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Old August 16 2013, 08:25 PM   #18
Markonian
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Location: Leipzig, Saxony
Re: Ships of the Line 2014

The calendar has arrived!

I was underwhelmed by the preview but the images look better in real size.

While the craft is as superb as ever, but I do have some criticisms.

Generally, I dislike blurred ships (like the shuttle in January). Sure, they insinuate motion but why mangle a probably fine model just for the effect? On the other hand, it is very well executed in Richter's September entry.

Imho, we've seen the Enterprise in drydock for the umpteenth time. (January) We've also seen the Reliant often but the picture (April) looks so spectacular I mentally added it immediately to my all-time favourites.

February: The Columbia-class is a graceful design and its NX-class sister ship (Endeavour, Intrepid NX-07?) makes for a welcome comparison. I also welcome to see the - Imho - most beautiful BoP ever again, though these ships could've done without the blurring. (And a bird painted underneath would've been extra awesome).

March: The OV-101 is the highlight in this picture. The yellow support net add a welcome contrast to the otherwise black and gray hulls dominated gathering. IIrc, I saw a similar gathering around an orbiting starbase ten years ago in a ST magazine, made by Tobias Richter.

May: The Sovereign-class is one of these few ships that look attractive from most possible perspectives. May presents a rare perspective of the ship and somehow, even though it is clearly a painting, it feels like a real piece of technology, like something from an illustrated guide of state-of-the-art tech I used to have as a child.

June is another major highlight. The ship itself is a typical 23rd century kitbash of the Constitution class, although the design is influenced by the alternate reality. It still is a kitbash but the details (e.g. the hull plating on the saucer), the curvy secondy hull and the AR-type deflector make it pleasing to the eye.
But more on the picture: Every details is crystal clear, like an HD image. Everything adds to the composition to make it complete: the planet, its satellite, the ship, the nebula background, even the star-like lense flare! And the astronaut painter is the icing on the cake. Another one of the best images.

I like the combination of the J with a more interesting background, especially because it is "clouds in space". I suppose 26th century Starfleet hides weapons, lifeboats, etc. under hull plates again as in the 22nd and 23rd centuries. The enigmatic Universe-class is still as awe-inspiring as it was years ago.

July: Tje NCC-76890 looks like it's set in-between the Ambassador- and Galaxy-classes but more advanced than both. While it is certainly good-looking, I wouldn't think Starfleet releases an exact intermediary between two flagship classes. Maybe we could learn more about that ship if it receives a cameo in a novel.

August: The idea of fighting a lava space kraken stands out in the calendar(s). The dark gray hull reminds me of one of the skin options in STO.

October: A new Enterprise enters the Star Trek unverse! The design is reminiscent of the XCV but looks sleek and contemporary state-of-the-art.

November: As usual, the craft and details are flawless - but this is the one perspective the NX looks unattractive, Imho, because it looks like something has been cut away from underneath. On the other hand, it makes it that much more apparent that the class needed a secondary hull.

December: The cratered moon and the magnetic field are simple yet pure eye-candy. This perspective of the Big E underlines its heavy-set part, not to the design's detriment.

Last but not least - the title page by Graves. The D4 is a beauty and the more we see of it, the better. Let's hope it makes its way into ENT-R Unexpected someday.

Despite all criticisms, which only stem from my personal aesthethics, I'm amazed by the artwork again and so glad we got another calendar. I only wish the holes were at the top of the pages and not the sides.

Conclusion: The 2014 calendar was worthy to wait for.
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