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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old October 16 2008, 09:59 AM   #1
Timo
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ST XI ships

Let's finally get this one rolling, shall we?

We've all probably already seen the USS Kelvin pics in the ST XI forum: this,


and the other one with the full bow view. Any first impressions, opinions, grudges, ideas?

The NCC-0514 thing is sorta weird: the only time Starfleet has put a zero in front of the rego before was NX-01 (plus the fake NX-01A or NX-01-A). Do we infer that the people who built the Kelvin were already sure there would be more than a thousand ships in service within her lifetime?

Of course, I personally heartily welcome this: I like to pretend that ST XI can still fit within the Trek continuity, and this one would even fit the classic fandom continuity. No overlap with the FJ destroyer NCC-514 here, not when this ship clearly is the observation vessel NCC-O514, with the TAS-style letter prefix...

Two nacelles, with a deflector on the bow of the upper one? Difficult to tell from that angle, but it looks reasonably cool and innovative, a good addition to the zoo. Very TMP'ish look (and that goes for the NCC-1701 interiors, too, only upgraded for the 1990s or so), but that's not too bad.

Lots and lots of pop-up cannon on the saucertop? Cool with me. Reputedly, they fire some sort of pulses; could be other than phasers unless the dialogue is specific. A connection to ENT, if one so wants.

The design, including the level of greeblies and blinkies is very much in line with everything done in televised and movie Treks so far. I claim that this is a good thing - the movie needs to connect visually.

Thumbs up for this baby, even if NCC-1701 turns out to be a disappointment.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old October 16 2008, 10:20 AM   #2
JuanBolio
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Re: ST XI ships

Thumbs generally up for me, too. I didn't think I'd like an over-and-under nacelle design (I've never seen one I liked), but this one pulls it off. Well done.

Gripes:

The 0 in the registry IS a little odd. Why?

There seem to be too many turrets, and the weapons blasts, both outgoing and incoming, look very weak, but I'll wait to see a full-on battle scene before I pass ultimate judgment.

I don't like the fiery explosions and smoke in the zero-G vacuum of space.

The blue ramscoop/deflector on the upper nacelle coupled with the seemingly red one below is strange, but maybe there's a reason. Even if there's not, oh well. Its still a cool ship. I WILL be a little put off if it turns out to be a deflector dish on a nacelle, though. That's... odd.
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Old October 16 2008, 10:37 AM   #3
Timo
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Re: ST XI ships

Not too many other places for the dish, though, I'd argue. Some fan single-nacellers have done this sort of thing - the Cochise/Amerind classes, for example. Might look jarring and unaesthetic, which is bad, but treknologically it still sort of meshes.

Perhaps the Kelvin isn't supposed to be a mighty capital ship like the Enterprise, not having been one even back in her heyday. Weaker ships might rely on a large number of peashooters, much like destroyers of old had lots and lots of barrels for five-inchers or lighter guns when the first true battleships made do with as few as four heavy barrels.

Or it might represent a generation change, with the Kelvin being a strong capital ship armed by a maximum number of the best guns of her day in "late 19th century" fashion, but the Enterprise sporting a radically new weapon type that provides the same firepower with fewer, stronger mounts in early "20th century" style.

...I do hope the guns of the Enterprise will be different! And I sort of believe this was the whole point of this, a dramatic choice that helps tell the two ships apart.

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Old October 16 2008, 10:41 AM   #4
GodThingFormerly
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Re: ST XI ships

I wonder if the ship's RCS packs will also be covered by retractable hull plating when not in use.

TGT
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Old October 16 2008, 10:50 AM   #5
Timo
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Re: ST XI ships

Lots of paneling there that might plausibly slide whichever way, and probably get blown loose to make the destruction look cooler.

...That long black stripe between "KEL" and the zero, the forward part of the "step" of the saucertop, looks like it might be a long window. But at least one of the peashooters has its silo just next to the stripe, making it unlikely there could be a room behind the stripe. A sensor of some sort, then, without much depth?

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Old October 16 2008, 10:54 AM   #6
JuanBolio
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Re: ST XI ships

Timo wrote: View Post
Not too many other places for the dish, though, I'd argue.
Of course, some ships apparently don't even have one!

Perhaps the Kelvin isn't supposed to be a mighty capital ship like the Enterprise, not having been one even back in her heyday. Weaker ships might rely on a large number of peashooters, much like destroyers of old had lots and lots of barrels for five-inchers or lighter guns when the first true battleships made do with as few as four heavy barrels.

Or it might represent a generation change, with the Kelvin being a strong capital ship armed by a maximum number of the best guns of her day in "late 19th century" fashion, but the Enterprise sporting a radically new weapon type that provides the same firepower with fewer, stronger mounts in early "20th century" style.

...I do hope the guns of the Enterprise will be different! And I sort of believe this was the whole point of this, a dramatic choice that helps tell the two ships apart.

Timo Saloniemi
Good explanation, and I agree. I just hope they're not ALL pea-shooters... just once I'd love to see some frightening sci-fi weaponry. But even if we don't get that, there's a lot more this movie potentially has to offer.
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Old October 16 2008, 11:26 AM   #7
GodThingFormerly
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Re: ST XI ships

Timo wrote: View Post
A sensor of some sort, then, without much depth?
My pesos would be on dedicated weapons targeting scanners, especially if one considers their proximity to the pea-shooters and corresponding view of the "upper" (Z+) celestial hemisphere.

TGT
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Old October 16 2008, 11:47 AM   #8
Timo
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Re: ST XI ships

Enemy fire here seems to be those red phaser-style beams; the green streaks and strobes might represent another kind of enemy fire, but also perhaps the environment: a weird nebula, a planet's upper atmosphere, a Romulan time tunnel? This environment might affect the way the smoke swirls and the gasoline explosions billow.

But probably the battle visuals will be no more "realistic" here than elsewhere in scifi. It's not as if anybody ever has had any sort of interest in such a thing, not in Trek or Wars, but also not in Babylon 5 or nu-BSG, which considered "gritty realism" a selling point.

I do wonder what the effects would have looked like if some of the shots exchanged in ST:TMP had pierced through shields to the hulls...

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Old October 16 2008, 11:59 AM   #9
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Re: ST XI ships

Timo wrote: View Post
I do wonder what the effects would have looked like if some of the shots exchanged in ST:TMP had pierced through shields to the hulls...
There were shots exchanged in ST:TMP???

I do think that TMP had the most realistic torpedo detonation ever seen in Trek. A brilliant blue-white flash, followed by total annihilation of the target!
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Old October 16 2008, 12:05 PM   #10
Timo
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Re: ST XI ships

Well, okay, with Kirk it was an uneven "exchange", the cloud shooting at him and him not shooting back. The Klingons and V'Ger did exchange fire, though; I like the effects used, but I fear that any "conventional" battle fought there would have fallen victim to scifi visual cliches in the end.

The TMP torp detonation is beautifully in line with the TOS effects, at least with the redone ones. I do hope something like that is used in STXI, too. It could be twisted into "good continuity": these early torpedoes were coarse affairs, blowing up half a planet for the desired effect, and only the ST2-era weapons had reached sufficient precision that engineers could reduce their warheads to the more practical regular cannonballs.

Nothing looking like a torpedo launcher on the Kelvin, unless the underside of the saucer is more bulged and either shows some tubes or at least has enough of a front profile to allow us to believe in sliding panels.

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Old October 16 2008, 12:09 PM   #11
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Re: ST XI ships

I'm going to reserve judgement till the movie comes out (or till we see it in the trailer), but at the moment I don't like this design at all.

Can't get over that "eye" deflector dish. The battle shot looks okay, but it doesn't look anything more spectacular than CGI stuff we've seen in voyager, ds9 or Enterprise.
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Old October 16 2008, 04:32 PM   #12
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Re: ST XI ships

The level of detail is about one step higher than other ST movie so far. That's what I can tell for now till the trailer comes out.

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Old October 16 2008, 05:08 PM   #13
ancient
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Re: ST XI ships

It looks great. Light grey hull, large block lettering, lots of hull detail without using aztec or SW hull types. Very good tos-style update.
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Old October 16 2008, 06:27 PM   #14
Christopher
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Re: ST XI ships

JuanBOOlio wrote: View Post
The blue ramscoop/deflector on the upper nacelle coupled with the seemingly red one below is strange, but maybe there's a reason. Even if there's not, oh well. Its still a cool ship. I WILL be a little put off if it turns out to be a deflector dish on a nacelle, though. That's... odd.
I don't think they're both nacelles. The upper structure looks to me like an engineering hull with a forward deflector dish, while the bit of red-orange thingy we see below looks like part of a nacelle-cap dome.

Am I the only one who wishes the registry number of the Kelvin were NCC-273.15?
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Old October 16 2008, 06:31 PM   #15
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Re: ST XI ships

The ship and the lettering looks very military to me. As if the Kelvin were built by the U.S. Army. I'd be interested in seeing what the duty uniforms look like for Robao and George Kirk.
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