Howdy and good morning everyone, this is the piece that was created for the Ships of the Line calendar, and here is the process of how it came to be… Doug Drexler called and asked if I wanted to submit another piece for the 2011 calendar, and I was so happy to be able too. From a personal challenging point of view, I wanted to see if I could do the whole thing in Photoshop and thus I bit off more than I could chew because I had never taken on such a big task in Photoshop before….. It took a very long time to make everything work this way but I was very happy with the end result. What Doug needs to get the calendar going is a few ideas and then some sketches to pitch the concepts to Pocket books in New York. A big nod has to go to the USS Midway CV-41 for the inspiration from which the idea came. My friend, Nelson, and I had just had our first tour of the Carrier in San Diego after a week at Comicon and once we were below the flight deck, we were in the aircraft storage area of the ship. The bay was almost the entire length of the flight deck above and one incredible site to behold. I was imagining the E bays looking like this in my head but didn’t really think about rendering the concept until the calendar art was in the works.
The bay pictured in the drawing is the one situated at the back of the saucer. The first sketch shows a rough view of the angle and what the surroundings will be like. I drew the first pass in the wrong format so I had to add more length to the left side before I got the go ahead from Drexler. Once all was ago, I started the piece off with a very clean pencil drawing, did a scan and then began to texture and paint away. It was way hard to find grid and metal screen textures that were usable, and I spent more time researching than drawing at times, HAAA! I’m sure this is a big issue with those of you who live in CG and 3D land that you build more than you need. I did the same with putting a large amount of under the grates equipment below the floor line and once I put the shuttles on top of grates the details were all hidden. Lost a couple of days with that idea LOL. From there it was a lot of fun to find tons of LCAR screens to use, and I even found some deck crew from the carrier Enterprise CV-65 and dropped them in the background. After the piece was nearing completion and I was passed my due date, I started to drop the heavy shuttles on the opposite side of the bay and at the last minute left them out so the wall details could be seen. I went back and forth with this layer and in the end, I’m glad I left it turned off. The hanging shuttles were a fun way to fill space and add another layer of detail. The ships were designed to be the fighter group that were added to the ship’s arsenal after the Nemesis refit.
I have mentioned this loosely in past posts, but if the chance arises I name the shuttles after people that I highly admire. There are never enough shuttles to do this idea any justice so the names rotate as the drawings for the Trek films are being drawn. In every drawing I do, though, there is ALWAYS a shuttle named for the great “Siouxsie Sue” my all time favorite singer. Siouxsie has the most beautiful voice and many a drawing have been done with her music as the backdrop. In the early 80′s her first band was named “Siouxsie and the Banshees”, then in the 90′s the group changed their name to the “Creatures”. As of the present time, Siouxsie has gone solo and she only gets better with time!!! Love ya, Sioux. Next is the Yeager named after the great Chuck Yeager. Remember “the Right Stuff”???? Yeager is the test pilot who broke the sound Barrier in October of 1947 and is still flying today. The next shuttle was named after pilot Glen Edwards, Glen was one of the pilots that was killed in a test flight of the Northrup YB-49 (The Flying Wing). Muroc AFB was renamed Edwards Air Force Base in his honor in 1950. The 4th Shuttle was named after William J. Fox, another USAF General that has a small airport named after him in Lancaster, CA. A few days after the drawing was out of my hands, news came that my friend Robert McCall had passing away. This terrible news hit me hard!!! If this name is unfamiliar to you, Bob is the space artist from Arizona who is best known for his works on 2001 a Space Odyssey and his massive murals at the Smithsonian depicting NASA and the quest for space. I made a quick call to Doug and he let me replace the Fox shuttle with the McCall shuttle in Bob’s Honor. On an interesting note, except for Siouxsie all of the above men listed knew each other. Bob’s passing was a sad time, but it was so nice to be able to honor him in such a memorable way. So with that all said, Thanks go to Doug and a few of my heroes that got to be a part of the drawing. Enjoy, and more from the world of Trek to come.