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aridas sofia March 16 2013 04:59 PM

S.S. Valiant Appearance
We know how Jein, Okuda et al came to think WNMHGB's Valiant appeared. But the ship was mentioned at the dawn of Trek, not long after Jefferies had designed the Enterprise itself. How do you think Jefferies imagined the ship to have appeared-or any ship from two centuries before his Enterprise design? Do you suspect he already dreamed of submarines in space? Would he have imagined such a ship to look like his ringship proposal for Enterprise? Something entirely different?

I'm posting this question not so much as a call to design something - though feel free to do that if you like. Are there designs by Jefferies himself you think he'd have drawn upon, or designs by someone else you think capture that spirit and look he exemplified in his designs? In other words, what would have looked "right" to you if WNMHGB had started with a scene of Valiant itself being destroyed?

Nightowl1701 March 16 2013 10:50 PM

Re: S.S. Valiant Appearance
Hmm. Maybe something like this, from a 1963 Douglas ad about a possible Mars spaceship:

At this early point (if I'm Jefferies), I still don't know how far in the future Star Trek is, but I've gotta figure the Valiant is much closer to our time than it is to Kirk's. The only clue I get on the ship's appearance is a reference to "old impulse engines," yet clearly some kind of FTL drive is also involved if we're going to the edge of the galaxy. (That rules out the later, pre-warp drive DY-100 'submarine' look.) This isn't the hero ship, it's a one-off that'll only be in one scene, viewed from a distance (one of the bridge monitors?) and on low-res mid 60's TV sets. It's gotta be designed fast and it's gotta be cheap.

Since I've been gathering a ton of spaceship art from every available outlet to figure out the hero ship earlier in the year, I don't have to think too hard about it. Grab one off the shelf ("Projected designs by real spaceship companies" section), throw a primitive pair of my hero ship's engines on there somewhere, and off we go. (In the case of the image I linked to, attach the nacelles to the long stalk at the rear of the ship before the main 'rocket.') In keeping with Jefferies' philosophy, the engines are kept well clear of the crew and easy to jettison if need be. Plus it doesn't look like either a simple rocket or an airplane yet conveys size and power, as Roddenberry would want it.

yenny March 17 2013 12:00 AM

Re: S.S. Valiant Appearance
The Valiant is most likely re-usable delta shape spaceship.

Bell'Orso March 17 2013 12:41 AM

Re: S.S. Valiant Appearance
You know, I rather like the Jein/Okuda take on it without the added warp nacelles, as can be seen on Doug Drexler's blog.

aridas sofia March 17 2013 01:15 AM

Re: S.S. Valiant Appearance
Nightowl1701, I rather like your suggestion. It fits well with something I found a while back. The ship in the lower right corner:

I like the idea of building on Jefferies' ringship design, but if I were to do a ship with warp nacelles I think something along these lines could work as well. Sort of similar to what you are suggesting.

Sarvek March 17 2013 02:14 AM

Re: S.S. Valiant Appearance
I always thought that it would be some off-shoot or cousin in design to the SS Conestoga. My thoughts would be that it would be cylindrical in design with old impulse engines and a pair of nacelles of a similar or earlier era.

Warped9 March 17 2013 03:56 PM

Re: S.S. Valiant Appearance
During the second pilot MJ might not have given any thought to what the Valiant looked like if it wasn't called for in the script. That could have been different if they had considered putting an image of the ship on one of Spock's overhead displays (something that could have been done in TOS-R).

The only tiny visual clue we have about that era in TOS is the DY100 from "Space Seed." That design supposedly predates the Valiant by at least fifty years and maybe even seventy years. The DY100 design is obviously way more advanced than any real spacecraft we've ever had even presently. That speaks of space programs that didn't get derailed after Apollo.

So, to me, that means the Valiant shouldn't look too much projected from what we have now. Rather I'd look at references like The Spaceship Handbook and The Saucer Fleet as well as other similar references and try to springboard a design from there. This material looks at the fictional and proposed designs for spacecraft from the 1920s to 1960s. The key difference, of course, is your design is meant to be an interstellar rather than strictly in-system vehicle and so you adapt with that in mind.

You could also look at some of MJ's early sketches when he was trying to get a handle on a direction for the Enterprise. However, I don't know how much of that material survives or is available. I think I have seen some things online that weren't included in the Star Trek Sketchbook.

I'd also be inclined to ignore most if not all references from post TOS in terms of distancing yourself from more contemporary Trek influences (particularly ENT). I think that's a more likely path to work out a design that looks and feels more consistent with TOS' style.

My two cents.

Oh, for what it's worth here's my offhand conception of the Valiant from some years ago.

I essentially took the hull of the spaceship Luna from the 1950 film Destination: Moon and started playing with it in Photoshop. At the time I didn't think too much about it beyond that. My basic idea was the Valiant was initially a fast relativistic ship that was fitted with an early form of space warp drive. I like the name used in the Trek novel Federation where it's referred to as a superimpeller. My thinking was that in the early years of interstellar starflight different configurations were experimented with to find an optimal design rather than assuming two nacelles were always there from the beginning and throughout until the (Trek) present.

aridas sofia March 18 2013 12:27 PM

Re: S.S. Valiant Appearance
As you know, I really like your design, Warped. It is pure retro. I'm not sure if Jefferies would have gone with the chrome look (I'm sure it would have been the devil to film). But it conveys the pre-1960s point very well.

Potemkin_Prod March 19 2013 12:39 AM

Re: S.S. Valiant Appearance
Personally, I always saw the saucer design (a la Forbidden Planet) as the basis of most Federation ships. But I love the design, Warped9. Just don't think of that as the Valiant.

Warped9 March 19 2013 01:04 AM

Re: S.S. Valiant Appearance
Well it was an off-the-cuff effort as I played with around with Photoshop. But it certainly isn't definitive. That said it is a general concept I like. If I were to start again I'd probably use something like the Spaceship Friede from 1929's Woman In The Moon as a starting point.

Potemkin_Prod March 19 2013 02:55 AM

Re: S.S. Valiant Appearance
I think it's a fine design, but I think it would be more suited for space opera like Space Probe Taurus (which I enjoy from time to time on TCM):

Warped9 March 19 2013 03:02 AM

Re: S.S. Valiant Appearance
The thing is that such a shape isn't alien to TOS. Recall Kara's ship in "Spock's Brain" which was something of a rocketship concept in form.

Potemkin_Prod March 19 2013 03:15 AM

Re: S.S. Valiant Appearance
Quite true.

Wingsley March 22 2013 01:33 AM

Re: S.S. Valiant Appearance
Hello! And thanks to Aridas for starting this new thread so relatively soon after I started my own "Earth ship Valiant" thread over in the TrekBBS Trek Tech forum.

As I posted over in the Trek Tech forum, I have been very impressed with Warped 9's rendering of the Valiant. I followed up that post on page #2 of that same thread with my feelings on both Warped 9's rocket/ringship concept and some ideas of my own. (Specifically posting #27 in that thread.)

In this thread, I want to tip my hat to both Warped 9 and Nightowl1701 for the concepts each has posted here. I also want to proposed a blending of the two concepts, loosely based on Jefferies' ringship sketches. Here's an excerpt from what I wrote over in the Trek Tech forum:


Wingsley wrote: (Post 7744843)
My basis for a Valiant ring-ship is that the rings are not part of the propulsion system. Faster-than-light propulsion is accomplished by nacelles, similar in design to those of Cochrane's Phoenix, but larger. These nacelles are mounted outboard on the rings. These are not the only pods mounted on the rings. There are other, removable, interchangeable "mission pods" that can also be mounted on these rings. Think of this pod-mounting system as being vaguely similar to Franz Joseph Schnaubelt's container-pods being mounted under a Ptolemy-class warptug. (Only these mission pods are much smaller.) It is possible that some specially-designed mission pods serve as detachable short-range spacecraft that can make planetfall if necessary, like a big, early shuttlepod.)

Much of the design philosophy of later-generation Earth and Federation starships is based on starship classes, with different classes presumably designed or sized for different tasks. The Valiant, being a first-generation FTL starship, reflects a more generic, utilitarian design ethos. It is a "star ship class" vessel. ;) That is to say, there are no cruisers or tugs or science vessels or hospital ships. This is all Earth of the late 21st century could muster; a general-purpose modular FTL spacecraft that could swap out ring pods for mission-specific applications. (Not unlike the Eagles of SPACE: 1999)

The ring design facilitated this pod-swapping feature, making these early starships easier to adapt to mission-specific applications and also to swap out components for maintenance and repairs. (If a mission pod is worn out, it can be removed and recycled; if a pod is jettisoned or otherwise destroyed, is can be replaced, etc.) Even the central "nose cone" structure would be modular, with a forward "command module" and also a mid-section "service module" and an aft "engineering module"; all of which can be removed, serviced and replaced.

aridas sofia March 22 2013 05:04 AM

Re: S.S. Valiant Appearance
Jefferies appeared to consider the rings to be the warp drive. There is no other apparent drive on his various ringship designs. Also, it fits with modern conceptions of a hypothetical "Alcubiere" warp drive requiring a negative energy induction ring. Finally, we are told a nacelle is filled with multiple ring-like "warp coils". It would make sense that an early warp drive might consist of only one or two of those coils.

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