the enlargement does is give the warp nacelles a great chance to shine when on display. The ruby-red bussard collectors and cerulean-blue vents are much more successful on the XL model, with the nacelle vents a much deeper color than the pale blue on the smaller edition.
Underneath the ship, the bright sensor dome in the center of the saucer has been modified from a pure white to a white edged with a gradiated yellow color, to more closely emulate the pale yellow glow on the ‘real’ NX-01.
The most improved part of the NX-01 model, however, comes in the form of the increased detail and cleaner lines on the hull textures — from the window indentations to hull plate scoring — and viewed side-by-side with the 5.5″ version, the XL model wins hands-down.
While the XL Enterprise NX-01 doesn’t have the most obvious improvements — compared to, say, the big color change on the XL Enterprise-D — its small improvements to detail and color go along way to making this feel more like Archer’s starship than the subscriber size.
Even the silvery hull aztecing seems to be a little subtle color than the 5.5″ edition, making it a bit softer to the eye and not quite as in-your-face when near reflective lighting.
While this XL model has its strengths, we’re certainly not saying it’s perfect.
There are still a few carryover issues from the subscriber size that catch our eye, including some that have nothing to do with the metal tooling used to sculpt the ship (which is the most difficult thing to address in manufacturing).
Unlike the other XL ships, there aren’t window-alignment paint issues on the NX-01, but there is one obvious problem with the dorsal saucer’s pair of cargo doors, as the applied markings are slightly too large for their space.
While the doors on the bottom of the ship fit in place more closely, they are still a little too large for the place in which they are applied — just shrink those decals down just a little and the problem is solved, you know?
The deflector dish is unfortunately still fairly underwhelming on the XL release. While the lack of detailed deflector could be excused smaller NX-01 — it’s really tiny on the 5.5″ version — this new edition presented an opportunity to really enhance this part of this ship to look more like its on-screen counterpart.
Unfortunately the thickness of the saucer’s edge is still a limiting factor for the metalwork — but we know the precision Eaglemoss can pull off with their plastic molding. Replacing this area with a plastic component could have really enhanced the front of the ship.
Finally, it’s hard to talk about this model without commenting on the display stand — which may be the weakest part of this whole release. While it’s possible to mount the ship, anything but the most gentle touch may cause the NX-01 to fall from its perch if you’re not careful.
This is a heavy ship, and the 1/2″-long grip is just simply not enough to secure this model for display. Honestly, every time the model was moved to take a new photo for this review — no matter how slightly — it slid loosely on the stand, and more often than not fell off ‘face-first.’
Our informal testing puts the ship’s center of balance about 1.5″ in from the rear of the saucer, and the stand needs take that into account. The smaller Enterprise had the same issue, but with the added weight in the XL version, it’s strange this wasn’t addressed more directly when creating the revised display stand.
Lengthening the grip and moving the contact point to the outside of the nacelle struts (like on the NX Refit model) would have certainly helped.
Overall, despite the minor criticisms noted above, the XL Enterprise NX-01 is a welcome upgrade from the original 2013 release, especially for fans of this 22nd Century starship — and if you’re not willing to spend $120 on the original Art Asylum version of the ship, it’s a nice alternative to get the Warp 5 starship into your personal fleet.
The XL Enterprise NX-01 retails from Eaglemoss at $74.95 in the USA (and £49.99 in the UK shop) when buying individually, but drops to $59.95 if you subscribe to the Star Trek Starships XL program for ongoing delivery.
From our preliminary look, it seems to be a much-needed upgrade to the 2013 subscriber size — so look back for our review in early 2018!
All photos for this review were taken with the Google Pixel 2 XL.
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).