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Old September 4 2008, 04:13 AM   #1
sojourner
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Fast Light Cruiser W.I.P.

Hi everyone! longtime lurker, first time posting.
For years I have lurked on this board and marveled at the craftsmanship and talent here. Well, I finally decided to get down in pixels the design that has been in my head all this time.
I dont have much of a write up for why this design exists. I always imagined that the economical side of start fleet did not always try to use the latest and greatest when building ships. Sometimes they stayed with designs that worked. This is the case with the Seattle class (name subject to change). In the Excelsior Class they had a proven design with a robust life span. The problem was the secondary hull had reached it's design limits. The Primary Hull on the other hand was still ripe for upgrades and cheap to manufacture to boot. Take cues from ships in production, starfleet lifted the current generation of nacelle design from the Galaxy class and made a few orientation adjustments to reflect new studies coming out of R&D. The resulting ship was easy to assemble and easier to maintain.
In times of peace this class would be used for police actions, patrol and other light duties such as secondary exploration. In their own they cannot sustain a prolonged fight and harass an opponent until an opportunity to retreat and return with help is available. In Fleet actions they are used in groups as flankers due to their speed and ability to absorb more damage than frigates.

About the Model:
Hehe, This was constructed today and represents my entire time with google sketchup from install this morning. I think you will find that the work reflects my expertise, lol. I have always thought the Excelsior primary hull was the most pleasing to the eye and later on came up with the idea to kant a couple of galaxy class nacelles under it. I angled them to the outside because it reminded me of a hydrofoil, which in the back of my mind translates to a feeling of "fast". It also seems to give the impression of being very manueverable. Please take pity on the modeling skills. almost everything you see was eyeballed into position as I didn't have the patience to learn how to use exact coordinates for anything, I am pleased with the shape of the nacelle struts. They are very fluid looking and I think manage to look thin while still looking structurally believable. Also, I wasn't sure where to go with the sensor pod/neck. I know I wanted a main deflector dish under there, but not something overly big. I have planned to put some kind of hanger on the aft end of the sensor/neck if I can find a design I like. For now though I have reached my fill for the day and wanted to show the basic premise to see what the "pros" here think. Sort of a kitbash, yes, but I think it looks unique.

If anyone is interested in doing a serious model of this, they are gladly welcome to it, just give me a few beauty shots if you do.











Last edited by sojourner; September 4 2008 at 06:12 PM. Reason: corrected a misspelling
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Old September 4 2008, 05:48 PM   #2
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Re: Fast Light Cruiser W.I.P.

Nice work so far!
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Old September 4 2008, 06:04 PM   #3
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Re: Fast Light Cruiser W.I.P.

A very promising design!
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Old September 4 2008, 06:32 PM   #4
judge alba
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Re: Fast Light Cruiser W.I.P.

must admit i gave up using sketch up for starships couldnt get the angles and curves right but seeing this dose make me want to try again
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Old September 5 2008, 02:04 PM   #5
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Re: Fast Light Cruiser W.I.P.

That's a pretty cool concept! Nice job. And welcome to the forum.
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Old September 6 2008, 04:04 AM   #6
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Re: Fast Light Cruiser W.I.P.

Where do you go to learn how to use SketchUp if you have no computer drawing experience?
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Old September 6 2008, 04:47 AM   #7
sojourner
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Re: Fast Light Cruiser W.I.P.

google has tons of tutorials on the sketchup websight that are video based. I watched the first 3 or 4 and now go back for ones that look pertinent to what I am trying to do at the time. Of course, I originally did tech support for Coreldraw back in the ninties, so alot of the concepts were the same.
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Old September 6 2008, 05:06 AM   #8
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Re: Fast Light Cruiser W.I.P.

Couple more images. I am trying to figure out a better neck/sensor pod. I want to make it a little more cohesive and look less cobbled together along with fittng in a shuttle bay. You can see the original pod with a shuttle bay tacked on. Definitely did not like how it looked. The new pod/neck is a new construction. The problem is finding a way to inset the main deflector into the curved surface on the front of the neck. I am not sure it is possible with sketchup. The Photon tubes will stay in the lower position but will get a total new redraw as well. They currently look too much like a lego piece. I do like the "ball turret" look to them and plan to refine that and add it to the general design concept as an actual feature installed to maximize the firing arcs of the limited armament. (2 tubes only, no dedicated rear-firing torp).




Sigh, and if I ever feel the gumption, I should really do this right and tear apart half the ship and redraw it so things line up instead of eyballing it.
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Old September 10 2008, 03:14 PM   #9
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Re: Fast Light Cruiser W.I.P.

A couple more images. these are of the final shape I came up with for the neck.sensor pod. Keep in mind I am roughing out basic forms here. None of this could be considered final detailed models or textures. And you wanna know something? It is really tricky getting Sketchup to work with curved surfaces. You have to do a lot of Intersection trial and error to acheive something like the nav dish inset into a reverse sloped curved surface like that.

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Old September 10 2008, 04:04 PM   #10
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Re: Fast Light Cruiser W.I.P.

Sigh, was just looking through the "Titan" thread. I never realized the similarities until now. The Seattle class could almost be a precursor.
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Old September 11 2008, 04:48 AM   #11
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Re: Fast Light Cruiser W.I.P.

Nice design.

I've never heard of sketch up. I'm going to have to look into it!
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Old October 4 2008, 12:50 AM   #12
sojourner
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Re: Fast Light Cruiser W.I.P.

OK, finally coming back around to this design. Curse my ADD! Having gone through a learning curve with sketchup, I decided to re-work and add more to this design. So, today was new warp nacelles and pylons! These look good and are actually lined up with things instead of just eyeballed in.

Now, if someone out there can tell me how they come up with ideas for the "greebles" they make, I would love to hear it. I always draw a blank at details....






This last pic is the evolution the nacelle went through as I figured better ways to do things. final is in foreground with intermediate behind and original in back. I am especially pleased that I was able to get the taper from front to back into the design.



OK, almost 4am. One more before bed. Started work on the upper surface and bridge:

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Last edited by sojourner; October 4 2008 at 08:42 AM.
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Old October 5 2008, 03:25 PM   #13
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Re: Fast Light Cruiser W.I.P.

That is some really great sketch up work. Wish I could do that.
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Old October 5 2008, 07:05 PM   #14
judge alba
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Re: Fast Light Cruiser W.I.P.

ThunderAeroI wrote: View Post
That is some really great sketch up work. Wish I could do that.
i second that it's looking better all the time
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Old October 6 2008, 05:16 AM   #15
sojourner
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Re: Fast Light Cruiser W.I.P.

Well, here is some more for anyone interested. I worked on more of the upper saucer bridge and impulse engines first. I then moved on to make a new sensor/shuttlebay pod. Those two things took most of today. Errors creep into the shape very easily with sketchup, sigh. I fix most, but give up on some. The program is not very friendly to organic forms.






The last pic is my start on the windows/portholes. I may move that row up a bit.



The shuttle is from the Google 3-D Warehouse. I put it in for scale. Wish I could say I created it, but I am not that good yet. The male figure is also for scale, and comes with sketchup.
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