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NX-01 Sketches

NX-01 from 2001 TV Guide Article

NX-01 from 2001 TV Guide Article

 

Back before Star Trek: Enterprise premiered, the first clue we had to what the new ship would look like was a photo from the set showing a printed copy of the mission patch with a stylized plan view of the NX-01. Not long after, it made its official debut in TV Guide with the photo shown at right:     

The fan reaction was mixed, with many taking an immediate dislike to it as a supposed rip-off of the Akira class from Star Trek: First Contact, a design from well over a century in the future. Personally, I never really saw the resemblance beyond the similar configuration in plan view and I liked the design overall, though I felt it could have used some stronger stylistic cues to the Enterprise from the Original Series. It was designed by Doug Drexler, who has an interesting article about it on his blog where he talks about some of those very issues.     

Meanwhile, those of us who were excited to get our first tantalizing glimpse of the new ship were nonetheless frustrated that all we had was a top view. It seems obvious in retrospect but a lot of people weren’t even sure whether the nacelle struts were angled up or down, especially with comparisons to the Akira muddying the waters. I took my best guess based on that one photo and drew up some perspective views and details. I first posted these on TrekBBS shortly after the TV Guide article appeared:     

NX-01 Speculative 3/4 View

NX-01 Speculative 3/4 View

 

     

NX-01 Speculative Rear View

NX-01 Speculative Rear View

 

NX-01 Speculative Deflector Detail

NX-01 Speculative Deflector Detail

 

NX-01 Speculative Hangar Detail

NX-01 Speculative Hangar Detail

 

I made a fairly big splash with these and a couple of them got picked up and reused (usually uncredited) in a variety of other articles and forums. In fact, while digging around online just yesterday for miscellaneous pics of the NX-01, I stumbled across no less than five copies of the first two images in everything from wallpaper images to fan-made blueprints!     

Back in 2001, though, we still had no real clue what the underside looked like. There was some debate over whether the deflector dish on the front of the saucer was round or squished into an oval, which had significant ramifications for the structure underneath. I suspected it was oval but had a nostalgic preference for round, so I came up with following concept:     

NX-01 Speculative Underside - A Serious Take

NX-01 Speculative Underside - A Serious Take

 

A lot of people liked this idea, but then a new perspective view of the ship was released and the oval shape of the dish was confirmed, as well as the upward angle of the nacelle struts and various other details. Still no views of the underside, though, and people started to speculate that they were deliberately hiding something, perhaps the signature details that would prove once and for all that the designers just flipped an Akira upside-down and they really were nothing but a bunch of derivative hacks! Yeah, whatever. I had a somewhat different idea:     

NX-01 Speculative Underside - A Not So Serious Take

NX-01 Speculative Underside - A Not So Serious Take

 

And finally, as promised in my last article, here is my take on the original TV Guide photo with more of an Original Series aesthetic applied to the design:     

NX-01 TOS-ified

NX-01 TOS-ified

 

That’s probably enough Trek related stuff for the moment. In my next couple of articles, I’ll try to show some of the other stuff I have done over the years, then I’ll switch back to some projects I’m working on currently, including Trek stuff, so stay tuned!

3 comments to NX-01 Sketches

  • Awesome draws can u people do more of those i like NX class its beautyfull

  • I have been looking for a NX variant for a scale model project. Your take on the underside hull is AWESOME! Really sparks my imagination!

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