Hurry, hurry! Get ’em while they’re hot…and available! (Well, at least get them while they’re still only $30 plus shipping.)
Last month, ALEC PETERS raised nearly $10K for ARES STUDIOS in a Kickstarter that offered a special Master Systems Display cutaway poster of the USS Ares, the fan-favorite Starfleet assault cruiser depicted in PRELUDE TO AXANAR, the soon-to-be released INTERLUDE fan film, and the upcoming AXANAR sequels. The campaign ended up passing two stretch goals, adding two additional free posters to the orders for all donors: a cutaway of the Geronimo-class and a D7 tactical display.
That campaign, it turns out, was just a warm-up to the main event: a new Kickstarter offering a full set of USS ARES BLUEPRINTS! In total, it will be eight 11″ x 17″ blueprint sheets that show every deck and part of the Ares-Class Assault Cruiser.
The campaign launched at 9:30am Eastern Time with a goal of $3,000 (the same as the first campaign) and a 16-day duration. That means, according to Kickstarter rules, that Ares Studios has only half a month to reach that goal or else they get zero. No worries, though, as the campaign surpassed that goal in HALF A DAY (closer to just seven hours) and is currently at $4,906 from 100 backers as I write this. There’s actually a stretch goal of $10K that, if reached, will result in every donor being sent a free 11″ x 17″ version of the USS Ares Master System Display poster from the first campaign.
Naturally, I ordered mine as soon as got to my computer this morning. Ever since I first got ahold of the original Franz Joseph blueprints for the USS Enterprise back in 1975, I have LOVED deck-by-deck renderings of starships. There haven’t been many full sets done over the years, but the few that have been published remain some of the jewels of my collection.
When I heard that Axanar graphic designer ALEXANDER RICHARDSON was creating deck-by-deck blueprints of the USS Ares-class, I got very excited. And when I first saw some of his initial layouts, excitement quickly turned to elation. Each time he completed and shared another deck, I marveled at the careful attention to detail, thought, and quality that went into every line.
Alexander used Adobe Illustrator to create the blueprints, spending an average of 5-10 hours per deck and then another 3 hours laying them out on the individual pages (plus extra time making alterations along the way). Alexander told me, “I based the aesthetics on Rick Sternbach’s Enterprise-D blueprints, a copy of which has been hanging on my walls for reference for some time.”
Just take a look at some of these samples…
The previous Kickstarter wrapped up on May 31, and as of June 24, all 258 donors to that campaign had been shipped their posters, including international backers who required an average of $50 in shipping (!!!) as opposed to $10 for domestic U.S. recipients. Because Kickstarter doesn’t allow for donors to pay shipping charges based on their location, Alec needs to collect shipping separately, which donors provide as a separate payment through a special link on the Ares Studios Online Store.
By the way, there’s a special backer level if you donate $400, you get your name on the blueprints’ cover listed as an admiral. I believe there’s only four slots available, and three have already been taken. So if you want the last one, act fast!
As a final note, for anyone out there wondering if these blueprints infringe on the Star Trek copyright, look closely. There are no recognizable logos from the various series, the design is not the USS Enterprise nor any starship from established Trek canon, and the blueprints specifically do not say “United Federation of Planets.” And although they do say “Starfleet,” that word (or words) have way too common usage in commercial ventures—for example, here, here, here, here, here, and here—to qualify for copyright or trademark protection.
UPDATE: The original images posted for these blueprints showed the words “Starfleet Command,” which is, as a phrase, trademarked by CBS. When this was brought to Alec Peters’ attention, the artwork on the Kickstarter (and on this blog page) was immediately changed to show the words “Starfleet Headquarters” instead of “Starfleet Command.”
The Kickstarter will be live through July 12, 2020. Because the goal has been reached, the deck plans will definitely be printed and made available later on in the Ares Studios Store. But the price will likely be higher at that point. So now is the time to get the blueprint set at the best possible price. All proceeds, of course, go to Ares Studios.
Here’s the Kickstarter link…