Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by pst, Jan 9, 2020.
I always thought that was one pretty bird. Guess I was right.
...Plus ovals next to the fan doors, similar to the oval cargo loading hatches of the Galaxy class. Perhaps the Inquiry has both, too: the big light ones on dark background as cargo hatches, the small dark ones farther forward as personnel hatches?
And there we have it!
Now the interesting thing about the hatches on Riker's ship, is that they look comparatively larger than the ones on the Voyager. So either there's something really big inside those doors (work bees?), besides just a hatch for people, or the Zheng He is half the size of Voyager or smaller!
You could fit 30 people in one of those egress doors, maybe more.
I wonder if 32nd century ships use the same technology from Future Tense (ENT) to create large, cavernous ships, to hold its people in?
What's the popular internet vernacular? "Thanks, I hate it"? Highly subjective of course, but I think this is my least favourite 24th/25th century Starfleet design. Which is unfortunate, because as we know, there are bloody hundreds of the things.
The F-35 of starships
I love the F35, but only in looks, I think it's overpriced and unneeded, but that's a different thing all together which I won't get into here.
I'm not sure how I feel about the main defector in the front. It's a significant departure from past designs where it was more of a dish that had a focal point in the center. Where does the beam come out of this one? I would like to see it in action.
Maybe it's just the Sovereign class version just straightened out.
The Sov class has similar bars but you can clearly see the focal point where the beam comes out.
The whole ship is just squat and ugly to me. The lines don't...flow. That's apart from the lack of detail on the actual CGI model as noted by Trekyards in their appraisal and the illogic of having the same ship design in contemporary service with two different nacelle types.
To a degree, "ugly" is a desirable feature in certain situations. The Excelsior when introduced played the dramatic role of the mean bully, and played that to the hilt, being a bloated monster and a caricature of the lines of the hero ship she was bullying. The Defiant was supposed to be weird and almost unrecognizable for a Starfleet design, so dusting off an old "Bajoran/random Mirror riffraff" design that had been designed specifically to look ugly and inferior made sense.
Riker here is bullying the Romulan fanatics to submission. Doing it with an ugly ship sounds desirable. Especially as this guest appearance is not intended to detract from the ongoing hero ship appearances - an issue the Excelsior struggled with, as it might have been pressed to duty as the next hero ship (but fortunately never was, again playing a delibrately subservient role in ST:GEN despite in theory being another Enterprise).
I take your point, and obviously for story purposes my views on aesthetics don't matter. I think your Defiant parallel has merit (arguably also the Steamrunner and Norway classes). However, I don't agree that the Excelsior is ugly at all (a lot of fans love her!), even if this was the design intent, which is the first I'm hearing of that. Where have you seen that it was meant to be a 'bloated monster' and a 'caricature'? My impression was that it was meant to represent a sleek and powerful futuristic reflection of the Jeffries and Probert designs. The STIII script seems to agree;
I have no quote for an explicit desire to have the guest starship be ugly. It is simply something that sits well in ST3, the movie where everybody and everything else is made artificially inferior to boost the heroes - largely to the detriment of the movie. There's an actual quote somewhere that Nimoy wanted pink cushions for the Grissom chairs specifically to make the ship appear sissier than the hero vessel, say.
No doubt the Excelsior designs offered to the director were intended to be maximally cool all. But selecting this bulging steroid-ship over the slimmer go-fast-because-greyhound alternatives would be the Nimoy thing to do. And it works well, as opposed to the choice of making J.T.Esteban and Mr. Adventure look silly and incompetent and Morrow sound racist and Styles be a buffoon who only gets what's coming to him.
It's also rather weird that this is the first movie where Kirk deliberately kills his opponents (save one); Nimoy would next backpedal a lot, and insist that the monster of his ST4 killed nobody. (Kirk and pals certainly didn't!)
That was absolutely not the intent. The original idea was that after the Enterprise was destroyed, Kirk and crew would eventually take command of the Excelsior for future films. That ultimately didn’t happen, but not because fans didn’t like the ship. So there was no mandate to intentionally design the ship to be ‘ugly.’
I do recall that there was something in the DVD commentaries about how the idea was to make the Excelsior look like the Enterprise if it had been designed in Japan, or something to that effect. An odd analogy as Japanese imports were generally smaller than American models, but the basic idea was to filter it through a foreign design aesthetic.
More like the A-10 Warthog of starships I'd think, if you're going for butt-ugly
The impression I got was that they were referring more to the spaceship designs seen in sci-fi anime than to having the Excelsior be the Nissan Fairlady to the Enterprise's Ford Mustang or something.
Yeah, the script later refers to the ship as 'sleek'. Which it is. I am not buying the ugly bruiser pastiche of the Enterprise story, sorry.
Forewarning: unintentional essay incoming.
Back on my shit again re: the Inquiry's size. I had a friend of mine throw some of the models from STO into Meshmixer, with the Inquiry set at the length of 630.94 meters given by Eaglemoss, and...
Yeah...I'm not buying it. No way in hell did they build 112+ of a ship that big. Nuh-uh. No sir-ee-bob.
At the Eaglemoss scale, the length is 630.94 meters, width is 320.3012 meters, height is 108.8373 meters and volume is 3,729,760 m^3. By comparison, the Sovereign-class is 685.2 m long, 233.1295 m wide, 87.7258 m tall, 1,785,030 m^3 in volume.
That puts the Inquiry at twice the volume of the Sovereign. Two times. And 77% of the volume of the Galaxy-class. I just don't think it plausible at that size for there to be that many.
For comparison, going by the TNG technical manual, the Galaxy Class Project was announced in 2343 and the USS Galaxy was finally launched in 2356 and was commissioned the next year -- fourteen years from project launch to the first ship getting commissioned (with the Yamato being built in parallel, apparently). And only six of the total twelve spaceframes initially constructed were built to completion initially, with the other six left as frameworks to be completed if required. If Memory Beta's to be believed, the Sov's development cycle took...okay, about 5 years, with the Sov launching in 2370 and the Enterprise-E following shortly after. Thank you, Borg, for giving Starfleet a reason to get off its ass. Even so, the -E was on a year-long shakedown cruise to get its systems tested by the time of the Battle of Sector 001.
Even if we count the changes that Starfleet may have made in regards to shipbuilding protocol, there's still a long period of testing for new and advanced starship designs. And we only ever did see, what, ten Galaxy-class starships in DS9? Maybe another batch of Galaxies was constructed after the Yamato, Enterprise-D, and Odyssey were destroyed, but those were certainly built well after the extensive testing of the initial few had been completed to truly perfect the design. Mass production's easier when you've got tried-and-tested ships built in advance, but even so, it takes quite a bit longer for large ships to be built.
Frankly, I find the scale that STO defaulted to initially -- shown here for comparison -- far more plausible for there to be 112+ of:
At 383.54 meters and with a volume of 837,853 m^3, the Inquiry as scaled in STO is a bit larger than the Intrepid-class (sitting at 344.424 m long and 641,692 m^3 in volume). Again, I find this far more plausible. Construction would go a lot faster; given the far smaller volume, there wouldn't need to be as much work done nor as many resources spent on filling out as large an interior as otherwise. Resources that would've probably been spent on one 630-long Inquiry could easily go into nearly four and a half 383-long Inquiries (that's how many times the volume of the smaller goes into the larger). Goodness knows how many Miranda-class starships were eventually built, but given that her volume (counting hull thickness and interior volume together) is a little less than half that of even the Intrepid according to EC Henry, we can reasonably assume that the Intrepid- and Miranda-classes both were easily mass-producible on account of their smaller size and proven designs. And once a design is proven effective and spaceworthy, the easier it is to reproduce.
On that latter note, I did a bit of math and came up with a rough graph extrapolating the duration of development time from volume based on the data provided by the Galaxy and Sovereign classes thereof -- the Intrepid-class was added after the fact, but if Memory Beta (again) is to be believed, a 1.775-year duration from drawing board to drydock-departure for the USS Intrepid may be feasible considering that its construction began "in the 2360s" and its launch was in 2369. By this graph, the development of the smaller, "STO-scale" Inquiry-class would take roughly two years and four months, more or less, while the "Eaglemoss-scale" Inquiry-class would require an estimated ten years and eight months to go from development to commissioning for the first ship.
I'll concede that there were significant changes to the political and technological landscape after the Galaxy-class was developed, and as such, the Galaxy-class may be an outlier I'd be wrong to count. But even so, that ship is big, and it was complex for the time. Regardless, considering it alongside post-Wolf 359 designs may have skewed the results for the Eaglemoss-scale ship. But then again, twice the volume and twice the development time to assemble the prototype may indeed track.
Apart from that, the smaller one just...feels right to me, I guess. That's part of what does it for me; it felt better at a smaller size. The bridge scales much better compared to the other vessels in this diagram; roughly the same length as the bridge structure on the Sovereign if not a bit more narrow. The shuttlebay does as well; comparable in size to that at the aft of both the Sovereign- and Intrepid-classes. Though I concede again, the viewscreen on the Zheng He's bridge is very wide, pointing possibly toward the bridge of the Eaglemoss-scale Inquiry being accurate -- which is near twice the size of the Sovereign's bridge structure.
I know I basically just wrote an essay on why I think it's more plausible that the Inquiry is smaller than Eaglemoss (and by extension, CBS?) is stating it to be. I know this is basically just me headcanoning to my wit's end about a ship whose development on the production side was rushed. I know I've done all this, and I don't expect anyone to take this with anything more than a grain of salt -- or in any way seriously. Mad ramblings of a 21-year-old nerd out here. I know what I say isn't the be-all-end-all with the Inquiry. I'm just...airing my gripes, I guess. 112+ of any ship in one shot still doesn't sit well with me -- as the authors of the TNG technical manual stated, the reason they never replicated any starships "would allow us to create entire fleets of starships at the touch of a button. This might be great for Federation defense and science programs, but makes for poor drama" -- but 112+ of a smaller powerful ship would sit...a little better with me, than 112+ of a far larger one.
Sorry for the ramble.
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