Saturday 31 January 2015

First look at a bunch of Eaglemoss ships, and other Starships Collection news

Eaglemoss have launched a new website Hero Collector, a science fiction and super hero news site which will also serve to promote their various part-work collections, including of course Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection. In the first article on the Starships Collection, the series manager, Ben Robinson, has released images of the models for issues forty to forty-eight, and issue fifty-two as well, giving us a better look at several models we've seen before, and the first images of the USS Enterprise-C, Centaur class, Intrepid, armoured Voyager, Negh'Var, and Malon Export Vessel! Continue below to check them all out, as well as more of the latest news from the Starships Collection.

Looking furthest ahead, we have the lovely Excelsior kitbash design the USS Centaur, which is due out as issue fifty-two of the collection - Expected first in the UK, this August, and as ever following behind in other markets as the series progresses with local releases.
Skipping back a few issues we also have the first look at the Endgame  ablative hull armored USS Voyager, coming as issue forty-eight, at the end of June in the UK.

Friday 30 January 2015

Original USS Enteprise in spacedock

The original miniature model of the USS Enterprise is currently being readied for display in its new home in the revamped Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. At the moment it can be found at the Udvar-Hazy Center, where it is being examined, while the restoration team decides what to do, considering both it's place in history as a an artefact from television production, and icon of space design.

The Udvar-Hazy Center recently had an open day, so several people got to check out the Enterprise model in her restoration lab setting. Most of the photos in this post come from a great gallery by Dan Johnson, who got loads of shots showing both the model in situ, and details - Check out the full gallery.

The restoration team have been scrutinising the model, including looking at how both original details have held up, and how well efforts from previous rounds of restoration are working. The image here comes from a recent Smithsonian blog from the restoration team. Shown here is the saucer paint under ultraviolet light. The paint on the top side of the saucer is the original, and is cracking due to shrinkage over time. The smoother looking finish on the bridge area is from previous restoration work.

To guide the restoration team, a crack team of Star Trek experts has been assembled, including some of the most important names in starship design and Star Trek production; Doug Drexler, John Goodson, Gary Kerr, Mike and Denise Okuda, Andrew Probert, Adam Schneider, and Rick Sternbach, joined by CBS consumer products' John Van Citters, and the museum's curator of space history, Margaret Weitekamp. All are pictured here, video conferencing to discuss the Enterprise.

Continue after the jump for a few more highlights from Dan Johnson's great gallery, check out the Smithsonian blog for more details on the restoration, and see my previous report for information about the display the Enterprise will end up in when all this work is done.

Monday 26 January 2015

IDW Star Trek comics for April

IDW have released their solicitations for April, which include two new Star Trek titles: The final issue in the Planet of the Apes crossover, and the second half of a nuTrek two-parter which is due to start in March, which this batch of solicitations revealed will be titled Eurydice. Full details of both below:

Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive #5
Written by Scott and David Tipton, with art by Rachael Stott.
The battle for conquest of the Planet of the Apes comes to a climax! Can Captain Kirk wrest control of the Gorilla army from the Klingons?
There will be three covers, the regular by Rachael Stott, the subscription variant by J.K. Woodward, and another variant, a Gold Key-style photo-montage (the latter hasn't been released yet):

Cross Cult's Foundations, and schedule updates

Cross Cult have revealed (on their Star Trek books Facebook page) the new cover art for several of their forthcoming German translations of Corps of Engineers ebook novellas. The three new designs below are for the Foundations trilogy, by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore. They are books seventeen to nineteen in the Corps of Engineer series, and will get their German release starting in December.

Cross Cult have also released finalised versions of several other Corps of Engineers books they previously posted artwork for. Continue after the jump to check out those, and news of German books schedule updates:

Friday 23 January 2015

The Primate Directive #2 preview

Out this week was the second issue in IDW and Boom's TOS/Planet of the Apes crossover, The Primate Directive. Continue below for a five page preview:

Thursday 22 January 2015

Simon Pegg to write Star Trek 3!

Mr Scott to the bridge! The Enterprise's own chief engineer, otherwise known to us in the 20th century as actor/comedian/writer Simon Pegg, is set to co-write the next Star Trek film. Deadline have reported he will be joined by Doug Jung on the task. The pair step into the void left when Roberto Orci, who stepped back to producer role, having previously been expected to direct, and co-write with J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay.

The new creative team, headed by recently announced director Justin Lin, have got there work cut out to meet the also recently announced release date, in July next year!

Certainly though Simon Pegg being involved fills me with confidence; he is a fully qualified geek of the first order, fantastically funny, and has plenty of writing experience - Following early TV work, including Spaced, he is now best known for comedy movies, working on the Cornetto trilogy (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World's End) co-written with Edgar Wright, Paul, co-written with Nick Frost, and Run Fatboy Run, co-written with Michael Ian Black. Those films span multiple genres, including elements of science fiction and action.

Doug Jung is new to me, but he has multiple TV writing and producing credits to his name, including creating and writing the police series Dark Blue, and writing multiple episodes of Big Love, a drama about polygamy, and crime series, Banshee. He also previously wrote a movie called Confidence, and, what apparently got him the job, a script for a Bad Robot/Paramount film called Diamond.

Let's hope this new writing partnership runs smoothly, we've got an anniversary to celebrate!

Monday 19 January 2015

Books bits: Margaret Clark teases 2015 releases, new books, and more

Loads of books news today, the bulk of it coming via Visionary Trek's The Captain Table podcast, which recently had Star Trek books editor Margaret Clark on, and many a bean was spilt as they talked about the novels and novellas coming over the next year.

Margaret spoke most extensively about where things are going in DS9 books, particularly in regard to David R. George III's next two books, July's Sacraments of Fire, and the follow-up, which Margaret revealed will be titled Ascendance, and is due out in January 2016 (officially the last book of the 2015 schedule). Margaret revealed the books will be set quite shortly after The Fall and will pick up on many of the threads from that crossover event, and how the crew of the new DS9 react to the historic events.
It's mere days after Bacco's assassination. ...What happens to all of these people realising, the first thing that's going to be written about the new station's history, is that Nanietta Bacco was assassinated here.
She also noted Ben Sisko will be staying closer to home than we might have anticipated:
Because of what happened in The Fall, Starfleet told [Sisko] you can't go out and explore the Gamma Quadrant, we need you here. 
Margaret discussed the books at some length, noting some of the other plots that will be picked up from both The Fall, and earlier DS9 relaunch books.

Continuing the post-The Fall era, Margaret also discussed Titan, and the how the books will continue with Riker now an admiral, in John Jackson Miller's Takedown, and James Swallow's Sight Unseen, both out this year:
John Jackson Miller's is mere days after The Fall, so things aren't that firm, Starfleet Command are trying to figure out what to do with Will. Where James Swallow is actually the first mission of the Titan, and is the first thing that Will Riker is given to do as an admiral in that book. So John Jackson Miller's is sort of the bridge book between The Fall, but the first real Titan book, with the ship dealing with the fact that "it's not Will, aww", that's October, and it's Star Trek: Titan - Sight Unseen.
Margaret also told The Captain's Table all about lots of the other forthcoming books. Continue below for further highlights, and more Star Trek books news!

Interview: Mark Brayer, starship artist

Bye Bye Robot recently released five new Star Trek art prints, and have been kind enough to put me in touch with all the artists to explore their work. This time I'm talking to Bye Bye Robot regular Mark Brayer. Mark's piece in the latest releases is based on The Galileo Seven, and continues his series of TOS posters, which have now featured four different ships from the series. Mark talked me through all his designs, and how he makes them (continues after the jump):

You’ve established a really strong series, that seems to simultaneously echo classic sci-fi book covers, and have some sort of technical drawing feel. Could you tell us about how you decided on the look for the series, and your influences?
I appreciate the compliments on my work, I have always loved the great sci-fi and fantasy art of the 70s and 80s, and the artists who created them. As you mentioned, Lou Feck, but also Bob Peak, Ralph McQuarrie, and others. Their work graced the front of TV guides, posters, books, and other media, and was a big influence for me. Today, there is some masterful work being created with computers, but I love the look and feel of hand drawn/painted work.
Mark's 3D model of the Galileo
And how do you go about creating your work? What is your medium, and how do you build up the images?
For my Star Trek posters, I use many different types of media from traditional to digital. When designing a poster idea, I always start with pencil sketches. For this series, the ships were always the center of attention, so I would always try to create a layout that featured the most dynamic view of that particular ship. When I have established a layout I like, I do a more finished drawing with pencil and ink. When the poster design is approved, I can begin by building a basic 3D model in Sketch-Up. This allows me to get an accurate and proportional angle of the ship and not spend all of my time with technical things while I am illustrating. This gives me a guide to work with and then when I begin creating the art of the ship, I can manipulate and add things, and be creative knowing that the basic structure is sound. After the base drawing is done, I render it with a combination of some flat color via photoshop, and then I print it out onto a color tinted piece of paper, and then do most of the rest of the final rendering with colored pencil, pastel, ink and paint. After the coloring is done, I hi-res scan it into the computer and add the final text and color adjustments.

Sunday 18 January 2015

Book bits: Voyager covers, new releases, and annotations

A few bits of books news today, starting with some new cover art from German publisher Cross Cult. Posting on the German Star Trek books Facebook page, they revealed the artwork for Kirsten Beyer's third Voyager relaunch book, Children of the Storm, aka Kinder des Sturms. The ship staring on this cover is the USS Curie, as designed by Mark Rademaker:

Kinder des Sturms is due out in August. Cross Cult also released an updated version of another of their covers. Continue after the jump to check that out, plus a few other Star trek book updates:

Thursday 15 January 2015

The Q Gambit, part 6 preview

Out this week is the final issue of The Q Gambit, the end of the six-part DS9 crossover story in the nuTrek ongoing comic series. Will Q prove to Kirk there is such a thing as a no win scenario? Will Dukat do ill in allying with the Pah-Wraiths? Continue below for a look at the first five pages from the final chapter in the story:

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Anovos gets formal

Anovos have revealed their new TNG movie era formal uniform jackets replicas. Both regular officer (with the grey center panel) and captain's variant (all white) will be available, and as ever Anovos have replicated the details from original production wardrobe pieces. The officer version will also be available in all three department colours.

Anovos are taking pre-orders now, with an expected September/October release. Continue after the jump for a look at some of the details of these pieces, plus a look at some of Anovos's latest smaller uniform replica elements.

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Shuttlecraft join The Official Starships Collection, in Europe

Exciting times for mainland European fans, Eaglemoss' Official Starships Collection has now launched in Germany (the same launch includes Austria and Luxemburg too), and France, and subscribers there get the option for even more ships! As in other countries, subscribers get the extra models of the All Good Things... USS Enterprise-D, and Borg Cube, plus the Enterprise-D dedication plaque, and a folder.  Plus the first issue is €4.99, before going up to the regular €14.99 for subsequent issues.

But then there's more! If subscribers opt into a premium subscription, for an addition €1.50 per issue they also get model shuttlecraft. The German subscription website lists four shuttles to be included, which will be slightly smaller than regular models in the series, at about 10cm long. On the horizon for subscribers are the TOS shuttlecraft, for some reason they've opted specifically for Galileo II, the Type 6 shuttle of TNG origin, the USS Defiant's Type 10, and USS Voyager's Type 9.

It's not clear how often these will be be delivered to subscribers; one would hope at least every tenth issue, which would bring the premium to about the same amount as a regular issue. It's also not noted whether or not each shuttle will have a magazine too.

Also unknown is whether these will be offered to subscribers anywhere else in the world, but I will do my best to find out!

As previously noted, the German series will also have a slightly different release order, and it appears the French release will also follow this revised running order. Continue after the jump for details of that, plus the German TV advert:

Sunday 11 January 2015

Trek your life: New salt and pepper shakes, coasters, mugs, and more

Need some more Trek in your life? Well Kirk, Spock, and co are ready to sprinkle Starfleet styling into your home with the latest creations from Westland Giftware, Vandor, and more. The parade of new Star Trek stuff continues after the jump below.

Westland Giftware have added several new items to their Star Trek collection. Typically new items listed in Wastland's catalogue show up a retailers several months later, so you should be able to get hold of these later in the year.

Joining their salt and pepper shaker collection will be Kirk and Spock, this time on transporter pads (perhaps you can sprinkle the salt to make the transporter shimmer).

Wednesday 7 January 2015

Uncertain Logic cover

Due out in April is Uncertain Logic, the third book is Christopher L. Bennett's Rise of the Federation series, continuing the adventures of the former Enterprise NX-01 crew in the newly created United Federation of Planets. have now revealed the cover for that book, created by Alan Dingman, which features a cunningly conceived version of the IDIC, formed out of the Kir'Shara and Vulcan.

Here's a reminder of the blurb:
Years ago, Jonathan Archer and T’Pol helped unearth the true writings of Vulcan’s great philosopher Surak, bringing forth a new era of peaceful reform on Vulcan. But when their discovery is seemingly proven to be a fraud, the scandal threatens to undo a decade of progress and return power to the old, warlike regime. Admiral Archer, Captain T’Pol, and the crew of the U.S.S. Endeavour investigate with help from their Vulcan allies, but none of them suspect the identity of the real mastermind behind the conspiracy to reconquer Vulcan—or the price they will have to pay to discover the truth.

Meanwhile, when a long-forgotten technological threat re-emerges beyond the Federation’s borders, Captain Malcolm Reed of the U.S.S. Pioneer attempts to track down its origins with help from his old friend “Trip” Tucker. But they discover that other civilizations are eager to exploit this dangerous power for their own benefit, even if the Federation must pay the price!

Tuesday 6 January 2015

This Month: January 2015

January brings us the first Deep Space Nine (branded) novel in over half a decade (!), the much delayed start of the nuTrek crew's five year mission, a variety of new Star Trek homewares, and much more. Continue after the jump below to check out all the Star Trek stuff due out this month:


This month's novel should be available right now, and takes us back to the new Deep Space 9, after the events of The Fall. Incredibly, Una McCormack's The Missing is the first novel to be released under the DS9 banner in over five years! The last was also by McCormack, the brilliant The Never-Ending Sacrifice. Though of course we've not been short of DS9 stories in the various mixed series books in the intervening years (check out the reading order flow chart to see how all those books link). While a DS9 novel, there's also a peppering of TNG characters in this one, plus some original characters McCormack introduced in Brinkmanship. Here's the blurb:
The entire sector is waiting to see what the newly reopened Bajoran wormhole will mean for the shifting political landscape in the Alpha Quadrant. On Deep Space 9, Captain Ro Laren is suddenly drawn into the affairs of the People of the Open Sky, who have come to the station in search of sanctuary. Despite the opposition of the station's security officer, Jefferson Blackmer, Ro Laren and Deep Space 9's new CMO, Doctor Beverly Crusher, offer the People aid. But when Dr. Crusher’s highly secure files are accessed without permission—the same files that hold the secrets of the Shedai, a race whose powerful but half-understood scientific secrets solved the Andorian catastrophe—the People seem the likeliest suspects.

As tensions rise on the station, the science vessel Athene Donald arrives as part of its journey of exploration. The brainchild of Doctor Katherine Pulaski, this ship is crewed by different species from the Khitomer Accords and the Typhon Pact. Pulaski’s hope is that science will do what diplomacy has not: help the great powers put aside their hostilities and work together. But when the Athene Donald is summarily stopped in her voyage by the powerful vessel of a hitherto unknown species, Pulaski begins to wonder—will this first contact bring her crew together or tear them all apart?

Monday 5 January 2015

The Simpsons do the TOS end credits

The most recent episode of The Simpsons, The Man Who Came to Be Dinner, was a science fiction adventure, featuring The Simpsons' regular aliens, Kang and Kodos. Naturally that meant a good peppering of sci-fi references, but they went all out on Star Trek for the closing credits, with a glorious homage to The Original Series' own end credits. Check it out:

Continue after the jump to oggle at each Simpsonised Star Trek image to your hearts content. And because I'm crazy, you can see them in their full glory, as I've removed the text:

Sunday 4 January 2015

Book bits: New Frontier ebook series, schedule updates, and covers

Loads of books news today! First up, via posting a schedule of forthcoming book releases, there is a very interesting new development in the Star Trek enovella line. Set for release between July and September is Return, a three-part New Frontier ebook series, written by Peter David of course. Presumably this will be coming in place of the New Frontier novel that was expected this year (three novellas is basically a novel in three parts). also gave some new scheduling information for books which were previously just known to be coming. So filling out the remaining novel slots in 2015, from October to December, we have James Swallow's new Titan novel, Sight Unseen, the as yet untitled Seekers 4, by Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore, and Greg Cox's latest TOS novel, which revealed will be titled Child of Two Worlds.

In a seperate post also released the cover for the next enovella due for release, Scott Harrison's post-The Motion Picture story, Shadow of the Machine.

Continue after the jump for a reminder of the blurb for this book, and more cover art:

First look at Eaglemoss Klingon D4

The fourth oversized special issue from Eaglemoss' Official Starships Collection will be the new Klingon Bird of Prey from Into Darkness, identified as a D4 class in the film, and solicited by Eaglemoss as a Klingon Patrol Ship. Posting on the Star Trek Modellers Facebook group, The Collection's manager, Ben Robinson, has shown off the model for the first time, and it is glorious:

Ben is expecting this issue to arrive in the UK in February, and also commented on some of the background information we can look forward to in the accompanying magazine:
I've just been talking to Ben Grossmann and James Clyne about the design process and how it changed. It's a really interesting story. There are a ton of rejected Klingon ship concepts and the final ship did a lot more than I realised after just watching the movie.
Next up will be the USS Kelvin, and Ben further commented with a hint of more ships to come:
In an uncharacteristic bit of organisation I've already talked to the guys at ILM about that ship and about the six 'background' ships that make up the Fed fleet in the first movie.
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