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:
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.Credits
for his USS Concorde: Rebooted
piece, which initially inspired me to try my hand at my own interpretation of the Constitution Class.
for his Alternate Star Trek Pennants
, after which I patterned the pennant on the side of the secondary hull.
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 Enterprise
s 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.