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Old August 14 2013, 12:47 AM   #35
Robert Comsol
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Re: Oberth Class the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

Praetor wrote: View Post
Quite an old well, but it appears there's still water in it.
Thanks for taking the time and providing an in-depth comment. No need to curse, yet...

Praetor wrote: View Post
A few thoughts. First and foremost, I don't see Oberth as being a missing link between Constitution and Miranda, nor do I see it as being a precursor to Constitution. I see it as being an older, somewhat less versatile vessel of similar age to the other two classes.
It has become some sort of Trek practice to adopt these TOS pre-production for pre-TOS ships and we have two examples: The Enterprise XXV 330 goes way back to early TOS pre-production as does the Daedalus Class.

Here is Jefferies’ (popular) pre-production sketch of the Enterprise. The essential design is two warp engines and saucer joined as an element with the secondary connected to element holding the engines. What happened if we were to adopt the essential design for another and new pre-TOS ship? It would look like a vessel of the Oberth Class.

In terms of evolution the next step could be either to attach the warp engines to the secondary hull instead (Enterprise) or to relocate components of the secondary hull into the saucer and have the secondary hull reduced to a roll bar with sensor and/or torpedo pod (Reliant).
That’s what I saw (after looking at these pre-production sketches) and where my theory sprang from originally (indeed, putting something upside down opens new perspectives).

Praetor wrote: View Post
I think part of the problem with the Oberth lays with its registry, and the inherent nature of registries. It's my opinion that trying to use registry to guess age isn't going to get us anywhere.
If it has to fit GUT (Grand Unified Theory) and doesn’t take into account that the registry scheme may have changed or been modified somewhere between the late 23rd and the 24th Century it’s a problem, indeed.
But if I ignored retroactive continuity and instead focus on the Jefferies Registry Scheme (JRS) for the era of Kirk and pre-TOS it works well from the 1st Federation design series (Daedalus) up to the 20th (Excelsior).

Praetor wrote: View Post
Why did the makers of STIII pick NCC-638? I think someone else correctly stated that NCC-2000 was meant to suggest shiny, new, and big. I think the low registry of Grissom was meant only to suggest a less powerful ship, and we should probably leave it at that.
Possible, but not desirable when we can have an easy to understand explanation that doesn’t go into rationalization overdrive. Therefore, I can’t leave it at that as this would be like giving in to petrified dogma to me, no offense!

Praetor wrote: View Post
While I am a fan of Mr. Jefferies' registry schema, I do not think anyone in latter-day Trek made any effort to adhere to it whatsoever, and we cannot retroactively attempt to apply it with any measure of success.
How can (finally) applying something that was there from the beginning (JRS) and works for the Kirk era possibly register as a retroactive attempt, that’s a contradiction.

It’s the retroactive ignorance of the Jefferies Scheme which is the culprit that started the mess, and things went south when the Constellation Class Hathaway got the same “25” prefix as the Exelsior II Class Repulse although it had been previously established that the prefix of the Stargazer (Constellation Class) was “28”.
Obviously, the registry scheme had radically changed from that moment forward…

Praetor wrote: View Post
I don't know that it [Oberth Class] was as old as a 22nd century design, though, and would prefer if it weren't. (I've suspected for a while that sometime in the early 23rd century Starfleet registries were reset - perhaps as the result of a major fleet integration between the various Federation worlds. I don't base this on anything other than the fact that it would make life a bit easier.)
Sometime in the early 23rd Century? Can you please elaborate, does this have something to do with ENT and GUT?

Praetor wrote: View Post
I suspect that in the TOS nomenclature of Starship vs. not, that the Oberth would have probably been considered a Scout-class vessel. If memory serves, TMoST does mention such ships. If we are to take TMoST further into account, Mirandas may be the 'Destroyer Class,' where Kirk attained his first command.
TMoST only mentioned “Destroyer Class”, “Scout Class” first popped up in ST III. Unfortunately Reliant is a starship, according to Chekov’s log entry, hence Starship Class and not Destroyer Class. Personally I would have preferred it to belong to the Destroyer Class.

The apparent problem is that if these classes refer to size (my theory) then we only know that up to 395’ it’s Scout Class and longer than 765’ (Reliant) it’s definitely Starship Class. And in between there’s the Destroyer Class and even maybe a Cruiser Class.

Praetor wrote: View Post
  • TSFS and Mr. Probert scaled the ship at around 120 meters long; some depictions vary but this appears to be creative intent. Bob: That’s very important because only that reflects what the true dimensions are and what scale the vessel and surface features do have. The creator knows best, and first comes, first serves (IMHO)
  • The "secondary hull" is connected by two pylons rather than a single neck to the saucer and nacelles. This is rather unique in Starfleet design, as the closest similar feature would seem to be the mission pod on the Nebula class. Bob: Since the Nebula Class is the TNG successor of the Miranda Class which according to my theory is a successor of the Oberth Class this should not come as a surprise…
  • The ship's nacelles are very close to the saucer, which seems antithetical to the Jefferies design ethos of "get them the hell away from living people." Bob: Exactly!!! Considering they kept the nacelles at a healthy distance from the rest of the ship with the TOS and TMP Enterprise, the Excelsior and so forth the close proximity of the Oberth Class nacelles to the saucer looks definitely like a step back. Unless, of course, it’s an older design and they couldn’t know or do better!
  • The S.S. Vico, at least, contained many different science stations; however, as no two Oberth interiors matched closely, we may surmise this was not the case with all ships of the class. Bob: Especially because of the obvious difference in size I suggested the TNG Oberth Class (does TNG mention “Oberth Class”, can’t recall) may be a different class or Oberth II Class. If by the 24th Century only the Oberth II Class around (except ST VII), the “II” will eventually be dropped…
  • On the topic of differing interior arrangement, we may be inclined to state that this indicates the class as quite versatile, perhaps contributing to its longevity - but actually we seem to see the same thing with most other Starfleet ship interiors that happen to not be the same design as our series' hero ship. We know that the real world reason is the reuse of whatever sets are available. (In other words, all Starfleet ships probably feature an easily reconfigurable interior arrangement.)
  • MSD cutaways seen on screen seem to suggest a few decks, as well as decks in the "pod." We must take these with a grain of salt, of course, since we know MSDs are not infallible or definitive. Of the Pegasus at least, it was said engineering was at the "center" of the ship, even if it was originally intended to be an all-new ship class. This may mean the center of the saucer section, or the center of the pod. Bob: The location of engineering aboard the Pegasus is giving me headaches. But obviously it has to be larger than 395’ for all the mutiny action that took place aboard, and I’d prefer not to elaborate on this Oberth II Class ship for he moment.
The "pod" is probably not hot swappable, but is probably easily configured for a variety of missions - and may indeed differ greatly between each ship of the class. I would suggest that while engineering and the warp core may indeed be down there as per MSD on screen, that perhaps for this class those operations are even more automated than on other vessels, requiring minimal direct crew interaction. The warp engines are probably up top to make swapping the pod easier, even if the pod contains the actual warp reaction system.
You are now talking about the Oberth Class TNG version. No doubt that the vessels were upgraded. However, the depiction of decks inside the secondary hull or pod strikes me as an attempt to put a square peg into a round hole. Since I first saw the Grissom on the screen and noticed the tiny and bended pylons, it seemed rather certain to me that the window-less pod was an uninhabitable area, entirely devoted to fuel and mechanical devices.

(I could better imagine the pod to have been some kind of major payload and think of the Oberth Class as an analogy to a torpedo bomber or ancient naval fireship (much like the abuse of the rebel transports in the unrealized VFX scenes from Return of The Jedi…). Steer your payload straight at the enemy’s vessel and detach with the saucer module in the last minute. The Oberth Class could have been a formidable Romulan Warbird killer in the mid 22nd Century ).

Praetor wrote: View Post
I once helped LCARS24 make an MSD of the class for his projects and we went through some of this same line of thinking. We ended up putting the warp core "down below" and rationalized that the people who worked in the pod tended to stay in the pod, and the people who ran and steered the ship probably tended to stay up top.
Looks like the best rationalization for the Pegasus and other “TNG Oberths” to me, too.

Praetor wrote: View Post
I am of two minds when it comes to inferring the nature of unseen classes from TOS. Certainly had we seen them at the time TOS was made they would not have been the Oberth. What they would have been, only Mr. Jefferies could say. However, I feel compelled to retroactively state that Mirandas and Oberths were indeed in service in that time frame. Would the Carolina have been an Oberth? No. Would the Valiant have been? I would argue this to be possible, but unsubstantiated.
TPTB have provided the answer for Matt Jefferies (well, the Enterprise ringship is a design of his inspired from his early TOS production sketches) regarding the Daedalus Class which brings me full circle back to the beginning of the post.
I have no doubt that NCC-1831 on the starship status chart in “Court Martial” referred to a Miranda (18th design), do not think that the Carolina was an Oberth, either, but feel confident that the USS Valiant was a vessel of the Oberth Class.

I hope to live long enough to see a talented CGI artist work with the entire widescreen (!) matte painting of the capitol of Eminiar VII, remove the aqueduct in the foreground to have “X-ray-vision” for an unobstructed view of the Valiant’s saucer module having touched down in the central park, and the crew having first contact with the predecessors of Anan Seven.

Too bad Ships of the Line isn’t produced any more, that would have been a great pre-TOS motive, IMHO.

Bob
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