Imagine the Enterprise, over again!

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by MadMan1701A, May 22, 2014.

  1. MadMan1701A

    MadMan1701A Commodore Commodore

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    I end up sketching several type of things out, then try to build it in 3D. Usually, it ends up looking very different in 3D than it did in my sketch, so I change it again. :)

    I have some very messy sketches of what the layout is going to look like... I'm going to clean those up and maybe post them later.

    Another thing... the ship is going to be pretty big. :)

    -Ricky
     
  2. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ Initially I envisioned my 29th century Enterprise being up to about 1500 ft. long, but after all was said and done it came out to 1068 ft. That doesn't seem like much of a big difference over 947 ft. except that the design allows for a lot more interior space than the TOS E configuration.
     
  3. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    How about this: What if TOS had never existed as a television program but rather as a '60s radio drama, and somebody just now in 2014 had the idea to recreate it in a visual format? In other words, the premise, the time period, the technology and the overall narrative remain completely unchanged, but what everything looks like is open to interpretation.

    The only guidelines we have to work with from TOS are bits of dialogue like "up to the bridge," "down to engineering," "jettison nacelles, if necessary," "he's heading for the hangar deck," etc. In later Trek series, there were more specific references to the "saucer section" or the "engineering hull," the "deflector dish," "warp coils," "matter/anti-matter intermix chamber" and so forth, which could be accounted for or not depending on your inclinations.

    So, there would be a wealth of design influences that harken back to Star Trek as we know it but none of them would be of a visual nature.

    Just a thought.
     
  4. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    So do a police sketch of the Enterprise based on the dialogue's description of it?
     
  5. MadMan1701A

    MadMan1701A Commodore Commodore

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    I like that a lot... that would make allowances for keeping the same basic shape, but with a totally different look.

    Thanks!

    -Ricky
     
  6. JES

    JES Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If you think I should, maybe I should make some sketches? And yeah, the triangular hull did seem logical. It's streamlined, and the U.S. Air Force supposedly has an above top secret triangular air/spacecraft known as the TR3B.

    I was thinking of something akin to VASMIR: using plasma as propulsion. Seems like the closest thing to Impulse Drive that we can think of anyways.

    Ion Drives aren't don't accelerate very fast, so there wouldn't be a whole lot of mobility out of FTL.

    And on the note of mobility, it is thought that the Alcubierre Warp Drive wouldn't allow maneuvers such as the Picard Maneuver, due to the crew not be able to control the ship once the Warp Bubble is in effect. It is theorized that the crew couldn't have the ship change direction or stop, until it arrives at the predetermined coordinates, at least if I understand what I read.

    Entire strategies in combat could evolve around these limitations.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    If a non-artist may offer a thought:

    If you have warp drive, you don't really need a separate impulse drive. An Alcubierre warp drive functions just fine at sublight speeds, giving you a reactionless gravity drive that can let you accelerate to any sublight velocity with no time dilation. In fact, it would be easier to make it work as a sublight drive than as an FTL drive, because you wouldn't have the control problems or Hawking radiation runaway to worry about.

    Not to mention that if you have a warp drive, you don't need a navigational deflector either, because any interstellar debris in your path would just get caught in the front of the warp like bugs in a car grille. Except you'd have to be careful not to be pointing at anyone you like when you come out of warp, since the accumulated particles would then shoot forward in a high-energy burst. On the other hand, that would make one heck of a surprise-attack weapon.

    The one reason you'd have for a separate propulsion system is that an Alcubierre warp sends you in whatever direction you're going when you activate it. So the way to set out on a certain course would be to accelerate yourself a little in the desired direction using a conventional drive, and then activate the warp to get up to high sublight or FTL speed as you desire. So you'd need maneuvering thrusters to put you on course in the first place, as well as for orbital or rendezvous maneuvers. But the warp drive would do for everything that both impulse and warp are used for in Trek. Though there might need to be some terminological distinction between sublight warp and FTL warp. (Maybe resurrect the decimal-point warp factors from ST:TMP?)
     
  8. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    Except the TOS Enterprise is described on screen as having impulse engines, right?

    When do they first refer to the defector dish as such, TMP, TNG?
     
  9. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    ^^^
    In "The Paradise Syndrome"[TOS] they use a deflector beam to attempt a course change on the incoming asteroid. While we don't see where this beam comes from on the ship, backstage material was already referring to the big copper dish on the front of the Engineering Hull as the "Main sensor/deflector" so I think it's fair to suggest that the idea goes that far back.

    Though, I don't think the on-screen dialog ever was that specific until TNG...possibly as late as "The Best of Both Worlds."

    I look forward to being corrected by someone. :)

    --Alex
     
  10. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    According to Memory Alpha, the first mention of something that does what the deflector does, was something called a 'meteorite beam'. Although no actual part of the ship was appereantly shown to actually be that beam, it does do what the deflector dish does appereantly.

    As for TNG, the first show after TOS, it would indeed appear that the first time the deflector is used on screen to achieve 'something', is indeed Best Of Both Worlds.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    How is that relevant? This thread is about reinventing it from scratch, pretending that TOS never existed.


    Yes, it certainly does. The Making of Star Trek makes that very clear. Not only does it specifically describe the dish as "a parabolic sensor antenna and asteroid-deflector" (p. 191), but it reprints Roddenberry's own 1964 development notes reflecting his discussions with scientists and engineers. From p. 86:
    So the navigational deflector idea was part of the design process of the ship from the beginning, and reflected ideas that space scientists had already worked out years before. It's simply a fact that space contains debris that would be hazardous at high velocities, so it would be impossible for a starship to function without some kind of deflection system.
     
  12. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    Forgot to mention in my post, the Meteorite Beam was from The Cage.
     
  13. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    Is it? Vektor's idea, which was well-received was that we might consider TOS to be a radio-play and that we would design the ship only from the dialogue.

    If, however, you wish to pretend that TOS never existed, then it clearly does not matter how you design the ship at all. If so, it's not really a redesign Star Trek challenge but, design a random space ship challenge.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Oh, hey, I never noticed that. They established its existence in the very first scene of the pilot! "It's coming at the speed of light, collision course. The meteorite beam has not deflected it, Captain." Wow, that's putting your research on the screen.

    Well, except they got the terminology wrong. A meteorite is a surviving piece of an asteroid that's fallen to Earth. A small piece of rock in space (up to a meter in diameter) is a meteoroid. (Ironically, anything small enough to be called a meteoroid rather than an asteroid would burn up completely in the atmosphere, so meteoroids never become meteorites; only asteroids do.)
     
  15. LMFAOschwarz

    LMFAOschwarz Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This thread reminds me of something my late sister once said about (I think it was) Barlow's Guide to Extraterrestrials. Her impossible (yet strangely practical) thought was that it would have been better if the artist had never seen an Earth animal before. Her comments about how the artist would borrow a piece of a gorilla here, a piece of zebra there was unimaginative. I can't really argue with that...even though it's impossible to achieve!
     
  16. YARN

    YARN Fleet Captain

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    Well, all the imagination is really, is combining elements already known to the imaginer (e.g., Hume's golden mountain).

    The laziest sort of imaginings are simple combinations for which Greek mythology was famous (a winged horse, a man's torso jutting out of the neck of a horse, a three headed dog).

    The best imaginings, I thin,k play with finer elements (e.g., why should everything have bilateral symmetry?) in more complicated combinations, but the game is the same.
     
  17. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    This is, of course, the crux of the issue. Star Trek influenced SF that followed it so without Trek then SF (at least in the visual sense) might have evolved differently. What other influences could have been prominent without Star Trek? And would Star Wars even have happened as well?

    Yes, it's a thought exercise, but it does illustrate that if you make one change it has rippling after effects.

    The look of TOS didn't come out of nowhere. MJ reinterpreted what he knew and had seen and fashioned the TOS Enterprise and the rest. Any creator does the same. Without MJ's influence you're assuming that everything else remains and try to draw influence from that. But the Catch 22 now is if any elements resembling MJ's designs appear in your work how can you convince others of not being influenced by him?

    So, as YARN says, you're basically trying to design something (everything) new from scratch.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I see her point, but I think Barlowe did better than a lot of artists at visualizing really alien life. In particular, most other artists' renditions of the Overlords from Childhood's End are basically exactly like the devil imagery they're supposed to have influenced, but Barlowe's version looks more like an alien species that just has some broad similarities to the devil imagery.

    And much of Barlowe's work later in his career has been even better at conveying true alienness -- notably his book Expedition.

    But Barlowe was a major influence on my SF, I think. When I started out imagining a science fiction universe of my own, I followed the Trek precedent of using humanoid aliens, but as I learned more about biology and evolution, I realized how unlikely that was. And I think Barlowe's Guide inspired me to get a lot more experimental about my alien designs. Although most of mine probably do have more Earth influence than they ideally should.



    Well, of course we can't actually respond to the challenge of this thread without being aware of the original design. Even if we consciously avoid its elements, that's still a response to it. But that doesn't mean we're stuck with simply copying it. We can be aware of it but still choose to do things differently, to recognize that the ideas that shaped it in 1964 aren't necessarily still valid today. Today we know that a realistic warp engine would more likely be a cylindrical collar surrounding the ship than a pair of long tubes. Today we know that a warp drive could work just fine as a sublight gravity drive, so we don't have to keep the conceit of "impulse engines." And so forth.

    What Jefferies did was to try to design a ship that was both aesthetic and plausible given the best theoretical knowledge of his day. Something that looked like it was made to operate in weightless space, something that looked like it had power without having rocket exhaust, something that wasn't just a copy of the standard fictional spaceship designs that preceded it. I think the challenge here is to do the same from scratch -- to emulate the spirit of Jefferies's work, the goals and thinking that shaped it, rather than just copying the specific lines and contours that resulted.

    Of course, that last point shows just how much influence Jefferies did have. Before ST, pretty much every film/TV spaceship, at least in the US, was either a rocketship/cigar shape or a flying saucer. (The War of the Worlds Martian War Machines don't count because they were hovercraft, not spacecraft.) Now, the Enterprise incorporates both the saucer shape and the cigar shape, but it and the ships that followed it in TOS brought a variety to cinematic spacecraft that they hadn't really had before.
     
  19. MadMan1701A

    MadMan1701A Commodore Commodore

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    Hey guys,

    Didn't have any time to check the thread this weekend... thanks for all the responses. :)

    I've got some ideas modeled, and hopefully I can show everyone what I've been thinking.

    So far, I have a saucer section, some engine nacelles, and an engineering hull. The engineering hull won't be inhabited... it's basically fuel storage tanks and the M/AM reactors.

    The saucer is going to made up of several modules, linked together. I'm going to have a radiation shield on the bottom of that, shielding the saucer modules from the reactor.

    It'll make sense I hope, when you guys see it. :)

    -Ricky
     
  20. MadMan1701A

    MadMan1701A Commodore Commodore

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    Alright guys, I have some mock ups. I'd like to use this as a starting point, for you guys to add ideas to, tweak, and flesh out.

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    The only things I am really sold on, are the engines basic shape, the segmented saucer, and having the m/am engines below like that... pretty much everything else can change, though.

    Talk to you guys later...

    -Ricky