Cleopatra's Needle - Design Proposals

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by DEWLine, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    I know you didn't ask for it, Christopher, but how about a small holodeck, say two or three meters on a side by one deck high so one or two people can stand on a sunny beach or climb a mountain or ski? This could also provide instructional facilities for the children with a good educational database.

    EDIT TO ADD:
    It doesn't even have to be as sophisticated as those seen on NextGen, just images, sounds, winds, smells, and temperatures might be enough to do wonders for passenger morale. Considering we almost have that kind of technology today ...
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Given how impressed people were by the E-D's holodeck in "Farpoint," I tend to think it was a technology that wasn't practical for shipboard use until the early 2360s. I think it would therefore be anachronistic to have one on the Needle. They'd have to make do with a video screen in front of the treadmill/exercise bike. Or maybe they have the 24th-century equivalent of Wii Sports.

    Sure, we'll have tech that advanced long before the 24th century, but clearly they don't in the Trekverse. Perhaps WWIII and the Earth-Romulan War set back human technology in some respects.
     
  3. EmperorKalan

    EmperorKalan Commander Red Shirt

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    I dug up some URLs for assorted research ships for sale, to help provide some real examples of space usage and fittings on such ships. Not an exact match for the Needle since at least some of the time these ships have open deck space available, but something to get ideas from. (most of these have another page with additional photos. See the "click here for more photo" link just above the photos on the given page. I tried to just pick ones that showed common areas.)

    http://www.maritimesales.com/TL10.htm
    http://www.maritimesales.com/TAT10.htm
    http://www.maritimesales.com/ARM10.htm
    http://www.maritimesales.com/PFO10.htm
    http://www.maritimesales.com/CHA10.htm
    http://www.maritimesales.com/CAL10.htm
    a bit on the richer end:
    http://www.maritimesales.com/YK10.htm
    http://www.maritimesales.com/CES10.htm
    http://www.maritimesales.com/PI12.htm <= a "Whiskey" class sub. The staff room photo may be of interest (though very grainy and the angle doesn't show all that much.)
    http://www.workboatsinternational.com/yacht-mcs752.html (scroll down and click for interior photos)

    More examples can be gotten by Google-image-ing for "boat interiors" as I suggested above, and especially for "sailboat interiors". Sailboats usually have to be even more mindful of space than powerboats, so they sometimes provide better examples of getting maximum usage out of given spaces. Naturally, a lot of what you'll turn up on the web are luxury designs, but if the space usage works just rework it with less fancy materials (i.e., generic ship paneling instead of expensive woodwork.
     
  4. BolianAuthor

    BolianAuthor Writer, Battlestar Urantia Rear Admiral

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    Those are some pretty nice shots. I like the idea of bunk beds. It really drives home the whole maximum utilization of space thing.
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    So has everyone stopped working on their Needle designs, or are you folks just taking your time to make them perfect before you show them off?
     
  6. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    [grins] Poor Christopher! He's been abandoned.

    Seriously, though, I haven't given up, but I've been interrupted by completely unrelated matters that need my time. Nor have I gotten the blasted book yet! There's just too much going on. But I'm still excited by the project and will get back to it in a week or two.
     
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not trying to be rude or divert the thread or resurrect an old fight. But I'm genuinely curious about why you think Starfleet would be in the habit of censoring free speech about theoretical external threats to Federation security. How does it benefit Federation security to do that? What motivation would Starfleet have for violating Federates' free speech rights?
     
  8. BolianAuthor

    BolianAuthor Writer, Battlestar Urantia Rear Admiral

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    Okay... first off, I don't see why people see this as curtailing free speech. If anything, it has to do with the control of information, or the flow of said information. But to address your question...

    Personally, it is my opinion that Starfleet or the UFP would not want to divulge knowledge of the Borg's threat to the general UFP populous. They might extend warnings to border regions and the like, but I just don't see a need for them to worry the citizenry of the UFP with it, at least prior to the scare leading up to Wolf 359. Again, this is just MY opinion. Christopher sees it differently, and I fully respect that. We can agree to disagree. You may also see it in a different light, and again, that's perfectly fine.

    If you wish to discuss this further, please do feel free to PM me, because I will not detract from the topic of this thread any further, and will not have any further debate about it, outside of PM's. This being said, I look forward to updates on the Needle, from both designers.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Hi, guys. I'd like to do a post on my new blog about this thread, and I wanted to ask if anyone had any objection to me posting or linking to your Needle pictures there.

    Meanwhile, I've been sent a new design sketch by a person who used to post here as Arkady but who no longer has an account here. With his permission, I'm posting his preliminary version here.

    [​IMG]

    I think it's a pretty nice design. Apparently he's posted this on a couple of other boards as a "Marathon Class transport," but he tells me he created it to be a Needle design. He had the following comments:
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  10. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    No objections at all, and as for my own lack of attention to further developing the design, I also plead distraction by other concerns, some in matters involving related skills, others not so much.

    Interesting idea, making the forward section, including the cockpit, itself the lifeboat for the ship...
     
  11. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    Oh that is a nice design! I like the arrangement of components in the engineering section and wished I'd laid things out like that. Please pass my praise along to Arkady.

    I'm glad you're taking this to your blog, Christopher. One of the things that annoys me about TrekBBS is the impermanence of the posts. There's no record of the artwork presented here, it just comes and goes and so much work is lost in the shifting sands of purges and moderations.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  13. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    While I haven't been as productive on this project as I'd like, Christopher's mention on his blog has spurred me to post what I've done since October.

    [​IMG]

    I've been playing around with hull details. These tend to be ephemeral, appearing and disappearing with my moods. I'll sketch out a new arrangement, save it, then come back days later and rip out the new stuff and start over.

    The warp nacelles are also in a bit of flux. I've been trying to come up with a civilian look for the engines that reminds one of the Federation while looking distinct from Starfleet.

    I think I'm getting warm with this nacelle. It's intended to evoke a locomotive, especially the front where the bussard blends into the nacelle. More detail is needed for this nacelle design ... the bussard blends directly into the rest of the mesh without any seams, for example. There are also no navigation lights, and the sides remain largely unfinished. I'm thinking of putting a translucent cylindrical structure into the recess at the bottom of the nacelle to represent the warp coils. Part of my reasoning for that is that a civilian vessel is less likely to see combat and thus, components that aren't serviceable from the inside anyway can be exposed directly to space where they might radiate heat better and come in at a lower mass. As this idea progresses, more and more of the warp drive might be opened up. I just have to balance that function against Christopher's desire for a streamlined ship.

    I'm giving up on internal layouts for now. The work I've done to date convinces me I have enough room for everything important, and if I add a few doo-dads here and there, I have even more room to stick stuff.

    Finally, with apologies to DEWLine, I've removed his name from the credits since this project is now distinct from his in everything but inspiration. I remain grateful for his early work and gracious invitation for competing designs.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Interesting work, Psion. I like the nacelle fronts, and the idea of having exposed components is interesting and based on sound reasoning. Keep in mind, though, that we're pretty much assuming the craft is capable of atmospheric entry and planetfall, which would require some degree of shielding and structural bracing. Although there's no certainty on that point; the book never really specifies. I'd be fine with it if you chose to take yours in the direction of a strictly spacegoing design while others went with landing-capable approaches. The variety in the designs is really cool.

    I'll update my blog entry to include this new image.
     
  15. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    No worries, Psion! I've been having some rethinking over the last little while myself. Not necessarily going to chuck any of the stuff done to date, but there will be tweaks here and there.

    Take that cockpit-as-lifeboat idea earlier on. I may want to...appropriate that one. Also, wondering about how and where to place the stairs, turbolift(for cargo "dumbwaiter"-style, maybe? Or crew accessibility?), and so on.
     
  16. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks, DEWLine. And I know exactly what you mean about Arkady's cockpit. Unfortunately, there's little I can do with that idea on my design, so I just need to charge ahead on full impulse and hope the end result is good enough.

    She doesn't know it, but when I hand my wife a story I've written and ask her what she thinks, if her first words are something like, "Well, it was interesting", I put that story back into the heap and work on something else.

    In this case, though, I'll take it as a compliment and ... well, let me show you:

    [​IMG]
    I'm gonna say we're done with big changes to the overall shape of the vessel. Saying that gives me the ability to finalize the mesh and start removing "modifiers" that do things like mirroring one half to the other. I'm now in the process of separating the major sections of the ship from each other so I can begin building a more believable skin.

    In the view above, I've decided to start with the antimatter pod. Since it's jettisonable, it has natural demarcation lines separating it from the rest of the hull.

    [​IMG]
    So here we see Cleo's Needle (this version at least) missing that "smudge pod". The opening is a suggestion for a small hatch that connects the ship to the pod. During normal operation, the hatch is open and feeds from the pod's antimatter supply fit through it on a retracting umbilical and connect to the reactor. During an emergency, the umbilical retracts, the hatch closes, and the entire pod unlatches and accelerates away on small thrusters.

    Perhaps normally on this class of ship, a small shuttle pod is docked to this spot. Or maybe that's an opening for supplies. Or maybe the manufacturer intended this to be a convenient location for job-specific modules depending on the customer's requirements.

    That would make this type of ship a natural choice for Picard when he spec'd out the mission; make some changes to the blueprints for an existing design and then have the ship built to spec. The manufacturer then only has to figure out how to fit the extra antimatter supply into a custom mission module.

    Anyway, now that I've pulled the module off from the rest of the ship, it's easier for me to start adding details without cluttering up the mesh.

    [​IMG]

    There's a rear hatch on the pod that's about 1.5 meters high and wide. This is to allow a refueling arm to enter and also allows access for people. The pod is broken down into several distinct sections now, visible from the panel lines. I find modeling in these details makes a mesh look much more realistic than painting them in as textures ... and since we aren't talking about a model intended for television or movies where rendering times might require cutting corners, we're free to go crazy on the details. A few hand/footholds and an access keypad finish the accents. Maybe before we're finished, we'll put some lights on it and lifting hooks, but this looks good to me so far.

    [​IMG]
    Re-attached to the Cleopatra's Needle, the pod gives a hint as to how to proceed with the rest of the ship. A similar paneling technique will separate the top and bottom halves of the ship. The nose will have its own panel, and the dorsal teardrop will have seams as well. This spoils the smooth finish of the ship, but not too severely, and will be implemented on a scale that will be hardly noticeable from a distance. Think of it like the paneling on an automobile. That, after all, is where I'm borrowing the technique.

    The detail under the fantail is temporary, but good enough to leave for a while, and the impulse engines clearly need work. So do the warp nacelles, they're so sloppy that there are rendering glitches at this distance, but I'll save them for last.


    EDIT TO ADD:

    I just rendered this image and thought I'd share for purposes of this discussion:
    [​IMG]

    If you squint, you can just make out the panel separation lines on the smudge pod. I don't think they'll do much to mar the finish of the Needle. Someday, I'm going to build the original Enterprise this way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, sorry, I don't mean to imply anything other than a compliment. I'm just not the sort to gush.

    For some reason, your images aren't showing up in the thread proper, but I'm able to see them by copy-and-pasting the addresses.


    Nice ideas. And good work on the detailing.
     
  18. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    I'm going to blame Google for this. They migrated the account I use to store images to a new service and the link format changed. Of course, I should have caught that too, but it obviously worked on my end.

    It should be working now.

    As for the ideas, they're just rationalizations for that weird little wart on the buttocks of the vessel. But that's half the fun, and history is full of weird-looking ships, planes, and automobiles; I doubt that's going to stop between now and the 24th 1/2 century.
     
  19. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    A minor update:

    [​IMG]

    I've separated the teardrop, muddled about a bit with the impulse engines, and created a humanoid figure who's about my size, build, and hair color. His name is Adam. Adam and his twin brother, Adam stand on invisible platforms approximating the locations of decks one and two. Adam and Adam are to scale with the ship, and I'll rig one for posing, kill the other in a gruesome fashion, then clone the first as many times as I need to so that he and his relatives can show us various parts of the Needle in human-scale terms.
     
  20. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    The "I'm the king of the world" update.

    [​IMG]

    The mesh has been broken down into major discrete components. The top section port and starboard, port and starboard sides, bottom, nose cone port and starboard, nose cone collar, and fantail have are now broken apart and 'paneled'. Some additional paneling will probably be added, and then I'll start adding windows, sensor alcoves, and RCS thrusters. The docking ring will be eliminated on the starboard side and replaced on the port side with a door similar to that found on a runabout. Then it'll be time to tackle those warp nacelles and finish them off.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009

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