1 January 2015

Ships Of the Line II: The Blueprints Of Star Trek - Meet The Enterprises

Remember the post from last Christmas time featuring the wonderful art created about the ships of Star Trek? Well, this is another salute to the humble starship, but looking a the blueprints that have been produced over the years. If you're not aware that such things exist, then boy, are you about to fall into a rabbithole of awesome.
The idea of producing blueprints for Star Trek ships isn' a new one; the earliest one that I have seen is Franz Joseph's Constitution class blueprints from 1973. Joseph was an artist and author loosely associated with the original series, as the hugely influential Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual, a book that provides some detail on the workings of technology used in the original series, including its ships, phasers, tricorders, universal translators, and medical equipment, and even diagrams for a working communicator built using 20th century electronics. 

The original and to most people, still the best: the original ship, designed by Matt Jeffries and the one that set the tone for all starships that followed it. She remained in service for forty years, engaging in numerous first contacts, military engagements, and time travel missions. She eventually gained everlasting fame during her five-year mission, under the command of Captain Kirk. She underwent a massive refit in 2270, engaged V'Ger in 2273, and self-destructed over the Genesis Planet in 2285.
These are Monte R. Johnjulio's Constitution blueprints from 2010; I decided to show these instead of Franz Joseph's purely as I prefer them. These were published by the now-defunct Kennedy Ship Yards:

David Kimble's 1980 blueprints of The refitted Enterprise from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. He also did the iconic cutaway picture of the Enterprise-A, as well as several since. The ship itself was designed in large by Robert Probert, with input from Mike Minor, Joe Jennings, Douglas Trumbull, Harold Michaelson, and Richard Taylor:

And as a bonus, blueprints of the K'Tinga-class Klingon battle cruiser, another Probert design:

 'Today is a good day to die'

'So help me Spock, I'm actually pleased to see you'

'Two and a half years as Chief of Starfleet Operations may have made me a little stale, but I wouldn't consider myself untried... They gave her back to me, Scotty'

The Heavy Cruiser Evolution Blueprints from 1985, by David John Nielsen, another excellent draftsman. I bought these when they came out; its one thing looking at them on a screen, but when they are laid out in front of you as giant sheets, they really are magnificent:

'My god, thats a big ship'

The Excelsior Class Enterprise-B, designed by David Carson and Nilo Rodis-Jamero, Steve Gawley and Bill George of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM).
The 'B' is the forgotten man of the line; it was only seen on screen in Star Trek; Generations, but in the timeline of various books was under the command of at least four different captains over a 36 year lifespan. Countless Excelsior-class ships were seen on screen in various supporting capacities in episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, however.
Blueprints again by Johnjulio:

And just in case you're getting confused with the USS Excelsior, heres a comparison sheet:

The Ambassador Class Enterprise-C is probably the Ringo Starr of the Enterprise line; it isn't the frontman, but it had its moment in the sun, lasting in service 12 years before going out in a blaze of glory protecting a Klingon outpost on Narendra II from four Romulan Warbirds (TNG episode Yesterday's Enterprise).
The design was by Andrew Probert again, who also designed...

...the Enterprise D.
If the Enterprise-C is Ringo Starr and the B is George Harrison, then the Galaxy Class Enterprise-D is McCartney to the TOS Enterprise's Lennon. She didn't have a long life, (a mere 8 years), but she packed a lot of history into that short time:

'Eject the core'

And the refitted Enterprise-D from an alternate future (as featured in the TNG episode 'All Good Things'); she's a bit of a hot rod:

The beauty that is the Sovereign-class Enterprise E. Although she was only seen in three films (First Contact, Insurrection & Nemesis) she stayed in service for 36 years and was featured in a lot of beta-canon books, before being replaced by the Odyssey-Class Enterprise-F in 2409:
The Sovereign-class  was designed by John Eaves under final supervision of Herman Zimmerman.

The Captain's yacht from the Enterprise-E, first seen in Star Trek: Insurrection.

It may still be blasphemy to some that this ship exists at all, but you can't deny that Doug Drexler designed a ship that looked like it was the forerunner to the Starship line of the same name. The ship had a ten year lifespan from 2151-2161:

An had there been a fifth series , we would have got to see Doug Drexler's design for the refit (NX-01-D) which would have been the missing link between NX-01 and the TOS ship:

One version of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-F) appears in the  multiplayer online role-playing game Star Trek Online. Its design is based on the entry submitted by Adam Ihle for the 2011 "Design the next Enterprise" contest, a joint venture between Cryptic Studios, CBS, and Intel, which ran shortly before the game was made free to play. The Enterprise-F made its first appearance in the mission Boldly They Rode, at the point where the USS Enterprise-F appears to help the player defeat the Dominion fleet. Not much exists by way of blueprints that I can find though:

And an Enterprise that is only known about about (probably) by the hardcore Trekkers out there: The Universe-class Enterprise J.

It was seen in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode Azati Prime, when Captain Archer is takento the 26th century by the temporal agent known only as Daniels to see the Battle of Procyon V on board the Enterprise-J. You don't see the actual exterior of the ship, (only a schematic on a wall), but you get the impression the ship is
Enterprise-J is a multi-generational vessel, that has large parks, entertainment zones, and entire universities on board. The ship is so large that turbolifts have been replaced with site to site transporters. Technology is beyond transwarp - they can fold space, and they are exploring other galaxies besides the Milky Way.
And I'm guessing that the reason why the ship looks different in profile is just down to individual interpretation; there was only one official picture of the exterior:

And to finish, a fan-made comparison chart of the starship Enterprise family with big J included. Apologies for the JJ Abrams ship being in there, it couldn't be helped:


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