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Old December 30 2011, 11:32 PM   #237
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Re: The Improving the JJprise thread

There are elements on the Rayonx ship that I really like, but it's too "motion-picture-y" and why does so much of the secondary hull have to be exposed like that?

In my opinion, one of the problems with this design that it shares with that implemented in Trek 2009 is there appear to have been design features implemented for no other reason than to be design features. What function does that extended cover serve over the end of the warp nacelles ... do they keep the rain off delicate parts? Why is so much of the hull on the secondary hull peeled back? The only answer I can think of is because it looks neat. "Wouldn't it be cool if the warp nacelles changed shape?" Well ... yes. But why? "How about if they were translucent?" Cool idea, but why?

Even the original doesn't escape this trap ... why is there that curve under the primary hull? What purpose does that dove tail under the shuttlebay serve? Sometimes you have to do things like this as a designer or else your ship will come out looking like a big sphere with engine ports here and there. Sometimes these weird features might represent elements of futuristic technology ... like the greebles on the inboard sides of the original warp nacelles. I find a little bit of that acceptable.

But when purposeless features come to dominate a design, my inner engineer goes, "What in the name of Feinberger is going on there?!"

Curiously, out of all of these pictures (with the exception of Vektor's, which is a gorgeous update on the original iconic starship) I like Chris Martin's best. Oh, sure it's ugly and needs work, but I sort of like his decision to abandon Matt Jefferies' smooth skin approach and leave the inner workings exposed. My only complaint is that he didn't go far enough. Maybe all of the exterior should be tossed ... leave only a few places covered with sun shields and thermal blankets for protection and make the thing look like it was built by the same species that built the International Space Station.
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