Badges? We don’t need no….

No, seriously, badges are cool. Especially when you’re talking about Star Trek badges. I used to see where they’d sell the Star Trek badges and rank pins, etc, especially back in the ’90s, but I could never buy them back then, being a teenager and all. Plus, that was before online shopping and you had to mail order a lot of stuff like this. But, now we have Ebay. I found this little beauty on there:

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Now, the copyright on the back is 1992 and the seller says it’s new. I know these were produced for a number of years, so it’s possible to have unopened stock from back then. It’s also possible this is a recast copy from China. I really have no idea. It wasn’t in any kind of packaging, but I don’t know if they always were, especially if they were for a convention or something. I’ve seen some stuff like this selling on there with the old “Star Trek: The Experience” packaging. I know a lot of stuff like this was officially reproduced for that. Either way, I like it, it’s cool. I love the TWOK style uniforms, and I’ve always liked this badge. I’d love to have a TWOK style jacket, but I don’t see that happening. All the ones I’ve seen are prohibitively expensive, plus I have issues finding jackets with long enough sleeves. If they’re not available in tall sizes, it’s a crap shoot. So, I’ll be content with the pin. 🙂

By the way, getting a pic of this was a bitch because it’s so shiny. The flash just made it dark, so I had to take the pic without it. Having it not reflect my phone and everything else was a chore too. So, I took a photo in relatively low light and then played with the brightness and contrast in GIMP.

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Excelsior-Miranda Hybrid, Pt. 02

Well, today was fun. Doing some effects work, which is a long process, especially since I’m venturing into stuff I’ve never done before. But, I was done fiddling with the shot I’m doing for today, so I decided to tweak this thing a bit. Specifically, the roll bar and warp pylons.

I took some suggestions and changed things a bit. I rounded the top and bottom quite a bit, much like how the pylons on the Enterprise refit, Reliant and Excelsior are. They’re not just flat surfaces, they have a roundness throughout the length, much like an airplane wing. My old roll bar and pylons had a bit of this, but not as much as the new ones. I also gave them more of an outward angle than they had before, which puts the nacelles out a bit wider. The pylons also “sweep” forward, where the didn’t before. I also lengthened, widened and shortened the height of the nacelles.

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Like the title says, it’s a blend of the Excelsior and Miranda classes. I’ve had this thought lately that, if they hadn’t had to be so budget minded on TNG, we may have seen some more models that were era appropriate than ships like the Miranda class and Oberth class, ships which were obviously much older and probably shouldn’t be in such heavy use, at least not by Starfleet. Even the Excelsior, which was brand new and ready for test runs in 2285 was a bit of a stretch to still be in use 60 years later. But, that’s what they had. However, had they not had such budget constraints, we may have seen some more “logical progression” of ship lines. IE: if the Constitution class was replaced by the Excelsior class and the Miranda class was built using the same tech as the Constitution class, doesn’t it stand to reason that a successor to the Miranda class would resemble the Excelsior’s technology? I think so.

Anyway, I started on this yesterday. It’s still pretty rough so far, but you get the idea. I’m not a fan of “blocking in” when I build stuff, so all of this is on its way to being finished components. (In my opinion, you just do more work when you block in stuff) So far, there’s nothing too fancy. It’s mostly a lot of box modeling, some subdivision and a lot of edge rounding. The bridge module isn’t a permanent piece, I just grabbed that off of my Constitution refit in order to have it as a size reference for adding things like the pod.

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Tech wise, it’s Excelsior-ish, but not exact duplicates of the Excelsior components. I don’t want it to look like a kitbash. It’s considerably smaller than the Excelsior, but that is to be expected due to its compact design. Right now, it’s around 276 meters long and 150 meters wide. I don’t remember how tall it is. It only has about 10 or so decks, not counting the pod. And, it has a navigational deflector. One thing that bugs me about the Miranda class is the lack of a deflector. Instead, they claim those field attraction sensors are a deflector, even though the same elements on the Constitution refit aren’t the deflector. So, I put one in the pod. With the size of the thing, there’s still plenty of room for torpedo launchers.

So, that’s where it is right now. More later. 🙂

Scout Refit, Pt. 09

I wasn’t in the mood to do any modeling yesterday, but I got a start on the textures. I’m far enough along that I can do that. Aztecs and whatnot take a while to make, so I figured I’d get a start on them. So far, I’ve only done specular maps and only on the saucer and engineering section. Fortunately, since the ship is so small, I only have to do Aztecs for the pylons and nacelles and then it’s done. I wanted to recreate that look they had on the Enterprise refit in TMP, where the Aztecs were painted with iridescent paint. When you shone a light directly onto them, you couldn’t see them. However, put the light on the other side of the model and they pop. So, I’m only adding Aztecs to the specular channel, which creates this effect. I may add a slight hint of paneling by putting them in the color or diffusion channel at a low setting, or I may leave them as is.

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Scout Refit, Pt. 06

I’m at the small details part of the build, so expect my updates from here until I start the textures to mostly feature little changes. Much of the detailing on the refit E and Reliant is small, barely noticeable stuff, so I want to do lots of that stuff. In fact, one of these days, I need to go back and add a lot of that stuff to my refit, since I was rushed when I built it. I realized my forward windows on the structure under the bridge were in the perfect spot for me to add the upper forward registry lights, so I nixed those and added the lights. I also added the lights to the sensor doodad on the bottom and added phasers and a bunch of other little knickknacks.

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And, in the “Fook Mi, that was fast!” department, (people who know the Austin Powers films should get that reference) I got my new command office chair today, so I’m sitting comfortably. Lumbar support is awesome when you have a bad back. 😀 I wasn’t supposed to get it until next week, so it was a great surprise when the UPS dude showed up with it earlier.

Scout Refit, Pt. 05

I’m determined to finish something before the end of the year. So, since this model is nearest to completion of all of my WIPs, I figure I have a great shot of getting it done. Unfortunately, I can’t stand to work on it too long in single stretch because my office chair broke, so I’m on a folding chair until my new one arrives from Amazon. (it’s padded, but it’s not as comfy as an office chair and it’s too short)

Anyway, I added the rest of the windows and I added the impulse engines. I also added the interior.

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Scout Refit, Pt. 04

I got some helpful feedback on the deflector, so I made some changes. I made it more the shape of the cut out in the saucer. I also decided to do a bit of a Next Generation inspired thing with the copper section in the middle. It’s hard to say when this ship was refitted. Since a scout would likely be less of a priority than a big ship like the Enterprise, it may have been much later. I’m not that happy with that color of blue, but I’ll change it later.

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