Springfield Class Reconstruction
The USS Chekov is the only known member of the Springfield class. Ed Miarecki built the model for the graveyard in "The Best of Both Worlds". The ship remained a complete mystery until Mike Okuda revealed at least the very basic appearance. We were keeping in mind that it should be somewhere on the viewscreen, since it was in the original line by Shelby when she looked at the screen (which probably read "the Chek (h)ov...the Kyushu...the Melbourne"). Our information so far, as verbally given by Okuda, was that the Chekov has a Galaxy-style saucer like that of the New Orleans and two marker nacelles.
After bugging a certain person in the Star Trek Art Department once again, we have the permission to present a good photo of the Springfield (drumrolls!):
Thanks a lot to Michael Okuda for the above photo of the Springfield and thanks to Timo for conveying it to me. Note to all readers: Please don't further distribute the image and, in particular, don't use it on web pages.
It is obvious we have to change the registry of the USS Chekov from NCC-53702 to NCC-57302 - one more permuted number in the Star Trek Encyclopedia. Besides the above Challenger pic, Gary Perry sent us another image of what is obviously the Springfield class. We recently got a better photo by Paul Frenczli, and he confirmed that it's from the famous slide show.
The new images clearly show that Miarecki used a 1/2500 Galaxy saucer top. The top view allows the interpretation that, considering the Cheyenne probably consists of two bottom halves, he took the two remaining tops for the Springfield. The side view, however, clearly reveals that it's a top and a bottom piece. It definitely looks better this way and is more plausible anyway if the ship has a saucer largely identical to that of the New Orleans, with different top and bottom halves. The Springfield's marker nacelles are of the same type as on the Cheyenne. The top view shows sort of a hull "ramp" whose front end is flush with the saucer. The different colors of the angular hull section and the small secondary hull indicate that this could also be a coffin-like pod which is attached to the nacelle pylons at its rear end and hovering above the hull in its front half. At the first glace, the side view doesn't seem to have this pod, but what looks like the port nacelle may be actually the pod, as the analysis in the image below shows.
The secondary hull is apparently made of Galaxy parts and its lower part probably extended to the point where the captain's yacht is on the Galaxy. There seems to be a strange secondary hull between the saucer and the TNG coffee cup in the side view. This could be a pod similar to that of the Oberth, or just something attached to the model with adhesive tape - maybe to stabilize it to take a better photo. Ed Miarecki recently confirmed that he actually added such a hull to the model. It seems to be made from a Galaxy secondary hull, with the deflector dish facing forward just as we would expect one on this ship class. At least the forward and mid section of a Galaxy secondary hull of the correct scale almost perfectly match with the pod which I drew without knowing or guessing what it was made of. The only question is what was used to close the pod at its aft end.
In the top view, on the other hand, the saucer seems to be too close to the ground as if there could be something more than only a small deflector housing underneath. It is possible that the Oberth-style hull had been removed prior to taking this photo. On the other hand, there seems to be something holding the front tip of the saucer up, but this could be just a match box or something like that.
We are confident that we have identified the Springfield class in the Wolf 359 scenes. It is a wreck that can be seen in the upper half of the viewscreen on the bridge, and then again in the upper half of the screen when the Enterprise flies through the debris field.
Masaki made a sketch of the ship's composition, still without the lower pod. The Chekov was built by Ed Miarecki using the AMT/Ertl 1/2500 Enterprise-D saucer and bridge from the AMT/Ertl 1/1400 Enterprise-D kit. The upper secondary hull may be from the Enterprise-D too, but would have to be heavily modified to fit, so it could be a custom part as well. Two marker pens act as the warp nacelles. The upper pod could be a custom-made part. There is another suggestion that it could be the part of some Star Wars Rebel fighter, which will require further investigation.
We have spotted the USS Chekov on screen, just as postulated. From what Shelby could see on screen, the original line "the Chek (h)ov...the Kyushu...the Melbourne" now makes perfect sense. As for the structure of the model, we know that mainly parts of the 1/2500 scale Galaxy-class kit were employed, plus two marker nacelles. While the top pod may be visible in the side view, it is still a bit of a mystery why the bottom pod seemingly doesn't exist in the top view of the ship. But it obviously exists and it is almost definitely made of a Galaxy secondary hull (there was at least one left from the Cheyenne class). Since the Springfield obviously has a very similar saucer as the New Orleans, and the nacelles are of the same type as on the Cheyenne, we can estimate a length of 325m for the ship.