I’m not quite ready to get into the world of model ships for Star Trek, but when I do finally pursue that, here are notes on what I’ve learned from my research.
I started my research by looking into STLs that I could print myself. I find the 3D, free fan-made models to be a mixed bag. Most don’t have a slot on which you can mount the ship on a stand, so you’d be doing some tricky drilling to retrofit that into the model. Having a stand-ready model is important enough that I’m willing to pay commercial rates for that.
You can use STL Finder or Thingiverse to locate some 3D models to print at home:
Amarillo Design Bureau (ADB)
Looking further, I’m impressed with the quality of models from Amarillo Design Bureau (ADB). There’s a long complicated history on their license, but basically ADB got a perpetual license from Franz Joseph (who himself had a license to do the Star Trek Technical Manuel back in the day).
ADB supports multiple scales. Here is a great discussion on scale.
1/3788 scale ADB Minis (Great for RPGs)
What I want to pursue is 1/3788 scale miniatures from Amarillo Design Bureau. A Constitution Class ship at this scale is 3″ long.
I think this scale works well for roleplaying games where you usually only have 2 or 3 ships involved.
Here are a few sample models to give you a feel for this scale, using ADB’s Franz Joseph line, which I believe is the closest in style to the Star Trek Technical Manual.
- 3788 Scale Franz Joseph Federation Destroyer
- 3788 Scale Franz Joseph Federation Heavy Cruiser
- 3788 Scale Franz Joseph Federation Tug (1 Pod)
- 3788 Scale Franz Joseph Federation Scout
There were a couple of models I didn’t see — such as the Daedalus class model — but I can always supplement from 3rd party publishers like this one if need be:
1/7000 scale ADB Minis (Great for Mass Battles)
For some sort of mass warfare scenario with lots of ships, I would move over to 1/7000 scale.
It’s also worth noting that some objects — like this K-7 Space Station — don’t really work that well if you are true to scale.
In any case, I’ll be looking at 1/3788 scale models from ADB with decals from Tenneshington as my starting point. I’ll keep an eye pealed for future deals like Cyber Monday (which I missed this year!)