8 Aug 2018

How long is the Klingon voDIeH class? (alternate timeline Negh'Var)

The Klingon voDIeH class ship miniature was originally created for TNG "All Good Things", using the central portion of the Vor'cha class model, as the comparison of the dorsal and ventral views of the two ships demonstrates.
The Negh'Var was a modification of the original "future Klingon ship" studio model, which was designed by Rick Sternbach as a modified version of the Vor'cha class model.

redesign sketch of the Vor'Cha class by Rick Sternbach

Distances can be measured by means of the physical laws of optics.
For that I have made a calculation using the vanishing point in the screenshot of the episode from TNG "All Good Things".
With the help of the green lines, I have chosen two corner points on the voDIeH class, which are exactly opposite. Where the lines intersect lies the vanishing point.
To calculate the length, the blue lines (starting from the vanishing point) must run to the Olympic class. The Olympic class should be almost at the same angle and elevation to the voDIeH class.
Because the USS Pasteur flies a bit further ahead, as measuring points I have used the stern of the Olympic class and the bug of the voDeH class.
The blue lines now mark an area on the voDIeH class.

With this marking I have created a size chart to calculate the length of the voDIeH class.

The blue lines mark the area on the voDeH class which is covered by the Olympic class. This results in a length of 495m for the voDeH class. Incidentally, this fits very well with the identical components of the Vor'Cha class (red lines) which were used to build the voDIeH class studio model.

visual impression on screen:
The voDeH class can only be seen twice. Once in TNG "All Good Things" and once in VOY "Endgame". The visual impressions also go very well with what you see on screen. 

The USS Rhode Island (Nova class variant) is a small short-range science vessel. The size of the saucer section corresponds to that of the voDIeH class.

screencapture by trekcore.com (VOY "Endgame")

screencapture by trekcore.com (VOY "Endgame")

6 Aug 2018

Turntable for Model Kits

To paint and airbrush a model kit a TV turntable is a very useful help. With it you can rotate the model without touching it constantly.

  • you can put your hand on the turntable to paint details with a steady hand (e.g. windows, thin lines, small markings, ...)
  • a crepe as a base protects the model from scratches
  • the model can be rotated quickly and easily 360 °
  • for applying decals, the rotation is very useful

3 Aug 2018

The Size of Deep Space Nine

The cardassian space station Deep Space 9, originally known as Terok Nor, was one of the most historically, politically, and strategically important space stations in the Alpha Quadrant during the second half of the 24th century.

"Rick Sternbach's drawings for a four-foot miniature (six-foot as built) specify a scale of 70 feet to an inch, resulting in a conceptual diameter of roughly 3,360 feet (1,024 meters)."
  • The premise for all my deck calculations: a deck is 2,5m + 0,5m for EPS cables, power cables, ... = 3m height for a deck. Deep Space 9 has 4m (3m deck high + 1m access tunnel - The Federation equivalent of the access tunnel was the Jefferies tube.)
schematic by Doug Drexler (DS9 Technical Manual)

schematic by universostartrek.com
Cardassian access tunnel:
screencapture by trekcore.com (DS9 "The Muse")
With the information about the position of the decks on the station I have calculated a diameter of 986m for Deep Space Nine.

That also fits with many visual impressions from the show.

schematic by universostartrek.com
Runabout: 23,1m

The Runabout Pad measures 35,8m (with a diameter of 986m for Deep Space Nine). A Runabout is 23,1m long. On the Runabout Pad is a area of 6,35m in front of and behind the Runabout. This also corresponds to the visual impression in the series.
screencapture by trekcore.com (DS9 "Emissary")
Klingon Vor'Cha class: 481m
screencapture by trekcore.com (DS9 "You Are Cordially Invited")
Bajoran Freighter: 190m
screencapture by trekcore.com (DS9 "In The Cards")
Klingon Bird of Prey IKS Rotarran: 139m
screencapture by trekcore.com (DS9 "Soldiers Of The Empire")
Cardassian Galor class: 484m
screencapture by trekcore.com (DS9 "A Time To Stand")
USS Defiant: 121m
Here you can find the size calculation of the Defiant class.

27 Jul 2018

Speckle Effect with a brush

Speckle effects can be created not only with the Airbrush, but also hand painted with the brush. This requires an old frayed brush to create uneven random speckles. It is important that the color is mixed not too thin. Otherwise it runs on the model.


  • after painting, let the paint dry for a short time and then dab dry with the brush again (without paint)
  • mix a little bit Vallejo Glaze Medium (70596) under the paint - that makes the paint smoother on the surface

On the left side you can see the speckle effect - right side without the effect.

26 Jul 2018

How long is the DEFIANT-class?

The Defiant-class was designed by James Martin under the direction of Herman Zimmerman and Gary Hutzel. According to Martin, the initial instruction for the designers was that it was a "beefy runabout." The design sketches (from Star Trek - The Magazine) by Jim Martin show the evolution of the Defiant class.

According to Gary Hutzel, during the early development stages of the ship, the Defiant was to be "a new hot battleship that would really set a new standard for an action ship in the series. First, there was lots of talk like 'How big is the Defiant?' Well, we'll make it really small and really powerful, that it would be so powerful and scary, nobody would mess with it."
(DS9 Season 3 DVD special features)

According to Doug Drexler, "The size of the Defiant was a hot potato from day one. Rick Berman wanted a small pocket battleship (a couple times longer than a runabout, with the girth of a regular starship) Gary wanted at least 500' (152,4 m)." 
(drexfiles.wordpress.com 2008/12/20)

In the DS9 Technical Manual we have a length of (560') 170,7m.


  • The premise for all my deck calculations: a deck is 2.5m + 0.5m for EPS cables, power cables, ... = 3m height for a deck. Starfleet ships have 4m (3m deck high + 1m Jefferies tube). 
From the MSD (Master Situation Diagram) we know that the Defiant class has four decks.

LCARS by drex files - Doug Drexler
The following picture shows the Defiant class with the decks from the MSD.

schematic by TheLightWorks

This will calculate a length of 125m. Because of the strong armor of the Defiant class, I would deduct 1m for each deck so that the total height per deck (with Jeffries tube) can be met of 4m.

This results in a length of 121m for the ship.

If the USS Defiant would be 170,7m long (DS9 Technical Manual), then it would have a deck height of 5,38m (-1m Jeffries tube = 4,38m corridor height). With Gary Hutzel's 152,4m, that would still be 4,8m (-1m Jeffries tube = 3,8m corridor height).

On screen, the Defiant class looks small and fits well with 121m to Deep Space Nine.  This is also credible for a crew of ~50 members.

screencapture by trekcore.com (DS9 - Opening Credits)
  • some dialogues suggest there is a "deck 5" (in DS9: "Way of the Warrior", "Rejoined", "Starship Down", "To the Death")
  • the main Shuttlebay was a later addition (DS9 "The Sound of Her Voice") so that the Shuttle Type 10 (with 9,6m) is a bit too long to fit into it.
  • two rows of windows on deck 4
  • The Defiant Turbolift LCARS shows 6 decks
LCARS by "Captains Chair"-CD-ROM

15 Jul 2018

Plastic Putty for plastic model kits

Plastic Putty for plastic modeling kits is absolutely necessary to fill some holes and gaps. For this it is important that the putty does not dry too fast, but also not too viscous. I've already tried a few and I'm always excited about the Vallejo Plastic Putty. This one is very supple and can thus be well lubricated in gaps. Above all, it does not dry too fast, so corrections are possible. It also has a small top for dosing the quantity.

The construction report for the Reman Scorpion Fighter clearly shows why Plastic Putty is indispensable for model making.

The Size of the Oberth Class - U.S.S. Grissom from Star Trek III

The Oberth class was a small Federation starship used primarily by Starfleet and civilian scientists alike, as a short range science vessel, from the late-23rd to the late-24th century. The ship class is named after Hermann Julius Oberth a German physicist and engineer.

  • The premise for all my deck calculations: a deck is 2,5m + 0,5m for EPS cables, power cables, ... = 3m height for a deck. Starfleet ships have 4m (3m deck high + 1m Jefferies tube). 
From the TNG episode "Hero Worship" we know that the Oberth class has two decks in the disc. This is the well to recognize on the MSD (Master Situation Diagram).

screenshot by trekcore.com

This information results in the following side view of the Oberth Class:

schematic by TheLightWorks

This results in a length of 168m for the ship.

The fact that the Oberth class has a standard deck height can be seen well on the USS Tsiolkovsky's corridor in TNG "The Naked Now" and at the bridge of the USS Grissom. If the ship was only 120.4m long (= 395ft), then it would have a deck height of only 2.9m. Thus, there would be no room for the Jefferies tubes. 
ILM Size Chart by Andrew Probert

The length of 168m is also much more plausible for a crew of 80 members.