the navigation console of the nx-01

Wow!!! What a fun time it was to be working on a new Enterprise bridge and especially for the beautiful NX-01.  The internal sets of this ship went through some pretty radical changes as it evolved,, Herman Zimmerman would always start with the bridge to set the tone for the overall architecture and then branch out carrying the details through the corridors and secondary rooms, based on this master blueprint.  In the eary stages the consoles were being designed in an angled, tubular fashion; these ideas went a ways before the look changed to a more angular look.  Next the nav station went through a wrap around configuration tied to the ceiling of the bridge by a fine metal bracing system.  Elements were chosen and some dropped to come up with the next series of ideas, and in this process did the half curved console layout come to be.  The final designs came to be quite elegant in nature, and this station was my favorite of all them.  The sliding seat idea came from touring the Disney Cruise ship bridge and funny thing a guy nammed Jon Eaves from Australia was the one that gave me the tour!!!  HAAA!  What a funky coincidence, and when boarding the ship my name gave the security a little bit of a high tension moment!!!  Anyways, here are the evolutionary concepts and some photos from the finished set to complete the design cycle.  I finally found all the pictures I took of these sets, and it has to number close to 2000 images,,,well, I guess we won’t run out of subjects on the blog here for a while,,, HAAAAAA!

totally tubular dude!

totally tubular dude!

roof mount version #1

roof mount version #1

thined out version and in red are the pull outs of ideas to carry on to the next drawing.

thined out version and in red are the pull outs of ideas to carry on to the next drawing.

getting closer,, the curved screen started the idea for the curved console's

getting closer,, the curved screen started the idea for the curved console's

the boss is liking it!!!

the boss is liking it!!!

this is the rough that got the go ahead to be detailed out.

this is the rough that got the go ahead to be detailed out.

the rough back side!

the rough back side!

the final rough minus the sliding seat detail

the final rough minus the sliding seat detail

and the back view

and the back view

under construction

under construction



view 1

view 1

view 2

view 2

view 3

view 3



detail 2

detail 2



55 Responses to “the navigation console of the nx-01”

  1. 1 Jonathan Burke
    June 15, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Fascinating! 🙂

    I really like the version with the ceiling braces, but I imagine I know why that was nixed.

    Maybe you can clue me in on something I’ve always wondered: why no navigator? Even if it’s just an extra sitting there? That always bugged me. That was the one thing, more than anything else, that made the NX seemed more illogically advanced than the 1701.

  2. 2 Matt Wright
    June 15, 2009 at 7:34 am

    I have to say the earlier designs do not belong in the 22nd century, they look like something post-Nemesis. The one called “getting closer” kind of reminds me of the M-5 console from TOS.

    In the final design there is a round sort of coffee can thing to the bottom left of the chair, what does that look like? It appears to be an homage to the big round “astrogator” dial between Checkov and Sulu.

  3. 4 DeanneM
    June 15, 2009 at 7:50 am

    I watched one of these late last night and was thinking how much I like the way everyone is facing in a manner that make’s it easy to look at one another most of the time. Thoughts can often be conveyed quicker than words…nice.

    This station is great, and I’m glad it ended up with the curved look…nice lines! The sliding chair is a very cool adaptation; thank you Disney Cruises. I like this one the best.

    As for a navigator, the way I see it, this is a much smaller crew so there would be less bridge officers. T’Pol and Travis seem to be the ones that act in that capacity. Travis, as part of his helmsman duties, sets the course, so I imagine that would have been a decent part of his training and qualifications. T’Pol probably has more knowledge just from her standard education for her position as a Vulcan officer than any human.

    • 5 johneaves
      June 15, 2009 at 8:06 am

      you know your stuff field officer D

      • 6 DeanneM
        June 15, 2009 at 8:35 am

        That’s Flight Deck Officer! 😀 And I will be addressed as Sir!! Well, okay, let’s not go too far. 🙄

      • 7 johneaves
        June 15, 2009 at 8:47 am

        I am just gonna call you “NUT”

      • 8 johneaves
        June 15, 2009 at 10:00 am

        this is for field officer Deanne!

      • 9 DeanneM
        June 15, 2009 at 10:08 am

        Nut is fine, but I want my designation correct! deg got it right in an email…FDO (I figured it out), and it is approved per the ship’s designer, Mr. Drexler. 🙂

        No offense, but I’m not looking for a BSG ranking. This is NX-01 officer status, Matt!! I may be taking it too seriously, but it *was* Doug’s idea, and I like it! Lots!!

      • 10 johneaves
        June 15, 2009 at 10:24 am

        what was your title again,,, deputy marshal what???

      • 11 DeanneM
        June 15, 2009 at 10:43 am

        Deputy Fife would do, since I’m a nut!

        BTW, I went to Christown and took some outside shots before I got run off!! They don’t allow any photos of the mall…hmmm. I’m gonna have to try again with my stealth camera, but if I get arrested, I’m calling you!!

      • 12 DeanneM
        June 15, 2009 at 10:45 am

        I hit reply on my last post, but it didn’t…just testing.

      • 13 Matt Wright
        June 15, 2009 at 10:44 am

        Right, just Starfleet uses typical Naval titles, not Air Force/Army hybrid like BSG seems to be using. Though Flight Deck Officer actually doesn’t seem to apply to any military branch. It’s actually for armed pilots in case of issue on commerical passenger and cargo flights…

        I had no idea until I started looking around such a thing existed!

      • 14 DeanneM
        June 15, 2009 at 10:48 am

        Matt, I asked Doug about that, and he said that it means Bridge Officer – same thing. His post on the NX last Fri or Sat has the comments, if you want to see more. Evidently there were Flight Deck Officer certificates that you could get for TOS, and Doug said he had one. 😀

      • 15 Matt Wright
        June 15, 2009 at 10:55 am

        Yep I found it 🙂

      • 16 DeanneM
        June 15, 2009 at 10:56 am

        I can’t see my last post about it being on June 10th. I’m testing again and trying to reply to your last post….

      • 17 Matt Wright
        June 15, 2009 at 10:02 am

        Dea, now your getting into BSG ranking with that title 😉

  4. June 15, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Hi, John. Thanks for posting these. I’ve developed a full-on crush for all things NX-class, thanks to the efforts of Doug Drexler over at his blog.

    Of all the designs you posted, I wish something more along the lines of “Roof mount version #1” had been chosen…I like the idea of the bridge resembling the command centre of a modern nuclear sub. To my eye, the profile of the actual console looks too much like the con & ops stations on the Galaxy class.

    Still, despite the minor quibble, it still looks quite nice!

  5. June 15, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Hye I am working with Jeff Kalmus, he saked if I knew you and I said, well I read his blog. So he saw it and asks if you have anything from Alien 3?

  6. 24 ScottD
    June 15, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I remember in the minefield episode when Travis (Anthony Montgomery) slid over to use manual control. But I never noticed there was a Yoke. Over the years I kept wondering, “Why they used a Joystick instead of a Yoke?” Well now I know, they both were there. :p

    BTW, it occured to me. It would’ve been a nice background plot of seeing an evolution of the bridge, going from something really submariner and evolving to the standard Starfleet starship bridge layout. Sort of “trial and error”.

  7. 25 the bluesman
    June 15, 2009 at 9:44 am


    Nice. I love the control yoke! As someone who grew up around airplanes that is a nice touch.

    My only gripe about the NX bridge is I miss the pilot/co-pilot helm/nav thing.

    I know we can call automation, but I’ve always liked the idea of two pilots on the bridge.

    I also miss the throttle from the movie Enterprise that Sulu had in TMP…by TWOK it was gone.

    Why can’t a starship have a throttle?

    • 26 johneaves
      June 15, 2009 at 10:05 am

      I don’t know what that yoke was originally off of but i found those at an old surplus store,,, it has some many pivots that it makes you dizzy, and it has some special spring memory system to always bring you back to zero.

  8. 27 evil_genius_180
    June 15, 2009 at 9:55 am

    You know, I like Enterprise. It’s a great series. And I grew up watching TNG. Which is why I kinda feel odd saying this, but I must: It’s *too* TNG. There, I said it. Doug and Pierre put a lot of effort into putting some great TOS Easter eggs into the exterior of the ship but I didn’t see a lot that said “TOS” on the interior. Sure, there are things that are obviously meant to be nods to the classic ship’s interiors, but they all got an overhaul that still looks like the later Treks. I mean, I always thought the whole bridge resembled the Defiant and Voyager bridges more so than the TOS bridge. However, having seen the other designs you came up with, I have to say that the nav console is the most like TOS of your designs. Though, I agree with Johnathan Burke, I wanted to see a spit console with a helmsman (or woman) and a navigator, not a single console. That aspect *really* screams Defiant/Voyager.

    OK, having said all that, great design. I like the flow of the console, even if it doesn’t fit so well with my beloved TOS. And I love the oversized controls. Sometimes I feel that important controls are understated in Star Trek. You guys didn’t do that with this ship.

    • 28 johneaves
      June 15, 2009 at 10:03 am

      as much of a fight Doug had with the devilish details of the exterior, my boss had just as many with the interior,,, it all looks like what the top boss’s want,,, we are all just slaves that get thrown an old scrappy baked potato every once in a while. everyone knows what things should look like but your hired to follow orders and make the best of what you have to work with!

      • 29 evil_genius_180
        June 15, 2009 at 10:26 am

        Yeah, I know. It’s all Berman and Braga’s fault. I know those guys cut their teeth on the later Treks but you can’t just ignore TOS and do whatever you want with a prequel show. There’s a look that us Trekkie dorks expect when we think of pre-TOS and this ain’t it, unfortunately. However, as I said, you guys really did some beautiful work on the whole ship. If you ignore TOS (which I can’t do ’cause I love it) and just go from a near-future perspective, it’s really nice. It looks believable. I can actually see a ship in our future looking like that on the inside, just not a pre-TOS Star Trek ship. 😉

        At least Doug talked them into letting him redesign the ship instead of just straight-up using Alex’s Akira design without modifications. If they’d done that, they’d have alienated more fans than they did (including yours truly.)

      • June 15, 2009 at 10:31 am

        You know, I felt that Enterprise design was what Earth engineers were building, and that by the time of TOS you had other Federation members contributing to the engineering design and that’s why things looked different. Of course I am saying this now in an attempt to rationalize, but it fits for me.
        Not just the passage of time explaining the differences, but the influence of alien design aesthetics.

    • 31 Lt. Washburn
      June 15, 2009 at 1:53 pm

      I don’t understand the criticism here…if it reminds you of the Defiant bridge, why are you happy? The Defiant bridge is VERY reminiscent of the TOS bridge, except for the back wall.

      • 32 evil_genius_180
        June 15, 2009 at 5:54 pm

        We’re talking console designs here. The consoles on the NX-01 have more in common with the later TNG-era than they do with the the TOS-era. Besides, the Defiant has a thin, horseshoe-shaped bridge, it has very little in common with the TOS Enterprise bridge, which was a big circle. The only thing remotely similar is the console layout, which is pretty consistent through all of Trek.

  9. 33 doubleofive
    June 15, 2009 at 10:06 am

    So, are you planning on going through your pictures of the interior pointing out the little nods to TOS like Doug did the other day with the exterior? Cause that would be awesome!

  10. 35 DeanneM
    June 15, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Reply not working for me, I guess. Sorry for the errors cluttering up the thread!

  11. 36 DeanneM
    June 15, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Matt, it was the June 10th Countdown to the SOTL Calendar post that the conversation took place, actually.

  12. 37 Ben
    June 15, 2009 at 11:40 am

    wonderful stuff 🙂

    any tips from the community here on how to do a ENT themed room or furniture – materials, self experience, costs, where to start etc ?

    • 38 johneaves
      June 15, 2009 at 7:44 pm

      pier one imports is a huge place for star trek set dressing, ikea is also big and the rest is extensively researchedand gathered from a lot of places

  13. 39 Chris McKinney
    June 15, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    What I loved about Enterprise is everything seemed so hands on.

    I’ve manouvered ferries and container ships so I know how it feels to have all that ship connected to your hand through a control stick.

    You seem to forget that everything on screen has to be designed and come from someone’s mind. Great work Mr Eaves and thank you for sharing.

  14. 42 Lt. Washburn
    June 15, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    John, are the bridge chairs found items or custom built?

  15. June 15, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Ya know, it must be nice to see your designs made into CG models, but to see them built into real physical pieces of a set, that you are able to sit down at and touch, that must just be a trip, eh. And esp. considering it’s a Trek set, and none other than the namesake and one star of the show itself.

    Way-cool, eh. 🙂


  16. June 15, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    John- Thank you so much for the pictures. I have always loved this console… in fact I loved this bridge! (It’s one of my favorites along with the E-E.) And any images you throw at us would be a treasure, truly. I am in the business of learning all I can about the NX. It is an obsession.

    But a question/request… do you have any close up pictures of the lit part of the “astrogator”? We really never got a good look at what was in the bucket! lol On camera it always just read as this glowy-thing beside Travis.

    And I am really looking forward to more of this! I mean really really looking forward!

  17. 48 CX
    June 15, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Why both a stick and a yoke?

  18. 50 Matt Boardman
    June 15, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Wow! I didn’t know that you designed this console! Love it! The sliding chair is a nice touch. I love the submarine influence in the controls and the nod to the TOS design elements!

    Did you ever get a chance to sit at your creation?

  19. June 16, 2009 at 1:52 am

    The console style in Enterprise has grown on me. It has become a classic much like the colorful buttons of TOS or the LCARS flat panels of TNG.

  20. 52 Freak
    June 16, 2009 at 2:55 am

    Very Cool John, I love the first and third version.
    But I do like the version that was final used. I am with EG on the look being a bit too TNG, but with all those knobs and buttons as well as the yoke and stick, (Which I love most about this console) it does give it a pre TOS look at the same time.

    chrisddawson I think the same way. Because of that I feel that the NX and other Starfleet ship of this time looked too much like TOS and post designs. I really feel that they should have gone with a design that was closer to the cargo ships of the show or something that is closer to what we are currently building and some of the concepts for the next generation of Spaceship.

    To me the three cinder and saucers designs of the Federation where not human design but a group design of all the member racers of Federation.

    But what can you do the PTB wanted the Akria. I can see why they wanted this shape of saucer and Nacelles as someone who just changed the channel onto the show will know straight away after seeing the ship that they are watching Star Trek.

    John do you have anymore designs that you created for the NX that you have not posted that does not look like a Federation ship?

  21. 53 FSL
    June 16, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    The NX internals have been very nicely done. And am discovering so much more with yours and Mr Drexler’s blogs. Thank you so much.

  22. 54 Darren Robertson
    March 29, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Firstly, I would both apologise for being so late to this incredible thread, and secondly I would thank you unreservedly for the wealth of visual reference you have given us here. I am in the process of building a 1:10 scale model of this beautiful bridge set and I really am going for accuracy, as far as is humanly possible. May I ask if you know whether the stations retained this bronze colour or whether they got repainted in Season four? They seem to look more satin black in the final season for some reason.
    Again, many thanks to you.

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June 2009

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