Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Swords and Sandals

To make things a little more organized, I've divided this blog into two new ones. I've created a blog called Swords and Sandals to cover all of the fantasy and adventure-related posts. Posts about Hercules and Xena have all been moved there.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I have decided to create a new blog specifically for Vulcan-related posts.  It's called Vulcanology.

This will make it easier for my followers who are only interested in Star Trek posts.  It will also allow me to expand to include posts related to Vulcan culture and design outside of props and costumes.

I have moved all of my original Vulcan posts from this blog to the new one.  Please feel free to check it out!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Doug Drexler and Vulcan Design

Doug Drexler began his work with on-screen Star Trek in 1990.  Having won an Oscar for special effects make-up on Dick Tracy he asked Michael Westmore if he could join the make-up team on Star Trek: TNG.  During his time in that department he was responsible for make-ups on Data’s daughter Lal, aging Picard for “The Inner Light” and character make-up for Mark Twain in “Time’s Arrow.”  Three years and two Emmy nominations later, Drexler moved over to Mike Okuda’s art department.  He would later become the lead scenic artist on ST: DS9 a visual effects artist for ST: Voyager and, finally, senior illustrator for ST: Enterprise.  He agreed to let me ask him some questions about his work.
Vulcan fans owe Drexler a huge debt of gratitude for helping to improve Star Trek: The Motion Picture in its 2001 Director’s Cut format.  Daren Dochterman, an old friend of Drexler’s, was overseeing the director’s cut and asked him to design new monumental statues for the re-vamped Vulcan sequence.  Drexler’s attention to detail and love of the original series paid off.  He created designs featuring costumes very much influenced by William Ware Theiss and Robert Fletcher’s designs.  Some of them even include iconic Vulcan props such as the Lirpa and Wah Chang’s Vulcan Lyre.
Drexler created designs for six statues reflecting the six-sided stones that Spock kneels on to receive his Kolinahr necklace.  You'll notice he also worked those six-sided shapes into the costumes on some of his statues.
Later, in the ST: Enterprise episode “The Forge,” we see more monumental statues on Vulcan that were clearly influenced by these designs.
For ST: Enterprise, Drexler cemented the idea that Vulcans use a warp ring, rather than nacelles, on their ships.  He was responsible for designing the impressive Vulcan Command Ship for “Fallen Hero” (the CG model was built by Pierre Drolet).  I asked Drexler about his design process for this ship and he said ''My main impetus was to get another classic [Matt] Jeffries concept on Star Trek as a signature ship.  So the Enterprise Vulcan spaceship design ethic came from Matt Jeffries ringship for Gene Roddenberry’s “Starship!”''
Scott: “I’ve always thought the Vulcan ships on Enterprise were sort of related to the IDIC symbol with triangular and circular shapes meeting.”

Doug: “The IDIC correlation was absolutely on my mind when putting the command ship together.  The main fuselage when viewed from the front suggests the triangle against the ring that comprises the IDIC.”

Scott: “What was the design process like for the command ship?”

Doug: “The Enterprise Vulcan ship actually had no design process. I doodled one real loose napkin sketch and went directly into 3D.”

Drexler’s warp ring design influenced all of the Vulcan ship designs that would follow.

Following ST: Enterprise, Drexler went on to become part of the two-time Emmy Award-winning visual effects team for Battlestar Galactica.  He also worked as a consultant on the re-mastering of Star Trek: TOS and continues to be the mastermind behind Pocket Books successful Ships of the Line series.
This last photo is of Doug Drexler on the set of ST: TMP in 1978.  Little did he know his work would one day complete that statue!

I’d like to thank Doug for taking the time to speak with me and for allowing me to post some his amazing work!  Doug maintains a blog called Drex Files which is a must-follow for fans interested in the design of Star Trek.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

POTA Chimp Sleeves

I purchased these Chimp sleeves from Studio Props on eBay. The Chimp costumes from Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes (2001) were built of many layers giving them unique texture and form. You can see sleeves like these just at the shoulder between the armoured arm and chest.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

POTA Civilian "Gown"

I purchased this "wicker" ape gown from Studio Props on eBay. It was designed by Colleen Atwood for Tim Burton's 2001 Planet of Apes. The writing on the inside says "Nobil." I'm guessing they meant "noble." It also says "Cut off gown." I'm not sure if that means they meant to cut more off it or if it is already a cut-off version of something longer.

I'll edit this post to include a screencap as soon as I find one!

POTA Civilian Robe

I purchased this voluminous ape robe from Studio Props on eBay. It was designed by Colleen Atwood for Tim Burton's 2001 Planet of the Apes.

I'll edit this post to include a screencap as soon as I find one!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

RIP Ricardo Montalban

Ricardo Montalban has passed away at age 88.

I was never able to meet him but I loved seeing him in interviews. He was always very thoughtful, intelligent and well-spoken. Trek fans have lost their greatest villain in Khan.

Rest in peace, Mr. Montalban. You shall be missed.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cel and Sketch from "The Wizard"

This original pencil sketch and painted cel feature Kowl in the She-Ra episode "The Wizard."

Cels from "Treasure of the First Ones"

Here is a great series of cels featuring She-Ra from the episode "Treasure of the First Ones." She-Ra's sword transforms into a shield on command. These cels show both the sword and the shield and were used in a transformation scene for this episode.

Cel and Sketch from "Sweet Bee's Home"

Here is an original pencil sketch and accompanying painted cel from the She-Ra episode "Sweet Bee's Home." It features Shadow Weaver and He-Man in a cool crossover appearance.