My original idea for my traveling project was to attack the most recent version of the Babylon 5 hyperspace effect on the plane ride, as seen in 2006’s “The Lost Tales.” It’s an intriguing mix of straightforward (since I can recognize it’s built out of standard Lightwave procedural textures and deformed geometry) and tricky (since there was only one shot of it in the movie, making it hard to deduce more specifics about it).
However, on Wednesday, it was announced that the new Star Trek television series, Discovery, would be taking place roughly a decade prior to the Original Series, during the same time as the adventures of Captain Pike. So instead, I spent my flight redressing Prologic9’s Constitution-class model to resemble the studio models that were used during the filming of Star Trek’s first pilot. My main sources of reference were screencaps from “The Cage,” the Casimiro blueprints, as well as this blog which goes into some detail on the different variations of the original Enterprise design seen over the course of 50 years of Star Trek. That’s where I learned about the blue tint on the ship’s neck which is an interesting variation on the design that I’m trying out. Other differences between the ship’s original version and the more familiar series configuration are a taller bridge, wider deflector dish, a different font for the hull markings, more decals on the top of the saucer, different endcaps on the tails of the nacelles, and gold spikes in the center of the forward nacelle domes. The model was originally unlit, and in the second pilot, while window lighting was added, the nacelle domes remained solid red. I’m assuming that’s why, when the visual effects of the original series were redone for the Blu-Ray release, the pilot version of the model had unlit domes, even though they did light the windows in “The Cage.” I disagree, and split the difference by darkening the domes and reducing their glow and transparency, but still allowing some of the series-style lighting effect through.