My two quatloos FWIW, is to regard the TAS designs as kinda like rough concept sketches and then fine tune them from that starting point?
Yes. Particularly in the "Slaver Weapon" scoutship I've incorporated a touch of the Class F's wedge shape concept to it. I then shortened it considerably while trying to maintain something of the overall look of angularity albeit softened a bit. Hence the slightly curved lines rather than dead straight and rounded edges rather than sharp. Then it's a matter of adding just enough telling detail without overdoing it. I also try to interpret what I see. On the scoutship design there is something of a elongated triangle shape on the lower side of forward hull. I dismissed it being a pennant or marking. It is just too weird shaped to be a service access panel. So in a forthcoming update you'll see I've interpreted as a form of concavity in the hull, which does add some interesting visual texture and detail to the overall plain surfaces.
The heavy lander design from "Mudd's Passion" is already sketched out and while I again maintain the overall shape I rescaled it drastically. Taken at the scale the craft is shown onscreen it would never fit on the Enterprise's
flight deck. As a result you'll see that the access hatchway is a lot larger than what we saw onscreen.
Considering how I intend to explain or rationalize these craft it's interesting to note that although all of them our larger overall than the familiar Class F design they're each not as mission flexible. The scout comes closet, but it's still primarily a fast long range craft. The heavy lander is specifically for surveying extreme environments and so it's a short duration vehicle with limited accommodations for no more than three personnel. It's meant to be rugged with sturdier shielding and structural enhancements and is more space friendly for specialized survey equipment rather than personnel. It's a low warp vehicle---not much more than Warp 1. And, of course, the aquashuttle has no warp capability and is strictly meant as a near space or orbit to surface (and under) craft. I haven't yet decided on its submerged capabilities.
Your design here looks great so far Warped9, though it seems impulse engines would/could be mounted on either side of the aft exit, no?
I tried that, but what bothers me is that there really isn't a lot of room unless you start making the craft bigger, and that starts getting back into a problem of being oversized after I had just managed to get its size down to something somewhat manageable. Also note how large the Class F's impulse thrust components are in relation to its overall size or at least to what you can see from the aft end. I wanted to maintain something of that proportion when incorporating it to these designs to seem more credible and consistent with what TOS had established with its shuttlecraft. I can do it easily with the heavy lander. I don't have to do it with the aquashuttle because I'm not thinking of trying to submerge impulse engines and so the craft has an antigrav drive for atmospheric and space flight. Regarding the scoutship since I can't fit an impulse drive to my satisfaction then I'll just incorporate an antigrav drive.
Of course it should be noted that the impulse engines of the Enterprise
look to be really quite small in relation to the overall size of the ship. But with a shuttlecraft I reason they can only get so small. And note that in TNG and DS9 there don't appear to actual be any visible impulse components on their shuttles and runabouts even though they make reference to them. Perhaps they also use an antigrav drive and yet still refer to it as impulse?
Note, sadly I don't know how to do 3D modeling, but it would be nice if someone would be interested in trying to computer model this and/or the others to get some idea what this would really look like. If anyone is interested than I could provide the drawings for it.