Designing the Borg Tactical Cube - By Doug Drexler.
In the last few years we've seen more and more Borg ships. The most recent addition to their fleet is a
tactical cube that was designed by Doug Drexler.
When it was time to design the tactical cube for "Unimatrix Zero," the art department had already left on
hiatus, so the job was given to Foundation Imaging. Fortunately, their staff includes Doug Drexler, who
spent several years in the art department of Deep Space Nine after a working in the makeup department of The
Next Generation. "I'm the only guy on the Voyager team at Foundation who is is a sketcher. If Rick Sternbach
is too busy, or the art department has left on hiatus, Rob Bonchune or Mojo will ask me to bash out ideas.
This was the case when I worked in the DS9 art department as well. If John Eaves was busy I would pinch-hit.
I enjoy designing, but I think that I wouldn't want to be the lead illustrator. It's a tough job. This way
I get to dabble."
"When Rob told me that they wanted a new type of Borg cube I was kind of amused. After all, a cube is a
cube, right?" With this difficult brief in mind, Doug sat down and worked up several rough sketches. He
says experience has taught him that this is the best way to work. "I like to give the producers a bunch of
sketched concepts to look at rather than work one idea into an illustrative masterpiece. It's a misdirection
of energy. If the idea doesn't sell as a sketch, the concept probably isn't strong enough." The script
didn't give Doug much help; as he remembers, it simply called for a "battle cube," which implied that it had
to more threatening than the standard cube. "Ya gotta love that! I tried adding a lot of sharp pointy
masts, spears, and antennas. As a joke I even drew one up that was a pyramid. You know, the UPN symbol ...
a square, a ball, and a triangle. So far, Borg ship design has been a cube and a ball. The pyramid would
have completed the thing
with tongue planted firmly in cheek. I knew the powers-that-be wanted a cube, but I couldn't resist." Doug
describes the drawing that was chosen as basically "a Borg cube wearing a flak jacket!" Having designed the
ship, he handed it on to his friend Koji Kuramura, who built the final model. "Koji sits right behind me.
As he worked, he'd call me over for a look-see and I'd put in my two-cents' worth. If he needed
clarification or more detailed sketched I would kick a few out for him." Doug says that the most of the
detailing was added at this stage. "You'll notice that my sketches are done in rather broad strokes.
They're all there in the model. It's crazy to try to spell out all the mega-nooks and hyper-crannies of a
"DESIGNING THE BORG TACTICAL CUBE" - OCTOBER 2000 ISSUE 18 STAR TREK: THE MAGAZINE COPYRIGHT OF PARAMOUNT