Last week we took a look at Eaglemoss’ large-size XL USS Enterprise-E, and now we’re jumping back a few years in the Trek timeline to the Galaxy-class Enterprise-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation!
Measuring just over 8.5″ in length, this XL Enterprise-D is the third rendition of TNG’s hero ship, after their 2013 debut issue featuring the Galaxy-class ship in a smaller scale (and their “All Good Things” three-nacelled variant) as a subscriber exclusive — though with a revised paint scheme to bring the ship closer to its expected hue.
Rather than the khaki tan color on the first-run Enterprise-D, the XL edition of the ship is toned in a pale blueish-green paint which is much closer to the original filming models’ look, though featuring a great deal of hull aztec markings which are pushing a bit too heavy in this reviewer’s opinion.
The aztec design is nice in its detail and application, but toning it down by about 40% in contrast would make it a much more subtle effect which help smooth out the presentation, and also give the other hull markings a chance to stand out against the paint.
On the upper half of the saucer, the black and white window markings are all painted on, while the tan lifeboat hatches and yellow transporter emitters are painted on raised details; all which align nicely on our model.
The entire bottom of the saucer and outer area of the top are die-cast metal, while the area inside the oval-shaped phaser strip on top, including the bridge module, is a molded-plastic insert which is secured in the metal saucer with resin.
The seam between the two is visible, but the alignment with the dark-grey phaser strip helps blend it to a relatively unnoticeable join.
The underside of the saucer, all metal as mentioned, is again full of lifeboat hatches and painted-on windows – but here is where the first window alignment issues that we’ve covered before appear on this model.
Of the fourteen recessed window bays on the lower saucer, not one has the painted black window markings inside the grooved etchings in the metal. Again, if the manufacturing processes aren’t available to get the paint into the slots as marked, why are the sculpts still including these window indentations?
Moving down to the secondary hull, the neck of the Enterprise-D (and everything below it) is entirely molded plastic, with more noticeable joins for assembly. The neck area has a really odd window situation, as once again, the window paint doesn’t align with the indentations — but here the markings are all over the place, even overlapping a bit with the torpedo launcher groove.
(The XL Enterprise-E model also has these faint window grooves on its neck, but they were left unpainted — a wise decision, frankly, compared to this implementation.)
There is also a lack of Enterprise labeling on the side of the neck, and no sign of the yellow RCS thruster on the outside of the deflector; these yellow thrusters are also missing from the edges of the saucer section. While we can forgive the tiny ship name for going absent due the tiny font and unusual placement, the absence of the yellow thrusters is a bit of a glaring omission from the ship.
The deflector itself is copper ringed in bright blue plastic, but missing the detail of a second ring of blue in the inner dish as pictured above.
Moving around to the rear of the Galaxy-class model, the ship is a mostly-faithful recreation of the on-screen Enterprise-D, with appropriate hull markings and nacelle component coloring.
The bussard collectors at the front of each nacelle are a brilliant ruby red, backed by the yellow intake grilles and bright blue warp field emitters. The Starfleet pennants on each are crisp and clear, and red and green running lights are marked appropriately.
And now for the disappointing area of this section of the model: the shuttle bay and impulse engine area of the upper neck section. Several inaccuracies from the smaller edition of the Enterprise-D have carried over to the XL edition of the ship, ones that really could have been addressed in this larger-scale ship.
First, the coloring of the “1701-D” main shuttlebay markings are a bright orange-red, when the Enterprise in TNG featured yellow entry detailing. This might be a visibility thing — that the yellow may not have been legible on the hull — but it just bugs a little.
In addition, the red paint on the two saucer-section impulse engines feels very unfinished, with parts of the engine extrusions left unpainted around the edges. Just a quick moment with a hand paintbrush would have cleared that up, or replacing these with red plastic inserts would have made a nice improvement.
The real frustration in this part of the ship, though, is the middle part of the neck, home to Shuttlebays 2 and 3, and the stardrive’s impulse engine. Rather than the traditional (and screen-accurate) small and large bay doors, each of the secondary shuttlebay hatches are equal in size and placement, a carryover from the 2013 small Galaxy-class model.
Virtually every other Enterprise-D model we’ve seen have sized these hatches to match the filming model — dating back to the early Cheerios cereal model toy in 1987 — and it’s not clear why that this wasn’t addressed when scaling up the design to the XL size.
The primary impulse engine is also a bit of a rough patch, where the barely-visible red plastic insert joins with the rest of the hull — true, our photo above is a macro shot enlarging the area significantly, but it’s not that hard to see in person, either.
Finally, the red stripe down the back of the neck really should be two parallel lines; a minor nitpick, admittedly, but that’s part of the ship’s design.
We know that no model from any manufacturer is going to be perfect; there are always certain details not carried over or altered due to production requirements.
Screen-accuracy isn’t always possible — and while we admit that some of the criticisms we note above are perhaps a little too nitpicky, certain details like the shuttlebay sizes and missing yellow thrusters are hallmark details of the Galaxy-class, and it’s unfortunate that they’re not in place on the XL Enterprise-D.
That being said, if you’re able to accept the minor issues we’ve covered here — and really, they are relatively minor issues — this Enterprise-D model is a solid, well-balanced ship that is held well on its included display, and looks pretty great on the shelf among the Eaglemoss fleet – just stand back a little bit.
The XL USS Enterprise-D 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.
We’ll be back with reviews of the XL Enterprise NX-01 soon, along with more coverage of the Official Starships Collection throughout the month of December.
What are your thoughts on the Enterprise-D? Sound off in the comments below!
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).