General Star Trek starship thread.

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Charles Markov, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Nebula class filming model was quite different from the study model used for BoBW. If any of the other designs had been given fully-fledged filming models, they would probably have looked different as well.

    There were two entirely different rationales for the Wolf 359 ships and the DS9 kitbashes, the main fact being that the former models were not built specifically for BoBW, but were originally 'study models' built by a contracted professional model maker to show that components of the Galaxy class could be rearranged to create new ship designs in an effort to convince the producers to budget for new filming models instead of constantly reusing the TOS movie models. They were used for BoBW because they were available.

    The DS9 kitbashes, on the other hand, were hastily-built concoctions by members of the production staff, out of multiple types of kits without regard for scale or era, and were never meant to be scrutinized up close.
     
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  2. Norsehound

    Norsehound Commander Red Shirt

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    I didn't know this, but it makes so much sense! Thanks for sharing!
     
  3. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I actually had no idea the BoBw designs were study designs intended for a couple new ships. Would have been nice if the executives had decided to make new models for the series after destroying the miniatures. But alas that seems to far out of character for a tv executive. Why spend money on new ships if old ones are available.

    Actually if at least some, perhaps the New Orleans, Nebula, Challenger, Freedom designs are repurposed into full blown studio filming models and used throughout the rest of the series and into DS9. Many of the dominion war battles would have been epic!
     
  4. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    I've gotten the impression that the Nebula was designed mainly as an alternative arrangement for the Galaxy components, though I've generally heard about the W359 designs as though they had been primarily designed specifically for that episode, because it made more sense than having a bunch of older looking designs for the majority of the ships. That doesn't rule out the idea that they could have been designed mainly as "proof of concept" models though.
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There are layers to this, literally: the small high quality kitbashes that were created by Ed Miarecki for service as study models were sort of "lost" in the process, as most of them were deemed too similar to the hero ship to be discernible in brief shots or at a distance, and thus were glued chock full of extra parts for their brief Wolf 359 appearance. Only the Cheyenne class would be recognizable for the Miarecki original if adopted as filmed. But even that one would no doubt be built "better" if adopted, with the marker pen nacelles replaced by a different, more refined design; the add-ons to, say, New Orleans would no doubt also be kept and improved upon, removing the difference in production values between the Miarecki and Okuda takes on them.

    However, the two Greg Jein ships, the giant Niagara and Freedom class models, appear to have been built as Wolf 359 wrecks specifically. Regardless, they represented high production values from the get-go, as Jein liked to use and reuse large molds that could be applied for creating foreground-standard, fully wired and lit models if need be. One wonders if Jein didn't intend for his designs to be put to actual shooting model production eventually, considering the disproportionate effort that went into creating them.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  6. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Based on Jein’s interview in the BoBW Blu-ray special features, it’s doubtful he intended them to be anything more than just a hodgepodge of saucers and nacelles intended only for that scene. He only remembered that one ship had three nacelles and one ship had one, but not any specifics such as which molds were used for each part. It almost makes me think that it was his staff that built the ships, not Jein specifically.
     
  7. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    All great points. Two thoughts on these observations:

    1. Perhaps the reason that we see few Wolf-359 ships outside of the battle is simply that they were quickly replaced in production by newer counterparts, after the Borg conflict. For example, the New Orleans gets replaced by the Intrepid, Challenger gets replaced by Sabre, or whatever.

    2. This is why I think of the Ambassador as really more of an up-rated Excelsior than a separate generation of ship. Not that you could really convert one into the other, but with Excelsior/Enterprise-B/Ambassador-concept/Enterprise-C/Yamaguchi styles to pick from, a given fleet yard might never need to build them all.

    Which Wolf 359 ships do you think got replaced by which First Contact ships?
     
  8. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I like to think that ships of different configurations serve different purposes in the fleet and aren’t interchangeable. The New Orleans can’t be replaced by the Intrepid because the Intrepid’s “warp field dynamics” are otherwise specialized. Plus, the Intepid doesn’t have those three mini-deflectors/interdiction-units/caterpillar-drive/whatever thingies. This, for me, allows for a wider unseen fleet out there. It also explains why, tf, saucers(?) in the first place.
     
  9. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To me--if there are any future remastered Trek shows, the use of the better fan designs--something folks could take their time with...CGI wise?--those should be used.
     
  10. Charles Markov

    Charles Markov Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I had an idea awhile back for a headcannon Saladain/Hermes/Nelson class in the fleet. These ships are technically cannon as they appear in the background on a monitor in one of the star trek movies. They are also one of my favorite ships due to their odd design, though I think if we ever see anything like them in proper cannon their design should be reworked to make them more of an original design and less of a rearrangement of Constitution class parts.
    Anyway on to my idea.

    Following the four years war with the Klingons Starfleet had major losses to replace. While also finding itself in an arms race with the Klingon fleet. Because of this the fleet needed to massively expand its own shipbuilding programs. However the Federation Assembly was largely unwilling to approve a large expansion of the Starfleet budget. And so classes of mid and light vessels of the scout/frigate/destroyer/light cruiser ranges would be needed.

    Fulfilling the frigate/destroyer category were the single nacelle Saladin and Hermes class ships. These small vessels used only a single nacelle and mounted only simple hull forms to keep their costs down. While also mounting modern, if somewhat light weaponry which enabled them to easily combat smaller Klingon warships. In this way Starfleet was able to match lock in step Klingon shipbuilding in the period.

    The Saladin class vessels would continue in production for the 2250s and 60s, receiving upgrades in their systems with each new batch. However the class was replaced in production in the 2270s by the newer and more capable Akula class destroyers. After ending production the Saladin class soldiered on for decades still and filled a vital niche in the fleet until their retirement in the early years of the twenty third century.
     
  11. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Based on their registries, I'm not entirely sure that the FC ships replaced the Wolf 359 ships, but rather that they were all contemporaries.

    BoBW ships:

    USS Ahwahnee NCC-71620/NCC-73620
    USS Buran NCC-57580
    USS Chekov NCC-57302
    USS Firebrand NCC-68723
    USS Kyushu NCC-65491
    USS Melbourne NCC-62043
    USS Princeton NCC-59804

    FC ships:

    USS Appalacia NCC-52136
    USS Budapest NCC-64923
    USS Thunderchild NCC-63549
    USS Yeager NCC-61947
     
  12. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    For what it's worth, in a Ships of the Line calendar, Andrew Probert did a painting of the wrecked fleet at Wolf 359, and included a Nova-class ship. Just because a design is new to us (and the real-world realities of art style mean that similar-looking ships tend to turn up in the same movie or series, so they all seem equally new and of the most modern fashion) doesn't mean it wasn't around earlier off-screen.

    (I'd thought the Nova was an odd choice because of the lore that it came out of a dead end on the Defiant project, but looking it up, it seems the Defiant pathfinder was based on an existing prototype and started immediately after the Enterprise first encountered the Borg, with Starfleet restarting from scratch after 359 and seeing how bad a Borg cube could really be, so I guess it's not out of the question that the existing prototype that they started tinkering with to make the Defiant had already led to the creation of the Nova-class).
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If there's anything like a design family to go with Nova, it would seem to include Sovereign and Prometheus, with similar nacelle solutions, complexly swept pylons, lack of neck and a predisposition towards triangles. Playing the registry game on those is difficult, though, because the one Sovereign has a vanity plate, and the one Prometheus has different numbers on hull and interior. Might well be the general style was first adopted for a humble vessel that also saw extensive testbed use, before elements were applied on the big Sovereign. And since Sovereign is big, it might be relatively old news in ST:FC, having been conceived a decade earlier at the very least.

    The Sovereign would again be a transitional type, much like Niagara: new engines, but "still" an oval saucer rather than an arrowhead. Similarly, Intrepid would try out the modern hull fashion but still stick to old engine shapes.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If the Galaxy Class is a heavy-cruiser and the Intrepid is a light-cruiser, the Sovereign could be a cruiser.

    Volume-wise at least, it seems about right.

    That said, a pet project I (or anyone interested) may take on is coming up with a regular cruiser of the Galaxy Class era.
     
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  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Is there such a thing as "cruiser" in Starfleet?

    I mean, the system that in the 20th century included the Heavy Cruiser and the Light Cruiser did not allow for one - gun caliber dictated identity as one or the other, regardless of size or displacement (indeed, many were both, completed with light guns but later upgunned).

    Trek has spoken of Heavy Cruisers, Light Cruisers and Star Cruisers, and the Tech Manuals mention Medium Cruiser. Yet IIRC, the only "mere" Cruiser in dialogue was the Tripoli of "Datalore"... Valid Starfleet jargon, or inaccurate verbal shorthand?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  16. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd take cruiser, medium cruiser, and star-cruiser to be interchangeable terms.

    Cruiser may be short for heavy/light cruiser (i.e. both commanders and lieutenant commanders are addressed as “commander” for short), but it could be its own specific term too. Medium cruiser seems like a more specific term for cruiser. Maybe the full term is medium star-cruiser, as star is just a way to hammer in that this is da future! Star-cruisers, starships, star-empires, et al.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  17. Norsehound

    Norsehound Commander Red Shirt

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    If the Galaxy is a battleship, I was starting to figure classes like the New Orleans or the Cheyenne would be cruisers. Federation capabilities have marched onward enough that these smaller ships are the heavy lifters of the Federation.

    I had a somewhat related thought recently. In the 2280s, we can point to the Oberth, Enterprise (Constitution Refit), and Reliant classes as populous enough to be considered "workhorse" classes, in such that there are enough of them that they are increasingly common. Over the movies we see two Oberths (Grissom, Copernicus), Three Mirandas (Reliant, Saratoga, ship one docked in Trek 4), and a couple of Refit Enterprises (Ent herself, perhaps another one in dock during Trek 4), plus however many are implied by Operation Retrieve. Though the Enterprise drops from the pack, Oberths and Mirandas are around long enough that by 2360s they're the ship in distress of the week.

    You ask the same question for the 2360s era and I don't think there's a handful of set classes that are more common than the others. You could point to the Nebula, Constellation, and Ambassador classes maybe because those studio models were done and they could be pulled out for things like Unification pt 2, but...

    1. None of these classes (except the Nebula) were seen in BoBW...(Though, yes, Ambassador and Nebula show up in DS9's the Emissary)
    2. If the Nebula is as arduous to construct as the Galaxy, it suggests they're on the rare side
    3. The Ambassador is clearly older technology than the Galaxy/Nebula, old enough to be a preceding generation to 1701-D, and the Constellation class is even older and mocked for how archaic it is.

    Part of why I remarked on the W359 fleet is the wonder of whether these ships kind of represent that workhorse range of common starship classes. Did this represent the pick of the 2350s-2360s fleet? I had the impression that the Galaxy and Nebula represented the cutting edge of the time, perhaps building off the W359 fleet.

    They also represented a new paradigm for starship exploration by being so large, so independent that they could do those "continuing missions" and operate away from starbases for long stretches of time. The smaller cruisers, like the New Orleans and Cheyenne, probably had more conventional 5-year mission rotations. While they could do missions the old Excelsiors could do by their own, they were much smaller and more economical for the same mission constraints.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
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  18. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don’t like battleship for Federation ships. Like I said, for me, Starfleet has its origins in NASA more than the Imperial Space Force. And as much fun as it is blowing up Klingons, we won’t really find any in real Outer Space.

    Starfleet employs ships of lots of different configurations, and they’re most all probably cruisers, but I wonder if we can up the “nauticalia” up a bit. Maybe the Cheyenne could be a clipper/cutter/skimmer/schooner, and the New Orleans a corvette?
     
  19. Norsehound

    Norsehound Commander Red Shirt

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    I say Battleship, compared to Cruiser and Frigate, to describe the ship's capabilities rather than strictly their military applications. Galaxies are more capable and supplied than the Ambassador class, so it makes sense to me to use that naval scale to describe both vessels. Though the fedration is coy about applying military terms to ships with military capability, you gotta admit, "explorer" as a catch-all term is not very descriptive of the ship's scientific and support capabilities.

    Besides we also know other races aren't shy to refer to these ships by their estimations of military strength. Our HeavyC-Cruiser Refit connie is called a battlecruiser by the Klingons. The Galaxy herself has been called a battleship a couple of times.

    At any rate... what would the scale be of these clipper/cutter/skimmer/schooners/corvettes? Star Cruiser is a nice catch-all term to describe workhorse vessels, but all those other terms describe what I'd consider the Sydney class.
     
  20. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think of the Sydney as a transport, a point a-to-b workhorse. A clipper is more combative, with better armament, maneuverability, and, maybe as the name suggests, faster.

    I don’t get the explorer moniker, as the Constitution’s mission was “to seek out new worlds and new civilizations, to go where no [man] had gone before.”

    I expect whatever flagship they’ve got to be classified as a battleship/battlecruiser by Klingons more interested in that sort of thing, and who’ll be out-evolved by Starfleet’s scientific focus with time, but that’s not the flagship’s point.

    Although it does beg the question what do you call a heavy cruiser excelsior when the heavy cruiser Ambassador is introduced? I guess they’re all recatalogued as cruisers?

    For me the whole nautical classification scheme is meant to help distinguish between configurations. Enterprise types are cruisers, Reliant types are frigates, Saladin types are scouts, Grissom types are science vessels, Defiant types are escorts, Sydney types are transports, Pasteur types are medical ships, etc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018