Hey again all. First week at the new gig has gone well and now that RL is settling back into something of a routine, I’ve begun to feel reinvigorated in a sense (which is always good).
I wanted to share some designs with you though and offer up my own thoughts. Throughout the life of this blog, I’ve covered a nice sized portion of the ships from the old FASA RPG, but I’ve neglected to pay much attention to the outpost/station designs that sprung up at the same time. I covered the Federation Alamo type in my pre-wordpress days, but that was fan boyish in the extreme. Also, many of the designs lacked originality and seemed to blend together–look at Alamo, the Klingon Z-4 and Romulan X-3/Aviary and you’ll see what I mean. To top it all off, they deviated farther from standard/accepted design aesthetics than even the most ‘creative’ starship designs. So, I continued upon my merry way, filling in my own vision of the TOS and TMP eras with the many ship classes you’ve all seen here.
The successful rebirth of Trek in print form (“TrekLit” as I sometimes refer to it) introduced us to an entirely new station type (Watchtower, featured as Starbase 47/’Vanguard’) and saw the 24th Century’s slate wiped clean with the destruction of Deep Space 9 (from the Typhon Pact novel “Raise The Dawn”). With established conventions seemingly upended, I’ve become a bit more open-minded regarding the various outpost & station designs I’ve come across and have started to think about how I could possibly incorporate them into my own universe here.
A smaller derivative of the larger J-Type/Watchtower class by Masao Okazaki. Its size/capabilities would seem to make it ideal for quiet, peaceful areas or those in which the Federation already has a well-established presence and in which, a larger, more powerful station would be unnecessary/a waste of resources.
Type F/F-39/F3-9 Class
Described as a science/research station or outpost , I’m not sure exactly where this design originated. The Starship Schematic Database indicates it could be a FASA design, but despite all the searching I’ve done, I’ve failed to turn up anything conclusive. Small and simple, when I saw it at Bridge Commander Files (see below link), I immediately though of this as an ideal neutral zone outpost or perhaps a communications/monitoring station. If I can’t trace its origins (and thus, find some specs/dimensions for it), then I’ll have to try and scale it down myself, relative to the K/‘Kepler’ type stations.
The FASA designation of ‘defense outpost’ for this leviathan seems to be a misnomer. The visual depiction of Alamo would seem to suggest an immensely large and powerful battle station on the order of the ‘Death Star’ from Star Wars. The specs and what little description there is on the other hand, paint it as a more general purpose station in the same vein as the more traditional J Type/Watchtower above. I must admit though, the thought of the Federation deploying ‘battle stations’ – large and imposing, lacking the peaceful/scientific accruements of a normal space station and bristling with enough firepower to decimate an entire fleet – is quite intriguing……..
The Klingons’ Alamo Type analogue, its design and somewhat clean aesthetics could lend it well to the roles of general-purpose space dock/station or battle station. Aside from the diminutive facilities orbiting Ty’Gokor, I’m not sure we’ve ever seen a Klingon space station on screen, so the field is wide open here. Unfortunately, like Alamo, FASA doesn’t really do this design justice, saddling it with paltry specs and a generalized description.
X-3/Aviary is the Romulan counterpart to the above two types. Like the Klingon Z-4, it’s a clean, generic design, though one that is also broad and intimidating in the same vein as their avian-inspired starships. Of all three, this is the one I could see existing in every era from TOS up to the present and beyond (properly upsized of course).