Category Archives: Artist Inspirations

Artist Inspirations: McCoy (1997)


In the 90s many of the Star Trek Keepsake character ornaments were modeled after publicity stills taken to promote their respective series during their original run. At first glance the 1997 McCoy ornament appears to be just a generic pose but it bears an uncanny resemblance to a publicity still taken thirty years earlier.

Comparing the ornament to the photo (see below) the medical tricorder slung from McCoy’s left shoulder to right hip, head looking slightly off center toward his right and his right arm bent and away from his body.

During the 90s, Hallmark refrained from placing a hook in a character’s head or body so character ornaments were integrated with scenery. It is likely McCoy’s pose was lifted from the publicity photo below and incorporated with a transporter chamber to sidestep the hook issue.

More ‘Artist Inspirations’…

Artist Inspirations: 1992 Galileo Shuttlecraft

The Galileo’s unfortunate condition in 2012 as it was going up for up auction.
Top: 2013 image after restoration. The Galileo ornament was quite an accurate sculpt for 1992. The only standout differences are the rounded roof rails that were straightened and the lack of landing pads.
Galileo’s unveiling at Johnson Space Center in Houston where it has resided since 2013.
The restored shuttlecraft was used for an episode of Star Trek Continues, 2014’s ”Fairest of Them All”.

Artist Inspirations: Tabletop Transporter (2019)

In what first appears to be a sculpt that would likely be an aggregate of different poses turns out to be from one image.

All three characters in the same pose, phasers on their sides and tricorder hanging from McCoy’s right shoulder.

Sculptor, Orville Wilson, took a few liberties by slimming down the uniforms while bulking up the physiques. I would be happy to have Mr. Wilson commissioned to design a statue in my ”likeness” after I am gone.

Artist Inspirations: Legends Series

The iconic poses found in the Hallmark Legends series can be found in Trek merchandise like character standees, trading cards, figures and posters.

Left: Cardboard Standee Cutout on Amazon.
Middle: 2016 Dave and Buster’s trading card.
Right: Uhura poster.

Many of the Hallmark Legends poses can be found in the Star Trek Quotable Notables Boxed Card Set that was first available on Amazon in 2017, the year after the final Legends ornament was released.

Send the coolest greetings with this Star Trek Quotable Noteables Boxed Card Set! Each boxed set includes cards and sticker sheets of your favorite Star Trek characters. 
Characters include: Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, and Chekov. Box Contents: 7 Cards, 7 Envelopes, 7 Sticker sheets.

Star Trek Quotable Notables Boxed Card Set
Left: Season 3, Episode 14 “That Which Survives”
Middle: 2010 Hallmark Legends: Kirk.
Right: Star Trek Quotable Notables Boxed Set.
Left: Likely publicity still taken on the set during ”City on the Edge of Forever”.
Middle: 2012 Hallmark Legends: McCoy.
Right: Star Trek Quotable Notables Boxed Set.
Image from “City on the Edge of Forever”.
Left: Nichelle Nichols as Uhura in a 1966 publicity still, the Legends ornament has slightly less hair and missing the front overlap on her skirt.
Middle: 2015 Hallmark Legends: Uhura.
Right: Star Trek Quotable Notables Boxed Set.
Left: Season 2, Episode 2 ”Who Mourns for Adonis”
Middle: 2016 Hallmark Legends: Chekov.
Right: Star Trek Quotable Notables Boxed Set.

Four of the seven Legends ornaments share the same pose as those that can be found in Star Trek Notable Quotables Box Set but three Legends ornaments did not as you can see below.

Top Row: Star Trek Quotable Notables.
Bottom Row: 2011 Hallmark Legends: Spock , 2014 Hallmark Legends: Sulu, 2013 Hallmark Legends: Scotty.
Left: Season 1, Episode 8: “Miri”
Right: 2011 Hallmark Legends: Spock.
Left: Season 3, Episode 14 “That Which Survives”
Right: 2014 Hallmark Legends: Sulu.

Interestingly, both Kirk and Sulu in the Legends series were modeled after moments in the same episode when the away team visited a Moon-sized planet.

Left: Season 2, Episode 6 “The Doomsday Machine”.
Middle: From the game Star Trek Timelines.
Right: 2013 Hallmark Legends: Scotty.

Scotty seen holding a Trident Scanner which was used to repair power relays. 

The term “trident scanner,” was first described almost thirty years later, in the script for “Trials and Tribble-ations,” where the device is apparently named after its general shape, which resembles a trident.

Memory Alpha

I’ll take some of the credit/blame for the standees deviations! In the design phase, when I was asked about Spock, I said something to the effect of, “Can we please NOT have him just standing there doing the hand thing?” And we didn’t. I remember being asked what Scotty could be doing, and I suggested his use of the trident scanner; it’s my favorite of his engineering tools. As for the Sulu deviation, I’m pretty confident the decision was made early that Kirk would be the only one of the seven brandishing a hand phaser. We did want each of the Star Trek Legends appear to be actively doing something, so Sulu got a tricorder. I mean, legends don’t just stand there!

A closer look should show that of all our Star Trek ornaments, the percentage depicting the use or display of a weapon is pretty low. By my (quick) count, it’s only nine:

1996—Riker (phaser)

1999—Worf (bat’leth)

2010—Kirk and Spock (lirpa)

2013—Gorn and Kirk (stone dagger)

2018—Kirk and Sulu (épée), M’Ress and Arex (phaser)

2020—Sulu (dagger), Uhura (dagger)

2021—Chekov (phaser)

We prefer not to show weapons in our Star Trek ornaments but we will when we feel it adds to the storytelling aspect of a design. Note that in 2018, the Kirk design released that year by Hallmark Ornaments substituted a communicator for the phaser he typically carries in that stance of his Quogs design, a move that was intentional on our part. Not familiar with Star Trek Quogs? Check out this link from 2009—you’ll even see the greeting card we did with them.

-Kevin Dilmore, February 22, 2022

Note: 2019—Transporter (Kirk, Spock and McCoy with phasers)

Artist Inspirations: Picard (2021)

It appears the 2021 Hallmark Picard ornament was inspired by a deleted scene or photo from the set of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s series finale, ”All Good Things…”.

Left: 2021 Hallmark Picard ornament.
Middle: Picard on set of The Next Generation’s ”All Good Things…”.
Above: Images of Picard on trial in ”Encounter at Farpoint” with crew by his side and standing on an unlit platform confirming the inspirational image was not taken from this episode with a similar set.
Left: Image from ”All Good Things…” where Q questions Picard. Picard stands during every trial scene with his arms at his sides.
Right: Picard’s pose with right hand over left is never seen during the episode which makes it likely from a deleted scene or an onset photo due to coverage of the series’ finale.

The only other images I could find of Picard in the same pose…

Left: Image from “Jean-Luc Picard Was the Father Figure I Needed”, startrek.com, January 9, 2020.
Right: 2014 set of salt and pepper shakers.

I would take great delight if the artist’s inspiration was taken from a salt shaker.

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.