Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by CharlieZardoz, Jun 11, 2013.
For some real fun, trying throwing the FASA-original Ambassador into the mix.
God, that's a fugly ship...
It's certainly an oddball, but pretty consistent with FASAbashing. It's pretty heavily armed for a heavy cruiser too, with a ton of torpedo tubes on it.
Haha! Well yes there were many types of Starfleet ships that participated in the dominion war including at least one Ambassador class (The Exeter). Hell, even the "Rutledge" was in the war at some point lol. The fact these many classes described weren't onscreen is simply due to the studio not having any working models CGI or otherwise at the time. It's really amazing we saw as many classes as we did and while the Ambassador class may have been less prevalent in theory I assume there were probably others. The Valdemar was on the edge of Cardassian space so I doubt it took a snooze while 10 fleets are starships were busy battling out possibly the greatest war Starfleet had faced at that point.
Regarding the two (or more) variants being built concurrently while I agree that is definitely true for Miranda's, Nebula's and Excelsior's it's really a question of why the studio decided to change the model in the first place. I can only assume the model makers sat down and said "hey let's make this thing look a bit more up to date to the TNG era and add some details." That would imply an "in universe" explanation for a refit to upgrade the old ships. Or at the very least the ones built later (20,000's) had the upgrades from the start since they were newer/built later on. While I agree with your idea Mark Nguyen that it is similar to having two car variants and I think that explanation sounds most logical, the creators of Star Trek did not always do things that made the most sense.
It's true they used stock footage of the Enterprise-C in one shot, but the footage of the Excalibur actually shot for the episode, namely the wide shot of the fleet, clearly shows her to be of the later variant type.
The Excalibur was definitely a variant. I mean they even changed the decals on the model for it.
While this is all true, I was referring to the actual CGI fleet shots, and why only seven ship classes were represented (plus one Nebula in one shot), with the majority of the number of ships being outdated Miranda and Excelsior classes. I know I sound like a broken record because I've posted this so many times, but I hope that when DS9 gets remastered, the original CGI VFX gets replaced with new scenes with new ships.
Also, I think listing the Norway in the DS9 Tech Manual was a mistake; I think they meant to put the Steamrunner there and got their artwork mixed up.
I have that FASA manual. It was written before the link between the Ambassador class and the Enterprise-C was known, so this wasn't supposed to represent the Ent-C. Which is good, because it's just a bad kitbash of Constitution parts.
Correct. The FASA Ambassador design was included because it was referenced in the dialogue of "Conspiracy," along with the Paine class frigate from the same book. It wasn't until "Yesterday's Enterprise" that we'd know what the Ambassador looked like and that the C was part of the class. That being said, I have an interesting idea on how the FASA description of the C and their Ambassador variant could be integrated with some of the canon materials. Hooray fanwank!
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I don't understand what you mean by this? It was likely a question of money, CGI starships aren't free and I think Okuda and co just thought it would be cool to say yeah there are even other designs that are never onscreen, Like Hokule, Rigel, Apollo, etc. There really is no other reason why in my opinion anyway. No other models were made or available at that time with the Ambassador model (supposedly) being bashed up from some earthquake and the connie refit too big and bulky. I do believe however that the fleet scenes had a perfect mix of newer and older starships and it never bothered me that Miranda's and Excelsior's were there in large numbers since it gave the fleet dynamics, plus I love those designs
I think they had a fairly good idea back before the construction of the E-C filming miniature. Andrew Probert already had his concept art put together by the time first season came around, and the gold profile half-model on the wall of the E-D's briefing room with all the other Enterprise's clearly represents Probert's design, and I believe it was already known to be an Ambassador class from the get-go. Granted, the Probert concept and final Ambassador production model differ greatly in many ways (as mentioned in the cited Ex Astris article), but they're a damn-sight closer to each other than the FASA thing. I'm thinking the more plausible explanation was that FASA simply wasn't paying attention...
Here's what I mean: When large fleet scenes were called for in DS9's 6th and 7th seasons, the only way to realistically create them was in CGI. ILM was ordered to give Paramount their First Contact CGI models (the Akira, Saber, Steamrunner, and Miranda classes built for FC; the Norway being lost). They also scanned their Enterprise-D, Defiant, and Excelsior physical filming models into CGI as well. That's why those seven classes were only used in the fleet scenes (with the Nebula class U.S.S. Bonchune from ST:Voyager used for one scene only). This was not any kind of realistic representation of Starfleet as a whole, for the reasons I described above.
My point is that, if the DS9 series ever gets remastered, and those CGI fleet scenes are not up to HD standard, they will need to be completely redone. Since there wouldn't be any time or budget constraints forcing them to have to use those seven designs, or any reason why the fleet scenes would have to be duplicated exactly as they were originally, they could potentially come up with brand-new ship designs (such as those aforementioned conjectural classes Okuda came up with to pad the Encyclopedia), or create CGI models of other ships we rarely saw, such as the Ambassador class, and make these fleet shots look more representative of the many types of ships Starfleet has.
No, FASA had no idea. They listed the Enterprise-C as an "Alaska-class battlecruiser" (although without any accompanying design; I suppose they figured that Probert's design seen on the Enterprise history wall was the "Alaska" class.
^^^ Let me clarify, by "they", I meant the TNG production team. Not FASA. I agree FASA had no clue, although I still can't track how they came up with a completely different "Ambassador" design independently, then, if the name had already been assigned to the Enterprise-C's class. Coincidence, I guess.
As I said, FASA just didn't have the information, or knew the link between the Ambassador Class and the Ent-C. All they knew was that the (unseen) U.S.S. Horatio was Ambassador class, and the half-Excelsior/half-Galaxy wall sculpture was the Ent-C, but with no correlation between the two.
That FASA manual was full of mistakes, from Haven being the Betazoid's home world, to the people of Mordan IV being called Molodor.
Sure; but we're talking about a class of ship which is arguably several decades old by that point, and which would be slated to be supplanted by other explorers such as the Galaxy by the time we saw them. So, as they finished off their final five-year missions (or whatever), assuming Starfleet didn't want to send them out again but wanted to keep them around, they could get assigned the various milk run missions that support all the other stuff happening across the Federation. You could also argue that Excalibur, possibly being in spacedock at the time she was drafted, was between missions, which could also mean Yamaguchi could've been in the midst of refitting at Utopia Planitia when the Borg came knocking. Zhukov, well, may have had irreparable damage from when Barclay was in Engineering and shuttling Vulcan Ambassadors around was all she could muster anymore. :P
We could probably find an explanation for most of those, since it's a pretty small list to begin with. That is, except for those that end up as "troubleshooter" ships like the E-D that always end up wherever things need to be taken care of, which could be what the E-C was doing in sensitive space near the Klingon border in 2344, as that class was supposedly the Galaxy or Constitution of her time.
[Long and awesome list omitted]
That depends on what these ships are meant to do and how many were made as well. Looking at the US Navy registry, the current list of active ship classes with the most examples in that class are pretty small: we have Arleigh Burke-class destroyers (62 ships active), Ticonderoga-class cruisers (22), Perry-class frigates (17), LA-class subs (42), Ohio-class subs (18), and a whopping ten Nimitz-class carriers. There are a good ten-plus additional classes of warships active (~42 active per Wiki), but none with more than ten examples, and not even counting the number of freighters and logistical ships there are to support them. Altogether the six "top" classes account for about 80% of the active warships; the top three alone account for over 50%.
Extending this to Starfleet, there could similarly be five or so classes of ship which account for the vast majority of the fleet we see, while everyone else would literally be lost in the background. This is not a completist answer as we KNOW that no such ships were shown or rendered for the big fleet scenes, but at least there is a real-world context for why all those other ships were just not seen.
It would be really neat if when they remastered DS9 they added more ships to the battle scenes. While I think there is a slight possibility of adding Ambassadors or Constellation or even New Orleans into the mix (very slight), I don't expect them to come up with new designs for Apollo, Hokule'a, Rigel and the like. I can imagine there still must be some budget restraints for the remastering and also it just seems like an unrealistic huge undertaking for a show already long over. It should remain as it was originally envisioned flaws and all. That said there are some beautiful fan renditions of these mysterious ships on the internet.
That said we massively off the original topic of the Horatio! LOL :P
I agree with the latter of what you say Mark. There were obviously some ships in Starfleet that were more common than others with many more Miranda's, Excelsior's etc. vs. New Orleans, Centaur, or Yeager class (ugly thing lol). But why must we assume the Ambassador class was built in few numbers? There were 10 featured in Star Trek! That is a lot of cameo's (on or off screen). There were only about 15 Nebula's featured, maybe about 10-15 Galaxy's, and only a couple dozen Miranda and Excelsior's. I don't feel the Ambassador was a "rare class" at all, just had a bit less "on screen" time.
My view is that Starfleet has their "flagship" designs of a given era, of ships which are their best and newest tech in the most advanced hulls they can muster. These are the ships that everyone wants to see and serve on. Due to the expense of resources to build them, there would never be that many. The TOS Enterprise was one of a dozen like her, and I like to think that the initial batches of Excelsior, Ambassador, Galaxy and Sovereign class ships were treated the same way.
Some like the Excelsior would prove so successful (and easy enough to build in large numbers) that Starfleet would do just that, building dozens or hundreds of them while moving on to the next flagship design. So, we have a TON of Miranda class ships built as the workhorse of the late TOS and early 24th centuries; a large number of Excelsiors would be the next wave, and short of a huge war like the Dominion conflict to thin out those herds, lots of them would still be around to haul their butts back and forth between starbases.
And going back to the Ambassadors, well, in TOS the Enterprise was one of a dozen, but we saw MOST of them over the course of three years! While unlikely, it would be possible for the E-D to meet more than a few of her predecessors in seven years, especially given the more-than-average distances she travels (ref: Starship Mine).
I agree. And I think the notion of the Galaxy class as being an "elusive" design went out the window with DS9. Roddenberry's original concept was that they were so big that Starfleet would have only a handful of them in service and during TNG that was the case. Once DS9 came around it turns out there were in fact lots of them. My feeling is that they had been slated for massive production and would end up becoming the workhorse/backbone of Starfleet as an eventual replacement for the excelsior design. I can imagine that 50 years in the future Starfleet is full of aging galaxy class ships.
Regarding the Ambassador class I think that if the model had survived to CGI we would have seen many more of them in DS9 but its another example of how real life effected star trek history the class remains one that "appeared" to be produced in only limited numbers which is a pity as I do rather like the design.
I seem to recall the Alaska class originated in a set of ship plans that were produced around the same time FASA was working on the OM, but whether it was intended to actually be a FASAverse design or simply fit in with it is up for debate. This set of plans was published by Temporal Graphics in 1988 and identified the ship as being the Enterprise-C, so FASA might have simply borrowed that for convenience and there being no conflicting information available at the time. There were some other oddball ship plans floating around then, like the USS Churchhill and the "Centurian Class" 1701-D.
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