Saturday, 31 May 2014

Review: Star Trek Live in Concert

I think of any medium, I probably consume Star Trek the most in music form. The soundtracks to the films regularly make up the soundtrack of my own life. So when I heard Star Trek Live in Concert would be coming to the UK, to say I was a little excited would be quite the understatement. I've spent the last couple of days immersed in Star Trek, and it has been without a doubt the best Star Trek thing I have ever experienced, and one of the best musical experiences too.

For those of you that haven't caught my previous reports mentioning Star Trek Live in Concert: The set-up is that you go to a concert hall to watch a Star Trek film, and an orchestra and choir perform the soundtrack live, perfectly (and miraculously) in time with events occurring on screen. In this case the venue was the Royal Albert Hall in London, and the films were both of the nuTrek movies; 2009's Star Trek, and 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness, both featuring beautiful music composed by Michael Giacchino. I saw both, on two consecutive nights. Continue after the jump and I shall tell you all about it.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Book bits: Aventine novel titled, pop-ups, New Visions, Klingons, and German dates

A few bits of book news starting with the title of John Jackson Miller's first Star Trek novel (following his first entry in the Trekverse this year, his Titan ebook, Absent Enemies). Simon and Schuster now list a TNG novel, Takedown, set for release in January next year. No other details are listed there, but if we assume this is the novel expected from Miller, then the USS Aventine crew, and Admiral William Riker, will also be appearing in this tale, alongside the USS Enterprise-E crew.

Due out in November this year is Star Trek Pop-Ups, set to feature pop-art art from across the prime timeline designed by Courtney Watson McCarthy, with text from Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann. An updated version of the cover for this one has now been released, a more refined version of the previously revealed cover.

Recently released was the first issue in John Byrne's new photo-comic series, New Visions, and Amazon now have a listing up for the first omnibus from the series, which will include the first two issues, as well as the one-off annual that kicked the whole idea off. Amazon have this description up:
John Byrne presents all-new Star Trek: The Original Series episodes like you've never seen them before! Including the 2013 Photonovel Annual as well as the one-shots "Core" and "Cry Vengeance" - done in the fumetti-style by one of the greatest living comic book artists!
I believe this needs an update though, as the first issue in the series was The Mirror, Cracked (perhaps Cry Vengeance was a working title for this, it would certainly fit the story), and the second issue will be Time's Echo (which definitely did have Core as a working title).

Already out is The Klingon Art of War, Keith R.A. DeCandido's new Klingon philosophy/self help/history book. DeCandido was recently interviewed by TrekFM's Literary Treks podcast, and gave this summary of breadth of the material he has created for the book:
...there are examples from the time and Kahless, that illustrate each of the precepts. Involving Kahless, involving Kahless' mate, Kahless' family, Kahless' friends, people Kahless encountered over the years and such. And going into the origins of things like the first bat'leth and mok'bara, and I got my John M. Ford on and also included the game of klin zha which John M. Ford introduced in the novel The Final Reflection, and some other stuff as well.

Then in addition to that, the modern commentary includes stuff that's more recent; things that are both familiar and not, but things that the modern Klingon would understand. There are anecdotes involving characters that we know like Kor, and Kang, and Koloth, and Worf, and Martok, and so on, Gowron, Chang, all those guys. And there's also new examples of stuff from other Klingons, both ones we've seen before, and one's I made up for the book. I got to come up with all sorts of interesting things, including explaining where the term dahar master came from, and who the first dahar master was. And how the system of emperors worked in the old empire, and how things changed eventually to a chancellor...
Talking about future Star Trek projects DeCandido had nothing to report right now, but did seem to suggest potential in other species, particularly picking out the Vulcans, for a similar book treatment.

Finally a little updated from Cross Cult, the recently announced German translation's of Greg Cox's Eugenics Wars duology now have a release date; you can expect them in December and January.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Latest Attack Wing starship miniatures

Wizkids have announced several new ships for their Attack Wing miniatures game. Recently solicited was wave ten, including a Vidiian starship, the mirror universe's Klingon Regent's flagship, and a squadron of Cardassian Hideki class.


Those will be coming in December, with wave eleven to follow in January, which will include a Romulan drone ship, a Hirogen warship, and a squadron of Federation fighters.


Meanwhile the next wave to see release is coming next month. Wave four will be the first with three (instead of four) ships. Those are the Vulcan D'kyr class, Bajoran Interceptor 5, and the extra large Borg Tactical Cube 138. Here they are all packed up:


And continue after the jump for a look at the contents of each expansion:

Lost Apollo preview

Out this week issue thirty-three of the nuTrek ongoing comic series, the first half of a new two part story, Lost Apollo.

Joe Corroney is returning to illustrate this story, with additional inks by Victor Moya and Rob Doan. Continue after the jump below for the rest of a seven page preview of part one, starting with a visit to the seventies...

UPDATE: Joe Corroney has posted a process images on his Facebook page, showing how his artwork for several paged formed.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Starships news from DST

DST recently announced they will be releasing the USS Excelsior NX-2000, a Search For Spock variant of their Excelsior model, with different details and sounds. They have now released their formal photo of the model (image via Toy News International), and retailers are starting to list it, with the release expected in October.


You can hear in sounds to be featured on the NX-2000 in a video I previously posted.

DST also recently posted a Star Trek Q and A, which included several answers denying potential candidates for the two new starship models they currently have in development. Ruled out this time were the Reliant Equinox, Promethus, Akira and any Klingon or Jem'Hadar ships. The Enterprise-C and Voyager were identified as ships with potential, but not one of the next two. While most promising there was simply "no comment" when asked about the Defiant and runabouts. A question was also asked about the Romulan warbird, with the answer focusing on the suggested size of the model in the question, rather than confirming or denying it as a possibility.

Starships Collection's Romulan Bird of Prey, Maquis Raider, and more

New previews from The Official Starships Collection! Entertainment Earth now have listings up for issues twenty-seven and twenty-eight, the 22nd century Romulan Bird of Prey, and the Maquis Raider. The listings include images of both the models and magazines, with both models looking rather pretty:


These two will be showing up in the UK first, in August and September. Meanwhile Eaglemoss also recently released a behind-the-scenes video from one of their model photoshoots, which includes a few glimpses of models we've not seen much of yet.



Continue after the jump for a few screencaps highlighting some of the new ships seen in the video, including more of the Romulan Bird of Prey, the Krenim Temporal Weapon, Nebula class, the huge Xinidi Insectoid ship, and the first ever look at the Valdore model:

Thursday, 22 May 2014

IDW's August Star Trek comics

IDW have announced their solicitations for August, which include three new Star Trek title; a triple-bill of time travel adventures it appears. Details below:

Star Trek (nuTrek ongoing) #36: The Q Gambit, Part 2
Written by Mike Johnson, with art and cover by Tony Shasteen, or a subscription variant photo-cover.
The epic STAR TREK event of 2014 continues here, in Part 2 of "The Q Gambit"! Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise are thrust into the future of their new timeline thanks to the mysterious being known as Q. But in this alternate reality, what has become of the space station once known as Deep Space Nine... and the man called Benjamin Sisko? Don't miss this all-new story developed in association with STAR TREK writer/producer Roberto Orci!

New Visions #2: Time’s Echo
Written, illustrated (photo-manipulation), and cover, by John Byrne.
John Byrne continues his new Star Trek photonovel adventures! In “Core,” from the raging heart of the galaxy comes a message that summons the crew of the Starship: Enterprise on their most bizarre and dangerous mission. A message sent by their own captain… ten centuries earlier!
Byrne has already commented on his forums that the title will be as shown on the cover, Time's Echo, not Core as described in the blurb. He also noted this issue will contain a second short story, and the cover will be amended to advertise the bonus story.


Harlan Ellison’s The City on the Edge of Forever, The Original Teleplay #3
Written by Harlan Ellison, Scott Tipton and David Tipton, with art by J.K. Woodward. Standard cover by Juan Ortiz, or subscription variant cover by Paul Shipper.
Harlan Ellison’s Hugo- and WGA Award-winning teleplay, visualized for the first time! Stranded in the past of old Earth, Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock search for the focal point that altered the timestream and changed everything about the universe they knew. And once they find her, they could find themselves foiled by a force even greater than the Guardians of Forever—love!

The City on the Edge of Forever's artist, J.K. Woodward, recently posted a process piece on his blog, looking at how he made a single page from issue one of the series, from the first sketch layout and reference photos through various drawing and painting processes to the final page. Should be fascinating if you're at all curious how a comic book comes together.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Latest Starships Collection previews

Here are the latest looks at models in The Official Starships Collection. The Collection's Facebook page posted an image of the Nebula class model (issue twenty-three). It's the same view we've seen before, but a bit crisper:


CBS meanwhile have posts videos showing the Vor'cha class and USS Enterprise-E (issues twenty and twenty-one). These have both shipped to UK subscribers now, and are both really good models, especially the E which is probably one of the best in the series so far.





Latest German Star Trek books

Got a few bits of news for German readers today. Starting with two more covers from Cross Cult's translations of the Corps of Engineers ebooks. Here (via Cross Cult's Star Trek books Facebook page) are the new covers for Keith R.A. DeCandido and David Mack's two part story Invincible, which will be known in Germany as Unbesiegbar:


Cross Cult haven't announced dates for these yet, but if they follow the pattern of the series so far, then we should expect them in April and June next year.

Cross Cult have also revealed plans for more Trek books. In what I believe will be their first translation of a "non-fiction" title, this December they will be releasing a German edition of Keith R.A. DeCandido's latest Trek book, The Klingon Art of War.

It's also a good time for German Greg Cox fans, with the Cross Cult Star Trek books website now listing three of his books on the way, the recent TOS/Voyager crossover, No Time Like the Past, and the Eugenics Wars duology. The latter will be titled Die Eugenischen Kriege - Der Aufstieg und Fall des Khan Noonien Singh.

Finally, while Cross Cult are currently on Star Trek translation duty in Germany, that job once fell to Heyne, who have now released ebook versions of their Star Trek catalogue. Available on Amazon.de are dozens of titles, from TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise! All sport new covers, all built around a Starfleet delta. The covers combine elements of the original covers with new imagery. Below (continuing after the jump), are some of my favourites, you'll find many many more on Amazon.de:


Saturday, 17 May 2014

Review: The Official Starships Collection #11 - USS Reliant

Issue eleven of The Official Starships Collection was the USS Reliant. I've never been a big fan of the Miranda class (I know, how dare I get foot in the church of Star Trek with such sinful thoughts), having got to know the class growing up with the 24th century series it mostly seemed to me to be cannon fodder for the Borg and the Dominion. While the class might not excite me that much, I do however love this new model.


Perhaps it was the nostalgia for this, the first Starfleet ship of another class seen on screen, that got the Eaglemoss team to pull out all the stops. Or maybe it's the scale; being a relative wide design, and not a huge one in-universe the size of the model means it is able to comfortably pack in lots of detail. Perhaps the successes of this model also come in the huge contrast with the refit USS Enterprise, which with the same design style didn't come out half as good back in issue two. However it happened, this model is just about perfect.

As is typical in the series, the bulk of the saucer section of this model is the metal component, with part of the lower side of the saucer a plastic insert. The nacelles and roll bar are also plastic, and like many of the other ships, the nacelles feature translucent blue plastic; which gives them a glow effect in the right light conditions.

The finish on the plastic and metal components is very consistent, with both molded panel lines and printed aztecing across the entire saucer giving a very satisfying detailed look. If the model has one flaw, it's that the line separating the plastic and metal parts on the underside of the saucer is quite obvious. A particular shame given the consistent finish of both components, as that would have looked great had it been a bit more seamless.

The detailing all round is excellent, with printed windows around the saucer edge, all the expected hull markings, the numbered shuttlebay doors, and painted on impulse engines. My favourite part of the model is the weapons pod on the roll bar, which has wonderfully intricate detailing to give us accurate representations of the protruding torpedo tubes.

The stand for this one is a rear mounting position, which I generally prefer, giving a nice floating effect, and in this case the fingers aren't too intrusive, so that works especially well. The stand isn't one of the snuggest connections though, so it is one of the models a little more prone to slipping off at the slightest touch.

Stand issues aside, this is a truly fantastic model. And that's coming from someone that remains not that enthusiastic about the Miranda class, so I can only imagine how delighted Reliant lovers out there must be with this brilliant little ship. Here's hoping they take some of the finishes developed for this model and use them to upgrade the Constitution refit model when they get round to doing the Enterprise-A.

Continue after the jump for thoughts on how this compares to other Reliant models, and a look at this issue's magazine.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

TOS, TNG, and Haynes Manual images on more awesome sublimation T-shirts

Remember last year, when I reported on some especially cool T-shirts, which featured full-bleed sublimation print designs? Well it would appear I wasn't the only person that though these were awesome, as there has evidently been sufficient demand to add another twelve designs to the range from Trevco. The first collection was all TOS inspired, including designs based on Gold Key Comics and the Haynes Manuals. This second wave is a little more diverse with more TOS designs joined by couple of TNG shirts, and a five captains design. There are also three new designs drawing on imagery from the Haynes Manuals! Here they all are, (continues after the jump, images via Amazon):

Star Trek stuff for guitarists, drinkers, and golfers

Here's a round-up of some of the latest miscellaneous Star Trek stuff appearing in the world. Starting with ThinkGeek's latest stroke of genius, the Starfleet delta guitar pick. Available now is a pack of twelve picks, which comes with four picks for each department:


If being a trekkie guitarist isn't already cool enough for you, you'll be pleased to know you can get an extra chill from the latest Star Trek ice-cube tray. This TOS themed one comes with molds to make a Starfleet delta, live-long-and-posper hands, and the USS Enterprise.I'm not sure who's making this, but I came across them for sale on My Party Shirt.


If ice isn't your thing, but you still want a cold drink, then perhaps Icup's new Spock can hugger (with poking out ears) is for you? Entertainment Earth are expecting this version of Spock to be available from June.


Finally, Entertainment Earth also recently added listings for the previously announced Star Trek golf head covers from Creative Covers For Golf, they expect these to be available in June too. Here are some better images of those (via Creative Covers), starting with my favourite, the tribble (you can see the other designs after the jump):

The Mirror, Cracked preview

Out this week is The Mirror, Cracked, the first issue in John Byrne's new bimonthly Star Trek photo-comic series, New Visions; his second photo-comic, following the one-off annual, Strange New Worlds, released last year. Like that annual, the new series will all be double-length stories, meaning Byrne has been able to craft a complex sequel to the episode Mirror, Mirror, which also features the Klingons,  cameos and guest roles for one-off TOS characters, and a few beard jokes.

The last pages of the book also give us a preview of issue two, which will titled Time's Echo. The book states this will be coming in July, however solicitations for that month have already been released and did not include it, so I imagine it will follow in August.

Continue after the jump to enjoy the rest of the eight-page preview below:

Monday, 12 May 2014

Do you want a hat? Here are some hats (and some other clothes too)

If you're a hat loving trekkie then you're in luck, as all of a sudden there are a lot of Star Trek hats on the market! One set comes from Brainstorm Gear, who have followed on from their range of Star Trek cycling jerseys with a set of three department colour inspired running hats (covered in go-faster deltas):

I mock the deltas, but Brainstorm do say these are hats made with running in mind, the front delta is in fact a safety feature!
This striking design is dye-sublimated on flyweight polyester that quickly wicks sweat away from your head and sends it off into space. Both the front badge and rear Star Trek logos are reflective for enhanced visibility and safety, so you can Boldly Go ... for a run, out with friends, or wherever the Universe takes you!


If you're a more relaxed hat wearer, than perhaps the range of Star Trek beanie hats available from the Great Gear Store will be more your thing. These are also inspired by the Starfleet department colours:


A more wrathful hat wearer? This final option might for you. Available from Your Favourite T-shirts is the Khaaan!! cap:


That's all my hat news, but continue after the jump for more of the latest Trek-wear, including hoodies, baby-clothes, bags, and uniforms.

Comic panels: Previews from City on the Edge of Forever, Lost Apollo, and New Visions

There are lots of Star Trek comics on the way this year, and here are some preview pages from three different series. We'll start with a look at the first three pages of Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever, The Original Teleplay, which includes a panel full of dinosaurs!


These samples come via the Forbidden Planet blog, who have an advance review of the first issue (and rate it highly. You can see a few more samples of J.K Woodward's sumptuous pages in my previous report, from when the series was first announced.

Continue after the jump for a look at the latest samples from the nuTrek ongoing series, and John Byrne's photo-comics.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Latest Starships Collection updates

To mark the launch of The Official Starships Collection in Canada, StarTrek.com have released a new image, showing a fleet of highlights from the collection. Seen here for the first time are the 22nd century Romulan Bird-of-Prey, the surprisingly large Xindi Insectoid ship, and slightly tiny looking USS Prometheus. Several other forthcoming ships are also seen here from the front for the first time:


StarTrek.com also announced several new ships. Confirmed for issue fifty is the original Constitution class USS Enterprise, now set to be a celebration of the fifty issue mark, rather than coming towards the end of the initial seventy issue run. With that number, we should expect the Enterprise in the UK and Ireland in early July next year; while she'll come in late August in the US, with the rest of the world following on behind. StarTrek.com also announced the Ambassador class Enterprise-C and the Negh'var class will be somewhere between issues forty-one and forty-nine.

Meanwhile, not so far off, The Collection's Facebook page has released a higher res image of the Krenim Temporal Weapon, which with each improving image I find myself increasingly looking forward to (to my surprise):


The Krenim ship is due in early June in the UK, and late July in the US.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Juan Ortiz art reborn as trading card set

Juan Ortiz's TOS retro poster series is now complete, collected in a book, and printed on a myriad of other products, but there's still life in this art! Coming in June will be a new set of trading cards from Rittenhouse Archives, which will feature all eighty of Ortiz's TOS prints, and many other designs too.

The cards will come in packs of five, with twenty-four packs in a box, and twelve boxes per case. In addition to the base set of the Ortiz poster series, also mixed in will be:
  • Autographed versions of the retro poster series (distribution not announced).
  • Gold-based versions of the posters, with facsimile autographs from Ortiz (found in one in twenty-four packs).
  • Ortiz's twenty-two image series of TAS poster designs (found in one in twelve packs).
  • Sketch cards for each second and third season episodes (one hand-drawn sketch card will be included in each box).
  • Autographed character photo cards (one of these will be in each box too).
  • Seven portraits of the bridge crew (in one in twenty-four packs).
  • Nine bridge crew "abstracts" (also in one in twenty-four packs).
If you buy by the case-load there are further bonuses:
  • Each case will include a portrait of either the Enterprise or a Romulan ship. 
  • Six cases will get you painted art cards, either "Ships of Star Trek" by Charles Hall, or "The Cage" Mick or Matt Glebe.
  • Nine cases get you a "Mirror, Mirror" card signed by both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.
  • Eighteen cases will get you a special archive box for the collection.