Top 40 TNG Models: 26-30
Each of these iconic studio miniatures popped up just three times in TNG
30. Federation Defense Pod
3 episodes: “The Best of Both Worlds, Part II”, “Unification, Part I”, “New Ground”
There’s a great deal of “The Best of Both Worlds” in this block of five! Since there’s only one ship I couldn’t find a picture of the behind-the-scenes model, I decided we should kick off with one of the most complex shots ever composited for TNG.
These Federation Defense Pods were another kitbash by Rick Sternbach, made from a Soviet Typhoon-class submarine as the body and two Dallas-class submarines as nacelles. The sub model kits used different scales - that’s the trick to making the illusion work! But Sternbach only made one model, and so to build this shot required complex motion control photography that was a real headache for Visual Effects Supervisor Robert Legato:
If it’s a battle sequence that involves three or four ships, the work goes up in geometric proportions. For ten seconds of screen time, you’ve shot four or five days. That’s a big shot. It has Mars in it, it has the starfield, the three ships blowing up, and the Borg ship flying towards us and away.
This model was dubbed ‘Blue-gray October’, and was featured in two more episodes, including being repurposed as a Soliton Wave Generator in “New Ground”.
This close-up allows you to really make out those submarine nacelles!
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