Phase II Enterprise

OK, this is the thing I’ve been working on, for those who didn’t get it already. I’ve always been intrigued by Star Trek: Phase II, the second attempt at a Star Trek TV series by Paramount that was doomed before it really got into production. Of course, the pilot episode became Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and many of the sets were used on the movies and even TNG, and some of the characters and stories were revisited on that show as well, but one wonders what would have become of Star Trek had that series gone through, as opposed to becoming a movie. We’ll never know because it didn’t happen, and everything worked out OK. We had the movies with the original cast, followed by TNG, DS9, Voyager, more movies and Enterprise. All told, a lot of good Trek, some of which likely wouldn’t have happened if Phase II had happened instead of TMP. Of course, the current state of Star Trek is sad, but at least we have hours upon hours of great shows and movies.

One thing I’ve always liked from Phase II was the model work being done at Brick Price Movie Miniatures, particularly the Enterprise model being constructed by Don Loos. Unfortunately, the model wasn’t high enough quality for the motion picture work as it was being built for television, so it couldn’t be used. Still, I love looking at Matt Jefferies’ sleek redesign for the ship, and at the 75% completed model that was being built. They were also working on a space dock that was significantly different than the one designed by Andrew Probert for the movie.

Anyway, I’ve built this ship before, but it’s been many years. As before, I’m using Jefferies’ updated drawings, cleaned up and made available by David Shaw. The drawings aren’t complete, but they give a complete enough view of what he had in mind for the Enterprise’s refit. There are also a few existing pics from the build in the Phase II book, which I of course have a copy of. In fact, I’m re-reading it while working on this. But, what I don’t have as far as references is where artistic license comes in. My goal is to do something between TOS and TMP, like maybe an intermediate design. Anyway, this is what I have so far:

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Da Sabers

Just in case anyone is curious, here are all of the lightsabers I have at this point in time.

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Left to right, top to bottom: Hasbro Force FX Black Series Luke ANH, Kyberlight, 2X UltraSaber Aeon V2, UltraSabers Dominix LE V2, UltraSabers Aeon V3, UltraSabers Dominix V3, UltraSabers Aeon LE V4, UltraSabers Dominix LE V4, UltraSabers Sentinel V4, UltraSabers Dark Sentinel V4, UltraSabers Initiate LE V4, UltraSabers Consular, SaberForge Acolyte, SaberForge Prodigy, SaberForge Phoenix.

Some of those are empty hilts, I’m in the process of doing things with them. The SaberForge Phoenix was empty when I took that picture, a week or so before I built the saber.

Return to CGI, Pt. 2

If anyone calling them self a Trekkie sees these images and doesn’t know what ship I’m doing, I’m going to have to ask you to turn in your Trekkie card. 😉

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The rear end of the engineering section is based on the one from TOS. I did it as close to the schematic drawings and the handful of pics of the incomplete model as I could, with a bit of embellishment of my own thrown in. That’s been the most time consuming part of this build so far.

Star Wars Action Figures

I forgot about these until someone on a forum mentioned action figures.

Back in 1999, I decided I was going to get all of the Episode I action figures. Don’t ask why, I just did. Anyway, I’ve had all of these in a box for ages, so I decided to take it all out and snap some photos.

That’s quite a group, I almost didn’t fit them all on the dresser. 😉

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TIE Fighters

Whassup, everyone? Sorry I’ve been a bit absent of late. Been busy with work and other stuff. I keep meaning to get started on a new CGI ship, but I haven’t found the motivation yet. My saber hobby has been progressing, but slowly. That stuff costs a lot more than the CGI. 😉 Anyway, onto the reason for today’s post.

Back in 2015, I kept seeing these ships in the store I work in. They’re the Hot Wheels die cast Star Wars ships, very cool. I kept saying I was going to get some, but then I never did, so then they were gone and I was sad. Well, new Star Wars movie coming out, new ships, yadda yadda. So, I picked up some last night. I decided to start with some TIE Fighters. I have Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced X1, Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer and the First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter. I didn’t see the original TIE Fighter from the original trilogy in the store, and it looks like they didn’t do my favorite in this run, the TIE Interceptor. So, I may have to see what I can find online. Anyway, it’s a start with this collection:

Saturday Morning Star Trek

Ah, the seventies. Who could forget it? Well, to be honest, I could because I was born in 1979. 😉

These days, most people know of the existence of a TV series in the ’70s that was a revival of Star Trek. However, this wonderful series was nearly lost to time, until it was put on VHS back in the late 1990s. Then, in 2006, after CBS acquired Paramount, they wanted to do a DVD release, so to gauge fan interest they did a fan poll to decide if the series should be considered part of Star Trek canon. Fan interest was there, and the series got a release on DVD, and that was fantastic. Fast forward to 2017, and you can get the box set for $12.99 in the U.S. on Amazon:

I love this series. For those who don’t know, here’s a brief history. In 1969, NBC messed up big time and canceled Star Trek, due to its old faulty rating system, which made it look like the show was a failure. When they re-ran the numbers in the early ’70s using better demographics, they quickly realized that the show in fact was winning their target demographic, males age 18-45. So, they immediately syndicated Star Trek. Hungry for more, they decided to do another Star Trek series, this time an animated series done by Filmation. What followed was essentially Star Trek season 4, a series of 22 half hour episodes aired on Saturday mornings. Was this the best move? Well, the series won an Emmy in 1975 for Best Children’s Series, so you be the judge. This was the first Star Trek Emmy win.

To me, it’s just a great series with some good writing. There was a writers’ strike going on, but only for live action shows. This meant a lot of writers were left with nothing better to do. So, many of the same people who wrote for TOS came back. All of the actors came back except Walter Koenig, though he did write an episode. Aside from their iconic roles, Majel Barrett, Nichelle Nichols and James Doohan provided a number of the voices for other characters, George Takei also voiced a few aliens. They replaced Chekov with a three armed and three legged navigator named Arex, who would have been impossible to create in the 1960s on TV. In fact, the series had many more aliens that looked nonhuman due to the much less limited animation format. Anyway, add it all up and you have a really good series, though it did suffer from a few technical issues, most notably coloring issues. (most animated show suffer from coloring issues)

Anyway, I was on Amazon the other day because I needed to order a couple things, and that box set was right there on my main page under my recommendations. I saw it, saw the price and had it in my cart before I even had time to think about it. So, now it’s all mine. The box is pretty cool, much nicer than a lot of Star Trek box sets. The white case is plastic, and the discs are inside in a thing that pulls out. I guess, with four discs, they figured they could go a bit more elaborate with the box. All said, it’s a steal at $12.99. 😀

Random

So, I went to Hobby Lobby the other day. Aside from trying not to salivate on the model kits, particularly the Rogue One ISD, Reliant, Enterprise 50th Anniversary model kit (original AMT model) and the Batwing from the 1989 Batman film, I noticed they had wood and metal wall signs on sale. So, I picked up something totally awesome:

It’s a metal sign, and Optimus Prime is actually punched into the metal, so he really pops out. The paint is nice and shiny, and it looks really cool. I’m a huge G1 Transformers fan, so finding this really made my day. 🙂

Battle Used Sentinel

I was going to do a long post for this, but my heart just isn’t in it. I’m amazed I even put this thing together yesterday, considering that I wasn’t really in the mood. However, I’m not one to waste resources, and I finally got all of the parts for this, so here it is:

Just a quick rundown on what I did: As I said in the video, the saber was a grab bag Dark Sentinel from Ultra Sabers. The soundboard is a Pico Crumble (Light Side version) from Plecter Labs. I’ve wanted to build a saber with one of those since they released it. The wiring on it was even trickier than I thought, mostly because I haven’t actually soldered to a printed circuit board since the mid 1990s and this thing is TINY. But, I got it all soldered and I’m actually amazed that it works. The switch is, unfortunately, bad, so I’m going to need to replace that. But, that happens with electronics. I used the same kind of connectors on my Consular, so I just tried the switches in opposite hilts. The Consular switch worked great in the Sentinel, while the Sentinel switch had the same kind of issues in the Consular. So, bad switch. The LEDs are quad Crees that are in red, green, blue, white. I ordered five of them on Ebay from Hong Kong at a lower price than TCSS charges for a single tri Cree. Plus, these have all of the LEDs in the center, allowing me to use the single LED optic, so no issues like I had with the Consular.

Anywho, that’s what I have. This will probably be my last saber for a while. I have a bunch of empty hilts, but they can wait until I’m more in the mood. Plus, this stuff is expensive. In pieces, not so much, but add those pieces together and it’s a lot. Look for the return of CGI in the near future. 😎