the ship scales of Insurrection

 Here are some drawings that were needed sooner than later on this wild, out of control picture.  I felt so bad for everyone at Santa Barbara, Blue Sky, and Hunter Gratsner, who had a daily change in scale and ship direction!!!  These drawings were quickly put together to remedy the problem, but they did little to no good to help any of the visual effects folks trying to get their shots and hard work to have a consistency.  I saw many of the FX crew blasting out of the building, screaming and running naked out into the surf only to be devoured by the sea and never to be seen again.  If you all will remove your hats and give a moment of silence for those lost in the line of VFX duty,,,,,,,,, daaaaaaaa, da, daa!


Yacht scale sheet

Yacht scale sheet


holo ship scale sheet

holo ship scale sheet

Sona battleship scale sheet

Sona battleship scale sheet


collector scale chart

collector scale chart

overall size comparison sheet

overall size comparison sheet

45 Responses to “the ship scales of Insurrection”

  1. 1 Lee
    April 14, 2009 at 1:46 am

    I didn’t realise the Holoship was that large!

  2. 2 Adam
    April 14, 2009 at 2:57 am

    Hmm I didn’t see the movie (any of Star Trek actually) but the drawings are really cool. The Sona ships are very unique but no wonder people got confused about them 🙂
    Sadly I don’t have a hat for those guys …

  3. 3 Melak
    April 14, 2009 at 3:06 am

    Wow, the scenes in the movie didn’t convey how large that Holoship really was! Yeah they had a holo-village in there, but you could fit a sizeable piece of city in there with no problem!

    Also, the Enterprise looked a fair bit smaller when it rushed along the side of the collector.

    Thanks for posting these!

  4. 4 Freak
    April 14, 2009 at 3:36 am

    Wow the hollowship is massive. I am with the others. I really thought it was a lot smaller than that.

  5. April 14, 2009 at 3:36 am

    I’ve always loved the sona ships. Would love to see some more of those if you get some time. Very nice work! Thanx for sharing!

  6. April 14, 2009 at 4:28 am

    I love scale sketches. Thanks!

  7. 7 Mark A-C
    April 14, 2009 at 4:32 am

    I love scale sketches (and starship comparsion charts) too!
    These are great.


  8. 8 Boris
    April 14, 2009 at 4:42 am

    Second that. More scale charts! 🙂

  9. 9 bender23
    April 14, 2009 at 4:50 am

    Those scale charts are quite cool to look at – especially considering the Ent-E is one of my favorite starships. Are there higher resolution versions available?

  10. 11 DeanneM
    April 14, 2009 at 5:33 am

    What they’ve all said! Great to see the scale sheets, in particular for me the Holoship Scale Sheet, but I can’t enlarge it and make it out so higher res would be nice.

    I think both the yacht and Sona ships are nice to look at, but these sketches made me appreciate them more. Now I have the the urge to watch it again and check out these ships in more detail.

    I keep looking for something I can have a negative opinion on, but it’s a rare thing on this blog!

  11. April 14, 2009 at 5:52 am

    The shuttles are usually my favourite ships in Trek, so it was great to have three brand new ones in this movie. Looks like some artistic license was taken with the scale of the Ent and the Son’a collector when it exploded at the end, but that made for a pretty cool shot (although it didn’t feel entirely like something from a Star Trek movie, I must admit).

  12. 14 JNG
    April 14, 2009 at 6:02 am

    First of all:

    “I saw many of the fx crew blasting out of the building, screaming and running naked out into the surf only to be devoured by the sea and never to be seen again.”

    Best sentence of the blog so far.

    Moving on, thanks to Mr. Eaves for posting these cool drawings, but my eyes aren’t quite up to the challenge of picking out the little length numbers for the holoship, shuttle, and scout! Can anyone help me out with this? Thanks in advance!

  13. April 14, 2009 at 6:04 am

    Scale is nice. It’s cool nowadays, as you can build everything in CG “life-size” and then mesh are all to proper scale to each other. However, you do have to know what that size is going into building and painting.

    Although, I have heard tell the when you make a world too big, some CG programs can go a bit wonky.

    The Blue Sky you mention… is that the same upstate NY studio that brings us the Ice Age films and Horton Hears A Who (among others)? If so, I didn’t know they were into doing space VFX. If so cool, I’ll send ’em me reel, eh.

    Thanks dude, mega-cool stuff as always. 😀


  14. April 14, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Ya know, the yacht, esp. it’s side profile, kinda reminds me a touch of the TAS Copernicus shuttlecraft, as seen in TAS: The Slaver Weapon. Any conscious influence there, John?


  15. April 14, 2009 at 7:41 am

    BTW, do you have a larger/higher-rez version of the orthos of the yacht?

    Thanks. 🙂


  16. 24 evil_genius_180
    April 14, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Wow, I knew those Son’a ships were huge but that battleship scale image says it all. Thanks for sharing these, I love Insurrection (though, truth be told, I love all Star Trek. ;)) I remember seeing those Son’a ships on the screen in the theater and thinking that the Enterprise was overmatched, but we never really got a good image of just how much larger they were until now. Fortuately, Riker “rarely uses conventional tactics” ~ Data.

    Those Son’a ships are definitely some masterful work, I thought so back then and I still do. 🙂

    • 25 john eaves
      April 14, 2009 at 9:04 am

      yeah the “E” was quite out sized but Riker was flying so not much of a match for a bunch of face lifted Aqua Velva’s!!!

      • 26 evil_genius_180
        April 14, 2009 at 7:32 pm

        Imagine what they’d have done with Picard at the helm. 😉

        “I did what any good helmsman would have done…”

  17. April 14, 2009 at 9:06 am

    john eaves: I’ll scan all of these from the originals and and also the ones that are not here so you can have a better view.

    Thanks dude, you da man! 😀


  18. April 14, 2009 at 9:11 am

    john eaves: you have the eye,,,, I’ll go and check this one out!!!

    Here’s a link, but you’ll have to copy and paste it into your browser as Bernd understandably doesn’t allow hyper-linking off his site.


  19. 29 Fluxfire
    April 14, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Absolutely amazing! can’t wait to see more.

  20. April 14, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Granted, It’s not a HUGE similarity, the side profile just reminded me of it a bit, them both being kinda pointy, and the nacelles ridin’ the dorsal edge.


  21. 31 Jonathan Burke (TrekBBS' Praetor)
    April 14, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Wow, John, thanks for this. I didn’t realize the holoship was so big, and the collector looked so much bigger in the movie when the Enterprise did that weird flyover. I guess someone wasn’t paying attention to your notes! Into the surf indeed. 🙂

    I have to say, I love the nacelles on the yacht and the shuttle – how they are basically the TNG-style nacelles but with the wide part of the blue grille at the back, and streamlined. I always really liked those nacelles in particular, and the ships they were attached to.

    I remember reading about how you meant for the Son’a command ship to fly the other way but whoever saw the drawing thought it was flying the other way and had you reverse it. I think I liked the way you had it before, too. Were the Son’a ships meant to have been the ships the Ba’ku first came to their world in, and Ru’afo and his minions stole them when they left?

  22. 32 Suricata
    April 14, 2009 at 9:22 am

    It must drive you nuts John, when you see a creation get beautifuly made as a studio model or CGI and then see it get raped during the vfx stage either with bad scaling or bad vfx, like having weapons fire from lifepods after you spent hours tweaking weapon systems on a design or via bad scaling like in Insurrection. I understand the artistic licence comes to play a little bit, like the Enterprise swooping down over the collector in insurrection, or in First Contact having the Enterprise dwarf the Defiant, , it wouldn’t of been as dramatic if the ships were done to scale, but it still must get under your skin!

  23. 33 Mr. Wilde
    April 14, 2009 at 10:25 am

    I think those Son’a ships are the coolest alien ships ever created for a Star Trek movie. I would have loved to see much more of these huge battle ships.

  24. 34 Freak
    April 14, 2009 at 11:09 am

    I think what stand out for the Son’a ship, compaired to the other alien ship in Trek, is that their design is so Alien. with the others you can see the influances from the world around us. A perfect example is in the Klingon BOP

    The only ship in Trek that is as alien as the Son’a is the Breen. If I recall you desgined them as was well John?

  25. April 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Great stuff, but you have a huge amount of blank space under the images before the text of the post making us all have to scroll for a good 2 pages or so.

  26. 38 Don B
    April 14, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks for the size comparisons.

    Would it be possible to see a comparison chart of a Federation ship (maybe Enterprise-E?) with the Breen ship shown on DS9? Maybe a side profile as well? Please o’ please…

    I love both the Son’a ships and the Breen vessel, but it is often hard to see details.

  27. 40 Don B
    April 14, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    On an genetically related note…continued blessings for your daughter and the Eaves household.

  28. 41 BB43MAN
    April 14, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    I really liked the look of the Sona ships, especially the battleship. Oh, and just a reminder, as you requested, how about the orthos of the ARCHER? What would the size differential be between the E and that ship? Hope you had a happy Easter!

  29. 42 Matt Boardman
    April 14, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Awesome! The yacht was one of those models that I wish had been given a little more screen time. After 7 years of being told it existed in TNG, we finally got to see it! I suppose something was better than nothing at all! 🙂 I’m curious to know what your inspiration for the Son’a ships was. I thought they were fantastic!

  30. 43 LarryN
    April 15, 2009 at 12:23 am

    Of course, the Official ST Fan Club offered an exclusive, a small model kit of the yacht–all done directly with John ‘s help. A sweet little model.

  31. April 15, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Nice comparos, definitely not the only one to be a bit surprised by scale of things.

    On another note I have a few questions regarding details on this design,


    I have not been able to successfully post to that entry. I guess it is too old or something.
    Any hoo I have questions regarding those slotted grills on the inset of the saucer and weather or not the yellow glow in the central pit is a shuttle bay or a impulse engine. I was also wondering if you had any other views of this design. Currently modeling it and Im stuck on the nose and underside.

    Since I see your a member on SFM this is the WIP url

    • 45 Suricata
      April 15, 2009 at 1:34 am

      In regards to the Holoship, is the scale completely correct? I’m just looking at the bridge at the back which suggests is would be slightly smaller?

      I’ll have to add to Madkoifish’s comments on another STO design as well, the Donut Science vessel from last month, could you provide a larger image of the plan views of it? I’m not sure if you look back at the older blog entries hence why I ask here.

      I’m going to attempt to model it without the pod, since I don’t think it flows with the design to well, still working out bussard collectors and the like, the underside will be fun to attempt, you can see the WIP of it at:-


      Would love some feedback on it, more so since from your comments about the design, you talked about not liking the pod either, so would be interesting to see what direction you wanted the ship to take 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

April 2009

%d bloggers like this: