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Klingon Battlecruiser Model Museum Replica

The battlecruiser was the only type of Klingon ship mentioned on the original series. Although Klingon ships were mentioned several times in the first two seasons, they did not make a visual appearance until the third season. The model for the show was built for the episode "Elaan of Troyius" (Season 3, Episode 13; aired December 20, 1968), which was filmed from June 3-10, 1968. But because episodes were not aired in the order in which they were filmed, the ship first appeared on air in the episode "The Enterprise Incident" (Season 3, Episode 2; aired September 27, 1968).

The Klingon Battlecruiser was designed by production designer Matt Jeffries. He did a wide range of design studies for the Klingon ship before settling on one that he thought looked like a "vicious" manta ray. The model number "D7" comes from a joke played on Gene Roddenberry on the set. According to Roddenberry, as he showed up on the set one day, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy appeared to blow their lines. The two started shouting at each other: "Leonard! What do you mean saying this is a D7 Klingon ship! It's a D6!" "No, you idiot! The D6 has four doors over here and the D7 only has two!" Roddenberry at last intervened. But as he did so, he realized that he himself had no idea what the difference was -- even though he came up with the idea of a Klingon ship. To hide his embarasssment, Roddenberry told the two that "it really doesn't matter." Tha's when the whole crew burst into laughter, and Roddenberry realized he'd been played. 

The model which Matt Jeffries created was meant to be filmed from a distance, so it lacked fine details and lighting. The hull was completely smooth (no panels were visible). The upper surface used the gray color utililzed for the Enterprise model, while the bottom and sides were a grayish-green. 

The model has a wood core, with foam plastic glued to it. The plastic was then cut to shape. The foam was then covered in resin, plastic "kit breaking" elements glued to it, and the whole thing painted. Plastic beads -- two red and one green -- are used to represent lights on the model. Its overall size is 29.25 inches long, 19.5 inches wide, and 7.25 inches wide. Jefferies donated the model to the Smithsonian Institution in 1973.

Our museum replica model that we have in our archives was especially recreated by model maker Christophe Gay.

Object datas
Inventory number : 1311