As mentioned in the write up of SB 173, that station and this come out to just about the same size. Given that the scaling for each was done from FX shots done many years apart and comparing to completely different ships, that's quite a coincidence. As a result I've made the stations identical size and said that they were are variations on the same basic design, itself a scale up of Regula.
The whole missing section is a bit of a mystery - these tube things were on the original orbital office, on Regula and on Starbase 173, but are missing from 375. Those things look like fuel tanks, but they seem a little large - tanks of that size could fill a Galaxy class starship many hundreds or even thousands of times over! It's hard to believe that Starbases regularly stock so much fuel, and it's especially hard to believe that some Starbases do, but one used as a major fleet base during a war does not. Because of this I've said that they are mostly for cargo storage, and so aren't really needed in the more combat oriented fleet base.
That SB 375 is a heavily armed combat-type base is my own invention, but does seem in line with what little we see of it during the war. Indeed, almost the entire specs entry is speculative - as I have said many times in other Comments pages, it strains credibility that the real Daystrom Institute wouldn't know the basic specs of Federation designs so putting "Unknowns" up in large numbers really isn't on. I've based the specs on those of Starbase 173, but with better weapons and more crew.
This is also another of those cases where a model has been scaled up. In this case, the scaling is rather extreme - the original office model was about 70 metres tall, while this station is thirty times that height. While you can get away with factors of two or three, this creates problems. The windows visible on the disk modules measure a good 15 - 30 metres tall, while the arboretum section windows are 40 metres tall! That's an awful lot of headroom; you could forgive it for the arboretum section since they might want to put trees in there, but a 15 metre deck is pretty over the top. I'm no architect, but the way I would do it is to have an atrium-like affair, with a large empty space behind the window and several decks opening onto it.
But it does make me wonder why the powers that be didn't just re-use the Spacedock model. I mean, it would avoid all of the scaling problems at a stroke since that model was designed to be a big station from the outset. And we hardly ever get to see the Spacedock style stations, while they've used no less than FOUR different variations on this model!
Hopefully the powers that be will retire this model, and we'll get some
new stations soon.
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