# Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Albertese, Jun 1, 2013.

1. ### TimoFleet AdmiralAdmiral

Joined:
Aug 26, 2003
On the other tentacle, if the title of the chart is "Earth Outpost, Sector Z-6", we are left wondering why only a single outpost is mentioned when the map shows seven. If, instead, the chart reads "Earth Outpost Sector Z-6", then we are very probably speaking of terminology developed specifically for designating Earth Outpost Sectors, rather than for general astrography!

I'd also be wary of considering the "5000" thing a scale bar for the map. There'd be very little point in providing a bar that is 2½ grid sides long and doesn't even nicely divide into an integral number of tick marks per square! But if it really is 5000 units per 2½ grid sides, then it's 2000 units per grid, which is amusingly suggestive of the 20 lightyear length of a sector side in the TNG backstage model of things...

Naturally, having each square here measure 20 ly per side is a possibility. But I'd rather go with these being quadrants within a sector, as the map supposedly depicts a "sector", not "sectors". For us users of the decimal system, a 20 ly cube side sounds odd, but whatever rationale led to choosing such a weird number may also have resulted in choosing some multiple of 20 as the quadrant side length. We're then probably talking about a smooth fraction of a lightyear as the basic unit here, that is, these quadrants are defined as having 2000 of a unit derived as a "lower order of magnitude" of a lightyear - 1/100th, 1/1000th or somesuch.

Related musings: after opening credits, Kirk says that his ship was already on a mission of "patrolling outposts" when summoned to help OP4, yet he has to rush to the map area from the lower left for some reason. What does that tell us about the layout of the outpost chain? Kirk is closest to OP1 initially - does this mean he was merely on his way to start a grand tour of the chain when the SOS came? OTOH, how could a simple "wall" going from lower left to upper right and starting at OP1 hope to contain the Romulans, if Kirk and other UFP assets are to the lower left? Surely there must be OPs below the map area as well...

If so, do these have negative numbers? Or is the OP just below OP1 perhaps designated OP 1882, the other end of a circular chain featuring 1882 outposts? Where's the three-dimensionality in the setup?

We could rather say that OPs 1 through 8 (or 9 or whatnot) are designations for outposts in the Earth Outpost Sector Z-6, while Z-5 and Z-7 to "left" and "right" have their respective OPs 1 through 9, and Y-6 and A-6 to "up" and "down" likewise sport ten outposts each; such a setup could cover a vast volume of space, allowing for the multi-star-system RSE, and the "two-coordinate" nature of sector names would support the three-dimensionality of the setup.

A general note on scaling the thing, too: We get a lower limit to RNZ width from those episodes that feature a star system within the Zone itself, and then we get "The Enemy" where Romulans enter the RNZ from their side and say to their own man they will be at Galorndon Core in six hours - then within the same scene tell Picard that they will be on the Federation side of the RNZ in five hours. If we assume Commander Tomalak isn't lying in either of these statements, and doesn't alter speed (he wouldn't be motivated to use less than maximum speed before talking with Picard, and after talking to Picard he's in greater hurry than ever, to stop his captured man from talking), we know it takes a Warbird five hours to cross the RNZ. Five hours at very high warp, then... It must be more than a lightyear or even a parsec, because we get consistent mentions of travel faster than five lightyears per day in the TNG era. It could well be 20.00 lightyears, or a full sector side, in that case - and could have been that all along, even back in "BoT". But it would make the Warbird slower than Kirk's ship...

Timo Saloniemi

2. ### AlberteseCommodoreCommodore

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Portland, OR
If you look closely, the 5000 is next to the little triangle that juts down from the smaller ticks. 6 of these ticks fit in one grid-square. I believe the suggestion was that each tick was 5,000 units and that six ticks = 30,000 units per large square. You're saying 5,000 units per 2 1/2 squares, which would be rather odd.

--Alex

3. ### MytranCommodoreCommodore

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Thanks, yes that is what I meant.

Interesting coincidence about the 20 LY thing though...

4. ### Robert ComsolCommodoreCommodore

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USS Berlin
Since you mentioned that, I watched "Practical Joker" today (and just a few minutes ago it was BT on public TV) and found events rather "interesting" for lack of better words:

Captain's log, stardate 3183.3. Our present mission, a routine geological survey of type four asteroids, is nearing completion. The cruise has been uneventful and we are now approaching the final asteroid in our assigned sector, a full seventy two hours ahead of schedule.

No mentioning whatsoever that the Enterprise is close to the Neutral Zone (but they are surveying asteroids...hmmm). Then:

KIRK: I demand an explanation for this unprovoked attack.
COMMANDER [on viewscreen]: Unprovoked? My dear Captain, your ship trespassed into Romulan territory, in defiance of your own treaty. We had no choice but to defend ourselves.
KIRK: We came nowhere near Romulan territory. I deny all charges and plan to file a detailed complaint with the Federation.
COMMANDER [on viewscreen]: You seem to forget that invasion of Romulan territory is punishable by death.

WTF? No further explanation is given, the Enterprise doesn't seem to even attempt to contact Starfleet, escapes and the story takes its course. Later:

SULU: Course stabilizing at one one four mark twelve.
SPOCK: We're heading back to the Neutral Zone.
KIRK: And you can bet those Romulan ships will be gunning for us.

SPOCK: The Romulans are giving chase.
MCCOY: They must be furious to follow us this deep into Federation territory.

The way I see it, there only seem to be two explanations:

• The Enterprise is operating near the Neutral Zone but that area is distorting subspace communications. Kirk and crew are unaware that the Federation has just reached an agreement with the Romulans allowing these to expand their territory and the Enterprise happens to be accidentally in it (this would be most definitely "Hornblower Effect". The ships operated far from home and often captains were not aware what alliances or treaties had changed since their departure).
• The negotiations with the Romulans about extending their territory are taking place but that doesn't keep the Romulans from already seizing territory which is going to be theirs - and everything within it.
Bob

5. ### The LibrarianCommodoreCommodore

Joined:
Feb 1, 2002
The idea that the Romulans are confined to sublight velocities only is flat out absurd. Are we supposed to believe that anyone is worried about a war with them when Kirk could complete his entire five-year mission before their ships could even reach the nearest star? Without FTL capabilities, Starfleet could ambush them in deep space at any time and place of their choosing.

6. ### TimoFleet AdmiralAdmiral

Joined:
Aug 26, 2003
Those, and the obvious one: that Kirk indeed came nowhere near Romulan territory, and the words of his Romulan assailant were insincere. The trio of cruisers was in UFP territory, out on a mission of vengeance to kill Kirk and destroy his ship, and the commander chose to insult Kirk with a pretentious message before blowing him out of the sky.

Timo Saloniemi

7. ### Robert ComsolCommodoreCommodore

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Though it's interesting that at the end of the episode, Spock is admitting that they are "heading back to the Neutral Zone".

Almost seems as if the Enterprise had been operating in the Neutral Zone and merely stayed clear of actual Romulan territory...

Bob

8. ### TimoFleet AdmiralAdmiral

Joined:
Aug 26, 2003
Quite so - and the Romulans merely lied about Kirk violating that border. By "nowhere near" I didn't really wish to suggest that Kirk was charting cislunar space or surveying Klingon planets...

Obviously, after the failed first strike, the Romulans would want to retire to the RNZ or even all the way into Romulan space, so as to avoid being caught for the violation for nothing. But the Joker taking the ship back to the RNZ would mean taking them back to the danger zone, as the willingness of the Romulans to strike out of that zone was now established.

Timo Saloniemi

9. ### zDarbyLieutenantRed Shirt

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NorCal
I just played around with some models.

I took a Rom TOS BOP and modified it to the shape of the previously linked-to blueprint. I then added a rather nice (EG, accurate) Miranda model and scaled it to the same size as the Rom BOP. And, to my surprise and delight, I found dorsal silhouette of the main hulls to be quite similar. Suspiciously similar.

I read from an earlier post that there was parts of the BOT episode, unseen, that the BOP was a stolen Fed ship. If so, I could see it being a Miranda prototype.

I don't really think it means much. But it's a fun speculation.

Edit: By "model" I mean to say computer 3d model.

10. ### Robert ComsolCommodoreCommodore

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Yes, according to the original screenplay Commander Hansen stated that the design of the BoP must have been a stolen Federation "starship" design (possibly by Romulans pretending to be Vulcans, hence Stiles' remark that there might be Romulan spies aboard the ship - does that mean there were other Vulcans next to Spock serving aboard the Enterprise?...).

Indeed, the Miranda Class ("Starship Reliant") comes into mind and according to the "starship status chart" in "Court-Martial" there was a starship with the registry "1831" which according to the Jefferies Nomenclature would have been a starship of the 18th design, very likely the Miranda Class.

Good catch!

Bob

P.S. Can we see these models for graphic illustration / comparison?

Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
11. ### Mario de MontiCaptainCaptain

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Jun 10, 2013
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Heidelberg, Germany
And if that is indeed so, it would also help to actually answering some of Albertese´s initial questions from the very first post of this thread
I couldn´t help but notice that the thread has strayed somewhat off-topic ... but YMMV

Mario

12. ### zDarbyLieutenantRed Shirt

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May 20, 2013
Location:
NorCal
Yes. Absolutely. I'm working on it.

It's hard to show a good comparison between the 3d models, so I decided to take good blueprint dorsal views of a BOP and Miranda, and Photoshop them atop eachother....Well....*Gimp* them atop eachother. I've got them scaled and placed. Now I have to animate them in a gif or png fading from one to the other.

I'd be willing to give whom ever wants them the two gimp xcf files. One has the complete dorsal shots of both, the other has the nacells and pylons erased so only the hulls are showing. But they're 4.4 and 3.7 megs, respectively, so I don't know if attaching them would be gouache.

From the blueprints, it's not nearly as close as it looks in 3d. I think the inaccuracy of the models is rearing its ugly head. It's still cool, though.

13. ### AlberteseCommodoreCommodore

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Portland, OR
Indeed it has strayed! But that's okay, this whole one system model RSE discussion has been fascinating.

--Alex

14. ### Mario de MontiCaptainCaptain

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Jun 10, 2013
Location:
Heidelberg, Germany
Ok, just checking

As to the idea of the Bird of Prey being a stolen Federation design: A few years ago I stumbled across a website, whre this guy does all sorts of Trek kitbashes (real, physical kitbashes from actual model kits ). He also made one of a Federation "Bird of Prey" based on the Miranda hull. In case you´d like to check it out:

http://www.inpayne.com/models/kitbash/trekpage_peregrine.html

Cheers, Mario

15. ### Robert ComsolCommodoreCommodore

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USS Berlin
The author didn't do a TOS in-depth research homework: "applying Romulan design principals to one of our own starships."

Hansen: "Starship design. Warn Earth...espionage, stolen our designs...traitors..."

Great model, though.

It's interesting that in the unedited version of the episode Hansen knew about the latest Starship design series. But then again, serving on one of these outposts could be a temporary thing only.

Bob

16. ### Mario de MontiCaptainCaptain

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I was just wondering: could the original design for the Reliant be this "Federation BoP" - and thus be somewhat canonical?

17. ### blssdwlfCommodoreCommodore

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Feb 26, 2010
Forbin's Peregrine and arguably the Reliant body does bear a good resemblance to the BOP. Since Hansen's line was cut then it could go either way on who copied who.

18. ### zDarbyLieutenantRed Shirt

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May 20, 2013
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NorCal
Here is the gif I promised. It's about 2mb and it fades from a dorsal view of the TOS Rom BOP to one of Miranda, and back again.

The similarities are not as great as it seemed in 3d. It now seems to me that if you want to have a trunk behind a saucer, you do it this way. Further, every other profile of the two are very dissimilar.

This is precisely the pic I found which made me compare the two in the first place!!

19. ### DEWLineCommodoreCommodore

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Ottawa, Canada
...interesting. Probably an accident on the latter designer's part, but interesting.

20. ### Robert ComsolCommodoreCommodore

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Nice graphic visualization! I think it proves the striking similarities.

If the NCC-1831 on the starship status chart in "CourtMartial" is a Miranda Class ship (TOS or TMP style?), I'd say it's the Romulans that stole the design.

Bob