Depending on your stance regarding pop culture memorabilia, the word “replica” can either mean a painstakingly crafted, timeless piece of nostalgic art, or it can just mean a glitzy overpriced toy. No matter how you look at it though, this QMx Artisan Star Trek: The Next Generation D Replica is no toy, even if for no other reason than if you try and play with it, the owner is going to beat the shit out of you. Because it costs $10,000. Well, $9,995 to be exact, because no one rounds up in the future.
The model, which can be purchased here, is built to 1:850 scale, based on exact measurements and dimensions of the studio miniature used in filming the TV show. It measures 29.5 inches long x 22 inches wide x 6 inches high. The base measures 34 x 26 x 1, and is mirrored to show off the ship’s underside. Buyers can customize the base’s color and center insert, and can also add an engraving, for an extra charge. Mine would probably say, “Sold my car for the ship. Sold my dog for the engraving costs.”
The lights you see are part of a custom-built electronics system that includes over 100 LEDs and sound effects. Photon torpedoes, phasers, and engines are all operational. For a toy, they’re underwhelming, but for a $10,000 model…well, they’re still underwhelming. The ship itself, which takes six men 200 hours to create, is made entirely on site from fiberglass, polyester resins, epoxies, acrylic, and styrene, and is layered in hand-painted automotive paint. It’s operated by remote control, but uses a 12-volt transformer, so anyone expecting something entirely wireless will be disappointed.
For those whose pocket money covers the cost, this is a pretty spectacular piece of craftsmanship. There’s something about those tiny docked shuttles that amazes me, like a prayer written on a grain of rice or something like that. It’s admirable work. Just not to my tastes or bank account.