Archive for December, 2010


Merry Christmas 2010

This year has been a busy one for sure and all of us in the Eaves home wishe everyone here and abroad a very Merry Christmas. Thanks for another awesome year of  blogging and thanks for all the fun, comments, shared stories, and friendships.  Be safe, and we wish our best and our prayers to all of our service men and woman both here and around the world who protect us day and night and keep us all free.  In celebration of our Savior’s birth, here are some very favorite Christmas songs sung by some of the most beautiful voices in the world!


Alicia’s new horse, thanks to everyone who helped her so generously with the fundraiser.

say hello to Sidetrack

Howdy everyone this is Alicia Eaves. I wanted to say thank you so much to all those who participated in the fundraiser for my new horse that my dad put together for me. I really appreciate it so much. Well, it paid off and on early Wednesday morning at 1 am my new horse Sidetrack arrived to her new home with me 🙂 I was so excited I could hardly wait to see her and meet her! The minute she jumped out of the trailer and looked at me with her big beautiful eyes I knew she was the one for me to start another journey with and a new friend. My mom, Tara,  found her on the internet. I know I couldn’t have found a better horse if she didn’t help me with everything. Sidetrack traveled all the way from Texas to get here in California 🙂

Because of our rainy weather, I had to wait a day before I got to ride her and I wasn’t disappointed. She has energy and spirit which I love so much! After spending some time on her, I found that she knows how to spin and sidepass. I have never had a horse that knew how to do that so I am so excited! She loves barrels and it’s a real blast doing the course on her back. She just has the need for speed and shows it when she turns the barrels 🙂 I couldn’t be happier with Sidetrack. She’s loving and comes right up to me and she loves to have her back and neck rubbed and scratched. Its so cute 🙂

After loosing Kiowa, I didn’t think any horse would make me as happy as Kiowa did. She was my baby and I will never forget her because she is in my heart always and is running beside me when I race. She made me the cowgirl I am today. Having Sidetrack home and knowing she is mine is just so mind blowing. Riding her has given me that happiness back that I never thought I would have with another horse. She’s somethin’ special and I couldn’t have done any of this without the help from the fundraiser. Thank you so much for helping me find my new horse who will bring me to a whole new level of competition. She brings me to a new chapter in my life that I am so excited to begin.

Cowgirl Up

~ Alicia~

Howdy all and I wanted to also say thanks for all of the generous offers to Alicia’s fundraiser. Because of everyone’s donations Alicia collected a little over two thousand dollars and my wife Tara helped her to secure the rest of the money needed. All of this has made for a wonderful Christmas for her and especially so because of all these gifts from the heart. All the notes and prayers where so kind throughout all off these hard times and they came from people from all over the globe. what a rich a nd wonderful world we live in and it goes to show that no matter where you are from or live, love and kindness shine as an international virtue. Thanks again to all,  Merry Christmas and have a blessed holiday and new years.

God Bless

John, Tara, Alicia, Olivia, carlene, and Alyna

Alicia and Sidetrack

Sidetrack arrived Wednesday morning at about 1 AM, and here is the first time that we got to see her in the daylight. She so loves to have her neck rubbed.

rounding the arena - Sidetrack came with a lot of training in all the events that Alicia competes in making it an extra special horse that she can get right on and ride and not have to spend years training her from scratch.

After much begging Alicia finally let her sister Olivia ride her new horse. HAAA!


the evolutions of the uss midway cv-41, and the uss enterprise ncc-1701-e

Retrofits have always been a part of modifying US military vessels and aircraft since the beginning of time because it is usually cheaper to fix and add on rather than start over from scratch. The same carries thrrough with the starships from Star Trek, and this was mainly the same reason(s) that it was cheaper to change stickers or make new details to go on the existing practical miniatures rather than build a whole new model.  At one point, Andy Probert’s “D” was considered to be the new non retro-ed “E” in the early days of First Contact to save big cash on a new ship.

the d is an e

The D is an E.

Probably one of the best examples of a multiple major retrofit would be for the USS Midway CV-41.  The US aircraft carrier served in WWII and was designed with one long and narrow flight deck.  The ship’s first retrofit was the addition of an angled landing and launch strip which brought her into the jet age.  The next and biggest retro fit was the addition of another aircraft elevator (3 in all) and a widening and lengthening of the angled landing deck. The carrier with all of its redesigns served from the 40′s to the early 2000′s and is now docked as a permanent museum in the San Diego harbor.  She’s a beautiful ship and one incredible tour.

The Midway’s massive changes were the core inspiration for the Enterprise-E’s retrofits as well. Script changes for the three films that featured the E were the basis for a lot of the major changes and personal reasons were behind the minor ones. The “E” was designed for the 1996 Star Trek film, First Contact, and the written description of the ship was that it was the battle bird of Starfleet with the sole purpose of battling an inevitable attack from the Borg! Thus the design of the ship followed a different path more towards the aggressive rather than the peaceful “D” that Andy designed.

The film a was a huge design show and most of the art department was splitting duties between DS9, Voyager, and First Contact.  My job was to get the designs of the ships as far as the approval process, then move on to the next one. For the “E” it took a while to get there, but I was very excited and happy with the final rough sketch that the producers approved.  With that sketch came some rough views and lots and lots of detail drawings showing different parts of the ship and how everything came together.  As all of this was going on at my desk, Rick Sternbach was at his in the Voyager art dept. working on the deck details,  and eventually the blueprints. Our work loads were huge with all going on and I was so happy that Rick was doing the plans, although I was extremely envious and wanted to carry this one to the end. Rick masterfully set the sketch to working drawings, and added all the subtle details that he was so good at.  Rick’s plans where specifically for ILM to build the miniature from, and poor Rick never got to fully complete the plans.  By the time he had to be finished, he had drawn the top, bottom, front, back, and side views of the saucer and the main hull of the ship.  His final drawing was of the nacelle strut but he was never allowed the time to attach it to the ship or even to draw a single line of what the nacelle was to be. Voyager had to have him back full-time so the E plans were incomplete.

Herman Zimmerman (my boss) asked for a model to be built so as to help sell what we were doing, step-by-step, to the producers, and also to help work out the unforeseen problems that could happen without a full set of plans.  The finished model was about 28 inches long and wound up being gold plated and displayed in the ready-room of the Enterprise set. Both a casting of the model and Rick’s plans went to ILM where their genius took over and one awesome model was created. Big too, measuring about 11 feet long.  All was awesome, and she was a beauty on the silver-screen.  Once the film was well on its way, we started receiving a lot of photos of the model in plan view shots so as to aid in the accuracy for the graphics and playback. Looking at the photos, there were a few lines that I wish I could have changed if I would have had the chance.

With Insurrection, the E made the jump from practical motion-control miniature to a CG model. For this one, my job was to make a set of plans based upon both Rick’s work and the finished miniature from ILM.  So the first set of complete plans were compiled and sent off to Santa Barbara VFX studio to be modeled digitally.  Being an already established starship, nothing was done to alter the main lines of what had already been seen on the screen, and careful measures where taken when we were creating the Captain’s Yacht out of the under-saucer torpedo launcher, so as to maintain continuity. About this time Star Trek The Magazine was being produced out of the UK. and they had sent over their version of the E plans for future magazine art and articles.  Their art department was phenomenal with all that they did, and for the “E” they really beautifully represented all the various views of the ship.

When Nemesis came along there were to be changes and detail additions to the E and the CG work was moving from Santa Barbara to Digital Domain and a whole new group of 3D and practical modelers were ready to take the reigns. With these changes came a request to alter the ship’s lines a bit to bring the new ship closer to the original lines from the sketch. Approval was granted, but was to be in two parts. For the E seen in the majority of the film, the drawings provided by Star Trek The Magazine were used to do the subtle line changes, with the additional weapons and launcher details added. The digital model files were provided from Santa Barbera and all was thrown into the lap of Jay Barton at Digital Domain. Jay made a fantastic model and put a beautiful and moody paint scheme on the new retro-ed E. For the end of the film the badly destroyed and damaged E is being rebuilt in space-dock. This is where the opportunity was given to really fix all the lines and flow to match the roots of where the original drawing had left off. Not too often does one gets the chance to rework a beloved piece of art, and I was so happy to get the chance regardless of how minor the changes were.

The drawings were done and to be seen as the E leaves the space-dock at the end of Nemesis, with what we were hoping to get approval on being the new aztec patterned paint job, that was so prominent with all the preceding variations of the Enterprise. As production went on, it was becoming clear that Nemesis was going to be the last of the TNG movies and thus, the E would fly no more. Very sad thoughts, and I was so hoping to at least to get to see that final version fly off into space… Budget and script changes kept the E in the bay under repair so all that exists of the big finish only exists on paper as a bunch of plans. She had a short life, but what she got to do in that time was a treat to watch on the big-screen. Lots of plans to see, and one big compilation puts all the variations into perspective. Lots of fun to throw into Photoshop and make a transparency to overlay to see how the lines subtly change. So with that, enjoy the USS Midway and the E both, from start, to their farewell journey.

All the deck changes of the USS Midway.

The original 1945 flight deck.

The first of the modifications show the addition of the angled flight deck.

And the final refit of the much larger flight deck.

Although the flight deck changed drastically over the years, the hull did not, making for quite a contrast in the mass of the upper and lower quadrants.

The approved sketch of the E.

Combination plans of Sternbach's drawings and the ILM model.

One of the E views from the UK drawings.

The UK drawings were used to do the first phase of the E refit for Nemesis.

And the final phase of the Nemesis E for the space-dock departure scene.

A montage of all the refits in scale to each other.


Douglas E. Graves, deg3D, artist extraordinair, and welcome to the blogroll

It was brought to my attention that somehow my buddy Deg was not in the blogroll anymore… Something mysterious happened and his listing was gone… (most likely it was old-man memory failure on my part and I didn’t load it correctly in the beginning). So in announcement of Deg entering the blogroll today we celebrate with a little history and some artwork by the master Douglas E. Graves, or better known to us as DEG!  Way back in March of ’09 the Eavesdropping blog started up and one of the first friends I met was a guy named Deg. Within a month we had become good friends and were working together on “” In May we met in person at Wonderfest in Kentucky, which is now our annual get-n together place. If you have never seen Deg’s work, get ready to be blown away!!! He is one awesome talent and his fingers and imagination weave unbelievable tapestries of fantastic scenes and spacecraft galore!

Born and raised with his brother Greg in a small rural town in Illinois, Deg and his bro were poor farm children who had no cash and no toys to play with. With grand imaginations the two invented things to do like using heads of cabbage as a ball to play with, or laying in the fields and rolling out of the way (Indiana Jones style) as the ripper blades of the tractors would get dangerously close. Deg lost an eye in a BB-gun accident and Greg donated one of his so Deg could see again in 3D. They are close brothers and rarely ever part except when Deg goes home to be with his wife and yard-squirrels. Deg lost two fingers in Nam and with bionic replacements he can calculate, model, and tickle the ivorys of his keypad at 60MPH. Love and a secret passion for Country ‘n’ Western music landed him a duo with Patsy Kline at one of her last performances in Nashville. Deg also served as personal liaison and coffee-boy to Chuck Yeager when he was stationed in Dayton, Ohio.

Deg’s father hit oil one sunny afternoon in the early 70′s and with his fortune he bought his boy his first computer. It was a Radioshack TRS 80 with cassette memory, and from that day forward Deg’s future was set. One of his first jobs was to create the animated Col. Sanders for the new KFC commercials, as well as the lead designer of the Snuggle Bear from Snuggles fabric softener. Athletically inclined, Deg did a short stint at playing professional soccer, but a run-in with the world famous Pelé snapped his left leg backwards at the knee that resulted in amputation and leg replacement. Ever full of spirit, this event didn’t get Deg down and in the following winter, brothers Greg and Deg went hiking in the Rocky Mountains. The two left the trail and got lost in a blizzard and were considered dead after two weeks of intensive searching by state and local sheriff’s officers. The two emerged miraculously from the mountains in the spring and in good shape, both physically and mentally. When interviewed, the two told their story and shared that the secret to their survival was with great thanks from watching Nanook of the North as children.  They learned to make an igloo from ice and snow, and for food they had to resort to cannibalism so they would both eat off of Greg’s frozen haunch and thigh, but ever so sparingly. From there, with his parent’s fortune and the personal fame from the mountain adventure, the world was wide open, so Deg started working as a stock-boy at a local grocery store, while Greg got plastic surgery for his half-eaten leg.

A few years later Deg met his future wife at a lumberjack festival where his bride-to-be won the blue ribbon in the 50 yard axe toss. They were soon wed and now live quietly in the outskirts of Chicago. Deg’s 3D work really took off, enabling him to work from home while his wife brought in the $$$ working as a nurse and part-time at the lumber mill. Greg went on and created a restaurant chain called Steak ‘n’ Shake that is popular in the mid-states and is now branching out to Las Vegas. Today life is good for both men and the sun does set with whistling cowboy tunes each and everyday. On a personal note; Deg’s a family man, a patriot, a man of faith, and a good friend. It is with great honor to put Deg on the blogroll today, so everyone be sure to go and see his name and website address smack dab in the middle of the roll. Below are some fav pieces from the Degster, so have a look and enjoy!!!

the USS Probert

from TOS, the F-104 in the E shuttlebay

Deg's modified TOS Enterprise

and my all time fav piece in the world, the F-104 and the Enterprise


by popular demand, Alicia’s fundraiser is back


the evolution of the E

laurel rae, army pin up

Howdy all and thanks for all the support with Alicia’s Fundraiser to get a new horse. Alicia has done very well with the auction so far and has almost reached her goal with a lot of support from all our friends here on the blog. There have been tons of special requests for specific pieces and combinations of illustrations, as well as for the fundraiser to keep going for one more turn, so here ya go. All the requests have been granted and created as well as the listing of my special cachets and anniversary covers. What these are, are artwork or a photo montage created to celebrate the anniversary of either a historical event of aviation or to celebrate an anniversary of a favorite film, the art work is then printed on a # 11 envelope and sent to the location (city, country, or state) and then is cancelled on the anniversary date at the corresponding post office,, way cool collection items especially because they are numbered and limited to that amount,, I have been collecting these for years and then started making my own in 2003 because no one was making them for movie anniversaries. Listed below are the two original links to the first set of art and prints from the original fundraiser and two more links have been added to accommodate the new art and special pieces as well as a list of all the covers. To place an order send me an email to and list the name or # of the piece and what size you would like and I’ll get your fundraiser pack ready to go. Payments are accepted from the following; paypal, money order, or personal check. also if you like anything you order can be signed or personalized, and Alicia has made a special picture and thank you card that also comes with each picture, and combined shipping is always available.print prices are (13X19’s are $25.00 additional prints after 2 are $20 plus shipping which is about $6 to $9 depending on weight and where it is going, international is anywhere from $6 to $15) (11X17’s are $20 and additional prints after 2 are $15 plus shipping wich is about the same as the above) (8.5X11’s are $15 and additional prints after 2 are $10. plus shipping which is about $4. to $6. depending again on weight and where it is going to, International is $6 to $12). So with all that said here is another big Thanks to everyone for their help, and especially for all the extra kind notes and prayers for Alicia. Such a great group of folks and friends I have met here.

Ghosts of Mars, mining colony
daniza 3


December 2010