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Badass Replicas From SERENITY & GALACTICA! Abrams' Enterprise! SG-1 Death Glider! Merrick Exalts Quantum Mechanix Coolness!!

Please NOTE that many images in this article are EMBIGGENABLE!!!

Merrick here...
…with a few words about Quantum Mechanix (webiste HERE), a thoroughly Geektastic organization whose products you may well have encountered even though you might not recognize the name of the company which produced them. Originally, this article began as a review of QMx's recently released replica of the Death Glider from STARGATE SG-1 (seen below). But as I moved further into researching the Glider, and QMx as a whole, the mission evolved and possibilities changed. As a result, this piece ended up being more of a general overview - more details about some of the items mentioned below, and how they were produced, will (hopefully) come at a later date. I first learned about QMx back in the days of Ron Moore's BATTLESTAR GALACTICA - when they released a "How To Spot A Cylon" poster which got some nice coverage 'round The Net. That poster's edition is now "closed" - i.e. you can't get it anymore. However, other BATTLESTAR art is still available for the time being, including THIS print of The First Cylon War…
…(a repro of an image that appears in Adama's quarters on the show), and THIS set of Colonial propaganda posters (click "view gallery" to the right side of the image to see them all). Quantum Mechanix recently generated a "house edition" Blackbird from the series - the stealthy, home-made super-fighter built by Galactica's crew in Season 2. Here's a look a their work - I don't believe this has been seen elsewhere, yet.
This was an extremely limited "Artisan" run (40 pieces or so?) - although QMx is considering releasing a retail version at some point down the line. If you'd like to be notified about Blackbird's pre-order availability, send an e-mail to THIS ADDRESS. They do take customer interest quite seriously - so if you dig this Blackbird, be sure to let 'em know. It'll help push them towards actually releasing one for us.
The FIREFLY fans in my life went into disquieting convulsions when looking upon "Serenity: The Big Damn Replica", which QMx introduced last October (a prototype of this model was previewed at last year's San Diego Comic Con). The miniature is touted as "The First and Only Studio Scale, Film-Quality Replica of the Firefly-Class Transport, Serenity", and runs a hefty $2,495. This price point, however, hasn't dissuaded hardcore Whedonites and FIREFLY loyalists. Due to high demand and the resulting backlog, your receipt of the item could take up to three months. Why so costly? Many reasons. First and foremost, this is not a mass produced model. It's it painstakingly created and made-to-order. The ship is built from over 250 parts (consisting of resin, aluminum, acrylic, and brass) and over 70 distinct paints are used, all applied by hand. John Eblan, formerly a Senior Model Maker at ILM, assembles every Serenity alongside his team. QMx's replica draws from CGI files used to realize FX for the SERENITY film (HERE), and the boat's hand sculpted components took a year to prepare. Any Serenity will start as little more than a bunch of parts like this…
But when you get it? It looks something like this…
You can learn more about the built-to-order Serenity replica HERE, where you can also see an embedded video of the replica in action (moving lights!). If you don't happen to have $2,495 sitting around (I don't!), QMx offers an eLayaway plan for the replica which allows you to reserve your copy while paying it off over time. Beautiful work . This "made to order" approach will soon be significant to STAR TREK fans - more on this below. Other Serenity themed merch includes the gorgeous "Atlas of The Verse" (HERE), a Serenity Blueprints Reference Pack (HERE), the Serenity Blue Sun Grain Alcohol T-shirt (HERE), and THIS "Define Interesting" T-shirt. QMX's first wardrobe replica went on sale Monday, and can be found HERE. It's Jayne's "Troublemaker" shirt, which looks pretty awesome (although I'm partial to that Blue Sun shirt myself). That Serenity ship… I'm not the world's most ardent supporter of FIREFLY (although I enjoyed the feature film quite a bit), but I love that replica a lot. A whole lot. Which is good, because QMx has another spaceship coming up which many of us may dig even more…
Above, I mentioned that a "built-to-order" structure would ultimately be important to STAR TREK fans. Here's why: if you you're like me, and hopelessly hooked on the adrenalized grandeur of Abrams' TREK movie, you might be interested in "The Enterprise Project" (details and video HERE).
our team of model designers worked feverishly to craft an intricate, screen-accurate 34-inch-long sculpture of the legendary Enterprise, taken directly from the Enterprise 3-D effects files created by Industrial Light & Magic for the film. [EDIT] The QMx version of the model is an exact replica of the Enterprise as seen in the movies, with lighting, decaling and even the Aztec paint pattern taken from orthoscopic renders of the ship and other high-resolution reference supplied by Bad Robot. [EDIT] This replica was created specifically and exclusively for Bad Robot Productions and Paramount Pictures to support the global Star Trek launch event.
Okay, so the clipping above makes this amazing Enterprise replica sound like a publicity motivated one-off that'll never be available to the masses. Which…is partially, but not entirely, correct. QMx is currently working to refine their model in anticipation of a retail release. Two versions will be made available - a fancy-schmancy issuance similar to the Serenity seen above, as well as a smaller, more traditionally scaled piece. Here's an exclusive glimpse of the fancy version - which, like Serenity, will be made to order.
Magnificent work, no? That thing makes my man parts tingle somethin' fierce. QMx's plunge into the Abrams' TREK verse recently began with the announcement of THESE STAR TREK badge replicas (the Starfleet arrowhead logo/department insignia seen on the characters' uniform shirts) - and will continue through (and hopefully beyond) the development of Enterprise, whose progress and development we're hoping to track over the coming year.
Which brings us back to the STARGATE SG-1 merch which gave rise to this piece. The first word which springs to mind about the Goa'uld Death Glider is - 'solid'. It's not particularly heavy, nor is it a flimsy "toy." This is a highly detailed replica, based on aircraft appearing in the series (which themselves were modified from the 1994 Roland Emmerich film) . The sculpting is meticulous. In the images below, check out the conduits/circuitry/etc. throughout the craft's black bands - and the pilot occupants' armor detail, which is clearly distinguishable through the cockpit canopy.
As you can see in the photos, the Glider comes with (and can mount on) a heavy diorama base which features a teeny Stargate and one of those Stargate dialer podium things (DHDs I believe they're called - Dial Home Devices). The mounting mechanism does allow the Glider to wobble on its stand a bit, but seems to be engineered to keep the replica nicely airborne without too much stress. I.e. if you place this product on your desk, or some place frequently bumped or trafficked, it doesn't seem like the aircraft is going to fall off too easily. This is nice, and recommended for fans of SG-1, or as a gift for someone who is. At $99, the Goa'uld Death Glider is a limited edition (1,500 pieces) and compliments QMx's super groovy, similarly scaled F-302 Strategic Fighter/Interceptor (HERE). The Glider itself is available HERE. As mentioned at the top of the article, I'm hoping we'll have soon more insight into the design and creation of QMx replicas and products. We've yet to work out all the details, but a more intense focus on how they do what they do, the making of their replicas, etc. could be pretty nifty. It's fascinating stuff, and QMx is doing some of the finest work of this type at the moment. So stay tuned...
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Readers Talkback
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  • April 14, 2010, 1:45 p.m. CST


    by McDylbot

    Pretty cool...

  • April 14, 2010, 1:45 p.m. CST


    by McDylbot

    Pretty cool...

  • April 14, 2010, 1:46 p.m. CST


    by McDylbot

  • April 14, 2010, 1:46 p.m. CST

    If only I had the money for Serenity...

    by DK1138

    Or the place to put it.... Everyone who saw it would probably ask what the hell it was and where the hell it was from, and they could borrow my Firefly DVDs and fall for it as I did

  • April 14, 2010, 1:56 p.m. CST


    by selenya

    The propaganda posters are so much fun. Just clip the corners, pop them in a frame, and you're good to go!

  • April 14, 2010, 1:56 p.m. CST


    by Bouncy X

    yeah i had to be a nerd sorry. but the enterprise is really great too, if it sells well i wonder if they'll attempt other Enterprises or even federation ships. but i see they're making a smaller scale version too, they should do that for Serenity as well. though lemme guess, those would still be like 400$ or something.

  • April 14, 2010, 2:06 p.m. CST

    You know, as much as I enjoyed the show and film...

    by Chewtoy

    I never really cared all that much for the design of the Serenity. It just never really clicked for me. I like various ideas going on with it, and parts of it look cool, but it just doesn't quite come together for me... I don't know why.

  • April 14, 2010, 2:10 p.m. CST

    How much of a geek am I?

    by Jaka

    I just ordered an Atlas of The Verse. Yaaay! ...I was going to say shiny, but bouncy beat me to it.

  • April 14, 2010, 2:11 p.m. CST

    I'd love to get that Blackbird.

    by TheWaqman

  • April 14, 2010, 2:24 p.m. CST

    "the adrenalized grandeur of Abrams' TREK"

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Huh? <p> Cool Serenity model though.

  • April 14, 2010, 2:24 p.m. CST

    QMx Should Release Serenity As A Model Kit

    by WriteFromLeft

    Take all those shiny nice pieces and put 'em in a box with great graphics.

  • April 14, 2010, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Omg, that Enterprise is gorgeous

    by SithMenace

    I'm a sucker for models that light up.

  • April 14, 2010, 2:26 p.m. CST

    Yeah the Serenity design is rubbish

    by cool_britannia79

    I get it's meant to be a horse and all, but no.

  • April 14, 2010, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Really want a Serenity.....

    by Jobacca

    But theres no way in hell I can bring myself to spend over 2K for a toy spaceship....even if I had the money. Now if they were to release a smaller,non-electronic version for under $500...that I would probably buy.

  • April 14, 2010, 2:36 p.m. CST

    What's with all the paint on Serenity?

    by Bass Ackwards

    Don't get.

  • April 14, 2010, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Cue AsimovLives ranting in...

    by quicksilver80


  • April 14, 2010, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Cool Stuff

    by ominus

    but no money to get them

  • April 14, 2010, 2:48 p.m. CST


    by Bruce of all Trades

    That is my new word of the day. <p><p>And DAMN, do those Serenity and Enterprise replicas look badass. They light up, too. Like Christmas lights. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!

  • April 14, 2010, 2:51 p.m. CST

    $2500! Not shiny!

    by AdmiralAdama

    Its a real shame that the only licensed Serenity model out there its only for rich people... not really a browncoat way of thinking...

  • April 14, 2010, 2:53 p.m. CST

    I, too, await the arrival...

    by Jaka

    ...of AsimovLives and his response to the above description of Star Trek 2009.

  • April 14, 2010, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Damn, I wish I was livin' LARGE!

    by glodene

    Cuz dat' SERENITY REPLICA would be mine like a mutha' fucka'!

  • April 14, 2010, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Man that Serenity Model is pretty friggin sweet....

    by CurlySue

    It makes me want to take up model building...

  • April 14, 2010, 3:44 p.m. CST

    If you have seen Firefly and don't love it...

    by JackLucas

    You are a fucking moron. Fact. Oh wait... this was a Merrick article. Of course he wouldn't love Firefly. Fucking moron.

  • April 14, 2010, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Don't hate on the price.

    by Deathpool

    Just because the average Firefly fan can't afford the big damn replica, don't hate on it. Be happy something that badass actually exists. Though yeah, I do wish I could afford one... <br><br>I've gotten a lot of their Firefly/Serenity stuff and they're very cool, the 'Verse map and the Dinosaur shirt being some of the most impressive. Cool to see them getting some love.

  • April 14, 2010, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Those prices are bullshit...

    by Hairy Nutsack

    As a model and propmaker let me just say that most of those prices are outrageous. I'm so tired of these super expensive limited runs on stuff that the average fan can't afford to buy. Resin doesn't cost that much assholes!<p> Lightspeed ran themselves out of business by doing the same damn thing, overprice a bunch of replicas that were nothing but resin models with fancy paintjobs.<p> Bullshit!

  • April 14, 2010, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Abrams's Enterprise looks like...

    by AsimovLives

    ... 10 different people came up with a design, and they merged them all into one object. It's design by comitee without any thought on aestetic consistency. It's butt ugly too.

  • April 14, 2010, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Serenity looks like a winged horse...

    by AsimovLives

    ... which is kinda the point.

  • April 14, 2010, 4:13 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    It took longer, but it came. I'm happy not to disappoint.

  • April 14, 2010, 4:14 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    This is about the ship, not the movie. A difference there.

  • April 14, 2010, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Serenity is Shiny!

    by JiminSTLouis

    See my BDR & review here:

  • April 14, 2010, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Enterprise is majestic...

    by cool_britannia79

    Witness her Majesty! Seriously though, I am an avid model maker and displaying someone elses work does not sit well with me at all. Release them as kits at a fraction of the price please.

  • April 14, 2010, 4:39 p.m. CST

    Asi, true, true

    by Jaka

    But I think we were expecting you to comment on the description of the movie, not the quality of the ship design. Still, good on ya.

  • April 14, 2010, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Fixed the URL

    by JiminSTLouis

    Here is a TinyURL to my Serenity BDR uncrating review and pictures:

  • April 14, 2010, 4:52 p.m. CST

    @Hairy Nutsack: Whatever, dude.


    You might be a 'model maker' but I doubt you are professional. The amount of hours to sand, epoxy, assemble, seam fill, sand, prime, sand again, more primer, mask, paint, detail work, weathering, protective coat... all by hand to finish. Take those hours done by a professional ILM artist and average payment per hour. Yah, whatever dude.

  • April 14, 2010, 4:53 p.m. CST

    No thanks! I will sleep better at night knowing my money

    by BeerIcecream

    has gone towards cancer research.

  • April 14, 2010, 4:54 p.m. CST

    The Enterprise WAS magestic.

    by AsimovLives

    Not anymore.

  • April 14, 2010, 4:55 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    We understand each other. Which i would say, is most of the time, despiste our differences.

  • April 14, 2010, 4:57 p.m. CST

    I'm just not into this memorabilia stuff

    by AsimovLives

    I would buy a classic enteprise ship model just for the hell of it, but not for the prices they are. That's just exploitation. I stick to watching the TV shows then.

  • April 14, 2010, 5:03 p.m. CST

    They should buy a machine to make these so it doesn't cost $2500

    by happybunni

    I don't care about hand painting if it's going to add $2000 to the price. These are affordable at $500ish.

  • April 14, 2010, 5:16 p.m. CST

    What? No Klingon Birds Of Prey?

    by skimn

    Always thought the old Trek Klingon designs were cool.

  • April 14, 2010, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Serenity looked better on the inside

    by Adelai Niska

  • April 14, 2010, 5:17 p.m. CST

    They should be fucking shot for charging that much for "Serenity

    by Holeman

    There's about MAYBE $500 in parts, labor and materials. MAYBE. That's being generous. I like their stuff, but they're overpriced as all hell and honestly, you could buy a high-end resin kit and turn out something equally good or better.

  • April 14, 2010, 5:28 p.m. CST

    @ Holeman


    you don't know what the fuck you're talking about. Maybe if these were made in a third world country by children and not by talented and trained artists. The 'disposable generation' have absolutely no concept of what quality craftmanship entails.

  • April 14, 2010, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Peggy Carter's been cast in Cap

    by Bruce of all Trades

    Hayley Atwell's the name. And she's a looker, too. <p>What, not worthy enough to report?

  • April 14, 2010, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Holeman: CENOBITE is correct

    by Playkins

    $500 would imply mass-production or a single mold. The work that goes into the Serenity is worth every bit of the $2500 price tag. So yeah, STFU.

  • April 14, 2010, 5:38 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Jaka!

    by Whitefall

    For picking up a copy of the Atlas (I wrote & illustrated it). I'd love to hear what you think of it once it comes in, if you want to shoot me a note on Twitter (@benmund).

  • April 14, 2010, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Does the Enterprise model come with authentic lens flares?

    by YackBacker

  • April 14, 2010, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Serenity has to be one of the ugliest Sci-Fi "hero" ships

    by MyScreenplayWasRejected

    I liked the show, loved the movie, but the ship is uglier than sin. Even the Millennium Falcon had a kind of grace to it. Serenity? Fucking weird looking.

  • April 14, 2010, 5:59 p.m. CST


    by awepittance


  • April 14, 2010, 6:05 p.m. CST

    spending $2,500 for a model ship is why I support VAT tax

    by FlandersBum

    If you've got enough cash to blow $2,500 for something like this, then adding $300-$400 on top of it for sales taxes should be no big deal for you.

  • April 14, 2010, 6:05 p.m. CST

    Bullshit again...

    by Hairy Nutsack

    They are mass producing these, one of the pictures shows piles and piles of parts. The production run is limited because they choose it to be, don't kid yourselves. Don't get me wrong, they do high quality work, but the prices are still ridiculous.

  • April 14, 2010, 6:09 p.m. CST

    The Serenity design...

    by Hairy Nutsack

    The theme of the show was cowboys in space, the Serenity is designed to look like a horse. Look at it in profile.<p> I like the design a lot. It contrasts greatly with the Alliance ships.

  • April 14, 2010, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Cool, but...

    by ChocolateJeebus

    ...I want them to model the real Enterprise (any of the seven, or eight depending on how much of a geek you are). Also, the artificial scarcity to inflate prices is a bit of bullshit.

  • April 14, 2010, 6:19 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    In defense of Serenity, when the time of real spaceships arrive, they will look nothing like we imagine spaships to be, and they will all look wierd and even ugly. Becasue spaceships, because they operate IN SPACE, will have their shapes influeced by the praticalities of operating in space, which means they will look compeltly different then what has been done so far for movie and TV show space designs. Even Serenity will look too airplane-like.

  • April 14, 2010, 6:28 p.m. CST

    Cenobite and Playkins?

    by Holeman

    Eat my fucking ass. Hot Toys managed to put out a 1:6 fucking Tumbler with lights and all that bullshit, it's about twice as big as this and it's between $500 and $700. You see those piles of parts, dipshits? THAT'S MASS PRODUCTION! Those photos are of the fucking studio model. I've seen one of these up close and it's nothing fucking special and it sure as shit isn't worth what they're charging for it. You want to be a couple of fucking idiots and blow that much money on something that's overpriced all to shit, go right ahead. I've been building models for years and I'm not fucking impressed.

  • April 14, 2010, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Hey There @ Holeman

    by JiminSTLouis

    I'm not going to argue the price point. Everyone has an opinion about it and everyone has their upper limit. I myself saved for two years to buy the BDR. As for the photos, they are not of the studio model but of the actual replica. Take a look at the link I posted and you will see pics of mine. In fact, the only studio model in the movie was of the "crash scene" Serenity, and it wasn't even that accurate. Everything else you see in the movie was CGI and that is what QMx used for the modeling and paint scheme for the BDR. Anyway, I don't regret for a minute that I bought one of these. It is the only time in my life that I rewarded myself with a collectible like this.

  • April 14, 2010, 6:39 p.m. CST

    "New" Enterprise sucks...

    by BurnHollywood

    I can understand doing a mild update of the original series' ship (new textures and hi-res detailing, prettied up lighting effects on the nacelles, etc) but even if I liked the crappy reboot, the pointless redesign completely obstructed the goal of creating a nostalgic vibe. Not once in the entire film did I feel like this tacky, whored-up thing was THE's just another Enterprise-shaped Starfleet vessel, now.<p> Epic Fail.

  • April 14, 2010, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Enterprise in the Film

    by Mazzer

    It's a shame that the shaky-cam and weird lighting in JJ's film never let us see the Enterprise properly, despite its cool design.<p> Oh, and it always amuses me when sites allow you to click on an image... only to find one that's marginally larger than the one you clicked on. Nice job, guys.

  • April 14, 2010, 6:59 p.m. CST

    JJ Enterprise is like JJ Trek

    by bobjustbob

    2/3 ok, 1/3 utter shite. And that's way too much shite.

  • April 14, 2010, 7:01 p.m. CST

    re: JiminSTLouis

    by Holeman

    Don't get me wrong. It's a nice replica. It's just not worth what they're charging for it. I could see $800 or even $1000, but that's a fucking house payment.

  • April 14, 2010, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Why would anyone...

    by MajorFrontbum

    ...waste money on absolute shit like this?

  • April 14, 2010, 7:30 p.m. CST

    AsimovLives and the New Enterprise

    by Coordinate_System

    <P>"...when the time of real spaceships arrive, they will look nothing like we imagine spaships to be..."</P> <P>Err, we already have satellites (which I help build in real life), spacecraft (or if you like, spaceships) which have ferried people as far as the moon, and space probes which have "boldly gone where no one has gone before". What, for you, constitutes a real spaceship?</P> <P>You're right though, form does follow function. The design of a spacecraft is driven by both engineering and economic constraints. As for Serenity looking too airplane-like, well, it did have to operate in an atmosphere. This constraint would determine its external configuration, for the most part.</P> <P>As for the Abrams Enterprise, it doesn't work for me: the Engineering Hull is proportionally to small, and the nacelles have those annoying rotating blades (I've never liked the rotating portion on the Original 1701 either). Furthermore, they have what looks like exhausts on the back of the nacelles. It looks like either the designer(s) didn't know how warp is supposed to work (in the Trek Universe) or they decided to add Impulse engines to the back of them. Meh!</P> <P>For myself, the finest looking Enterprise is Classic Kirk's movie Enterprise. Nothing beats the 1701/1701-A!</P>

  • April 14, 2010, 7:35 p.m. CST

    Mr. Mund, very cool

    by Jaka

    I will definitely do so. Read some reviews of it and it sounds great. Looking forward to learning a bit more about the Verse.

  • April 14, 2010, 7:57 p.m. CST

    Not such a waste

    by Stunt Vocalist 709

    compared to the purchase of a brand new car. You drive it off the lot and it automatically drops at least a third in value. Buy a one owner car that's a year old, buy a BDR, and pocket the rest.

  • April 14, 2010, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Mass Produced

    by Stunt Vocalist 709

    is a term usually reserved for numbers of units in the hundreds of thousands, usually much higher. The hours designing the parts in addtion to the many hours of pain-staking craftsmanship and costs of equipment, business, etc. make (IMHO) this reasonably priced. People who take risks and create things deserve to make a profit, and that encourages them to make more cool stuff.

  • April 14, 2010, 8:08 p.m. CST

    That Serenity ship looks like a...

    by vettebro

    Fucking Chicken. I agree with the earlier posts. That is the ugliest, dumbest looking ship I've ever seen. The movie was lame too!

  • April 14, 2010, 8:09 p.m. CST

    AsimovLives I disagree a little

    by MurderMostFowl

    Of course practicality and function will dictate much, I agree there, but I think once we actually have enough experience as a people ( I mean the human race ) where space travel is common... designers will create space ships that are similar to some of the vast array of ships we see in Sci Fi. I think people will create ships out of homage to those ideas, and even retain many " air plane" like features such as elements that resemble wings though they may only be for show ( since there's no resistance in space ) .<BR><BR> Of corse will all the designs we've seen over the last hundred years or so, they'll have to look like *something* :) <BR><BR> You'll always have the ultra rich who will probably try to make an exact replica of the Enterprise, or of a Star Destroyer. <BR><BR> That would be awesome. <BR><BR> Maybe we'll all be flying Battle Beyond the Stars Boob ships!

  • April 14, 2010, 8:13 p.m. CST

    quit knocking Serenity

    by MurderMostFowl

    I'm not a Firefly apologiest, but geez...The ship is supposedly to be ugly. It was a fucking cargo ship, and a crappy one at that. The mention this several times in the series. I think that was actually one of the better decisions of the series. If the ship looked like a chrome SR-71 ( oh yes I went there. ) it would never have had the same effect. <BR><BR> Besides we all know the greatest ship ever was The Eagle V from Spaceballs.

  • April 14, 2010, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Ship design will be based around what's needed...

    by Jaka travel in open space. Really, that's all that will matter. If we can travel safely into deep space on manned flights in ships that pay homage to Sci-Fi, I'm sure that will happen. But if they need to be shaped like a pine tree with a dodecahedron orb at the base, that's what we'll do.

  • April 14, 2010, 8:23 p.m. CST


    by vettebro

    Before Lucas ass fucked the best movie franchise in history...we had the "cargo" ship called the Millennium Falcon! That ship had some character. It didn't look like a fucking farm animal.

  • April 14, 2010, 10:33 p.m. CST

    What's with all these spaceships without GUNS?

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    Makes the special effects cheaper me thinks and far less dynamic and exciting. The Serenity needs a bad-ass space cannon, it doesn't have to work all the time. I want a Serenity dogfight, it's not a dogfight unless all the ships can shoot.

  • April 14, 2010, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Asimov there's nothing wrong with that ship design

    by MattmanReturns

    sorry, you're Star Trek hatred is impairing your judgement on that one.

  • April 15, 2010, 2:02 a.m. CST

    I have a Shuttlecraft Gallileo model that cost me $4.95 at Hallm

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    and when you press the button, Spock says. "Spock here - Seasons Greetings - Live Long, and Prosper."<p> I could fill my swimming pool with them for the cost of one Serenity.<p> And sorry Ex-ILM staffers, but the home market for studio quality movie props is very, VERY tiny. So instead, I think I'll wait for Revelle to make a "snap-tite" version that doesn't even need any glue and costs about $24.99

  • April 15, 2010, 2:05 a.m. CST

    "I want a Serenity dogfight."

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    Thats the sci-fi equivalent of saying "I want to attack Panzer tanks with a Mack truck.<p> Sorry, but Firefly wasn't a fighter - it was a UPS van in outer space.

  • April 15, 2010, 2:06 a.m. CST

    Asimovlives says real spaceships will be ugly

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    counterpoint: The Space Shuttle

  • April 15, 2010, 2:13 a.m. CST

    Serenity ship designed influenced by the insect firefly

    by rich888

    ie; the winged flying beetle that glows at night. It being called a "firefly class ship" is a pretty big clue by itself. The entire rear end section of the ship lighting up light the insect, even the same color, even the landing gear look very much like the feet of the insect. Just google search "firefly insect" the similarities are quite striking

  • April 15, 2010, 2:18 a.m. CST

    Asimovlives is Rick Berman

    by SithMenace

    Sorry Asi, I agree with you on your religious views, but I can't get in league with you on Abrams' Trek.

  • April 15, 2010, 2:19 a.m. CST

    Abrams Enterprise is gorgeous

    by SithMenace

    And I'm a TOS fan.

  • April 15, 2010, 2:27 a.m. CST

    Will Danny Elfman return to do the music?

    by SithMenace

    Wrong talkback.

  • April 15, 2010, 2:32 a.m. CST

    Whatever justifications are chosen

    by SithMenace

    the Firefly ship is butt ugly. If it was supposed to look like a big, pick something that doesn't look like a bug then.

  • April 15, 2010, 2:38 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I wouldn't call an artificial stellite a proper spaceship. It doesn't travel in spac,e it just follows an orbit, which as a satellite engeneer, you know it's in fact just a fall toward Earth along the curvature of the Earth. The rocket that puts the satellite in orbit has mroe of a claim to be a spacecraft then the satellite proper, which is payload.<br><br>I wouldn't even call the space shuttles spaceships. They are SPACE SHUTTLES. You can't travel with thembeyond established orbits. Frankly, the only real spaceships mankind has ever produced which merit the name were the Appolo crafts and the various probes we have sent to the moon and other planets in the solar system, of which the most famous are the Voyagers. That's it.<br><br>You are right about oen thing about Serenity i almost forgot, that ship does land on planets and it does help to still have some aerodynamic properties. Good point, friend.

  • April 15, 2010, 2:39 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    The space shuttle IS A SPACE SHUTTLE. Go look up the difference.

  • April 15, 2010, 3:35 a.m. CST

    by AsimovLives

  • April 15, 2010, 3:40 a.m. CST

    And about the look of the Abramsprise

    by AsimovLives

    It was only lookin at the pictures from the movie and the toy models i actually mananged to get a look of how the Enterprise in the Abrams movie looked like. Becasue in the movie you never once get a good look at it. Everytime she's shown, it's always in shaky-o-cam or in very fast edits. not even in the supposedly big reveal when Kirk and Bones first board her we get a good glimpse of it. We must don't see her very well. But we did get a very good look at her brewry, i mean, her engine room, and her spa lobby, i mean, her command bridge.

  • April 15, 2010, 3:55 a.m. CST

    That Enterprise is amazing

    by Drsambeckett1984

    Gives me the horn

  • April 15, 2010, 6:12 a.m. CST


    by Drsambeckett1984

    I know you hate Abrams Trek, and you are entitled to that opinion, I personally thought it was great but thats not the point. <P> In all seriousness, if you had been in the position to remake Star Trek, what exactly would you have done? <P> Just curious.

  • April 15, 2010, 6:13 a.m. CST

    Drsambeckett1984, always the joker

    by AsimovLives

    That's what i dig about you. Always ready for a quip.

  • April 15, 2010, 6:59 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Since this is about the Enterprise and not the movie proper, i tell you what i would had done about the ship. For starters, i only had given the design of the ship to one person only. Secondly, i would hark back to the original design from TOS, and believe it or not, i would streamlined the ship even futher. The ship would look like made from one piece, as if it had been made by a glassblower or a jeweler. No nooks and cranks in the design, just straight and curved lines, natural lines. And taking the great idea from STAR TREK THE MOTION PCITURE, i would have it had it's own ilumination, so to make her visible in deep space without there being some unnatural source of light which wouldn't be there in the first place. I might scale up the ship a big, as in, make it a bit bigger then the Entreprise of the TOS. As i envision the Enterprise for a remake, i would compare it to the battlecruisers of WWI and WWII. Battlecruisers were ships which were a mix of a cruiser and a battlership. they were as big as battelships, but they had the speed and armour of cruisers. This allowed them to be faster the the usual battleships with the same armament, but sacrificing armour. Since the Enterprise seesm to be a ship designed for long travels, for exploration duties and a fast ship ready for emergency duties, i'd say she would be the kind of ship which mostly needed speed above all else. And a great capacity for long range travel and to be pretty autonomous for a long perido of time without the need to constant resupply.<br><br>Another inspiration would be the portuguese caravels and caracks of the 16th century, as they were ships which had a mix nature of blue waters exploration, traders and combat. I'm not saying that the Enterprise shoud look like those, far from it, but that operational phisolophy should be in the mind of the designer.

  • April 15, 2010, 7:08 a.m. CST

    One thing in would retain from the TOS movies Enterprise

    by AsimovLives

    The docking door situated behind the bridge, as seen in STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE when Spock's shuttle arrives and docks. As far i can reember, it's the only time in the entire TOS movies series where it's used. But i like it, it's as if a special docking bay only for special shuttles, like carrying dignitary and such.

  • April 15, 2010, 7:09 a.m. CST

    phisolophy = philosohy

    by AsimovLives

    When will there be an edit buttom, when?

  • April 15, 2010, 7:14 a.m. CST

    Abrams's Enterprise version is called Enterprise F

    by AsimovLives

    USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-F). F for fail.

  • April 15, 2010, 7:21 a.m. CST

    Spacecraft , Orbits, Trek XI

    by Coordinate_System

    <P>Well, we refer to the our satellites as "spacecraft" out on the production floor (they are launched by rockets, but have their own thrusters for orbit raising and on-station attitude adjustment) but what's in a name?</P> <P>It's true that satellites and space shuttle's orbit the earth (its a little more complicated than that, for the curious, google "barycenter" for more info), but Apollo was also in a transfer orbit between the earth and moon (I don't believe it achieved or exceeded escape velocity from earth, which is around 11 km/sec).</P> <P>It is true that Voyager, etc are interstellar probes (i.e. not orbiting the sun), but they are still bound gravitationally to the galaxy, and can still be said to orbit the center of the galaxy.</P> <P>Not arguing with your definition of spacecraft, I'm simply pointing a few things out. (for more information: Google search terms: "Trans Lunar Injection", "Escape Velocity", "Center of Mass"</P> <P>Drsambeckett1984: "if you had been in the position to remake Star Trek, what exactly would you have done? " I know you were asking AsimovLives, but can anybody enter this contest?</P>

  • April 15, 2010, 8:02 a.m. CST


    by Drsambeckett1984

    No that was open to anyone.

  • April 15, 2010, 8:07 a.m. CST

    I have to admit

    by Drsambeckett1984

    I have issues with this Enterpise too, and I loved the film, the nacelles are just two big and clunky looking and are not in keeping with the rest of the ship. <P> The saucer is hard to fault as it is pretty similar to other versions. <P> But my main gripe was always the interior. main engineering to be specific, it was just awful, where was the warp core? It was just tubes and pipes, hardly in keeping with the iBridge.

  • April 15, 2010, 9:54 a.m. CST

    AdmiralAdama on Browncoat sentiment

    by Himbo

    I think I disagree with you on the 'Browncoat sentiment' re pricetag. Browncoats would think you are free to buy it or sell it. The Serenity crew would take a job to raise the money to buy it, or gladly steal it in order to resell it to somebody willing to pay crazy money for it. <p> As for Flanders' VAT argument. To paraphrase Malcolm "That's what the government is for: to get in a man's way [of selling overpriced models]." <p> I'd think they will release the model kit for individual assembly once their custom build job-requests cease. But as long as people are willing to pay crazy money to model-builders, good on them to offer the service. I'd like to own a Serenity replica, but I have NO desire or time to build a model. <p> And while I never cared for the SG-1 Death Glider, I always liked the F302 that was reverse engineered from the DG (and looks it). The willingness to embrace and use recovered alien technology in defense of Earth was one of the aspects I've always enjoyed most about the Stargate series.

  • April 15, 2010, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Did AsimovLives not actually SEE the movie?

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    They explained the ship pretty nicely visa-vis the whole 'aliens from the future tinker with the natural timeline' device. In the original and pure timeline, mankind builds spaceships with this naive innocence about what they expect to find in outer space. When the Romulans interrupt that timeline with a healthy dose of good old fashioned violence and mayhem, humanity pauses and says to itself, "wow - outer space can be kinda creepy and dangerous. We should integrate these concerns into our ship designs."<p> And thus, the Enterprise is no longer a sleek cruiser designed to explore and study, but is a hardened PT boat designed to seek, study, and defend itself against all manner of dangers.<p> Try watching the movie, tardsauce.

  • April 15, 2010, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Gimme That Enterprise

    by DrTobiasFunke

    I demand it.

  • April 15, 2010, 12:14 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    For my sins i did watched the movie. It's the people who praise the movie that makes me think they haven't.<br><br>And that "it's from a paralel universe created by Nero" thing doesn't cut it. That's not a panaceia answer to justify all the wrong thinking going on in the movie. i mean, by that argument, the single fact that ONE SINGLE SPACESHIP was destryed means that EVERYTHING about the Federation is changed? One ships is destroyed and the Federation reverts to 21th century capitalism and the brands Buweiser and nokia ressurect with a vengence? One ship is destroyed and the Federation stops being a place for personal excelence and everybody starts acting like dumb teens? The whole cathalist and the whole reason de etre of the movie is the paralele universe created by Nero's actions and his timetravel back to the past, whihc destroys the USS Kelvin. And that single destroytion of this one sigle ship is reason enough to justify the whole differences from TOS? Nonsense! The paralel universe i tackled in quite an unelegant and clumsy way.<br><br>"When the Romulans interrupt that timeline with a healthy dose of good old fashioned violence and mayhem, humanity pauses and says to itself, "wow - outer space can be kinda creepy and dangerous. We should integrate these concerns into our ship designs.""<br><br>Wha,t ship engeneers will design ships due to their emotions instead of praticability? "Who, space is so dangerous, i'm going to design a spaceship that reflects my emotions" What is this? Spaceship design becames spulture now? That does not compute. But in a way, spaceships as emoticons is quite apt to that emo nonsense that is the Abrams movie.

  • April 15, 2010, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Asimov, I think it was more a butterfly effect

    by MattmanReturns

    that caused the drastic changes. Who knows, maybe some of the people who WOULD'VE been ship designers were killed on the Kelvin :). I don't read as much into it as everyone else, as the REAL excuse was simply to recreate the Trek universe. I don't mind them fucking with Trek, because I've always found the Trek universe a bit ridiculous to begin with. (Why does every alien resemble a human with some dents on their forehead?)

  • April 15, 2010, 1:58 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Still, that doesn't hold water. You know why? Watch TOS and you will notice that the history of the Federation and men in space is fileld with disasters, destruction, ships missing, people getting killed. All thoughout the history of federation. and none of those events created a huge cause and effect ripple effect that would compeltly change the Federation beyond all possible recognition. The destruction of ONE SINGLE SHIP as it happens in the beginign of Abrams' movie is very small potatoes compared to the events that had regulary happened in TOS, past and present.<br><br>You know, you ever wondered why the Federation in TOS is such a strict meritocracy? Well, in such a universe where dangers lurks everywhere in the galaxy, and every mission to the stars can be the crews' last, ti makes sense that the Federation would incite in the people living their to live up to their very best abilities, to excel themselves, to be the best they can be. A very dangerous world would invite people being at the top of their abilities. A meritocracy, to face the dangers they would face regulary.<br><br>To try to explain the stuff in Abrams's movie has all being the result of single ship being destroyed, it means those Federation people in Abram's version are very complacent lemings who never once faced a real danger in their whole history. For the destruction of a single ship to cause such a huge effect, this is some Federation there nothing of very improtance ever happened at all in it's whole history. So, really, that argument holds no water whatsoever.<br><br>And Abrasmprise is ugly as sin.

  • April 15, 2010, 2:05 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Even in TOS there's an explanation for why all intelligent races are humanoids. It all destils to one word: PANSPERMIA. In the ST univers,e all races are descent, or influenced, by a race that lived millions of years ago and spread out throughout the galaxy, tempering with spieces which showed promise. In oenepisode, which i now forgot it's title, Spock and McCoy have a conversation about how fantastic it is that most inteligent races are humanoids. Spock talks about the panspermia of an older race whoch created all races they know about, in different worlds. It's also the explnation why so many alien spieces can progreate and have mixed race offsprings, of which Spock is one of them, being half-human and haldf vulcan.<br><br>Really, you should rewatch TOS again. you would understand why it's still so loved even today, and why in comparison Abrams's movie looks like the retard piece of shit that it is. there's mor eideas in any one minut of any peisode of TOS then the entire run of Abram's movie.<br><br>As for the so-called cheesiness of TOS, it's not cheese. It's TV low budget. Had that show been made using top of the art filming technology of today, there wouldn't be one single cheese you would find in it. Not a single one. If people can't stop looking at TOS as cheese, then it's their lack of the imagination to blame, not the show.

  • April 15, 2010, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Big difference between an orbiter and long range...

    by Jaka traveling vessel. Since we haven't achieved the latter as a reality (yet) science fiction movies, books, comics, etc. have free reign to make them look however they want. The Space Shuttle is designed the way it is because it's meant to re-enter Earth atmosphere and land on a runway. Gemini and Apollo capsules were designed to splash down in the ocean, so they looked like a bottom heavy vase. What will be needed to make manned journeys into deep space will likely look completely different from either of those. But until then, creators have the freedom to theorize and daydream to their hearts content. <P>One of the things I love about Star Trek is that when you actually start digging (which is to say, reading the books), taking into account the hundreds of years of Starfleet, the Federation and it's member planets and the other races they've encountered, is that "spaceship" design is pretty near endless. Literally hundreds of designs have been created using every type of power source you could imagine. It's very likely that not ONE of them is how long range space travel will really happen. But it does give scientists some interesting things to consider (and probably laugh at, most of the time). <P>Of all the things I hate about Trek 2009, the Enterprise is pretty far down the list. Although I completely agree with the things mentioned about Engineering. Complete crap, that.

  • April 15, 2010, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Aliens with dents on their foreheads

    by Jaka

    Infinite diversity in infinite combinations (the Vulcan IDIC) combined with natural selection and evolution. What works best is what's going to work best for all species dealing with similar life situations. Then you take into account the affects of their individual ecosystems, lifestyles, predators, etc. and make minor changes. That's why there are so many bipedal, two-eyed, nose breathing aliens. However, that's another one of those things that's not exactly the same in the books. A lot more "alien" aliens in the books where you mind is allowed to envision and imagine freely.

  • April 15, 2010, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah. For REALLY alien Star Trek aliens...

    by Jaka the Star Trek Titan books. That's Riker's ship. It's the most alien crew that ever been assembled on a Federation vessel. Crazy diverse crew on that ship. And the books, so far, have all been stellar. Should have been (still could be) the new ST tv series.

  • April 15, 2010, 4:23 p.m. CST

    Asimov, the new Enterprise IS bigger

    by SithMenace

    You explained above that you would have made it bigger, but it is bigger. The old E is 288 meters, while Abrams' E is 725.35 meters, which is a little larger than the Battlestar Galactica. <p>

  • April 15, 2010, 6:28 p.m. CST

    Nice models, lousy Enterprise design

    by GeorgieBoy

    You know, I used to actually CARE when the Enterprise from the TOS films got blasted. I worried about it when it got blasted by Khan. I actually wept when it blew up and crashed in Search for Spock. And I could barely contain my elation when the Enterprise-A was introduced. Now that was a BEAUTIFUL ship!<br><br> This new ship... Isn't the Enterprise. And I actually HOPE it gets blasted and destroyed in the next movie. Good riddance!<br><br> Note to JJ: Next time, hire someone to design a ship that has some AESTHETICS skills!

  • April 16, 2010, 2:28 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Thing is, the Abramsprise doesn't look bigger. It looks smaller. It's shape is so busy, with all those nooks and cranks, it makes it lose scale. And it's the least elegant design i ever seen in a ST show dealing with the old girl. Those nacelles, for instance, they look like hairblowers. Spaceship parts that look like hairblowers,that's the stuff one expects from BLAKE 7, not Star Trek. specially, not one which had a budget of 150 millions. And what's the deal with the brewry, man? Even the made on the cheap St hsows and movies mananged to build a stylishtic futuristic looking engine room, in Abramsprise it's a brewry?? What the hell!

  • April 16, 2010, 2:38 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Indeed. When i first saw THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK and saw the destruction of the Enterprise (SPOILER!), i just couldn't believe! The gall to do that! And it was emotional like hell! Seeing the old girl going down, it was... well, the Enterprise IS a character in the ST stories. Charismatic, interesting, one of the boys really. People piss and moan about STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE, but that movie treats the Enterprise as a rock star. And it also points out, as it should, the special relationship that a captain can have with his own ship. This is such a common occurence to many ship commander. It's small wonder that in the english language, ships are treated as a person, they are not called IT, they are called SHE. for anybody who has any interest and knowledge about naval subjects, you will see how important ships are. Not just as a vessel, they are treated as something more then just an object.<br><br>Something that's completly missing in the Abrams movie. There's some token shots of the old girl, but it's just for the picture. The enterpise is never treated as anything mroe then just soem new hotrod which Uhura wants to get on because all the cool kids are in it too. Nonsense. Gene Roddenberry and the people who made the TOS mvoies understood the navy milieu very well. Abrams' can't understand the difference between the military and a high school. And it shows. And he dosn't really care much about ships and the naval mentality. And it shows. And he doesn't like and has no respect for Star Trek. And it shows. Filmmakers do not need to be uber-geeks about a established franchise to make a good movie out of it, just look at Christopher Nolan and his Batman movies. But Abrams has nothing but desinterest. But he sure really loves Star Wars.

  • April 16, 2010, 3:29 a.m. CST

    ST:TMP is not my favorite

    by Jaka

    But I do love the way the Enterprise is treated (near idolized) in that film. Especially the director's cut.

  • April 16, 2010, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Overall I liked Abrams' Trek (barely)...

    by Plathismo

    ...but from a design standpoint it was a huge disappointment. Abrams seems to have no eye at all for that kind of stuff. The Enterprise design is marred by the nacelles, which are far too big and look like they belong on another ship. Pity is, if you watch the supplements on the blu-ray, you see some pretty cool conceptual artwork for what some of the Enterprise interiors (like engineering) could have looked like...but instead Abrams decided to shoot engineering in a brewery in Michigan or something. I wouldn't be surprised if there were reams of great designs for ships, sets, etc., that never made it into the film. Again, I actually liked the film overall (the casting was spot-on), but the only thing that looked good in the movie was Zoe Saldana.

  • April 16, 2010, 1:09 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Indeed. The engine room was shot in a Budweiser brewry. It's as if it's a metaphor for the whole approach to the Enterprise and the moie in general. An iconic piece of SF is shot in the brewry of a cheap tasteless piss beer. Really, as a metaphor, it's perfect.<br><br>I can't stress this enough, the Abramsprise is a ship designed by too many people, by comitee, and as a final joke,. the movie barely shows it. Any ST movie that does not linger on and portaits the Enterprise as a rock star and one of the boys is not doing it's job. It does not know what is doing, it doesn't minimaly understand Star Trek, even on a undedicated amateur level.

  • April 16, 2010, 2:34 p.m. CST


    by Plathismo

    Yeah, the "Let's shoot on real locations!" philosophy that Abrams followed is all well-and-good...if you're shooting an episode of 'Felicity' or 'Alias.' But this is a space epic, for Christ's sake. Build sets! That's part of the fun of making this kind of tentpole movie, one would think. Maybe he was trying to save money...but why? You'd think he saved enough money on the mostly unknown (or kinda known) cast. It's a mega-million dollar franchise reboot, JJ! Go crazy! Let talented people design and build stuff! As for the Abramsprise, I also noticed that they didn't really showcase it properly, but given the weirdness of the design, this may be a good thing. Say what you want about Robert Wise and TMP, but when you got re-introduced to the Enterprise in that that is how you do that (greatly aided and abetted by Jerry Goldsmith, of course). Maybe I'm a crotchety old fuck (scratch that, I know I'm a crotchety old fuck), but when I was a kid, people knew how to design and shoot spaceships in movies. Where's Ralph McQuarrie or Syd Mead when you need them?

  • April 17, 2010, 3:05 p.m. CST

    The Enterprise got many great shots in that film

    by SithMenace

    I know you hate the film and the design of the ship Asimov, but there were many great shots in the movie where the ship was showcased. Under construction, the approach by Jim and Bones (which I agree wasn't as long as it could have been), the warp into the debris field (which is one of the single greatest sequences in a TOS film), the hero shot rising out of Saturn's ring and the sudden appearance with guns blazing to save Spock. Plus I'm sure there are others I'm not thinking of. I love the Enterprise design more than anyone, and would have liked to have seen a little more, but it was treated with respect and admiration in Abrams' film.