Now, that's a cool design. I particularly like the '50s rocketship quality to the profile view.
I think the ship's too small to have a shuttle, and I don't see much need for one when the crew's only a dozen people and the ship can theoretically land. Maybe the fantail extension is a jettisonable antimatter pod for the warp core. Or the back end of a horizontal warp core that can be jettisoned in full, or swapped out easily for upgrades. (I'm sort of swiping an idea from the designers of NX-01 there.)
Nacelles as landing gear: I share Psion
's doubts on that idea. Unless you flip the nacelles over, we're talking about having them rotate out or downward for landing, and that kind of mechanical movement seems overcomplicated, requiring extra machinery and mass that the ship can ill afford. And I like the nacelle placement in Version 3 the way it is.
As far as I'm concerned, anyone with a design proposal is welcome to post here. It's really cool to see so much interest in the Needle
, and I don't mind seeing competing designs.
I'm still pretty fond of the idea Clawhammer
shared with me, and I look forward to seeing what he'll come up with when he gets around to it, but I think I like this one just as much so far. In fact, this one's probably closer to what I originally had in mind, though I never really visualized the ship in my mind.
or someone else comes along with a separate proposal, though, I'm endorsing Psion
's Version 3 as my preferred exterior design so far. The only changes I'd suggest to the basic shape at this point would be to make the nose just a little bit blunter (I don't like having quite so much overhang in front of the deflector -- it seems it would reduce the beam's upward spread) and the tail end a little bit narrower. But only a little bit. Other than that, it's just a matter of deciding on surface details.