12
Jun
09

Alex Jaeger Week – The Akira Class

AkiriaCGITopFront

I was going to do a side by side of the Akira and the NX-01, but Alex sent me so much great stuff on his ship that we will concentrate on it, and get back to a side by side at a later date.  As everyone knows, the NX was based on the Akira, in fact the Enterprise producers had decided that they were going to use the Akira as is for the NX Enterprise! Herman Zimerman, the Enterprise production designer talked them in to letting us come up with a version that was across between the TOS ship, and the Akira class.

 Alex is an incredible artist, evidenced by this jaw droppingly original design. Not only that, but he is a great guy to boot, as evidenced by his sending me a wonderful commentary on the ship’s creation, including his stunningly beautiful sketches. So let’s get on with it, here now, Alex Jaeger in his own words -

I love the stance of the bird of Prey, so that was my main influence, to make a ship with an aggressive stance. I also wanted to make a carrier of sorts, more akin to the Galactica with fly-through shuttle hangers and I also loved the ‘roll bar’ weapons pod of the Excelsior. Therefore the bay doors are both front and rear and the weapons pod on the boom. There was considerable thought put into the placement of elements. Since we were going to flesh out one of these background ships for a close up I knew it would be scrutinized….and it has :) For more than 13 years!

 

AkiriaBotFront

Now First Contact was my very first Art Directing job, before that I was a model maker in the ILM model shop. I was also only 22 years old at the time and was jumping  head first into an already rich world deep in traditions fine artists and some hard science, so I was fully aware there were many eyes watching me very close. Waiting for me to fail…

AkiriaCGITopBack

Thankfully I said my prayers and just focused on the task. So the design started with the overall shape layout. Then in order to start the details I needed to set the scale, so I started with the bridge and worked out from there. Set nestled between the catamaran split secondary hulls the bridge is nicely protected. Just on either side of the bridge in a notch on top of the secondary hulls are the shield generators. This further protects the command unit of the ship since one of it’s duties is launching smaller craft, communication protection is a must.

AkirafrontBluesketch

At the back of the bridge there are emissary docking hatches and just below that the circular hatch is the captains lifeboat. The rear view at the back of the saucer is the main shuttle bay and shuttle control center. This area is also well protected tucked down between the hulls and below the weapons pod flanked by the Nacelles. This serves as a safe haven for the smaller craft in a fire fight and a calm entry point. Also in this protected center region are most of the sensor arrays fro the transporters and communications with theremainder of the sensors atop the weapons pod.

AkiraARTunderside

Moving forward the notch in the front of the saucer is the forward launch bay doors(3). This is for the fast exit of small craft into battle. There are extra shield generators on either side of this notch as this would be a target for enemy ships. Surrounding most of the saucer section is the phaser array strip. Also on the saucer there are flanking torpedo launchers. At the rear of the saucer are the impulse engines. Underneath is the deflector dish, 2 flanking phaser arrays and a forward facing torpedo launcher. You’ll also notice that the
Akira class utilizes the escape pods from the Sovereign Class, but the panel details more like the Galaxy class. That’s because I imagined this ship was commissioned right before the “E” and served as a testbed for the new escape pods.

AkiraARTbridge

At the rear is the weapon’s pod with spreads of both photon and quantum torpedo launchers. And of course the warp nacelles. This overall design makes for a much more narrow side profile and a more friendly crew environment as the engineering folks are no longer in ‘the bowels’ of the ship :) Also the crew get a better view of their own ship as the split hull allows for more windows and a view of the bridge, somethingthat’s not very common in the previous ship designs. I’m sure there are flaws (like I’ve heard there are too many torpedo launchers etc…) as the time frame to do this plus all the other work I had to do was very short, so some of these details evolved during that process.

AkiraARTweaponspod

The overall design didn’t change much during the approval process, in fact I believe the note was “excellent shape! must see detailed!”. So here you go!  The name Thunderchild was given to me by production and is named after the ship in H. G Wells ‘War of the Worlds’. And Akira of course is for the awesome anime of the same name. – Alex

Thank you Alex! that was superb!

(Below) Elevations of the Akira, taken from the Lightwave imported model used for the television shows.

Akira_beauty

3/4

Akira_side

Side

Akira_top

Top

Akira_bottom

Bottom

Akira_front

Front

Akira_back

Back

Akira in Action

Akirainaction


53 Responses to “Alex Jaeger Week – The Akira Class”


  1. June 12, 2009 at 8:30 am

    The Akira is a nice looking cruiser. Compliments any starship battlegroup. As always, thanks for the pics.

  2. 2 Buckaroohawk
    June 12, 2009 at 8:31 am

    The Akira class ship has a great design, very sleek and compact; a worthy sister ship to the Enterprise-E. And thank heavens that Herman Zimmerman convinced the producers of “Enterprise” that a new design should be generated for the NX-01. Can you imagine what the Trek fan reaction would have been if the Akira class had been used? Yikes!

  3. June 12, 2009 at 8:32 am

    I’m assuming Alex meant the weapons pod of the ‘Miranda’ class starship and not the Excelsior.

    Great write up on the ship though, it really is one of the biggest fan favorites out there! :-)

  4. 4 sam moreno
    June 12, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Great find!

  5. June 12, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Definitely my favourite Trek ship and a great article to come back to after a week away from the net. Can’t wait to read the rest of the Alex Jaeger week articles! :)

  6. 6 Jose
    June 12, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Nice, one of my favorite ships. Thanks Doug and Alex.

  7. 7 Don
    June 12, 2009 at 9:18 am

    I guess I’ve ignored this baby for far too long. Very cool stuff. I had no idea about the “carrier” aspect. It definitely reads as a companion design to the E-E. And at age 22 you were working at ILM. Very well done!

  8. 8 Terry
    June 12, 2009 at 9:25 am

    After the Big E this was my favorite design from FC…it just looks sleek and fast

  9. 9 CaptainHunt
    June 12, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Another Jaeger design I fell in love with. I always saw the Akira as a carrier even when it was mentioned by Alex in the old Star Trek Magazine. It was actually nice to know Starfleet had some type of carrier in the 24th century to use to launch fighters off into space.

    I find it interesting that Herman Zimmerman wanted to reuse the design for the NX too. It would have been nice to have seen a series based on the ship since there hasn’t been much info on this ship. I know that theres at least a few fan fics on the web that have based their series on the Akira.

  10. June 12, 2009 at 9:25 am

    I enjoy how you put thought into the design of the ship with the details and didn’t throw stuff together just because it looked cool. It is definitely one of my favorite ship classes. Thank you for showing us the sketches, too!

  11. 11 DeanneM
    June 12, 2009 at 9:27 am

    I’m loving the agressive stance you designed into it, Alex! The influence of the BoP is obvious, now that I know about it. ;) I like a ship that can take care of itself and add to the battle, which this one certainly looks like it can.

    I’ve been aware that this was a fan favorite and have liked it myself, but hadn’t paid attention to all of the details you out line here. It is even more favorite now than before!

    Doug, I like the mention of the NX being a cross between the Akira and TOS E. Now I know what I like so much about it!! Fabulous, my darling. :)

  12. 12 Beta Capricus
    June 12, 2009 at 9:27 am

    To be honest I had no idea it was the producers and not you that decided to base the NX on the Akira. And while I never had any problems with the “akiraprise” like some people did, I can’t say I’m not happy to hear that. Though I have to say, now I’m very curious how it would have looked if you had complete creative freedom…
    Anyway, on to the Akira; I absolutely love the design (and Thunderchild is the coolest starship name ever), but it always looked a bit too badass to me. This ship isn’t supposed to be built for batlle like the Defiant, yet what would be the use of fly-through shuttlebays in peacefull missions?

  13. June 12, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Alex did this when he was 22? Wow…

    Have to say again as I said on John’s blog. This is the best Starship design since the original Enterprise. Just so damn beautiful, inspiring from the moment I saw her whiz by the Borg cube after it exploded in First Contact. Such an original design and so Star Trek at the same time.

  14. June 12, 2009 at 9:36 am

    I like the Akira quite a bit…but feel it looks awkwardly chunky from the side –but from all other angles, it’s very nice.

    m.

  15. 15 Jonathan Burke
    June 12, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Alex was 22? Man, I feel two years behind. :)

    The Akira is without a doubt my favorite FC ship. I always imagined it as being in between the Galaxy and Sovereign in launch date like Alex mentioned, so it still nicely complements being beside either. Interesting to learn she has a captain’s escape pod, and that those two things on either catamaran are the shield generators. And she may have more torpedo launchers than she needs, but one might argue that those aren’t the multi-fire ones like on other ships – and it makes her awesome to play in “Legacy.” :D

    It’s funny that Alex mentioned being inspired by the bird of prey in the ship’s stance, as I was pondering yesterday that I think that’s part of why I like it – that “hanging wing” form. It’s also really cool that she looks almost like a different ship from every angle.

    I still shudder that TPTB thought they could get away with using this ship unmodified as the NX. :(

  16. 16 The DC
    June 12, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Thanks much for the contribution and I really appreciate the details provided on what different parts of the ship were suppose to represent. That was a very much enjoyed touch.

    I am curious about the carrier aspect. I can see a vehicle launching mass shuttles for rescue and recovery, that value has been demonstrated in the episodes and movies. I can see a vessel serving as a “carrier” when tackling less developed civilizations [though surprised that Starfleet wouldn’t use conventional designs, as opposed to designing one for command & control of lower tech worlds]. But someone mentioned that this vehicle carried fighters. Is that so? If it is a carrier of fighters, how did the 24th century engineers overcome the futility of ‘fighter warfare’ that the 23rd century technology had made, in most cases (not withstanding a guerrilla war) moot?

    The navigational deflectors of a capital ship would be able to easily sweep away or even destroy fighters during the TOS-movie periods. Small vessels would be crippled or destroyed through the use of sweeping energy fields [that are empowered to sweep away small, orbiting masses]. Small vessels, when on impulse, would be easily destabilized or swept aside like a giant broom and the same fields could disrupt small warp generators, making warp driven fighters impotent. In either case, a small craft could likely be destroyed.

    Was there a leap of energy shielding in the 24th century that protected fighters from disruptive energy fields? I suppose that would explain why some shuttles survived directed energy attacks from capital ships in a few episodes of NG, DS9, & V. Were impulse engines improved dramatically to allow massive thrust beyond a energy field built to push space debris on immense mass away at warp speeds?

    Then there is the matter of energy drive systems providing enough energy to reasonably penetrate a capital ship’s shielding. If the fighter craft were lucky enough to encounter a capital vessel, of the major races, whose deflector system had failed they would still have to pound the shields for hours, and then in concentrated, organized attacks in the same shield facing, to breach the protective envelope, given their limited power plants.

    I’m not being cheeky here, or trying to start an argument. I have just seen these comments about using fighters reflected in other publications and I never understood what had changed between the 23rd and 24th centuries. It seemed odd that the micronizing of technology would result in a failure to improve, in parallel, the performance of larger power plants.

    I’m honestly asking whether there was something introduced during the 24th Century period that would make a small craft or group of small crafts survive a single sweep of a concentrated navigational deflector or provide a reasonable puch to warrant the risk of the pilot and the cost of the craft?

    In any event, it is a terrific ship with lots of detail and I can see the use of a shuttle carrier in many operations. You explanation of the operation of the ship was enlightening.

    Best regards & hope my curiosity was not offensive,

    The DC

  17. 17 Paul F.
    June 12, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Alex,

    Love the Akira Class, it seems to be everyone’s favorite non-hero design, so much so that the prodecers of ENTERPRISE “motivated” the art department in using it as a basis of the NX class, hence “Akiraprise”. That alone should show you how much of an impact your design had!

    Doug,
    I wonder, would you share with us what you would have come up with if your were not “motivated” by the producers to use the Akira as your origin point for the NX Class. I am sure it would have been a much more “fitting” design since your knowlegde of Trek and cannon is well know. And just be clear I do apreciate all the work you put in to the Final NX class to atempt to fit it into the design leaniage cannon!

    P.S. Alex what is the actual total number of torpedo launchers on Akira, I have read you stated 15, but I count 17! 12 in the Torpedo pod, 2 stbd and 2 port flanking the top saucer sides, and 1 on the bottom-fore of the secondary hull underneath the navigational deflector (seen firing in ST-FC).

    Thanks again Doug and Alex for the Goodies!

  18. 18 huth
    June 12, 2009 at 10:08 am

    So no Loknar influence? : P

  19. June 12, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Super nice – great views and renders

  20. June 12, 2009 at 10:25 am

    What a wonderful treat on a Friday evening, thanks Alex and Doug!

    This is such a great-looking ship! Huth, I was thinking echoes of the Chandley-class from FASA? Great that so much love and attention to detail went into the design.

    One question I have is regarding the intended size. Bernd did a nice article on this over at Ex Astris Scientia. Matching bridge modules with the Sovereign apparently gives a length of 272m (which he says is similar to David Stipes’ VFX size from DS9), while matching the escape pods gives 440m (which is similar to the 464m in Doug and co’s DS9 Technical Manual and Rob Bonchune and Mojo’s Starship Spotter).

    I realise final VFX sizes in the show can vary as mentioned before, but wondered if you had a particular size in mind originally, Alex? Bernd says you once said it was about the same width as the Sovereign saucer so I’m thinking the larger of the two values?

    Cheers!

  21. June 12, 2009 at 10:31 am

    I’m loving it. This is definitely one of the best Star Trek ships, IMO. I love the original design and I don’t feel this ship had too many weapons. Clearly, it was built after Wolf 359 as a “just in case” ship and all of those weapons came in handy for both the Borg invasion and the Dominion war. And I also like that the NX was based off of it, though thankfully they let you guys de-evolve it because it would have totally screwed up continuity to have the same design creeping around for 200+ years.

    And thanks for the great story from Alex on how he designed it. I read the article in Star Trek: The Magazine years ago but it was added into an article by another person instead of being a direct quote from Alex, like this is. :)

  22. June 12, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Thanks all for the comments and to Doug for posting!
    Yes I did make a mistake in that the weapons pod ‘roll bar’ look was based on the Reliant of Wrath of Knan (Miranda Class). my bad
    As far as Torpedo launchers go, I believe it was 15 photon and 2 quantum for the total of 17, the Qauntum ones would be the center 2 forward facing ones in the weapons pod.
    And to say a little something to the carrier aspect and ‘fighters’. I hesitate to use the word ‘fighters’ as I know that those are not only a thing of the past, but also a thing not Star Trek-ish. So the ’small craft’ would be more like runabouts and shuttles. But to be honest, when we were working on First Contact, there was a more military feel going on, especially with the design of the E and it’s color scheme and panel details. The E is actually painted an almost sand color with dark brown-gray sections and harder angles. The movie it’s self has a bit more military feel as well, so naturally when i was designing the Akira I was in military mode and since it was only going to show up in Earth’s defense for the film I loaded it up with lots of defensive / offensive weapons. Also ‘Earth defense’ was another task I had in mind with the carrier aspect. The ‘peace mission’ wasn’t on the forefront of my mind, but I can see how as a rescue ship the fly-through bays would work great for evacuation efforts in regions where transporters may not work. So having the ability to quick dock shuttles and get them back out asap would be a big plus. And the ‘weapons pod’ could be converted into a science sensor array for ‘exploring strange new worlds’. :) In design and in life it’s always better to adaptable and perform multiple functions, that way you insure you’ll be around a lot longer!

  23. 23 Stu
    June 12, 2009 at 10:39 am

    What a fantastic looking ship! As what would appear to be the consensus with the majority of the fans, this is one of my all time faves – Alex was definitely at one with Star Trek when he dreamt this baby up! – Well done sir! I can’t believe that the Akira class is 13 years old already! (they grow up so fast! Haha!!)

    Thanks for the great commentary Alex and thank you Doug for posting the great renders and indeed the trio of threads on the ships designed by this artist; in a sea of truly great posts this really has been a memorable week!! :)

    Oh, and the fact that the powers that be were aiming to use the Akira as their hero ship in Enterprise (a prequel show for crying out loud!!) is truly shocking! My brain is having a hard time processing that line of text! Maybe it was a joke! (a crap one!!)

  24. 24 Ben
    June 12, 2009 at 11:10 am

    it’s a nice ship, but I prefer the NX-01 akiraprise modification. never the less it’s well done all over.

    I’m curious as some others already asked aswell:

    how would the NX-01 have looked like, if you had creative freedom ?

  25. 25 dougdrexler
    June 12, 2009 at 11:14 am

    I like the NX-o1, even though it was a frustrating experience. I’m a “canon” kind of guy. I would have liked to have seen the Daedalus style ship. You know… the sphere instead of saucer. The producers wanted it to be a saucer because they wanted it “recognizable”.

  26. 26 Scott D
    June 12, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Alex, I got to ask on behalf of so many Trek fans. Did the powers that be, keep the Carrier deck idea, as well as the many torpedo launchers? Or did they minimize it to two shuttle bays in the rear and 2 Torpedo launchers in the pod?

  27. 27 The DC
    June 12, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Alex-
    I can see this as a very effective exploration vessel, given your last post comments, if runabouts were employed. It would involve a different type of exploration operations than traditional Starfleet one ship efforts, perhaps a response to the potency of runabouts as independent research vehicles. As a command and control vessel, it would serve as a potent launching point for multi-mission operations. Imagine the episode “Spock’s Brain” [okay, just for a second] if this type of vessel was employed. That would even be an interesting series concept, a central small command cast and a varying set of operations characters each week on different missions. The integrity of the command cast would be largely consistent, but the dangers of space operations would keep the viewer guessing as to who’d be in differing episodes amongst the away teams; even who survived a given season. Space travel, even with trek technology, is dangerous and such a series might have been able to remind us of that. Sort of a mobile mini base, or as you put it, a carrier, would have not been designed as a military vessel, in keeping with canon (as it is), that the Defiant was the first but would serve as an excellent modification vessel for exclusively military ops.

    I could even see the design as useful in rescue ops with runabouts and large shuttles in medical operations [I can even visualize the red cross or Caduceus on the sides], sort of a, please forgive the loose term, medical frigate. This would be valuable or starbase rescue ops, planetary disaster ops, and even starship recovery and investigation after a planet-fall.

    If designed for such duties, I could see post-Borg renovations to a vessel with such compartmentalized interiors to serve as an effective ‘missile boat,’ if you’ll please excuse the phrase, since modifying a carrier for torpedo operations as a ‘missile boat’ would make more sense than designing a whole ship for said purpose, given the majority of Starfleet operations were non-military. It would have been a logical distribution of resources and much quicker than producing and testing a new ship. After the Borg threat, Starfleet needed effective response systems and had little time for R&D. Under those circumstances, it might even be reasonable to support such a large torpedo contingent, as with additional auxiliary power reactors and antimatter bottles, it may be possible to launch a series of sudden blinding attacks against the Borg from a ‘missile boat.’ Given your stated time period of the evolution of the vessel, this would also make sense, as Starfleet would be modifying a recently built but proven design.

    Given your last comments, the carrier design makes sense and the large number of torpedo bays can also be rationalized. Thanks for the clarification and I can appreciate your work from a different aspect now!

    The DC

  28. 28 DeanneM
    June 12, 2009 at 11:55 am

    I will give her the love, Doug. I’m not a big Daedalus fan, don’t know why, but though I like the canon and tech stuff, I really gravitate toward aesthetics and personality. The ship’s got heart, and I thank you for saving her from the Akira syndrome!

  29. June 12, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    I prefer original to recognizable myself. But as my favorite design i’m glad the Akira made it as a main hero ship in the form of the NX.

    I remember in the Romulan War script that there was going to be a Daedalus class ship.

    Alex, we saw Peregrine class fighters in DS9 during the Dominion War. I always thought that the Akira class ships carried them into battle. A bit like BSG.

  30. 30 Razor
    June 12, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Thank you so much Doug and Alex! Definetly one of my favorite designs from the moment I saw her in First Contact. God I hope DST does a toy version of this!

  31. 31 Benjamin
    June 12, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Thank you, Doug! Thanks, Alex! I’ve loved every minute I’ve spent reading these posts, as well as the ones with Alex’s sketches over on John Eaves’ blog.

    I think I saw First Contact in the theater TWICE just to get a better look at these ships, particularly the Akira. So I’ve been waiting to see this for a long, long time.

  32. June 12, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Alex you have any idea of the deck count of the ship?

    Thanks!

  33. June 12, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Oh sorry one last questions, is it true that some/all of the CGI models from First Contact are lost?

  34. 34 Boris
    June 12, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Mark: I found an old email from David Stipes in which he told me that his Akira size of 860 feet was determined by matching window _sizes_ (not spacing) to those of other ships. Maybe someone here can try to reproduce it, but it would explain why the figure doesn’t match the 440m or so suggested by the escape pods and the deck spacing. Gary Hutzel’s scale chart (the one posted recently by Larry Nemecek) puts it at 840 feet.

    Alex Jaeger definitely said the following in Star Trek: The Magazine #3 from July 1999: “It wound up being almost as big as the Enterprise-E – the E is longer, but the saucer section is almost the same size.” He also told me in a recent email that he doesn’t have any specific numbers, and if the CG models weren’t built to any specific scale either (as I suspect), probably the most accurate approach would be to match the escape pods to those of the Sovereign-class.

  35. 35 Paul F.
    June 12, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Doug,

    Most fans would agree with you about a more Daedalus styled ship for the NX-01. It would be fasinating to see you whip up a “cannon sort of guy” version of the NX-01 even with or without a saucer some time (hint) :-) Again thanks for the goodies I am off to read about the U.S.S. Relativity now!

    Alex,

    Thanks for the responce, but wouldent they all 17 be Photon/Quantum Launchers? Since it’s the ordnance you load in them that would count, as on the Defiant in DSN? The casings are simular in width and height only the shape is longer? (Regardless of the fact that the 1701-E just used her lower center launcher to fire them in ST-FC/ST-N)

    Again Amazing work!

  36. 36 Ian Stewart
    June 12, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Perhaps the fighters are more like contemporary supersonic fighter-bombers, and use Picard maneuver-style misdirection tactics to minimize the chances of a successful energy attack. “First Contact” shows the Starfleet ships adopting a swarm strategy against the Borg cube, to best leverage their greater numbers and maneuverability. I think such a scene could readily be downscaled to the point where you’ve got a swarm of fighters and perhaps a few torpedo-equipped runabouts or a couple Birds of Prey vs, say, a Romulan warbird or one of the Jem’Hadar big uglies.

  37. 37 Boris
    June 12, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Paul F.: although some sources do say that torpedo launchers can fire photon/quantum torpedoes interchangeably, we haven’t really seen that in practice. The Enterprise-E has fired only quantum torpedoes from its captain’s yacht-area launcher as far as I know (I believe the photons are fired from the secondary hull launchers in Nemesis), and so has the Defiant from its two forward launchers, located halfway on the curve between the nose and the nacelles. It is possible that a particular tube can be configured for either type of torpedo, but not for both at the same time.

  38. 38 Adam
    June 12, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Ah the Akira was one of the few ships from “Picard’s era” that I actually liked. The Saber, Steamruner and Norway class are compact designs so there’s no way I couldn’t like them but the Akira was special to me even though it was a bigger ship (just to make things clear I don’t like the look of the Constitution class that much …).
    I’m amazed to hear that you were doing stuff like this at 22 ! I’m 20 and I don’t feel like doing stuff for Trek movies even if I had skills ! (well I’m doing designs and 3D for an Enterprise-based “Season 5″ cartoon but still …)
    Oh and one final question – what is the last image ? It’s not a screencap for sure because there is absolutely not enough blur and compression !

  39. 39 Syd Hughes
    June 12, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Loves me that Akira! A more purely bad-ass Federation ship there has never been. Probably never will be.

    http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/4514/nxvsakira.jpg <– NX and Akira in profile and to scale, for anyone who wants to compare.

  40. 40 valkyrie013
    June 12, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    well the runabout has the cargo module that can be changed out to a war load of regular torpedo’s and torpedo launcher.. so a 10? torpedo load out and phasers, in a 5 ship formation would do some damage….

    the idea of a sensor pod is interesting, haven’t thought of that..

    Thanks Alex!

    Now comes the Norway!!!

  41. June 12, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Wow.

    This blog is kind of a unique place full of wonderful things, but this post is a standout.

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts during the design process on the Akira Alex. I really appreciate chances like this to “get inside the designer’s head” a little bit. When you, or Doug, or Rick Sternbach, or Andrew Probert, etc., share things like this it is a *huge* benefit for those of who get to learn from it. I really appreciate it. A good designer is always learning and this is a good school.

    The Akira has been a personal favorite of mine ever since it kicked so much Borg bootie in FC. It caught my eye in my first viewing of the film. It was a treat to see the ship then carried forward into DS9 and Voyager – it’s obvious folks understood how much we fans liked her; a bit too much apparently, considering the direction given for the NX… ;)

    I can see the model-maker’s background coming through in your “sketches” (they are far to finished for me to not put that into quotes). It’s obvious you had a really good handle on how you wanted the details and final look modeled. I’m sure it made the job easier for the person doing the CGI model.

    Thanks again!

    [Doug - Thanks for a great start to the weekend. Killer post!]

  42. 42 Alien Fan
    June 12, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I second the notion that it would be interesting to see Doug’s concept of a “canonized” NX.

  43. June 12, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Boris, thanks for the info, that’s enlightening. I gather the 860ft/272m size would be too small to fit the shuttles in the bays, so that’s reassuring to hear that the larger size was probably the intended one.

  44. 44 Matt Boardman
    June 12, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    You were only 22 when you did First Contact, Alex?? Wow! That’s great! The Akira class is one fantastic design! Again, thank you for the BTS on what your thoughts were when you designed it! I am always in awe at the thought and care that goes into the design of these ships, despite being on a time crunch to get it done 2 hours ago when you get the assignment.

    I guess I never saw it before, but she does really have that aggressive BoP look to her in the front view!

    Thanks Alex and Doug!

  45. 45 CX
    June 12, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    The ship looks very good, and it’s the best of the First Contact ships, IMO. My only real gripe is the number of torpedo launchers.

  46. June 13, 2009 at 12:01 am

    I think it makes sense for a Federation defensive gunboat to have plenty of ordnance. The port and starboard torpedo launchers I think are unique. Thing is I count 18! :) 4 forward tubes in the top of the weapons pod, 3 forward tubes below (looks like on the sketch), 3 aft starboard in the pod, 3 aft port also in the pod, 2 starboard and 2 port in the saucer, and 1 forward at the base of the saucer.

    And I agree with whoever it was who mentioned that Thunderchild is a cracking name for a starship, especially in light of it defending Earth from an overwhelming alien foe!

  47. 47 FSL
    June 13, 2009 at 1:35 am

    Love the Akira class. A fine decendant to the Miranda and Nebula classes. After Wolf 359, I guess Starfleet armed every new ship class to the teeth.

  48. 48 DiS
    June 13, 2009 at 1:40 am

    Though some details somehow look off to me (like the hull with the deflector, the impulse engines and the strangely ‘boolean’-ed windows at some places), the harsh cut in the rollbars and the weapons pod on the backside look stunning; very militaristic but still Starfleet. All in all, one of my more favored starship designs. Nicely done, Alex.

  49. 49 Chris McKinney
    June 13, 2009 at 5:03 am

    I always loved this design but was always bugged by the whole carrier and torpedo gunship idea.
    To me that was always a Star Wars and Battlestar thing.

  50. 50 Millions
    June 13, 2009 at 6:22 am

    quite simply, the best ship design ever seen on star trek. Its a shame models of the Akira class are so rare and expensive! Ive wanted one for years

  51. 51 Tobi Fischer
    June 13, 2009 at 8:23 am

    The Akira is one of my all-time favorite starships!

    I can perfectly understand why the producers want this ship to become the next hero-ship. But instead of Star Trek: Enterprise they better should have produced Star Trek: Thunderchild.

  52. 52 Loskene
    June 13, 2009 at 9:31 am

    I always loved flying the Akira around in Star Trek: Legacy. Only ship that can fire torpedoes to port and starboard, and she could really take a punch.

  53. June 14, 2009 at 5:38 am

    I don’t have a problem with a Feddy ship having many torpedo launchers. Most contemporary warships are as large as they are because they are just large enough to transport, maneuver and fire their largest weapons. Trek ships’ weapons are so small relative to the sizes of the ships that, if a ship with many weapons were needed, then it would be trivial to build one.


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