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[Ships Of The Line] Centaur Class

[Ships Of The Line] Centaur Class

Before the age of CGI, Star Trek’s art teams relied on models to bring Starfleet to life with the Next Generation and Deep Space Nine keeping the budgets down by re-using movie era designs as the backbone of the fleet. Even during the Dominion War arc where CGI was utilised at times, the fleet was filled with outdated Excelsior and Miranda class starships with the occasional Galazy, Nebula or First contact fleet thrown in thanks to archived digital assets.

It all got a bit repetitive and so, new designs were made during Deep Space Nine’s multi-episode sixth season opener. Affectionately known as the Frankenstein Fleet, the Defiant would hobble back to base alongside some very unique designs patched together from model kits the production team had found.

While some – such as the bizarre looking Curry Classs – would only be seen for a few brief seconds and never again, one of the models patched together would become a prominent part of the arc; The Centaur. A small ship led by a stubborn (never seen!) captain who’d take on a Dominion ship by itself unaware that it was a Starfleet asset on a secret mission under command of Captain Sisko.

Patched together from two seperate model kits, the Centaur is one of the nicer designs considering it’s an intentionally mismatched collection of parts. Using the saucer and nacelles of an Excelsior class, it’s held together by the pylons of the Miranda Class attached to an underslung torpedo launcher. Other parts were added, including a flattened portion of the Excelsior secondary hull with the Miranda bridge on top to show the scale of the tiny craft.

With an overall length of just 380 meters (nacelle length included) and only a small handful of decks the small frigate was highly agile nine liveable decks, the Centaur was a nimble ship capable of high manoeuvrability and high speed defence.

Carrying fore and aft dual torpedo launchers in a tactically designed secondary hull as well nine phaser banks, the Certaur Class made for a useful build during the dominion war due to it’s defence capabilities combined with it’s speed, matching the Jem’Hadar ships of the time. Unlike most Starfleet vessels, the Centaur hosts a forward shuttle bay spanning decks 2-3 with loading and cargo all the way down to deck 5.

Crew Bunks, similar to the California Class, were located on the underside of the saucer with specialists and officers having shared and individual quarters dependant on rank and position. The sparse design for personnel allowed the smaller saucer to host several multi-purpose sections which could be utilised and altered for mission specific purposes.

Following the Dominion war, several Centaur class ships were given a full refit which would update the 2320’s structure by replacing the torpedo banks and dilithium storage into a smoother, more fleshed out secondary hull. The refit hull would add a more visible deflector, supplementing the masked deflector housed in the ships saucer section as well as a larger engineering bay offering room for specialised engineering and science labs.

Both the original structure as well as the refit are both in active service with the refit preferred for short range exploratory missions. While not exclusively, the original model is still primarily used in defensive and escort assignments.

As with other members of the ‘Frankenstein Fleet’, the Centaur Class is available within our Fleet Service Yards for new prospective Captains ready to take on their first command experience. The Centaur is designed for smaller crews with Captains having the rank of Lieutenant or above. Further information regarding Q2’s fleet and unit structures can be found in the Officers Handbook or Fleet Database.

Our latest issue of Comms takes a look at the last year of Star Trek, sci fi, superheropes and more!! With the usual features including What If, Fistful Of Data and more, the “All Good Things” issue of Comms is available as part of SFCQ2’s free membership! To find out more visit our Comms preview or Enlist Today!

ADM JT Marczynka, DoFA
Creator of things, writer of words, caffeine addict. Director of Communications for Starfleet Command Quadrant 2.

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