Thread: Ringship 1701
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Old June 10 2011, 08:21 PM   #20
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Re: Ringship 1701


I walked away thinking of this as a dead experiment and came back to find surprising interest. Well, that's cool! With little new Trek to watch these days, I find myself increasingly interested in playing lots of "what if" games with Trek and messing with alternate interpretations of the original.

Fortunately, it looks like my five-year-old drank all my scotch last night, so rather than wallow in inebriated misery, I continued thinking about this and made a few more changes.

Let me respond to some posts first, though:

Sojourner, what a beautiful freighter! I'm impressed that SketchUp can do that kind of work. Wait. Why am I thinking that's SketchUp? What software did you use? Anyway, your point about no original ideas is well taken, but magyareagle's interpretation of Atolm's ship looked like a successful exploration of the concept. That took a lot of wind out of my sails, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized there was still room for me to play around and put my own spin on the concept. Plus ... there are things about the magyareagle/Atolm look that I don't like. They chose to put the secondary hull along the center of the ring's axis, for example, and that means the impulse engines on the saucer would be thrusting off-axis and lead to all kinds of instabilities. My saucer, I'll say with puffed-up pride, is aligned with the ring's axis.

Santaman, I have to keep resisting that temptation. One of the weird distinctions of the Jefferies ringship is that there's only one connection to the ring. I admit, it'd look a lot more balanced if I did that, but the inspiration for this project wasn't balanced. The other temptation I'm resisting is to use pylons similar to the original NCC-1701's nacelle pylons to connect the ring. I might yet yield to that one, but I want to bang the current concept around a little more.

YARN, thank you! And that's what I'm most hopeful about ... the idea that the neck is the ship's keel and it runs almost completely through the ship, holding it together structurally. But will this design ever look graceful? I doubt it, but that's why I do volume studies ... to see if I can find a pleasing combination of shapes and proportions. Once I do, then I start over from scratch building a proper mesh that incorporates what I've learned. Sometimes I sketch on paper, but doing sketches in 3D like this avoids some of the errors I run into when I do it on paper.

TrekkieMonster, thanks! I have squashed the ring a few times. And it does look better, but right now I've got some "rules" I'm trying to stick to on this design, and one of them is that the warp field must be generated by a ring with a circular cross-section, not elliptical. Maybe the Next Generation version will go elliptical!

Patrickivan, thank you! I do lots of these kinds of "doodles" and usually don't think there's anything worth sharing. This one struck me as having possibilities ... and I also thought it was a lot more original than it really was when I started. *sigh*

Cary, now I think I see how you mean to apply the ratio. I kept thinking you meant component-to-component. That is, making sure the secondary hull had some Golden Ratio relationship with the primary hull. I'll give your suggestions a try and post the results later tonight.

The only potential downfall I see to making the ring longer is that the ship looks very stubby in profile already, and I expect making the ring longer will make matters worse. The original 1701 had nice, long, thin warp nacelles to make the shape pleasing. I've tried to compensate here by lengthening the secondary hull.

And I figured you'd like the common pylon/keel idea. I got that from you when you were working on your model of the Enterprise. That made a huge amount of sense to me. By the way, that was a wonderful thread. I'm sorry about how it and your other contributions around here ended, but glad to see you back. I don't always agree with you, but I know to at least stop and think before I argue with you.

Forbin, [winces before clicking the links] oh no! That refit ship is even closer to my idea. You guys aren't gonna quit beating me over the head with how totally unoriginal my idea was, are you? The TNG one looks terribly off-axis and stubby, but the refit actually looks good. And note how the ring looks like it trails the ship. I think my misconception is that I've got the ring surrounding the ship, with a dual-lobed warp field encapsulating it. Putting the ring behind the ship then implies some sort of cardioid-shaped field instead that reaches ahead of the ring. Maybe I've been watching too much Star Trek: Enterprise with their Vulcan ringships and I've been contaminated ...

Clawhammer, thanks! But I think there are a couple cues throwing you off. The first is perspective making the primary hull look bigger than it is in relation to the rest of the ship. The second is how narrow I made the secondary hull. Let me illustrate ....

So, like I said, I continued to work on the model last night. I added a little more detail to the dorsal pylon to see if my idea of using it to replace the bulge on the bottom of the primary hull would work, and I made changes to the secondary hull. Again, I added more details because sometimes one's eye is expecting some visual cues. I don't want to add too much to this model because that makes adjusting shapes increasingly difficult and it's only a study model -- it won't be the finished ship!

Now why eliminate the bulge on the bottom? Because I'm thinking the saucer separates and lands more often than it did in the original show. When there's a need to take on a lot of supplies from a planet's surface, or there's a diplomatic need to make a dramatic entrance, a saucer the size of an aircraft carrier descends out of the skies a little like the one in the original "Day the Earth Stood Still". The little rim attached to the dorsal pylon is actually part of the pylon and works to give the saucer a firm place to attach.

Don't mind the little holes in the saucer ... they're to let wires poke through for grain-of-wheat bulbs.
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