the breen ship and my wife tara

version 1

version 1

pass 2 and the "T" shape is starting to form

pass 2 and the "T" shape is starting to form

the first hard lined design

the first hard lined design

this highlights the "T" shape and the overly obvious paneling that make up tara

this highlights the "T" shape and the overly obvious paneling that make up tara

 a catamaran twin "T" design!

a catamaran twin "T" design!

the correct direction of flight

the correct direction of flight

ohhhhh the other (wrong) direction!!!!!!

ohhhhh the other (wrong) direction!!!!!!

WOOOO-WEEEEEEEE the asymmetrical idea

WOOOO-WEEEEEEEE the asymmetrical idea

top view and the "T" shape!!!

top view and the "T" shape!!!

this was the plan that got the final approval, a wild little layout.

this was the plan that got the final approval, a wild little layout.

high 3/4 view

high 3/4 view, unsegmented

this final drawing segmented the surfaces from the wings

this final drawing segmented the surfaces from the wings

this is the bridge detail for the first asymmetrical design

this is the bridge detail for the first asymmetrical design

the beautiful CG model by the Mighty Drex

the beautiful CG model by the Mighty Drex

Penumbra #567 DS9,

AHHHHH these were the bright days of working on ST DS9. 1990 to 1997 were the dark years for me,,, To sum it up quickly,,,a bad marriage,,, as is for all of us geeks, and fan boy/girls, we uber-geek out to much and don’t date enough. Naivety  was the case here, and it made for a long, blurry, dark 7 years,,, OK now that the table is set we get to DS9 and the episode called Penumbra, well lets go back a few more months to “ST Insurrection” During the end of this one I took my daughters to Sunday school at our little local leona Valley Church, and I fell madly for their Sunday School teacher,,, It took a long time to get her to go out with me but she finally said yes and we went to the screening of Insurrection for our first date. Time flew by and I learned to smile again and we were engaged shortly after. DS9 was coming to the end of it’s 7th season and the assignment came to my desk to draw a new ship for an alien race called the Breen. I started to throw some sketches together  and quickly came up with the idea that I would base this ships architecture around the letter “T”,,, “T” as  in Tara,,, HAAAA!!!!!! So the designs started coming out in various stylized fashions, first in a symmetrical layout and then into an asymmetrical style that really thru the whole more into an Alien feel. The fighter version embarked on a “Y” style design and in the drawings you’ll see that it flies in two directions,,,, Yes it was another maddening scenario with that one supervisor that always tried to make things fly the opposite direction!!! UHG!!! I was burning out with these constant directional discussions. HAAAAAA!!! Anyways the ship went thru a considerable amount of changes until it hit the final multilayered aysemetrical design that was my fav of the whole bunch,,, Usually the one chosen is the drawing you like the least but this time it was the opposite. from there the Mighty Drex took over and started to model the ship,, This was the first venture on the show that we got to work on as a team,,, It was exciting!!! Doug really made a gnarly model and loved the color he chose to put it into!!! Oh those were some awesome times. In final the ship from it’s top view is of a very stylized “T” and it was a great time to make that one for my young bride to be!!! So with that there is a lot to see so enjoy and I have to get to work!!!

50 Responses to “the breen ship and my wife tara”

  1. May 21, 2009 at 8:29 am

    You and Doug really did the Breen justice with this ship. Perhaps one of my favorite Alien designed ships in DS9. I also like how you write names or letters into your designs at times. It’s fun spotting them.

  2. 3 Freak
    May 21, 2009 at 8:41 am

    The Breen ship where some of my favoirte ships form DS9. I love the fact they look so alien.
    I still have not figured out where the birdge is. LOL

    • 4 johneaves
      May 21, 2009 at 1:01 pm

      the bridge is the high elongated bubble on the top appendage,,,, Oh and thanks for the compliment too !!

  3. May 21, 2009 at 8:47 am

    I love seeing the way this design matured though the different versions, you can see how the componants slowey merged. Did you have any other directions you were following with the Breen ships? I can see that those initial sketchs have alot of similarities to the dominion ships, like the pincer style noses. I can see these took place over 2 days or so from teh dates, how long did Doug have to make the actual 3D model?

    I think I need to look at making an alien ship using my other halves name, pretty sure I could get some wild shapes going with the name ‘Josse’ 🙂

  4. 6 Don
    May 21, 2009 at 8:55 am

    At the end of DS9, everything got raised a notch or two, including the aliens. This is a perfect example of what I mean. With this approach, any “TNG-ish” stuff was officially left behind in favor of the new set of possibilities that CGI offered. This was a glimpse of what was to be, IMO. I love the asymmetrical structure of this baby. Very alien in every sense. And it fit with the Breen’s physical look, too. Armored and encapsulated.

    • 7 johneaves
      May 21, 2009 at 1:03 pm

      it was a fun time to see the beginning of CG,,,, the show could really got a deeper pool to jump into on what it could now afford to do!

  5. 8 Richard Knapp
    May 21, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Beautiful work!
    It must take a lot for you to put together these daily updates. I really look forward to your “ship of the day” and truly appreciated your taking the time to post them. Thanks!

    • 9 johneaves
      May 21, 2009 at 1:10 pm

      thanks Richard,, It’s not so bad setting up the page, Just finding time during the day to get on and share in the babblin is the hard part!!! HAAA!

  6. 10 Boris
    May 21, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Thanks – did you create any scale charts, or was that totally up to Doug Drexler or the VFX supervisor? I checked a couple of sources, and we don’t actually have a clue about its the size. 🙂

  7. 11 johneaves
    May 21, 2009 at 9:29 am

    The scale was a Doug and SVX descision, check yesterdays post because this ship is in a scale chart from I believe the ST fact files,,, Might also want to check with Berndt over at EX-Astris

  8. 12 Boris
    May 21, 2009 at 9:43 am

    Thanks, I just needed to know if you had a specific idea, because the designer’s size is important when it comes to double-checking VFX numbers. The number at Ex Astris (330m) is probably a visual estimate, since no specific source is given. I’ll keep looking.

  9. May 21, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Hello John,

    I love these ship designs of yours. I actually have a number of your drawings laminated to preserve them!

    I was glad to see your name on the new Trek!

    Say, can I get you e-mail address? I want to send a photo of the Jem Hadar battle ship that was nick-named the Lead Hadar.

    David Stipes

    • 15 johneaves
      May 21, 2009 at 1:13 pm

      DAVEEEE!!!! yes I’ll send it to you!!! Hows PHX AZ by the way???? I so miss my home town!!! What are you doing there??? did you retire or are you pursuing other ventures?

      • May 21, 2009 at 11:29 pm

        Hello John,

        Phoenix is great! Right now there is a gentle rain falling that is bringing out the wonderful smells of all the plants. I’m sure you remember the desert after a fresh rain. :^)

        For the past 9 yrs I have been teaching animation and visual effects at The Art Institute of Phoenix. We have one of the few BA programs for Visual Effects in the country. My students are winnig awards and have been filtering into the Hollywood vis efx scene! And … I am not retired yet … far too busy for that!

        Keep up the terrific work!

      • 17 DeanneM
        May 21, 2009 at 11:38 pm

        David, I couldn’t agree with you more about the fantastic and unusual May rain! After the very warm spring, this has been a lovely reprieve! I was traveling to Black Canyon City and back today and enjoyed being out in the rain. 🙂 I live in Ahwatukee…FYI.

        I have had a friend or two at AIP and they both liked it very much! I’m at UAT as a student, if you’ve heard of it, not sure you would have.

        Your post popped up in my email as I was checking it for the last time tonight…hope you don’t mind my interruption. 🙂

      • May 21, 2009 at 11:46 pm

        Hello DeanneM,

        I have heard of UAT!

        Not an interruption at all! You appear to be a John Eaves fan! I’m proud to be a part of that group, too.

      • 19 DeanneM
        May 21, 2009 at 11:54 pm

        Definitely a fan, and old friend, too. I’d like to take a look at some of the things you’ve done, David. Do you have a site?

  10. 20 Scott
    May 21, 2009 at 10:39 am

    It’s funny how some everyday things can be the greatest of inspiration.

    But you know, if you have to come up with new Cardassian starships, you could reuse this concept art. #1,2, and 3 would look like futuristic Cardassian designs. And #4 (The Catamaran) would be a cool Caradassian Battleship design.

    • 21 johneaves
      May 21, 2009 at 1:15 pm

      Your so right!! they all have a Cardassian feel to them and could with a slight amount of detail fall right into the Cardi Armed forces!!!

  11. 22 DeanneM
    May 21, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Oh, that is SO cool! If that having a design made in her honor didn’t win her, nothing would. You got the whole name in on your final design, which popped right out at me, nice!!

    I actually thought the Catamaran Twin T design was very nice. But then, it reminds me of other favorite designs, so I guess that’s just my preference. The final drex work is really awesome; it came together as one hot ship. 🙂

    The final isn’t so much a recognizable T, but after all, there *were* four young ladies added to the mix, so this seems perfect!

    • 23 johneaves
      May 21, 2009 at 1:17 pm

      Tara is not in any way a geek or stoked by these things, HAAAA! I am still trying to figure out if she liked this endeavor or thought I was a dork!!!

      • 24 DeanneM
        May 21, 2009 at 1:22 pm

        John, I hate to break it to you, but a little bit of a dork, ya. 😀

        I know I certainly am!

  12. 25 Tim Earls
    May 21, 2009 at 11:09 am

    John, yet again more stunning work. I need to get out of my malaise and drawing again. This is great inspiration.

    • 26 johneaves
      May 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm

      you should young man because I love your fine pen work!!! Your style is oh so nice and your hardware is always brilliant!!!! Miss ya buddy, hope to get on another show together!!!

  13. May 21, 2009 at 11:27 am

    The breen ships were by far my favorite design in the trek universe! Thanx for sharing this beautiful design! Love it!

  14. May 21, 2009 at 11:32 am

    I love the idea of an assymetrical ship and Doug certainly worked wonders with the colourful hull plating and lighting. John, were you involved in the re-usal (and “symmetricalization”) of the ship as a Quarren ship in VOY’s “Workforce”?

    • 30 johneaves
      May 21, 2009 at 1:18 pm

      I did things for Voyager on the side but I am mot familiar with this title,,, I’ll have to go and research than I’ll and then I’ll get back to you!!!

  15. May 21, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Awwwwwwww, sO sweet!!! I sneak C’s name and our wedding date into models all the time.

    So sweet a job John, great design to boot!


    • 33 johneaves
      May 21, 2009 at 1:34 pm

      WE ARE TRULY BROTHERS!!!! OK I forgot to tell you how Stinky beautiful your models are!!!! Sammy and Lee have to be Ecstatic,,, I know I am, and I’ll have you the views you asked for by Tomorrow morn.

  16. 34 Boris
    May 21, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    And the famous “thataway” direction-of-flight arrow shows up again!

  17. 37 Barrie Suddery
    May 21, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Boris wrote: “And the famous “thataway” direction-of-flight arrow shows up again!”

    After the Ru’afo debacle on Insurrection, I don’t think John was ever going to take a chance on someone else’s interpretation again! He’s made his drawings “producer proof”!

    Tim Earls: Please do start drawing again. I’d LOVE to see some more of your work.

  18. 40 Matt Boardman
    May 21, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Great design that is only matched by an even better story about the inspiration of the design!

  19. 41 Buckaroohawk
    May 21, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Mr. Eaves,

    This is going to sound strange, but I think it’s a testament to your work that the ships you design look good no matter which direction they’re supposed to be going. They look great whether their coming or going!

    Seriously, I know that those episodes you had with producers over some of your designs must have been frustrating, but you added a whole new layer to the look of trek ships, and that is definitely something to be proud of.

  20. 42 Don B
    May 21, 2009 at 7:10 pm


    Thanks….love…love…love this ship!

  21. 43 JNG
    May 21, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Who knew there was romance hidden in the story of the Breen warship lol

  22. 44 Starship freak
    May 22, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Say, I heard that there are two daughtercrafts on the Breen ship, could you confirm or deny that? Because this beauty is my favourite ship of all time!

  23. May 22, 2009 at 11:55 am


    WE ARE TRULY BROTHERS!!!! OK I forgot to tell you how Stinky beautiful your models are!!!! Sammy and Lee have to be Ecstatic,,, I know I am, and I’ll have you the views you asked for by Tomorrow morn.

    Thanks my geek-brother! Just sent the finished ship #2 to all you guys. That really is an awesome design. The more I fleshed it out, the more I loved it.

    Sammy loved it pre-lit, so I’m sure he’ll like the lit up beauty renders.

    Speaking of love, I love that “WOOOO-WEEEEEEEE the asymmetrical idea” design dude. I love asymmetrical design (longer to build though, as you can’t clone one side over), and that one just elbowed its way up me personal build list fast.

    But that will have to wait, as I’m starting on ship #3 right now, so any addition stuff on that puppy would be grand, eh. 🙂


  24. May 24, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    The Breen ship is one of the most original that I see in Star Trek, his asymmetrical and strange design, made it a very interesting ship. It’s one of my favourite ships.

    Ummm.. I love the symmetrical catamaran T ship… looks very aggressive.

  25. 47 Andrew
    June 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    I can’t believe you got into a directional argument with the producer! That sort of thing used to drive me nuts watching the show, because you just knew it wasn’t pointed the direction the designer intended.

    I can honestly say that there was a very eerie thing the Breen ships had going on in The Changing Face of Evil and What you Leave Behind. It’s those little big details like which way they point when they fly through space that make a design that much more engaging. I appreciate you winning the argument on that one, even if it has been 7 years since you won that battle.

  26. 48 Adam Reed
    August 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm


    I’ve been working on modifications of a PC game called star trek armada and I would like to incorporate some of your ships into my modifications. The game comes with one stock breen ship -the above drawing entitled “the asymetrical idea”-. Credit for your designs will be given where due. Also, the models for the game will not be distributed for profit, the modifications and models being created is reward enough. One last note: I do plan to distribute my modifications via armada2.filefront.com.

    Please respond soon as I would like to begin work ASAP!

    -Yours truly

  27. March 20, 2012 at 7:46 am

    John! I need a huge favor regarding any hi-res orthos of the Breen Cruiser! Please email me nicholassagan(at)gmail(dot)com

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May 2009

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