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Old June 10 2011, 05:03 AM   #1
Psion
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Ringship 1701

Reading through the recent diversions in the "Design the next Enterprise" thread and thinking about the beautiful models made of Matt Jefferies' ideas for a starship with ring-shaped warp drive, I started wondering what a ringship NCC-1701 would look like.

So I fired up Blender 2.57 and started doing some volume studies -- simple 3D sketches to get a feel for the ship.



Now, obviously, this is extremely crude. The shapes are really very rough and if I continue this project, I'll start over from scratch.

This is a simple box-extrusion model and I made several decisions early on about what it should look like. First, the pylon connecting the primary hull to the secondary hull should "continue" on through the secondary hull to form the mount for the ring. Second, I decided to eliminate the bulge on the lower part of the primary hull and move the pylon forward, widening it considerably and assuming some of the equipment (sensors, phasers, torpedo launchers, and some labs) from the primary hull are now housed in the pylon.

Third, and this is the part I kept having trouble with ... the diameter of the primary hull should be less than the diameter of the ring. As i continued to nudge vertices around, I kept having trouble with this rule. The ship just didn't look right when I did that. As you can see, this remains an unresolved issue.

This ship is probably the product of a reality where the Vulcans were happy to share their warp drive technology with humans, giving Henry Archer an opportunity to design warp-ships much more capable than he did in the timeline shown in Enterprise. I imagine it's a bit larger than the original 1701, but not as big as that shown in the 2009 movie. It isn't as streamlined as the original design, but I think t has a design elegance all its own and it might be worth working on this some more when I get spare time.
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Old June 10 2011, 05:10 AM   #2
Cary L. Brown
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Re: Ringship 1701

Psion wrote: View Post
Third, and this is the part I kept having trouble with ... the diameter of the primary hull should be less than the diameter of the ring. As i continued to nudge vertices around, I kept having trouble with this rule. The ship just didn't look right when I did that. As you can see, this remains an unresolved issue.
Why? Why must it be less? I mean... as far as I know, there's no "canon" or "real science" reason that this must be the case, is there? There's only the fact that we've never seen anything otherwise... or rather, have never seen anything otherwise YET.

Make the saucer LARGER than the ring... by the "golden ratio" (going back to that). Move it a bit further forward if it interferes. Keep the saucer centered on the ring. Make the ring's length 1/"the golden ratio" of it's outside diameter.

I'd be interested to see how that looks. Just my 2cents, though... take it or leave it.
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Old June 10 2011, 05:15 AM   #3
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Re: Ringship 1701

Don't limit yourself to the "golden ratio", just make it look good.
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Old June 10 2011, 05:18 AM   #4
Cary L. Brown
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Re: Ringship 1701

sojourner wrote: View Post
Don't limit yourself to the "golden ratio", just make it look good.
Hey, it's just a suggestion... nobody's suggesting being "tied" to a formula. I'm just thinking that, if he did what I suggested, it would look "right" to him (and to me). But hey, I could be wrong...

It can't hurt to TRY when you're "sandboxing," can it?
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Old June 10 2011, 05:23 AM   #5
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Re: Ringship 1701

Terrific comments. Sojourner, I think in fairness to Cary, the pursuit of the Golden Ratio is key to making it look good. But I'm just not sure how to apply it to starship design. Messing around with vertices in Blender is the closest I seem to be able to get.

Cary, I keep gravitating to a saucer that's bigger than the ring, but I don't want to because, in my mind, that ring defines an outer diameter for a warp field. But when i make it that way, it just looks wrong. Maybe I'm intuiting the Golden Ratio here, but, like I said, I don't know how to actually apply it consciously to ship design.

EDIT TO ADD:

Alright, screw limit number 3. Cary and Sojourner are right. And I can justify things by assuming the warp coils in the ring make a double-lobed warp field that flares outward as it moves away from the ring -- allowing bigger shapes where necessary.
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Old June 10 2011, 05:47 AM   #6
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Re: Ringship 1701

Take a look at Atolm's version:

http://www.scifi-meshes.com/forums/s...ight=ring+ship
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Old June 10 2011, 06:13 AM   #7
Cary L. Brown
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Re: Ringship 1701

Psion wrote: View Post
Terrific comments. Sojourner, I think in fairness to Cary, the pursuit of the Golden Ratio is key to making it look good. But I'm just not sure how to apply it to starship design. Messing around with vertices in Blender is the closest I seem to be able to get.
I'm not a blender expert, but doesn't Blender allow for "parenting" and for revolved surfaces and the like? I'm pretty sure it does...

So,the "ring" and the "saucer" would just be sketched curves, rotated around a coordinate system. The secondary hull might need to be "sculpted" but the dish and the ring can be revolutions, can't they?

And if you do that, and if you make those as separate features, or even separate components in an assembly "scene"... you ought to be able to relocate them and scale them at ease.

Any Blender experts here want to give better pointers on this? I know how to do this with Maya or Lightwave, or with pretty much any CAD program... but I've barely toyed with Blender.
Cary, I keep gravitating to a saucer that's bigger than the ring, but I don't want to because, in my mind, that ring defines an outer diameter for a warp field. But when i make it that way, it just looks wrong. Maybe I'm intuiting the Golden Ratio here, but, like I said, I don't know how to actually apply it consciously to ship design.

EDIT TO ADD:

Alright, screw limit number 3. Cary and Sojourner are right. And I can justify things by assuming the warp coils in the ring make a double-lobed warp field that flares outward as it moves away from the ring -- allowing bigger shapes where necessary.
Sounds like a good plan!
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Old June 10 2011, 07:14 AM   #8
Psion
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Re: Ringship 1701

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
Psion wrote: View Post
Terrific comments. Sojourner, I think in fairness to Cary, the pursuit of the Golden Ratio is key to making it look good. But I'm just not sure how to apply it to starship design. Messing around with vertices in Blender is the closest I seem to be able to get.
I'm not a blender expert, but doesn't Blender allow for "parenting" and for revolved surfaces and the like? I'm pretty sure it does...

So,the "ring" and the "saucer" would just be sketched curves, rotated around a coordinate system. The secondary hull might need to be "sculpted" but the dish and the ring can be revolutions, can't they?

And if you do that, and if you make those as separate features, or even separate components in an assembly "scene"... you ought to be able to relocate them and scale them at ease.

Any Blender experts here want to give better pointers on this? I know how to do this with Maya or Lightwave, or with pretty much any CAD program... but I've barely toyed with Blender.
Cary, I keep gravitating to a saucer that's bigger than the ring, but I don't want to because, in my mind, that ring defines an outer diameter for a warp field. But when i make it that way, it just looks wrong. Maybe I'm intuiting the Golden Ratio here, but, like I said, I don't know how to actually apply it consciously to ship design.

EDIT TO ADD:

Alright, screw limit number 3. Cary and Sojourner are right. And I can justify things by assuming the warp coils in the ring make a double-lobed warp field that flares outward as it moves away from the ring -- allowing bigger shapes where necessary.
Sounds like a good plan!
Oh, it's not the functions in Blender that I'm having trouble with. I've been using that program since around 2000 and frequently jump in to help folks with the software. It's an issue of how to apply the Golden Ratio to a starship's shape that I can't get my head around. Anyway, I worked up a second model with better geometry and scaled the components a bit better:



sojourner wrote: View Post
Crap.

I thought I had an original idea here. That's why I hate mucking about with Trek these days, the mine has been heavily played out. I'm not gonna walk down a path already trodden, I'd rather go where no man has gone before.

Thanks for the contributions, guys. It made for a diverting ... evening. Now I think I'm going to wander off and find my scotch.

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Old June 10 2011, 07:47 AM   #9
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Re: Ringship 1701

Hehe, there are no original ideas, just original takes on old ideas. Don't let Atolm's version stop you. Heck, here's the direction I took with it.

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Old June 10 2011, 09:43 AM   #10
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Re: Ringship 1701

Very interesting design Psion.

Hmm, if you want to support the ring topside too then a pylon dreadnought style coming from the back of the saucer would do the trick.
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Old June 10 2011, 10:10 AM   #11
YARN
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Re: Ringship 1701

Psion wrote: View Post



Crap.

I thought I had an original idea here. That's why I hate mucking about with Trek these days, the mine has been heavily played out. I'm not gonna walk down a path already trodden, I'd rather go where no man has gone before.

Thanks for the contributions, guys. It made for a diverting ... evening. Now I think I'm going to wander off and find my scotch.

No, it looks good. Your design has a different proportionality to it. I really like how the neck appears to run through the bottom of the secondary hull to connect with the ring.

This could be a very graceful design.
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Old June 10 2011, 11:04 AM   #12
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Re: Ringship 1701

I've always thought this would be an interesting idea, and I like your concept here, especially how the "neck" seems to extend through the hull to connect to the ring; very "pleasing" to the eye somehow.

I am no artist (and that's an understatement), but some years ago I was doodling around with this kind of idea, and stumbled upon the fact that making the "enginering" in the shape of an ellipse, rather than a circle, actually lent an aesthetically more pleasing aspect to the overall layout (to my eye, at least.) It did sort of lower the "center" line/foci so that the relative positions were somewhat more reminiscent to the nacelle placement of a Galaxy Class ship (i.e., somewhat below the saucer instead of above), but it was interesting.

I know you're going for the "ring", but I just thought I'd throw that out there in case you were interested in playing around with different variations on the theme.

In any event, I like where you're going with this.

Oh, and Sojouner, I've always liked that design of yours.
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Last edited by TrekkieMonster; June 10 2011 at 01:33 PM.
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Old June 10 2011, 01:21 PM   #13
Patrickivan
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Re: Ringship 1701

When I first saw the thread title, I rolled my eyes. But I instantly liked where you were going with this, completely surprising myself.

Thanks! I can't wait to see this fleshed out fully!
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Old June 10 2011, 02:35 PM   #14
Cary L. Brown
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Re: Ringship 1701

Psion wrote: View Post
Oh, it's not the functions in Blender that I'm having trouble with. I've been using that program since around 2000 and frequently jump in to help folks with the software. It's an issue of how to apply the Golden Ratio to a starship's shape that I can't get my head around. Anyway, I worked up a second model with better geometry and scaled the components a bit better:



sojourner wrote: View Post
Crap.

I thought I had an original idea here. That's why I hate mucking about with Trek these days, the mine has been heavily played out. I'm not gonna walk down a path already trodden, I'd rather go where no man has gone before.

Thanks for the contributions, guys. It made for a diverting ... evening. Now I think I'm going to wander off and find my scotch.

Your design looks much better now. But there's still something that "feels wrong." I think that the length of the "ring" section needs to be longer. You can play with design elements and ratios as much as you like, but I'm pretty well convinced that this is another of those "it'll look best with the 'golden ratio' between the diameter and the length" things.

That value is 1.61803399(and on.. it's an irrational number)

So... if that ring diameter is, say, 100m... the length of the ring segment would be 100/1.61803399, or about 60m.

If that feels "wrong," to you, try 40m. But I can say, right now, that the only element of this that feels "wrong" to me is the shortness of that ring section.

If you like, you can make it two rings... like the Jefferies ringship (fyi, his ringship's ring-length-to-diameter ratio is, not surprisingly, similar to what we're discussing here)

Just a suggestion... but if you do that, I think it will work beautifully.

Also... I agree with the idea that it's a common pylon... the neck (and more significantly, the structural members between the primary hull and the secondary hull) passes directly through, and also serves to connect the ring system. That's the trick... make sure that if you do an internal layout, treat those structural members as the "ship's keel."
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Old June 10 2011, 05:49 PM   #15
Forbin
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Re: Ringship 1701

Google up some photos of the models at this year's Wonderfest. You might be able to find a thread at StarhipModeler or HobbyTalk. Someone built this concept using the PL 1/1000 model. Looks pretty nifty!
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