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Old September 21 2009, 01:44 PM   #37
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Re: Cleopatra's Needle - Design Proposals

BolianAdmiral wrote: View Post
Wow... that latest profile view is so sleek and simple... it has such a TOS-ish feel to it... like a guest ship-of-the-week you would see on TOS. I like the color, too.
Thanks, BolianAdmiral! The color in these views is heavily influenced by the lighting which tends to make it more blue than the material settings I've used. If we proceed with making a full-blown model, I'll have to use less dramatic lighting rigs that will show the color under plain, white light.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Now, that's a cool design. I particularly like the '50s rocketship quality to the profile view.
Thank you Christopher! I think a little '50s rocketship aesthetic works well for a hero ship.

Christopher wrote: View Post
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.)
Agreed about the shuttle, but I viewed this design as a luxury yacht re-purposed for civilian exploration, and most contemporary luxury yachts have auxiliary craft for ship-to-shore operations. Some even have submarines and two or three helicopters! Of course, none of them have transporters, either.

Right now that lump on the back is really my 3D version of a smudge. I wasn't certain what to do back there and tacked on the shape (on version one) just to test if that made a little more sense than nothing at all. In both versions one and three, that volume is separated from the impulse engine. That isn't necessary, but if we connect them, the lower part will lose a shape that vaguely suggests a rocket nozzle and the Cleo3 will look less like a '50s scifi rocketship. For now, it's a 'smudge locker' until we change it or figure out what it does.

Christopher wrote: View Post
Until Clawhammer or someone else comes along with a separate proposal, though, I'm endorsing Psion's Version 3 as my preferred exterior design so far.
Now this has me grinning ear-to-ear. It's a goofy grin, not at all attractive as it reveals too many teeth in desperate need of an orthodontist, but this is one of those little victories in life.

Christopher wrote: View Post
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.
I blunted the nose and agree it looks better and is more functional, though at the cost of roughly 100 cubic meters of space. If you look at version three's 3-quarter top view imagine you can now see the navigational deflector peeking out underneath.

Now I have to pin you down. When you say you want the tail narrower, do you want the impulse engines, the smudge locker, or both to be less wide? Personally, I want to narrow the smudge locker just so it evokes a rocket nozzle from more angles than the profile. And I'm assuming you mean narrower from port to starboard rather than dorsal to ventral.

Presently, this design is about (based on the crude airlock) 110 meters long, 22 meters wide, and 12 meters high, including warp nacelles. There's enough room to have two full-sized decks, plus equipment for most of that length, and a short 3rd deck (or the upper deck might have a section with high ceilings). If we go so far as to detail this design, I'd be reluctant to mar the surface with lots of details. I'm a big fan of the Matt Jefferies school of starship exteriors, and want to minimize disruptions to the surface that aren't strictly functional. I don't even want to put a deflector grid on her. If you agree with my suggestion that this design is a re-purposed luxury yacht, I'd also want to add features to suggest that ... huge bay windows, ornamentation, polished fixtures, etc.

Finally, a confession:
I gave up on Trek novels some time ago. The writing in most was bland and predictable and usually lacked an essential element of science fiction in anything but the setting. I did read Ex Machina a few years back and recall thinking it was the kind of book Pocket needed to publish more often, but only read a couple others after that before giving up. There are only two books I've ever thrown across the room in anguish, and one was a Trek novel. Whether through a lack of quality control at Pocket or 'mediocritizing' interference from Paramount, it just wasn't worth my time skimming printed effluent for rare gems.

Now, in researching this project, I ducked into Google Books and read through the provided excerpts for The Buried Age. I loved Phillipa's reprimand and the first encounters with the Mabrae, but, of course, Google's preview skipped where I believe the description of Cleopatra's Needle should be.

As a result of this fun Sunday project, the good reviews on Amazon, and the excerpts on Google, I've decided to wander out to the bookstore this week and pick up The Buried Age. You've piqued my curiosity ... let's see where this goes!
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