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From the Drawing Board

The following sketches are of the ships that would become the Moskva, Lancaster, and Valley Forge classes. They probably date from around 1995 and were started after I got my first look at the side view of USS Daedalus in the Star Trek Encyclopedia. At this point I had only 2 ships between Daedalus and Constitution, so these ships look like combinations of the three classes that eventually developed. I used the name USS Valiant for the ship class preceding Constitution (which later became Valley Forge) but never gave a name to the other class.

Valiant sketch
later Valley Forge

UFP ships 1

UFP ships 2

The sketches of the Moskva, Lancaster, and Valley Forge classes were probably done in 1996 or 1997. They were the last pencil drawings I did before I started drawing with computer.

Moskva sketch
compare to finished Moskva

Lancaster sketch
compare to finished Lancaster

Valley Forge sketch
compare to finished Valley Forge

To rapidly explore a lot of ideas I do many quick thumbnails sketches of various shapes without worrying about surface details. As the sketches get more refined, familiar ship classes begin to emerge. Some of these unused ideas might even develop into new ship classes. The following sketches were all made for the UESN era.

UESN  sketch 1

UESN  sketch 2

UESN  sketch 2

For the Romulans, I was trying to develop a large, unwieldy-looking ship filled with lots of deuterium which looked different from similar ships constructed by Earth. I eventually came up with a ship looking vaguely like a jellyfish. A lot of my ships look like seafood, probably because I eat a lot of sushi here in Japan.

Cabbage sketch 1
compare to finished Cabbage

Cabbage sketch 2
compare to finished Cabbage

Cabbage sketch 3
compare to finished Cabbage

Cabbage sketch 4
compare to finished Cabbage

I'm always on the lookout for interesting shapes to use for ship designs. When shopping with my wife, I started staring at cordless vacuum cleaners. I liked how the handle came up out of the body and used that shape as the basis for the Paris class.

Paris sketch 1
compare to finished Paris

Paris sketch 2
compare to finished Paris

I drew this sketch of the Penguin fighter, the only one before the computer drawing, after visiting an aquarium here in Tokyo. The final form of this ship developed very quickly.

Penguin sketch
compare to finished Penguin

I was drawing variations of a Vulcan ship designed by Nick Porcino (Meshula). I started thinking about leafhoppers (insects), and came up with the Puffin. 

Puffin sketch 1
compare to finished Puffin

Puffin sketch 2
compare to finished Puffin

Rick Sternbach mentioned to me in an email that he thought that the saucer-shaped primary hulls of Federation starships had originated as landable escape pods. I combined this idea with a concept for a variable geometry nacelle arrangement. The nacelles would be together near the longitudinal axis of the ship for long-range cruising but would swing out to the usual positions for maneuverability. I eventually discarded both ideas for Swordfish but will probably use them again one day.

Swordfish sketch 1
compare to finished Swordfish

Swordfish sketch 2
compare to finished Swordfish


Last modified: 26.08.12