Constellation-class (USS Stargazer) – Part 2

Having started this one back in 2011 (take a look back at Part 1), I’ve taken advantage of the increase in spare time that 2020 has so graciously given me to get all the materials and maps on my Constellation-class starship sorted out. I’m calling her finished now… but you never know! There’s still some more interior work that I could do on her in the future.

I produced marking sets for the USS Stargazer, USS Hathaway, USS Valkyrie, and the USS Constellation. Scorches and other weathering effects can be easily adjusted in the material to suit the requirements of the scene.

Constellation-class Gallery

Constellation-class background

The original Constellation-class model was of course a set-dressing in Picard’s ready room on the Enterprise-D (Star Trek: The Next Generation). We see this ship for the first time in the Season 1 episode ‘The Battle’, as Picard’s former ship, the USS Stargazer. The original dialogue had the ship as a Constitution-class, like the original Enterprise. One assumes refitted, à la the ship from the movies. As-filmed, the characters refer to the ship as being Constitution-class. Afterwards, the producers decided to use a different ship design, selecting the model in Picard’s office. ‘Constellation’ was chosen as a replacement, since it is close enough that it could be dubbed over the top without viewers noticing.

The ship is very clearly a kitbash design of the refit Constitution-class. But unlike many other kitbash ships we see through the various series, the Constellation-class had some thought put into it. These ships are big. There’s quite a lot more internal volume than you get with the refit Constitutions Captain Kirk was flying around in. There are a lot of subtle differences as well.

Differences from the Constitution-class

Take the warp nacelles, for instance. They appear to be just the Constitution nacelles with the rear end squared off. But look closer, and you will see that the design of the front is different. The main body is essentially made from two Constitution inner-halves. Because of these differences, I decided that these engines are only superficially like the older class’. They are most likely of a newer type – and probably glowed dangerously, TNG-style, from day one.

Many people add in the torpedo launcher details from the Constitution-class when they tackle this ship. As far as I’m concerned, it was clearly a deliberate design decision to cover that area over on this ship. There are launcher-like structures above/below the old torpedo bulges that I take to be a new, more advanced launch system. Perhaps they are an early version of the type on the Galaxy-class. And there are numerous other small differences scattered all over, wherever there are parts in common.

Modifications

When I was creating the hull maps for this ship, I aimed to keep them pretty close to how the studio model was painted. I tidied up the bottom of the saucer a little compared with the original. I also made a number of small changes to the configuration of a few things, such as windows. These I adjusted a little to suit a workable internal deck layout. I also modified the shuttlebay positions very slightly to conform to this.

Aside from a relatively rudimentary interior set for the lounge just aft of the bridge (and a deck down), and a similar space at the bottom of the saucer (which I made a conference room), I have done no further interior work since the corridors in Part 1. There is a roughed out concept for the main shuttlebay, which I may yet return to at some point in the future and flesh out more.

So that’s it, really. Modelling, as always, was in Cinema 4D, and rendered using Redshift.

ArtStation

You can also view this on my ArtStation profile.

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3 thoughts to “Constellation-class (USS Stargazer) – Part 2”

  1. This is beautiful. I don’t think I have seen such a detailed and beautiful ship.
    Please, please make it available, even as an item to sell to us who are not so skilled in making things.

  2. One of the best models I’ve seen of a Constellation, but an observation on the shuttlebays. The big one on the front is Shuttlebay 1, the ones on the port side are even numbered 2, 4 and 6 from front to back, and the starboard bays are odd numbered 3, 5 and 7 from front to back. I liked the interiors in Part 1, and hope you’ll be able to devote time to create more.

    1. This is what I originally thought too, which is why on the corridor renders you can see the direction arrows pointing to shuttlebay 1. BUT, on pretty much all the reference photos of the studio model, the numbering is almost impossible to read – looks like they removed the numbers fairly early on and did some more weathering over those areas. You can kind of make some of them out still, but they’re not clear. Except that I do have just a single photo of the model when the bay number decals were still in place, and it very clearly shows the forward bay to be number 4, so I have marked all mine up to suit that photo.

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