Reading through the recent diversions in the "Design the next Enterprise" thread and thinking about the beautiful models made of Matt Jefferies' ideas for a starship with ring-shaped warp drive, I started wondering what a ringship NCC-1701 would look like.
So I fired up Blender 2.57 and started doing some volume studies -- simple 3D sketches to get a feel for the ship.
Now, obviously, this is extremely crude. The shapes are really very rough and if I continue this project, I'll start over from scratch.
This is a simple box-extrusion model and I made several decisions early on about what it should look like. First, the pylon connecting the primary hull to the secondary hull should "continue" on through the secondary hull to form the mount for the ring. Second, I decided to eliminate the bulge on the lower part of the primary hull and move the pylon forward, widening it considerably and assuming some of the equipment (sensors, phasers, torpedo launchers, and some labs) from the primary hull are now housed in the pylon.
Third, and this is the part I kept having trouble with ... the diameter of the primary hull should be less than the diameter of the ring. As i continued to nudge vertices around, I kept having trouble with this rule. The ship just didn't look right when I did that. As you can see, this remains an unresolved issue.
This ship is probably the product of a reality where the Vulcans were happy to share their warp drive technology with humans, giving Henry Archer an opportunity to design warp-ships much more capable than he did in the timeline shown in Enterprise
. I imagine it's a bit larger than the original 1701, but not as big as that shown in the 2009 movie. It isn't as streamlined as the original design, but I think t has a design elegance all its own and it might be worth working on this some more when I get spare time.