For any who are curious, I’m currently in a creative block on the Interceptor. It will get finished, eventually. (it’s not like it’s going anywhere :P)
I’ve been playing Star Trek Online again recently. I wasn’t going to go back to it, but I was on my tablet on Scifi-Meshes one day and I saw an ad for it and decided it sounded fun to play again and it has been. So, I was (slowly) warping through the Sirius Sector Block the other day when I had a flashback to fun project I was involved with a couple years ago.
Back in 2011, I was contacted by Steve Neill about a film project he had in the works and he wanted to use a couple of my models in it. Naturally, I was flattered and happy to help. The basic plot was that the Enterprise was in Spacedock following its big, bad battle with the Romulan bird of prey in Balance of Terror and Captain Steve Neill was aboard for a routine shakedown to make sure she was running as intended. During the shakedown, the Romulans (out for revenge) attacked and destroyed another Federation starhship, the USS Drexler (guess who was playing the captain ;)) and then they turned their guns on the Enterprise, with only Steve and his faithful dog Rosie aboard. Anyway, Steve had to wind up fighting the Rommies and it sounded like a blast.
The film was going to be a blend of live action and CGI. The live action footage was filmed in Steve’s garage, with the exception of Doug Drexler’s bit, which Doug filmed himself (showoff. :P) There were even plans to use Steve’s wonderful scratch built 66-inch Enterprise in the film, but there was a problem with getting the camera rig or something, so the show had to unfortunately go full CGI for the ships. Fortunately, Steve had a cadre of talented CG artists, including himself, his good friend Matt Boardman, (of BSG fame, among other things) Tony and Alex Bruno, Dave Clarke, (aka IRML) and Craig Frey, (aka Buckaroohawk) who had done the unenviable task of converting one of my TrueSpace Enterprise meshes to 3DSMax, which was apparently easier for the Lightwave artists to deal with. Craig also provided a wonderful Romulan ship for the project. My role was limited to providing new textures for said Enterprise mesh, which was pulling double duty for the Drexler and Enterprise, as well as converting one of my drydock meshes to .obj format and sending that to Steve, and retexturing and sending over a shuttle to use. It wasn’t much as I was using TrueSpace at the time and I’m not good at animation, but it was fun to be part of a labor of love project like that. Unlike a lot of the work being done in Hollywood, this was work being done by real Trekkies who cared about what we were doing.
After a while of working on the project, Steve decided to use the film we were working on as a springboard to launch his own fan film series. The show was going to be called Star Trek Sirius and was going to follow the further adventures of Captain Steve Neill on his “new” command, the USS Sirius. Here a link to a post on Steve’s blog with some wonderful renders of the ship that Steve designed and built to take on the title role:
And, I even managed to dig up the web page that Steve made for the project:
(both links open in new windows/tabs)
Unfortunately, the sands of fate have not been kind to the project. Steve got involved in other projects (including ones that make money ;)) and various real life factors that I won’t go into put the series into an early grave. Steve and Matt are still working on the effects for the film, so there is hope that we will one day be able to watch it. Unfortunately, both guys are super busy and neither has had much time to devote to finishing the film.
Anywho, so there I was flying (slowly) through the Sirius sector block when I thought about this project and the good times we had working on it. So, I whipped out my tablet and found some images of the ship. My first thought was “I’ve got to build one of those.” Then I thought about how I’ve always wanted to do my own Star Trek series, and I’ve had similar ideas in the past to what Steve was proposing for Sirius, so I thought it might be fun to develop his idea further. So, I shot him an e-mail and he gave me the go-ahead to do just that.
What does this mean? This means I will be writing stories. I lack the knowledge and facilities to make movies. I could do a comic type thing, but even that would take a long time. These will be “episode” type short stories that I’ll write (don’t worry, I’ve taken classes on creative writing) and release in .pdf format. There will also be some illustrations, at least of the ships. This will be a long term project juggled among other things, so don’t be expecting to see anything released very soon.
The first thing I’m doing is working on the ship. I’ve already built a nacelle:
The nacelle is mostly “canon,” only the end cap is different. I used Charles Casimiro’s Enterprise blueprints to make it and it is to scale with the Enterprise. I’ll use that to scale the rest of the ship.
So, this is what I’m going to be working on for a while. It sounds like an ambitious project and something that might get me out of my creative funk.
On a final Sirius related note, I have to give props to friend and fellow artist Robert Wilson, aka Xfozzboute, for the wonderful model of the Sirius that he’s been working on. Rob’s work is always inspirational: