Sunday, May 31, 2020

Galoob Star Trek The Movies Micro Machines Review

I've been wanting to move some Star Trek ships around a table in a mock battle, you may even call it a wargame. My problem is that I have all the Star Trek counters I'll ever need from the assorted Federation Commander sets I've bought over the years and while using counters is just fine I like to play with a little more pizzazz, I like to play with miniatures.

The problem with playing with miniatures is the cost. Everything sold by the makers of Federation Commander is available but out of print games like FASA Starship is a problem. The ships are hard to find in good condition and they are expensive. I've wanted to get my hands on a movie era refit Enterprise since I was a kid but I have a hard time paying more than 40 dollars for one miniature. If you go to the Amarillo Design Bureau (the Makers of Star Fleet Battles and Federation Commander) website you can buy a Federation Heavy Cruiser (The Enterprise's Class) for $7.95. The scale between the ADB Federation CA and the Micro Machines refit Enterprise is negligible so even the pickiest gamer shouldn't have a problem with that which means I can buy 5 of the same class of ship for the same money as one refit Enterprise.

There are other options out there including buying FASA clone ships of Shapeways and I will be purchasing some ships to review and play with soon so stay tuned for that. One option that always intrigued me was the Galoob Micro Machines Star Trek line. If you grew up during the golden age of Star Trek like me you'll remember that great ship line. I only had two issues with the micro machines, the scale, and the look.

Galoob Enterprise A on the left ADB Starline 2400 Federation CA on the right.

The scale for the different ships is all over the place. A great example is the Enterprise A and B from his set. The Excelsior-class ship is much bigger than a Constitution-class refit but these two ships are nearly the same size. A good way to tell is the saucer on the Enterprise B is actually smaller than the saucer on the Enterprise A miniature. It does bother me a little bit but unless these two ships were in adjoining hexes I don't think it will bother me too much.

Enterprise A on the Left and Enterprise B on the right.

Now when I say the look I mean two things. First The detail on these miniatures is great, better than either ADB minis or FASA minis. Because these were designed at a price point for kids the paint detail and decals are lacking to nonexistent. The other problem is with the plastic. Plastic is cheap and keeps the weight down but because of it some of the parts on the miniatures are warped. It is especially bad with the Federation ships nacelles. The Enterprise A that came with this set is probably the worst which cuts me deep as it's the model ship I wanted from this set the most. These two problems are the main reasons I never purchased these before, particularly for wargaming purposes.

FASA Reliant on the left Galoob Reliant on the right.

So after my complaining about why I didn't like the Galoob Micro Machines minis to use in wargaming?? Well, I found out that they released a couple of sets in pewter. I can take these minis and paint them just like standard wargaming miniatures. I bought this set new and had it shipped Priority 3-day shipping for under 20 dollars. That is 7 ships for under 20 dollars so each ship is only $2.85 a ship which is pretty cheap. The only issue I knew going into this purchase is that I'd need to buy some wargaming stands for them because the ones that these ships came with are for display only.

I like that the Enterprise D separates into two pieces.

Unfortunately for me as soon as I picked up the box I knew there was a problem and once I had the ships free from their cardboard spacedock I found out that these are just the plastic miniatures painted to look like pewter. To say I was upset was an understatement. In the end, I figure it is ok because you can never have enough miniature ships for wargaming. Plus the biggest reason for buying this set was for the starbase. I always loved the look of that huge Starbase One from Star Trek 3 and it is definitely my favorite in this collection.

Before I close this out I wanted to quickly mention that when I opened this, and the tape was all in place, was a certificate to join the Star Wars fan club. I'm sure it was just an accident as Galoob also sold a lot of Star Wars micro machines but now I wonder if they had a flier for Star Trek as well.

In the end, I'll admit that I was a bit disappointed when I opened this setup. Other than the warped plastic I really like the way these ships look, particularly the starbase, but I had wished for metal miniatures. If you're thinking along the same lines as me you can avoid these unless you don't mind the scale differences, poor painting and decals, and plastic construction. As far as my purposes go I'd give this set a 5 out of 10.

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