August 2009
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NX-01 Shuttle That Might Have Been

Back in 2000/2001 when the buzz was really ramping up for Star Trek: Enterprise (or just Enterprise, as it was controversially called in those days), a lot of people in the fan art community were speculating on what the new ship, the technology and the general appearance of things would look like. The infamous TV Guide top-down photo of the NX-01 had already appeared, sparking a lot of debate about the aesthetic direction of the show and how well continuity was going to be maintained, but I was still hopeful they would retain some of the look of the Original Series and that we would get a somewhat grittier, more adventurous and more nuts-and-bolts type of Star Trek than we’d seen in the 24th century era. I did a series of sketches reflecting my own ideas for the new ship and some other rumored elements like the new “shuttle pod.” I’ll be showing some of my NX-01 sketches in future posts, but for today, here’s a look at what I had in mind for a pre-TOS, non-warp capable, surface-to-orbit shuttle craft: 

NX-01 Shuttle Pod Concept

NX-01 Shuttle Pod Concept


This was long before I had a Cintiq tablet to draw this kind of stuff digitally so it was done by hand using pencil and paper, then scanned and colorized in Photoshop. This was also some of the first real, hand-drawn artwork I had done in many years, so it’s a little on the rough-and-dirty side. Then again, I find that I kind of prefer that look so I suppose you could call it a “style” of sorts. 

I’ll try to post of some of my NX-01 sketches in the next couple of days, including my take on the TV Guide photo with more of an Original Series look applied to it. I’ve been taking way too long between posts since I got this blog up and running and I aim to correct that from now on.

7 comments to NX-01 Shuttle That Might Have Been

  • that is pretty dang cool!!!!

  • Vektor

    Wow. I guess that’ll teach me to pay closer attention to my own blog. John Eaves comments on one of my sketches and I don’t even catch it for almost three weeks! [bonks head on desk in self-disgust]

    Thank you very much, John. Hopefully I’ll have quite a bit more here for you and everyone else to look at in the fairly near future. ;)

  • Ed

    Really nice design there! Love it…

  • Gaz

    Is that middle front window also an exit? Very cool…

  • No, the only exit is the side door in the traditional location. I just wanted to break up that forward plane a little bit.

  • Gary Saenz

    This is a GORGEOUS updated version of the refits shuttle and a very nice interpretation of the transition to the TOS E shuttles. I’m building the Polar lights kit of the NX-01 refit & adding some more design changes to it that bring it closer in overall shape to the TOS E & have for a while been wondering how the shuttles would look for it. Your design is perfect! I was wondering if you might not mind if I use your design to scratchbuild a to-scale shuttle & if so, would you have any other orthographic views or is this the only one? Sincere thanks & congrats on this wonderful pice of artwork!

  • Sure, you’re welcome to use the design. Unfortunately, this is the only view I have of it.

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