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August 24, 2013
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Constitution Class Concept (finished draft) by Kasterborous Constitution Class Concept (finished draft) by Kasterborous
The finished version of this silhouetted design.

This has only taken me a few weeks - perhaps because having a very clear picture of the Constitution Class design in my head I didn't have to "feel" my way as I have done with other more original designs. Like many Trek fans I'm not terribly keen on the design of the Enterprise in the Abrams movies. For starters, it was designed at a specific size by designer Ryan Church – 366m to be precise, on a par with the original's 289m and the refit's 305m – and then pointlessly doubled in length by Abrams because of course bigger is better, making it a colossal 725m long on screen (significantly bigger than the behemoth that is the 1701-D), with bizarrely outsized windows and hatches. I don't like the silly brewery engineering sections, I don't like the ridiculously outsized nacelles, and I don't like the big sweeping pointless curves of the neck, secondary hull, and pylons. About the only thing I do like is the saucer, which tidies up some of the fussiness of the refit Enterprise saucer and has a nice spine component linking the bridge bubble with the impulse engines.

So this is sort of my attempt to show how I wish the Enterprise had looked.

The scale: This Enterprise is 439m long. That's significantly bigger than the original 1701, but it was designed from the beginning to be bigger than the original 1701. My starting point was that the 1701 and refit 1701 saucer rims are two decks tall; this design puts the saucer rim at three decks tall. The windows are bigger than on the original 1701 because they're supposed to be panoramic and offer good outside views. The circular windows are intended to be roughly the same size as Deep Space 9's characteristic portholes. The saucer is based very heavily on the design from the Abrams movie, because I actually liked it. Whereas the original 1701, refit, and movie versions have a bevelled saucer rim, I went for a curved one. I'm not entirely sure why from a technical point-of-view, it just seemed to suit the design and cut down on unnecessarily hard edges.

The phasers: the original 1701, the refit, and the Abrams-Church version have little swivelly hemispherical phaser turrets. However, the phaser strips of the TNG/DS9/VOY era are so distinctively and idiosyncratically Trek that I thought a reboot should at least acknowledge this. As a result this 1701 design has solid state turrents that function in effect like very small phaser strips – they're turrets but they don't have to physically move to aim. I think this is a plausible bridge between the deliberately retro swivelly turrets of the NX-01 and the circumferential phaser strips of the Enterprise-D, especially considering Trek itself never explained where phaser strips came from – Constitution Class and Excelsior Class ships just had traditional ball turrets, then the Ambassador Class and Galaxy Class had big strips. There are port, fore, and starboard phasers on the top and bottom surfaces of the saucer, two ventral phasers on the underside of the secondary hull, one dorsal phaser array on the top of the aft end of the secondary hull, and one horizontal rear-facing array below the shuttlebay doors. That's ten arrays for good all-round coverage.

The photon torpedo launchers: in the original series the 1701 fired photons and phasers from, depending on the episode and the camera angle, somewhere just underneath/forward of the bridge, or somewhere around the dome at the bottom of the saucer. The 1701 refit famously had the photon torpedo launchers moved to a big bulgy thing the base of the neck, which seems to have become the Starfleet ship standard (even the Abrams-Church design retcons this). My design moves the main photon torpedo launchers back to the bottom front of the saucer (two tubes), whereas there is a single combined photon torpedo and probe launcher at the base of the neck. There is also a rear-firing launcher recessed into secondary hull undercut (not visible in the side view). That's four tubes total.

The neck: the original Enterprise always had a stupidly thin neck. This neck would be somewhat thicker due to the increased scale but it lacks a normal deck structure, having instead some pressurised compartments (good place for observation lounges and recreation spaces that won't be used in an emergency) and a lot of conduits and structural framework. That's why a lot of the surface is covered by radiators and tactical sensor arrays. I much prefer the linear necks of the original and refit 1701s to the super-curvy Abrams-Church version.

The secondary hull: somewhat similar to the Abrams-Church design in that it has a large undercut. I liked this because it looks like a deliberate part of the design, rather than the much smaller undercuts of the original 1701 and refit, which looked more like afterthoughts. The navigational deflector is a coppery dish like the original but recessed into a glowing blue housing like on the refit.

The nacelles: the honking nacelles and curvy pylons are the bits of the Abrams-Church design I hate the most. These pylons are straight, like on the original. I tried swept-back pylons like on the refit but it looked a bit weird. Originally I had intended spikes on the Bussards and rear fins like on the original and the Abrams-Church version, but I found during the design that a simpler, more streamlined look worked better for me. The nacelle is based on a cross between that of the Kelvin and those of the NX-01, which I think gives them a nice retro feel compared to the red-fronts-and-blue-sides look familiar with 24th century nacelles. I imagine the warp field grille on the sides of the nacelle actually folding open like louvred slats when the ship jumps to warp, the rest of the time shielding the internal components.

The shuttlecraft: both types of shuttle are designs featured in the Abrams movies and taken directly from the ships gallery section on Ex Astris Scientia, with only tiny editing to tidy them up and resize them appropriately.

:iconphaeton99: for his USS Concorde: Rebooted piece, which initially inspired me to try my hand at my own interpretation of the Constitution Class.

:iconviperaviator: for his Alternate Star Trek Pennants, after which I patterned the pennant on the side of the secondary hull.

:iconsuricatafx: for the best 2D schematic of the Kelvin I've seen, which I used as a basis when creating my Constitution Class concept's Kelvin-NX-01 hybrid nacelles.

See also the Goodstuff 2 blog by "Gus" - don't know if he's on DeviantArt - whose high-res schematics of the original 1701, refit, and Abrams-Church Enterprises proved an invaluable resource.

Star Trek and the USS Enterprise belong to someone else. No violation of copyright is intended. This is fan art, created just for my own amusement and that of others.
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now that's beautiful. I love the line work there. The colors and highlights make it truly exceptional.
Commandox20 Sep 30, 2013  Professional Filmographer

Would you mind if I took a crack at modeling this beauty? 
Balsavor Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice adaptation. I like the blend of the old Trek with new the new concepts of today (or future, however you like). I would've liked this Enterprise much more than the iPrise Abrams has. (I guess, in the future, Apple designs starships too ~My conclusion about Abrams Enterprise)
With your permission, I would like to use this design as a template for the refitted USS Hindenburg. I will credit you wherever she is used.
CyberRaven Sep 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
*sigh* if only JJ's ship looked something like that, i' think you've hit the nail on the head with the major gripes i've had with it, though i may differ with you on the neck, i quite liked the thicker, curvier neck on JJ's ship IMO anyhow, that, and the saucer section, but this is a vast improvement. w00t: esp with the longer secondary hull-seemed way too short in movies. 
Thanks! :) The issue with the short secondary hull on the Abrams-Church Enterprise is actually a bit of an optical illusion and it's caused in part by that curvy neck. The secondary hull on my design is similar in overall shape and proportion to that on the Abrams-Church Enterprise, but the neck attaches almost at the front of the secondary hull's dorsal surface, giving it a profile much more like that of Probert's refit 1701 and shifting the secondary hull backwards so it balances out the saucer when viewed from the side. On the Abrams-Church design the entire secondary hull is shifted much further forwards, tucking it under the primary hull so that the deflector dish is about level with where the top of the neck joins the saucer. On my design moving the secondary hull that far forward would require the neck to attach halfway down the secondary hull, but because the Abrams-Church design has that curvy neck you don't notice quite how odd this is. If the Abrams-Church design has a straight neck that didn't curve down to the secondary hull or flare out at the back as it runs down towards the shuttlebay it would look truly bizarre and unbalanced. Yet another reason why I don't like the Abrams-Church's curves... ;)
CyberRaven Sep 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
lol, definitely, conclusion= it still looks damn ugly. 
HandofManos Aug 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Excellent work indeed :) very inspirational and a nice tribute
Kind words, thanks very much :)
Daihak Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'd love to see other views of the ship.
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