June 27th, 2008

FX Friday: The Enterprise NX-01

Okay, I know. If you were fixing up Star Trek: Enterprise on a blind date, I’m not even sure you could say it has a good personality. A great concept so poorly executed it single-handed stopped the television juggernaut that was Star Trek.

But, whatever you may think of the show – liked it, hated it, were incredibly frustrated by what “might have been” (a feeling we Browncoats are all too familiar with) – one thing I hope you’ll agree with is that the design for the first Enterprise was awesome!

The NX-01 (the fleet designation of the aforementioned starship) was such a sweet design, I’m very happy it didn’t die along with the show it appeared in. Subject of several model kits, the best and most detailed of them all is the 24-inch Polar Lights kit, which the fine folks at FX turned into their biggest “mainsteam” commission and one of their shiniest (literally and figuratively) build-ups.

From FX’s project summary:

This Polar Lights build-up replica is the largest licensed scale reproduction of the Enterprise NX-01. Built in 1/350 scale, this replica measures over 24 inches long and is loaded with details. But the real exciting features of this replica are the stunning metallic pant job and the complex lighting system.

The replica sits on a custom made styrene and brass display base. All of the ships functions are operated by 6 mini toggle switches. The ship is removable from the display base. The front of the base has a brass plaque replica of the NX-01′s dedication plaque.

The lighting system consists of cold cathode fluorescent lamps, neon, incandescent, and a series of LEDs and fiber optics. The warm glow of the Neon tubes provides the unique warp engine illumination. The Cold cathode fluorescent lamps provide the interior illumination. The White LEDs provide illumination to the fiber optics located on each side of the Entry hatches. For the Bussard collectors, the illuminated motion is provided by 16 incandescent lamps rotating in sequence. The formation lights also flash in an alternating pattern.

The paint scheme was applied with various colors of highly durable automotive paints. Visual Effects painters use these paints for their ability to hold up to the hot stage lights found on motion control stages.

We really have nothing more to add to that, except, you know, lots of pictures and a couple of movies!

The NX-01 at night.

The NX-01 build-up has particularly shiny (figuratively and literally) nacelle lighting effects.

Two brand-new NX-01s ready to ship to their owners.


5 Responses to “FX Friday: The Enterprise NX-01”

  1. Chris Schultz says:

    Heh. I loved and hated the show. Plus I had that frustrated feeling you mentioned. I loved the ship though. I liked the idea of untested brand-new technology. That show could have been so much more… but you know that already.

    As always very well done. I love the effect on the ramscoops. The detailing is amazing. I don’t know how you guys can get the level of detail you consistently get. Again, well done.

    Is there any chance of seeing a battle scarred version?

  2. admin says:

    I can ask if FX ever did a battle-scarred version. I know they did one of the Enterprise Refit (we showed some video of the damage lighting effect last week). And there’s been some talk of doing a “Scar” version of the Raider, but nothing definite yet on that front.

  3. Jim in St. Louis says:

    All of the FX Friday articles have highlighted incredible lighting effects. I am really looking forward to seeing what you has planned for Serenity. I’m sure there will be reactor, gravity rotor and main engine lightning, but what other surprises do you have on the drawing board? I hope there will be lots of blinky running lights, flight deck interior lighting and maybe front spot lights.

    Can you give us any hints?



  4. admin says:

    Well, I’d love to. But FX is still working on the custom ICs and they really *will* kill me if I blab. Mostly because they dream big and don’t want us to say anything until they’re sure the effects work and won’t completely blow our budget.

  5. Doug Drexler says:

    Looks great, and I’m thinking about getting one.

    Doug Drexler (Big Firefly fan)

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