Robert Comsol wrote:
Probert's Enterprise-C was the canon design for the Ambassador Class until the VFX model came along.
Not according to canon. That wall sculpture was never referred to in dialogue or otherwise in the show
as the design for the Enterprise-C or the Ambassador class. I know what the intention was, but the fact is it was never actually referred to that on screen. No one ever stated that those ships represented all the older Enterprises. They could just as easily have been random Starfleet vessels.
His design for the Enterprise-C is canon in the "real" TNG universe. The other one we saw was the Enterprise-C in an alternate reality universe!
No. As has already been stated, the Ent-C was from the regular universe and the future only changed to an alternate universe after it entered the rift.
So instead of insisting we are looking at a canon contradiction, the Probert Enterprise-C in the real TNG universe may have belonged to a different class and the only erroneous part about it is assuming it's a member of the Ambassador Class.
I have no problem rationalizing that the design is a different class of ship. Just not the Ambassador class.
The sculptures are rather well defined as we can distinct the TOS Enterprise from the Enterprise-A. And they are defined enough to realize that the Enterprise-C on the wall and the one that showed up in "Yesterday's Enterprise" are not the same type of ship.
As has also been stated before, the sculpture of the Enterprise-B and the actual Enterprise-B are not the same ship either. So the "proof" of the "Enterprise history wall" becomes even more dubious.
Well, I'd first need to see a scene from TNG where the desktop model's registry was really readable.
But according to your logic, that wouldn't matter. The model existed. It was meant to represent the Stargazer. It was seen for all seven seasons. We have photographic proof that the model was labeled NCC-7100 whether we could clearly see it on screen or not. There's no more justification for it not
to be the Stargazer as the wall sculpture's justification not
to be the Enterprise-C.
just because refits weren't obviously portrayed in repeated movies or episodes as being de rigeur
for ships in the fleet, doesn't mean they didn't happen. For example, I'd suspect that the Reliant and her sisters of similar low registries were at least partial refits (bearing in mind 1701 was commissioned in the 2240s).
It could simply be that the older designs still in service by TNG didn't need
any refitting (beyond what could be accomplished by interior systems' upgrades) as they were no longer serving as frontline ships.
For later-registry vessels however, they may have reached the point in their life-cycle where a major refit had been scheduled (or perhaps more likely warranted as part of the fleet improvements post Wolf 359?)
Sure, what you say is entirely possible. But here's how I interpret what I saw and heard on screen:
Starfleet sent 40 starships to combat the Borg in BoBW. They were all destroyed. The dialogue from Shelby seems to indicate that these 40 ships represented the majority of ships in Starfleet, although DS9 would later show that Starfleet has thousands of ships. She also said that the fleet would be rebuilt within a year, but most of the ships we saw in DS9 were Excelsiors and Mirandas, which were clearly not new. The vast majority of the other DS9 ships were the Akira, Saber and Steamrunner classes. If those classes weren't new either, then where are all the new ships that Shelby's talking about? So how do we justify all this?
Here's my take: Most of the Galaxy-style ship designs were relatively new as of the start of TNG. Those new ships were what Starfleet mostly used against the Borg at Wolf 359 because they represented the best that Starfleet could throw at this new powerful threat. Yes, there were lots of older ships like the Excelsior and Miranda classes, but either Starfleet didn't think they'd be much help, or they vastly underestimated the Borg threat by not using them (probably a bit of both). The destruction of 40 top-of-the-line ships while leaving older and outdated ships still functioning could have been considered a huge loss for Starfleet, justifying Shelby's comment. By the time of the Dominion War Starfleet realized that they'd need all
their ships, not just the top-of-the-line ones, which is why we saw old designs along with newer ones, and considerably more than 40. By that time, Starfleet had replenished its losses from Wolf 359 with new ship classes such as the Akira, Steamrunner, Saber, Defiant and Sovereign, specifically designed to combat the Borg, which was why they were used in the Sector 001 battle in FC. YMMV.