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Old June 28 2011, 04:38 PM   #10
Cary L. Brown
Rear Admiral
Location: Austin, Texas
Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

aridas sofia wrote: View Post
You've just about nailed it, Cary. Very nice. I'm still scrounging around my boxes looking for the original Ariel inks (because that's where I think that aft view is located.) I'll get it into Illustrator as soon as I find it.

The other end of the secondary hull caught my eye last night. It's the wireframe image where you asked me to do a red line markup, above. That gives me the impression the leading edge isn't an edge, but rather the aft height brought forward and squared off.

I'm a bit confused by what's really going on there. Have you maintained that aft thickness coming forward, or is that just a misperception on my part?
Hi Aridas,

I'm modeling this in CAD (Pro/ENGINEER "Wildfire 4.0" to be specific). The techniques here are a bit different than what other modelers tend to be... it's not so much "make a shape, tweak a surface, etc." I have to create mathematically-precise shapes.

My secondary hull started off by creating the aft profile surface, then extruding the top and bottom halves of the shape forward, then creating the forward surface... trimming all of this, merging the surfaces into a common "quilt" and finally "solidifying" that enclosed "quilt." At that point, the model was made of extrusions of only four 2D sections.

After that, I added the "neck core" and then trimmed off the underside of the secondary hull to match the profile view (this was a swept cut, not an extruded one). At that point, the secondary hull's top surface consisted entirely of the top aft profile, extruded forward.

This was making it hard for me to see what I really wanted to do as well, even though I had it in my mind, so I went ahead and "shelled out" the region where the complex curvature begins. Even though this makes a bit more work for me (subtracting material then adding material back, instead of JUST subtracting material), it's proving helpful for me to visualize the form of that area as I model it.

I have a 3D PDF I can send to you (PM me your private email) and you can actually spin, pan, zoom, etc that in real-time (using any recent version of Adobe Reader), if that will be helpful for you to see what it "really" looks like right now.

Again, I really want to get your "approval" on this, because it is, of course, your design. I'm not trying to do "Cary's version of the Ariel," I want to do the most accurate Ariel I can manage.

That said, I do have a few questions for you.

A) There are four squares on the top side (each subdivided into four smaller squares), in line with the inner two rows of landing bays. I was planning on treating those as landing platforms... elevator platforms where ships can land, and be lowered into the ship interior. If I'm mistaken about the purpose of those shapes, please let me know.

B) The specs listed don't mention torpedo tubes, but there are details on the neck leading edge that most people assume are torpedo launchers... a row of four horizontal ribs. What did you intend for those to be?

C) Also, there is a spot slightly higher on the dorsal leading edge which appears to be an RCS thruster... and is in-line with something which is clearly intended to be an RSC station on the trailing edge. Is this correct?

D) There are supposed to be six single-mount phasers, in addition to the six dual-mount phaser banks on the primary hull. I see four, on the topside between the landing bay support equipment. I'm assuming that the other two are on the underside, but if you have a spot selected for them, I'd like to make sure I put those last two phasers in the right place.

E) There's a large circular patch on the underside of the secondary hull. I'm assuming that this is related to the main power system. Can you tell me what this is?

F) There are two rows, per side, of a series of diminishing-size rectangular shapes, on the top of the secondary hull. These could be simple surface markings, or they could be intended to be some form of recessed feature (like an "intake" of some sort?) What are they intended to be?

G) There are two small notches on the leading edge, and one larger notch on the trailing edge, of the secondary hull, near the nacelle pylons, repeated on the port and the starboard sides. I think that these are maneuvering thrusters, and exist only on the top surface. Is this correct?

H) There are two magnetic field sensors on the topside secondary hull. Is there a third one anyplace else? (Both Enterprise and Reliant had three such sensors... and you need three in order to properly triangulate locations, obviously.)

I) There is an odd shape near the trailing edge of the dorsal... it is circular, roughly the size of a window, but has a vertical "cross" on it. Is this intended to be anything specific?

J) Near the base of the dorsal, on either side, there is a pair of rectangular shapes.. one pretty large, the other, just forward of that one, smaller. Did you have any purpose in mind for these?

K) I can see what seems to be a saucer landing pad on the underside of the primary hull, at 90 degrees from the forward axis. I assume that there are more of these... I was planning on putting six of these (at even spacing) around the underside. Is this what you had in mind?

L) On the topside secondary hull, there are a pair of what seem to be squashed hexagons, one port and one starboard. These are near the two "rows of shrinking rectangles." Any specific intention for what that's intended to be?

And finally,

M) Further inboard, but nearly in line with those "squashed hexes," there are a pair of circular shapes, with what seems to be an inset "quarter circular" shape inside of it. Again, any specific intention for that?

In any case, where the answer is "nothing specific," I'll feel free to let my mind run free to fill in those blanks. But I don't want to go in a different direction that what you intended.

By the way... my landing bays are going to be cojoined by a large internal taxiway, running port to starboard. The upper and lower bays will access this taxiway by an elevator.

There will be a lot of hangar space internally, cojoining the landing bays and taxiway. I read in "Starship design" that the Ariel carries "over 80 embarked craft" and I plan to allow for that, unless you have some other number I should use. I'm not counting "work bees" or service pods, only actual autonomous vessels (passenger/research/cargo shuttles, fighters, tenders, etc).

That pretty much sums up my questions for now. If you're confused at all about the shape I've got so far, let me send you the 3D PDF, and it should clear most everything up.
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