trekking with Stuart Blair

shuttle concept

shuttle concept

starship concept

starship concept

A few years back I was surfing the web and came across the Australian Star trek fan club. The site was rich with dialog and the fans from down under had become a big family that came together regularly to celebrate with each other something that was very special to each of them. I was intrigued by what I had read and had to drop a note to say hey.  I received an email a few days later from a guy Named Stuart Blair. He was president of the club and after a few more emails we became good friends. The club was just on the verge of  a change and Stuart moved on and started a new club called the Starship Mawson. Stuart Named the club after an Australian explorer named Sir Douglas Mawson.  Mawson was an Australian by adoption who was offered a place on Scott’s Terra Nova expedition but turned it down to lead the Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911 – 1914 sailing on the Aurora. Though less prestigious, this was a wide ranging scientific and exploratory expedition to previously unknown and unvisited regions of the Antarctic continent. It included a dramatic sledging journey that Mawson undertook with two companions, he was to be the only survivor, against the odds in appalling conditions.


above is the link to the Mawson home page. Anyways when Stuart was starting up his page I asked if I cold design their ship for them, and he so graciously let me do so. The first version was a shuttle that is from the same line of architecture as the Argo, and the second was a starship design that I wanted to try and convey a more exploratory look to the lines.  I think it still could use a little more refining, looking at them now I have reminded myself that I still need to put some more work into both of these to get em done. I am off for a couple of weeks so I’ll put these on the top of the list,,,, Also those lucky folks that are down in Sydney get one of the first peeks at the new Star trek film this Tuesday the 7th. You’ll have to write us and tell us what you thought of it!!!


43 Responses to “trekking with Stuart Blair”

  1. 1 BorgMan
    April 6, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Those are some wicked starship designs, especially the shuttle. I’m not a big fan of segmented nacelle pylons, but these work. Looking at it, I think it has a Luna class feel over it, the difference being that I do like this one better than the Luna as it is now…

    • 2 johneaves
      April 6, 2009 at 8:07 am

      I am not familiar with the Luna, I’ll go check it out,, Overall I think it needs some finesse, I like the overall layout but it does need some smoothing out.

      • 3 BorgMan
        April 6, 2009 at 11:20 am

        The Luna was made by Sean Tourangeau for the USS Titan design competition. There are a few among us who feel that the design misses certain… finesse, to say the least. I’m curious as to where you stand on that.

  2. April 6, 2009 at 1:40 am

    I like the long shuttlebay ramp of the USS Mawson, a shuttle approach filmed from the viewpoint of a shuttlecraft would be spectacular. I wouldn’t want to be the pilot of the shuttle during an emergency crashlanding however 😉

    • 5 johneaves
      April 6, 2009 at 8:08 am

      I like that tunnel-ish landing too,,, I loved the old battlestar Galactica landing ramp and did an open version here

  3. 6 Suricata
    April 6, 2009 at 1:40 am

    Wow, shes a beauty, look forward to someone havigna crap at modeling her 🙂

    Must admit since this blog has come up it’s injected a breath of fresh air into the Star Trek modeling community, you can only make the Enterprise so many times afterall 🙂

    • 7 johneaves
      April 6, 2009 at 8:10 am

      I am glad you like all the new ships and there are a lot more to come. I got a call from Shatner On Friday and he wants to design a fleet of new spaceships for something he has going on, so I am meeting with his group today!!!

  4. 8 JNG
    April 6, 2009 at 1:56 am

    An interesting starship design there, with many hallmarks of the Akira-class but fewer curves. The shuttle concept has a lot in common with the Argo shuttle; do you think those wings pivot?

  5. 10 Freak
    April 6, 2009 at 2:30 am

    I can really see the Argo in the Shuttle and akira is the Ship.
    Which is great as I love both.

    I read some where that the Akira held a complanet of fighters (a carrier of shorts), do you know if this what the Guys at ILM had in mind when the created her?

    • 11 johneaves
      April 6, 2009 at 8:14 am

      All of Yeager’s ships were designed to be a federation armada composed of distinctly different lines and profiles so as to stand out independently of one another in battle. I will try and reach him about these things and pass on all your comments for him.

      • 12 Freak
        April 6, 2009 at 10:19 am

        Thanks John.
        I appreciate that.

        It a shame that ILM lost Streamrunner and the other ship.
        I would have love to see more of them outside of First Contact.

  6. April 6, 2009 at 3:24 am

    That must have been a Club President’s dream come true – John Eaves offers to design their club’s starship. Very nice of you to do it, John, And great stuff as well. You certainly didn’t phone it in.

    As to Suricata’s comment, I totally agree. Seeing John’s stuff here has made me want to fire up Lightwave and try some stuff out. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • 14 johneaves
      April 6, 2009 at 8:15 am

      Stuart is a great guy and a very knowledgeable fan. I was very happy to have gotten to work with him on this.

  7. April 6, 2009 at 4:36 am

    Great designs!

    That shuttle just looks fast. And I love the greeble trench on the second one.

    • 16 johneaves
      April 6, 2009 at 8:16 am

      the shuttle was fairly stubby in the initial drawing but thanks to the rack feature in photoshop, she stretched out real good!

  8. April 6, 2009 at 4:46 am

    Love the Mawson. It sort of looks like the son with a bad attitude of Akira and Luna. And BTW, to the person who doesn’t like the Luna, you gotta be nuts. I love it!

  9. 18 DeanneM
    April 6, 2009 at 5:22 am

    >>Anyways when Stuart was starting up his page I asked if I cold design their ship for them, and he so graciously let me do so.<<

    As Don mentioned, Mr. Blair must have been thrilled by your offer. He probably passed the good news on to his club members right away!

    I love the Argo, and this shuttle looks like its slightly more bad ass brother. Thumbs up.

    • 19 johneaves
      April 6, 2009 at 8:18 am

      I still have to check out this Luna!!! and thanks. since it’s not a cargo ship it is slightly more on the aggressive side!!!

  10. 20 Don B
    April 6, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Beautiful design work on both the ship and shuttle.

  11. 22 Allen NB
    April 6, 2009 at 9:11 am

    >>Looking at it, I think it has a Luna class feel over it, the difference being that I do like this one better than the Luna as it is now<<

    I agree with BorgMan. The USS Mawson does look similar to the Luna class design for the Trek Titan book series. But the Mawson design has a much sleeker, cohesive and advanced look. More like the advanced Titan should look.

    GREAT STUFF! More views…more views.


    • 23 johneaves
      April 6, 2009 at 9:22 am

      Ok I just saw the luna which is also the USS Titan. Last Jauary (08) for the Star trek world Tour we built a huge practical miniature of this one and it was incorporated into the show… The tour was sold to a new company and they have split the tour so it can go to two different locations at the same time. I don’t know what happen to the ship because from what I heard that part of the show has been removed!

  12. April 6, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Dude, those are some sa-weet rides, as usual. Cool Trek art, and a bit o’ a history lesson. I loves me some history eh.

    Reminded me of the Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton story.

    Thanks dude! 😀

    Hope all’s goin’ well with yer lil’ one.


  13. 25 BB43MAN
    April 6, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Between this new ship and the ARCHER, I don’t know which one I like more! I’m looking forward to getting some orthos of these two. Beautiful work, John!

  14. April 6, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Just to ditto what everyone else has said, I really like the designs of both the shuttle and starship. It would have been very cool to see it the Mawson in the background somewhere in Nemesis as a supporting ship or something.

  15. April 6, 2009 at 10:35 am

    What a lucky guy to get an original Eaves as their flagship. Very nice…

  16. April 6, 2009 at 11:56 am

    I thought of the Luna straight away as well, although this design is much more balanced and well thought out. I think it gets across the feeling of an explorer ship very well. It looks powerful, but not aggressive and it combines lots of elements from other ships in a subtle way. The only thing I’d change might be the nacelles, which look kind of Klingonish (or Dominionish :)) to me. The shuttle’s really cool too.

  17. 29 Mr. Wilde
    April 6, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Hehe, you sure do like that shuttle shape. 😉 The Argo, this one, and there’s a shuttle in the Star Trek trailers that looks very similar.

  18. 30 johneaves
    April 6, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    The shuttles were my job on the new film and can’t wait to see how they look in motion… The snippets in the steller bail out sequence and the occasional flybys really have me buzzing!!!

    • April 6, 2009 at 1:31 pm

      Cool! I’m looking forward to your input and background information on the shuttle designs, before or after the release of the movie. Here’s what we know so far about the various starships (and the three types of shuttles, as of now) that appear in the movie:


      • 32 johneaves
        April 6, 2009 at 7:58 pm

        JORG!!!!!! man you have the in’s and out knowledge of a lot of things!!! I didn’t even know they had this up yet and I see two of the many shuttles in those grabs as well as my police cycle!!! how cool to see all this in the flesh!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

      • April 7, 2009 at 1:04 am

        Thanks for the kind words but I cannot take credit for this. Credit goes to Bernd for maintaining and updating the list and for all the people, of whom I’m only one, who send in things they noticed in the various trailers, which are the only source for the list as it is at the moment.
        What we do need for this list and for Memory Alpha, however, is official designations for the ships and shuttles. I hope the background ships (and classes) were given names behind the scenes, so we don’t have to create articles at MA and listings at EAS for “Unnamed one-nacelled ship #1” but can call it the “USS Sea Breeze” of the “Eaves class”.
        Maybe when the movie comes out, you can share some insights on the design of the police hoverbike or the others ships you designed. Some of the shuttles have a TNG shuttlepod or Star Trek V/Type 6 shuttle feel to them. Here’s a list of all the shuttles seen in the last 40 years:


        I hope the new shuttles will get designations like that too.

  19. 34 Andru
    April 6, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I suppose it’s too early to ask you about your work on ST:XI? In the trailers there are at least 3 different types of Starfleet shuttles, perhaps more, and we get to see shuttles in almost every other scene, it must be the most shuttle-intensive Trek movie ever!! 😉

  20. 37 FSL
    April 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    These look nice. What was your inspiration for this particular ship? It might be just me, but newer ships (TNG movies) seem to have a more Japanese anime feel to them. Was that intensional?

  21. 38 James_M
    April 8, 2009 at 4:31 am

    Wow! These designs are just inspiring. I’m starting to see some of them pop up in cg forums. I’m definitely giving one a go. Thanks for doing this.

    Best hopes to your daughter and family.

  22. 39 Tanru
    April 9, 2009 at 4:17 am

    That ship, and that shuttle are lovely designs!

    Tanru (also from Australia).

  23. 40 Big Will Cox
    April 9, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Do you have any other views of the Mawson by any chance? It’s a really lovely design. You sure outdid yourself on that one, John.

  24. April 9, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Hi, John.
    First of all, thank you for shearing your images and stories with us.
    Second but more importantly, I wish the best for your daughter and her recovery.
    Third, I’ve said some unflattering things about you and the modifications made to the Excelsior model for ST Generations, which you can read at


    And I still stand by them, but I realize now that the blame should fall upon the powers that were rather than on the art department.

    I want to call your attention on a design that you may find quite familiar. you can see it at:


    • 42 johneaves
      April 9, 2009 at 1:00 pm

      Hey there Gustavo, thanks for coming over and for the comments, We all here agree to disagree so no worries about unflattering comments,,, I am not made of glass or come from California so critique doesn’t leave me in a pathetic pile of jelly on the floor. But as far as the “B” I do have to take credit for what it tuned out to be, Everything was sctript driven and my job was to interpret what I saw the needs were.. There was no Budget for a new ship on this one and that is why it had to be a retro of something existing,,, I was very pleased that it was one of my Favorites,Bill George’s Excelsior!!!

  25. April 10, 2009 at 4:33 am

    Gday John

    This is the classiest vessel in Starfleet!

    Why? Because it’s our craft and we thank you for your fantastic artwork in the Star Trek universe and beyond.

    All the best mate.. and to everyone checking John’s site out, we send greetings!


    Stuart Blair
    USS Mawson

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