Polar Lights 1/350 USS Grissom

wayouteast

Sr Member
As a side project from my work-in-progress USS Enterprise, I've spent a week or two building and lighting the USS Grissom which is supposedly the same scale as the Enterprise and will make a nice companion piece.



I say 'supposedly' since the Grissom is one of those ships, like the Klingon Bird of Prey, which seems to shift in size from appearance to appearance. Seeing this model next to the (same scale) Polar Lights Enterprise - even unassembled - makes some of the issues clear. The standard size shuttles won't fit the entrances to the shuttle bays, for instance, and, even allowing for design differences between the ships, the windows are way too small and positioned in a way that doesn't really make sense to what the deck layouts would be for a human crew!

I've also always wondered why the Grissom lacks so many of the standard features of other Federation starships - no visible thruster locations, deflector, weapons or - crucially - airlocks!

Still, for all that, it's a very cool little ship, and I've always had a very soft spot for it as only the third starship type we ever saw in the TOS movies. When The Search for Spock was released, I was thrilled to see it up on the big screen. I built a couple of different garage kit vac-form versions of it over the years, but it's very nice to have a decent injection-moulded model kit of it finally! So well done to Polar Lights!

It goes together well, with only a couple of minor issues - getting the top of the 'secondary hull' to drop into place with the nacelle pylons attached is a bit of a nightmare, and I would have liked the decals for the 'vents' on the front and back edges of the pylons and main deck to have had clear backing rather than blue to blend better with the suggested underlying paint scheme. But those are minor quibbles, and the kit is very high quality in all other respects.

I added interior lighting, an impulse engine glow, and used an Arduino to program an AMT Tiny chip to flash navigation lights and strobes at the same rates as my Enterprise will eventually use. This isn't strictly movie accurate - the Grissom has steady nav lights in the movie - but I kind of wanted 'my' Federation ships to have a standard pattern.

I also used a spare set of decals for the Enterprise to add a bunch of small details to various hatches, panels and other locations on the ship - again not accurate to the original miniature, but a better match for the overall final look of the Enterprise.

All in all, I'm quite happy with how Grissom turned out. All I have to do now is to build a slightly better base for the ship, and 3D model a dedication plaque to mount on it! Here are some quick and dirty shots of the completed model (excuse the messy bench in the background :D).

IMG_0556.jpeg IMG_0557.jpeg . IMG_0558.jpeg . IMG_0560.jpeg . IMG_0562.jpeg . IMG_0563.jpeg . IMG_0564.jpeg . IMG_0565.jpeg IMG_0568.jpeg
 

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ALLEY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
As a side project from my work-in-progress USS Enterprise, I've spent a week or two building and lighting the USS Grissom which is supposedly the same scale as the Enterprise and will make a nice companion piece.

View attachment 1611691

I say 'supposedly' since the Grissom is one of those ships, like the Klingon Bird of Prey, which seems to shift in size from appearance to appearance. Seeing this model next to the (same scale) Polar Lights Enterprise - even unassembled - makes some of the issues clear. The standard size shuttles won't fit the entrances to the shuttle bays, for instance, and, even allowing for design differences between the ships, the windows are way too small and positioned in a way that doesn't really make sense to what the deck layouts would be for a human crew!

I've also always wondered why the Grissom lacks so many of the standard features of other Federation starships - no visible thruster locations, deflector, weapons or - crucially - airlocks!

Still, for all that, it's a very cool little ship, and I've always had a very soft spot for it as only the third starship type we ever saw in the TOS movies. When The Search for Spock was released, I was thrilled to see it up on the big screen. I built a couple of different garage kit vac-form versions of it over the years, but it's very nice to have a decent injection-moulded model kit of it finally! So well done to Polar Lights!

It goes together well, with only a couple of minor issues - getting the top of the 'secondary hull' to drop into place with the nacelle pylons attached is a bit of a nightmare, and I would have liked the decals for the 'vents' on the front and back edges of the pylons and main deck to have had clear backing rather than blue to blend better with the suggested underlying paint scheme. But those are minor quibbles, and the kit is very high quality in all other respects.

I added interior lighting, an impulse engine glow, and used an Arduino to program an AMT Tiny chip to flash navigation lights and strobes at the same rates as my Enterprise will eventually use. This isn't strictly movie accurate - the Grissom has steady nav lights in the movie - but I kind of wanted 'my' Federation ships to have a standard pattern.

I also used a spare set of decals for the Enterprise to add a bunch of small details to various hatches, panels and other locations on the ship - again not accurate to the original miniature, but a better match for the overall final look of the Enterprise.

All in all, I'm quite happy with how Grissom turned out. All I have to do now is to build a slightly better base for the ship, and 3D model a dedication plaque to mount on it! Here are some quick and dirty shots of the completed model (excuse the messy bench in the background :D).

View attachment 1611679 View attachment 1611680 . View attachment 1611681 . View attachment 1611682 . View attachment 1611683 . View attachment 1611684 . View attachment 1611685 . View attachment 1611687 View attachment 1611688

Despite it being a ship whose bridge is adorned with pink chairs, I still have a soft spot for the Grissom.

D6A6296A-2A34-4DA0-B8C8-C8E71674FB2E.jpeg


Great job on the build!
 
Last edited:

ALLEY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
As a side project from my work-in-progress USS Enterprise, I've spent a week or two building and lighting the USS Grissom which is supposedly the same scale as the Enterprise and will make a nice companion piece.

View attachment 1611691

I say 'supposedly' since the Grissom is one of those ships, like the Klingon Bird of Prey, which seems to shift in size from appearance to appearance. Seeing this model next to the (same scale) Polar Lights Enterprise - even unassembled - makes some of the issues clear. The standard size shuttles won't fit the entrances to the shuttle bays, for instance, and, even allowing for design differences between the ships, the windows are way too small and positioned in a way that doesn't really make sense to what the deck layouts would be for a human crew!

I've also always wondered why the Grissom lacks so many of the standard features of other Federation starships - no visible thruster locations, deflector, weapons or - crucially - airlocks!

Still, for all that, it's a very cool little ship, and I've always had a very soft spot for it as only the third starship type we ever saw in the TOS movies. When The Search for Spock was released, I was thrilled to see it up on the big screen. I built a couple of different garage kit vac-form versions of it over the years, but it's very nice to have a decent injection-moulded model kit of it finally! So well done to Polar Lights!

It goes together well, with only a couple of minor issues - getting the top of the 'secondary hull' to drop into place with the nacelle pylons attached is a bit of a nightmare, and I would have liked the decals for the 'vents' on the front and back edges of the pylons and main deck to have had clear backing rather than blue to blend better with the suggested underlying paint scheme. But those are minor quibbles, and the kit is very high quality in all other respects.

I added interior lighting, an impulse engine glow, and used an Arduino to program an AMT Tiny chip to flash navigation lights and strobes at the same rates as my Enterprise will eventually use. This isn't strictly movie accurate - the Grissom has steady nav lights in the movie - but I kind of wanted 'my' Federation ships to have a standard pattern.

I also used a spare set of decals for the Enterprise to add a bunch of small details to various hatches, panels and other locations on the ship - again not accurate to the original miniature, but a better match for the overall final look of the Enterprise.

All in all, I'm quite happy with how Grissom turned out. All I have to do now is to build a slightly better base for the ship, and 3D model a dedication plaque to mount on it! Here are some quick and dirty shots of the completed model (excuse the messy bench in the background :D).

View attachment 1611679 View attachment 1611680 . View attachment 1611681 . View attachment 1611682 . View attachment 1611683 . View attachment 1611684 . View attachment 1611685 . [ATT]1611687[/ATTACH] View attachment 1611688

Something I’ve always wondered about the Oberth class Starships—based upon the Grissom lasting about 2.5 seconds in battle in Star Trek III—is, does it have any defensive systems (shields, phasers, etc.) or, is it completely defenseless, as a vessel?

I think the only other thing that somewhat throws the scale of the Grissom, when placed next to the Refit Enterprise, is that the studio model lacks any Aztec hull detailing and, instead, has one-piece hull plating, similar to the TOS Enterprise.
 

wayouteast

Sr Member
Something I’ve always wondered about the Oberth class Starships—based upon the Grissom lasting about 2.5 seconds in battle in Star Trek III—is, does it have any defensive systems (shields, phasers, etc.) or, is it completely defenseless, as a vessel?

I think the only other thing that somewhat throws the scale of the Grissom, when placed next to the Refit Enterprise, is that the studio model lacks any Aztec hull detailing and, instead, has one-piece hull plating, similar to the TOS Enterprise.
I agree on all counts. I can't imagine that any Starfleet ship, even a small survey class ship, wouldn't have at least some defensive capabilities. It's a big bad universe, even in Star Trek's time. But there's no visible sign of any phaswers or photon torpedoes. Or thrusters. Or airlocks... :D

There is a bit of hull plating detail on the single deck primary hull, but that plain white 'saucer' (despite the grid lines) does seem very 'simple' compared with the other, larger ships.

The big thing for me is those shuttle or cargo bays or whatever they are. If Polar Lights have got their scale accurate compared to the Enterprise kit the openings are literally about 6' tall. A person could just about walk through without ducking (unless they were tall). But a standard Type 4 shuttlecraft (or even a travel pod)? Not a chance in hell. I'm assuming they maybe scaled the kit to the smallest of the several 'canon' sizes the Oberth class appears to be in various episodes - 120m long. That length just doesn't work for me, not just because of the shuttle bays, but also in terms of window placement (and therefore deck layout). 150m just about solves the bay door problem but still results in very low deck height and odd window location. A more workable length seems to me to be around 200m. That comfortably allows for 2 decks in the saucer and 'proper' size shuttle bay entrances. But that doesn't really match the ship we see on screen...

It's the Bird of Prey problem all over again! :D I suppose, when push comes to shove, the real truth is that ILM - knowing the ship was to have a very short screen time - didn't really spend a huge amount of time thinking through all the minutiae of the ship's design, opting instead for 'the rule of cool'. And why not! How were they to know that 30 years later people would still be analysing the 'real world' ramifications of 'the cool little ship that the Klingons blow up in Act 2'!
 

wayouteast

Sr Member
While I wait for some wood to arrive to make a sturdier base for the Grissom, I spent an afternoon in Blender making a couple of 'dedication plaques' for both the Grissom and (eventually) the Enterprise. I printed them on my Elegoo Mars resin printer, and they'll be finished to look like the polished brass of the plaques we see on the bridges of some starships. They're not screen accurate, but I think they'll add a nice finishing touch to the models' bases. :) They're about 6cm x 4cm.

While the printer was up and running I used the last of my current resin stock to print some parts for the Enterprise, too, including a more accurate bridge and a bridge interior!

IMG_0602.jpeg . IMG_0593.jpeg IMG_0599.jpeg IMG_0601.jpeg
 

Inquisitor Peregrinus

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I cannot be concise to save my life, but I can hide it in a quote box. Expand if you've a cuppa and an hour to peruse...

I've done a lot over the years to address the in-universe stuff that's been created and shown from "The Cage" on up. I massage and "certain-point-of-view" as much as I can to get contradictory things to reconcile. I prefer to have to throw out as little as possible. I also treat all the ancillary material and fan-created stuff as a grab-bag, of sorts, to fill in gaps. Enterprise is not part of my main continuity, as too much within it just flat doesn't work with what we'd seen prior. I treat it as an alternate timeline kicked off by Our Heroes interference in First Contact, and one that led to the JJ-verse. Discovery should've just picked up after the Burn and gone from there. Picard, too. perhaps. Out past "All Good Things...", "Endgame", and "The Visitor".

So yes, that limits what I choose to incorporate, but with good reason. I go with first sources wherever possible, and work from there. If later material contradicts, each instance is examined uniquely to determine which way I go. I never do anything frivolously, and always have solid reasoning behind my choices. This is not to say I am permanently locked in to those choices. If new information comes along, I will incorporate it and revise my worldview accordingly. I've had complete reversals on several things over the years, as I discovered what I thought I knew was flawed.

So. The Grissom... First, it is not Oberth-class. They had wanted to make a new model for "The Naked Now" and, when Paramount vetoed the expenditure, stuck the Grissom in instead. Didn't even change the decals from the unused TVH re-deco (Copernicus, NCC-640). The registry is visible onscreen, and clearly so in the remastered version. They had vague notions of what they wanted, and most of the times an Oberth was picked as the ship in question, they tried to get a new model for it. The closest they came was "The Pegasus", where designs and drawings of how the ship was to be embedded within the asteroid were all drawn up, and an MSD for the engineering display was created, but, once again, Paramount said no, so they used the Grissom again. It's supposed to be a newer class, more analogous to an Ambassador-era Miranda than the dinky Grissom, so I mentally overlay what it should be every TNG+ episode that shows an "Oberth". So the Grissom's actual class is backspaced to be blank.

Back in the '70s, Franz Joseph Schnaubelt, an aerospace engineer like Matt Jefferies, had a daughter who was an avid Trekkie. He never really got into the show, but she and her friends had it on all the time, and he began wondering how such a ship would function. After some questionable research methodology, the result of his rumination was the Constitution class booklet of general plans that he sold at Star Trek conventions. Gene was at one and saw them, they talked, Gene had Ballantine publish the plans and the book (the Star Fleet Technical Manual) that FJ talked to him about. They were official up until Gene and FJ had a falling-out and Gene blackballed FJ and his works. So they were official at the time TMP and TWOK were made, at least. TSFS, iffy, and definitely not by the time of TVH. So photostats from the plans and technical manual are used on bridge displays in the first three films and ships from the manual are name-dropped in TMP. Put that on another square and move on...

Way back in the beginning, Matt Jefferies, who was a pilot as well as an aerospace engineer, came up with a hull number for the ship he'd designed, mostly arbitrarily. NC was the civil aviation code for the US at the time, and he tacked another 'C' onto that to give it a bit of a remove from reality. He found out later that the civil aviation code for the Soviet Union, at the time, was CC, and liked the after-the-fact symbolism of the two 20th-century antagonists joined in peaceful exploration through the mashed-up prefix. For the number, he had to eliminate anything that would be unclear on TVs of the day, and, from what was left, as he put it, "'1701' was as good as anything". But because he was an engineer, he immediately started pondering and rationalizing what it all meant. Since 1920, the U.S. Navy codified a system of identifying its hulls with a two-letter prefix. Generically, it was the first letter of the ship type, doubled (CC for Cruiser, BB for Battleship, SS for Submarine, DD for Destroyer, etc. -- Aircraft Carriers being the exception, being, initially, Cruisers converted for aViation application). So, he reasoned, since this was a space cruiser, it stood to reason the "CC" in the registry indicated that (and there were probably other vessel types with appropriately similar prefices -- "NDD" for the Destroyers, for instance). "N" would be some governmental identifier. And, for the number, he decided it meant the operating authority's 17th Cruiser design, and the 01st production hull built after the prototype (00).

That might just be academic historical footnote material, except he also worked as the show's set designer, senior illustrator, and scenic artist. He came up with all the control layouts, backlit screen inserts, and, notably, this piece of set dressing for Commodore Stone's office wall in "Court Martial":

1663066825260.png


This is from the "coming next week" teaser, original film stock, not down-rezzed for broadcast or VHS or DVD transfer. Two of those registries have been erroneously referenced for decades (1831 as 1631 and 1864 as 1664 -- yes, the Reliant was at Starbase 11 in this episode). Greg Jein, in the '70s, wrote an article for the "T-Negative" fan magazine ("The Case of Jonathan Doe Starship") where he connected those numbers with the known-extant Constitution-class ships, though what he described as a "barely-logical" approach, that he admitted he could tear down just as easily as assert. No one seems to have asked Matt what he had in mind -- or, later, when they actually did, didn't seem to grasp the significance. I'll spell it out...

In his capacity as scenic artist, he made that status display, using the system he'd noodled out since production on the first pilot. Ergo, the other three 17XX registries belong to Enterprise stablemates (notably the class lead ship, the Constitution, herself), and the rest belong to Cruisers of other classes. The 16XX registries (all pretty high, notice) to an immediate predecessor that is still in service, and the two 18XX numbers we know to be Miranda class. Since that's what the Reliant is, at 1864, since that's what the Lantree is at 1833, since that's what the Saratoga is at 1887, and to assert Matt's registry system here. Stone points to the 1831 line when saying they're rushing to get the Intrepid out of dock. Makes sense they'd give the Vulcans a science vessel (the rôle we usually see the class performing), and not a Heavy Cruiser.

FJ did something similar in his Technical Manual, having the classes he showed with registry groupings based on their type. The Scouts and Destroyers had three-digit hull numbers, the Heavy Cruisers had four-digit hull numbers starting with '1', the Dreadnoughts had four-digit hull numbers starting with '2', and the Transports had four-digit hull numbers starting with '3'. After that it all falls apart, though.

After FJ was blackballed, FASA came to Paramount wanting to do a Star Trek RPG. One of the things they asked about was ships lists, and wanted to know if they could use the FJ stuff. Gene emphatically said no. The only other thing out there was Greg Jein's article, so that's what got incorporated into the game -- with even more misreadings of the hull numbers. That, then, being an official publication, became what Mike Okuda had to reference for the last few TOS films and everything from TNG forward. Despite the fact that it's wrong, and, as I said, no one ever talked to Matt. So Mike had a system for TNG where the hull numbers just steadily increased, irrespective of class or type.

Matt's system, including a modified version of FJ's take, works for the era up to about TSFS. Because of the sheer volume, Mike's has to hold sway after that point. I hold that, in-universe, the one gave way to the other, as increasing shipbuilding capacity made the old registry blocks no longer workable. Note the 16XX numbers in the 90s? And the Saratoga in the '80s? Bigger, more complex linchpin classes, like the Constitution, would have fewer built (the Defiant's "1764" was pulled out of Greg's ar-- um... the ether -- highest canon registry we see is 1718, but they probably made it into at least the 30s or 40s). But that would have to give way. Similarly, as Starfleet was falteringly trying to move from more militaristic to more exploratory, the non-NCC classifications needed to go away. So starting at NCC-2500, going forward, all numbers were assigned as a given vessel was ordered, regardless of class or type, and all starting with NCC. This is the approach that results in the fewest unresolvable contradictions. Two ships (Grissom and Jenolan need new prefixes, and two ships, Bozeman and Constellation, need registry tweaks).

[Speaking of the Constellation, the one we see in TOS is a massive headache. The model-builders used an off-the-shelf AMT kit, built and "distressed" it, and had the original-issue decal sheet with just the "1701" on it. Rather than ask Matt what to do, they just jumbled it into the sequence most visually distinct from the Enterprise's. *sigh* In my ship lists, I've "corrected" it to 1710.]

We see ships in both canon and fanon that are an identical base class, with more or less stuck-on gear. For instance, the roll-bar that is on the Reliant is not on the Lantree. Fandom also gives us versions of the Grissom saucer-and-nacelles platform that is just that, or has an underslung torpedo pod, etc. I recognize these as subclasses within a registry block. I.e., Miranda at 1800, the Soyuz subclass at 1840, and the Avenger subclass at 1860. Not all slots in those authorized groupings might get ships ordered to fill them. That lets us get different functions out of one class. A base Miranda, for instance, is a Light Cruiser -- blended hull, more exploration and science oriented than combat, but still able to defend itself. The Avenger is significantly upgunned, so is classed as a Frigate, as it's skewed more toward combat. Similarly, a Destroyer recontextualized with more scientific capacity will be classed a Frigate. Bureaucratic term for such an in-between status.

Now, to TMP. The radio chatter refers to the Scouts Revere, at 595, and Columbia, at 621, taken from FJ's ship lists. It is all one long list of over a hundred ships, starting at Destroyer-rigged Saladin-class ships at NCC-500, all the way up to the Scout-rigged Hermes-class, in -- IIRC -- the 580s. Using the film canon and forcing Matt's system onto this... The Saladin class was initially authorized as a Destroyer, at NDD-500, during the Four Years War with the Klingons. Somewhere along the way, it was decided to rework the design with more sensor capacity to serve as Scouts -- fleet outriders -- and that was the Hermes subclass, to which the Revere belonged. To reflect its new rôle, the prefix for those is NSS. Since I hold the Oberth to be a 24th-century design, I go with the old fandom designation for the base saucer-and-nacelles design of the Grissom: Gagarin class, a dedicated Scout, at NSS-600. At NSS-630 is the Sagan-subclass planetary surveyors, with their massive underslung sensor pod. And at NDD-660 are the Jester-subclass Destroyer Escorts with their underslung weapons pods.

In TVH, Cartwright reports to the Federation Council President that "two starships and three smaller vessels" have been neutralized by the whalesong probe. The two starships are the Saratoga and Yorktown. One of the calls up on screen is from the disabled Shepard -- a stablemate of the Grissom. So we know that class counts as a "smaller vessel" and not a starship. Part of why I have no problem with flexible prefixes within those classes, depending on loadout.

The other thing I dove into was what can be gleaned from how many of a given type there were by 2285, when the changeover went into effect. From my accumulation of all the ships and registries, NCC-2500 made the best transition point to the new system. So I took that to mean the Jefferies system would cap out at 24 Cruiser classes, back to the founding of the Federation (pre-Federation Starfleet ships would have a completely different registry system, that I won't go into here). The Excelsior, the 20th, was launched in 2285. The Constitution, the 17th, was launched in 2245. Going back to the Founding, in 2161, I got a nice 10/20/40-year periodicity...

2165: Daedalus class launched.
2175: Surviving early-Flight vessels begin undergoing first major refits.
2185: Production ceases, second wave of refits begins, development starts on next-generation technological leader.
2195: Third wave of refits begins.
2205: Horizon class launched. Early-Flight Daedalus-class vessels begin being withdrawn from active service or downchecked to lesser rôles.

And so on, all the way up. Forty years later, 2245, Constitution. Forty years later, 2285, Excelsior. (Almost) forty years later, 2223(two years early?), Ambassador. Forty years later (back on track), 2363, Galaxy. Forty years later...? Well, CBS and I disagree. *lol* I can't remember what class the Enterprise-F in Star Trek: Online is, but it looks a lot like an uglier version of my Majestic class that I began designing in 1989 to be the successor to the Galaxy class.

Meanwhile, in that same span from Founding to changeover, we only had a dozen or so Scout/Destroyer classes (given the low number of the Saladin, I'd say most were prompted by hostilities with the Klingons)... And twenty Transports (Sydney class being the last before the registry change).

So. For my builds and writing, this ship is NSS-638, and is a Gagarin-class [Sagan-sublass] Scout rigged for planetary surveying. Weaponry is Class-3 defensive. At least one forward phaser, possibly two more on the dorsal trailing portions of the warp engines (those little bumps don't seem to be lights). Here's the one time we see one firing, in the far background in First Contact:

1663072390853.png


Additionally, I feel all the stuff in the aft trench of the main engine deck is sensor and ECM equipment. While I consider Captain Esteban over-cautious and not tactically-gifted (his "Stand by, evasive" should have been an order for evasive maneuvers), I feel if he'd had aft weapons available, he would've at least had them trained-to.

Now, after that deep delve, to the matter of the model. How much reference of the filming miniature do you have? One of my main takeaways, after years of study and consideration, is that those are not windows on the saucer, but high-energy active sensors. As I've groused elsewhere over the years, the original Enterprise didn't have many windows, and the ones it did have were mostly dark. Here's the thing no one from J.J. Abrams to Doug Drexler seem to realize, and that we've known since the first spaceflights. If you have anything more than the dimmest light on, all you see out the window is black. Even here on Earth. It is just after 4:30am, I have one desk lamp on in addition to the screen of my laptop. When I look at the sky out the window, I just see black, even though I know it's clear (except for the smoke).

Unlike the Enterprises, the Reliant, the Excelsior... every "window" on this model is lit up like Christmas lights. If those are windows, they're utterly pointless, as no one can see anything out of them. In TOS and the films, we see people with screens in their quarters, but no windows. The "windows" in the lounge Kirk braces Spock in in TMP were supposed to be screens -- may still be in the Director's Edition. The windows in the ship's-wheel lounge in TFF have to be screens, as there are no corresponding windows anywhere on the exterior.

So if those are eliminated as windows, calculating things based on the 120-meter figure gives us this:

oberth-saucer-decks.gif


...With some potential error margin, as no one has 3D scanned the actual filming miniature. Tight, but not impossible, especially if measurements are off even slightly. Those insets are tall enough for at least a workbee. Maybe a travel pod, or TOS-style shuttle (2.44 meters clearance -- if those alcoves are even a little taller...). This is, itself, a small, quick scout-ship. Its auxiliary craft are likely limited. Think more like the NX-01 in Enterprise -- bay just large enough for a single craft. None of the insets are illuminated or detailed in the film, but here's the miniature:

Grissom_845x485p.jpg


Since the back walls are just blank, I feel free to add my own interpretations. Based on the phaser blast and the need for non-transporter access, I have the front inset housing the main airlock (the warp engines are in the way for the lateral ones to be employed thusly), flanked by a couple of phaser emitters. The lateral ones I feel are for onloading limited cargo, potentially with a workbee or two inside. But I don't think it has room for much more. Probably a crew of under fifty, housed and working on three decks, the sensor pod uncrewed, but with Jefferies' tube access.
 

wayouteast

Sr Member
I cannot be concise to save my life, but I can hide it in a quote box. Expand if you've a cuppa and an hour to peruse...



Now, after that deep delve, to the matter of the model. How much reference of the filming miniature do you have? One of my main takeaways, after years of study and consideration, is that those are not windows on the saucer, but high-energy active sensors. As I've groused elsewhere over the years, the original Enterprise didn't have many windows, and the ones it did have were mostly dark. Here's the thing no one from J.J. Abrams to Doug Drexler seem to realize, and that we've known since the first spaceflights. If you have anything more than the dimmest light on, all you see out the window is black. Even here on Earth. It is just after 4:30am, I have one desk lamp on in addition to the screen of my laptop. When I look at the sky out the window, I just see black, even though I know it's clear (except for the smoke).

Unlike the Enterprises, the Reliant, the Excelsior... every "window" on this model is lit up like Christmas lights. If those are windows, they're utterly pointless, as no one can see anything out of them. In TOS and the films, we see people with screens in their quarters, but no windows. The "windows" in the lounge Kirk braces Spock in in TMP were supposed to be screens -- may still be in the Director's Edition. The windows in the ship's-wheel lounge in TFF have to be screens, as there are no corresponding windows anywhere on the exterior.

So if those are eliminated as windows, calculating things based on the 120-meter figure gives us this:

View attachment 1616452

...With some potential error margin, as no one has 3D scanned the actual filming miniature. Tight, but not impossible, especially if measurements are off even slightly. Those insets are tall enough for at least a workbee. Maybe a travel pod, or TOS-style shuttle (2.44 meters clearance -- if those alcoves are even a little taller...). This is, itself, a small, quick scout-ship. Its auxiliary craft are likely limited. Think more like the NX-01 in Enterprise -- bay just large enough for a single craft. None of the insets are illuminated or detailed in the film, but here's the miniature:

View attachment 1616463

Since the back walls are just blank, I feel free to add my own interpretations. Based on the phaser blast and the need for non-transporter access, I have the front inset housing the main airlock (the warp engines are in the way for the lateral ones to be employed thusly), flanked by a couple of phaser emitters. The lateral ones I feel are for onloading limited cargo, potentially with a workbee or two inside. But I don't think it has room for much more. Probably a crew of under fifty, housed and working on three decks, the sensor pod uncrewed, but with Jefferies' tube access.
Some very interesting observations and conjectures! Thank you! :)
 

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