FIRST CONTACT DAY 2023: Starship Saturday Afternoon Haul
This post kicks off a week of Star Trek-themed posts in celebration of First Contact Day! April 5, 2063, is the day Earth makes first contact with the Vulcans...or will. Maybe. The point of the day this year is to tell Paramount we want a continuation of 25th Century Trek in the same vein as Star Trek: Picard.
But this afternoon is all about the ships and how better to showcase that than share what we picked up from the first round of Master Replicas sale of the Eaglemoss ships. I got every one that I wanted, too! I'd picked up the Enterprise-E XL right after it was announced Eaglemoss was folding last year, so I didn't go for another one of those. The others I had no problem getting.
First up, I'll admit was a FOMO buy. I passed it up on the first purchase, but then I couldn't stop looking at it. It is one of my favorite ships, after all. The U.S.S. Defiant is such a unique design, I can remember it decloaking in the episode "The Search". Kira ordered the DS9 to red alert while O'Brien and Dax were baffled by what they were seeing on sensors. "A Federation ship with a cloaking device?" I'm pretty sure I thought "What the hell is that?" when I saw her at the same time as the characters were getting their first glimpse. Then, Sisko comes on screen and cements the fact that DS9 wasn't going to be the same series it was in its first two years. It was a starship built to fight the Borg and could hold its own in a fight with ships twice its size. While its predecessor didn't make it through the Dominion War, its successor did--including one final (and only) mission with Captain Sisko at the helm. In the 25th century, it has found its way to the fleet museum under the watchful eye of Commodore Geordi LaForge. You can also see a few of its adventures in the IDW comic book, Star Trek: Defiant with a certain Klingon commander taking the center seat.
The next two ships were the real treats. They never appeared on screen and were really the designs that were scrapped in favor of their namesakes that did make it to production. Starting off with the U.S.S. Valiant, NCC-6089. This ship was one of the iterations of what would become the Defiant. It has many of the same design features. A single primary hull. Engines that flank the sides. A forward nose section off the centralized bridge. These design characteristics were reworked for the final version but carry a unique look in the Valiant. The name, which was almost used on DS9, was used in "Where No Man Has Gone Before", Trek's second pilot, and appeared in DS9 as a Defiant-class ship that was manned by Starfleet cadets during the war.
The final ship I picked up is my favorite of the bunch--the Rick Sternbach version of the U.S.S. Voyager, NCC-73602. I call it the visual representation the starship design period that ended the Excelsior, Miranda, and even Galaxy-class design era and capped off the Sovereign, Prometheus, etc. era. It has design elements of both and radiates capital ship vibes. In my head canon, this ship was much more powerful than the Voyager we came to know. This would have been more akin to dropping the Enterprise off in the Delta Quadrant. More weapons. A larger crew. More supplies and resources for a long-range mission. A more powerful ship over all. Oh, the possibilities.
And, because I can't pass up an artwork opportunity, here's the Voyager holding her own against some nasty raiders.