So, a while back in Rekkert’s
thread, when he was doing my U.S.S. Frontier interiors, someone had asked just what the Frontier looked like. The Frontier is a Galaxy-Class ship, built during the Dominion War. On DS9, we saw many Galaxy-Class ships, most CGI, some physical models, such as the U.S.S. Odyssey and U.S.S. Venture. The Odyssey was a standard TNG-era Galaxy, with a new Bridge interior. The Venture was also a standard TNG-era Galaxy, with new phaser strips placed atop the warp nacelles, lifted from the AGT future version of the Enterprise-D. However, there’s one other version of Galaxy-Class ship we saw on DS9 - an unnamed physical model with Dominion War war paint on its lower warp nacelles and surrounding the Main Shuttlebay deck and running down the aft neck and spine, ending at the aft torpedo launcher. This Galaxy was clearly an AMT/ERTL kit, painted, as the raised panel detailing of the model kit is clearly present in screen shots from the episode it is featured in, “Favor the Bold”. Behind-the-scenes photos also confirm that this ship is an AMT/ERTL model. Additionally, John Eaves
has confirmed that the model in the BTS photos IS indeed, the ship used in “Favor the Bold”.
As you can see in those BTS photos, this Galaxy appears to have a black and gold Main Deflector Dish. The lower warp nacelles are colored Azure Blue. The saucer impulse engine housings and the ribs between the main nacelles and the ramscoops are colored Flat Zinc Chromate. According to the screen shot, the area surrounding the Main Shuttlebay deck and the aft neck and spine, appear to be either a medium-to-dark gray, or another color that looks that way, after all the post-production image and color processing and lighting.
According to the DS9 Technical Manual, a number of Galaxy-Class ships were pulled from the internal structures work path, equipped with additional weapons, and launched with 65% of their space frame volumes empty. As this background fits the needs of the background of the U.S.S. Frontier in the story, I am choosing one of these “Favor the Bold” Galaxies to serve as the Frontier.
In the first story with the Frontier, “A New Beginning”, the Frontier Commission selects a Galaxy-Class ship as the platform for the mission ship, as the Galaxy-Class projects both strength and diplomacy. The class has ample weaponry, supremely powerful engines, the most powerful computer, and plenty of room and comfort for a full delegation of UFP dignitaries. It looks both regal and imposing. Rather than build a new ship, which would be time and resource consuming, which the war effort won’t allow for a ship of that scale, one of the wartime Galaxies was pulled off the line, and transported to Starfleet’s ASDB Seran-T-3 facility at Mirfak Station, where it underwent a full overhaul and completion of its interior sections. It is here where an Entomalian engineering team installed the loaned Entomalian transwarp slipstream drive engine for the mission, as well as a special gift - a compliment of 11 Entomalian neutron “smasher” torpedoes, a gift of the Entomalian government, via the Entomalian Ambassador to the UFP, and installed in the saucer section’s torpedo bay.
So, I will be using this thread to firstly, document my building of a replica of the “Favor the Bold” Galaxy model, using one of my own AMT/ERTL 1701-D kits, and custom decals. The screen-used DS9 model had TNG-era Starfleet arrowheads on it, but realistically, in-universe, the ship, as a Dominion War-era ship, would have the same newer Starfleet arrowheads as the Defiant, Intrepid, and Sovereign. My Frontier model will have the newer style, to make it accurate to the time period. My goal with my model will be to do it up as nicely as possible, while keeping as faithful to the screen-used model as possible. Think of it as if my Frontier model were a nice desk model in Nikolayev’s Ready-Room, on display. My other intention with this thread, is to give more background and specs on the Frontier herself, as well as revisit and update designs for both her interiors, and her assets, such as shuttlecraft and other auxiliary vehicles, etc. I’ll also post information and backgrounds of various members of her crew, as well as key aliens and other characters, etc. This isn’t a pure art thread, nor is it a pure story thread, which is why I’m placing it here. However, if a Mod sees fit to place it elsewhere, please do so. Also, any future work that Rekkert
or anyone else does regarding the Frontier, or aspects of her story, will be posted here, in this thread, with appropriate credit(s) given to any artist involved. Think of this as an “encyclopedia” thread for everything relating to the Frontier and its story.
In the meantime, I’ve been gathering all the supplies and aftermarket assets I’ll need for the model. I have a set of aztec paint masks coming, I have a resin piece that provides the missing windows from just forward of the Captain’s Yacht, I’ve sent for multiple custom decal sheets, and I have two paint pens for the lifeboats.
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Kimora Pren is a Cardassian female, born and raised in the City of Leasath, on Cardassia Prime. From an early age, Kimora had a strong interest in engineering, and the technical arts and sciences. When she entered the Cardassian military, she obviously chose to work in the Engineering division.
For the early part of her career, she worked on the station Kendok Nor, where she worked her way up from Operations Assistant to Operations Specialist. It was on Kendok Nor where she met her husband, Glinn Tolan.
From Kendok Nor, Kimora transferred to the Galor-Class ship Leknor, where she served first as Chief Engineer’s Mate, and then Chief Engineer. The Leknor’s missions often took it into Entomalian space, for joint exercises with the Entomalian Navy. It was during this time that Kimora was exposed to Entomalian culture up-close and personal. She became fascinated with the technology of the Entomalian Empire’s newest vessels, the Feliz-Dat-Class starships, with their state-of-the-art engine and weapons technologies. She decided she wanted to transfer over to serve in the Entomalian Navy via the interspecies lateral entry program shared between the Entomalian Empire and the Cardassian Union. After a year on the waiting list, she was accepted to serve as Chief Engineer of the Feliz-Dat-Class vessel E.I.V. Enza.
When the Entomalian Empire agreed to loan one of their transwarp slipstream drives to the U.S.S. Frontier, the E.I.V. Enza was ordered to have its engineering staff install it. As Chief Engineer, Kimora oversaw the engineering team’s efforts on the Frontier. Upon completion of the installation, Kimora was to remain on board the Frontier for the duration of its mission, to monitor alongside the Starfleet engineering crew, how the Entomalian transwarp slipstream drive was working, and help address any problems that may arise, while the Enza’s engineering staff returned to their ship.
When the Frontier’s transwarp slipstream drive was sabotaged by the Changeling stowaway, Kimora, along with the Frontier’s Chief Engineer, made the confirmation that the transwarp engine had been completely destroyed, and that there was no possibility of ever repairing it - not without access to an Entomalian shipyard. After working around the clock for three days with the help of Kimora, the Frontier’s engineering staff was able to restore the native Starfleet warp drive into operation, and again get the ship moving at warp speeds, allowing the ship to leave the void of the Great Divide, and reach the Alpha Quadrant shore of the Andromeda Galaxy in the time of five months, at the maximum speed of warp factor 9.8.
After all this, Captain Nikolayev decided to appoint Kimora Pren as an Engineering Advisor and Transwarp Systems Specialist. She routinely works with and assists the Frontier’s engineering staff, in their continuing efforts to somehow create their own new transwarp engine, which would allow the ship to return home to the Milky Way Galaxy. During their time together on the Frontier, Captain Nikolayev and Kimora Pren have developed a very close personal relationship, which has since become romantic.
— — — — —
I have some sad news…Winchell Chung of Atomic Rockets fame has cancer…I fear for his website
Almost twenty years ago, someone referenced a peculiar shot of a Galaxy in "Image in the Sand"(DSN7), and I noticed that this appeared to be the same model as the "Favor the Bold" dark or black neck Cobra Galaxy / War Galaxy / Galaxy C type.
The amazing shots of the model you've posted are the confirmation of that, since you can see the stripe along the torpedo/impulse decks, covering up that somewhat well-defined join on the ERTL model.
(Indeed, it looks a blue not too dissimilar to the nacelle bottoms in the pic where it's peeking out from behind a shuttlebay. This would seem to suggest that the UV compositing turned that color into a darker shade much as it turned flourescent colors into assorted glow effects, and thus perhaps that the dark neck is also that sky blue color naturally. There's some minor evidence for this amongst the DS9 kitbashes, especially the Curry and the Antares types, which seem darker on screen in their blue-painted areas.)
I suspect the darkened neck is meant to further help cover up the gaps in the model at the saucer separation plane, which on the ERTL model could be pretty visible even on well-made models (especially if you focused on making the underside not-so-gappy), e.g.:
I suspect it also served to make the Galaxy a little more Sovereign-looking, what with the Enterprise-E's random acts of black paint on assorted surfaces.
Ironically, what clued me in to the "Favor" shot being an ERTL model is the exact same thing I now cannot explain. You see, if you look carefully, at the funny zig-zag join of the ERTL model where it meets the solid nacelle pylons, there's extra shadow in the "Favor the Bold" image, suggestive of a somewhat boxy structure. I believe this is where they had done some buildup to run wire up to the nacelles for lighting. However, the model as you've posted seems to have gold-painted warp grills, similar to some of the DS9 kitbashes, which would seem to suggest no need for lighting. Perhaps it was a lit model but the nacelle lighting was unsatisfactory? Or we're just seeing the gold on the raised portions of the grill? As for other evidence for lighting, the model was shown with a pretty strong blinky on the captain's yacht in "Image" and seemed to have glowing running lights, whereas I don't recall other kitbashes having that, so perhaps this is a funny combo of lighting techniques.
Similarly, I'm not sure why the nacelle undersides were painted that way, unless it was to help cover up the attempted wire run, but that seems like overkill. Nonetheless, given the blueness of the neck stripe, I'm treating them as dark also.
In any case, I'd started looking at the C-type again (A-type is the normal one, B-type is the Venture type) and came across my old Flare reference, and eventually a Bridge Commander mod called the Beliskner, and finally started redoing another Bridge Commander mod's textures (the DJGalaxy mod, which was designed to more closely represent the four footer and thus also the ERTL model which Jein seemed to use as reference rather than the six-footer) to try to match what we see from the episodes, as well as the model shot you posted.
Caveats: There's a touch of artistic interpretation, which is my way of saying I suck at textures and so the whole thing's kinda haphazard on my part. Additionally, whereas the model appears to just be paint over everything, I tried, like the saucer guy, to preserve details like lifeboats, hence my slightly wider dark paint. The front of the neck is colored as per the model shot, but there may be a small area that should be colored on the bottom of the Stardrive head ... it's hard to tell and I haven't dug into that spot further.
Oh, and I can't do internal lighting effects in vanilla SketchUp. Sorry.
I lightened up the screenshots from Image In the Sand. It is clear that this is indeed the FtB model, but the blue color on the nacelle bottoms isn’t discernible… this could either be due to the angle and lighting in post, OR, the model could have in part been repainted, as IItS is a season after FtB. But I think option one is more likely.
I think you may be right about the top areas also being blue, albeit a noticeably darker blue… perhaps intermediate blue… or perhaps even a mix of colors. To help, I’m consulting an old pic John Eaves posted of the various shades of blue he was exploring when determining the Akira’s colors for FC. I might have to get some Intermediate Blue and experiment with it.
Thanks also, for those CG renders!
I think it also proves the starboard nacelle lower half is darkened. The nacelle bottom half portion facing us should be in shadow, no different than the secondary hull ventral side, with equivalent reflections, et cetera. To me, it seems the nacelle bottom half is quite a few ticks darker than the secondary hull ventral, as well as much darker than the top half of the nacelle (even accounting for the blue light spill). Also, the sudden change from the bottom half to the nacelle pylon is noticeable. Even if we assume there's some "fill light" from the side, this should also impact the front of the nacelle between the blue-glowing grill and red ramscoop. While the nacelle's metal bits should not be as lit as the neck surface beyond (from our vantage point) due to the red and blue light spill, the difference is striking ... it looks as black as the neck stripe.
The light angle on the Galaxy C is replicated to the best of my ability in the pic here, using my version below and the "Beliskner" Bridge Commander mod above. While the hull colors and shapes are a bit different and there's no internal lighting, I think it gives the general flavor of the lighting conditions.
Additionally, I tried to fiddle around with the image in the hopes of providing something more objective. First, I cropped your image to the ship, then doubled the size (which, granted, involves interpolation, a possible flaw, but still), then selected some points in GIMP and pulled out colors, with pixels noted, drawing little 50px circles of them with the intent of trying to compare more objectively and visibly, with the original intent of drawing lines or somesuch.
However, having been too haphazard, I ended up just dropping the dots right on top of the location I pulled from, and adding more.
Note the lighter blue spots, one at the saucer top and one on the dorsal surface of the secondary hull. Note also the medium gray one between the two blue ones above and below . . . that's the brightest spot on the nacelle underside, either a light glint from detailing/decal on the ERTL model or simply a lack of darker painting on the red(-decal)-delineated hatch marks at that location. (The red marking is visible on the Beliskner, or see: https://culttvman.com/main/jason-vandermolens-enterprise-d/ .)
Then we have the pylon connection region, with a dark bluish spot atop barely lighter gray. If anything, I think the blue light in our eyes is covering up the darkness, yet it remains a similar color to the neck stripe.
The last uncomfortable bit, to me, was the idea of the forward part of the saucer seemingly being all dark, whereas (a) it appeared there wasn't blue paint on the dorsal side of the photographed model and (b) dark areas weren't visible from above for "Favor the Bold". However, I still had the "Image in the Sand" shot from Trekcore up, and realized that there seems to be a line of distinction there, too, between the top half of the model nacelle and the bottom:
All that said, I'm not sold on the nacelle bottom aesthetically (as you can tell by me leaving the front undone), though it actually is a lot better than the bland and dreary underside of the Sovereign nacelles. And in any case, there's enough wiggle room in our pixellated source material that some modifications can be made . . . heck, I had myself half-convinced that the upper rear inch of the nacelles might be dark, too, in some classy up-and-over backswept way, but I think I've convinced myself it's a trick of the blue spill and light direction.
Also, that is an epic picture of the Elkins!
The parts of the nacelle that should glow blue look like solid gold in the admittedly-fuzzy image. If there was internal lighting it was quite a trick, which makes the apparent wire running all the more odd. Perhaps it was originally built with lights but these weren't good enough for the shots so the UV fakery technique was used instead, with the transparent blue areas painted over?
Also, while the visible nacelle bottom looks darker than the engineering hull ventral side, to me, it doesn't appear quite as dark as the stripe. That could just be a trick of light and shadow, however, missed with wishful thinking on my part.
Side note, but that dark blue on the rear of the Elkins nacelle is interesting, too.