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Old January 7 2013, 10:05 PM   #4
Re: Ships of the Star Fleet

As said, the Ships of the Star Fleet assigns identities to all sorts of actual Enterprise designs used on screen or proposed for various failed projects. It does the same to two Reliant designs, one actually used, the other not. That's about two thirds of the content: the remaining ships are either the creation of the author, or then adaptations of designs by friends of the author.

The nice thing about this is that the assigning of class identities to the various designs is done so that consistency with the old, original Star Fleet Technical Manual by Franz Schnaubelt is maintained: the class names and registries from that manual are associated with visual designs for the first time. Just about everything remains consistent with onscreen material, too - remarkably so when so much of that material has been added since.

Whether the fiction there points to a more militant Starfleet than we saw on screen, I wouldn't know... So many of the movies did go for a rather martial look and feel, especially with Nicholas Meyer at helm.

The artwork in the book is very nice, clean and systematic, consisting of line drawings only (a few in three-quarters bow view, most in side or top views only). It is also quite accurate: if you want to model the onscreen ships from scrap, using these drawings is as good a way to go as going for some of the more fanatically researched measurements available online, as the shooting models were approximations only anyway (that is, the old TOS ship model was asymmetric and bent out of shape while the "real" ship supposedly wasn't). While the Akiyazi booklet has full deck plans, the Ships of the Star Fleet offers a "conceptual" foldout on the approximate innards and workings of one of the author's own cruiser designs (Belknap strike cruiser), which is in a way even more interesting.

Also, the softcover books are a delight to handle, and keep their shine well even after a decade of hard use.

Timo Saloniemi
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