Sorry to interrupt things folks, but I was just about to turn in for the night when I scrolled through ‘admiral-horton’s’ DeviantART gallery (link) and among other things, I saw a full ortho views of the USS Balmung from the 2012 Ships of the Line Calendar. Given my recent penchant for going back through and really tightening up things (cutting down/simplifying classes etc), I had another revionist thought…….
Up to now, I’ve had Bernd Schneider’s Renaissance class from the ‘Advanced Starship Design Bureau’ (link) as the class that bridged the gap between the Excelsior and Ambassador classes and the TMP and TNG eras respectively. You can find my take on the class right here, though it is six years old and little more than a high level overview.
There’s also the Korolev class, a Heavy Cruiser from the aforementioned site (link) that I pegged as a general purpose replacement for the ‘Exeter Class’ I featured (link) that itself, I had pegged for a replacement for the various Dreadnought & Strike Cruiser classes of the 2270’s and 80’s.
This all led up to the Ambassador class and then the Nebula, Galaxy and other classes from TNG as we know them. I did however do a take on the Rigel class found at the ‘Journal of Advanced Treknology’ (link) and our good ‘admiral-horton’ recently did orthos of that as well……*(I can’t for the life of me find that PDF…..think it might have been one of those that I purged a few months ago). Looking through my backups here, I described Renaissance and Ambassador as being too large, complex and otherwise focused on exploration. I lumped Korolev in with those two as well – obviously this was long before I paid attention to my own continuity issues.
Wanting to keep things as simple and as logical as possible, I’m going to make a bit of a change here. For the ‘Lost Era’ and into TNG, I’m going to disgard Bernd’s representation of Renaissance and use the Balmung design as the new Renaissance instead. That will occupy the light/medium (CL/CA) end of the Cruiser bracket while Korolev will come online as a Heavy Cruiser (and spiritual progenitor to the Akira class) and Ambassador will do so as well (leading the way towards the Galaxy and later, the Sovereign classes).
The Intrepid class will come online as a bleeding edge replacement for Renaissance and also the overtaxed/overused Miranda and Excelsior classes (pulled from the Reserves due to wartime needs, but sorely outdated and not fit for modern use after the Dominion War’s conclusion). This cuts out the Rigel class I mentioned, keeping the starship evolution smooth and logical.
I’m just getting some errant thoughts out here and as I’m stuck rewriting the Saladin class, with other TOS classes ahead of me, it will be a while before I get to this.
Peace and Long Life.