CS 3710 Project

Chris Martin

I'm a bit of a Star Trek nerd, so I thought this would be the most appropriate object for me to try and model:

This image is not mine; it was found online here.

What Is This?

This is a fairly large model of the USS Enterprise (movie era), located in Vulcan, AB, just off highway 23. The fact that someone had the idea to build this is just awesome in my opinion, although they didn't get it quite right ... for example, the number on the saucer section should read NCC-1701-A, not FX6-1995-A. As I said, though, the fact that the town decided to invest and build this landmark is just incredible.

What I Made

I decided to build my model using the free and open-source program Blender (found here), since I have used it in the past. This is my end result:

Creating the model was farily straight forward, as the ship is mostly made up of basic, primative shapes (for example, the saucer section is two nearly-flat cones with a cylinder in between, and the bottom phaser-array is a sphere, a cylinder, and 4 small cubes). Some extrusion was needed to create the deflector dish and torpedo launcher, and boolean subtraction was used to create the 'cut out' near the rear shuttle bay. The nacelles were cubes that were scaled, cut, and had vertices moved around to produce the desired shape.

Most of the details (windows, starfleet emblem, nacelle glow) were modeled directly by either cutting the model into the shape of the detail, or moving a flattened detail shape very close to the mesh. For example, the starfleet logo is a 4-vertex arrowhead shape that was subdivided, and then moved extremely close so that it appears to be a decal.


I had a few difficulties when trying to put the registry number on the saucer. Blender can create a mesh from text, and shape it in a circle, so my initial plan was to try and maneuver a text mesh close enough to the saucer to make it look like it was a decal. However, the saucer has a cone-shape, and the number of vertices I needed to move to get it to line up was huge. So I opted to try and apply a texture map, which I created using Windows' Paint (the font is Agency FB). UV-mapping it was fairly straight forward, but because I did not give the image an alpha channel, I then had to figure out how to apply an alpha-mask to the texture. This took a while to get right, although if I had actually read the tool tips Blender gave me about what each option did, that would have made things much easier. My bad.

Source Files

You will require both of these files (in the same directory):

If you have questions about the model, please email me at martinc@uleth.ca.