Madkoifish’s USS Balmung

Hey all.  As does often happen with me, I have the body/text of Akula done – it’s just a matter of now summoning the will & motivation to finish the rest and call it good.  Hopefully I can get that done and up before I leave Saturday for my annual week-long excursion up north.

I’m kind of burnt out on TOS stuff at the moment though and since I’m heading to a place that has spotty satellite internet (in the middle of a national forest), trying to compile everything would be more hassle than it’d be worth.

So, with that said, I jumped forward a bit to the Lost Era and the Renaissance class.  Now a while back, my usual source for orthos (admiral-horton on DeviantART) did a solid ortho of the USS Balmung by Madkoifish, but in my infinite wisdom, I didn’t bother to save it.  Eventually, he took a lot of his old stuff down to re-do/re-organize.  Now, aside from the artistic renders that are out there, you can’t really find an ortho – the closest I’ve come is this (link).

Anyhow, I checked both of his blogs and on the WIP one, I found that he’s gone back and made substantial revisions to the basic design (which, IMO, move it away from the Ambassador as we know it and mix in some of the aesthetics from Andrew Probert’s ‘Proto-Ambassador’ study model)

Check it out here (scroll down – the posts begin w/the most recent update first).

If I get a start on the Renaissance text, I more than likely won’t release it until I can get some solid pics/orthos.

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Independence Class Light Carrier (and some house cleaning….)

Good morning all.  At long last, I finally have Independence done and up for your perusal.

Independence class CVL

The class background & design bits were relatively easy for me to write, I think it was the Four Years War exposition that really caused things to drag out unfortunately–I’m definitely glad to have this done.  Like I said in my annotations, the beginning (background/design) and very end (post-war service) are the only truly unique parts, most of the stuff in the middle (service during the war) is similar to/the same as what I’ve written elsewhere.

Akula is next up and that’s one I’m actually looking forward too (as it marks the first step towards the simplifying/streamlining of the fleet that picks up steam towards the end of the Linear Warp/TMP era).  I’m also considering some simplifying/streamlining of my own – getting rid of some extraneous classes.  One of those on the chopping block is Seawolf.  I saw that at The Starfleet Museum and then wrote it in as a stripped-down version of Kiaga, which would be easier to produce in quantity.  Now however, my thinking has changed.  Kiaga can be the mass produced TOS equivalent of the Defiant class.  Seawolf, Burke and whatever else I’ve written to fill the gap will go by the wayside.  In their stead, I’m thinking of having the Texas class take their place – as that ortho I found a while back looks suitably upgunned enough.  Though since that class starts out life in the 22nd Century, it might be a while before I get to it.

 

There’s also going to be some house cleaning I’m going to get to.  A week or two ago, a visitor commented and asked where my Small Craft guide went.  I found it on my HD, did a bit of editing and re-uploaded it for him (can see it here).  As I explained in this post right here though, looking back at some of my earliest work (when I was dabbling in the TNG/DS9 and Future eras), my writing was incredibly fanboyish and some of the concepts I came up with were as well–reading them again makes me wince.  I’m not exactly proud of all that and its my intention to, at some point, rewrite it in my current, more grounded style.  So with that said, I’m leaving my Small Craft guide and whatever else up until the end of the month.  Come June 1, it and anything newer than TMP that I didn’t remove the first time around is going to disappear.  You’ll have that long to read & save/download it.

Jolan Tru

Captain Pike & the Enterprise

Hey all – know it’s been over a month since I posted something.  Am still working on my revamp of Independence.  You would think that writing it into my Four Years War narrative would be smooth and things would move along faster, but no.  I’ve been battling some major “writer’s fatigue” if you will and haven’t had a whole lot of motivation as of late.

Wanted  to share some stuff I ran across though.  I was reading through my usual tech blogs yesterday on my lunch break and I think it was CNet that reported Discovery had found someone to play Capt. Christopher Pike.  (this link comes from Endgadget though)

https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/09/star-trek-discovery-has-its-christopher-pike/

Now I’ve never seen the new show and really have no plans to (mostly because I don’t like the idea of plopping down money for yet another subscription when that would be the only show I’d watch), but the addition is intriguing.

Even more intriguing than that was a shot of the new Enterprise I saw in the article.  I went digging and found another link that compares/contrasts the design with the original TOS version

https://trekmovie.com/2018/02/17/a-closer-look-at-the-uss-enterprise-in-star-trek-discovery/

I actually don’t mind it.  To me, it looks a bit like Constitution II or Tikopai (as I presented here) only with different nacelles, no torpedo launchers and of course, different exterior aesthetics.

This kind of makes me wish CBS would’ve chosen a different avenue with which to present Discovery, but who knows……..maybe one day I’ll cave?

 

Texas??

Hey all.  Don’t usually post much during the week – am a creature of habit/routine and if I have anything to post, I usually do it on the weekends.

 

Anyhow, I got bored and randomly checked to see if my usual deviantART source had re-posted any of his orthos.  The ‘Texas Class’ (of Star Fleet Battles fame) was up, I gave it a once over and wow – for a supposed Light Cruiser, the class as depicted is armed rather heavily – by my count, 7 Phaser Banks, 2 Pulse Phaser Cannons(?) and 2 Torpedo Launchers.  The warp nacelles and everything too give it a solid TOS era appearance.  It’s a shame I just now paid attention to it, as it would’ve made a fine addition to my Four Years War narrative.

Check it out

If anything, I could describe it as the *one* reserve class that didn’t get committed to combat, but was held back as a dedicated system defense ship deployed around critical planets/in critical areas, but that seems like kind of a stretch.  Am not sure at this point if there’s really any plausible way I could write this thing into the Class I era or not.  Just thought I’d drop it here though.

Federation Fleet Review

Hey all.  Am continuing work on my revision of Independence.  As does happen, I got sidetracked looking for orthos (as my usual DeviantART source removed all of his and is re-uploading them here and there) and stumbled upon a great reference work – the penultimate and what I believe is the final thing we’ll see from Richard Mandel, his Federation Fleet Review (linked here, also included in the ‘Reference’ section – see link in the upper right).

 

Federation Fleet Review

 

In reading the Forward at the beginning, it’s kind of sad to hear that this is his “swan song” of sorts.  Am not sure what it was that caused him to step away and also give up part of his vision – whether real life, copyright/IP issues or whatever – I’m just glad I could get my hands on this.  I consider discovering his Federation Spaceflight Chronology a seminal moment in my own fandom ‘experience’, right up there with discovering Timo Saloniemi’s Hobbyist’s Guide…...

 

In any event, this is a TMP work that examines a pretty wide array of classes, including more than a few obscure ones.  I’ve only glanced over it, but am impressed at the scope.   Amusingly enough, I’m also credited in there (under the ‘Recommended Reading’ section at the end, as my former pseudonym “The Red Admiral”).  Also, in searching for a new title for my combined/all-in-one works, I think something along the lines of “Federation Fleet Review” might work better – still have to sort that out.  All that would be left is a different cover design.

 

Hope you all enjoy!

 

Jolan Tru

 

Santee

Well folks, it’s been a while hasn’t it?  Thinking back to when I last posted something (mid-November), I had a lot of RL stuff on my plate and was battling a lack of motivation in general.

About a month later, my main external hard drive crashed and threw me for a loop.  Last April when I upgraded to an iMac, I elected to maintain as much of my day-to-day stuff as I could either in the cloud or on a 1TB Seagate HD as I didn’t want to bog my new machine down too much (a mid-2015 27″ Retina model w/o a SSD).  My music, movies, photos and the primary repository for all my blog stuff (containing document drafts, images and PDFs) went up in virtual smoke.  Luckily for me, a pair of utilities helped rectify the situation.  DiskDrill helped recover most of my files (including some rare renders of all of Sean Robertson’s/seanr’s bridge sets that have seemingly disappeared from the web) while DriveDx gave me a comprehensive look at the health of all my internal/external drives, including the damaged Seagate.  Now understand, I’m not one to pay for/buy utilities like this on either my Macs or my PC, but given this doomsday scenario and how well both of these have worked, I’d highly recommend both.

With nearly all of my files that I was able to recover (particularly the video & photo files), the file names were all scrambled, so the bulk of my time was spent renaming and reorganizing everything again.  One thing I will not do going forward is buy another Seagate drive.  I’ve had trouble with them before (a portable version used as a Time Machine backup failing in a similar manner) but this was the last straw.  Western Digital (WD) isn’t perfect either, but in my case, they’ve never let me down (I’ve got a full size 1TB drive that’s still chugging along after 8-1/2 years).  My backup/storage setup now consists exclusively of the small ‘My Passport’ drives–a 1TB drive for Time Machine backups, a main 4TB drive to replace the Seagate that failed and then another 4TB drive to act as a redundant “backup of backups”.  No matter the method you end up choosing, I’d implore anyone who doesn’t currently have a backup plan to learn from my experience and at least give it some thought.

 

All that aside, I do have something for you all, my revised take on the Santee class Shuttlecarrier (CVS).

Santee class

 

Given the time I spent re-crafting FASA’s Four Years War narrative into something of my liking, I’m not going to muddy those waters by adding in un-neccessary exposition regarding Santee’s possible wartime exploits.  Instead, I opted to focus on another common thread existing during this period–Starfleet’s logistical problems.  Basically, they spent far too much time and effort on front-line classes and by the time they finally got around to addressing their logistical issues, their solutions still fell short.  Despite what I’ve already written about the Saladin and Loknar classes being pulled from the front lines, I felt something larger and a bit more imposing was needed to protect the fleet’s logistical lines and supply convoys, so I elected to go the ‘Escort Carrier’ route.

Also, as I mentioned in the annotations, thanks to the original schematic of Santee, I elected to extend the class’ service history well into the Linear Warp era, the escort carrier idea blending in well with the ‘Tal Taan Offensive’ (against Federation merchant shipping, another FASA construct).

Harry Doddema has done some great schematics (including one of Santee as a neutronic fuel carrier) while Henry Gibbens has put together a great model/some great orthos.  Check them out here and here, respectively.

Aside from that, Donny Versiga (amazing artist who has put together some incredible TOS/TWOK interiors) has gone on to do a similarly mind-blowing job on the Class F shuttlecraft and is currently doing a similar take on a TOS version of Main Engineering.  Check out his thread on TrekBBS here.

Going forward, I’ve started a re-vamp of the Independence class Light Carrier (CVL) that actually did see combat as I have it.  I also have to go back and take another look at the Akula (DH) class, if only to conclusively determine whether the class entered service during the war or afterwards (as I think I’ve mentioned it both ways in different writeups).

 

Q’apla!

Yorktown

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted (3 months since I actually posted a writeup, 2 months since I made an actual post of any kind), but in those months, other hobbies and RL minutiae kept me preoccupied, am sure many of you know how that goes.

Anyhow, I’ve finally gotten around to redoing my writeup on the Yorktown class CV.  You can find it in the Index (top right of the screen) or at the link below

Yorktown class CV

 

As I mentioned in my update on 09/2, making the case for this class and then describing its role in the overall fleet and its activities took up the bulk of my time.  Compared to some of my other writeups, I didn’t spend nearly as much time talking about the design or the technical capabilities–I felt that doing so would be a waste of time if I couldn’t make a good case for having it around in the first place.  Also, I know in that same update, I talked about getting away from mentioning specific class production numbers.  I didn’t do that here, but given both Yorktown’s specialized nature and the more generalized description compared to other classes, I don’t think it makes too much of a difference.

Amazingly enough, even though I didn’t look at this at all while I was writing, my revised take on Yorktown fits in quite well with Yorktown II – the TMP sequel of sorts that I wrote up 6 years ago and is still up in the Index.

 

Where to go from here?  Well I’ve been looking at the other TOS Carrier classes – Santee and Independence.  Both of these are somewhat older than this Yorktown and so I’ve read through my Surya/Coventry writeup carefully.  Independence is mentioned in two or three places, so I’ll have to go back and completely re-write the historical part of that.  Reading over everything else at this point, I’m still on the fence on whether or not to re-write the design/technical part.

I didn’t bother mentioning Santee at all, so re-writing that will be simple. The one slight problem I haven’t found a way around yet concerns its role.  I think it was the Federation Spaceflight Chronology that mentioned it as an ‘escort carrier’, being used for convoy protection.  The thing is, I’ve mentioned Saladin, Larson and Loknar as being removed from the front lines eventually, being assigned to more defensive roles.  Removing the limitation of numbers, throwing yet another class into that arena would seem to be superfluous.  It’s not an insurmountable issue, just one that will take some time to work around.

 

LLAP