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Old August 26 2015, 06:31 PM   #1
OpenMaw's Avatar
Location: Everett, Washington
The Flying Lanc, 1017 Constellation

I posted a thread some time ago regarding old fan films from nearly/over a decade ago. The lead off of that was the conceptualized-but-never-produced "Star Trek : Constellation" film that my associate Jim Champlin was trying to produce at the time.

Essentially, it was a "What if Star Trek originated as a 1950s science fiction film?" It would have been very heavily influenced by "The Cage," John M. Ford's "Final Reflection," "Forbidden Planet," "The Day the Earth Stood Still," and with sprinklings of Cold War influences both in the plot and certain Klingon naming conventions. There was an analogue to the Missile Treaty/Cuban Missile Crisis. Basically the Klingons were not too happy to learn about the new heavy cruisers that the Federation was building, and feared they may be a means to launch deep range attacks on Qonos and other vital Klingon holdings.

As I recall, one of the biggest influences on the pitch at the time was the recently released Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow. Doing a movie with the feel, writing, and design of a classic movie but with a bigger budget and all the capabilities of modern production brought to bear.

Well our principle starship was the Constellation NCC-1017 under the command of Captain Matthew Decker. Out on patrol, she would happen upon a Klingon strike fleet approaching a far flung star base. The basis for the Constellation was the Lancaster Class by Masao Okazaki.

The idea was to take the original design and retool it to fit with the feel of the first pilot Enterprise and infuse that with some 1950s design concepts. (More muted details and color, some chrome accents, etc...)

At one point I had built a fairly good low poly version of the ship as intended. Not too long ago, I lost a lot of my old artwork and projects in a hard-drive crash, and my back up drive had been cleared out so that my ex could use it (Still waiting to get that thing back.)

The old model:

In any event I decided to rebuild her, and indeed fool around with the ideas present in the original pitch.


Bridge, Deck 2, impulse engines and running lights are not textured. The windows on the rim are actually a transparent texture with a small room built inside (needs a lot of work still.)

Both upper and lower sections of the saucer will have a full complement of phaser banks. They're textured softer than what we saw on the TMP ships as a sort of means to balance why we don't "see" them on the original Enterprise.


As I stated previously, the idea was to basically give the ship a 1950s look and feel. Her specular finish would give her a very shiny chrome finish, almost like a 1950s fighter plane. No real "aztec" but a subtle hint of the metal texture is visible. Lower sensor area is not textured yet. The deflector dish texture is a stand-in right now, taken off of another model.


Like I said the windows are actually a transparent texture with a small room inside. I want to actually model a couple of sub model variants so you might actually see people standing by the windows sometimes. Plus a couple little chairs and tables. Not a lot of detail, but enough that when she ship flies past camera you get a better sense of life than just "white square lights."

I did scale the rooms behind the windows so that two decks can fit in the saucer with a little bit of room between decks for grav plating and all the other "guts" that must be in there.


Same as the ol E she'll have a shuttle bay on her stern. Warp engine end caps will be very similar to the Daedalus. My goal was always to add some life to the ship in subtle ways without betraying the feel of the cage. One thing I wanted to do was to have the end caps light up when she ship goes to warp. I've also been trying to figure out a retro "jump" to warp that would fit the TOS world.


Lastly, one of my favorite touches of the design are the forward torpedo launchers. They open like submarine torpedo tubes. I'll be modeling something to actually go behind the doors. Again this is handled with a transparent texture and a couple of flat planes to save some polies.

Keep in mind this model is designed with a game engine in mind, so it's not done with millions of polies. It's rather modest right now. I hope to have it finalized and plugged into something like Source Filmmaker for machinima purposes.
"Paradise protests too much." SFDebris

Last edited by OpenMaw; August 26 2015 at 06:33 PM. Reason: Fixed Youtube link.
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Old August 27 2015, 03:50 PM   #2
Fleet Captain
JES's Avatar
Location: Ocoee, Florida
Re: The Flying Lanc, 1017 Constellation

Oh, that is so cool! One minute, you think the torpedo tubes haven't been modeled in yet, and then they just open up! You can just barely see them, if you look hard enough.
My humble Flickr gallery:

Also now on Deviantart
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Old August 27 2015, 05:38 PM   #3
OpenMaw's Avatar
Location: Everett, Washington
Re: The Flying Lanc, 1017 Constellation

Indeed! In a way the idea was to pay tribute to Jefferies' thinking. Having everything on the inside of the ship or hidden within the surface. I also just like the submarine feel of having the captain order "Open tubes, arm torpedoes!"

Finished up the saucer section for the most part.

The two "heat sinks" flanking the deuterium storage tank on the impulse deck are not sporting a finalized texture yet. I plan to have all the chrome bits on one texture for the sake of efficiency. So they are utilizing the warp engine end cap texture right now.

Went with a Kelvin-inspired impulse engine. The design originally featured more conventional TOS type engines back there, just more of them, but I thought something a little different and more primitive in appearance would be fitting. I plan to have an animated glow texture for the engines similar to how it looks on the JJ E and Kelvin, but with that very crimson-orange color of the motion picture E.


I put this together in about 45 minutes the other day. It's the USS Vixen in her new form. She's much smaller than she appeared in the animated episode we did back in 2004. Originally she was more of a boxy Reliant-to-the-Constitutions-Lancaster type of thing. Now she's basically a fast attack frigate that is generally docked at a home port or patrolling nearby star systems. Designed to rush in and strafe the bad guys before returning home.

She's the starship equivalent to a double barrel shotgun with warp engines. She goes in, punches the bad guy in the face, and than warps out. Hence she has double mounted forward facing phaser/lasers.
"Paradise protests too much." SFDebris
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constellation, lancaster, masao okazaki, star trek, thisistrek

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