Homelet yMaster Replicas' Caretaker's Array Review

Master Replicas’ Caretaker’s Array Review

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Many moons ago, Eaglemoss/Hero Collector announced – much to the delight of Star Trek: Voyager fans – that they were producing a model of the Caretaker’s Array. For those who don’t watch the show, the space station was seen in Voyager’s pilot episode. The approved prototype listing even went live on their website and scored a featured spot on Amazon’s ‘Coming Soon’ page. The station then went into production with a release date set for June 2022. Then disaster struck. The station models’ shipping was cancelled and a month later Eaglemoss collapsed.

For Voyager fans, it felt like all hope was lost for a long time. That was until of course we heard Master Replicas was working on retrieving and selling Eaglemoss’ stock from warehouses around the world. That included the first production runs of a number of models, including the Caretaker’s Array!

The Packaging

As this is an item produced by Eaglemoss, it shouldn’t be surprising that it comes in their typical packaging. The cardboard box is sturdy, with an image of the model over a space-themed blue backdrop. It also features the logos of a number of Star Trek shows on a side panel.

Where Master Replicas’ ‘Caretaker’s Array’ differs from earlier Eaglemoss efforts is within the box itself. Instead of the typical polystyrene two-part ‘shell’, the Caretaker’s Array comes cushioned in dense foam. Much like their XL ‘best of’ line ships, which started shortly before Eaglemoss’ collapse.

The foam gives the entire product a much more premium feel than the old polystyrene and protects the model better. This change is a win-win in my book.

The Model

The Model itself is a reasonable replication of the one seen on-screen. Though, as you can see from the images of the filming model pieces above, it’s not an exact match. This is likely due to the size, budget, and strength trade-offs that Eaglemoss needed to consider. An example of where it differs is details like the thin spikes have become thicker. But on the other hand, the panelling paint detail has been preserved almost exactly.

Eagelmoss were well known for their models’ combination of plastic and die-cast parts. The Caretaker’s Array is unfortunately quite light (figuratively and literally) in the die-cast department. The majority of the model is plastic with only the parts of the arms which connect to the main body in diecast. There’s also likely a die-cast component in the body, given the weight of the whole model. The display base is standard metal, with the stand itself being plastic. It must be said though that the stand especially is well designed. It’s unobtrusive while on display providing exceptional stability for the model. The Array certainly won’t be slipping off in a hurry!

Overall the lack of die-cast shouldn’t take away from your enjoyment of the model. The paint up (what little of it there is), is superb. Replicating the panelling and the yellow line around the core elements. In terms of construction, it would have been nice if the arms had been fully metal to make them more resilient. As well as allowing some of the arm detail to be replicated more precisely. But nonetheless, this is a faithful replica. It’s a welcome addition to any Star Trek collectors’ collection, especially for us Voyager fans!

Customisation

Kitbashing is a tried and true Star Trek tradition. Both amongst fans and in the shows themselves. The Battle of Wolf 359 wouldn’t have had a debris field without it. Plus, we never would have had the iconic Yeager class.

With that in mind, it’s not surprising that the practice has made its way through to Eaglemoss’ Models. One particular artist, SpaceshipAddict on the website formerly known as Twitter has made several customisations to models in their collection.

SpaceshipAddict kindly gave Trek Central permission to feature their Suspiria’s Array, which is pictured above. As an ‘alternate’ build of the Caretaker’s Array. Based on the comparison image from Cold Fire I certainly think they did a fantastic job! Also on the fact that the Suspiria’s Array made it to the Christie’s Auction. While only parts of the Caretaker’s Array still exist, it’s possible that the original Suspiria’s Array was made in a similar manner.

Conclusion  

It was a long road getting this model from the grasp of Eaglemoss’ Administration into fans’ hands, but it was certainly worth it. Despite the fact that it doesn’t come with a magazine (although one was produced). The model really holds up and has a great shelf presence, despite a few small inaccuracies. So props to Master Replicas for making it happen.

Master Replicas’ Caretaker’s Array model is built in a way that allows it to be modified into the smaller Suspiria’s Array. So that’s also a big plus in it’s favour as well. Presumably, Eagelmoss could have been thinking the same way. So we may have seen the smaller Array as a convention exclusive or bonus issue in the future, had they remained in business.

As they didn’t, you can currently pick up the Array from Master Replicas for Β£39.99 plus postage. The accompanying magazine can also be found around the internet in pdf format for those that want to read it. But the Array is only around while stocks last. Once these are gone, they’re gone!


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James Amey
James Ameyhttps://trekcentral.net
Self declared expert on all things Star Trek: Voyager, dedicated advocate for there being a right way, wrong way and a Janeway. Enthusiast of science fiction in all forms and writer of content for Trek Central.

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