the Enterprise-e shuttle bay from the sotl calendar

Howdy and good morning everyone, this is the piece that was created for the Ships of the Line calendar, and here is the process of how it came to be… Doug Drexler called and asked if I wanted to submit another piece for the 2011 calendar, and I was so happy to be able too.  From a personal challenging point of view, I wanted to see if I could do the whole thing in Photoshop and thus I bit off more than I could chew because I had never taken on such a big task in Photoshop before…..  It took a very long time to make everything work this way but I was very happy with the end result.  What Doug needs to get the calendar going is a few ideas and then some sketches to pitch the concepts to Pocket books in New York.  A big nod has to go to the USS Midway CV-41  for the inspiration from which the idea came. My friend, Nelson, and I had just had our first tour of the Carrier in San Diego after a week at Comicon and once we were below the flight deck, we were in the aircraft storage area of the ship.  The bay was almost the entire length of the flight deck above and one incredible site to behold.  I was imagining the E bays looking like this in my head but didn’t really think about rendering the concept until the calendar art was in the works.

The bay pictured in the drawing is the one situated at the back of the saucer.  The first sketch shows a rough view of the angle and what the surroundings will be like.  I drew the first pass in the wrong format so I had to add more length to the left side before I got the go ahead from Drexler. Once all was ago, I started the piece off with a very clean pencil drawing, did a scan and then began to texture and paint away.  It was way hard to find grid and metal screen textures that were usable, and I spent more time researching than drawing at times, HAAA!  I’m sure this is a big issue with those of you who live in CG and 3D land that you build more than you need.  I did the same with putting a large amount of under the grates equipment below the floor line and once I put the shuttles on top of grates the details were all hidden.  Lost a couple of days with that idea LOL.  From there it was a lot of fun to find tons of LCAR screens to use, and I even found some deck crew from the carrier Enterprise CV-65 and dropped them in the background.  After the piece was nearing completion and I was passed my due date, I started to drop the heavy shuttles on the opposite side of the bay and at the last minute left them out so the wall details could be seen.  I went back and forth with this layer and in the end, I’m glad I left it turned off.  The hanging shuttles were a fun way to fill space and add another layer of detail.  The ships were designed to be the fighter group that were added to the ship’s arsenal after the Nemesis refit.

I have mentioned this loosely in past posts, but if the chance arises I name the shuttles after people that I highly admire.  There are never enough shuttles to do this idea any justice so the names rotate as the drawings for the Trek films are being drawn.  In every drawing I do, though, there is ALWAYS a shuttle named for  the great “Siouxsie Sue” my all time favorite singer.  Siouxsie has the most beautiful voice and many a drawing have been done with her music as the backdrop.  In the mid 70’s one of her first band’s was named “Siouxsie and the Banshees”.  Years after the fact I found out she had an alternate band called the “Creatures”, and at the present time  Siouxsie has gone solo and she only gets better with time!!!  Love ya, Sioux.  Next is the Yeager named after  the great Chuck Yeager.  Remember “the Right Stuff”????   Yeager is the test pilot who broke the sound Barrier in October of 1947 and is still flying today.  The next shuttle was named after pilot Glen Edwards, Glen was one of the pilots that was killed in a test flight of the Northrup YB-49 (The Flying Wing).  Muroc AFB was renamed Edwards Air Force Base in his honor in 1950.  The 4th Shuttle was named after William J. Fox, another USAF General that has a small airport named after him in Lancaster, CA.  A few days after the drawing was out of my hands, news came that my friend Robert McCall had passing away.  This terrible news hit me hard!!!  If this name is unfamiliar to you, Bob is the space artist from Arizona who is best known for his works on 2001 a Space Odyssey and his massive murals at the Smithsonian depicting NASA and the quest for space.  I made a quick call to Doug and he let me replace the Fox shuttle with the McCall shuttle in Bob’s Honor.  On an interesting note, except for Siouxsie all of the above men listed knew each other.  Bob’s passing was a sad time, but it was so nice to be able to honor him in such a memorable way. So with that all said, Thanks go to Doug and a few of my heroes that got to be a part of the drawing.  Enjoy, and more from the world of Trek to come.

the e exterior

sketch of the E bay

view of the E bay from the ILM miniature

the USS Midway, CV 41

the first sketch

the reformatted sketch

the full placement rendering

in the works

more penciling

the background painting and I found that cigarette smoke makes for a great galaxy detail

the bay minus the graphics and shuttles

even more pencilings

and the final piece

little details 1

little details 2

little details 3

little details 4

Siouxsie from the early 90’s

Siouxsie from today

Capt. Glen W. Edwards

Edwards Yb-49

Chuck Yeager and the X-1

Yeager in the cockpit of the NF-104

Robert McCall

McCalls art from 2001

69 Responses to “the Enterprise-e shuttle bay from the sotl calendar”

  1. May 5, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Looks wonderful. I’ve been looking over the calender picture for a few days tring to figure out a shuttle bay design for a ship I’m working on and this helps me even more. Would have loved to see this in a movie.

  2. 3 evil_genius_180
    May 5, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Yeah, this is a great piece, one of my favorites from the 2011 calendar. This was my first year buying a SOTL calendar and I’m so happy I finally got one. My jaw dropped to the floor when I saw your bay shot. I was majorly impressed (still am) but not surprised. You’re one of my favorite artists and I love seeing awesomeness like this from you. I also love seeing how it came together. Great piece of art and great blog post about it. 😀

    • 4 johneaves
      May 5, 2011 at 9:52 am

      Thanks Evil and so glad you liked it!!!! It was a lot of fun and look forward to the calendar projects so I can get the opportunity to explore the E a bit more

  3. 5 DeanneM
    May 5, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I have been looking at one shot of this bay on my laptop’s desktop and thinking what a great addition to one of my FAV Trek ships ever…it’s GREAT to finally see the end result!! I couldn’t get a calendar this year, but boy, I sure wish I had one!!!

    I really love the pics and background of the shuttles’ namesakes. You always bring such a true human perspective to everything you do. People are what’re important to you and it shows.

    Good work, buddy!!

    • 6 johneaves
      May 5, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Thanks D, I’ll put a calendar in that big box of stuff I have for you!!!! I had another phone accident so you’ll have to sen me your # again, also I was in AZ in feb and called you a couple of times to see if you wanted to come n shoot with me but I believe that is when your phone was a blitz,,,

      OK then and thanks for the comments too…

      • 7 DeanneM
        May 5, 2011 at 11:00 am

        AWWW man, now I’m REALLY mad at my phone! Number is on the way…it’s a CA number, so don’t be surprised

  4. 8 Boris
    May 5, 2011 at 10:58 am

    An interesting choice of storage. Those shuttles are suspended because the design has only a top entry hatch, so it’s easier to drop down from the deck above? The aft hatch is blocked by the dune buggy?

    • 9 DeanneM
      May 5, 2011 at 11:02 am

      Maybe I’m wrong, but I took the overhead storage as a convenient method to store them and leave open deck space for operations. The shuttles can simply be lowered, entered and are already in position to exit the bay when needed.

      • 10 johneaves
        May 5, 2011 at 11:09 am

        actually they are only suspended for ground clearance, no above hatches just docking ports and details

      • 11 DeanneM
        May 5, 2011 at 11:21 am

        ya, I don’t see any entry from above there. And I am glad you did that so that all the great detail could be seen behind them…I’ll be out for my box (if this elusive box exists, HA) one of these days so I can see this in calendar form.

  5. 12 Buckaroohawk
    May 5, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I’d been wondering how you pulled this one off. In the past your images were usually hand-drawn and painted, but this one didn’t look the same. For a while I thought that you’d finally decided to jump into the CGI pool, but I saw subtle clues that told me it wasn’t a 3D rendering. I never would have guessed the entire image was done with Photoshop. I do okay with that program, but something like this is way out of my league. My hat’s off to you for choosing such an ambitious project and for the stunning result, which is one of my favorites from the 2011 SOTL calendar. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2012!

    Thanks for posting this play-by-play of how you put the image together. It’s given me some ideas for creating and improving my own images. That’s what I love about your site, John; it’s fun and educational at the same time!

  6. 13 Boris
    May 5, 2011 at 11:25 am

    It’s good that you included both shuttle designs, not just the new one. Were you asked to draw any for “First Contact” at some point, or was the movie never going to feature a shuttle, not even in early drafts?

  7. 18 johneaves
    May 5, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Wow thanks Buckaroo,,, if you zoom in there is still a lot of the pencil work showing that has only been colored or shaded, HAAA! so I guess it’s a bit of both CG and the way of the cave man

  8. May 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    is this the first time you have done a digital painting in photoshop? if not do you have others, because this is superb!

    • 21 johneaves
      May 5, 2011 at 12:58 pm

      thanks, and no others sad to say, next years piece is a combo of a painting and photoshop!!! When I get some time I do want to do more digital stuff!!! HMMM maybe one day

  9. 22 the bluesman
    May 5, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    John this is my favorite spread of the calendar, and Andrews vertibird. I alwasy love seeing Andrews hadn painted work in a sea of CGI, and it was itneresting to see your spread with the hand drawn shuttles and the photsopped deck.

    Very nice.

    • 23 johneaves
      May 5, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      I love Andy’s piece too!!!! there were a lot of art that I love in these calendars!!!! Deg’s is awesome as well as Rob’s piece.

  10. May 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Very impressive, all those details of the shuttlebay are really cool!

  11. May 5, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    I love Star Trek, and I love Siouxsie Sioux. And your drawing kick galactic ass.

  12. 28 Richard Knapp
    May 5, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Hi John:
    Absolutely beautiful stuff! I love when you post these progressions of images from concept to final product. Your hanger shot was far and away my favorite in this year’s calendar.

    Glad to hear that you and the family are doing well.

    All my bests,

    • 29 johneaves
      May 5, 2011 at 6:23 pm

      Thanks Richard, and we are all doing good!!!!! thanks for the compliments and so glad you like the progressive stuff!!! I too love when things are displayed in there various layers to see how they were done!!!!
      Take care my friend

  13. 30 Scott D
    May 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing the Enterprise-E’s shuttlebay. I still recall the shuttlebay they used for the Enterprise-E in Elite Force 2, and this is much, much nicer. I said it before and I’ll say it again, the Enterprise-E is my favorite Federation starship, alongside with the Consitution-Refit.

    BTW, John the Enterprise-F contest is officially over as of today. You can view the winners here: http://www.startrekonline.com/node/2415

    I made the Top 25 (Yay!) But unfortunately didn’t get the Grand Prize. Well there is always the Enterprise-G, right? 😉

    And BTW, a thank you to Mark Rademaker in suggesting improvements over my original:

    • 31 johneaves
      May 5, 2011 at 6:24 pm

      OH cool I can’t wait to see what made it through,, I had a lot of favorites but haven’t been on to see what has been happening in a long time!!

      • 32 Scott D
        May 6, 2011 at 10:30 am

        I hope you will be sharing your favorites. People are curious what you, Doug Drexler, Mike and Denise Okuda, and Andrew Probert think of the winners. 😉

  14. May 5, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    That’s absolutely amazing~ I showed it to a friend of mine and he actually got a bit emotional after seeing the shuttle named after Robert McCall, whom he’d met twice in person through the Arizona Science Center; he said to me that had he not moved, Mr McCall would have been a nice person to know, that he was a great futurist 🙂

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • 34 johneaves
      May 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm

      WOW Thanks Jade, I am so glad to hear that this touched your friends heart!!! I am so glad he too was able to meet Mr. McCall.

  15. May 5, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    So cool. We never got to see such a cavernous area on screen until BSG. I’ve been re-watching TNG recently and had been thinking about the D’s main shuttle bay. Any chance we can see the interior of that beast as well?

  16. 37 BB43MAN
    May 5, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Dang, John, you just gave me my next modeling project!!! And, you crashed my harddrive!! LOL!!! Unbelievable work, my friend!

  17. 39 Storyteller
    May 5, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    again this one a wunderful piece of art – thanks for bringing it to us!
    I always had missed such a point of view from out of a large shuttle bay – actually since I saw the blueprints of the main shuttle bay of the Galaxy-class Enterprise, but the Sovereign-class is a beauty of her own kind – and so is this image!

    • 40 johneaves
      May 6, 2011 at 6:09 am

      Thank you very much,, Where did you see the D blueprints,,, were they the ones that came in a big book shaped box!!!! I have those no that your reminding me about them but haven’t looked at them in many years

      • 41 Spellsinger
        May 7, 2011 at 4:34 am

        Yes, I meant the poster-size blueprints in this box – they where marvellous! I spent hours with looking through these poster-pages while dreaming how it will be to walk through the corridors and see this and that or (to stay on track) to overlook main shuttle bay from the balcony of deck 3.. That made the ship more alive to me..
        I’m so glad to bring it back to your mind – it never should be forgotten 😉

  18. May 6, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Very nice, John.
    Always a pleasure to see your work come together.

    I am with X, shame we never will get to see this in a film
    At least it’s good to know that you will be working on the next Trek film.
    Shame, we have to wait until it come out, so we can see what you will produce for it.

  19. May 6, 2011 at 5:39 am

    There’s just something about seeing the E-E in actual daylight that gives me chills most CGI models can’t replicate.

    Great work on the bay, I love seeing expanded concepts of one of my favorite ships. And since you designed the ship, its canon to me!

    • 46 johneaves
      May 6, 2011 at 6:13 am

      HAAA! so glad you like and I will be tackling the big unseen hull bay soon… Working on how the Phoenix renters the earths atmosphere as we speak,,, lots of inquires about that one so had to spend some time to make the principles work

      • 47 IRML
        May 8, 2011 at 8:29 am

        do you mean the rear shuttlebay? I would love to see you do something along the lines of the TMP refit, where the shuttlebay connects into larger spaces further inside the ship

  20. May 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I’m not recognizing the shuttles hanging from the ceiling. They look similar to an Argo but the wings are different and the door in the back seems to small to hold a buggy. What are they?

  21. 50 CarlG
    May 6, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Beautiful work! I love poring over all the little details in your drawings, so I really appreciate those close-ups, too.

    And the shuttlecraft names are great. I had the same idea (if I ever get off my butt and finish my starship 😛 ); I was gonna call my shuttles Goldsmith, Courage, and Giacchino. 😀

  22. 52 IRML
    May 7, 2011 at 6:23 am

    wow this is great, I’ve built one of your concept interiors for the captain’s yacht area already, and hopefully I’ll build this one now too

    also this is a great new piece of reference that I hadn’t seen before


    do you have more references as good as this? I’m entering the finishing straight on my build of the model and it would be great to get some more of these refs before it’s too late for me to make changes

  23. 53 johneaves
    May 7, 2011 at 6:56 am

    I do!!!! I have a LOT of pics that aren’t out yet, message me separate from here and I’ll help you out11 That is if you can keep it for your eyes only 007!!!!

  24. 55 Matt Boardman
    May 7, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Holy cow, John! It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to look at my calendar so thank you for giving us the inside scoop on your piece for the calendar! It’s a freakin’ masterpiece! I love the details that at first glance, you might miss, but the more you look at it, the more you discover! It pulls you in and you never want to let go. I remember as a kid getting the Sears Wish Book catalog around Christmas time and the hours and hours we would spend just looking at all the toy offerings that year. Looks like the Wish Book got here early this year with this one! 😀

    • 56 johneaves
      May 7, 2011 at 9:32 pm

      OH man that Sears catalog was the best thing ever,,, It was always right after Thanksgiving those would come out and you are so right,,, page after glorious page of cool toys to look over!!! thanks for that flashback buddy!!!

  25. 57 Thomas E.
    May 9, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    The Sovereign Class Enterprise-E is by far my favorite Starship ever. I was in 5th grade when I seen her for the first time in Star Trek First Contact and she blew my mind. It is extremely awesome to see more of her after all these years. You have designed a gorgeous Enterprise Mr. Eaves and I can’t wait to see more of her in the future.

    I would really be interested in seeing more drawings of the Post-Nemesis refit you had shown us a while ago as well because she looked really cool. Maybe some more interior shots too such as the Battle Bridge maybe? 🙂

    • 58 johneaves
      May 10, 2011 at 5:44 am

      Thanks for the kind words Tom, I am slowly working on these breakdowns and as long as I can do a calender piece I’ll be sure to keep up the with all the unseen details for you!

    • 59 Thomas E.
      May 11, 2011 at 10:16 pm

      You’re very welcome. Thank you for sharing all of your amazing work. When you posted the first image of the Post-Nemesis Enterprise you had mentioned a new Aztec pattern she was supposed to receive. Did you draw up the new pattern or was that just an idea that was never finished because they dropped the whole Refit idea altogether?

  26. 60 Boris
    May 10, 2011 at 10:58 am

    I’d like to see Decks 24, 26 and 29.

    • 61 johneaves
      May 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm

      Your in deep trouble Boris, if you were near by I’d give you the double thigh punch!!! Ask Drexler about what one of those is like my friend!!!!

  27. May 12, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Once again I’m knocked for six by the pure awesome of John Eaves.

  28. May 15, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Awesome entry and work, my friend! Cool to hear your process!

    Lots on bloggin’ on your end lately, too. Way-coolness. 🙂

    peace & bananas | deg

  29. July 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Congratulations on yet another great picture. In a way, this is EXACTLY the shuttlebay I always imagined for the best Enterprise Ever.(but could NEVER draw,LOL!)

    I’ve been studying the pics of your shuttlebay interior and I just had to ask:

    You mentioned that the USS Midway CV-41 was the inspiration for the shuttle bay design,so I was wondering,since the Enterprise-E was designed primarily for military operations(i.e. fighting the Borg.) and with
    the proliferation of warp-capable,combat-hardened shuttlepods first introduced for the Defiant class starship, I was curious,could the Enterprise and her Sovereign Class sisters be used as 24th century “starfighter carriers”?
    And,if so,what kind of fighters would you envision?

    Truth be told,I always figured that in times of war or some form of combat operations,the primary shuttlebay would serve as the “flight deck” for fighters and troop/equipment transport shuttles (nicely realized in the Argo-type shuttles) If you think about it,it makes a certain sort of sense.

    The Enterprise-E could launch multiple warp-capable fighters from a distance,or get up close & personal and provide fighter support. Or if they had to mass evacuate,(Esp.from a battlefield or similar enviroment.)they could use the Argo shuttles to bring casualties up from the surface or another ship,in addition to (or instead of)
    the ship’s transporters. (Well,it made sense to me,at the time I thought of this.)

    Well,thanks for your time. Keep up the good work.

  30. 65 Chris
    July 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Great work John. I never got a chance to get last years calendar but I do love this piece. I always wondered what the shuttlebay looked like since it was never shown in the movies. I know that. Star Trek Elite Force 2 had shown the bay but this one is great. I do have a question through, are you planning to draw more on the fighter group? I’m asking cause I would love to see more done on them.

  31. 66 SCI-FI
    September 2, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Yes — more of your concept fighters, please!

    Plans, doodles, specs — all of it!

  32. 67 Alex Mann
    October 20, 2011 at 8:54 am


    What happened to the ILM miniatures in the end?

  33. 68 Alex Mann
    October 20, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Can you do some more shots, like close ups of the shuttles, all the sections of the shuttlebay, a view from outside, a view from the control tower, a view from a shuttle, closeups of the graphics, inside the control tower etc.?

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May 2011

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