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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old June 28 2013, 11:53 AM   #1
ZapBrannigan
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Klingon Battle Cruiser

The original Klingon battle cruiser is a striking design. If you grew up with it, it's almost a Jungian archetype and certainly a cornerstone of Star Trek iconography. Is it a cobra? An art deco building? A bird? A manta ray? You can project a lot of things onto it.

Facts I find interesting:

The design still looked so good that they barely changed it for TMP ten years later. What else can you say that for? Not the Enterprise, not the Batmobile, not Superman's good blue suit. Hollywood updates everything, but they let the Klingon design stand.

If I remember correctly, AMT built the TOS filming miniature as part of a deal that gave them the rights to the retail kit. And then the kit was made directly from the thing itself, not from the usual drawings and publicity stills. This made AMT's Klingon ship the most accurate model of its day-- it was impeccable. Some sci-fi kits nowadays are extremely faithful to a screen-used miniature (Moebius makes some great ones, no doubt with modern computer tools), but in the 1970s most kits were rough approximations, and that went double for most Star Trek kits.

Franz Joseph said in an interview that Michael McMaster sent him his blueprints for the Klingon ship expecting praise, but FJ was not pleased. FJ felt the kid had overtly copied the Enterprise deck plan designs and plugged them into the Klingon shape. But I found the MM plans fun and beautifully drafted.
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Old June 28 2013, 12:01 PM   #2
Stoo
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Re: Klingon Battle Cruiser

On the one hand, it's a striking and memorable profile. On the other, that long skinny neck bothers me for some reason.
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Old June 28 2013, 12:12 PM   #3
Mario de Monti
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Re: Klingon Battle Cruiser

I believe I read somewhere, that the design of the long neck along with the bulbous bridge module was based on the sitar, a musical instrument from india.

I always really liked the design. Would love it, if Round2Models released a kit in 1/350 one of these days.
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Old June 28 2013, 03:33 PM   #4
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Re: Klingon Battle Cruiser

Great design. Very distinctive.
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Old June 28 2013, 07:35 PM   #5
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Re: Klingon Battle Cruiser

DaleC76 wrote: View Post
Great design. Very distinctive.
Agree. TOS/TAS Klingon Battle Cruiser D-7 and TMP/WOK/TUC Klingon K'T'inga are impressive designs.
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Old June 28 2013, 08:24 PM   #6
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Re: Klingon Battle Cruiser

Mario de Monti wrote: View Post
the design of the long neck along with the bulbous bridge module was based on the sitar, a musical instrument from india.
And the Millennium Falcon was based on a hamburger.

The long neck never bothered me. It reminds me a bit of Discovery from 2001; perhaps it was designed that way for the same reason. Maybe the forward fuselage is the only occupied section, the rear being all engine and weapons. (I know, the blueprints tell a different story.) The Enterprise has equally thin pylons supporting its warp engines. None of the STAR TREK designs are constrained by the stresses today's engineers worry about.

The nominal orientation on-screen makes the Klingon battle cruiser look more menacing, like claws, or the "monster pose" a child might make, arms out and grasping.
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Old June 28 2013, 09:15 PM   #7
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Re: Klingon Battle Cruiser

Mario de Monti wrote: View Post
I always really liked the design. Would love it, if Round2Models released a kit in 1/350 one of these days.
That would be fantastic! Imagine a KBC in that scale!
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Old June 28 2013, 09:20 PM   #8
TREK_GOD_1
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Re: Klingon Battle Cruiser

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post

If I remember correctly, AMT built the TOS filming miniature as part of a deal that gave them the rights to the retail kit. And then the kit was made directly from the thing itself, not from the usual drawings and publicity stills. This made AMT's Klingon ship the most accurate model of its day-- it was impeccable. Some sci-fi kits nowadays are extremely faithful to a screen-used miniature (Moebius makes some great ones, no doubt with modern computer tools), but in the 1970s most kits were rough approximations, and that went double for most Star Trek kits.
True: no matter what model kit one can think of, I would guess 98% were never screen/miniature accurate. Aurora's "Orion" shuttle from 2001 was a beautiful kit--but next the miniature, there was much to be desired, and let's not even talk about the Romulan BOP, K-7, or early Star Wars kits...

Most were a case of "in the style of.." rather than being an accurate replica.
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Last edited by TREK_GOD_1; June 29 2013 at 12:26 AM.
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Old June 28 2013, 09:23 PM   #9
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Re: Klingon Battle Cruiser

I remember reading some where that the skinny neck was designed to keep the crew from mutiny. The neck allowed only one person width for the length thus giving the command/officers in the bridge an easy way to defend themselves from the crew.
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Old June 28 2013, 11:40 PM   #10
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Re: Klingon Battle Cruiser

mach7 wrote: View Post
I remember reading some where that the skinny neck was designed to keep the crew from mutiny. The neck allowed only one person width for the length thus giving the command/officers in the bridge an easy way to defend themselves from the crew.
Interesting. I'd never heard that one before. Kinda puts a spin on the Klingons somewhat and the sort of missions they may be engaged in that would illicit such behavior.
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Old June 28 2013, 11:54 PM   #11
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Re: Klingon Battle Cruiser

I recall that as well. The "head" of the ship was for officers, separated from the troops in the rest of the ship.

The Klingon battlecruiser is just the best, just as iconic as the Enterprise. It seems the Klingon Bird of Prey is the big favorite, but it can't compare to the D-7.

Look at the D-7, there's no mistaking it for a science vessel or just another starship or anything else but a warship. I agree, very distinctive. It looks mean.

It's got a cobra head, batwings, from the bow it looks like a gunslinger ready to draw, it's all kinds of cool.

Sure, there's the skinny pencil-neck geek thing going on, but it doesn't detract from the awesomeness that is the Klingon battlecruiser. Another stellar MJ work.
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Old June 29 2013, 08:48 AM   #12
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Re: Klingon Battle Cruiser

I remember when I first put a D7 model together (probably AMT), I wasn't satisfied with the color. So I painted it glossy black. It looks downright scary that way.
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Old June 29 2013, 09:36 AM   #13
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Re: Klingon Battle Cruiser

Retu wrote: View Post
I remember when I first put a D7 model together (probably AMT), I wasn't satisfied with the color. So I painted it glossy black. It looks downright scary that way.
I saw one someone had painted as if cloaked.

Airbrushed black, with a random starfield all over it as if you were seeing through it.
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Old June 29 2013, 10:15 AM   #14
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Re: Klingon Battle Cruiser

nightwind1 wrote: View Post
Retu wrote: View Post
I remember when I first put a D7 model together (probably AMT), I wasn't satisfied with the color. So I painted it glossy black. It looks downright scary that way.
I saw one someone had painted as if cloaked.

Airbrushed black, with a random starfield all over it as if you were seeing through it.
That would only work if both it an its enemy were not moving, otherwise you'd see the painted stars moving.
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Old June 29 2013, 11:17 AM   #15
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Re: Klingon Battle Cruiser

Maurice wrote: View Post
That would only work if both it an its enemy were not moving, otherwise you'd see the painted stars moving.
You forgot to mention that the opponent must be relying purely on windows or visible light video cameras to see you. There ain't no stealth in space.
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