Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by aridas sofia, Mar 3, 2008.
^This is not the thread to open up the "whether space combat is possible" can of worms.
So it's something like the Delta Clipper?
Love the look of the lander, and especially love the detail in the vacant docking port.
That looks like a darn good comparison, yeah.
Well, actually, it's not a terrible place for a little bit of that. I'm pretty much of the "movie space combat is nonsense" camp myself. That said, Polaris is intended to be a pretty traditional skiffy space show, so we do have some such sequences - they're brief and limited, but what we do show suggests something at least a little like what you'd see on nuBSG.
If I did a science fiction show based even somewhat on what I think is actually likely or even possible it would be much more cyberpunkish and wouldn't feature interstellar travel at all.
In terms of having such elements I like Avatar better than anything else I've seen lately because it blends the fantasy with a rather uber-NASA-ish vibe and at least a cursory acknowledgement that such trips would take an extremely long time, be incredibly complex and probably never routine. No space wars there.
I don’t think the script actually calls for any such hovering about so it’s really a moot point as far as this particular story is concerned. In a broader context, I would envision its movement very much along the lines of the Delta Clipper (see below).
Either way, a passing resemblance to Anderson's style would probably not be in conflict with some of the subtly retro elements I think Dennis is aiming for with this production.
I’m not sure where it was suggested that Polaris doesn’t have energy weapons. The two big guns on either side of the bow are energy weapons. I also plan to include some small point-defense turrets on either side and one at the rear that have only been shown in the sketches so far.
I think it should be pointed out that Polaris is not actually a warship, she’s an exploration vessel crudely refitted for combat. I imagine she had a pretty tough hull to begin with, just to be able to deal with some of the natural phenomena the universe is capable of throwing at her, but the unpleasant truth is that one good hit from a real battlewagon would probably finish her.
She is quite quick and agile, as alluded to in the opening pages of the script, which I have reflected in the prominent main engines and oversized maneuvering thrusters. She also has a very good sensor suite and powerful transmitter arrays, which were readily adaptable to ECM functions. She’s hard to see and harder to catch, which (mostly) compensates for her lack of heavy armor, shields or other defensive capabilities.
That’s exactly what I had in mind when I was fleshing out the original design by Aridas Sofia. The Polaris lander is obviously a bit more squat, which would allow it to fly about in a non-ballistic fashion when the occasion calls for it, but generally it’s either plummeting straight down through the atmosphere or shooting straight back up into orbit.
Personally, I like the shape. It's simple, basic and robust - all pluses when dealing with lugging extra mass around on a spaceship. I like how it's mostly protected when docked.
Lifting bodies make sense with a nice, dense atmosphere like Earth's - less so for planets with thin or no atmosphere.
And I like the homage to the Apollo capsule - intentional or not.
Glad to see more updates - I love the Polaris, it's a splendid design!
I think the design is perfect. Elevator to hell style landing. Mission done, and time to go straight up.
Vektor, I don't know if this is in any way useful to you, but the shuttle Discovery is being disassembled for cleaning as part of its retirement schedule. Spaceflight Now has a series of photos reviewing the process and I thought you might find shots of the shuttle's innards somewhat useful in your designs for Polaris.
In the most basic sense, the rough shape and idea for a capsule-shaped lander came from von Braun's proposals for the Mars Excursion Module, that got fleshed out in the early 80s.
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/hyperbola/mars excursion module.JPG
Of course, I envisioned this as being a much more sophisticated craft, with probably nuclear (or perhaps fusion) powered "plug nozzle" rockets, and originally endowed with "on site" science labs for field research. That stuff would have been torn out with the refitting and space would be given over for pure storage of men and material that would require transport from orbit to a presumably contested battlescape. So, much less space given to fuel tanks and more to, well... tanks.
The craft would presumably be named in association with the star or constellation for which the Zodiac-class ship they serve was named.
BTW, beautiful work, V. It goes w/o saying, but you are the best.
I don't know really, small heat dissipation vents? However it is that excess heat is dissipated from the sublight drives, or the weapons? I'm sure that some method for dissipating excess energy created from laser exists.
@Vector: This quote suggested that the design was headed away from using any sort of energy weapons.
I suppose I could've read the entire thread to find out what the final consensus was, but that would have taken at least a few hours.
I'm glad to see that you are considering defensive weapons though.
Well, I've thought of the ships in general using energy or plasma weapons for defense - basically to detonate or disable incoming missiles. There's no place in the current script where Polaris is shown to have offensive weaponry other than missiles. I may have forgotten something we discussed relevant to offensive energy weapons, but if so it doesn't come up - at least this time around.
Massive new WIP image dump. Look out below!
There have been a lot of minor to major changes and adjustments since the last images were posted and I'm not going to go through them all, except to say that some of them are still being evaluated and decided upon by Dennis. I think both of us would be very interested to hear all of your thoughts and opinions on them.
Please note that the forward guns and missile racks have been temporarily removed for clarity while Dennis and I have been focusing on everything else. They will be put back eventually.
Here are two more views showing the "sails" fully deployed:
Be aware that some of these parts and pieces are still incomplete and rather pieced together, so any misalignments, smoothing problems and the like are probably just things I haven't gotten to yet.
Another fairly significant change we are considering is a reduction in the size of the "tail fins" on the trailing edges of the saucer. I've felt for a long time that they seem rather bulky and "ass heavy" when the sails are fully deployed. I've come up with an alternative "short fin" version that really improves the ship's sense of balance, IMHO. I'm especially interested to hear what everyone thinks of this:
Finally, I've been mulling over a possibility that's been raised briefly a couple of times over the course of this project, that Polaris may have the ability to land and take off from a planet's surface. Given its longitudinally stacked deck arrangement, it makes sense that it would do so on its tail. This also suggested the idea of another set of engines or take-off boosters with mixed-function scramjet capabilities, which you can see have been incorporated into the design in all of the above renderings. Here's a shot of what Polaris might look like to a crew member about to board her at the space port:
You'll note that I haven't yet gotten around to modeling the landing struts.
And last but not least, since a lot of these new design features were directly inspired by elements of 1950s automotive design, just for kicks and grins I thought I would give her an appropriate paint job:
This project is now on the fast track and I've told Dennis that I plan to finish it within three weeks. If I'm going to have any hope of doing this kind of thing for a living some day, I have to learn how to get them done in a timely manner. For those who have also been following my years-long USS Grandeur project, that one is about to get a major kick in the pants as well, so stay tuned!
P.S. Yes, I know my copyright date under my logo needs to be updated. Don't bother me.
While I love much of this design, I'm not a fan of the "spokes", as they lend a tire and hubcap feel to the ship.
^They hurt the scale, too, being so large and so deep.
The rest of the ship is gorgeous, though.
Me like! MORE!
Funny you should say that. Dennis doesn't like the spokes either. I like the look but I agree they aren't helping the ship's sense of scale. I have another version I'm going to try and then Dennis' suggestion of concentric rather than radial details.
The proximity of the back of the circle to the engines makes me tempted to suggest having the concentric lines as part of the scramjet intakes, by having the back of that circle sort of "swoop" into the engines. Kind of like these air scoops, but with the ribs and inset stretched way out and bent into a circle:
I'm actually fine with having the area currently filled by the spokes relatively featureless except for some panel detail, rather like it was in earlier versions. The balancing act to be done with detailing as it affects apparent scale, however, is a tricky one and something that I'm not all that good at. I guess maybe there's also a reason to have some kind of transition between the inner area of the saucer and the now somewhat broader profile of the sails.
If this were Star Wars, I'd say fill all those little insets with lots and lots of tiny model kit parts, and boom – scale established. But I know that's not the look you're going for.
No, particularly because (spoiler alert, if anyone cares) there will be vessels in the film that differ so greatly from Polaris in size that we'll need every trick there is to sell the scale differential in some shots.
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