U.S.S. Challenger NCC-71099 Galaxy Class Starship


Model by Stephen L.


Box Stock

AMT/Ertl kit 6619 (Enterprise-D)

Model Specifications:
Scale = 1/1400
Length = 46.1 cm
Width = 34 cm
Height = 10.7 cm

The U.S.S. Challenger is a Galaxy Class starship that I conjecture was involved in the Federation's war with the Dominion. The concept is that it was heavily damaged in battle, and the Challenger is currently in the midst of its overhaul.

The U.S.S. Challenger made an appearance on Star Trek Voyager in "Timeless", with Captain Geordi LaForge in command. The hull number indicates the ship was around since at least 2357.
The Dremeled battle damage sections were misted with Flat Black and then again with a gray color. Silver paint was applied to a plastic rod and lightly scraped around the edges of the damage as a dry brush technique.

The kit was sliced in places to indicate areas of new construction. A Dremel tool was used to score away areas for battle damage.  The Warp Core ejection hatch is missing. The girders were made from Evergreen plastic and painted a custom mixture of Flat Red and Flat Black.

two 'holes' on either side of the bridge are the cargo turbolifts that can connect to tubes at a spacedock facility. These cargo lifts can supply cargo to any deck inside the saucer section. There are corresponding hatches on the saucer's underside as well.
The base coat is French Light Blue Gray. The saucer impulse engines are Medium Gray.

The 'powered down' warp engine grilles are painted Copper.

The lifeboat hatches are painted Sand.
The exposed areas inside the hull were carefully built from the Official Enterprise-D Blueprints to show where the appropriate girders, cabins, corridors and turboshafts would be inside the vessel.

Near one of the
sections under repair, the components inside the upper phaser bank can be seen.
This photo shows the repair work underway on the secondary hull. The massive deuterium fuel tank is visible through the framework. It spans three decks of the secondary hull. Note that there are no cabin windows within these three decks. Another two decks are visible below the horizontal frame member.

The RCS thrusters seen here on the saucer and lower hull are decals I made in Photoshop.

The Bussard Collector caps were heavily sanded to reduce the transparency and Gunze Sangyo red tint was painted on the inside to achieve the powered-down effect.
The shuttlebay 3 door was left off the model and the shuttlebay was scratchbuilt from Evergreen ribbed plastic. The shuttlebay has a Shuttlebay Ops station on a balcony with slanted viewport and an indented hatch for shuttle storage.

As the engines are 'off' while the ship is under repair, the impulse engines were painted Euro 1 Gray.
The underside 3-level cargo bay was scratchbuilt from the same Evergreen plastic as Shuttlebay 3. Small plastic pieces from various models became the blue and yellow cargo drums and gray crates. I assumed the door would rise upward and I glued an appropriately thick piece of plastic near the ceiling to make it seem as though the door is actually there. There are two balconies on either side of the bay and a hatchway along the back wall to exit into a corridor.
This was also composited in Photoshop. It depicts the Challenger in Earth orbit with three Workbee craft surveying the damage and reconstruction with powerful floodlights. The lit areas are just brightness adjustments using Photoshop.

This model was built as the first part of a two-part diorama. A 1/1400 scale scratchbuilt McKinley Station drydock is in the works. The Challenger will be mounted beneath the drydock.

Photos and artwork by Stephen L.