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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Home Port

I was looking through my mesh folders recently and I found this behemoth. I often forget about it, even though it was a lot of fun to build. Anywho, I thought I’d render an image with it. I’m considering animating it, though I’m not sure why as it has a lot of lights and takes a while to render (I guess just because I can. ;))

The Beast is Back

I was messing around earlier (procrastinating, mostly) and I was looking through my trueSpace folder and I found a mesh that I had forgotten about.  It seems like ages ago that I built it, but it was really only a couple years ago.  (when you’ve built a few dozen models, they kind of blur together after a while)  It’s one of my überprise models that I made.  Basically, the idea was to try and redesign the TOS Enterprise (blasphemy, I know) and try to “modernize” the design.  What I wound up with was a nearly 400 meter ship with 32 decks, two shuttlebays, loads of phasers, front and rear photon torpedoes, saucer separation capability, two impulse drives, automatic locks, power windows (though it’s best to not use those in space,) cup holders out the yin-yang, I mean this beastie fully loaded.

Anywho, I found the model and went “oh yeah, that one.”  😉  So, I decided to render some images.

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More Enterprising

Here are a couple more shots of this ship.  Since I rendered the last one, I’ve re-applied most of the textures using the same settings that I used for my Constellation-class v2 mesh.  Others (like the domes and nav deflector) are done similarly but slightly differently to create different effects.  I would have left the domes and deflector alone but they used environment maps instead of ray-traced reflection.  And, since the hull now has ray-traced reflections, the domes and whatnot had to have them also because tS7 has some kind of weird issue when you use a combination of environment and ray-traced reflections.  One or the other works just fine but when you turn on the ray-traced reflections with an environment mapped reflection in place, you get weird rendering artifacts every time.  It’s a huge pain in the ass.  So, I just went all ray-traced.  Technically, it’s more realistic this way anyway.

Next I have to tweak the lights.  There are some weird things happening with those.  Parts are due to the new material settings, others are just fugly things that happened when I rigged the lights that I never bothered fixing.


Here’s a new desktop.  I made the background (minus the flares) yesterday in Gimp but it took me a while to figure out how I wanted to pose the ship so that the light from at least one of the stars hit it at the right angle to light it up.  Unfortunately, this meant that the light from the other star hitting the ship had to barely be noticeable, so I picked the bright white one.  (you can see some of the purple hitting the port edges of the ship but not much)

And I definitely need a new computer case.  I got a CPU temp warning while I was rendering this. I added an 80mm fan to the rear fan port last week and that stopped me from getting warnings about the MB temp that I was getting while playing games with my graphics card being used heavily.  However, the CPU is still heating up a lot.  And, since I used the case from my Acer PC when I built this thing, it has the standard style of case you get with a pre-built desktop and they suck.  They usually only have 2 fan ports, the one in front which has a big piece of plastic in front of it and 5 little holes in the bottom to draw in air (which suck) and, of course, the fan port in the back just above the expansion slots.  However, that’s not good for airflow.  So, I want to get an Antec case with a filtered mesh front and 2x120mm fan ports in the front and a pre-installed 120 in the back and 140 in the top.  After I add a 120 to the front (which I already have) I should be getting good airflow.  🙂

Anywho, I’m probably going to render a few more desktops, how many depends on if I actually decide what I want to build.  I’m having a tough time finding something that screams “build me.”  😉

All I ask is a weird ship…

Obviously, this was inspired by the shot of the Enterprise-A from Star Trek V:  The Final Frontier.  Though, truly, the inspiration came from Deg3D, an artist who did a render that currently graces my Windows desktop of his (modified) TOS Connie and shuttle and the moon.  If you like 3D art and you don’t know who Deg3D is, check out his site:  http://deg3d.biz/ There were two shots from that scene, one with just the ship and the moon, the 2nd one had the ship, the moon and the shuttle approaching.  Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have the shuttle anymore that goes with this ship, so that will have to be redone.  I might build a new one from scratch or I might modify one, I dunno.  Anywyho, this is my twist on the shot without the shuttle.

Deep Space Sensor Array

I was messing around earlier and I bashed together another space station.  This one is a deep space sensor array & small Starbase combo station.  I was going to do a big scene with ships and whatnot but I made the background and decided to go a little more simple and center on the station itself and have only a single shuttle approaching.  I wanted to center the station just right so that it could be hit by both light sources.  After doing that, I realized that starships would just clutter the scene, especially since the station is made using starship saucers.  🙂