I am a massive Star Trek fan (well not so much of the 2009 reboot, but lets not go there), and particularly so of the ships. These may be a complete work of fiction, but the thought and attention that goes into the design is as intense as any real machine. So much so, a book called The Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual was released in 1975; a fictional reference book by Franz Joseph Schnaubelt, about the workings of Starfleet, as a military, exploratory, and diplomatic organisation featured in the original series. Although it is fiction, the book is presented as an 'in-universe' collection of factual documents, describing the 23rd century Starfleet and United Federation of Planets, sent from the future to the 20th century. The book provides some detail on the workings of technology used in the original series, including the phasers, tricorders, universal translators, and medical equipment - and of course the ships.
But this won't be an article showing dry blueprints. Thats not to denigrate them; they are wonderful to peruse; check out the Cygnus-X1 database of starship blueprints at some point - you'll lose days in there! No, I'm going to concentrate on the art, as there are a number of artists (digital or otherwise) out there who have depicted some of the more famous ships, as well as classes of ships that only a hardcore Trekker probably knows about.
lets start with some of the more obvious; a Constitution-class Enterprise, the original and probably still the best for most, by Chris Martin of The Evil Starship factory:
Constitution-refit Enterprise-A, artist unknown:
And by Bob McKlain:
Excelsior-class Enterprise-B by Andrea Marchi and an unknown artist:
Ambassador-class Enterprise-C, artist unknown. The Enterprise -C was featured in the TNG episode Yesterday's Enterprise:
a Galaxy-class starship, in this case the most famous one, the Enterprise-D made so by The Light Works: and Christian Möller, aka Darkness GFX:
Sovereign-class Enterprise-E (As seen in the film First Contact), seen here with The Sovereign itself; another Möller creation.
The Enterprise-J. Confused? This was featured very briefly in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode Azati Prime. This is the image actually used in the episode; made by Doug Drexler who was effective the art director on the programme:
But while we're on an Enterprise-fest, lets not forget that Starfleet is a..fleet. Heres some more Excelsior-class ships, starting with the Takei-tastic Excelsior, artist unknown:
And by Darth Mojo:
And by Simon Coles, with extras by Alain Rivard:
USS Los Alamos, artist unknown:
For all of you Wrath Of Khan fans out there, the Miranda-class Reliant. To add to the Alain Rivard image of the Reliant at the top of the page, here's more, last pic of the sequence by 1darthvader:
'We tried it once your way, Khan, are you game for a rematch?'
-'If he goes in there we'll lose him'
-'Explain it to him'
USS Defiant by The Light Works:
The alternate future Enterprise-D 'dreadnought', featured in the TNG episode All Good Things, art by Dave Metletis:
USS Daedalus (a pre-Constitution class ship) by maz1701:
Enterprise-D arriving at Deep Space Nine, Dave Metletis:
USS Tamerlane, a Saladin-class destroyer as detailed in the technical manual, Dave Metletis again:
'We've bought a few friends'
And to go with the TNG dreadnought above, a Dreadnought-class USS Federation, another ship class defined by that 1975 technical manual. Artist unknown.
Nebula-Class USS Honshu by Robert Bonchune, as featured in the DS9 episode Waltz:
Another USS Defiant, the Constitution-class one. This artwork was on the wall in the Defiant's briefing room in The Star Trek Enterprise episode In A Mirror, Darkly, pt. II, by Doug Drexler and Michael Murray:
USS Voyager, an Intrepid-class ship, Darthmojo:
A brief jaunt through fluidic space:
We've seen great art of Starfleet ships, but San Francisco's finest aren't the only space going vessels in the Star trek universe. We could be here all week posting some great art of every conceivable space-faring race's vessels, but I'll keep it old-school and concentrate on Starfleet's oldest (and possibly greatest) enemies, the Klingons and Romulans.
Klingon K'tinga (above) and D7 (below) by Dave Metletis:
D4 battle cruiser by Deg3D:
Vor'cha class by The Light Works:
And by D. Bates:
A K'Vort-class Bird Of Prey by Jetfreak-7 and by an unknown artist:
- 'A Bird Of Prey.'
- 'A Bird. Of Prey.'
- 'A Bird. Of Prey.'
A rendering by Fabio Passaro:
D'deridex-class Romulan Warbird by The Light Works:
Kerchan-class by Magma:
And Mogai-class by Adam Ross. this ship was seen in the film Star Trek: Nemesis.