Archive for July 14th, 2009


the scimitar, day one (the conception)

Star trek Nemesis, Well it was in the year of 2001, and Enterprise had just started up and at almost the same time Nemesis was in the works.  The incredible writer John Logan had been penning the story and was working very hard on the drafts for the script.  We got to read a teaser early on and it was a very cool read!!  John was always a Star trek fan, and he was really putting it all out for his tale of Reman and Romulan conflict.  Just in the first few pages, we were thrilled to see the list of great new ships that were going to have to be drawn and the Scimitar was one wicked sounding machine.  John wrote that it was a massive vessel (unlike anything we had ever seen before) which would take on the form of a viscous spider when it was poised for attack.  Almost every script we ever got on Star Trek had the description of a new ship as (unlike anything we ever saw before) but the window of approval that designs had to squeeze through was very tight and would not allow you to travel too far outside of it’s very rigid boundaries.  We all laughed when we read this especially word for word from an outsider.  Anyway, the Scimitar was a huge challenge in just the mass and what it’s function was to be…it was going to have a lot of mechanics, and coming from a physical model shop background, my thoughts were mechanical hinge points as opposed to a CGer’s point of view, which would be more in line with liquid hinge points and morphing.  The ship was definitely a challenge, and being that the description called for something new, the first pass came from another one of my Sci Fi art heroes, Mr. John Berkey.  John was one incredible artist who had a passion for fantastic space ships modeled after everything imaginable and in part to predatorial fish.  The read opened the door to maybe pay homage to John’s style but was rejected after only one sketch being to ambiguous and not defined enough.  You could almost see that this one was headed towards the classic Bird of Prey design which had ingrained itself as the shape of a star trek bad guy, and the closer you get to that shape, the better your chances for approval and making everyone happy!!! HAAAA!  So heading down that path, a few shapes emerged and one in particular that went a little too far into the realm of being too bird like…I liked the lines but remembered the evil hawk shaped ship from “Galaxina”, and after watching the movie again, it was just too similar.  A few more passes emerged and finally wound up with…you guessed it…a Bird Of Prey looking vessel which is so unlike anything we had ever seen before!!! HAAAA-HAAAAR!  Know the mission was to make the shape as different as possible in terms of details and mechanics.  So stay tuned ’til tomorrow when we will get to see some of the spider sketches by the awesome concept illustrator David Negron JR.  So until then, be good and don’t take any wooden nickels!

segmented plum-bob version

segmented plum-bob version

the batarang version with spider leg extensions for the thallaron weapon

the batarang version with spider leg extensions for the thalaron weapon

an Homage to the great John Berkey

an homage to the great John Berkey

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July 2009