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Station Gallery 01

The galactic cruiser Leif Ericson of the Strategic Space Command needs some kind of base to operate from. Matt Jeffries created the Leif, and lucky for us, he also created the K-7 space station from the Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles." (which was re-created for the ST:DS9 episode Trials and Tribble-ations). The station was based on a then cutting-edge design by the Douglas Aircraft Company.


I quickly found some blueprints of the K-7. But examining them closely, I found that they were based on the awful AMT plastic model, which did not look much like the K-7 at all. See how tiny the center saucer is compared to the TV show.

Lucky for me, master Blender artist FourMadMen had already made a definitive K-7 station. He used screen captures from the ST:DS9 show, and every reference image he could lay his hands on, including the Douglas Aircraft images. He had not released his mesh, but he had released orthographic renders. I used these as blueprints to trace around, to make crude copies of his marvelous renders.

The modeling went surprisingly quickly, all of the basic mesh came together in about a day. This was partially due to FourMadMen's marvelous images, partially due to the fact that the station is composed of simple forms, partially since the three arms can be modeled once and duplicated, and partially due to the fact that I am getting the hang of using Blender.

The hard part is yet to be done: the fiddly bits in the hangar bay below, and the zillions of little windows in the cones. Then comes texturing and lighting.

I did have to do some math so the blueprints were sized in Blender such that the station would be in scale with my exising Leif mesh. The Leif is 167 meters long, so I scaled it such that one Blender unit was ten meters. There is some controversy over how big the K-7 space station is. FourMadMen used a value of 122 to 125.5 meters in diameter of the central saucer (it varies due to the clam-shell leaves).

The lower two and the remaining images were rendered with Blender's "ambient occulsion" lighting.

The center core was just a cylinder extruded and resized, as were the arms. The clam-shell was edge traced, and rotated through 45 degrees in four increments in order to make each leaf. The leaves were rotated into place and re-sized so they can telescope.

This demonstrates how the clamshell doors open.

And here is the Leif Ericson mesh added so you can see their relative sizes.