Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Comics bits: Deadly alliances, hot stuff, and Khan

A few bits of comics news: Starting with J.K. Woodward's latest Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover art, which will be available with super exclusive IDW Limited releases of the Assimilation2 crossover series. Woodward posted some of the artwork he has been making, on his blog, including new images such as the latest encounter with the scarily forgettable Silence-Borg, and what is surely the the super cute deadly alliance at the center of the next crossover series: 

Out last week was the latest issue in the ongoing series, After Darkness, Part Three. Here's the cover, and a three page preview (via Comixology), which sees some exciting Vulcan action in a volcano:

Amazon have now added a cover for the After Darkness omnibus, which will contain the three-part After Darkness story, and the forthcoming Gorn one-shot. As one might expect it appears they'll be using the cover art from the first issue in the omnibus.

In other cover news, Paul Shipper, who is doing the covers for the forthcoming Khan prequel series, has posted his artwork for the first issue. Below is the cover for the first issue, without the titles, if you make your way to his portfolio you can see all the elements he used to create this:

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

New Attack Wing images

Due out next month is Neca's latest Star Trek miniatures game, Attack Wing. The new game utilises the FlightPath maneuver system, a different gaming system to their previous Heroclix releases, which allows you to customise ships in the game with different captain, crew, weapons and more. Attack Wing will be release as a three-ship starter set, with an additional eight ships available as expansion packs at launch. Neca are also now listing a further four expansion packs for release in October - The USS Defiant, a Dominion "patrol ship", Kronos One, and Praetus (which is a 22nd century Romulan bird of Prey in the Tactics game). Neca has released lots of images, showing what will be coming in all the first wave releases. Here are individual items available:

And a look at everything in the starter set:

Here are the eight ships available as expansion packs, the Federation USS Reliant and USS Enterprise, Romulan Valdore and Apnex, Klingon Gr’oth and Negh’var, and the Cardassian Kraxon and Breen Gor Portas representing the Dominion:

Continue after the jump for images of all the cards and other contents from the expansion packs:

Captain Kirk: Rock Star

The title of this post may be more exciting than the subject: A couple of months ago Diamond Select Toys released what I consider one of the most tediously odd Star Trek products ever - The USS Enterprise rock art plaque. That is, a slab of rock with a picture of the Enterprise "painstakingly emblazoned" upon it. Well it seems someone liked the thing, as now DST have announced a second Star Trek rock, this time it comes with a picture of Captain Kirk on it:

You can look forward to Captain Kirk on a rock early next year.

Monday, 29 July 2013

TNG Season 4 and Redemption teases

TNG Season Four and the stand-alone release of Redemption are both about to get their bluray releases. To tempt you into a purchase or two, CBS have released a couple of short videos showing some of the features of both. Here's a brief animation demonstrating the front cover flap design for Redemption. It's not quite as fun as the assimilate Picard cover on The Best of Both Worlds, but you still get a bonus picture inside:

And here's an excerpt from the art department round table discussion from the Season Four extra features:

Continue after the jump for TV spots for both releases:

Friday, 26 July 2013

Voyager, another fine looking starship

TrekCore recently ran a series of articles celebrating Voyager, the cherry on top of their week's coverage was an article by Star Trek visual effects artist Rob Bonchune, who described the history of the use of the CGI models of the USS Voyager, including his own work finessing the main model they used:
CG was coming into play more and more on television shows during the mid-1990's, as a way to get a faster turnaround for the money spent and to make redoing shots far easier without the high expense of repeating an entire motion control miniature shot.

Although a practical filming miniature of Voyager was built for the show, the producers - especially the VFX Producer that worked with me, Mitch Suskin (and of course Dan Curry) - were planning to move completely towards CG models by the last few years of the series, if the technology proved viable. Two versions of the CG Voyager were scanned from the physical model, and built before the series began - one was built in Lightwave by John Gross, Bruce Hall, and D. H. Jones from Amblin Imaging; the other was created by Santa Barbara Studios using "Dynamation," their in-house design software.
Amblin Imaging had access to the physical miniature, and took detailed shots of the model as closely as possible - to use the actual physical model's surfaces as textures on the Lightwave CG Voyager. It turned out to be a great idea, and for the most part, it worked very well.

I was working for Foundation Imaging when I was finally assigned to Voyager full time, and that's when I had the chance to examine the existing Voyager CG model we had to use every week. I really wanted to give the CG model a major facelift so being new to the show, I asked Mojo - who was my Supervisor at Foundation Imaging on Voyager - and Mitch Suskin who was his Mojo's supervisor from Paramount - if, even on my own time, I could implement some changes to more accurately match the filming model as I felt we could not use it as it existed at the time. (This was all new to me back then and little did I know what the future held!). Using both good, clear shots of the physical model, and looking at the maps that Amblin had created, I set about pinpointing the areas that needed most work...
The article also includes some brand new renders of Voyager, including pretty shots like these:

You can read lots more about the use of CGI in Voyager, and Bonchune's refinement of the primary model, on TrekCore, where you can also see loads of new renders showing off that model. Fingers crossed we get to see the model in HD motion if the Star Trek remastering efforts manage to get as far as Voyager some day.

Cubify: The Next Generation

Cubify have launched the next instalment in their 3D printed Star Trek figurine range; you can now get custom versions of yourself in a TNG uniform. Like their previous TOS offering, you can select your gender, build, department, and props. All you need to do is upload two photos of your head to Cubify's TNG browser app, and before you know you've got a little 3D printed you, which will look a bit like these: posted some examples, showing the photos that became Cubify's sample figures:

If you'd like your own 3D printed self, make your way to Cubify's TNG or TOS apps. And for more about how it all works, check out my previous report, which has a couple of videos showing the the 3D printing process.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Tactics 3 preview

The third series of releases in the Heroclix Star Trek Tactics game is on the way. To prepare players for launch, Wizkids have begun to preview ships from this new wave, starting with the four ships including in the Tactics 3 starter set: Borg Scout 255, Borg Assimilator 84, the USS Enterprise-D, and Kazon Predator class Ogla-Razik. Here's a look at the ships and their abilities:

Madefire to put Star Trek comics in motion

Motion books producer Madefire have entered into an agreement with several publishers, including IDW, to produce motion book versions of their comic books. Those plans include Star Trek releases, with the trailer below showing pages from the nuTrek ongoing series and Countdown to Darkness. The Madefire versions of comics include animated sequences, sound effects and music, and in some titles even interactive elements, with readers being able to move the virtual camera around a setting. You can get a glimpse at what they'll be doing with Star Trek, and other IDW titles, in this trailer:

There's no information on release dates yet, but when they do come you should be able to enjoy the animated versions on Star Trek comics on Madefire's app for apple devices, or via their browser based releases on DeviantART.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Lots of new Star Trek figures revealed at Comic Con

Several companies revealed new Star Trek action figures and sculptures at this past weekend's San Diego Comic Con. Here's a round up of all the new stuff:

Square Enix will be launching a new line of large-scale high-end action figures, they will be part of their wider Play Arts KAI range, which includes figures from numerous franchises, including Batman and Halo. Their first releases will be Kirk and Spock from nuTrek; they had prototypes of both on display at the Con. Toy News International posted this image of the highly detailed ten-inch figures. For a better look check out Toy News International and ToyArk's galleries.

Kirk prime is also getting the big-figure treatment. A new twelve-inch Captain Kirk figure with a cloth uniform is coming later this year from Moebius. posted the follow picture, and they too have a gallery where you can see more images of the captain:

Also going for a retro look are Big Bang Pow! who are the latest company to join the Star Trek/The Big Bang Theory co-branding efforts, with a new range of Mego-style eight inch action figures. The range includes normal attire for most of the Big Bang Theory characters, while the four Big Bang Theory boys will also be available in TOS uniforms:

You can see more of Bif Bang Pow's displays on Action Figure Insider, and Among the other items there is the new TNG bridge bobble heads, with the whole crew revealed in their final form for the first time:

Wesley Crusher was released at the Con, the rest of the crew will be coming out once a month for the next several months. Entertainment Earth currently have listings for Riker, LaForge, and Worf.

Finally Titan Merchandise had their Star Trek Masterpiece Collection busts on display, including a newly revealed addition to the range, Mr Sulu, modelled after his foil wielding appearance in The Naked Time. posted this image:

That's not quite it, I've already reported on several other figures: The new Skele-Treks figures, new figurines in Hallmark's Keepsakes range, and a new Mimobot character. Cubify also announced new additions to their 3D printed figurine range, which I'll be reporting on separately later.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Titan ebook on the way

It would appear Simon and Schuster really are stepping up the Star Trek ebook series, as here's news of another one! Continuing to give a delightfully mixed assortment of stories, the latest addition to the series will be a Titan adventure, apparently with an emphasis on Captain Riker. The author John Jackson Miller, announced the new story, called Absent Enemies, on his blog, giving a few hints at what he'll be doing:
...Absent Enemies picks up in the "present day" of the post-NextGen literature timeline — and it is inspired by and in part picks up on the events of one of my favorite TNG episodes. I won't say which one yet, but for years, I had thought the episode held the potential for another story to be told — and I'm happy to get to do it here.
The episode that leaps into my mind when reading that, is Schisms. Any other guesses?

This will be Miller's first Star Trek work, but he's a well established writer, having done lots of sci-fi and fantasy before, including numerous Star Wars books. He did apparently almost get to write a Star Trek ebook before; his first ever prose pitch that got picked up was for a Corps of Engineers story, but the series was cancelled before he got to write it!

There's no news on when this will be out yet, but as the Star Trek books schedule seems to be done on an annual basis, I'd expect by the end of 2014 at the latest. Together with the recently announced Shadow of the Machine, by Scott Harrison (coming this December), and Michael A. Martin's Seasons of Light and Darkness (due next April), it would appear the ebook novella line is growing from one story a year (since 2011) to at least a couple a year. I rather hope we'll hear of even more stories, I'd love to them much more regularly; I really like the novella length, and the variety of stories we've got from the series so far.

Star Trek Catan expansion on the way

Last year the release of Star Trek Catan seemed to spark some excitement, so board game playing trekkies should be very pleased to hear there's an expansion due for release next month. Star Trek: Catan - Federation Space adds a new two-part map of Federation space to the game.

The inspiration for the Catan expansion.
The designers wanted to base the new maps on real space, in a similar way to the real-world based maps in their Catan Geographies range, so they looked for an appropriate map in the Star Trek universe and landed on one of the graphics seen several times in Trek. That original map includes many real stars, which the Catan designs built upon a little, adding in a few more Star Trek references, and tweaking the arrangement a little to suit the Catan system (you can read a bit more about the design of the new expansion on the Catan blog). Here are the new maps:

nuTrek double-pack home video packaging

Along side the release of Star Trek Into Darkness on bluray and DVD at least some markets will be able to get a double pack containing the first nuTrek movie and Into Darkness. Amazon in the UK and Italy have posted the first drafts of covers for these. Neither look finished to me, but the UK version (top) seems more likely to be than the very basic Italian version:

These are currently being offered on bluray in the UK, Spain, and Italy, or on DVD in the UK and Italy.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Cover for A Ceremony of Losses have released the cover for David Mack's A Ceremony of Losses, the third book in the forthcoming The Fall 24th century crossover series. Here is the most intriguing of covers, featuring the Defiant firing on a runabout, as both fly around the new Deep Space 9 (see more of the new station design, here, and here):

A Ceremony of Losses is expected to have a DS9 and USS Aventine focus, and will also be picking up on the ongoing Andorian reproductive crisis story. Here's the blurb if you missed it before:
Despite heroic efforts, the Andorian species is headed for extinction. Its slow march toward oblivion has reached a tipping point, one from which there will be no hope of return. With countless lives at stake, the leaders of Andor, the Federation, and the Typhon Pact all scheme to twist the crisis to their political gain—at any price. Unwilling to be a mere bystander to tragedy, Doctor Julian Bashir risks everything to find a cure for the Andorians. But his courage will come at a terrible cost…

Saturday, 20 July 2013

More QMx ships at Comic Con

QMx have been showing off more of their forthcoming model ships in displays at the San Diego Comic Con. ToyArk posted a gallery of pictures of their booth, here are a couple of images showing the new ring ship Enterprise, which QMx suggested a while ago would be one of their higher end artisan replicas, and the USS Vengeance and USS Kelvin collector scale models, which will be released at a somewhat more affordable price point than the recently revealed USS Vengeance artisan replica:

Check out ToyArk's gallery for more images of these, as well as the artisan replica USS Vengeance and NX-01.

Another ebook coming this year

Here's a pleasant surprise, despite Michael A. Martin's forthcoming TOS ebook, Seasons of Light and Darkness, not being expected until April next year, it appears Simon and Schuster might be stepping up the releases of Star Trek ebooks, to being more than an annual treat, after all.

A new listing has appeared on their website for a TOS story, Shadow of the Machine, by Scott Harrison, who is making his Star Trek debut; his previous works include prose, comics, and audiobooks, including steampunk and Blake's Seven stories. The Simon and Schuster website suggests this is coming in December. There is something a little odd though, while the list price ($3.99) and format (ebook only) are consistent with this being a new ebook novella, the page count is way off; at three-hundred-and-four pages this should be a novel. So unless Simon and Schuster are planning to start releasing rather cheap ebook-only novels, something here should be changing. I guess we'll find out by the end of the year! UPDATE: The author has confirmed this will be a novella, and also posted on his blog a summary of his story, which is set after The Motion Picture:
Set four days after the events of the movie Star Trek: The Motion Picture it will deal with the aftermath of the crew's encounter with V'Ger, as the Enterprise returns to drydock to finish its refit. The story will follow the characters of Kirk, Spock and Sulu as they return to their families, each haunted by their own particular personal demon.
Thanks to Jim, of Jim's Star Trek books, for pointing me towards this.

Friday, 19 July 2013

More covers for Into Darkness home video releases

Paramount have released more cover art for the various home video releases of Star Trek Into Darkness around the world. Here are the trio of new covers for the US 3D bluray, bluray, and DVD releases, which have used posters and promo photos in new combinations, or in the case of the 3D release, give us a new image of the Enterprise crashing towards Earth: Coming Soon and have posted images of the new covers. Curiously, if Play's listings are right the Region B release will use the same artwork (from the Region A DVD) for both the DVD and bluray versions. also posted a look at the combi-pack, containing the 3D bluray steelbook and a Hot Wheels USS Vegeance. There are apparently four-thousand of this limited edition release:

Target in the US are getting an exclusive cover, using the character posts in a delta pattern mimicking the first film's poster style:

A Dutch site, Saturn, also list a unique steelbook cover, a pleasingly stark high contrast design:

The UK is also getting several steelbook covers, list at least three different designs. I'd expect each might be a retailer exclusive. See those after the jump:

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Boldly flipping pancakes like no man has before

ThinkGeek have revealed their latest Star Trek culinary implement, following the likes of the USS Enterprise pizza cutter, Spock oven mit, and Star Trek cookie cutters, we will soon have the USS Enterprise spatula! You'll need to turn your starship upside down to make use of the flipping saucer, which extends a safe distance from the engineering section thanks to the retractable neck:

ThinkGeek are expecting to launch the new Enterprise in August.

Meet the friendly new Skele-Treks

Another Comic Con reveal! Launching in September, from NECA comes Skele-Treks a new Star Trek sub-brand to include figurines, cuddly toys, games, clothing and accessories. The Skele-Treks characters are inspired by representations from Mexican culture, created by Spanish artist Javi Molner, for Maya Studio. The first wave of releases will be trio of figures; Kirk, Kor, and a Borg, with more characters following later. posted these images of the figures:

Maya Studio's website also has some illustrations showing us the look for the other characters in the series:

First look at Hallmark's 2014 Keepsakes

The 2013 Keepsakes range has only just been released, but Hallmark are already getting ready for the Christmas after next, previewing their 2014 Keepsakes at the San Diego Comic Con this week. have posted details of the three Star Trek pieces in the range: Following the pattern of the last several years there is a new starship, with light effects, a character diorama, with sound effects, and a single character figurine in their ongoing Star Trek Legends series. 2014's entries will be the USS Vengeance, Spock and the Horta from The Devil in the Dark, and Hikaru Sulu. Hallmark have released images of each; what appear to be mock-ups of two, and a look at the sculpt of Mr Sulu:

If you've not had a look at this year's range yet, check out my recent article, with images of them all.