I.S.S. Enterprise

I’ve always liked the Mirror Universe in Star Trek. In fact, Mirror, Mirror is my favorite original series episode. I like some of the follow-ups that have been done, especially in the comics and Diane Duane’s TNG novel, Dark Mirror. I don’t really care for what they did on DS9 with the universe, but I really like the 2-part Enterprise episode that takes place solely in the Mirror Universe. I know a lot of people in fandom have done stuff with it. I love the Star Trek Continues episode Fairest of Them All, which is a direct follow-up to Mirror, Mirror that is set entirely in the Mirror Universe.

One of my favorite Mirror Universe stories is the DC comics mini-series known as The Mirror Universe Saga. It’s set in the movie era and directly follows Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. In fact, in the comic storyline, Kirk and his crew stop an invasion of the Federation from the Terran Empire, which allows Kirk to avoid a court martial for his actions in ST3, keep his rank and get command of the U.S.S. Excelsior. Of course, none of that sits well with Cpt. Stiles, the current captain of the Excelsior. (from ST3) Anyway, it was a fantastic story line that was, of course, retconned after the events of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. That’s one thing I never liked about the DC story line, they kept up with the movies but also kept making comics between the movies. So, they had to recon most of their “in between” story lines due to conflicts with the movies, of which they did many of the comic adaptations. (Marvel did TMP and there was no ST2 adaptation, since nobody had a comic license at that time)

Anyway, a lot of people like to do the TOS version of the I.S.S. Enterprise. One thing I don’t like about CBS Digital is that they had the opportunity to add Terran Empire logos to their CGI model for that episode, but they never did. A lot of people who build their own I.S.S. Enterprise models do, though. Some even go as far as to add the wing-like yellow markings from the Ent episodes, but I don’t personally like that look on the Constitution-class. So, you see a lot of TOS versions of the ship, but not TMP versions. So, since I love that comics series, I decided to do a TMP version of the I.S.S. Enterprise by modifying my TMP Connie model.

Like CBS Digital would later do, DC didn’t really change the ship much for the comics. It basically looked like the “Prime Universe” version, but with “I.S.S.” instead of “U.S.S.” on its hull. Well, I don’t see it that way. So, I did a total color change of the ship with some new textures. For one thing, I think the pearl white and duck egg blue and other “soft” colors didn’t quite feel right for a militaristic Empire. So, instead, I went with a darker, more militaristic theme. I went with a light slate gray for the hull, with dark slate blue and midnight blue highlights. I also changed a lot of the glow colors to alternatives to what the Prime Universe has, just for fun. And, of course, I added Terran Empire emblems and markings to the ship.

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Scout Refit, Pt. 01

I’m a little frustrated/fed up with working on the Romulan War Destroyer. I’m tempted to just jettison the thing and start over, maybe even make it not Romulan War Era. However, I haven’t decided anything just yet. So, I decided instead to work on something else.

I’ve started on a refit version of my Scout. This is to bring the ship in line with the TMP-era tech. Unlike the Enterprise “refit,” I didn’t want the hull contours and whatnot to change, which would make the ship look like a brand new model, like the Enterprise does. So, I went back into my Scout WIP saves and found my earlier versions of the saucer and secondary hull. This way, the ship will literally be the exact same design as the TOS version, but updated. I redid the shuttlebay area to make it more TMP-style and then set about adding a bunch of grid lines to the saucer and secondary hull. Of course, the nacelle pylons and nacelles had to be redone completely, but Matt Jefferies’ design notes suggested that these parts could be replaced easily. For the nacelles, I wanted to go with a TMP-era look, but not exactly the TMP design. So, I did my own design for the front part, where the back part is based on the TMP Enterprise’s nacelles. Anywho, this is where I’m at so far:

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Romulan War Destroyer, Pt. 04

More stuff. I added the bridge module (the dome will be added later) and some docking ports last night, I just didn’t post them. “Alien” was on Encore, so I listened to that while I was working, even though I have it on DVD. ;) Today, I did the line treatment to the bridge and added the navigational deflector.

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Now, to some people, the bridge and docking ports may seem a little “tall.” That’s because they’re realistically scaled. As I’ve said a whole lot of times in the past, scaling issues are a pet peeve with me. For ships built out of plastic, scaling issues are going to happen. It’s a fact. For example, the original Enterprise is full of them. Originally, the bridge was taller and there was only one line of windows in the teardrop and saucer edge. However, when they changed the ship for the series version, they shortened the bridge and added second lines of windows to those structures. With the ship scaled to its fictional measurements, the series bridge minus the dome is only 2.5 meters tall, which doesn’t match the internal sets. Likewise, there really isn’t enough room for two full-sized decks in the teardrop or saucer edge. But, that was the 1960s and, like I said, plastic models.

However, these things still happen. Even on a well thought out and designed ship like the NX-01, there are some iffy measurements. One great example is the docking ports. Scaled to its fictional length of 225 meters long, the docking port hatches, including the frames, are only 1.5 meters tall. As we saw in the episode “Vox Sola,” the hatch itself isn’t even that large. While it varies by country, the average height for men in the US and UK at present is 177.6 centimeters, which is 1.776 meters. I’m closer to 1.91 meters tall, and there are a lot of taller people than me out there. So, most people would have to really stoop to get through a less than 1.5 meter opening.

In my humble opinion, there’s just no excuse for scaling issues in CGI. Build everything at 1:1 scale and you’ll be fine. So, for my ships from this era, I’ve increased the size of the ports quite a bit. The door frame is 2.4 meters tall, the opening itself is 2.0716 meters tall. While some taller people will still have to stoop, at least not all of us will. (note: this series supposedly takes place 150 or so years in the future and average height will be taller by then, but that’s beside the point)

Also, I avoided putting docking ports on the saucer edge because I didn’t like how they looked. The port structure is nearly as tall as the saucer edge, leaving little room for an indentation.

Romulan War Destroyer, Pt. 03

Work continues on the nacelles and pylons. I got all of the grids and whatnot in both parts, which means I should be mostly done adding lines to the ship. I may add some on the bridge module, but that will be small compared to this. I also added the groove for the nacelle components. I went with only putting that on the inside. Since this is a warship, you’d probably want more heavily armored nacelles, like the Defiant on DS9 had. In fact, this ship’s small size and role in the fleet is very similar to the Defiant.

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