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Old January 5 2015, 03:53 PM   #1
Warped9
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TAS freighter...

I'm thinking of taking a break over pondering how I'll proceed with my conjectural Enterprise design and tackling something a bit less mind bending: the freighter Huron from the TAS episode "Pirates Of Oron."

I've had schematics of the Huron that I found online some years back, but like the TAS shuttlecraft there are things in the design that don't really add up when thinking about building the design in 3D. That said I don't think I need to modify the design nearly as much as is needed with the TAS shuttlecraft. I think I will need only to tweak it some to make it work as a more real world design. Overall I think I will soften some of the hard edges and corners a bit as well as reconcile some of the apparent inconsistencies in how it's drawn onscreen.

Something I never noticed before until yesterday is that there's a circular cutout at the aft end of the ship. It's possible something could connect there. This ship wasn't designed with FJ's work in mind so one is free to speculate. It's possible on additional cargo container of cylindrical shape could connect to the aft end of the vessel.

Two other questions arise: what is the scale of this design and where the hell are the impulse engines?

I consider the fact this was drawn without much concern over scale, much like the TAS shuttlecraft designs as well as the Enterprise interior sets. So scale derived from window placement doesn't help much I think. To that end I'm reasonable free to make it a reasonable size. Perhaps the bulk of the ship is roughly equivalent to a Connie's secondary hull. Or maybe a bit bigger.

Regarding the impulse engines--there is something of a cowl like structure at the aft end (above the curcular cutout) where the detail shown doesn't make any sense (to me). I think I could remake the detail so that it serves as the ship's impulse drive.

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Old January 5 2015, 04:43 PM   #2
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Re: TAS freighter...

I always liked this one a lot. From before the days when every ship in the Federation was a saucer/nacelles affair or some scale of shuttlecraft.

I've always wanted to build a model of this one too, but never got round to it. I look forward to your interpretation.

I always assumed the aft structure you have slated to be impulse engines was actually doors to some kind of flight deck. Where would I put the impulse engines, you didn't ask? Look at the back end of the ship. There's kind of a "face" there... imagine the part I'm calling hangar doors and you're calling impulse engines is the mouth, and the rectangular block above that is the nose, then the two darker rectangles on either side of the nose? That's where I'd place the impulse engines. They're about the right size compared to the impulse engines of a Connie. (Which were also a couple of small dark gray rectangles)

I'm more curious about your thoughts on those pontoon structures angling off the bow...

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Old January 5 2015, 06:02 PM   #3
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Re: TAS freighter...

Albertese wrote: View Post
I'm more curious about your thoughts on those pontoon structures angling off the bow...
I know you weren't talking to me, but, given that they are fairly different from anything I can recall on a "regular" starship... might they be decoys? A small warp coil and impulse assembly - wouldn't have to be anything very complex or expensive - might give the freighter a way of appearing to have a two ship defender escort.

Another thought is that they might be maneuvering thrusters and "feelers" for when the ship is docking inside a facility - the armatures might be flexible or on a pivot ala Voyager's warp nacelles, with the intention being that if the hit the walls of the facility, no/very little damage occurs.
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Old January 5 2015, 06:28 PM   #4
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Re: TAS freighter...

Albertese wrote: View Post
I'm more curious about your thoughts on those pontoon structures angling off the bow...
Your idea about the impulse engines might work. I'll think it over.

The two spars or booms angling off the bow...I always took them to be a moustache currently in vogue to go along with the Huron commander's beard.

I wonder if they could be some variant of navigational deflector.
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Old January 5 2015, 08:55 PM   #5
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Re: TAS freighter...

Hmm, bow thrusters for docking purposes?
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Old January 5 2015, 11:13 PM   #6
Wingsley
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Re: TAS freighter...

I do not know how relevant this would be to you, but Geoffrey Mandel's 1976 blueprints of the U.S.S. Independence, posted over on Cygnus X-1 Net, can be very thought-provoking. Mandel did a great job using the FJ-style schematics to lay out the vessel as if it were a bona fide TOS-era Federation starship. Mandel not only gave his design a full complement of crew quarters and facilities, but also science labs, a crew library, observation lounge and even phaser banks. It is impressive drawing and design.

Having said that, it is were me, I would simply take vague design ideas from the Huron and discard it entirely. To me, it does not make sense in the STAR TREK Universe to have ships haul any significant amount of bulk cargo internally. FJ has the right idea: cargo would be hauled in external cargo containers powered by separate warp-tugs.

Back in 2008, I started a thread in the Trek Tech forum about what warp tugs and their cargo pods would be like. The "manned" version of these ships might provide some practical ideas of what such a vessel could look like during the TOS era. My take is that a "freighter", aka warp-tug, would be designed to attached to external cargo pods. The nacelles would be extra-long, about the same length as the pods. The warp-tug herself would be set-up so that it could dock with as many pods as could surround the ship, so that the ship and pods would fit inboard of the nacelles for practical warp-flight.
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Old January 5 2015, 11:40 PM   #7
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Re: TAS freighter...

Way back in the '70s I had Mandel's freighter blueprints. He really changed the ship so that it was only superficially like what we saw onscreen.

I intend my model to look a lot closer to what was seen onscreen.
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Old January 6 2015, 12:59 AM   #8
Wingsley
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Re: TAS freighter...

I interpret the "wings" on the bow-underside as being docking clamps that fold around the FJ-style tubular cargo pods. This would mean a ship like this could tow at least three pods (or trains of pods) at one time.
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Old January 6 2015, 01:10 AM   #9
Wingsley
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Re: TAS freighter...

F.W.I.W.:

Links...

TAS - "The Pirates of Orion"

Federation Starship Huron

Federation starship - "Huron" type

TAS - "More Tribbles, More Troubles"

"Antares"-type robot grain ships
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Old January 6 2015, 01:17 AM   #10
Warped9
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Re: TAS freighter...

Here's most of the main body so far. You can see where I've rounded off some of the edges a bit. I've also made a couple of small tweaks to eliminate some inconsistencies.

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Old January 6 2015, 05:29 PM   #11
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Re: TAS freighter...

We saw three crew on the bridge, but no reference as to others aboard. Were there any others? It's possible this could be a flexible platform that allows for variations for different mission profiles. Geoffrey Mandel's blueprints (while acknowledging he changed the design quite a bit) had the Huron, the Beagle, the Antares and possibly the Carolina and Diedre as well as of the same class. It's an assumption on his part because only the Huron and Diedre were specifically referenced as frieghters onscreen. The Beagle and Antares were referenced as survey ships.

But could this design be flexible enough to be both or serve as one or the other dependent on specific internal configurations? Because candidly this doesn't strike me as a freighter design. A freighter is meant to haul cargo and as such likely shouldn't be that elaborate in shape. It should really be little more than a box or cylinder. But a survey ship could occasionally serve as a short or temporary transport of frieght.

Thoughts anyone?
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Old January 6 2015, 07:49 PM   #12
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Re: TAS freighter...

We saw three crew on the bridge, but no reference as to others aboard. Were there any others?
I'd like to think there were. Also, TAS couldn't show the pirates really hurting the crew, but it appears the two bridge officers died, as our heroes apparently try to get information on the pirates from Captain O'Shea, and not his colleagues, despite him being explicitly badly off and unconscious at Sickbay. Does this mean all the belowdecks crew was killed, too? Certainly the pirates would strive to do so, as they value their privacy a lot. But stevedores might not be able to give much information to Kirk, even if they survived.

As for the weird shapes, I'd wish to see this ship as modular, despite her looking "solid". The keel structures would be the main variables: the Huron has a "two-thirds-length" hold dangling between the forward and aft "keels", but another freighter might have the forward hole filled with a "third module" to add to the "two" carried here. And either or both of the keels could also be replaced by such hold modules - or the hold modules by the keels. It is for the handling of such loads that the ship has the two "cranes" at bow, with heavy duty tractor beam emitters at the tips but with mechanical booms to give the emitters good fields of fire in all circumstances.

The Huron would be traveling in an exceptionally "un-bulky" configuration because she currently hauls dilithium, a high-credit-per-kilogram load. Other loads would see a more substantial underbelly structure, probably of simpler box shapes.

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Old January 6 2015, 11:45 PM   #13
Wingsley
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Re: TAS freighter...

@Warped9:
Back in 2011, Rich Merk started a discussion in the Trek Art forum about the TAS cargo drones and TOS-R's Starship Antares. The thread provided some great 3D artwork of this set of ships. It also provided a new design concept: the notion that the aft-underside of these ships could be used as a connection port for a newer, squared-off design of larger cargo pods, and trains of those pods.

Just yesterday, I started a new discussion on the Trek Tech forum about some of these issues, and I'm basically leaning toward similar questions.

I look upon the TAS Huron, the TAS cargo drones and the TOS-R Antares as being basically the same concept. There may be different levels of technology involved for different applications (a Federation starship versus a civilian vessel), but the feedback I've seen in those other discussions suggests that these are multi-purpose utilitarian vehicles. Maybe a transport/freighter first, possibly a non-military survey vessel a close second.

The real question on my mind is whether these ships are built to "tug" external cargo pods like FJ's Ptolemy concept. If transport ships are needed to haul any significant amount of cargo or personnel over interstellar distances, then efficiency and other logistical concerns would demand the use of tugged pods.

Merk did a great job illustrating this in his thread from 2011.
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Last edited by Wingsley; January 7 2015 at 08:39 PM. Reason: typo correction
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Old January 7 2015, 05:46 PM   #14
Warped9
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Re: TAS freighter...

All the major stuff is in place and now I'm working on details. I've made some slight modifications--which I felt was needed because the vssual references aren't all consistent with each other. The nacelle support pylons are a touch shorter (thus lowering the nacelles a bit) and they angle outward just a couple of degrees more. There a few minor lines I've modified to help things fit together better. I've also added some extra detail to the navelle aft cowls.



There is one thing I'm not happy with. The upper surface or platform like section where the two dome like structures sit. That surface and the rim that angles downward from it are not the shape it should be. I took my cue for the present shape from the drawings I found online, but in retrospect it doesn't look right to me and needlessly complicates the design (and modeling of it). I can't fix it presently because it would entail remaking a good portion of the model or at least I think so. I 'll give it some more thought. If I make this model again sometime then I'll go with the way I feel it should be done
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Old January 7 2015, 09:54 PM   #15
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Re: TAS freighter...

I'm liking this.

Warped9 wrote: View Post
I'm thinking of taking a break over pondering how I'll proceed with my conjectural Enterprise design and tackling something a bit less mind bending: the freighter Huron from the TAS episode "Pirates Of Orion."
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