Been here before? SKIP TO THE WINDOW PATTERN PANEL TABLE
During the build of our 1:900 scale U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701D partwork model, we install/create hundreds of windows. The pattern of Clear Windows and Dark Windows provided in the magazines is said to represent what we actually saw on screen. However, there were three studio models used for Star Trek: The Next Generation and I was not able to match the model’s stock window pattern to anything I saw in the television series or the movies.
As the 4-foot studio model was the last one to be built and was arguably the most detailed, I decided to recreate the window lighting pattern of this version on my Model Remodel Enterprise. The side benefit of this decision is that I could share the information within this guide so other builders can do the same, even if they are only planning on rearranging the stock window parts.
To figure out which windows should be lit and which should not, I scoured through the last four and a half seasons of the television show. Along the way, I captured hundreds of screenshots of the 4-foot studio model from various angles and under different lighting situations. From the screenshots I collected, like this one below, I felt I could reliably determine which windows were lit and dark:
The Paper Version
To document the state of each window, I originally printed out huge paper versions of the 1996 Enterprise D blueprints by Rick Sternbach. I added our model’s Deck Panel names and boundaries, and then began using a pen to mark every dark window on the entire ship:
Unfortunately, soon after I began my long journey of squinting at my monitors and counting windows, I quickly discovered a problem. Sternbach’s blueprints were based on the 6-foot studio model, but it soon became clear to me that Eaglemoss/HeroCollector used the windows layout of the 4-foot model when designing our partwork model. While this actually made my life easier in the end, I did have to note any changes from the blueprint windows to our model’s windows.
Using my phone, I then took pictures of each Deck Panel and reversed this picture within my phone. This reversed image is what I used as a guide for my dark window placement/painting. I needed to flip these images because we work on the windows from inside of the panel, and we want the pattern on the outside of the panel to match the blueprints, and what our eyes expect to see.
The Digital Version
Recently, I was asked if could share the window lighting pattern I used on my Model Remodel Enterprise D. Since I had done all the previous work on paper, I did not have a comprehensive version of it in any easily consumable digital format. Therefore, I took a few days to put all of my paper-based data into graphics I could share here!
As a high level overview, I updated my panel diagrams with the dark window locations. This included modifying them slightly to better match our actual model window locations. First up is the saucer dorsal (top) view, including the model panel numbers and locations.
TIP: Click on these saucer images for much larger versions:
Finally, I applied the dark window locations to every applicable panel (71 in total) in closer detail. These fun LCARS images can be used to blackout the proper windows on our model using my 4-foot studio model reference details. The left side of each image is what the panel should look like from the interior, and the right side is the exterior view. I will be using these myself as I finish my model!
TIP: These individual panel images will open in a scrollable gallery window:
I hope this Window Lighting Pattern Guide was helpful and I thank you for visiting!