the Cardassian vessel Groumall

Bernd and the mighty Jorg have a great write up and some screen grabs of this little ship here on the Ex Astris site


This was a long time ago and it was a very fun project,, This was still the physical model days on Star trek and one of the few new ships to be built for the DS9 series. The call was for a Cardassian freighter that had been fitted with a secret disrupter weapon. The first pass shows a style that has a reminiscent front end to Rick Sternbach’s Galor class ship. This was quickly reject and the second variation was called for and the design went thru a few aesthetic changes once the main shape had been worked out. The changes mainly took place on the front of the ship and the rear piloting station. plans and a color marker sketch were called for and the final model was built over at  Michael Lantieri’s shop. Michael was responsible for most of the model construction on both DS9 and Voyager and the work he and his crew produced was always brilliant. Great attention to detail was one of their staples and it was a great treat to see their work on the motion control stage over at image G. this is going to be a fun week on the blog,,, found lots of good stuff from the 40 footer and can’t wait to get it put up. coming this week will be the 20th Anniversary of everyones favorite Trek movie, ST V the Final Frontier, more Cardassian ships, the Scorpion from Nemesis, Pin up updates, and a desert aviation archeological expedition with the X-Hunters. Enjoy and Happy Monday!


sketch "A" with disrupter extended

sketch "A" with disrupter extended

grey scale with disrupter retracted

grey scale with disrupter retracted


new design (Approved) in living color

new design (Approved) in living color

the plans

the plans

a bit brighter on the color scale

a bit brighter on the color scale


a new bridge

a new bridge

an even newer bridge anda tanked front end design

an even newer bridge anda tanked front end design


41 Responses to “the Cardassian vessel Groumall”

  1. June 8, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Purdy, I always liked this ship, although I’ve noticed I seem to have a thing about frieght ships!

    I liked the alterations to the cargo pods from the initial sketch, but mainly as it has the ‘3’ design emphasis on the pods somewhat, giving it a bit more of that Cardassian feel. I do like the 1st version, but I really think the revised version gives off a better feel as a frieghter.

    Did you mean Ricks ‘Galor’ class ship btw 😉

  2. 2 johneaves
    June 8, 2009 at 5:50 am

    Thanks for the typo notification!!! What would I do without you!!!

  3. 3 Freak
    June 8, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Sweet very nice. I do like that first version.
    Wasn’t this reused for a Klingon Cargo ship and civilian (Not that the Klingon have many 😉 Transport.

  4. 4 the bluesman
    June 8, 2009 at 7:02 am


    My dad flew overnight frieght for 40 years in everything from a DC-3 to a 757. I really enjoy any space frieghter designs.

  5. 6 evil_genius_180
    June 8, 2009 at 7:38 am

    That was the one where Worf was commanding the Defiant and was accused of destroying an “unarmed” freighter, correct?

    I like your final version, of course, but as usual, I find myself really liking your earlier version. I can see why the model department didn’t want to build something so complex but it’s a really sweet design.

  6. 9 the bluesman
    June 8, 2009 at 7:53 am


    I have had some great opportunites growing up to be around all kinds of aircraft. Remember this was pre 911. Dad would take us onto the ramp and show us around. I did get a ride in a Dc-3, a Beech 18, a Piper turbo Cheyenne, a 727 and 757 and some sime time in a 727 and 757 simulator.

    He stopped flying in 2002, and on his last flight into Wichita in an Emery World Wide cargo 727 he did a flyby 100 off the deck and 50 knots over the legal limit. That’s not soemthing you see everyday and it was pretty incredible.

  7. 11 Richard Knapp
    June 8, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Another beautiful ship! You must be really proud of this one, it, or variations of it, turned up in a bunch of places. It’s nice seeing these DS9 designs, that show was and remains my favorite of all the Trek series.

    Looks like you’ve got a great week of posting lined up for us. Might the definition of “more Cardassian ships” be stretched to include more of your Dominion/Jem Hadar designs? [After all, they are allies – nudge, nudge, wink, wink]

    Thanks again John – as always, your efforts in posting all of this great stuff for us are much appreciated!

  8. 14 Jonathan Burke
    June 8, 2009 at 8:11 am

    I really like this little ship. I always liked that it had an aft bridge, and that the “tail” from the Galor was mounted on the front of this one.

    I liked the original concept a lot, too, although it might be a bit too sleek for a cargo ship. Any specific reason why the first Galor-inspired front section was rejected?

    • 15 johneaves
      June 8, 2009 at 8:44 am

      It was kind of sked for and then on paper rejected, it was always a fun way to get into the writers minds with these round about sketches.

  9. 16 johneaves
    June 8, 2009 at 8:45 am

    It was kind of asked for,,,,,, typo correction

  10. 17 DeanneM
    June 8, 2009 at 8:52 am

    At first sight, the first design felt like some kinda crazy kitbash. Maybe some breeder out there crossed a freight train with a fighter – cool!

    I like the look of the last one the best, though. The bridge reminds me of the sail on a submarine. The new bridge and front end look less military, which would be what they were going for in this episode, I would think.

  11. 18 johneaves
    June 8, 2009 at 8:56 am

    it was always a fun exercise to do these cut and paste elements to see what new configuration could come of things!

  12. 19 Jonathan Burke
    June 8, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I just noticed that the “tanked” front end design literally has tanks. Bad pun, John! 😉

  13. 20 Triton
    June 8, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Thank you for sharing the rejected design with the approved one. I find it very interesting how the design process works and how the design evolves over time. It appears that the first design is a more capable ship and I guess that the fact that she is armed with disruptors isn’t quite as a shock as it was when I first watched “Return to Grace” with the approved design. I am constantly amazed how design shapes tell a story.

  14. June 8, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Would’cha look at that… coolness, yep. 🙂

  15. June 8, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    I wonder why they rejected the arrowhead design. I think it is awesome.

  16. 23 Jonathan Burke
    June 8, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    @ Bernd: Personally, I think there’s a little of a visual disconnect between the sleek front and the aft section on the first pass. I think the “arrow” shape would have worked better visually if it was more of a truncated version of the Galor-style straight horizontal wing with stubbier embedded warp engines and a more prominent superstructure on it.

    But, that’s just the designer in me being critical. I still think the idea rocks. 🙂

    • 24 johneaves
      June 8, 2009 at 2:39 pm

      you always have a cool perspective on things!!!

      • 25 Jonathan Burke
        June 8, 2009 at 7:02 pm

        John, I think you have capped off my near-perfect day. To hear one of my artistic heroes say that means SO much to me. You really have no idea how much staring at your creations in the TNG Sketchbook and elsewhere has always inspired me. 🙂

        Now I just need a few more compliments from a few more art honchos and I think my head will tip over. 😀

      • 26 DeanneM
        June 8, 2009 at 7:23 pm

        I like your ideas too! From a decidely *not* art honcho. 🙂

  17. June 8, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Another instance where the first one was better.

    in my opinion anyway…

    Great stuff!

  18. 29 Triton
    June 8, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    I understand that Rick Sternbach based the design of the Cardassian Union symbol and the Galor-class starship on the Egyptian Ankh. Does anyone know what significance the symbol has in Cardassian culture?

    • 30 Jonathan Burke
      June 8, 2009 at 7:04 pm

      I think it’s a symbol of a masked hero of their past who was called “the Galor.” Something like a Robin Hood, I think. I’m probably grossly over-simplifying. Apologies to Cardassian fans! :p

      • 31 DeanneM
        June 8, 2009 at 7:25 pm

        Another great idea! 😀

        And I *am* something of a Robin Hood fan and afficianado. (sp?)

  19. 32 Matt Boardman
    June 8, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    I think it would have been great to see both designs in action. I mean, if we can have Mack and Peterbuilt, why not multiple designs of Cardassian freighters?

    What I like about the first design is that it appears that the forward section could detach the cargo in case it, oh, I don’t know saw some Imperials…er…wait, wrong series. 😉 Seriously though, it would make sense to have that functionality incase something went wrong with the cargo portion.

  20. June 8, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    The first version seemed much more in line with the Galor.. I kinda like the first version more. But the 2nd version has her appeals too. Not too sure abt the Cardy Symbol Triton. I’m sure there’s some back story somewhere regarding that.

  21. June 8, 2009 at 10:12 pm


    I love your blog and all the pictures, but the last few Cardy Freighter pics makes me doubt my own sensibilities and artistic eye. I take it I’m the only one who sees the ship pointed North-north-east and the engine ends curved almost due west? I must be getting old.

    • June 9, 2009 at 4:01 am

      It’s just because of the perspective, most people are used to the perspective been to the front or back of a ship, Johns drawn this one with it to the side, you can see the point would be just to the left of the DS9 logo

    • 36 johneaves
      June 9, 2009 at 4:09 am

      it’s a 15mm lens pov

    • 37 johneaves
      June 9, 2009 at 4:14 am

      I do tend to fish eye things sometimes, I’ll post a sketch for you today on how I used to perceive my perspective angles

  22. 38 Simon Matthew Coles
    June 8, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Seem to recall they later turned this ship upside down and painted it green (or hued it green in post) to serve as a Klingon freighter.

  23. 39 JNG
    June 9, 2009 at 3:50 am

    The modifications to “Klingonize” the model were actually somewhat more extensive than that, and it was also depicted at a different size relative to other ships, so the ships fortunately end up seeming pretty different from one another.

  24. 40 Anthony Sforza
    June 9, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    The model was not flipped upside down but had added pieces and was painted green.Ihave the filming model i won it at the Christies auction you can still see the brown and yellow in spots .

    • 41 Schubert Tam
      September 6, 2009 at 10:36 am

      This message is for Mr. Anthony Sforza.
      I am currently making some Star Trek action figures and I am trying to make them as “Screen Accurate” as possible.

      I need to make a TWOK phaser and need its dimensions. I read from other sites that you are a Star Trek collector and from one of your posted pictures, I saw a TWOK phaser. Is it possible for you give me a rough dimensions of this phaser?

      Here are some pix of my prototypes:



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

June 2009

%d bloggers like this: