The ship is highly controversial. The version of events depends somewhat on who you listen to, but I gather that the gist of it is that Franz Joseph wrote the TOS TM with Gene Roddenberry's knowledge and approval during the Trek-drought between the end of TOS and the authorization of Phase II / TMP. When the latter arrived, Roddenberry basically decided to take Trek in a different direction, and set about trashing Joseph's version of things as much as possible. It even seems that the whole concept of canon may have been invented in order to rule out work like the TOS TM in favour of the new material.
The novel "Dreadnought" therefore features a significantly different ship from the TOS TM. The ship in the book had hexagonal hull structures, while the one in the TM has conventional layout. More importantly, the USS Star Empire featured in the book was the first and only one of her kind - at the end of the book it is declared that Starfleet has abandoned the project as too militaristic. The TM, however, has the USS Federation as the first of the class and the USS Star Empire as only one of many, many ships - clearly a sizeable production run.
To muddy waters further, Gene produced a set of Starship design rules. Many fans see these rules as being largely - or entirely - designed to rule out every design in the TOS TM. One of the rules was that nacelles must be in pairs, hence ruling out the three nacelled Dreadnought type as well as the single nacelled Saladin.
Things became more confused when elements of Franz Joseph's work were incorporated into several films - one of Mr Joseph's projects was to produce a complete set of blueprints for the Enterprise, and these are used several times in the films when characters point to displays of the ship.
My standing on this issue is basically one of not taking sides. I have no idea whose version of events is the accurate one, and I have no idea of the legal positions involved. I simply don't have anything like a complete enough picture of things to say what Gene actually did, and if his actions were right or wrong. I am not including the TOS TM ships in this site in order to support one side over the other. I simply saw the designs and thought they were nice!
All of the information coded green is directly from the TOS TM. I hesitated over whether it should be white, since the TOS TM doesn't seem to be considered official these days. But in the end I decided on green partly because the book does seem to be Paramount approved at least to some extent, and partly to distinguish it from my own guesswork.
The size comparison image is one I cobbled together myself by re-arranging
the parts from the Constitution size comp image. It reflects the TM version
of the ship rather than the novel version - I worked up a version with
hexagonal hulls, but it looked a bit blocky and ugly so I haven't used
Star Trek et al is Copyright Paramount Pictures
No Copyright infringement is intended and this page is for personal use only.
All of the above classes of star ships and all of the
named ships are copyright Paramount 1996/97.