I’m a big fan of these replica Star Trek Starships from Eaglemoss. I started with the Enterprise-D last year, and Eaglemoss has unveiled the 40th-48th installment of the Official Starships Collection though their official blog, Herocollector. There’s a couple of head-scratchers, some must-haves, and a surprise or two that I just cannot wait to get my hands on. See the entire Starship collection from Eaglemoss. More after the fold, ENGAGE! Continue reading Eaglemoss Shows Off New Additions to ‘Star Trek’ Starships Collection
We all love awesome toys, and gift giving happens to be a huge part of the holiday season, so I’m doing an entire series of Tops o’ the Lot covering my personal Holiday Wish Lists.
Following up on last week’s holiday wish list of Star Wars LEGO sets, I decided to stick with toys and stay in space with this week’s list, but instead of a Galaxy Far Far Away we’re Boldly Going Where No One Has Gone Before. So, without further ado, it’s games, models, statues, and more, in Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot:
From time to time Outright Geekery brings you a slanted and biased opinion on some trivially specific topic of geekery. We call it Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot.
One of the great things Star Trek was able to do in all its many incarnations was to give a certain aspect of character to the many ships and structures that were every bit as much stars of the show as the uniformed Starfleet Graduates tooling around inside. The Enterprise with its rugged frontier feel, the air of home and family that surrounded Voyager, the bustling city that was DS9, and the Defiant just felt like a powerful war machine, but there was nothing quite like the Enterprise-D. It was a posh departure from the original Enterprise, and not only set up the new and different tone of this series but took the entire franchise into new and interesting ways to tell stories. But a Starship is really nothing more than a collection of rooms, and the Enterprise-D had some of the coolest ones in all of the series. So, without further ado, we open the *swish*ing doors on the obvious, throw in a bit of the obscure, but always make it fun, in Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot: Rooms on the Enterprise-D. Continue reading Top o’ the Lot: Rooms on the Enterprise-D
The thing about Star Trek; the good thing about any sci-fi; is it’s all about people, and seeing a bit of ourselves in those people. This can be seen, of course, in the characters and the stories being told, but Star Trek always threw in little bits of the real-world into the mix to reinforce the humanity of it all. Paper books, vineyards, and so many other little things filled the screen next to phasers, warp drive, and *snicker* gravity plating, but there’s nothing more human than having a pet, and Trek has had its fair share of non-human…er, non-sentient species filling starships. So, without further ado, we assume the worst, discuss the best, and I knew there was something I liked about that show, in Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot: Star Trek Pets.
Legend. Icon. Idol. Exemplar. Whatever label you apply to them, they are the characters and the creators that stir the imagination and make each of us a geek. Outright Geekery likes to put a spotlight on those creative and entertaining legends that have given us so much. We celebrate geek greatness in this installment of Outright Geekery’s Icon Compendium, featuring legendary make-up artist extraordinaire Michael Westmore.
There are a lot of elements that went into Star Trek The Next Generation that all came together to become something special. There wasn’t anything new about great acting on the small screen when TNG premiered. There was nothing really special about the story-telling or the techno-jargon, or the technology, or the mission. Despite all that unoriginality, TNG become something greater than the sum of all its parts. Well, all but one of its parts, that is. There was a singular aspect of The Next Generation that raised the bar for not only all science-fiction television, but all television to follow. It was an important aspect of this new Trek from the very beginning, but became such an integral element of the show that it’s almost impossible to imagine The Next Generation without it. I am speaking, of course, about the amazing make-up work that embodied just about each and every episode, spawned some of the most famous alien faces in the history of entertainment, and changed the way TV approached make-up forever. Although there were many great artists working on Star Trek The Next Generation’s crew of make-up talent, one man was the driving and creative force behind the magic that became a mainstay, Star Trek The Next Generation’s primary make-up supervisor Michael Westmore.
Michael Westmore was born into movie make-up royalty. The grandson of George Westmore, creator of the first studio make-up department in Hollywood, and son of Monty Westmore, make-up supervisor on Gone With the Wind, the Westmore’s could be called the First Family of Hollywood Movie Make-Up. Michael’s uncle Bud Westmore co-created the famous creature in Creature From the Black Lagoon, one of the most recognizable pop-culture character of all time. Michael attended the University of California – Santa Barbara, graduating in 1961 and immediately began working at Universal Studios. Some of Westmore’s earliest work is actually some of his most famous and popular characters, as the artist did work on the Munsters TV show, as well as the children’s program The Land of the Lost where he created the race of lizardmen known as the Sleestaks.
Westmore then became a freelance artist, but the lack of big studio support did nothing to spoil the artist’s zeal. Throughout the ’70’s and ’80’s he worked on popular films and TV shows like Rocky I, II, and III, and the cross-dressing sitcom Bosom Buddies starring one Tom Hanks before he hit it big. Westmore soon returned to big budget blockbusters, with 1984’s sci-fi epic 2010, and 1985’s Mask, the story of a boy growing up with a deformed face, earning Westmore an Academy Award. Although his next job would take him back to the small screen, for us passionate Trek geeks out there, it’s where Westmore made his biggest contribution.
Westmore wasn’t even sure he wanted the job as Star Trek The Next Generation’s make-up supervisor. After working so extensively on award winning, extremely popular, and very profitable movies, moving back to television initially felt like a step down. Fortunately for us geeks, Westmore’s wife encouraged him that a steady, year-long project may be a nice change of pace, and in 1986 he was hired to work on Star Trek The Next Generation.
Although Westmore would go on to work on every series to follow in the Star Trek universe – Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise – and many of the films in the franchise, his groundbreaking work on TNG is his landmark effort. One of his first jobs as lead make-up supervisor for TNG was to create the memorable make-up Brent Spiner wore as the android Data, as well as recreating and establishing the look that would be forever unmistakeable as a Klingon with Michael Dorn’s portrayal of Worf. In only his first few months as make-up supervisor for TNG, Westmore had already put his individual stamp on the entire Star Trek mythos, and changed the way special make-up effects were approached by television shows. Effects like large applications and the use of prosthetic pieces was seen very seldom on television, and here was a show that put two very complex make-ups into starring roles. But Westmore wasn’t done changing the game quite yet.
Star Trek The Next Generation didn’t stop with Data and Worf when it came to amazing, complex, and outright alien make-ups. Westmore went on to create such memorable races as the Ferengi, the Cardassians, the Borg, and scores of other races and individual alien creatures and beings. But Westmore didn’t just create elaborate and unique alien creatures. The range he has in his chosen art can be seen in any number of episodes, including the intensive age make-up work of Too Short a Season, his work in creating the LED receptors for Geordi’s Visor (with help from his son Michael Westmore Jr.) and way too many particulars to mention here. Westmore’s nuance and singular imagination did not end with the final episode of TNG, either, and he went on to do more work on Star Trek, creating characters like Morn the barfly in Quark’s from DS9, Ron Perlman’s portrayal of The Viceroy in Star Trek Nemesis, among many others.
Although Westmore stopped working on Trek with the 2005 cancellation of Enterprise, he remains an avid author of instructional and mentoring books, and is currently mentoring up-and-coming artists on the SyFy reality/competition show Faceoff. The past work of this master will continue to be some of the most recognizable and memorable make-ups, creations, and aliens that have ever appeared on screen, and the work he’s doing now to help shape and mold the future of the industry will assure his standing as one of the greats. Without this artisan we’d have no Jem’Hadar, no Borg, and Star Trek as we know it would be quite different from the greatness it is, giving Michael Westmore a place of honor in the Icon Compendium.
Since I originally saw Star Trek’s Official Starship Collection line of scale models solicited in a Previews months and months ago, I was very interested. I’ve been a Trek-geek as long as I can remember, and these diecast/ABS composite replicas showed a ton of promise. I was able to get my hands on the first ship in the fleet, the Enterprise-D, and here’s the skinny.
There’s a whole lot of attention to detail going on in this replica. Down to the very last window and hull plate, the highlight painting and textures are spot on. Detail paint is just as beautiful and exact, with perfect stenciling on the saucer section and warp nacelles, and great color choice and matching on the main deflector dish and pin-striping. The ship has some decent weight to it, too, and it feels like a quality piece when you hold it in you hand. The ship slips very nicely in its supplied stand, and although the base itself seems quite stable, the support stand that the ship actually slips into and affixes to the base is a much lower quality plastic. While I’m fairly certain it’ll keep the inertial dampeners within standard operating level, a higher quality support stand would have be nice. Each model is labeled on the stand’s bottom, as you’d expect, but is also numbered, which was a very nice touch on this particular piece.
The packaging was adequate but not noteworthy. The standard Mylar bag contained a cardboard and plastic box which safely secured the ship and the two-part stand, but it doesn’t do the replica justice. If I hadn’t been able to get my hands on my store’s display piece I would have never even picked it up from a shelf for a second look. The real appeal of this model is its sheer attention to detail, and that just cannot be fully understood through even a couple of layers of clear plastic. This collection also comes with a collectible magazine highlighting the ship the replica is modeling, and while it’s a great accompaniment, they rarely make it through shipping at retail, or the mail for that matter, completely intact, and my copy had more than its share of creases and wrinkles. Although it may not be the selling point of the entire piece, it’s definitely part of the overall appeal, and I wish Eaglemoss Collections, the distributors of the Starship Collection, would take more care in their magazine packaging. It’s almost as if the magazine is just a way to get eyes on the product, but, with so many choices at the comic shop, it fails in that capacity as well.
Each ship in this collection is priced at about 20 bucks, and if you buy this model, or any other from this collection, from a comic shop or similar retailer you’re going to pay about that. If you subscribe to the collection, however, two Starships per month will be shipped to you at $20 a piece, but this Enterprise-D will only cost you 5 bucks! That’s a great deal no matter which way you decide to buy, but with ships like the Enterprise-E, U.S.S. Excelsior, U.S.S. Reliant, Akira Class Starship, and so many others, including ships from just about every race you can think of from the Cardassians to the Romulans, it’s one hell of an investment to go the subscription route. Membership DOES have its privileges, though, and subscribers will get the future version of the Enterprise-D after shipment 10, and a Borg Cube after shipment 16. That is a lot of ships, though, and any local comic shop worth it’s weight should be able to order these ship by ship, but that future D may be a tough find for diehard collectors. Either way, this Enterprise-D is a steal at 20 bucks, and would make a fine addition to any Trek-geek’s collection, without breaking the bank.
Star Trek The Official Starships Collection: Enterprise-D is beautiful replica that truly captures the essence of The Next Generation’s starring Starship, and it does so in a pint-sized, and pint-priced, size. It’s level of quality makes it appealing to even the most diehard collector of everything or anything Trek, but the affordable price-point makes this a really attainable collectible for anyone. I really wish the packaging was a bit sturdier so the magazine got here in better shape, and it could do a much better job of actually selling the product, but I guess that’s what reviewers like me are for: To tell you how cool it is!
If you’re simply a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation this is a great showpiece to let everyone know about your passion, or as just a great remembrance of that timeless sci-fi series. If you’re a fan AND a collector there’s simply no excuse for you not to have this recognizable Starfleet flagship in your personal collection. And, if you’re, like me, a Trek mega-fan, and love your Birds of Prey just as much as your U.S.S. Defiant, a full on subscription may be necessary, and getting this quality Enterprise-D replica for only 5 bucks is a great perk. If the quality of the rest of the fleet is consistent with that of this offering, it’s going to be worth the $40 a month.
From time to time Outright Geekery brings you a slanted and biased opinion on some trivial detail of some form of geekery. We call it Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot.
Why should the popular girls get to have all the fun? Sure, the ENTERPRISE may be one of the most recognizable modes of transportation in all of Sector 001 (in ALL its stylized varieties), but it is by far not the only familiar, and important, ship in the star fleet. And, of course, there are those “one-shot wonders” that find their place in some random episode starring some random Hollywood B-Lister, but this Top o’ the Lot focuses more on the relative mainstays; ships that made recurring appearances and lasting impacts. This week’s Top o’ the Lot pulls into space-dock, readies the phasers and photon torpedoes, and pulls a Kobayashi Maru on the damnedest Starfleet Vessels Not Named ENTERPRISE.
Honorable Mention: The Runabout
Whoa! Hey! Calm down! I know Runabouts aren’t technically a single ship, or even the official name of the ship’s class, but these workhorses made some lasting impressions on the franchise. It was the single only way to get from Deep Space 9 for a weekend on Bajor or a quick skip through the Wormhole, and Harry Kim even found himself using one to fix a wrinkle in the space/time continuum, or some such. Versatile? Yes. Easy to drive? Yup. Named after rivers? Yeah, I never really got that. Glamorous? Not even a little bit. But looks aren’t everything, and the multipurpose and resilient Danube Class of starships makes the grade.
5. USS Stargazer
Yes, I know I’m breaking my own rule since the Stargazer actually shows up in one and only one episode of the franchise, and the model in Picard’s Ready Room shouldn’t (and doesn’t) count, but this is a hell of a ship. Who’d of thought Ferengi could be so vengeful, or that the Picard Maneuver would be so useful that we never saw it again anywhere? This ship reminds everyone that Jean-Luc had a life before sitting in Enterprise’s big chair, and gave a small, but short-lived, breath of life to the persistent rumors of a “Young Picard” spin-off show. *sigh* We can keep dreaming, right?
4. USS Voyager
Say what you want about the quality of the show, but the Intrepid Class cruiser in the starring role of Star Trek: Voyager was a thing of beauty, and got better with time. I mean, come on: Gel-Pack bio-neural circuitry, Spatial Charges, Tricobalt Devices; the later additions of a Mess Hall, Hydroponics Bay, and Astrometrics Lab; and final additions of Borg-bashing Ablative Hull Armor and Transphasic Torpedoes! And those Variable Geometry Warp Nacelles were P-I-M-P! A pimped out ride even Ensign Xzibit could be proud of, Voyager’s uniqueness sends it hurtling onto the Top o’ the Lot at Warp Factor 8.5.
3. The Delta Flyer
Is it a shame that a ship that spent most of the time docked within Voyager actually beats out Voyager herself on the list? Yeah, just as big a shame that Tom Paris isn’t designing ships at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards! Built out of necessity through a combination of Starfleet and Borg technology, the Flyer is a decked out, photonic missile firing, Parametallic Hull Plated beast Captain Proton would be proud of. Whether it was guiding Voyager through the quantum slipstream, diving into the depths of a planet comprised entirely of water, or providing a quiet place for newlyweds Tom Paris and B’Elanna Torres to “run a level 3 diagnostic of the warp coils”, the hot rod called the Delta Flyer moves right in the middle of the Lot at maximum impulse.
2. USS Excelsior
“My God, that’s a big ship.” “Not so big as her Captain, I think.”
The Great Experiment, the USS Excelsior was introduced to Trekkies as an outright smack to the face to the TOS crew, became a laughing stock through Engineer Scott’s timely act of sabotage, but ended up the hero as she help blast a prototype Klingon Bird of Prey out of the space above Camp Khitomer. While Transwarp never quite panned out the way Starfleet wanted it to, the Excelsior Class of Starship paved the way for the massive ship designs that followed, including the Galaxy class, and its staying power put it in the Lot. Captain Hikaru Sulu puts it at the Top o’ the Lot.
1. USS Defiant
“She may have flaws, but she has teeth.”
Built in direct response to the Borg threat, the USS Defiant packed a ton of muscle in a small frame. It’s the Bruce Lee of Starfleet vessels. Goodies like Pulse Phaser Cannons, Quantum Torpedoes, Ablative Armor, and (wait for it!) a Treaty of Algeron-exempt Cloaking Device made the Defiant THE go-to ship for owning Cardassians, cracking down on some Dominion flunkies or a quiet home for an anti-social Klingon. Sure the Maquis got over on the ship’s computer a time or two, and it was completely destroyed or abandoned on several occasions, but those little drawbacks take nothing away from the appeal. Yes, there are bigger ships, and faster ships, and more powerful ships in the fleet, but none of them are as fast or as powerful while having the maneuverability of the Defiant. It is sheer coolness alone that puts the USS Defiant at the tippy top of this week’s Top o’ the Lot.
See a mistake? Disagree with the choices? Tell us what you think about this installment of Top o’ Lot, join in the discussion and share your opinion.