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Old January 29 2013, 05:12 AM   #41
Re: Uses of the Reliant studio model in Trek

Dukhat wrote: View Post
t_smitts wrote: View Post
I think it's safe to say that in the case of the Miranda, Oberth, Excelsior, and probably a few others, ships would be continued to be built well into the 24th century.
True, but probably not right up to TNG, which is what is implied with the Oberth class.
It's vague when they got up to registries in the 5xxxx range, but regardless, Oberths aren't combat vessels. They're science vessels and maybe some other light duties, like ferrying people between starbases (i.e. the Cochrane in "Emmisary"), or testing new technologies (the Pegasus) etc. There's no reason older ones couldn't have been upgraded with new computer systems and warp drive and there's no reason newer ones couldn't have been built with those upgrades.

Dukhat wrote: View Post
t_smitts wrote: View Post
On top of that, Starfleet seems to build a lot of its ships to last: The Constellation-class Hathaway was 80 years old. The Miranda class Lantree was at least that old herself, judging from her registry and fact that she was listed on Operation Retrieve in ST6. (By contrast, the carrier Enterprise, just retired, is fifty years old, older than any ship in the US navy except the Constitution, and was originally designed for a service only half that that).
Agreed that ships were built to last. But that wasn't quite what I was arguing. My point was: Why continue to construct outdated ship designs when other, more advanced ship designs were being constructed and built at the same time? One doesn't build Ford Model-Ts and Ford Focuses concurrently.

There are actually two instances of Excelsiors being used in place of more advanced ships: the aforementioned Melbourne, and the Crazy Horse (listed as a Cheyenne class ship in the Encyclopedia, but later shown to be a Hood-stock footage-Excelsior, and the 5XXXX registry was not changed).
The Ford thing's a bit of an exaggeration, but some designs may simply work really well, even after several decades. Starfleet may simply stick with designs when it finds a good one, something that clearly applies to the Excelsior.

(Clearly the Klingons have the same attitude, given the lifespan of the BoP and battle cruiser designs, and these are ships that probably see combat far more often than 24th Century Starfleet did pre-Dominion War)

Dukhat wrote: View Post
t_smitts wrote: View Post
And I think you gotta cut them a LITTLE slack in terms of reusing models. They're pretty darn expensive and time-consuming to make (money and time being two things you never have enough of on a TV series). Ideally, for example, I would've liked a new design for the Bozeman, but this was a class specifically said to be retired 80 years ago. How much mileage would they really have gotten out of it on TNG or DS9?
Actually, the original rationale for not building other Starfleet ship models was that the producers didn't want to spend any more money on them if the show ended up getting cancelled after one or two seasons. That's a bit different than saying that they just didn't have the money. They certainly had the money to build things like the space jellyfish ship, the Edo God, the Ferengi Marauder, the Terellian ship, the Atlec ship, the Romulan Warbird, and the Pakled ship. As for the Bozeman, see next quote.

No, the refit Constitution was never used on any of the shows (apart from a kitbash in the Wolf 359 scene that few people would spot on their own), but I wonder if it wasn't simply a case of not wanting to use the "hero ship" from the movies on the show (just as we never saw any Sovereigns fighting in any Dominion War battle scenes).
The Connie refit in BoBW wasn't a kitbash - it was the actual feature film model used for the Enterprise's destruction in Star Trek III. And your "hero ship" hypothesis notwithstanding, I'm still not sure why the VFX guys didn't simply use the refit as the Bozeman, if they originally wanted to use a Constitution class ship anyway.
My mistake regarding the Connie, but I suspect they may not have wanted to use the "hero" design from the movies on TNG, just as we never saw a Sovereign on-screen fighting the Dominion.

Pretty much all of the alien ships got reused. The Ferengi were supposed to be the main badguys originally, so giving them a distinctive ship would've been considered a good investment. The Romulans actually were the main badguys. They got a great deal of use out of that Warbird design. (Perhaps a bit too much, if you ask me).

All the other ones got modified and recycled as other alien ships-of-the-week on TNG and early DS9 and Voyager eps.

Dukhat wrote: View Post
throwback wrote: View Post
This is less sure, but the Atlantis from "Conspiracy" might have been an Excelsior-class Starship. This is based on the fact that a diagram of this class appeared in the mission orders for this ship. Well, anyway, this ship had a registry of NCC-72007. So, it's possible that Starfleet was still making these ships as late as the 2360s.
I wouldn't put too much stock in those Conspiracy displays. The diagrams used were just random images that had no connection to the text. Two other diagrams, completely different from the Excelsior, also appear under the Atlantis entry. Plus, the ship's registry on the Starship Deploy Status chart is 32710.
I agree about the "Conspiracy" graphics. These were made during a time when there were no HD screen caps and no one who's name wasn't Okuda was expected to see it.

Besides having some ship names that are just plain silly (USS Heart of Gold? Really?), we had registries as low as NCC-42 and as high as NCC-85183, much higher than the not-yet-built Defiant or Voyager.

DS9 had the opportunity, when they switched to CGI, to create new ship classes for the battle sequences. Instead, they simply created new models out of the existing models and added a few designs from ILM. So, there must have been a reason, other than budget, that the producers decided to reuse the old models.
There was. ILM was ordered to give up all their CGI models used in First Contact to Paramount for remapping. This included not only the three new designs (minus the Norway, as the CGI mesh was lost), but also Nebula and Miranda low-poly models used in the film, which was why we see them in the DS9 fleet scenes. As to why we also see the Excelsior, that was because they had easy access to Greg Jein's model built for VOY's "Flashback" and could scan it into a CGI model (which is also why we don't see any Ent-B-type refitted Excelsiors as CGI models).

So it was easier to remap all the FC models and scan Jein's Excelsior than to create all new CGI designs. However, this brings up an interesting thought: If DS9 is ever remastered in HD, will all those CGI fleet scenes have to be redone? And if they are redone, will the same ship designs be used?
They'll likely have a bit more time than they did when making episodes, but the question is if Paramount is willing to shell out the $ to update those battle sequences. Personally, I'd be less interested in introducing new designs than I would be in just making those battles BIGGER! More ships! More explosions! More death, destruction, and mayhem! (What a twisted little f__k I am! )

throwback wrote: View Post
I think the starships were subject to the demands of plot. The Voyager, one of the Federation's newest ships built to specifications acquired from battling the Borg, was consistently bested in combat by less advanced ships in the Delta Quadrant.

I don't have an issue with the older classes being used in the Dominion War. I do have an issue with them being used in the front line. And, I do have issues with Starfleet having to kitbash ships.
Those ones seen in "A Time to Stand" were nasty (except for the Centaur). I don't think about those.

And Starfleet likely sent EVERY ship fit for combat to the front lines, given the scope of the Dominion threat.

Dukhat wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
Not particularly different. If anything, portable weapons would have a greater excuse for being put out of production when they grow outdated. But there is no motivation for ceasing the production of "primitive" revolvers, so there certainly shouldn't be a motivation for doing major changes for a "primitive" starship which is a much more complex industrial effort to begin with and would require much more effort to redesign. Not unless something about the threat environment changes - and nothing should change for a science vessel, as its "threats" have stayed constant for billions of years already.
Sorry, I'm not quite buying that logic. A gun is a gun. You put bullets in it and you shoot. A starship is an advanced piece of engineering allowing its occupant to travel at FTL speeds to other planets, while also containing a multitude of systems such as computers, life-support, matter/antimatter engines, artificial gravity, weapons systems, sensor systems...the list goes on. Your comparison isn't even remotely similar.
Indeed. A ship is a collection of those things. Which means you can probably replace most of the interior systems while still retaining the outer design.
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