Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Constitution Class Concept (first draft) by Kasterborous Constitution Class Concept (first draft) by Kasterborous
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.

Update: I've had to take steps to prevent unauthorised copying, modification, and redistribution of this image. I apologise for the reduction in quality and clarity this has caused.
Add a Comment:
SeekHim Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Very nice!
I admit that I thought the Abrams ship was beautiful on the outside, I did NOT care for the brewery!

GOD bless
John 3:16
Nhlaqgor Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Excellent design!
Although i like some aspects of the JJ design* (please don't hit me) i think your design would have fit better to the new movies.

*i really dislike the position of the engineering hull and the way oversized nacelles,but i like the general smoothness of the JJ design.
Yeah i grew up with the big -D. :)
Gabrial-Dragon45 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2015
Btw in the Description about the neck of this ship.

I actualy nicknamed the neck that holds the saucer and secondary hull together the Horse head neck. In insperation of the Horsehead Nebula.
MorganDonovan Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2014
This is very good.  You should do the other views.
Ex-Pendable Featured By Owner Edited Jun 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi Kasterborous, nice ship! While I like the overall impression, I'm going to point out a few things.

First, there's the neck of the ship. The radiator blends a bit too well with the background, making it harder to see and gives the false impression that the neck is slimmer than it is. And it begs the question - what's there that needs such a massive radiator? Keep in mind that the nacelles and the struts have radiator systems for the main engines.

I like that you put photon torpedo tubes back in the primary hull - but I have a problem with having a probe launcher and a single torpedo tube at the base of the neck. Space is at a premium aboard ship, so when possible you design systems to have multiple functions and so a little redundancy. Like torpedo and probes - the only real difference between them is the payload, so it makes sense to design your probes within the operation specs of the torpedo launcher so you can use the same tubes and magazine systems for both. Also don't forget recorder-marker buoys, target drones and vessel simulators.

You've put in a lot of detail into this, I can tell - but I can't see how that hanger door as drawn can possibly open, the lines look all wrong to me.
Kasterborous Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2014
Hi Ex-Pendable. I'll answer your points in order.

Re: Radiators... the ship would have multiple systems that needed different grades of radiator. Life support, cryogenic fuel storage, secondary power generation... not to mention large surfaces for certain types of sensors and subspace communications arrays. While the nacelles may well radiate surplus heat from the warp drive you don't want life support shunting its surplus heat through the same radiators because the warp engines would then end up cooking everyone. The neck is an otherwise unused section of the ship I thought could be pressed into use. (Of course, like most Star Trek ship designs the actual explanation is a combination of "I thought it looked good" and "I couldn't decide what else to put there" ;).)

Re: The launcher... the launcher at the base of the neck is actually intended to be primarily a probe launcher, with a small magazine of photon torpedoes as a secondary function – used if the main launcher is offline, or if the ship needs just that little bit extra firepower. The probes are not installed on the ship in a sealed, pre-configured state like photon torpedoes; rather they can be customised and modified according to the needs of any particular mission. Putting the probes at the base of the neck puts them nearer to the engineering and cargo sections of the ship. While space aboard ship is an absolute premium for spacecraft today, it certainly doesn't seem to be for Star Trek ships – even the NX-01 is quite spacious and well-equipped. Only the Defiant seems to actually be compact, cramped, and extremely pushed for space by design.

Re: the shuttlebay door... well, possibly. I haven't really worked out how it opens yet... fantail-fashion like the classic Enterprises, or in the rather odd articulated way the Abrams-Church Enterprise does, or something different. I'll need to finish the top view before I fix it though! ;)
harroldsheep Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Professional Filmographer
i like this more that the awful JJPrise, but I think I disagree with you on the straight vs. swept-back nacelle struts.  with the aggressive lean forward of the beefier neck, swept-back nacelles would be a nice counter-balance.
Kasterborous Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014
Thanks! I'll have a look at revisiting the nacelle struts if I ever get around to a second revision :)
Time-Lord-Rassilon Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2014
now that's beautiful. I love the line work there. The colors and highlights make it truly exceptional.
Commandox20 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013

Would you mind if I took a crack at modeling this beauty? 
Balsavor Featured By Owner 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)
Gabrial-Dragon45 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2015
XD LOL IPrise eh? XD now thats something i like as a nickname for the JJ Enterprise design xD instead of JJ Prise or Shadey Prise.

Also that design of the Churchill Nacells was actualy 2 pares of nacells moulded into one.
DalekOfBorg Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013
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 Featured By Owner 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. 
Kasterborous Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013
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 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
lol, definitely, conclusion= it still looks damn ugly. 
HandofManos Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Excellent work indeed :) very inspirational and a nice tribute
Kasterborous Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013
Kind words, thanks very much :)
Daihak Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'd love to see other views of the ship.
Kasterborous Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013
I'm working on it ;)
kuckuk333 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013
that's an Enterprise i would've accepted for ST 11 and ST 12
Kasterborous Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013
Thanks! :)
Phaeton99 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Glad I could inspire!  :D
Kasterborous Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013
Thanks! :) Given our one-time in-depth discussion about starship scale and the Abrams-Church design I'd love to get your opinion on this concept.
Phaeton99 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Sorry for the long delay...  the question is, where to begin?

In all fairness, it would be inappropriate to make any purely aesthetic judgments about the design choices, as that is a matter of personal taste.  

Since comparisons are made to the poorly-conceived proportions Abrams Frankenprise, I will remark upon their relative effectiveness, here.

My first impression is that this would be more a TOS antecedent of the Sovereign lineage than a member of the Constitution, if only due to how scale and structural mass are treated — not a criticism, really, just an observation   At these dimensions, one might expect a somewhat more compact overall structure to bear the greater load, but since even canon plays loose with such things, it is really no more than a personal interpretation.  For this reason, I will simply accept this as structurally plausible within the setting range and set this aspect aside.

Taken as a whole, certain points are raised, nonetheless.

It is difficult to judge how effective the relative masses gel as a design with a singular profile view, especially since I cannot make any assumptions about lateral dimensions beyond, perhaps, radial the symmetry of the saucer and (if this design follows the basic Constitution conventions) the secondary hull along its long axis, minus the cutout.  Overall, the is none of the Abramsprise  mismatched proportions nor stylistic disharmony:  components — saucer, nacelles, secondary hull — clearly belong together in this ship.  

Nonetheless, proportionately-speaking, and irrespective of the great depth of the cutout,  the engineering hull seems a bit too slender, to simply tube-like,  relative its length and broadside of the connecting dorsal to the saucer: an issue I have with the Abrams version as well.   A broader diameter at its widest, about two decks worth overall, would alleviate this — though if the secondary hull is wider than tall, this impression would likely resolve itself from other viewing angles.  

This represents a minor thing, really, that I think would balance the visual masses, better, but its far from grievous.

More significantly, there is the matter of perceived scale.  To be quite honest, it does not visually read as big as the stated size, valid though the treatment of those dimensions appears to be on closer examination.  This may be in part because the design follows the Constitution silhouette so closely, lending itself to mistaken impression, however on closer look, I think perhaps that the windows may be slightly too large, with a lack of other fine hull details clearly establishing a proper sense of scale, such as the docking ports or implied deck count.

Taking the ports as a guide, some windows appear greater than 1.5 meters in height and as long as 3m — which may certainly be valid if one plans to give certain compartments panoramic views in the manner of the Galaxy class, and is likewise reasonable versus human scale,  but the effect makes the ship seem somewhat smaller.

Overall, though, this design has potential.

Kasterborous Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013
Hey, thanks for the feedback :)

You'd be right to assume the ship's dimensions in other views as per the symmetry of the saucer and the secondary hull, because that's precisely how I've worked them out. I do have a top view that's stuck at about 75% done, and a front view that's stuck at about 25% done - I certainly haven't abandoned this design, but I am somewhat prone to becoming distracted by other projects, and with something as instantly recognisable as the Enterprise I find I have to be in a precise frame of mind to work on it simply because I want to do her justice. I hope to return to this over the Christmas/New Year period.

The secondary hull being too slender and/or simple is the most common criticism I think the design has received, so it's a fair comment. I think it's down to a combination of factors, including my limitations as an artist, but also because I wanted the secondary hull (and indeed the rest of the ship) to be free from unnecessary ornamentation – I wanted it to be functional, one reason why I went for a big undercut rather than the comparatively tiny one on the Jeffries original that looks as though it exists just to prop the doors for the shuttlebay up. The secondary hull is there primarily to house the warp drive and deflector, after all, with most of the habitable volume of the ship and certainly the vast majority of the crew systems and facilities are in the saucer. I would go as far as to say that the secondary hull would be off-limits to most crew unless they had a specific job there, or at least somewhere they just wouldn't go, any more than most people wouldn't go to the industrial areas of a city during their day-to-day activities. In fact it could be argued that the shuttlebay itself would make more sense being located in the saucer, but presumably keeping it isolated from the crew sections for reasons of quarantine, security, safety in the event of shuttle accidents, etc, explains its location at the very aft of the secondary hull. This isn't me saying that I disagree, it's just me rationalising my design choices :)

I do agree that the windows are a little bit large for the scale of the ship. I'd already planned to reduce them on a second revision, as and when it actually occurs. My original thought in making them so big was that if you're in a fabulously advanced spaceship and the physical hull doesn't actually have to be defensive due to deflector shields then why not have massive windows to afford stunning views of all those wonderful planets and negative space wedgies? But yes, a fine idea in isolation can affect the overall balance of the design. Some of the observation lounges etc would keep the massive windows, as per the arboretum in the Constitution refit, but by and large the rest should be reduced in size.
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
August 24, 2013
Image Size
121 KB


3,095 (4 today)
72 (who?)