Scratch(ish) Built Star Trek Warp Test Ship


Active Member
I came across this design by a 3d artist:
This was an early version of his reimagining of Star Trek to be more in line with real world physics.
I'm not sure why, but I really dug the design and thought it fit into the early designs for warp ships in the canon.
And since it's a pretty easy shape to match, and I had some artistic leeway with the design... and since I love the idea of that era, I started my plans.


By luck, I already had this wind up torch thing from somewhere, and it was almost exactly the right shape for the primary hull, complete with perfectly positioned holes for the deflectors.


Next I added the last part of a cannibalized Phoenix model I've used in my other projects. I think that part is supposed to be the fusion reactor, making it perfect for this ship.

Next, Nacelles and deflector dishes.

The nacelle pylons were scavenged from a piece of train set scenery I found, cause it's Japan and I was spoiled.
with stuff finally coming together I could make the stand.



Active Member
In his picture, the artist had versions with the nacelles swept up and swept down, I couldn't decide which I liked more.
So why not both?
I used some spare joints from a gundam kit to make them into swing wings.

With the nacelles on, I needed to drop a bunch of lead and glue into the primary hul to balance it back out, so now it's pretty hefty for it's size.

After a bit more grebbling, it was time for paint.

Mike J.

Master Member
I like this a lot. Love to see some 'expanded universe' type stuff, variations on the traditional designs.

And it's fun to watch a build come together. Also, I was surprised how small this is; I had to go back and look a second time at the pics.

I'm looking forward to seeing what she looks like all painted up and finished.


Active Member
And done:

In my head canon, this ship would have been around in the 2080s, and it was UESPA's/Starfleet's workhorse to test how warp fields work.
The nacelles can swing up and down to vary the geometry, and I imagine the distance from the ship could be changed too. This way, they could figure out which configuration worked best. I always wondered why some starships have upwards swept nacelles and others underslung, so I imagine that these result in different warp fields. Like the up nacelles are better for long range or speed, while under are better for short range and more efficiency.
As part of this ship, the spot where the navigational deflectior usually is is taken up but a sensor to give read outs about the warp field. The real deflectors are the twin dishes on the front. The bussard collectors are also something they'd be testing and I always figured that it was the shape of the warp field that drew particles towards them. otherwise, why would they be on the nacelles?
I see this ship as being just for testing and probably didn't leave the solar system or get up past Warp 1.5, but it was a test bed for the technologies that would come later.

I went with the name "Gemini" cause it's also the underappriecated middle child stuck with the unexciting grunt work of space exploration. Though it would be pronounced the NASA way "Gem-min-knee" rather than common "Gem-min-eye".

I have it the registry XCV, like the later ring ship Enterprise. In my head it's for "eXperimental lightspeed Vechicle", with lightspeed of course being the physics symbol "c".

The paint is based on the original renders I'm ripping off as well as inspired by the Saturn V paint job. I slapped together a mission patch for it in powerpoint, but at the scale it's printed at, you barely see it next to the UESPA patch.
As a final touch, I thought the underside needed a little something, and one of the odd decisions in the JJverse style I actually like is the big chunky registry on the underside of the engineering hull. The airlock on the port side is based on the one from the ISS, for extra realism.

In the end, pretty happy with this one. Could have been a little more precise with my scratch building and making sure everything was straight and symmetrical, but there's always next time.