I'll agree that the reason I bought into the Oberth being older was primarily the fact of the registry number, and really wanted registries to have some semblance of sequence... however, you are probably right. They were probably inspired directly by FJ's depiction of registries.
Really? It’s obvious that the FJ blueprints made it onto the screen displays of TMP and ST III, with the latter one being the worst offender because it clearly showed the TOS Enterprise
with her distinctive warp nacelles. Of course, they could have used Kimble’s TMP Blueprints
instead, but apparently the outlines were too thin to be simply transformed into an accurate display (Andrew Probert in his trekplace.com interview: “sheer laziness”). I doubt that the art department at Paramount and ILM were really concerting their contributions.
Had the ILM model makers truly relied on FJ’s Technical Manual
, then giving the Grissom
a registry of “638” was somewhat unethical as it pushed FJ’s concept of one-nacelled scout ships over the cliff (they should have rather gone with a prefix beginning with “4” or “7”), IMHO.
I’m not sure that’s truly the case. I think it’s rather probable that they knew the Epsilon Nine subspace chatter:
“Scout Columbia NCC-621 to rendezvous with Scout Revere NCC-595 on Stardate 7411.4”
So here we did have a “Scout Class” vessel (Ken Ralston) and the ILM model makers probably and simply added an iconic “17” (!) to arrive at their registry number “638” for the Grissom
Yes, the “Alka-selsior” is a funny inside joke, but frankly I found it to small too read on the study model in contrast to the “14” (good thing they didn’t put an “R2” or “D2” there). Now, do we apply the same line of reasoning for all okudagrams containing little jokes or do we just ignore the indiscernible small print?