Mancharan Starhopper?

Hey all – just another random post this time.  I can only go so long writing, before I need to take a break.  When I do, I’ll do any number of things.  Today that’s meant picking up “Harbinger” and revisiting the Vanguard saga yet again.  Randomly, I decided to do a Google image search for a ‘mancharan starhopper’, that being the personal transport of the irascible Cervantes Quinn.

Not a whole lot came up, but up at the top, the third result was quite compelling, displaying an image of a ‘Valakian Sublight Ship‘.  The Valakians were one of many ‘aliens of the week’ from ENT and the ship itself was a reworking of another alien of the week model from VOY. *(as revealed at Ex-Astris-Scientia)

From the description presented in the novel, it seems that the VOY model, as Kes’ Shuttle, is the closest one can come to Quinn’s ship, the Rocinante.

Possibility #1 


However, the reworked, Valakian version appears to be a bit larger and more streamlined/sophisticated, while still being a viable possibility.

Possibility #2


Finally, just because I feel like it, I’ll throw in this model from Demon Renegade Studios.  Nicknamed ‘Haze III’, this design is a generic/pirate starfighter.  Even though this is the only view available, it still looks rather small to be a tramp freighter, but I suppose using a little imagination and/or some upscaling, it could still work.

Possibility #3


Which one will I end up choosing (whenever  I finish what I’m currently working on……..) ??  Who knows.  All three though work well as civilian vessels for people like Quinn (Trek’s rougher, scruffier version of Han Solo) – much more so than the various FASA or other fan-based designs I’ve stumbled upon……..




Constitution Class Project Update II

Hey all, just wanted to give another update here.

Am just about done with Part II here (which is admittedly small, Constitution II being the only class of note).  I got a bit confused over this last weekend when mentioning something about Admiral Nogura, not sure what his specific rank was during a certain period.  So, being as overly analytical as I am, I whipped up an all-encompassing excel spreadsheet listing out all the ranks used in my own little universe and dropped in pip/sleeve/insignia images from Kuro-RPG.  If I ever finish that, it’ll be a nice bonus.

I continued on, but hit another snag when trying to describe what ships from what classes were uprated to fill out Constitution II.  So I went back and created yet another spreadsheet, listing out the ships (new builds) for Constitution, Bonhomme Richard, Achernar and Endeavor, when they were uprated, what class they were uprated to and what their final class was before decommissioning.  God willing, this will help me keep things straight.

Also, in another spectacular example of me tripping myself up, I got confused on dating.  Initially, I was going to go with 2273 as the launch for the TMP era Enterprise class and as such, I planned out the other sub classes with this in mind.  However, I discovered this old post I did two years ago that contradicts that and makes 2271 the ‘right’ date.  So while I’ll probably just peg Constitution II and Enterprise as parallel ‘high-low’ projects, I might stretch Part II just a bit to cover the Kzinti Incursion.

I also solved the issue brought up in my post from the beginning of November, as to what to do with Valiant, Republic and Constellation.  Definitively, here’s how I plan to write these three in…….

Valiant/NCC-1709 – Constructed in 2226 as one of the original twelve Constitutions, replacing the Ranger class Valiant (CA 1223) destroyed at Eminar VII in 2217.

Republic/NCC-1371 – Constructed as a Baton Rouge class Cruiser (CA).  Uprated to Bonhomme Richard specifications in 2245.

Constellation/NCC-1017 – Constructed as a Columbia class Cruiser (CA).  Uprated to Bonhomme Richard specifications in 2245.

*(by Columbia class, I mean this thing right here, whipped up by Doug Drexler.  With his blog no more and little other info available, I’ll stick with the name ‘Columbia’ as presented in TrekLit)


Oh, regarding the Kzinti Incursion, that and the whole subject of the Kzinti themselves is a huge minefield.  Developed independent of Star Trek or any other source, by notable sci-fi author Larry Niven, they became a cornerstone of the Star Fleet Battles (SFB) RPG universe.  When developing the Starfleet Command series of PC games, the developer ran into licensing/copyright issues and so the Kzinti became the ‘Mirak’ for that specific instance.  The most substantive data comes from Richard Mandel’s “Federation Spaceflight Chronology”.  Vol. 4 describes the initial contact between humanity and the Kzinti as well as the subsequent conflicts fought.  The author’s notes also describes the trouble he had in integrating the ‘Earth-Kzin’ wars into a plausible Trek/Trek-related timeline.  Vol. 11 describes the actual Kzinti Incursion (first mentioned in Todd Guenther’s Ships of the Star Fleet, Volume One) itself.

Now obviously, the FSC is gone and has been for sometime.  Best I can figure is that in creating the standalone volumes, Mandel used some images/imagery without first getting permission from the original creators.  Though he gave explicit credit in each of his volumes, the anger/animosity/ill-will etc. that was stirred up is what I’m pretty certain played a part in making everything disappear from the web.  Everything from Vol. 7 or 8 on up is out of the question, but I’ve skimmed through Vol. 4 and am reasonably certain that it’s okay to post/redistribute.  *(the keyword being reasonably – meaning I’m not 100% certain.  With that said, it could disappear again at any time should I receive a complaint/request…..)

Check it out here, I think you’ll find the timeline and author’s notes fascinating reading.

Also check out Memory Alpha’s entry on the Kzinti.

I plan to play the Kzinti pretty simple, following Mandel’s work in large part.  For background purposes, all the dates and supporting facts fall well outside the scope of this work, so they won’t be mentioned. To start, the ‘Earth-Kzin Wars’ took place during the 21st Century.  They ended with the Treaty of Sirius, which was extremely one sided, favoring the UFP heavily.  The end to all the conflict also made a number of servitor/vassal states–principally, the Mirak (genetically engineered offshoots as suggested by Mandel) and the Caitians (Cait at one time being an ancient Kzinti colony world)–independent.  Beginning in 2270, Starfleet undertook a number of ‘hemming in’ operations, in violation of the above treaty, that gradually eroded Kzinti territory.  The Kzinti though were not entirely innocent either.  Following the Beta Lyrae incident (see TAS “The Slaver Weapon”), they began a covert re-arming program with help from various independent actors including the Mirak, the Klingons and the Orions. This culminates in the Kzinti Incursion in 2272 and is where Constitution II comes in.


This will mark the end of Part II and it will be downhill from here as Parts III and IV (2273-86 and 2295-2335 respectively) are backed by a larger amount of supporting sources including novels, RPG (FASA/SFB) material and stuff I’ve already written.

Thanks for your continued patience and as always, Live Long and Prosper.