What ships SHOULD they have used in the Dominion War?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Arpy, Jun 11, 2021.

  1. Dukhat

    Dukhat Admiral Admiral

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    They did reuse the scoutship, albeit as a scaled-up science vessel, flipped around with a new engineering section where the cockpit used to be, and a half-circle as the new bridge section. The model in this configuration was also used as a Delta Quadrant alien ship with different coloring.
     
  2. Arpy

    Arpy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm aware that they reused the model but not the "ship." No scouts in those fleet shots, alas.
     
  3. Dukhat

    Dukhat Admiral Admiral

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    Since the model no longer existed as the original scout ship, they could not scan the physical model into CGI for the fleet scenes in DS9.
     
  4. Arpy

    Arpy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Is that what they did, scan them?

    Still, wasn’t the most complicated model to render from scratch.
     
  5. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    The MA articles tend to use that term. Without seeing the actual polygon wireframes, it’s hard for me to make a judgement (though the ones printed in Starship Spotter certainly looked hand-modeled rather than scanned, and especially on the systems of the day, 3D scanned ships would’ve probably been impractically inefficient). Voyager, in particular, has details on the CG model that seem to conclusively point to it not being 3D scanned (the windows, phaser strips, and reinforcement ridges on the back of the saucer, which should be horizontal but are all wavy on the CG model, indicating they were made from a top view trying to eyeball the contour of the hull).

    I don’t see why access to the physical model (either for LIDAR scanning or just reference) would’ve been a requirement to make 3D models. They didn’t always sweat having new physical models match the old ones perfectly to the point where they would rather not try at all if they had to make compromises (the 4-foot -D, the “Flashback” Excelsior, the early TNG shuttle).
     
  6. Dukhat

    Dukhat Admiral Admiral

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    I was under the impression that the reason why the DS9 fleet consisted of only Defiants, Galaxies, Nebulas, Excelsiors and Mirandas (along with the three FC ships that already existed as CGI models only) was because the Defiant, Galaxy, Nebula, Excelsior (Jein version) and Miranda filming models were available to be scanned. That’s also the reason why we didn’t see the Ambassador class in the fleet, as that physical model was broken and packed in a crate somewhere and unavailable to be scanned.

    From what I understand, it’s easier, faster and cheaper (time and budget constraints are always a factor in Star Trek) to scan a physical model into CGI than to just create a new CGI model from scratch, especially if that new CGI mesh is of an original design. That’s also why the D’Deridex was the only Romulan ship in the fleet, since there was only ever one (or more specifically, two of the same) physical model of a Romulan capital ship constructed. I suppose they could have scanned the Romulan science ship into CGI to have more variety with Romulan ships like they did with the Cardassian Keldon and Hideki classes, as they had access to the filming model, but since they didn’t I can only assume that they just had no intention of doing so.
     
  7. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    A few of those I'll bet money weren't scanned. There were at least two Defiant CG models, one of which was infamously inaccurate around the nose. Likewise, the Miranda models weren't perfectly accurate (overly boxy, the impulse engines in the torpedo launcher), and the Nebula was built from parts of the Galaxy and lacked its distinctive puckered deflector and the missing window rows on the saucer.

    Mojo posted alternate versions of some of the Starship Spotter wireframes to his blog a long time ago. While they're prettier than the ones in the book, they aren't quite as clear, and only a couple of the ships are ones that would've been "scanned" (and it's also possible those aren't the scanned versions, but they were rebuilt by the time the book was made) but you can get some sense of how they were structured.

    For a quick example, so we're all on the same page, in my experience, 3D scanning is done by collecting points in space from the surface of the object. The model is then made by connecting each point with the points closest to it, resulting in a distinctive shattered glass or webbed structure, while hand-modeled objects have a much more regular structure in their mesh, either following simple geometric shapes, or following the contours of the surface. These are faces, not spaceships, but this 3D scanned bust and this hand-modeled one should demonstrate what I'm talking about.

    Now, to be fair, I don't really know what 3D scanning would've looked like in the '90s. It's possible they used one of those digitizing pens, and that got them nice, clean polyflow, or they did use a method more similar to the ones I'm familiar with today, which resulted in a tell-tale webbed pattern in the mesh, and then they used that model as reference and made the production model over it. Still, my instinct is the use of the term "scanned" is inexact and comes from explanations to people who weren't familiar with the technology using terms and analogies they knew better.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2021
  8. Tim Walker

    Tim Walker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Could make a list based on canon scenes featuring ships in combat, or mention of ships participating in canon battles.

    These could be divided into roughly three groups:

    1. Old designs that may have been out of production for some decades. Perhaps taken out of mothballs?

    2. Designs based on the Galaxy design lineage, or off shoots there of.

    3. Designs developed to fight the Borg.
     
  9. Dukhat

    Dukhat Admiral Admiral

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    That would encompass the Excelsior and Miranda classes.

    That would encompass the Galaxy, Nebula, Akira and possibly the Saber classes.

    That would encompass the Defiant class.

    So the only oddball is the Steamrunner class. Clearly it's not an old design taken out of mothballs, and it certainly isn't from the Galaxy design lineage despite its very low 5XXXX registry (it has far more in common with the Sovereign class). So was it developed to fight the Borg? And If so, why the low registry number?
     
  10. Tim Walker

    Tim Walker Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The Defiant and the Enterprise E were Hero ships, and seem to have been constructed under the aegis of Starfleet. (As I suspect the Akira class was-the Akira and Sovereign share the basic saucer-and-cigar aesthetic of Starfleet).

    But what about the other designs in First Contact? The Norway, Saber, and Steamrunner? Why do we need six different new designs to fight the Borg?

    Perhaps these three were developed under the aegis of member governments.

    For example, maybe the Andorian planetary government developed the Norway class. The Tellerite government developed the Steamrunner. The Saber/Sabre class was developed by.....

    The Saber/Sabre departs substantially from the Starlet aesthetic. The Norway also does, and especially the Steamrunner design.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2021
  11. matthunter

    matthunter Admiral Admiral

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    Starfleet isn't going to design six classes JUST to fight the Borg - the Defiant-class was meant for that role - but if you have a big threat (and the implied kick in the pants from Q that there are others) out there, you would design new classes with it in mind as well as your primary mission. As the new classes built since Starfleet started planning for the Borg, they would undoubtedly be the bulk of the forces deployed.
     
  12. Arpy

    Arpy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The fleet is huge and diverse. Just because we didn’t see (maybe most of the) different classes doesn’t mean they’re not there. Every new series or movie with sufficient extra budget introduces us to more of the existing fleet.
     
  13. Dukhat

    Dukhat Admiral Admiral

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    My only gripe with the DS9 fleet shots was the overuse of Excelsiors, Mirandas, K’T’ingas and Birds of Prey. It made Starfleet and the Klingons look completely outmatched and obsolete against the Dominion forces.
     
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  14. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You fight with the Military and Equipment that you have, not the one you want or wish for.

    If you wanted ___, you should've had it ready before the war broke out.

    Otherwise it won't be ready and you'll have to win the war without it or rush it into service with all the problems that entails.
     
  15. Dukhat

    Dukhat Admiral Admiral

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    But this is...make-believe. This was not real war. This was fictional sci-fi war. They could have made new CGI ship designs for the Federation and the Klingons, but budgetary restrictions made them use the models they scanned from the old movie models. Real-life warfare has nothing to do with my reply.
     
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  16. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But even budgetary restrictions is kind of like IRL restrictions.

    The Federation, Klingons, & even the Romulans were stuck with old ships and old designs in mass #'s and the new ships were few and far in between.

    None of the 3 major Alpha Quadrant powers were ready with shiny new ships.

    And Shiny New ship Classes generally don't get popped out from concept, to reality in the span of a new car design.
     
  17. Arpy

    Arpy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Again this is make-believe, and the make-believe as they present it suggests more variety. It’s only when their reach exceeds their grasp (i.e. during the Dominion War) that things get funky. Ahem, shield bubbles, ahem.
     
  18. Dukhat

    Dukhat Admiral Admiral

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    No they're not. They're not even close.

    You can make one new CGI model of a starship and then multiply it an infinite number of times to create an entire fleet of ships. That's exactly what happened in the final episode of PIC. You can't build a bomber or a tank and then magically duplicate them in real life.

    All I wanted was for the VFX people to have had better choices of ship designs for their fleets than the old movie models (or the scanned CGI models of them, to be more precise.) They already had CGI models of the Sovereign class Enterprise-E, the Intrepid class Voyager, and the Prometheus and Nova classes from VOY, yet they elected not to use them for whatever dumb reason (i.e. probably because they thought the audience was so stupid that they'd think those ships were the actual Enterprise and Voyager when they were just random generic ships, etc.) and instead used Excelsiors and Mirandas. To me, that made it look like Starfleet was mostly using old and obsolete ships to fight against a vastly superior enemy. I'm sure the VFX people didn't see it that way, though. I'm sure they just used whatever assets were available to them and there was no thought whatsoever that in-universe, these ships were old.

    I was also annoyed that instead of creating new fleet battle footage and new ships for the series finale, they just used stock footage from a previous episode. The final episode should have been better than that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2021
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  19. DarthTimon

    DarthTimon Commander Red Shirt

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    Going by what's canon, a Federation fleet for the Dominion War would be best served by designs that could be built quickly, to offset the Dominion's advantage of putting together bug ships at a fast rate. This means smaller vessels like Sabres and Steamrunners, which are both modern designs so presumably they pack more punch for their size than their predecessors.

    Throw in some heavier ships to bulk out the fleet- Akiras fit that bill nicely, especially given their numerous torpedo launchers. Defiant-class ships are small but powerful for their size and it would make sense to put a few of them together as well. Then there's command ships - Galaxies and Sovereigns, and possibly Nebulas fit that bill. Such ships would lead individual fleets.

    The Prometheus-type ships would be useful but at the time of the Dominion War it seems there was only one, and she was a prototype. I'd want to focus on constructing proven designs and building them as fast as possible.

    On a side-note, I'd want a dedicated Federation Navy, using the designs mentioned above, and then a separate fleet for exploration and humanitarian missions. The Intrepid design proved itself as a good long-range explorer design, and the likes of the versatile Excelsior design (that Starfleet was still building, late in the 24th Century) could offer various roles, especially if upgraded like the Lakota. In fact, Lakota-style upgrades would permit Excelsiors to be good at combat and exploration. I'd retire the Miranda design - it seemed to be cannon fodder during the war.
     
  20. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Multiple previous episodes, actually. Plus a bit of "Generations" played backwards, where a bunch of Klingons are now apparently SUCKED out of a hull breach with a bunch of debris, instead of being blown away from it.

    Thing is though, in the final battle basically ALL of the recycled footage was placed into one sequence at the beginning of a scene on the Defiant's bridge, coming back from a commercial break or something. As an educated guess, I think the editors came up short in the episode length and simply spliced a bunch of random (to them) shots from other sources to help make up the difference. There was one more recycled shot as the fleet makes for Cardassia that was recycled from the Second Battle of Chin'toka, earlier that season.

    Here's an edit of JUST the battle scenes in chronological order. You can see the recycled stuff is all squished together, and is of a notably different pacing than the new effects shots in places. At least they seem to have created a new SFX mix instead of recycling the same cues from "Sacrifice of Angels" et. al.:



    Mark