The other day, several people I have conversed with about the workbee, alerted me to some production drawings of an unused workbee grabber sled design. There was a grabber sled that was built and used for the workbee in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, however this design was an alternative one that did not appear in the film.
Whether this design was ever actually built, or it simply died in the design phase is unknown. Though it is worth noting that no photos of any miniature of this particular variant of grabber sled has come to light.
The first two drawings are plan and side elevation drawings for the grabber sled miniature:
The third one is a perspective sketch of the same design:
All three of these drawings were done at some point in 1979 by Leslie Ekker presumably some time after February of that year, since it does not have the Robert Abel & Associates, nor Astra Image Corporation markings on them. Abel was infamously fired from the production in early February of 1979. These design drawings match some sketch of the same sled design that Andrew Probert produced as well:
In the Ekker side elevation drawing there is a notation which says “From this point foreward (sic), must be detachable, for pusher plates.”…
This may be referencing a component that is present in a different workbee grabber/work sled design which also seems to have made at least to the production blueprint stage. Below are the aforementioned pusher/welding tool sled package design. The first are some perspective sketches by Probert:
The second is a set of top-plan, and side-elevation drawings of the pusher/welding tool attachments:
Like the previous design, it is unknown how far down the road into production these designs went, or even if these “pusher plates” are indeed the ones reference in the previous design drawings, but I have not yet seen other “pusher plate” concept drawings made during the production of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
I will be modeling the work sled that was actually built and used in the film:
…as well as the cargo train attachment and cargo pods:
In the same post on Facebook, there was also another workbee production sketch of the workbee miniature and its cargo train and cargo pod attachments:
I hope to eventually circle back and model both of these work sled variants, as well as the cargo pod/train attachments from the film.