Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

The Japanese-language Star Trek: Official Guide 4 – Mechanics reference book was the fourth in a series of "Official Guides." Numbers one and two were illustrated guides to TNG and DS9/VOY respectively while number 3 was a general history on Star Trek. This fourth volume dealt exclusively with physical studio models as the very first of its kind. It collected stills and behind-the-scenes photographs of the various models, keeping text to a minimum.


Background information

  • Production value of this softcover in a dust jacket book, measuring 30×21×1 cm, like its first two companions in the Official Guide series, was high; full color reproduction of pictures, printed on high quality glossy paper.
  • An officially licensed book, author Osamu Kishikawa was granted access to Image G and Greg Jein's workshop and pictures of models, taken on those occasions, are featured in the book. A noteworthy section is Chapter 3, which contains a feature length (Japanese language) interview with Jein, one of the most elaborate, but also one of the few, ever given by him up until then. It has remained the only specialized book title on the subject of the Star Trek (physical) studio models, until the advent of the British Star Trek: Designing Starships Volume One book publication in 2016.
  • Kishikawa made his visits in late summer 1997, during or shortly after the third season of Star Trek: Voyager and the fifth season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, as was evidenced by his abundant coverage of the models used in those seasons, the ones from "Trials and Tribble-ations" in particular. The franchise was in that period of time effecting a complete transition to computer generated imagery, but had not yet completed the transition. As a result Kishikawa, only made a few cursory notes on the new visual effects technique, as seen in the Voyager season finale "Scorpion".
  • No reprints or newer editions are known to exist for this title, and the book has become a collectible in its own right for its subject matter, both in Japan as well as in the West, commanding premium prices in the used-book markets.
Previous Star Trek: Official Guide:
Star Trek: Official Guide 3 - Official Database
Star Trek: Official Guide series Next Star Trek Official Guide:
Star Trek: Official Guide 5 - The Ultimate
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