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FredH September 11 2012 07:36 PM

Smaller ships' architecture
Ever since 1975, new Starfleet ship designs for the TOS era (both fan-created and on-air canon) have tended to be based around variations of the classic components -- nacelles and the big round saucer -- and to be in a comparable size range. But TOS-R's version of the Antares, derived from the animated series, offers a nice related-but-alternate architectural platform for smaller ships that might do the majority of Starfleet's unglamorous "grunt work." I wonder if anyone's thought about other specialized ship classes using those components (small flat rectangular hull spaces, with additional hull sections or pods attached at perpendicular angles, downsized nacelles)? There could be hundreds of these (the "spaceships," per "Bread and Circuses"?) handling everyday tasks of various types throughout Federation space, while the big ships (the "Starships") are deployed for major diplomatic, exploratory and military missions, maybe?

C.E. Evans September 11 2012 09:28 PM

Re: Smaller ships' architecture
It's the way I've always viewed it. You have frontline starships carrying out the fairly big missions with a number of rarely seen (if ever) support ships carrying out very routine logistical operations (personnel transfer, equipment and supply deliveries, etc.).

But in the more distant reaches of the Galaxy, you may see some of the frontline starships carrying out logistical support missions too (in both TOS and TNG, the Enterprise was sometimes ferrying cargo and passengers to and from various locations).

Robert Comsol September 11 2012 10:13 PM

Re: Smaller ships' architecture

FredH wrote: (Post 6945121)
"...while the big ships (the "Starships") are deployed for major diplomatic, exploratory and military missions, maybe?"

Not maybe, you essentially quoted the book (Making of Star Trek, part II, chapter 3), the way you described it is the way the series' producers envisioned it.


Timo September 12 2012 09:08 AM

Re: Smaller ships' architecture
On the other hand, what we see done by the Enterprise may also be grunt work of sorts. Nothing precludes the existence of even more glamorous and perhaps larger ship types that don't run errands in extreme deep space, but rather concentrate on winning decisive battles or representing the UFP in the best possible light on diplomatic cruises through luxury and splendor unavailable aboard the Enterprise.

As for using those Antares modules for varying tasks, "Charlie X" almost spells this out for us: Kirk wavers between considering the Antares herself a "cargo vessel" or "transport ship" and "science probe vessel". The latter role is supported by the fact that this humble freight-runner made a mysterious diversion to Thasus, where supposedly there's no freight to be picked up or delivered. Perhaps some of the modules on the Antares (say, the entire crew compartment) were UE Space Probe Agency add-ons that turned this otherwise standard automated cargo drone into a secondary survey asset?

Timo Saloniemi

Patrickivan September 12 2012 08:25 PM

Re: Smaller ships' architecture
The fact that vessels engage in multi-role assignments outside their core design intent, I would say that it's safe to assume the there are a shit load of ships of various design within the federation. Space is MASSIVE, and the federation engulfs a silly volume of space.

That said- like now, most ships have a "look" that identifies them as ships, or vessels that float. The same goes for Airplanes. There are some very specific exceptions like submarines and rotary wing aircraft. And I can see the design principals in the federation being mostly the same (the bulk of ships are very identifiable- two nacelles, engineering section, command section), with of course those exceptions like our subs and helicopters (let's say the defiant from DS9 as an example).

Opps- gotta go. Hope you get my point.

Saturn0660 September 15 2012 03:52 AM

Re: Smaller ships' architecture
Anyone thats played SFB know the SSD sheets made the Fed Frigates look very box like.

Robert Comsol September 21 2012 12:18 AM

Re: Smaller ships' architecture
Let's not forget the original SS Aurora before TOS-R transformed this ship into something else. In particular I like the ancient look of the warp nacelles of this ship, maybe that's the kind the Constitution Class ships had before they all got Enterprise's latest ones.

Timo September 21 2012 02:55 PM

Re: Smaller ships' architecture
On the other hand, the Aurora in both versions of the adventure is suggested to be a tiny pleasure cruiser easily commandeered by space hippies, not the "NCC-C1200" early Starfleet cruiser that some fan sources identify her as (in a misunderstanding of what Todd Guenther and Mike Morrisette meant with their fan blueprints). Drawing a connection to actual Starfleet hardware might be a bit artificial.

Just musing. I'm personally sort of thinking that the Catullan bigwig who owned that cruiser would not have settled for an "ancient" design... Although of course it's cute to think of the Aurora as the Volkswagen Kleinbus of its time, too.

Timo Saloniemi

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