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Old March 9 2011, 07:01 PM   #1
Deranged Nasat
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Location: ...But it's sad and it's sweet and I knew it complete, when I wore a younger man's clothes.
These are our ships - could you tell?

There's something I've noticed but not mentioned before now, and I'd like to see if anyone else has noted it and - if so - what they think of it.

On the whole there's a very nice balance in Star Trek ship design between unspoken rules that render the universe consistant (even-numbered warp nacelles typically mounted away from the main hull, etc) and variety. It is a shame that models had to be reused so often, because on the whole a good job is done across all the series in establishing consistant design lineages for each nation and race. Overall it's a good use of a core design (this is what a ship in this universe has/looks like/works) reinterpreted for many different species.

One particular aspect that I've noted - and I don't know if it's just me getting carried away with the concept or if this was intentional - is that each nation's ships match its insignia.

Klingon ships: A vaguely triangular shape with a long primary point and two other points "beneath" it, one on each side, all branching out from a central core.

Vulcan ships: A circular shape (ring) with an arrow or triangle penetrating it.

Romulan ships: Bird, obviously, with sharp down-turned beak and spread wings.

Cardassian ships: The Galor-class warship is the Cardassian emblem.

Even the Federation - a circle with two branches; from the top, don't they superficially resemble the UFP seal?

Possibly reaching here:

The Andorian ships, from the top, resemble the "multiple ovals all lined up alongside each other" that is the Andorian emblem.

It's driving me nuts! Some I know are deliberate - the Cardassian Galor and Romulan D'deridex warbird - but what of the Klingon and Vulcan designs? Surely not. It can't be deliberate, surely, yet I keep seeing it. Has anyone else got this odd idea that, very often, there's a relationship between a race's emblem/insignia and its ships? I'm not suggesting by any means its a "rule", but it seems to happen with some regularity.
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Old March 10 2011, 12:00 AM   #2
C.E. Evans
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Re: These are our ships - could you tell?

I always went with hull colors myself, especially for the 24th-Century...

bluish-grey or white: Federation ships

dull green: Klingon ships

bright green: Romulan ships

yellow: Cardassian ships

rust: Ferengi ships
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Old March 10 2011, 04:40 AM   #3
Subcommander R.
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Re: These are our ships - could you tell?

Excellent points all.

The Klingon design may have held true with the original D7 Cruiser, but the transition to the BOP and newer designs seem to have moved away from the insignia shape.
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Old March 13 2011, 08:38 PM   #4
Ensign Ro-
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Re: These are our ships - could you tell?

Very insightful observations. And quite true in many respects.

I read an interview with the production designer for "Insurrection" who revealed some interesting information. When designing the "unfolding panels" on the weapon, he had originally suggested 3, not 2. He was asked to change it when he was reminded of Gene Roddenberry's "unwritten rule".

Roddenberry did establish some rules in design. He said he liked "pairs" which is one of the main reasons that ALL the ships had 2 nacelles. The "Roddenberry Rule of Two's" was never broken until he passed away.

Just thought you might find that interesting. :-)
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Old March 13 2011, 11:48 PM   #5
The Wormhole
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Re: These are our ships - could you tell?

Ensign Ro- wrote: View Post

The "Roddenberry Rule of Two's" was never broken until he passed away.
Not exactly. Even if you ignore the designs from the TOS Tech Manual, there were some odd-number nacelles on the ships in the Wolf 359 wreckage.

But you are essentially correct. In fact, to this day the only prominent Starfleet starships with an odd of nacelles are the Enterprise D from AGT and the Kelvin.
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Old March 14 2011, 12:07 AM   #6
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Re: These are our ships - could you tell?

What I want to know is if the officer in charge of identifying other ships uses visual identification (looking at the viewscreen) before checking the sensors, or vice versa.
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