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Class-F shuttle Picasso

Unlike the starship designs, shuttlecraft had life-sized full scale mock-up counterparts of the filming studio models for actors to interact with, complete with interiors. The Class F shuttlecraft was the very first one to be conceived as such in the Star Trek franchise, when the appearance of one, the Galileo, was necessary for the upcoming first season episode "The Galileo Seven". The practice continued with every subsequent Star Trek incarnation including Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek, which were otherwise entirely realized in computer generated imagery (CGI).


Class F shuttlecraft original design by Matt Jefferies.jpg
Jefferies' original shuttlecraft design intent...
Class F shuttlecraft preliminary design by Thomas Kellogg.jpg
Class F shuttlecraft design origins by Matt Jefferies.jpg Class F final design sketches.jpg
...and Kellogg's interpretation
The "Personnel Carrier" design influence
Jefferies' revised final design sketches

The original shuttlecraft as originally designed by Matt Jefferies was to have a more rounded look to it, much like the initial shuttles of the later spin-off series, Star Trek: The Next Generation. On his original design Jefferies commented, "Basically it was a teardrop thing, and the whole side panel, the outside door, would slide back, and you could just step right off on the ground. The seats were like bicycle seats mounted on each side of the keel." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 12, p. 20) The model kit company Aluminum Metal Toys (AMT), however, which agreed to build the full-sized set model through their subsidiary ,"Speed & Custom Shop", located in Phoenix, Arizona and headed by Gene Winfield, as well as the filming miniature for free in exchange for exclusive modeling rights (eventually resulting in their 1974 model kit S595), found that flat panels were easier, cheaper and more importantly, due to time restraints, more expedient to build.

Gene Winfield later recalled in 2012, "So, I went to him [Jefferies], and I said "Now I can't built that in that short period of time", I think we had only thirty days to build this complete unit. So he said, "OK, you redesign it, and bring back a rendering or sketches of your version of the Galileo and then I'll look at it, and tell you yes or no" So I did that, I totally designed, and I had a company do a rendering, a nice beautiful colored rendering. I took that back to Jefferies, and he said, "Oh yeah, great, beautiful" and said "Go to work", and we built it." (Galileo Restoration Project) The "company" Winfield referred to was Raymond Loewy Associates, the design studio of its already legendary namesake, where one of its employees, Industrial Designer Thomas Kellogg, made the color rendering of the preliminary re-design. Kellogg proceeded from another Jefferies design, a "Space Dock Utility Craft Personnel Carrier" which had the more boxed configuration Winfield preferred, but also worked in some design elements of one of the Studio's most famous designs at the time, that of the 1962 Studebaker "Avanti" car. Largely adhered to, Kellog's design version did not yet sport the Enterprise-style warp nacelles, which Jefferies later added. [1](X)

Revised interior sketch by Jefferies

Matt Jefferies himself later made these observations about the redesign, "I worked up sketches for it. But AMT, who were going to build the model in their shops in Phoenix in exchange for being able to market the kit of the Enterprise, felt it was beyond their capabilities, so it was designed by Gene Winfield, an automotive designer who had a custom body shop that primarily serviced the automotive industry through AMT. The Galileo as everybody knows it today was not my design. Overall I was a little disappointed, but I think within their capabilities it was a good solution. And it did work, obviously; people did accept it." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 12, p. 20) Jefferies' mild comment however, belied the "bitter disappointment" he actually felt at the time according to his biography. (p. 225) Jefferies, an aviation enthusiast, did not design his rounded, smooth shuttle on a whim, but had sound aeronautical principles in mind. He figured that shuttles needed an aerodynamic design for atmospheric entries in order to reduce friction and drag, which the redesigned shuttle certainly had not. Only in the last two The Next Generation films and in the later series Star Trek: Enterprise was the aerodynamics principle truly applied to the shuttles featured therein. Also, Jefferies had to redesign the interior to match the ultimate exterior of the studio model.

Later shuttle designs by Jefferies after the episode "The Galileo Seven", such as a small, two-man shuttle and a bubble-topped space scooter, were deemed either too cost-prohibitive to realize, or simply not plausible with the current special effects of the time and were never used, so the producers stuck with the established design for later appearances of the shuttlecraft. Drawings of all these designs have published in the Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook.

Jefferies sold off all his original design sketches on 12 December 2001 at The Star Trek Auction, in order to raise funds for the charitable organization "Motion Picture and Television Fund".

Full scale exterior mock-up

Class F shuttlecraft Galileo mock-up under construction.jpg Class F shuttlecraft Galileo mock-up worked upon by two staffers of Speed & Custom Shop.jpg
The full Galileo scale mock-up under construction at the Custom & Speed Shop
Speed & Custom Shop craftsmen working on the mock-up
Class F shuttlecraft Galileo mock-up nearing completion.jpg Gene Winfield and Leonard Nimoy posing next to the just completed full-scale Galileo 7 mock-up.jpg
The mock-up nearing completion
Winfield and Leonard Nimoy posing with the to the studio delivered mock-up

The full scale exterior mock-up was a sturdy build. A wooden structure was applied over a basic welded steel framework. The outer skin consisted of hard mahogany press-board called Masonite covered with fiberglass. The curving features on top of the side plates were sheet metal. The center landing gear strut at the end was constructed out of surplus airplane landing gear struts and the nacelles were steel tube assemblies. In addition, a mechanism was built in to semi-automatically open the hatches while simultaneously extending the boarding ramp. "I think we made the windshield panels move up front. Those slid and we made the doors so that they could slide and pop into place on a special track. They were pulled with a cord, like rope on a pulley system, so they did not actually operate electronically.", Winfield stated, in the process explaining that the mock-up never had any glass front windows. (The Ships of Star Trek, p. 102) The mock-up was not equipped with an interior, that being a separately built set at a somewhat larger scale, thereby causing the mock-up being sometimes referred to as the "three-quarters scale" mock-up. The craft measured 22 feet long, 8 feet high (5 feet in the interior), 13 feet wide (or 24 feet long, 9 feet wide in front, 14 feet in back, and 9 feet high, according to Kiko Auctioneers' listing), and weighed about 2,700 pounds. [2](X) Winfield and his team needed close to three months to complete both sets.

Producer Robert Justman in particular has expressed his satisfaction over the deal struck with AMT, "It was a full-scale model that the actors could walk and talk in. All it costs us was the expanse to truck it from Arizona to the set in Los Angeles." (Star Trek: The Original Series 365, p. 84) At the time Justman was even more elated, considering the deal, the details of which negotiated by Ed Pearlstein of Desilu Studios and Don Beebe of AMT and closed successfully on 1 August 1966, a godsend since the production costs for the upcoming "The Galileo Seven" episode were spiraling out of control, as he stated in a memo he sent Roddenberry, evidently relieved, "[Pearlstein] has made what I consider a very advantageous deal and has accomplished this at a time when everyone thought all was lost." (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One, p. 304) During its use as a production asset, the mock-up received two paint schemes, the first gloss white/gray for the upper surfaces and battleship gray for the lower surfaces in its original appearance and an overall light white/gray paint scheme for its appearance as Galileo II.

Post-production odyssey of the full scale mock-up

After production wrapped on The Original Series, the studio donated the exterior mock-up to The Braille Institute (the interior set was demolished after the series wrapped), but the school deemed it an inadequate playing environment for kids and sold it shortly thereafter to a man named Roger Hiseman. After a stint on his front lawn in Palos Verde, the mock-up was moved to an open storage area in Torrance, California where it resided until the middle 1980s. Exposed to the elements, the mock-up deteriorated considerably. [3] In 1985 the craft was sold to a fan by the name of Stephen Haskins, who moved the mock-up to an open storage area near San Diego, for a reported US$1,800. He spent another US$8,500 on its restoration and had the preliminary result displayed at the June 1986 Creation Entertainment's 20th Anniversary Star Trek Convention in Anaheim, California. [4] At the convention he met Carlos Rivera, who volunteered to help out Haskins with the restoration, and who subsequently did the bulk of the restoration, moving the shuttle in August to, again, an open storage area near Palm Springs. (Times-Advocate, Thursday, August 28, 1986) In November 1986 the mock-up was on display for a week in front of the Palm Desert Town Center theater for the premiere of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Incidentally, Haskins was approached by Paramount Pictures in January that year, who expressed an interest to use the shuttle in that feature. Regretfully, Haskins had to turn the opportunity, as the mock-up was not yet nearly enough in a state to be used as such, and Haskins, wanting to do the restoration himself, could not have finished it in time for when the shuttle was slated for filming. (The Ships of Star Trek, p. 121) During restoration Haskins tried to find a permanent home for the mock-up and even offered it for free to the California Museum of Science and Industry, as well as to the National Air and Space Museum (home of the original 11-foot Enterprise studio model) but was turned down. "We're not into television fiction – that's about it. We are crowded as it is right now, just doing real aviation and aerospace.", then curator Edward Leiser of the latter explained. (The San Diego Union, Saturday, June 7, 1986, p. B-8) The fact that the mock-up had to be stored, for practical and financial reasons, in an open area, virtually negated the hard work both Haskins and Rivera had put into its restoration.

In 1989 it was eventually sold to an Ohioan fan, Lynne Miller, for a reported US$3,000, who had it shipped over to the Canton/Akron airport in April 1991. [5] [6] There, in cooperation with a local fan club, The Starfleet International chapter USS Lagrange, a second major renovation, done by club members Tim Gillespie, Tim Homa, and William "Buck" Krause, took place under the name "The Galileo Project", [7] [8] which was also visited by Ed Miarecki. [9] While still in the process of being restored, the mock-up made an appearance at the LagrangeCon '91 in November 1991 near Cleveland, Ohio, where original builder Winfield was present as well for an autograph session. [10] Reportedly a disagreement between owner and fan club caused the cooperation to cease during or shortly after 1993 and the owner had the craft moved to an industrial site for again open storage near Akron, Ohio, where it had been spotted until 2008. [11](X) The owner of the site lost contact with the owner of the mock-up shortly after it was stored there and when the site went bankrupt in 2008, the mock-up was speculated by some to have been destroyed during clean-up of the site. [12](X)

The dilapidated mock-up just prior to its final restoration

Yet, the mock-up was reaffirmed by its owner to still exist in 2011, as she clarified that, "I originally purchased this to "save" it, but who will save me lol. My Mother always said I had better build a bathroom in it as I would end up living in it. Obviously she disapproved, and as in many things looking back she was right. This thing will either save me or destroy me. After 23 years I am about to sell it one way or the other. Anyone who would buy it look to EBay in the near future. If it does not sell for more than the mimimum [sic] then I guess it will either continue to be stored or maybe a partner will help me finish restoring it. I am hopeful that there is someone out there who has an interest in owning and finishing the restoration. There have been comments about it's destruction or missing parts. The parts are safely stored separate from the main shuttle, as they are restored and I did not want them to be stored outside somewhere." [13] Being the owner was less of a satisfactory experience as was evidenced in this remark, "I have spent over $100,000 over the years trying to restore and to store the thing. The photo of it in a "Scrapyard" was actually where it was parked undergoing restoration from a guy with whom I had contracted the work. I was called one day and told get it out of here you have one day to do so. I had it hauled to another location where it is in storage." [14] Miller eventually put up the mock-up for auction as Lot 2030 at a local auction house, Kiko Auctioneers, where it was sold for US$61,000 ($70,150 including buyer's premium) on 28 June 2012.

The mock-up was acquired by noted Star Trek memorabilia collector Adam Schneider. [15] Together with another collector, Alec Peters of Propworx, Inc., a non-profit foundation, The Galileo Restoration, was initiated, which intent it was to have had the craft fully restored, the cost of which being estimated in excess of US$100,000, in time for the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek. [16] Several activities were organized to raise awareness and funding (though both Schneider and Peters eventually decided to front the funding themselves, in order not to slow down the restoration [17]), having received backing from former Star Trek staffers like Doug Drexler [18](X), Mike Okuda, and Daren Dochterman, which included the the inception of an official website, "", a dedicated FaceBook page, the publication of several progress videos on YouTube (including the professionally made 2013 documentary Galileo Restoration Project) and attendance as the "Galileo Restoration Panel" at conventions, like the "Las Vegas Star Trek Convention" of 10 August 2012, the latter of which original builder Gene Winfield was more than happy to lent his presence and support to. Restoration of the mock-up did not encounter as nearly as much of the problems and set-backs, the previous attempts had. A team of craftsmen at Master Shipwrights Inc., in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, headed by supervisor Hans Mikatis, completed the project in June 2013, unveiling the final result on the 22nd to initiators and fans. [19] Another fan, Will Smith, who also had tendered a bid to do the restoration, built a replica of the instrument panel, nicknamed the "busy-box" in the fan community, at the rear of the shuttlecraft. [20]

The long odyssey of the mock-up came to an end, when it was donated the following month to NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, where it was unveiled in a highly publicized ceremony on 31 July 2013. [21] The unveil was attended by Star Trek alumni, as guests of honor, Don Marshall (who played Lieutenant Boma in the Original Series episode "Galileo Seven", for which the mock-up was constructed in the first place), Robert Picardo, Denise Crosby, Marshall R. Teague, and included alumni from other science fiction franchises, such as Tracy Scoggins (of Babylon 5 fame, though she also guest-starred on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and Gil Gerard of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century fame, as well. NASA intents the mock-up to act as a centerpiece of a new permanent collection, showing the link between science fiction and actual managed spaceflight [22], or as the Center's CEO and president, Richard Allen, put it, "The addition of Galileo adds to the rich history of space exploration as it pays tribute to the way science fiction ignites our imaginations and has inspired generations of innovators. Galileo will join the ranks of many other inspiring exhibits at Space Center Houston, including the recent space shuttle mockup addition and the biggest expansion in our history, the 747 Shuttle Carrier Project." [23] How much of a cord the Galileo struck, was evidenced by a remark real world NASA astronaut Mike Fincke made, "This is one of our ideas as to what a shuttle should be. I had a chance to fly on a real space shuttle, so there is a connection. And it is an exciting connection because now it can be made by everyone." [24]

In 2016, the model was loaned to the Intrepid Air and Space Museum to be part of that location's Star Trek: The Starfleet Academy Experience. [25]

The Galileo mock-up is the largest production asset stemming from the production of the Original Series, known to have survived into the 21st century and 45 years after its last use as such in the third season Original Series episode "The Way to Eden", it starred once more in a live-action production. In 2014, NASA granted the producers of the the fan film internet series Star Trek Continues permission to shoot scenes with the mock-up for their third episode "Fairest Of Them All". (end credit roll)

The physical studio models

Simultaneously with the full scale mock-up, a team of three at Winfield's shop constructed a 22-inch-long filming studio model. As was commonplace in that era, the model was mostly constructed out of wood, with metallic features, such as the landing gear. After completion the model was sent to Linwood G. Dunn's Film Effects of Hollywood effects house where footage was shot of the model flying in space and medium-range footage of the model interacting with the just-completed Constitution-class shuttlebay maquette, built concurrently by Richard C. Datin, of the USS Enterprise. For this specific purpose, the shuttlecraft model was built in scale with the shuttlebay maquette. The decals for the shuttle model were made by Datin. [26] Aside from applying the decals, Datin spent the entire day of 31 October 1966 performing repairs and additional detailing on the model. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 133, p. 49) The footage shot on that occasion was used throughout the remainder of the series.

Class f shuttle model, 2364.jpg Class F shuttlecraft studio model.jpg
Refurbished original Class-F shuttlecraft model as set dressing...
...undergoing further restoration by Jein...
Class F refurbished studio model at the Smithsonian.jpg
...and as fully-restored featured at the Smithsonian

After the series wrapped, sight was lost of the model and it was believed to be lost or to have vanished during the clean-up of the Paramount Pictures lot in late 1973. However in 1987, when pre-production of season one of the new spin-off series The Next Generation was in full swing, members of the production staff discovered the model on a pile of rubble in a forgotten corner of the studio. Broken in half and missing the forward bulkhead with the windows, the landing gear, and the corrugated wrappers around the rear of each engine pod, the model was handed over into the care of model maker Gregory Jein, whose company, Gregory Jein, Inc. had just been contracted to serve as the primary studio model vendor for the new Star Trek series. Jein performed a preliminary refurbishment on the model and restored it as much as possible, in time for it to be used as set dressing in "Lonely Among Us". ILM model maker and former pupil Bill George, with whom Jein had just completed work on the two hero models for the new show, photographed the shuttle model while it was at Jein's undergoing refurbishment. [27](X) Intended to be a more generic display model of a Class F shuttlecraft, the new paint scheme was not yet a faithful recreation of how the model actually appeared originally, and its missing bulkhead was replaced by a smoked Plexiglas sheet. After its use, the model was gifted to Original Series fan Jein, and it was still in this finish when he loaned out the model for the 1-3 April 1988 "Equicon '88 Science Fiction Convention" exhibition, held in Los Angeles, where it was displayed alongside the original Botany Bay studio model Jein also owned. [28](X)

By 1993, four years later, Jein had fully restored the model with a paint scheme corresponding with the original paint scheme of the full-scale mock-up, though the filming model itself actually never sported that scheme originally, but rather the overall light white/gray paint scheme. Jein again loaned out both his models for display in the 1992-1993 Star Trek Smithsonian Exhibit and for its 1993-1994 follow-up exhibition extension at the Hayden Planetarium, New York City. [29](X) Since then Jein has not released his models anymore for public relations purposes.

The NCC-K7 docked at Deep Space Station K-7 (l)

In 1996, a tiny miniature of a Class F shuttlecraft, representing the NCC-K7, was constructed by model maker Jason Kaufman at Gregory Jein's workshop for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's fifth season homage episode "Trials and Tribble-ations". On his own initiative Kaufman, expressing a desire to "mess around", asked for and received permission to build a detailed shuttlebay on the Deep Space Station K-7 studio model, complete with a shuttle and the Spacematic miniatures. The bay and miniatures were built from scratch with parts and pieces lying around in Jein's shop. (The Magic of Tribbles: The Making of Trials and Tribble-ations, p. 43)

CGI models

A Class F shuttlecraft at the air tram station

A first CGI version of the Class F shuttlecraft was inserted into the 2001 director's edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture at Foundation Imaging as a subtle homage to The Original Series, where it was seen taking off from the San Francisco air tram station, as was confirmed by Director Robert Wise, "The new shots are by Foundation Imaging, working with live-action plates taken up in San Francisco. (...) This shot was done by Daren Dochterman, who supervised all of the new effects for the Director's Cut. We did redo the trams and added an upper level to the station. And if you look really carefully, you can see a Starfleet shuttlecraft from The Original Series." (Star Trek: The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition) DVD, "audio commentary").

CBS' CGI model

A second CGI version was used in the 2006 remastered Original Series at CBS Digital, where digital animators worked with the model under the supervision of Niel Wray and David Rossi, for representation of the craft in its respective episodes. The model was built by Finnish fan and digital modeler Petri Blomqvist, and was bought from him by CBS Studios for use in the series. Blomqvist's work was brought to the attention of Wray and Visual Effects Supervisor Michael Okuda by Technical Consultant Gary Kerr. The quality of his work was a compelling reason for the acquisition, as it saved valuable production time. Nevertheless, the digital animators still had their work cut out for them as Blomqvist's model was constructed in the LightWave 3D software, whereas they used the Autodesk Maya CGI software at the time, and had to translate the digital model from one format into the other, which inevitably led to some information loss. Additionally, they had to cut down on the resolution level of Blomqvist's highly detailed high-resolution model, in order to speed up computer rendering time. It, and the other models CBS bought from him for the project, has earned Blomqvist an official "Technical Consultant" credit. (Sci-fi & fantasy modeller, Vol. 26, p. 49-50)

In 2003 Doug Drexler, under his pseudonym Max Rem, built a CGI model of a Class F shuttlecraft for the fan film "In Harm's Way", the first regular episode in the Star Trek: New Voyages series. Both his CGI build as well as that of CBS were later on several occasions featured in the licensed Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendars series and their book derivative.


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