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Star Trek: The Motion Picture Blueprints

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

The Star Trek: The Motion Picture Blueprints are a set of "14 Official Blueprints" of various vessels seen in Star Trek: The Motion Picture as rendered by artist David Kimble (based on original art by Andrew Probert and Lee Cole). The packaging was similar to its predecessor, Franz Joseph's Star Trek Blueprints.

SummaryEdit

From the cover card

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.

ContentEdit

  • Blueprint Rundown
    • Sheet 1: Enterprise Outboard Profile (Port Side View) with some descriptions as to the refit of the Enterprise
    • Sheet 2: Enterprise Outboard Top View
    • Sheet 3: Enterprise Outboard Bow/Stern (Forward & Rear Views) with Overall Ship Specifications
    • Sheet 4: Enterprise Outboard Bottom View (Underside View)
    • Sheet 5: Enterprise Bridge (Deck Plan & Front Elevation Station Layout) with Captain's Chair detail
    • Sheet 6: Klingon Battle Cruiser Outboard Profile (Port Side View) with ship description and Specifications
    • Sheet 7: Klingon Battle Cruiser Outboard Top View
    • Sheet 8: Klingon Battle Cruiser Outboard Bow/Stern (Forward & Rear Views)
    • Sheet 9: Klingon Battle Cruiser Bridge (Deck Plan, Side Elevation & Nose Cone Elevation)
    • Sheet 10: Shuttle/Warpsled Outboard & Inboard Views (Starboard Side View) with vessel description and Specifications
    • Sheet 11: Shuttle/Warpsled Various Views (Top, Bottom, Bow & Stern Views)
    • Sheet 12: Work Bee Various Views (Top, Stern & Port Inboard Profiles) with vessel description and Specifications
    • Sheet 13: Work Bee Attachment Views: Grabber Sled (Port Outboard Profile & Stern View) and Cargo Train (Port Outboard Profile)
    • Sheet 14: Travel Pod Various Views (Port Profile, Bow, Stern & Bottom Views) with vessel description and Specifications

Background informationEdit

  • The publication had been one of a total of sixteen titles, both novels and reference books, that were intended to coincide as a promotional tie-in with the premiere of The Motion Picture on 7 December 1979. (Playboy magazine, January 1980, p. 310) However, due to the film's mixed reception, only about half of these, including this one, were ultimately released.
  • Andrew Probert, who served as the production illustrator on the movie at the time, collaborated with Kimble on the project and recalled on his involvement,

"I really don't know how David got brought into it. I think Richard Taylor contacted him. David Kimble is an artist who is known worldwide for his accuracy in doing machinery cutaway drawings. He has done ocean liners, spacecraft, oil rigs, and automobiles, which are very popular with racing fans. So he was brought in to do the cutaway of the Enterprise. That was the big carrot that was dangled in front of David, because he was drooling over putting those decks and other spaces together. Part of the package was that he also draw the blueprints, the six-sided views of all the ships. David just knocked himself out doing the blueprints, and those are all totally accurate to my designer's mind, and to the models, or they're close enough to the models to work, but they're totally satisfactory to me as the designer. The cutaway was a lot of fun. It took him a long time to do that. He did all the decks, we planned out the spaces together, and if you look in the botanical garden section, he painted my wife and me walking on one of the paths. We're just little dots of color, but I know it, she knows it, and David knows that those dots are us." [1]

Star Trek The Motion Picture Blueprints preliminary Enterprise dorsal sheet for intended use

Preliminary Enterprise dorsal sheet, indicated for on-screen use; Note that the bridge has not yet its final configuration

  • Having made the statement in 2005, Probert was largely right in his recollections, though it was not Art Director Taylor who brought Kimble in but rather his superior Robert Abel, as Probert had already related decades earlier, "David Kimble helped us out in preparing working drawings for all the spacecraft that were, in fact, later published by Simon & Schuster as the official Star Trek blueprints. David was brought into the project by Robert Abel because he is a cutaway artist; his specialty is doing see-through views of anything from race cars to sailboats. Later on, I assisted him in a technical capacity on a new poster that he had published. It was a beautiful cutaway view of the Enterprise, showing where all the sets allegedly belong." (Return to Tomorrow - The Filming of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, p. 157) It was therefore Kimble and not Taylor, who had produced the orthographic exterior views of the various ship designs. Some of these, most notably those of the Enterprise, eventually had to serve as the basis for the back-lit ship's operations graphics, seen on several bridge computer monitor consoles of the Enterprise, for which Taylor needed a more professional treatment of his own production art and to which end Kimble, already renowned for such artistry in the automotive industry, was brought in. Due to the continuous refinement of the Enterprise studio model however, none of Kimble's work showing the definitive configuration of the ship ended up on screen ultimately, these, now accurate, versions only published as the commercial blueprints version after the movie was released.
  • Rick Sternbach, who had also worked on the movie, put up a set of large format photostats of preliminary refit-Enterprise blueprints, created from Kimble's original artwork, for auction on 8 August 2010 as Lot 310 in Propworx' The official Star Trek Prop and Costume Auction, estimated at US$100-$200 and selling for US$300. Each sheet was stamped with the Astra Image Corporation logo (not reproduced on the commercial version), the art department of the movie's initial visual effects company, Robert Abel & Associates, and the company where Kimble was employed at. The cut-away drawing Probert referred to, was originally a black-and-white drawing that was published in various contemporary magazines, and the original also ended up in Sternbach's possession. It too was sold off in the same auction as as Lot 309 for US$180, having been estimated at US$100-$200.
  • The cut-away drawing was later revisited by Kimble and upgraded it into a full color cutaway poster, published by "Mind's Eye Press" in 1980, and the first officially licensed one of its kind.

Cover galleryEdit

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