Archive for the 'Trek Movies' Category


The enterprise-e and the aztec paint job

Howdy all, this is a continuation to a piece from way back on December 10, 2010.  Below is a link to part one of the redesigning of the Enterprise-E for Star trek “Nemesis”

Pictured below are two versions of the “E” with an Aztec paint job that was designed to tie the Sovereign class starship to its predecessors, the  Enterprise “A” through the “D”.  Way back in 2001 when we were working on all the concepts for the film, the “E” was going to be rendered in 3D by Jay Barton at Digital Domain.  “Nemesis” offered us the chance to tweak the ship a little, and it was a great time working with Jay on all the new and extra details.  At the time I could barely turn on a computer so everything I did was done on paper with pen, pencil, ink and paint.  I would send over roughs to Jay and he would add on the new weaponry as the script would call for.  We also were allowed to mess with the lines and dimensions of various sections of the ship and in doing so were able to make some subtle changes to areas that I wanted to fix from the original concept drawings.

In the beginning months of production, “Nemesis” was going to be #10 in the film series and the 4th with the TNG crew.  There was no mention that this was going to be the end of the TNG crew or the “E” so we were all working on not only the current film but what would possibly be the next film.  The Enterprise-E gets hammered majorly throughout Nemesis ending with some final shots of the ship being repaired in space-dock.  When my boss, Herman, and I were working on the dock and the repair views of the ship, we thought it would be cool to have the Aztec paint job be a part of the finished ship.  I did one rough sketch of the aztec patterns, as well as all the new plans for the exteriors of the retro’d “E”.  These renderings were shelved and were waiting for the next production meeting to get approval or notes on any changes needed….  The next big meeting came a few weeks later, and Herman took all the new drawings with him.  When he came back he said that he didn’t think they would be needed because the rumors were that “Nemesis” was most likely going to be the last Trek film.

It all was starting to gel at this point because we were already seeing used sets getting thrown away instead of being sent back to storage.  It seemed odd, but the sets were beat and had been used many times before so we all thought that there would just be new things to build come the next show.  Sadly, this would never happen…so with all that said, and with a bit more computer knowledge in my head, here are some renders based on the sketches from “Nemesis”.  The 3/4 view is of Jays 3D model with the pattern simply photoshopped on while the plans depict a rough top and bottom of the saucer with the patterns applied.  Lots of fun to put these together so hope you enjoy what was at one time going to be.

the Aztec paint scheme

Jay’s “E” with aztec applied



Here are two pix of the full size Reman fighter, “the Scorpion.”  The ST Nemesis art Department windows looked out across the Marathon Mill, and we could watch this beauty come together from the beginning to the end as she almost is in pic # 1.  Sadly this little ship got very little screen time while the CG version stole must of the show.  What you see here is the final paint scheme.  Weeks earlier, the ship was a high gloss purple and was quite stunning…an executive decision was made that the ship was too colorful and shiny so the whole vehicle got textured and painted black.  In addition is a pic of the 1/12th scale miniature and one of the concept sketches.

I’ll post more shots once I’m in Wyoming and all the pix and art are unpacked…everything has been boxed for the move for about a year now so the big Trek art posts have been thin due to not having access. OK then, enjoy the pix and have a great Thursday.


the 45th anniversary of Star trek, the original series

advertisement art, curtousey of Fredericks nostalgic newspaper movie ads

Holy smokes 45 years!!!!! Who ever would of thought that this little show would have spawned into what it has today!!!! The 12th movie is now in the works, we’ve enjoyed 5 television shows, and lots of cool merchandise, and out of geekdom bought lots n lots of bad merchandise. HAAA! Regardless the golden age of Television and the imagination of Gene Roddenberry, produced one incredible show in the 60’s, and on September the 8th 1966 we were introduced to Nancy, the salt monster, from the premier episode called “The Man Trap” Her terrifying debut  started us down the path for weekly adventures with the crew of the USS Enterprise. I so loved this show but after my parents saw the opening episode deemed it to scary for me to see for at least a season. My introduction to Star Trek came with “the Doomsday Machine” and is still one of my all time favorites. Besides all the show was and is I have to say the music from that series is beyond incredible, the themes and instruments were ground breaking at the time and still to this day when you hear the theme you remember the episode. Hard to think back that being a little fan of Trek would eventually be  a part of my life in a significant way as a livelihood starting in the late 80’s with occasional model work on TNG and full blown on Trek V working with my hero Greg Jein. Great fun and lots of great folks to work with on all of these additions and the same is true with trek 12. With all this said I want to end with a big Happy Birthday to “the Man Trap” and a big thanks to Gene for starting it all. Here are a few pics from man trap and some of the other incredible episodes from the 60’s

Nancy, I have salt Nancy!!!

The USS Enterprise

Kirk is seduced

from Doomsday machine

the USS Constelation

being drawn in

from tomorow is yesterday

tomorow is yesterday

from the arena

Gary 7

the planet killer


the wrath of comicon, 2011 part 3

Wow what a week!!! had our big garage sale, making the final pack for Wyoming, getting ready for the fair, and just started on Star Trek Monday morning, life is good but a bit blurry in the high speed lane, HAAAA anyways I’m takeing a coffee break and trying to get up as many con pics as I can this morning,,, there will be a part 4 if I don’t make it today.  OK one n all have a great day and enjoy the pics.

a pin up style movie ticket, cigerrette girl

direct from disneyland, a pair of evil queens

it's mickey's bones

an awesome star wars poster

komodo king

ol scratch

just cool

full view

staem punk thrives at the con

the dream machine from "Inception"

the bat mobile

the original, my favorite martian ship

James Bond props from "the Man with the Golden Gun"

props from, Men in Black

a very cool MIB rifle with a special detail

there's a real octopuss inside!!!!

a wicked bike sculpt, (GROWN)


the leg lamp in miniature

OK have to go so there will be a part 4


the uss grissom

IF you are a fan of of Star trek III The Search for Spock, there were certainly a lot of new ships to set a fancy to.  The Klingon Bird of Prey, The USS Excelsior, The Massive Space Dock, and one little ship called the USS Grissom.  I walked away from this film in awe and wonder with what ILM had done visually and creatively with all the new ships.  The destruction of the Enterprise seemed unimaginable even after the film was over…quite a shocker.  That moment hit hard, like Spock’s death in the previous film.  These were definitely the glory days for the Trek films.  From the Motion Picture to Trek IV possessed a magical presence on the screen that left me wanting more.

Aside from these fine films, the VFX ws as big of a star as were the main actors.  Many, many  incredible ships and scenes graced the screen from 79 to 87, and I’m sure we all have our favorites.  One of my all time favs was the USS Grissom, named after Apollo astronaut, and Mercury pilot Gus Grissom who died tragically in a capsule fire in the mid 60’s.  The Star Ship Grissom is defined as an Oberth class vessel and had a very unique set of lines and brilliant architecture.  I loved all the designs from film to film in the above mentioned years, and the Grissom stands firm as one very cool designed ship.  I’m not sure if this was a Bill George concept or a Nilo Rodis idea, but whoever the designer is my hat is off to you.

I was quite surprised when I saw the filming miniature at ILM because from the top it looked nothing like what was seen on film, mainly because the angles the model was filmed at were fairly mid hull shots with the ship traveling to or from the camera.  Greg Jein gave me these pictures of the model and immediately you’ll notice the registry # is different from the ST III film version…this was done a lot on Star Trek so as to reuse a model from the films for whatever one of the TV shows it was going to star in next.  A simple decal change made for a whole new ship at very limited expense.  So with all that said, enjoy the pics and look forward to your comments.

grissom 1

grissom 2








enterprise-e engineering corridor

Here is a rare shot of the Ent-E engineering corridor. Note the translights at the end of the hall which lets you know that the optimum use of this location, from a camera’s point of view is from the center of the set. This set was realized for ST Nemesis and is where Riker first encounters Shinzon’s Viceroy.

e e corridor


profiles in history auction #44

Good morning and happy Wednesday.  GOOD NEWS for you collectors out there, or if you’re like me a window shopper, the new Profiles in History auction catalog #44 is now out, and what an awesome auction they are having.  Below is a link to the downloadable version, and I have already spent hours looking at this one and am so glad that my wife can hold me back from these incredible  auctions, haaaa…..  Tons of great movie items, art, and just a cornucopia of things that we all wish we could have.  Here are a few pages from my wish list and by far the best thing in this catalog for me is the Spaceship from  Zombies of the Stratosphere…also used as Commando Cody’s ship in Radar Men from the Moon) A real treasure!!!  OK then off to the drawing board so enjoy the download and have a great day!!!


the coolest model ever

Wow It's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

What a great car

COOOOOOL,,,, stuff from the Rocketeer

the not so Jupiter 2, jupiter 2

very nifty Trek stuff

and holly cow the simple blaster from "Forbidden Planet"


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.


The Cousteau, Picards Yacht, part 1

Howdy all and thanks for all the support on Alicia’s fundraiser. Today is a post on some artwork I came across last week and wanted to put it up this morning. This is the final design for Captain Picards yacht from Star Trek Insurrection. This was a tough concept to work out because of the positioning of the torpedo launcher located in the same location on the underside of the Enterprise-E’s saucer. Just by enormous chance did the positioning and shape make for the perfect place for the yacht and took very little line work to tie the E’s lines in with the belly of the Yacht.  Being so very established as the main torpedo launcher in First Contact, a lot of sloping had to be put into the exterior cockpit area of the yacht so that the launcher would still be able to operate. Those images will be posted in part two of this article. Mike Okuda named the ship  Cousteau after the world famous diver and oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. Following the three quarter views are the schematics that were a whole lot of fun to put together. Not a lot of screen time for this one but it was very nice to have the chance to establish the architecture as well as the details for this little ship.

the yacht

yacht scales


Kirk’s escape pod from Star Trek 2009

Here are some concepts from JJ’s Star Trek that came out a whole year ago last month, HOLY COW!!!!

Howdy all that time frame is unbelievable, man already a year old,,, Anyways, here are some fun ideas for Kirks escape pod from Star Trek. This one changed a lot in the script so new versions would apply them selves to the new dialog. Scott Chambliss would have me do a series of roughs as the story would indicate and then the architecture would also be in a state of flux as the films look was getting a grasp on how everything was going to look for the final film. the initial sketches where basically wedges that as time went on turned into an actual shuttle looking vessel and at one point they were similar in design to the ST(motion Picture) inspection pods designed by our good friend Andy Probert. from there we had a pause in sketches till the more final description came to be so on that mark came the cylindrical idea which had a variation of seat configurations and weather or not it was pilot-able or just automated. the cylinder was the final design and as the show went on the scale changed drastically due to budget. Fun process to see how this ship came to be and I really enjoyed collaborating with Scott on this design process.

OK enjoy and have a good one.


pod versions

the wedge look begins

here are some fun wedge designs with a detail taken right off our submarine fleet and thats the inset round detail that on a sub is a bouy that is launched if a sub goes down and sends out an SOS of the vessels location on the sea floor.

shuttle style versions

clynderized #!

and the final

June 2023