(written from a Production point of view)
The insurgent Maquis were introduced as a motley crew of civilian settlers, resisting the Cardassian occupation of their homes in the Demilitarized Zone after their colonies were ceded to the Cardassian Union by Federation Cardassian Treaties in the late 2360s and early 2370s. Though later joined by discontented Starfleet officers, the Maquis had at first little military recourse to mount a strong defense and had to rely on commandeered smaller vessels from different affiliations such as the Federation attack fighter and the Bajoran raider and interceptor. However, by 2370, a more potent design was encountered that appeared to be uniquely Maquis, first a smaller version in the guise of the Maquis fighter, and subsequently a larger variant, designed along the same lines, in the guise of the Maquis raider. (TNG: "Journey's End", "Preemptive Strike"; DS9: "The Maquis, Part I", "The Maquis, Part II"; VOY: "Caretaker")
Design and build
Built specifically for the seventh season episode "Preemptive Strike" of Star Trek: The Next Generation by Gregory Jein, and based on a Jim Martin design (whose final design sketch was seen as set dressing on a wall in Teero Anaydis's office in Star Trek: Voyager's seventh season episode, "Repression"), the model was originally intended to be a fighter craft of smaller design with "a cockpit matching the regular 'alien shuttle' interior set". (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 3rd ed., p. 298) Officially, Martin was not employed by the Star Trek: The Next Generation franchise, but rather by the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine franchise (and still a Deep Space Nine art department production associate, not yet a full-fledged production illustrator) and he designed the fighter for that franchise. However, the Next Generation producers appropriated his design as it became an useful aid in setting up the Maquis storyline.
The impression of it being a fighter craft was conveyed in the episode where it was suggested to be a 1-2 manned vessel. Effects supervisor for the episode, Joe Bauer explained why the model was built, "The producers wanted different ships types of ships, so it wouldn't look as if the Maquis were the Blue Angels. The Maquis are a political group whose pilots and ships are drawn from where ever they could get them, and this was also a factor in choreographing the action. I wanted the attack to be a little chaotic because this isn't a crack team; it's a bunch of individuals all doing their own thing." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 25 #6-26 #1, p. 62) The "fighter" designation was also inscribed on a camera test model, used in pre-production for DS9.
Becoming the Maquis raider
For Voyager's pilot episode "Caretaker" a somewhat larger vessel, Chakotay's Val Jean, was called for as he commanded a larger crew. Visual Effects Supervisor David Stipes intended the model to be twenty percent the length of the USS Voyager, or 68.5 meters (or over twice the size of the fighter), and filmed it as such at Image G, "The Voyager was supposed to be a teensy bit up next to the Array, and the Array (model) was only five feet long. So I'm fifty feet away... and I can't get the thing small enough (in the frame), and we're in there (in the composite editing bay at Digital Magic) shrinking it further. And the the Maquis ship is one-fifth the size of Voyager, and that (model) is nearly two feet long. So I needed to be in North Hollywood to shoot it!" (Star Trek: Communicator issue 105, p. 59)
In order to further achieve that effect, the model was modified by replacing the cockpit with a bridge structure sporting more and smaller windows (matching the redressed Danube-class interior set), embellishing the hull spine and wingtip guns and save for the addition of wing struts otherwise remaining unmodified. Greg Jein performed the modifications on his model himself at his shop. Jein recalled that the original, fighter, version was being referred to in his shop as "Maquis Ship 2", whereas the modified version was referred to as "Maquis Ship 3". "We called that version the "Fred" ship,", Jein further elaborated, "because there was a dog that came down to our shop at the time and its head looked like the head of the Maquis ship." Going further into specifics, Jein recalled, "I remember we changed the bridge on this one. We built a new "cab" bridge section and tested it on the old model before we shivved off the front of it. We tried to change it as much as we could without making it look like we'd just glued a bunch of junk on an existing model. A lot of pieces we added were from a huge sheet of parts from other shows, not necessarily all of them from Star Trek. We try to find parts that would look good here or add detail there." (Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, issue 28, p. 11)
A significant change on the model, but which was not obvious initially, was the addition of an aft twin torpedo launcher assembly, which was notably featured in "Cartetaker". However, it was not until the 2014 remastered version of "Preemptive Strike" that it could be established that that part was indeed not there on the model in its use as a fighter.
The original studio model, measuring 25×28 inches, was listed in the Christie's 40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection auction as Lot 355, estimated at US$2,000 to $3,000; it ultimately sold on 6 October 2006 for US$6,000 ($7,200 with buyer's premium). The commentary caption in the auction catalog (Part 1, p. 184) stated erroneously that the model was specifically constructed for Caretaker.
Other physical models
The design was seen once more, albeit fleetingly, as a display model in Teero Anaydis's office in the aforementioned Voyager episode, "Repression". This was a last minute addition of the art department and Anthony Fredrickson was tasked to build it overnight. Fredrickson used one of the smaller scaled, 1:1400, Revell-Monogram model kits, originating from the three-piece set No. 3607, and mounted it on a plant stand. To give the model the look of an "object of veneration", he adorned the stand with unusual looking earrings of his wife Penny Juday. In recognition of her contribution the raider was designated "Ju'day-class" by the art department, on one of the posters on the wall in Teero's office, though that can not be discerned on screen. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 4, p. 112)
The aforementioned test model, measuring 6.75×7.75×1.5 inches and configured as the fighter, was sold as Lot 8338 in the It's A Wrap! sale and auction of 26 July 2008 for $76,00. The test model was inscribed with the annotation "Federation Fighter Scale to Defiant 1/5 .5 scale". A second test model, this one configured as the "Val-Jean type" as per its auction description, and inscribed with the annotation "In scale to 5' Voyager", was offered up in the IAW auction of 27 February 2009 as Lot 10352. Measuring approximately 9×9 inches (and therefore in line with Stipes' comment on its size), it went unsold.
Having been last featured in "For the Uniform", the model was not seen afterwards, as the Maquis were shortly thereafter obliterated by the Dominion in Deep Space Nine's storyline. Nor was the model converted in a CGI counterpart one year later, when the franchise made the full transition to creating visual effects digitally. While the vast majority of existing physical studio models were converted for later use in the franchise, the Maquis model was not amongst them, conceivably because it was so associated with the Maquis. As a consequence, the model has been conspicuously absent in such publications as the Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendars and their book derivatives.
Yet, when Project Manager Ben Robinson embarked on the British partwork publication Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, he felt the ship to be too signature to be left out, and commissioned a CGI model build – in the Raider configuration – for the publication, finally bringing the design officially into the digital fold in 2014.