Tuesday 1 February 2011

Star Trek: Voyages That Never Were II

Yes, another self indulgent post. This one's about the starships. Almost every Trekker/Trekkie will doodle (or seriously design) Federation Starfleet starships, and I was no different.

This was my interpretation of the USS Titan, the ship that Will Riker assumed command of at the end of Star Trek Nemesis. It was never seen on screen, only mentioned. There was a competition open to the fans to design a new class of starship and the winning design would grace the cover of the Titan-series of novels. It would be forever etched into the Star Trek Universe - A fan's dream! To see more images of the winning design (plus others), created by Sean Tourangeau, just click the links.

Now, this wasn't so much a starship design as a vehicle for subspace sails. Ever since the DS9 episode Explorers featured a Bajoran solar sail space ship, I wondered if something similar could be utilised on starships to generate power and/or provide propulsion. As the third point in the Memory Alpha link points out, a solar sail would have to be miles wide to propel a small caravan-sized ship, so a more technologically advanced design that uses subspace (through which starships travel at warp) rather than normal space as the sail medium would mean that smaller sails could be used.
The masts and 'webbing' shown in the drawing above are the only physical aspects of the propulsion, the sails themselves would be generated as a type of forcefield and extend out for hundreds of metres from the ship into subspace.

When I wasn't designing long, sleek ships like the one with the subspace sails, I was imagining smaller, more technologically advanced future starships. And by future, I mean in The Next Generation's future, not ours (although, it would be ours, too). These starships would be delicate-looking but extremely durable, due to the new alloys used and new production & construction techniques. I envisioned long, slender, slightly curved warp nacelles (and their pylons), oval or spherical primary hulls and small, sleek secondary hulls. All these would fit together to give an insect-like appearance.
The sketches above show a few of my designs along with their contemporary counterparts; a long range Vulcan shuttle, a scout ship, an Akira-class starship and an Olympic-class medical starship. Unfortunately, none of these ideas progressed past the sketch stage - Painting starships is a lot more difficult than slapping some clothes on a fit model!

There may be one more of these Star Trek posts to come, so don't hold your breath for something less boring any time soon...
Shush, you! They seemed to like the last post, so there.

Continued in... Star Trek: The Voyages That Never Were III


  1. I like your drawings, so self-indulge away!

  2. Nothing wrong with self indulgence. This is healthier than chocolates.

    Brilliant drawings!

  3. Bravo! Great concept ships....
    Who ever said that there was someting wrong with selfindugence had obviously had nothing to indulge themself in...

    Oh hai Xl... Petra...

  4. What's that you say?

    You're a Trekkie diddler?

  5. xl: Thank you, I shall!

    'Petra: Healthier, but not as tasty.

    Princess: At least this sort of self indulgence doesn't require a handful of tissues...

    MJ: Well, that would depend on which character needed diddling.

  6. You should see the amount of post-it notes I get through doodling starships. It's obscene. I actually had to ask the office manager to order some more.

    Latest doodle: a Galaxy-class ship with the nacelles swept back. Think the transformation from the TOS Enterprise to the motion picture one and you wouldn't be far off.

  7. PSSSSSST! Before I move on to writing my next post, could you swing by and give me your comments on my current post.


  8. Ah, so that's what the money used to purchase your magazine gets spent on - Post It notes!

    'Petra: Done!

    Love it!


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