Okay, I'm putting out a call for creative assistance. I've run into a late-stage design problem on Polaris
that I need a solution for and I haven't been able to come up with one on my own that I'm completely satisfied with.
It occurred to me within the last couple of weeks that I never allowed for any docking ports on Polaris.
I do have a set of EVA pod bays on either side of the main fuselage just forward of the lander modules, but those were never intended to be docking ports per se. They wouldn't be ideal locations for them anyway because of the weapons pylons and main engines sticking out so far on both sides. A space station might have extended docking arms they could link up with but another ship wouldn't necessarily. At the very least, Polaris
should be able to dock directly with another ship of the same class.
Ironically, the best locations for the docking ports are probably right where the point defense turrets are located at the tips of the weapons pylons. I'm actually giving serious consideration to the idea of moving the turrets somewhere else and reworking the CANE guns to make room for a connecting passageway. There are equally good reasons for the turrets to remain where they are, however, so I'd like to find some other alternatives.
It should be noted that neither the point defense turrets nor the docking bays are actually required for the script, but they still need to make logical sense.
What I'm hoping for is that all you clever and creative artists and designers might be able to help me out and throw some ideas my way. As I said, I already have a few of my own, but none of them have really jumped off the page and declared, "I am the perfect solution!" It may be that there is no perfect solution, but I figure it can't hurt to open this one up to the community at-large just to see what brilliance might appear.
Don't confine your ideas to conventional concepts, feel free to think outside the box. The docking bays don't necessarily have to be located along the sides of the ship, they could be almost anywhere as long as it makes logical sense and doesn't conflict with some other part of the ship, such as the moveable drive sails. Go crazy and see what you can come up with.
And thanks in advance for whatever help you can provide.