Thursday, 30 April 2020

TNG tech from the cancelled Build the Enterprise-D partwork

Do you like starship tech? Well here's a treat for you, pages of awesome techy goodness from the cancelled Build the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D partwork. Including stunning new artwork not previously seen.

First, a refresh on the history: About a decade ago DeAgostini in Japan hatched an ambitious plan to release a 100-part model kit and magazine partwork, to Build the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D. The large model, with lighting, would have included the ability to pull away part of the hull to reveal deck-plates, detailing every room inside the ship. The series would also have come with a comprehensive new set of blueprints for the ship on loose sheets, and a magazine covering technical details, mission log styled episode summaries, and new interviews with the cast and crew. Alas the first test run of the series coincided with the Japanese tsunami in 2011, and market wasn't receptive to such an ambitious project at that moment. So it was lost to time.

I've reported on this lost gem a few times before, and thanks to editor Tim Leng have been able to share several pages from the publication before as well. Now Tim has shared a bunch more of the techy pages from the series, on the Star Trek Prop Enthusiasts Facebook group, giving us another look at what could have been.

These pages are all from either the Apparatus or Critical Systems sections of the magazine. Each features brand new CGI artwork, detailing the subject matter, and in several cases revealing parts of the ship that never made it to screen. These sections, along with the blueprints and detailing of the model, were created in coordination with Enterprise-D designer Rick Sternbach.

Like the old Star Trek Fact Files, these pages were gum-bound, so could be pulled out and filed away in a sensible order, building up the reference work as the series continued.
















While the above Apparatus sections dealt this parts of the ship, this section was also set to cover small items too. Alas the really cool look inside the combadge seen here didn't get its final CGI artwork before the series was cancelled.






The Critical Systems section focuses on the interfaces and consoles, with the text for these sections supplied by Michael Okuda.












Cool stuff right! A little of this new artwork recently found it's was to Eaglemoss' The USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D Illustrated Handbook, which is mostly based on content from the Star Trek Fact Files, and seeks to detail the ships systems in much the same way this partwork had planned. Eaglemoss also tested a new Build the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D part-work last year (currently on hiatus, presumably awaiting a wider rollout).

If you'd like to learn more about the DeAgostini version of the project, you can get a good overview in one of my previous reports, and an issue by issue breakdown of the issues that were completed in another report (which includes example pages from other sections of the magazine). You can also check out Tim Leng's blog for an account of the project's rise and fall.



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