Category Archives: Artist Inspirations

Artist Inspirations: Captain Jonathan Archer (2003)

Star Trek: Enterprise premiered on September 26, 2001 with the episode “Broken Bow”. The Jonathan Archer Hallmark ornament came out in 2003, so any episode images or publicity photos that may have been the ornament’s inspiration would have had to come from the first season and a half of Enterprise.

Right: Rare 8×10 photo autographed by Scott Bakula.

I have only seen the image above twice. First, as the signed 8×10 photo (above right) and I mean this actual photo. I have not even seen this image anywhere else on the internet except as an uncropped grainy image on a Spanish website (below right). It is curious that the ornament matches so well to such a rare image.

Image from Cuaderno De Bitacora (Ship’s Logbook) website.
Right: Image from “Broken Bow” Season 1, Episode 1.

By far, a more common image that can be found on the internet (above right) was from the premiere episode, Broken Bow, Part 1 (18:30), as the Enterprise is disembarking on its maiden voyage during the Zephram Cochrane speech. I would like to think that such a monumental moment in Trek history was the inspiration for the 2003 ornament.

Artist Inspirations: Sisko (2001)

Left: 2001 Hallmark ornament.
Center: Avery Brooks publicity photo.
Right: Sisko’s new gray-on-black uniform.

Starfleet’s gray uniforms, as depicted on the 2001 Sisko ornament, were introduced in Deep Space Nine’s “Rapture” (Season 5, Episode 10) on December 30, 1996.

This was the first episode of Deep Space Nine to feature the grey-on-black Starfleet uniform with the division color undershirts created for Star Trek: First Contact (November 26, 1996), which would be used for the remainder of the series. The uniforms had been held back in production so that they would not be seen until an episode that aired after the official release of the movie. Besides all the admirals’ (and Whatley’s aide’s) uniform which had not been changed yet, some officers of the lower ranking staff are still wearing the previous uniforms. Unlike the DS9 crew, the crew on Star Trek: Voyager continued to use the old DS9 Starfleet uniforms, due to being stranded in the Delta Quadrant. The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 407) notes that all of Deep Space Nine‘s stock of the older uniforms were sent to Voyager to use.

Memory Alpha

Our next clue is the publicity photo (above center) and Sisko with a bald head, goatee and wearing the older red-on-black uniform.

Left: Hair with no goatee beginning with the premiere of Deep Space Nine.
Center: Hair with goatee beginning in “Explorers” (Season 3 Episode 22).
Right: Bald with goatee beginning in Season 4.

Prior to being cast as Ben Sisko in 1993, Avery Brooks played Hawk on Spenser: For Hire and its spinoff, A Man Called Hawk from 1985-1989. In both series, Brooks sported his preferred look: bald with a goatee. Paramount felt that fans would identify him as Hawk, so they had him grow his hair and shave his face for Trek (this was also done because they were worried about having two consecutively bald captains).

Fans, of course, still recognized Brooks as Hawk, because, wouldn’t you know, it was the same actor. Regardless, Avery Brooks wanted his look back and negotiated making changes over time, first growing the goatee back and then shaving his head. And—surprise, surprise—fans did not leave the series in droves.

Screen Rant

So it appears that the ornament’s pose was inspired by a publicity photo for Season 4 and the uniform was changed to the gray-on-black design that viewers last saw Sisko wear when Deep Space Nine ended its run in 1999.

The Curious Case of The Scorpion and the Copious Colors of Canopies

Star Trek: Nemesis images.

2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis included a scene with Picard and Data escaping in a Scorpion-class ship. In 2003, Hallmark released The Scorpion ornament and it is the only Star Trek ornament that involved both Lynn Norton (ship sculpt) and Anita Marra Rogers (character sculpts) together. Each artist was known for sculpting dozens of Star Trek ornaments during their career. Unfortunately, The Scorpion went under some last minute changes and Rogers work has gone mostly unseen for years.

Look closely beyond the smoked canopy of the Scorpion ornament, and you may discern painted figures of Captain Picard and Data in the cockpit as sculpted by Keepsake Artist Anita Marra Rogers. Original designs for the ornament included a transparent canopy on the ornament, but changed to match the studio model used for filming. The change came too late to alter photographs on the ornament’s retail box and other Hallmark publications, which clearly show the figures.

Kevin Dilmore, startrek.com
The Scorpion ornament with a darkened canopy.
Promotional images showing a clear canopy.

I recently received an email from a reader who was following up on our conversation about the canopy’s shading in The Scorpion’s comments section two years ago.

I am the original poster who inquired about the lighter canopy Scorpion ornaments a couple years back. I see that there were some recent updates on the thread and I thought I’d comment on what I’ve found out regarding the topic. Please feel free to post any of this info to your website if you think it is useful.

While I have never found an ornament with a completely clear canopy as shown on the box, I can confirm that there are contrasting shades of canopies that differ from ornament to ornament. I’ve attached some photos of an ornament I acquired on ebay earlier this year with a lighter canopy next to an ornament with a darker canopy that I’ve had for some time. The difference looks somewhat subtle on camera, but is more apparent in person. I used to have an ornament with an even darker, almost black canopy which I sold off some time ago in favor of one with more visible figures.

So I’ve found that there are multiple variations of this ornament to suit your taste. You can own one with a very dark canopy which is more faithful to the film, or a lighter one which better shows the figures in the cockpit. Most seem to be somewhere in the middle. The good news is that this is one of the more affordable ornaments on ebay and other online marketplaces, so it is cheap to acquire the one you want or to collect multiple variations if you are so inclined.

I hope this information is helpful or at least interesting for someone.

Thanks,
Rob

P.S.
Thank you for all of the great information on this website. Because of you, I was able to acquire an HMS Bounty ornament last week to add to my collection. So as always, thanks and keep up the good work!

Rob’s images comparing canopy tints.

There seems to be a wide range of tints available on The Scorpion which result in quite different ornaments. If you have the blackened canopy the ornament could be almost any spaceship since it isn’t one of the recognizable iconic ship designs known in the Star Trek universe. If you have a clearer canopy, the images of Picard and Data turn the ornament from a generic sci-fi spaceship to a true Star Trek ornament.

A big ‘thank you’ to Rob for the information, his photos and the very kind words.

Artist Inspirations: Spock (1996)

With a search through common images of Spock sitting at the controls of the Science Station we never get the match we are looking for.  In all five cases (see above) Spock is never holding the control desk with his left hand as he does on the ornament.  By grasping the console he appears to be steadying himself as if the Enterprise is being blasted by some sort of alien attack.

Looking to narrow down the options from the 79 original episodes the inspiration may have come from, I started with the science scope that is prominently displayed at the control board. 

Constitution Class Science Scope Design
In 2254, some starships, including the Constitution-class USS Enterprise, were not equipped with a scope. (TOS: “The Cage”)

By 2265, however, a dark blue, featureless scope had been introduced at the science station of most Federation starships. This device jutted out of a console at an elevated angle, camouflaged well into the darkness of the console. Unlike the scopes of the previous century, this style of viewer was stationary and its contents could be seen from a further distance. As direct contact with an eyepiece was not necessary, two people could simultaneously view the device’s display. (TOS Season 1)

In 2267, the shaft that comprised the science viewer’s exterior was re-colorized to a light grey, consequently becoming more easily recognized within its console. Also, a circular control was added to the device’s exterior on the left side of the shaft, comparative to the user’s position. (TOS: “Catspaw”, et al.)

Memory Alpha

Star Trek “Where No Man Has Gone Before” Pilot: 2265
Star Trek Season 1: 2266-2267
Star Trek Season 2: 2267-2268
Star Trek Season 3: 2268-2269

Wikipedia

“The Galileo Seven” was the first episode of 2267 and the 16th entry in the first season of TOS which means there are only 64 possible episodes it could be from.

The search for Spock’s inspiration continues…

Artist Inspirations: Enterprise Stamp (1999)

Top: Date of issue: 17th September 1999.


Star Trek stamp illustrator, Keith Birdsong, also created the cover art for several Star Trek Pocket Books novels. Unfortunately, Birdsong passed away in 2019 at the age of 59.

It was a long journey to get the United States Postal Service to issue a Star Trek stamp. Star Trek fan, Bill Kraft, led the effort and captured it in his book, Maybe We Need a Letter from God: The Star Trek Stamp.

The drive to honor Star Trek on a U.S. postage stamp is unique. “Maybe We Need a Letter from God: The Star Trek Stamp” traces an old-fashioned grassroots movement, long before easy access to the speed of the Internet, that involved a strategy of signed petitions, endorsement letters and media exposure. Fueled by the spontaneous combustion of fan fervor, the Star Trek Stamp Committee embarked on a journey that took over a decade to complete. A dubious Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, a bureaucratic “force field,” thwarted the Star Trek Stamp Committee’s efforts for 13 years. The book includes over eighty endorsement letters from some of the most renowned individuals in the worlds of science, science fiction and government, along with documentation from some of the nation’s leading newspapers such as “USA Today,” the “Los Angeles Times,” the “Chicago Sun Times,” and “Time Magazine.”

Artist Inspirations: Star Trek Gadgets

Top Left: Screen used tricorder. From the Paul G. Allen Collection at the Henry Museum.
Bottom Left: Episode image showing internals with door dropped down.
Middle Top and Bottom: The 2018 Hallmark tricorder.
Right: A much longer strap was used on the show so it could be positioned near the hip when hanging from the shoulder.


Left: From the Paul Allen collection at the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle, Washington.
Left: A midgrade hand phaser from TOS Set Decorator John Dwyer’s collection. Photo from Star Trek Prop Authority.

Artist Inspirations: M’Ress (2018)

There are two images that have been found that closely resemble the Hallmark Keepsake. How each are related is a little fuzzy but it seems certain the inspiration for the 2018 Special Event M’Ress ornament originally came from an image from a March 1987 comic book entitled Who’s Who in Star Trek (below left). The ornament has substituted the board and pen/stylus for a tricorder.

A second image was found on a Wiki page (below middle) that looks almost identical to the ornament (below right), most notably in the face and ears and how it differs so much from the comic book. The Wiki image appears to have been copied from the Hallmark image and embellished with the tricorder strap, the addition of a seam and pleat in her uniform, larger tail and feet, and more detail in the sleeve fabric.

Left: Illustration from Who’s Who in Star Trek by Ken Penders & Romeo Tanghal, Source: Memory Beta
Middle: Source: Star Trek Timelines Wiki
Right: 2018 Hallmark M’Ress ornament.
Illiustration from Who’s Who In Star Trek Issue #1.
Page from Who’s Who In Star Trek Issue #1, 1987, DC Comics
Image from They Boldly Went

Personal Data
Name: M’Ress
Occupation: Communications Specialist
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: Starfleet
Base of Operations: U.S.S. Enterprise
First Appearance: “The Survivor”
Height: 6’ Weight 160 lbs
Eyes: Gold Hair: Orange
Current Status: Science Department, U.S.S. Enterprise

History
Communications Officer M’Ress is a Caitian, one of several felinoid civilizations know through the United Federation of Planets (see U.F.P.).

Caitians are approximately the height of human males. They are bipedal, with manes and hairy coverings that occur in various colors. M’Ress’ fur is orange and brown. Her eyes are golden, and look like that of a Terran cat.

Her voice is soft, with a purring sound that becomes more of a hissing when she is emotionally agitated.

M’Ress’ uniform does not include boots, as her paws are padded and do not require protective coverings.

M’Ress is usually selected for landing party duty on planets lacking bright light. Like all felinoids, she sees better in the dark than she dies in bright light.

M’Ress uses her long tail for a variety of purposes which include keeping her balance, sensing temperature changes (she has no whiskers), and sensing the vibrations of approaching individuals.

Her musculature gives M’Ress the strength of two average Terran males. Her disposition, however, is gentle, and she will only use her strength to defend herself or to protect other lives.

After serving aboard the Enterprise for over a year, M’Ress transferred back to the planet Cait, where she worked as a communications analyst (see Enterprise). Missing the adventure, M’Ress returned to Starfleet (see Starfleet) and requested assignment aboard the newly commissioned Enterprise.

Left: Issue #1 Andorians thru Dr. Mccoy.
Right: Issue #2 Marla McGivers thru Vulcans.

Artist Inspirations: Storytellers

Evil Spock in the Transporter room “welcoming” the away team.
Spock went from arms crossed to the Terran Empire’s salute. I’m glad they didn’t make the ornament based off the far right image.
Good Uhura just after shutting down Evil Sulu’s advances.
Evil Chekov in an attempted coup after disembarking the Turbolift with Kirk.
Left: Evil Sulu in a second attempted coup.
Right: The blade of the dagger is turned fat side out so you can see it from your couch when the ornament is hanging on the tree.
In the episode, “Mirror, Mirror”, Kirk is never seen in the power stance with arms akimbo like the ornament depicts (A). He can be seen most of the time in his space-cowboy-strutting position (B) and once in the I-found-a-new-woman-in-my-room pose (C) and once in his I’m-gonna-kick-bad-Sulu’s-butt position (D). Kirk is the only Storyteller of the five released so far that isn’t based on a screen image from the episode.