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Old January 17 2009, 01:38 AM   #1
Jan. art challenge - Starship Discovery


Taking account of the brutal lessons learned from the Enterprise v. Reliant battle during the Genesis Planet crisis, the loss of the USS Grissom, and the lackluster performance figures of the experimental (or less generously, "bloated") Excelsior prototype, StarFleet urgently authorized a new ship program which would lead to a radical upgrade of the Enterprise-class refits - and the similar later-build Pike-class heavy cruisers. While the Excelsior program was publicly stripped back to basics and rebuilt, behind a curtain of secrecy unseen since the early days of Earth's second world war.....utilizing primary and engineering hull components held in secure storage in the event of war, and built within an asteroid-shipyard far from traveled sectors, the backbone of the new refit design was rapidly laid and fleshed out. Taking a cue from its registry-number and named "Discovery", the re-constructed hull featured a blend of tested and radical features: the primary saucer configuration was expanded in volume, with the contours smoothed into a more warp-dynamic shape, a further benefit being reduced surface- area upkeep; a refined Excelsior-class warp-engine, which shed that prototype's poorly-engineered automate flourishes; quick-response thrusters and multiple impulse-engine ports to increase maneuvering; added phaser-turrets with interlocking firing-arcs, and the more powerful Avenger-class megaphaser/photon- torpedo emplacements, fore and aft; the standard nacelles were completely jettisoned for new warp-propulsion/impulse engine hybrids evolved from Vulcan research efforts; and to further enhance exploration missions, the engineering hull dimensions were altered to include dual shuttle-bays and a larger interconnecting cargo bay, replete with a varied complement of shuttlecraft, work-bees, amphibian scouts, and the covert addition of a small wing of powerful fighters (launched from behind concealed hull-hatches) as defense against surprise attacks where the ship was rendered incapable of immediate defense, ala the Reliant and BOP engagements which ultimately led to the destruction of Enterprise. The entire hull/nacelle configuration was intensively armored with laminated neutronium foils (skinned from the alien Doomsday Machine rendered inert in 2267) to resist weapons bombardment should ship-forceshields be weakened sufficiently.


Because the BBS won't let me make attachments yet, here's links to the 3-view plans and model photos described below......

(If the links aren't working, go to, and click
'Starship Discovery' at bottom of the lefthand menu.)

The design for the Discovery was laid out as a 1/636 scale model in 1982, and was one of the first scratchbuilds I attempted. The saucer used bits and pieces from the TMP toy ship, but was mostly constructed from sheet plastic and package blister shapes, and the nacelle center sections were reversed (and heavily re- worked) Vulcan shuttle nacelles, with the ends and top section scratchbuilt from wood and plastic; the engineering hull was scratchbuilt, with pop bottle plastic wrapped around a balsa framework. The nacelle and main pylons were scratchbuilt. (I would link some better photos of the model, but it's currently in pieces while I rebuild it.) In 1984 I refined the design more on paper, shortening the secondary hull and refining the saucer, and adding some Refit details. For the Anaheim 20th anniversary Trek convention (where I fielded heavy speculation that this was possibly an ILM design for the 'new' ST-IV Enterprise), I drew a new set of 3-views, adding more detail and tightening up the design. When I read about the "upgrade challenge" I scanned the plans into the computer and went at it one more time; this time I decided to lose the Excelsior style grille-inserts in the nacelle foresections and replace them with the less gimmicky (and preferred) bussard-caps/coils; moved the bridge airlock higher and simplied the bridge exterior; revised the lower section of the engineering hull.

(Original model/design copyright 1982, 2009 by Orne Montgomery. Original 3-view plans/design copyright 1984, 1986, 2009 by Orne Montgomery.)
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