Recent Posts

Friday, 31 May 2013

Star Trek Cross Stitch preview

Out now is the latest Star Trek craft book, John Lohman's Star Trek: Cross Stitch. The book takes inspiration from across the franchise, with patterns and ideas for their uses ranging from Starfleet badge pillows to a 3D Borg Cube Christmas tree decoration. Here's the contents page (via Amazon's look inside preview), to give you an idea of the projects the book might inspire you to make:


Here is an example project, which has separate pages showing a real world example, some background on the design, a pattern, and detailed instructions:

 
 
 

StarTrek.com recently ran an interview with the author, continue after the jump for highlights of what he ahd to say about the book, and some more excerpts:

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Slicing up the Enterprise - Cutaway Models and Diagrams

Dragon Model's latest Project Cutaway model has just been released by Diamond Select Toys, as part of their Star Trek range-  It's the TOS USS Enterprise, with transparent panels giving us a look inside saucer, neck, engineering section and a nacelle.


You can see more images of the model in my previous report. DST posted this photo, showing the packaging for this model, which even partially assembled looks pretty impressive:


This isn't the first time we've been able to peek inside the Enterprise however, continue after the jump for a look back at other models and diagrams that reveal the Enterprise's innards:

McCoy joins the Hollywood Collectibles collection

The Hollywood Collectibles Group has revealed their latest Star Trek statue, which this time is Doctor Leonard McCoy. Like the majority of their previous statues, McCoy will be 1/6th scale. Also like their previous releases, this McCoy is available in a standard edition, of 600, or exclusively from Hollywood Collectibles with a couple of extra components, speciality a chair, and a desktop medical doo-dah - There'll be just 150 of the latter version. The polystone statue was sculpted by Jim Maddox, and hand-painted using masters by Fred DiSanto. The good doctor is expected in the third quarter of this year.

 

Here's the exclusive version:

 

Wibble wobble, wibble wobble, Crusher on the bridge

Bif Bang Pow have released a new image, revealing the look of their new TNG bobble heads, which will be released one character at a time, starting later this summer, eventually building to create a fully crewed Enterprise-D bridge. The new image shows us the Wesley Crusher figure, which will be the first released, as a convention exclusive:


Meanwhile Eric Devlin, who has designed several of Bif Bang Pow's products, has posted his technical drawings of the forthcoming The Wrath of Khan bobble-heads, giving us a peak at the details of the backs of Kirk, Spock, and Khan:


Wednesday, 29 May 2013

More on the new Deep Space 9

Simon and Schuster have now released a higher quality version of the cover for Revelation and Dust, giving us a clearer view of the shiny new Deep Space 9. Click the image to enjoy at full resolution:


Meanwhile StarTrek.com posted interviews with Doug Drexler, who designed the cover, Andy Probert, who designed the new station, and Douglas E. Graves, who built the new model. Drexler described the first steps towards the design:
The basic configuration of the station had been predetermined by David R. George, the writer. There wasn't much wiggle room there. Andy, Deg (Douglas E Graves) and I are creative guys with our own ideas. I'm sure if left to our own devices there would have been three different and unique ideas. But we are also commercial artists. Our job is often to take a non-visual person's idea, sweeten, focus, massage... and then, hopefully, (provide) the proverbial happy ending.

I love Federation and Starfleet design, so I liked the idea of a Starfleet-ized DS9. I also love Andy Probert and think that his visual sense for Starfleet is second to none. I had been given the option of styling David R. George's station design myself, but frankly, given the choice I'd much rather see what Andy would do. That's the fan in me.
Graves went on to describe how he built upon Probert's design:
Andrew did the lion's share of lifting in regard to the styling of the design, no doubt about it. He drew up his sketches and even created a basic blocked-out Sketch-Up model of his design. With these in hand, I then created the high-resolution finished station configuration. The next phase entailed fleshing out the station detailing, which was based on Andrew's design sketches, combined with my own detailing choices drawn from my own Federation-based design sensibilities, which have become instilled in me over the many decades of watching Star Trek. I shared work-in-progress renders along the way with Doug to garner his always-valued input, and then his final approval of my build and paint-job.

Graves noted his highlights from the new design:
I love the whole station, top-to-bottom. At the core, I just love the Federation neo-flow take on such well-known classic lines. Just to see Andrew's sketches was a fan-rush. To see it fully constructed; wow! I love the magnetic rings, the new promenade, the huge environmental recreational dome, all the bays, portholes, landing pads, detailing, all of it. I loved rendering her out and then just looking at her as a fanboy. The design conveys one sleek and busy Federation space station, as it should be.
Some of which Probert also identified as interesting new features:
The magnetically-suspended defense rings (top and bottom), the overall size, and the very open-to-space glassed-in promenade.
The articles also included what appears to be arrangements for other cover designs:


See StarTrek.com, for the full interview with Doug Drexler, and Andy Probert and Douglas E. Graves.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Comics news: Khan, omnibuses, and IDW Limited details

A few bits of comics news, starting with a tiny hint of things to come in the nuTrek comics. Apologies for those who still haven't seen Into Darkness, but I think the Khat is out of the bag on the spoiler which I'm about to discuss (look away now?) In response to the following on Twitter:
Can we get canon explanation for Khan's appearance change? Thanks!
Roberto Orci replied:
Wait 4 IDW comics!
Which I presume refers specifically to the John Harrison (probably prequel) series Orci confirmed is in the works, recently. So I guess they're not planning to gloss over the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch isn't Indian, or Mexican... or Spanish...

Aaaanyway, in other comics news, Amazon has added listings for a whole bunch of new omnibuses on the way! Three books all due out in October. Those include the second book in the fantastic newspaper comic-strips reprints. Star Trek: The Newspaper Comics, Volume 2, picks up where the previous book ended, giving us the final ten stories of the US newspaper strips. Lets hope it does well enough to continue the project into the beautiful, and equally rare and under-appreciated, UK strips. Here's the Amazon blurb:
Edited by Dean Mullaney with an Introduction by Rich Handley. Collecting the second half of the rare daily and Sunday newspaper strip. Ten complete missions from October 26, 1981 through December 3, 1983. Stories by Sharman DiVono, Larry Niven, Martin Pasko, and Gerry Conway; art by Ron Harris, Padraic Shigetani, Bob Myers, Ernie Colon, Dick Kulpa, and Alfredo Alcala.

Another big hardcover on the way is the complete series omnibus of the TNG/Doctor Who crossover, Assimilation2. This one has a great new cover by the Sharp Brothers. Here's the Amazon blurb:
The two greatest science-fiction properties of all time crossover for the first time! Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the USS Enterprise have joined forces with the Doctor and his companions to combat an unholy alliance between the Federation's most terrifying enemy and one of the Doctor's greatest antagonists. But once the Cybermen turn on their Borg allies, the Doctor and Picard find themselves at odds over how to proceed against the threat, with the fate of the universe hanging in the balance!

Finally, and also in hardcover, there's something a little more intriguing, The Stardate Collection, Volume 1. This book is apparently the start of a new omnibus series which aims to reprint Star Trek comics in stardate order. I somehow expect it will be doing so quite selectively, but it's an intriguing prospect none the less, especially as it will include additional commentaries and behind the scenes stuff. Here's the Amazon blurb:
The comic book tales of Star Trek have roamed the universe and spanned publishers, but now Star Trek: The Stardate Collection collects the many iterations of Trek in order... by stardate! Helmed by Trek experts Scott and David Tipton, and featuring special commentary and creator interviews, volume 1 starts at the beginning to reveal the motives, machinations and decisions that shaped the intrepid crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. For new and old fans alike, there's never been a Star Trek collection like this!

Amazon UK list a wide range of writers and artists, which help determine the probable contents of this April/Pike era collection:
  • Writers Dan Abnett and Ian Edginton, with artists Greg Adams and Patrick Zircher brought us Marvel's Pike-era Early Voyages. This collection can't possibly contain the entire seventeen issue series, as it's only 288 pages in total (the previous complete Early Voyages omnibus was over 400!)
  • John Byrne, writer and artist of several series for IDW, including the most likely candidate for this book, Crew, which gave the story of Number One's early career in Starfleet.
  • Writer James Patrick, with artist Josep Maria Beroy, gave us IDW's Pike-era Alien Spotlight: Vulcans.
Also on the list are Scott and David Tipton, they have written a Pike story, Alien Spotlight: Orions, but it occurs later than the rest here, after his time on the Enterprise, so maybe they're listed as the authors of the promised commentary in the book. That would make for a reasonably complete collection of Pike stories set before the transition era to Kirk's joining the Enterprise. The only glaring omission I can think of is the DC Annual, To Walk the Night.

Away from the mainstream omnibuses, IDW Limited have now announced the full details of their luxury reprint of Star Trek, Volume One, from the nuTrek ongoing series. All three of the different limited edition releases will be out in July. Each release comes in a tray case, containing an exclusive hardcover version of the omnibus signed by Mike Johnson, Joe Phillips, and Tim Bradstreet. Each case also contains a portfolio with eight lithographs of cover art from the series. There will be one-hundred-and-seventy-five copies if the Red Label version with just those features. Images and more information after the jump:

Latest Trek gadgets: USB, iphone, and gaming

A few new Star Trek gadgety bits to share with you. Starting with the fifth character to join the Star Trek Mimobot range of USB stick people. This time Mr Sulu joins the crew, in a limited edition of 1000. Like the other characters he is available in a variety of capacities. In fact the highest capacity Sulu can hold twice that of the best of the previous four, with options ranging from eight to one-hundred-and-twenty-eight gigabytes, as well as a thirty-two gigabyte USB3 version. He looks like this:


Also good for when you're on the go are the latest Star Trek iphone cases. We've seen quite a few Trek iphone cases before, but these ones are a cut above the previous printed designs, using real fabric and 3D badges to make your phones look like TNG uniforms. PowerA have released all three TNG uniform colours, and according to StarTrek.com have plans for TOS designs later in the year.


Finally, for when you're back home, and have drained your PS3 or X-box 360 controllers playing Star Trek: The Video Game, Will Technology have released new console controller docks; to recharge your controllers, while perched above a curiously distorted version of the USS Enterprise saucer:


New Star Trek jewellery in Australia

Really like the Starfleet delta? Well Guild Jewellery Design are bound to have something to tempt you, from their new range of Star Trek jewellery. Every piece so far features a Starfleet delta, available as a brooch, pendent, charm, earrings, studs, and cuff-links. The latter in that list also has a Federation emblem double design. They all come in a Star Trek branded box too. Check them out:


This first release from Guild should be showing up in Australia and New Zealand right about now. Most of the pieces are made from sterling silver, with the exception of the cuff-links which are rhodium plated and enamelled brass.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Preview images from Ships of the Line and other 2014 calendars

Amazon have updated their listings for several of the 2014 Star Trek calendars with samples pages, giving us a closer look at the art in Ships of the Line, and and idea of the format being used in the TOS and Into Darkness calendars.

Three images from Ships of the Line have been posted: "San Francisco", by Joe Hibert; "The Shape of Things to Come", by Doug Drexler and Michael Murray; and "NX Bound for Refit", by Doug Drexler and Ali Ries:

 
 

Three months each from the TOS and Into Darkness calendars have also been previwed:



In other Ships of the Line related news, Mark Rademaker posted a piece of concept art, on Facebook, for his new ringship which will be appearing in the 2014 calendar:


Meanwhile, Sean Tourangeau, the designer of the USS Titan, has been posting work in progress images of Tobias Richter's new USS Titan mesh. As Richter is a regular contributor to Ships of the Line, I'm hoping this is a good sign for the the Titan making it's long overdue appearance in years to come:

 

Lots more images of the new Titan mesh on Sean Tourangeau's Facebook page. While to get an idea of all the images in next year's Ships of the Line, see my previous article with the covers.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

New Revelation and Dust blurb, and more views of the new DS9

A couple of days ago the cover of the first book in The Fall series, Revelation and Dust revealed the new, Federation built, Deep Space 9. Now StarTrek.com have done a feature on the book, giving us more details of the story, and the new station. They posted this new blurb for the novel:
WELCOME TO THE NEW DEEP SPACE 9

Star Trek The FallAfter the destruction of the original space station by a rogue faction of the Typhon Pact, Miles O’Brien and Nog have led the Starfleet Corps of Engineers in designing and constructing a larger, more advanced starbase in the Bajoran system. Now, as familiar faces such as Benjamin Sisko, Kasidy Yates, Ezri Dax, Odo, and Quark arrive at the new station, Captain Ro Laren will host various heads of state to an impressive dedication ceremony. The dignitaries include not only the leaders of allies—such as Klingon Chancellor Martok, Ferengi Grand Nagus Rom, the Cardassian castellan, and the Bajoran first minister—but also those of rival powers, such as the Romulan praetor and the Gorn imperator. But as Ro’s crew prepares to open DS9 to the entire Bajor Sector and beyond, disaster looms. A faction has already set in action a shocking plan that, if successful, will shake the Alpha and Beta Quadrants to the core.

And what of Kira Nerys, lost aboard a runabout when the Bajoran wormhole collapsed? In the two years that have passed during construction of the new Deep Space 9, there have been no indications that the Celestial Temple, the Prophets, or Kira have survived. But since Ben Sisko once learned that the wormhole aliens exist nonlinearly in time, what does that mean with respect to their fate, or that of the wormhole...or of Kira herself?
StarTrek.com feature also includes an interview with the author, David R. George III, in which he further elaborates on the plot of the book:
Revelation and Dust picks up the story of Deep Space 9 in the days leading up to the inauguration of the new space station. The dedication of the new station carries with it enough significance that the Federation president chooses to use it as an opportunity for dialogue with certain members of the Typhon Pact. It is a time of excitement and hope as the Federation and Starfleet have weathered difficult times (such as the Borg Invasion in David Mack’s awesome Destiny trilogy, and the dastardly plots of rogue Typhon Pact forces in my own Plagues of Night and Raise the Dawn) and now stand poised on a renewed era of exploration. What follows, though, is far more than simply the opening of the new station: events conspire to reveal a dangerous threat to the Federation.

Star Trek The FallMuch is at stake for our favorite characters. Captain Benjamin Sisko continues to repair his relationships with his wife and daughter, while at the same time commanding his own starship, U.S.S. Robinson. Chief O’Brien has returned to help design and construct the new DS9, serving as its chief engineer, joined by Nog, who functions as assistant chief engineer. Doctor Julian Bashir looks forward to running the new state-of-the-art hospital on the station, while still hoping to work with his love, Sarina Douglas, to bring down the nefarious Section 31. Captain Ezri Dax remains aboard U.S.S. Aventine, but her ship is called to the new station for a specific mission. Odo remains essentially stranded in the Alpha Quadrant, where he mourns the loss of Kira Nerys, last seen in the Bajoran wormhole two years earlier, just before it collapsed; in the time since, there has been no indication at all that the wormhole even still exists. Captain Ro Laren and her staff and crew have dealt with their own losses surrounding the destruction of the old Deep Space 9, but they look forward not only to throwing their hatches open wide for the Bajor Sector, but to launching the new station by hosting an important event.
StarTrek.com also posted a few images of the new Deep Space 9, although they are a little on the small side, you get an idea of it's form. George also spoke a little about the design of the station:
What the new station does is provide a stark contrast to the old one, giving us a look at what the Federation and Starfleet would create in such an important region of space. Because readers will be getting a detailed look at the new Deep Space 9 for the first time, it was important not only to describe the new locale, but to breathe life into it. Because of that, it truly does function as a character in Revelation and Dust.

Star Trek The FallI was excited about the distinctions between the old and new stations, but I was even more excited to imagine what Starfleet would come up with in the Bajoran system. While it is not completely different from its predecessor—the two stations needed to provide many of the same functions, after all—the new DS9 does have some unique features. I had a lot of fun coming up with those, and I’m sure other writers will help flesh out those and other details.
Giving a further idea of the station they also posted an short excerpt from Revelation and Dust:
Captain Ro Laren waited uneasily atop a bluff that overlooked the rolling parkland below. She glanced down at the lush vista, at the walking paths that rose and fell throughout, at the stands of trees and arrays of colorful flowers. A gentle breeze wisped past, carrying with it fresh scents, including the crisp hint of water.

Ro peered down briefly at the small lake off to her right, then cast her gaze in the opposite direction. Atop the highest point in sight, Prynn Tenmei stepped toward the edge of a promontory. The lieutenant wore not her Starfleet uniform, but a formfitting lavender flight suit that contrasted dramatically with her porcelain complexion. Her jet hair—which, though not long, typically rose in wild kinks from her scalp—had been pulled back and gathered into a small bun.

Anxiety mounted in Ro as she watched Tenmei. The lieutenant stood ramrod straight, her arms tucked behind her back. With a quick motion, Tenmei suddenly took one more pace forward, to the brink of the stony outcropping, and then flung herself headlong into the open air.

Tenmei fell in a graceful arc, but at a rate noticeably slower than normal. Even so, she descended fast enough to injure herself—seriously, even fatally—if she struck the ground. Ro knew that couldn’t happen, that local sensors would detect an impending accident and trigger an automatic transport to safety, but she still tensed watching Tenmei plunge toward the park.

Seconds seemed to elongate, and the captain consciously stopped herself from clenching her hands into fists as Tenmei drew uncomfortably close to the ground. When the lieutenant reached a height of perhaps ten meters—surely close to the sensors’ safety limit—Ro expected her to vanish in a blur of white transporter light. At that instant, though, Tenmei thrust her arms out to her sides and waved them downward. The gossamer wings she wore swelled as they caught the air. Her descent slowed, and when she flapped her arms once, twice, her course curved upward. She banked to one side and described a fluid turn, fluttering her wings to gain altitude.

The susurrus of distant applause reached Ro. Satisfied that Tenmei controlled her flight, the captain looked away from Defiant’s primary conn officer and about the park. Around the tree-lined base of the half-dome-shaped enclosure, and interspersed along the footpaths and up and down the knolls, hundreds of her crew had congregated. Although still five days away from the station’s formal dedication and its transition to full operational status, Ro had made the decision to conduct a small celebration ahead of time, exclusively for the complement of the new Deep Space 9.
StarTrek.com are promising two more reports in the coming days, with interviews with Doug Drexler, Andy Probert, and Douglas Graves on their work designing the station and the covers.