UnBoxing | Eaglemoss Collections STAR TREK Concept Ships: USS Voyager
Expanding on the fan-offering and expectations Eaglemoss Collections opens the door to all-new, all-different possibilities in the STAR TREK Starships Collection with its look at the lens of the “Concept Series”.
With the advent popularity of the CBS All Access Original Series Star Trek: Discovery validating into canon and heralding Starfleet’s “experimental age” of warp flight, Eaglemoss Collections has capitalized (somewhat) on the idea of populating its world of the high-end collectible models in the series of the Star Trek Starships Official Collections with an entire offering of starships celebrating “what could have been”. The collection of models is uniquely crafted from die-cast metal parts and plastic with an eye for incredible detail.
The Starfleet of the 23rd Century is populated with the hot-roddery heft of the Walker-Class and the elegantly styled Crossfield-Class — these ships appearing less tradition than any starship audiences have experienced in the Star Trek franchise’s history. The major components are still most prevalent and familiar: a saucer section, nacelles and engineering component, although most of the ships in the line appearing in Discovery feature more angular lines and longer-length nacelles — the reason of which is still being explored in the series’ narrative.
Longtime Trek designer Rick Sternbach was among the senior development team during the 1990s working on the syndicated series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine and when Star Trek: Voyager was going into pre-production there were several approaches to the shape the “hero” ship would take. Sternbach went to work on Captain Kathyrn Janeway’s ship. The USS Voyager was commissioned for deep-space exploratory missions penetrating the most hostile interstellar territory and equipped with an alternative-energy source to power its drive.
It was also a multi-functional vessel with a modest sized crew; not as big as the Enterprise it was also able to make landfall on planets to resupply or take in the sights. Sternbach’s first-pass at the Voyager featured one of the most progressive designs for a Starfleet ship of its era. In the past most fleet vessels incorporated a saucer and distinguishing “neck” that connected the two parts of the ship. The Voyager was presented with a dart-like configuration that made it appear more agile. Sternbach’s original design appeared to take inspiration from a Runabout shuttle.
The engineering hull is much more compact and designed to closely fit to the primary “arrowhead” hull which supports the bridge; the nacelles are also uncommonly long on Sternbach’s early version of the Voyager and protrude similarly to the aforementioned Runabout shuttle design hanging low and aligned to enhance the more streamlined approach. The Voyager ship design would evolve further and would incorporate a “rounder” more nautical-looking body. Sternbach’s Voyager also had its own designation of NCC-73602 before the official NCC-74656.
At the time that Sternbach was hard at work finalizing the look of the USS Voyager his colleague John Eaves was assigned to give Picard’s USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E a polishing for TNG crew’s next big-screen appearance in First Contact. Without sharing any of their preliminary sketches with each other, it appeared that both conceptual artists were on a similar tangent. The each had designed the next generation of Starfleet vessels with a new approach to the saucer, changing the shape to suggest speed and also bring it in tighter to the secondary hull for heft.
The model recreated for the Eaglemoss Collections line is well-crafted representation of Sternbach’s own larger-scale model which he used to present to the studio. The design was ultimately scrapped in favor of the now most-iconic look of the USS Voyager but it is undeniable to insist on the merit of the ship’s look especially now that collectors can add them to their own fleet. The “special edition” model come with a detailed magazine that profiles the evolution of the Voyager with rare photos and illustrations.
With the release of its latest model, the USS Voyager (Sternbach Concept) which is only available as a “shop exclusive” from the eaglemoss.com site, the “concept series” has expanded. Previous releases include the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-C (Probert Concept) and USS Enterprise NCC-1701 (Phase II Concept). The collection has also included the “Special Issue” release of the Enterprise NX-01 (Refit) which finally reveals to fans what could have been the evolution of Jonathan Archer’s revolutionary warp ship.
With Star Trek: Discovery now continuing the adventures and pushing the boundaries of the Final Frontier, the possibilities have truly become limitless. Starfleet’s “Age of Experimentation” is now at the forefront of the mythology.