The holo ships of Insurrection

Pass # 1 The saucer version

Pass # 1 The saucer version

The pufferfish, my favorite!!!

The pufferfish, my favorite!!!

I believe my motivation is obviously gone with this one!!!

I believe my motivation was gone at this point!!!

the forward bridge version

the forward bridge version

here she is!!! the most beautiful vessel in all the universe

AAAAAHHHHH, THERE SHE IS!!! there she is.

the orthos!!!

the orthos!!!

In Star trek “Insurrection” A Massive Federation Holo-ship was called for and the following sketches show the process of  how this one came to be. The early designs featured a saucer style ship, then transformed into a pufferfish, and finally a flying shoe box. The first two were my favorites and I didn’t really care for the flying brick, but it was what was chosen so I took most of the inspiration from Giant Oil tankers. In the first pass there was a bridge at the front of the ship and by the final design the bridge moves to the rear of the vessel. Jerry Goldsmith Composed the score for this one and I liked the metallic theme he wrote for it  much more than the final design. I also included the orthos but to achive the same look simply get a shoe box, spray it completely with super 77, and then roll it thru a pile of legos and old model parts!!!   HAAA! I am not really cranky if that is how your reading this,,, I was laughing and remebering all the silly horrors that came from this movie in regards to one of our supervisors… He was always changing the direction on which way things were to fly after the fact that they were approved renderings being built and lit in CG. This unnammed guy was really something!! (just wait till we get to the story of the Borg Sphere,, HAAA!-HAAAA! in advance) OH yeah and the unnamed guy also changed the scale of the ships from shot to shot!!! I can’t even remeber how many times I would have to run over to his office to try and correct all the insanity!!! It was during this film in particular that scale charts and directional arrows were attatched to EVERY drawing. There is a shot in the film where all the vessels fly under the camera to take orbit,, that is the closest to all the accurate scales. HAAAA!!! Remember that song from Seaseme street??? One of these things, doesnt belong here, which one is it,,,,can you tell??? Yeah that was his theme song. HAAA! what crazy days!   Sorry To all those waiting to see the pics of the 602 club,,I didn’t have time to scan the photos so it will have to be in tomorrow’s post.


30 Responses to “The holo ships of Insurrection”

  1. 1 Starship freak
    April 9, 2009 at 1:47 am

    You know, my favourite is concept 1 actually, the nacelles identical with the shuttle seen in the movie, nice touch i think. But the final approved one, it actually reminds me just a little of the merchantman from the early movie, especially with the bridge position. So, there you have a constructed design lineage from me!

  2. April 9, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Thanks for the great shots that show how the ship slowly developed. I can understand your frustration about the shoebox, the first designs really were cool! It would have been cool to see the pufferfish in CG!
    About the final design: It looks as if the warp nacelles could extende out of the main body of the ship when it goes to warp. Was that the intention? And is there a reason why no hull markings with registry or name appear on the outside of the ship? Don’t know, maybe it would have lessened the giant shoebox/torpedo vibe we get from that ship a little. If it has a name, you canna call it shoebox 😉
    Thanks again for including the orthos, those are truely appreciated, and: Happy Birthday! 🙂

  3. 3 gwilliams
    April 9, 2009 at 1:53 am

    The “Pufferfish class” is awesome. To me it looks like a 24th-century replacement for the Oberth class. I love how the lower half resembles the secondary hull of the Excelsior class. I wish you had a front view of that to show 🙂

  4. April 9, 2009 at 1:56 am

    Yeah, and the upper half looks a little like the Prometheus or Dauntless. Cool mixture

  5. 5 ST-One
    April 9, 2009 at 1:59 am

    The saucer-shaped version of this holo-ship is the one that makes the most sense… to me anyways.
    Great work on all those version though.

    And, Happy Birthday! 🙂

  6. 6 Lee
    April 9, 2009 at 1:59 am

    OK, granted it probably wasn’t the most satisfying design assignment, but this ship seems plausible as a concept if you assume that it was some sort of cargo ship, with a large hold fitted out with holo-emitters. If there had just been a name and registry (not NCC, maybe NAR or something like that) on it we’d probably all have been perfectly happy!

  7. 7 MikeZ
    April 9, 2009 at 2:10 am

    It´s always been a real shame. I would´ve loved to see a combination of the first two ideas. Although thanks to its bulkiness the third one would have made a great colony ship (land the big thing, disassemble it and you have a new outpost ready to go).

  8. 8 Andru
    April 9, 2009 at 2:16 am

    “roll it thru a pile of legos and old model parts!!!”
    Ahah very funny!
    I suppose TPTB didn’t want the holoship to scream ‘Federation’, so they went for an unmarked unremarkable freighter design. It’s a pity for the early concepts looked good! Was the NX registry of your own input or was it suggested by someone else?

  9. 9 PatrickK
    April 9, 2009 at 2:37 am

    I love the first two designs, too. The second one reminds me of the Sarajevo from ENT Daedalus.

    But the “shoebox” isn’t that bad either. At least in concept. The CGI version didn’t look that good.

  10. 10 Mick
    April 9, 2009 at 2:48 am

    Thanks John,

    I’d relay love to see some orthos of the saucer ship and the puffership as well if you ever get around to creating them. Thanks again,


  11. April 9, 2009 at 3:39 am

    THANK YOU!!!

    I too love that first design. I even tried to build it in 3D. But not thinking, I simply bookmarked the site that featured the image instead of saving it to my HD. When the site disappeared, my build stopped. I would love to see some orthos of that first one. The second one is very cool too. Fantastic work all around. They really should have used either of those first two instead of the box.

  12. 12 Freak
    April 9, 2009 at 4:15 am

    I really love the first two, The first is really my Fav.
    I always saw the brick ship as a non starfleet ship. Maybe a private cargo ship or something like that.

    Ozylot I remember you building that ship, you should really get back to it mate.

  13. April 9, 2009 at 5:08 am

    Well, I’l say this, for a shoe-box, that’s the über-coolest shoe-box I’ve ever seen dude!

    I wonder what kind of cool kicks it would hold? 😛

    Thanks much, and Deanne told me that this was your b’day the other day, so Happy B’Day dude!


  14. April 9, 2009 at 5:12 am

    And yeah, that pufferfish is pretty darn cool man. (Right into the build-list folder with it). Dude, you’re a veritable well-spring of coolness of design. Guess that’s why they hire ya , eh. 😀


  15. 15 DeanneM
    April 9, 2009 at 5:45 am


    >>It´s always been a real shame. I would´ve loved to see a combination of the first two ideas. Although thanks to its bulkiness the third one would have made a great colony ship (land the big thing, disassemble it and you have a new outpost ready to go).<<

    What he said! That really is pretty much what I was thinking. I also agree with Super Freak, as the nacelles of the first one do go nicely with the shuttles in STIX, as I call it. But I prefer the second one by a mile.

    And in keeping with my originality today :)…Happy bday!

  16. 16 the bluesman
    April 9, 2009 at 6:01 am

    I remember seeing these in the ST:Sketchbook. It’s iteresting that you first two cocnepts are outside the box design and concepts, and the approved versions is a…box.

  17. April 9, 2009 at 6:04 am

    Fascinating post, as always…




  18. 18 Ngagecloak
    April 9, 2009 at 6:14 am

    Love the first two designs! Hopefully, they can be inserted into another part of Trek lore…

    I for one think more of the Eaves fleet should make it into the page of future Ships of the Line calendars!

  19. 19 Mike Okuda
    April 9, 2009 at 6:18 am

    Happy Birthday, ya farmer!

  20. 20 Jonathan Burke (TrekBBS' Praetor)
    April 9, 2009 at 7:05 am

    I remember seeing these drawings in a magazine around the time ‘Insurrection’ came out and thinking that you probably weren’t happy with the flying brick. I can hardly blame you. The pufferfish ship is a gem! Like gwilliams said, I could see it as a 24th century Oberth.

    The saucer design is appearance-worthy, too… maybe a light cruiser of some kind. (In particular, I like how its nacelles resemble the nacelles of the big shuttle from the movie. Nice consistency.)

    I guess ultimately TPTB wanted the identity of the owners of the holoship to be more in quesion and be a surprise? Personally I’d have found a decloaking, distinctly Federation ship in a lake more surprising.

    Oh, and Happy Birthday and many happy returns! 😀

  21. 21 doubleofive
    April 9, 2009 at 7:18 am

    It’s great to hear that scale problems aren’t the fault of the VFX team, but some unnamed jerk who doesn’t know better. That always bothered me, how most shows have no sense of scale from one ship to the other!

    And Happy Birthday!

  22. April 9, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Pufferfish rocks! Compared to that, the final solution is a bit underwhelming.

  23. 23 evil_genius_180
    April 9, 2009 at 9:09 am

    I always preferred your first pass on this, though I never saw the puffy version before today. Now I’m torn between which I like better. Both of those are infinitely better than the flying brick, IMO, but you’ve got to give the people printing the checks what they want. 😉

  24. April 9, 2009 at 9:19 am

    I agree the box shape probably makes the most sense if you’re gonna use it as a hollow/holoship, so functionality wins. Also, it might be easier to keep things hush hush if you’re pulling some old freighter out of service for a special op, rather than a brand new explorer.

    The first two would make great additions to the fleet, though. Any idea what the slightly detached section on the back of the second one might’ve been?

    And a happy b’day from one John to another. 😉

  25. 25 Jonathan Burke (TrekBBS' Praetor)
    April 9, 2009 at 10:05 am

    I dunno, I think a saucer that’s just one big flying holodeck is as practical as a brick… but there’s something to be said for the ‘old freighter’ explanation. 😉

  26. 26 Big Will Cox
    April 9, 2009 at 11:06 am

    I have to cast my vote for the pufferfish design too. I like the elegance of it, and it just seems to “fit in” with the Next Generation aesthetic better than the brick design does. The saucer version is nice too.

  27. 27 Mr. Wilde
    April 9, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Insurrection, I think it’s a great movie!

    That holoship scene, when they discover it cloaked inside the lake, and you can only see the water, with an empty hole inside it, that was a great scene!

    It would have been cool to see the entire holodeck (deactivated), must have been a _giant_ hall filling the entire ship, right? But from what I remember, there was only a brief, static shot of it.

  28. April 10, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    I like all the versions of the ship. The box ship looks great in your drawings but looked awful in the movie.
    A few years ago I started a version of the shoe-box as a ship used by section 31. It wasn’t a holoship but something they could go around and do their dirty deeds unseen. Unfortuneatly I lost in in a hard drive crash.

    I didn’t do an exact copy, but that wasn’t what I was going for.

  29. April 13, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    I agree with PatrickK. Your sketches of the “shoebox” are not bad at all. They have a still reasonable level of greebles and recognizable warp engines. I wonder why the CG model doesn’t follow the lines of the sketch more closely.

    • 30 johneaves
      April 13, 2009 at 1:22 pm

      It probably was a time issue!!! These poor guys at Santa Barbara were put thru the ringer with all the changes and no constants to follow. All the lines are on the mock up model so I would bet it was not enough time!!!

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April 2009

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