Science Fiction Art by David C. Mueller / dcmstarships

Copyright 2018 – No part of this blog may be used without the permission of the artist.

Star Trek Alternative Universe Projects 2

Commonwealth Class Exploration Cruiser

The Commonwealth Class Exploration Cruiser is planned to me my final Star Trek design.  It is based on the Starship Commonwealth  design previously set in a non-Star Trek fictional environment.  The final version of the Commonwealth consciously returns to its roots in the Star Trek TV series of the 1960’s and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Community Class Explorer

Concept: The Community Class Explorer is a tribute to long-time fellow spaceship artist friend John DeBonnaire.  He was one of the first artists I made contact with when I joined the Galactic Engineers Concordance, a club of Star Trek fans focused on Star Trek technology, back in the late 1990’s.  This design is based on one of his favorite designs, and he actively participated in the direction it took as I created the 3D CGI model.  He made many of the major design decisions which I did my best to depict using my artistic skills.  Another fellow artist, Jeff Robb, also was involved in the development of this design.  John named the example of the Community Class Explorer depicted here after his beloved son who passed away as a child.

History: The Community Class Explorer is a Federation vessel built shortly after the USS Voyager returned from its epic voyage to the Delta Quadrant. The Community Class was outfitted with experimental slipstream warp nacelles which provided a 10% performance increase over that achieved by the Sovereign Class Explorers. This version of slipstream technology involved a special navigational deflector as one of its key components.  Other new features of the Community Class included sublight engines built into the warp nacelle struts, matter/anti-matter reactor cores built into the warp nacelles which allowed them to run hotter than the traditional engineering hull mounted design, and innovative use of transporter technology for rapid hull repair. One example of the Community Class served as a test bed for an enhanced version of the virtual ablative armor pioneered by the USS Voyager.

While designed as a multi-mission vessel with an exploration focus like its Sovereign Class predecessor, the Community Class also included much heavier torpedo launcher armament due to lessons learned from conflicts with both the Borg and the Dominion. Based on experience gained from USS Voyager’s missions, the Community Class employed much tougher smallcraft including enhanced Delta Flyer Class runabouts and  the larger Korolev Class heavy runabout outfitted with slipstream technology. As with many Starfleet designs built in the late 24th century, only a few examples of the Community Class were constructed. They had illustrious, long-lived careers and paved the way for even more ambitious Federation star-faring technological developments in the early 25th century.

Starship Kruger Class Type-II Starcruiser

Starship Kruger is the precursor to a number of large human exploration vessels I have done as a mature science fiction artist including Starships Inquiry,  Leviathan, Aquarius, Inspiration, and Auspicious. Started while I was still a teenager, Starship Kruger evolved over several years and was finished during my early years in college. The drawings were done using pencil, ink pens, thin line black markers, color markers, color pencil, and crayon. Some of the drawings were quite large ranging up to 79 inches (200 cm) long by 17 inches (43 cm) tall.

Conceived as a large Starfleet cruiser from an era about a century after that of the original USS Enterprise, Starship Kruger filled the same role in my personal version of the Star Trek universe that the Galaxy Class / USS Enterprise-D served in the Star Trek canon. Obviously influenced as much by the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey as the original Star Trek TV series and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, this project shows how I struggled to combine my own vision of future human starships with that of Star Trek. The starships depicted in Star Wars in 1977, prior to my first version of Starship Kruger, no doubt also subtly influenced its design. I hope fans of my mature work will enjoy seeing this project from my teenage years and comparing it to the large exploration starship designs I have done since.

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