Klingon Asymmetry

Hey all, just wanted to get some random thoughts out of my head and down on to the blog here.

 

Way back when I first discovered Demon Renegade Studios, I took an immediate liking to a lot of the models.  Sharp and detailed, I wrote histories around several.  One that I haven’t yet touched on is the ‘Haze III’ fighter.  Produced in both civilian (link) and Klingon (link) versions, the only visuals I’ve been able to find are the perspective shots right there at the site and so, I held off on writing them in.

A thought that popped into my head back then and one that’s stuck with me is their use as asymmetric tools on the part of the Klingons.  Open, unrestrained warfare (the Four Years War of the TOS era) had given way to a ‘Cold War’ punctuated by cross-border strikes and offensives of limited size and scope (pretty much the first half of the TMP era – up until about 2287 or 88).  The IKDF had Gunboats sure, but these had never truly been able to stop starfighters – craft that were smaller, nimbler and nearly as well armed.

Starfleet held the trump card in this category since the late 22nd Century, but toward the end of the Class I and advent of the Linear Warp era, they moved to match the Klingons’ “bigger/better/harder” philosophy – building bigger ships that were better armed and harder-hitting – getting seemingly lax in this category.

So, what better way to hit back at their adversary than to target the one area they paid comparatively little attention to?  I’m thinking that because this craft has a generic/civilian model, that its an independent design that originated with a civilian shipbuilder (who hoped to possibly cash in on the criminal/black market appeal of such a design).  The Klingons making even a low-key attempt to acquire it through legitimate means would be too obvious to Starfleet, so I’m thinking some slick industrial espionage would be in order.

The IKDF, after acquiring the plans, manufacturers a quantity for themselves while also mass producing the civilian model – modified with military grade equipment (shields, weapons, sensors etc) and then passes them off to Imperial Intelligence, who dumps them on the market at cut rate prices all to aggravate their rivals (principally, Starfleet).

 

What role both variants will play is still unclear at the moment – as I’ve said, it will be a while before I get up into that era, but it does present a tantalizing possibility or two.

 

Q’apla!

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More Surya/Coventry Musings…..

Hey all, work is continuing on Surya and like Pyotr Velikiy, I’ve elected to roll Coventry in and make this a combined publication.

I recently got my hands on the Strategic Design blueprints for the Knox class Frigate and I’ve been using these as a reference for the interior arrangement of both Surya and Coventry (since most of the sheets for Constitution and Miranda are non clickable) – oh man are they ever fascinating……..check em out right here

Straying off-topic for just a moment, for the longest time, I preferred the clean Lantree type Miranda variant and was all but ready to add it in as my version of Knox (I really didn’t care for the 2 Pulse Phaser Cannons that stuck out from the original design, as I felt they looked too odd without a rollbar).  However after examining and really enjoying SD’s blueprints, I decided to revert back to this original design and even found a great model of it too (done up by ‘Pheylan’ – check out this thread on Foundation3D).  That and the TMP era overall are a long ways off for me yet though.

Getting back on topic, reading through the Hobbyist’s Guide………. has given me some more food for thought.  Destroyers as a whole aren’t given that much prominence, even the Larson class that replaced Saladin is sidelined a bit compared to the similarly sized Loknar class Frigate.  With Surya and Coventry featuring Cruiser-like capabilities in a design well suited to mass production, eventually a decision had to be made on not only Destroyers vs Frigates but Surya/Coventry vs Loknar.

Aside from Saladin and Larson, I wrote in three additional TOS era Destroyer classes – Burke, Seawolf and Kiaga.  The former two wouldn’t make it into the Linear Warp era, however Saladin, Larson and Kiaga (as the Akyazi class) would.  Starfleet’s decision to leave Larson as the only traditional Destroyer type while tinkering with the surviving Saladin (Kearsarge and Loknar) class ships underscored not only the indecision regarding fleet planning, but the lack of confidence in the category entirely.**

**(you don’t see any based on Excelsior entering service during the latter half of the 23rd Century.  Centaur, officially classed as a Frigate, seems to represent both categories while moving forward, various Cruiser types ranging from Intrepid all the way up to Nebula support ‘hero’ classes like Galaxy and Sovereign, with older classes like Excelsior and Miranda appearing as needed – Defiant being the one notable exception to all this)**

So with this said, I’m going to try and make it clear that the emphasis is on Surya/Coventry for the rest of the TOS period.  With production numbers already set in stone by Ships of the Star Fleet, I’m not going to bother deviating from that at all and just stick to the same general narrative of support that I established with Pyotr Velikiy.  Moving into the TMP era though, where things get murkier and more ambiguous, is where I’ll most likely ramp up the numbers for both Surya (Knox) and Coventry (Miranda), with the goal of having them overtake SaladinLarson and Loknar.  Depending on how all that shakes out, I may try and cull their production numbers somehow, but that will take some brainstorming.

 

 

Peace and Long Life

 

Upending Everything………

Rarely do I put up two posts in one day, especially on the same/similar subjects.  I just ran across something though that has me kicking myself pretty good.

 

Right now, I’m stuck describing the cargo capabilities of Surya.  For whatever reason, I wanted to go looking for some blueprints of Miranda (because like I said, no one’s ever done TOS style blueprints).  I ended up going down a rabbit hole that led me to this set of incredible deck plans/blueprints for the Belknap class.

Belknap class Blueprints/Deck Plans

 

Checking out Sheet 5 (which covers the bridge module, Decks 1-4), I noticed that Deck 2, directly below the bridge, is the ‘Combat Information Center’.  There’s a pair of turbolifts, access to the computer core and two large situation monitors covering fleet movement (starboard) and ship’s systems status (port).  To port and starboard are separate rooms focusing on damage control and communications control/cryptography respectively.  Each has three stations and a free-standing display table.  Forward of those is a ‘flag bridge’ that I’ll let you check out for yourself.

 

Now knowing this is the same designer who worked on the ‘Strategic Design’ series of plans, I went back and checked out the plans for Miranda & Enterprise and even though you can’t zoom in on many of the sheets for those, I recognized similar CiC spaces on both of those. What really gets me though is Constitution.

Other plans

Not only is there a similar space on Deck 3 (can’t make out specifics at this tiny resolution), but this representation of the ship also features 6 phaser banks in their traditional saucer mounted locations.

 

So, I’ve now got a lot to think about going forward (as far as TMP rewrites go) as well as possible revisions (to existing TOS work?).  Going to have to think a bit as well as try and take a look at other blueprint sources.

Surya/Coventry Musings

Hey all, just wanted to drop in and let you know about a great set of Miranda class Blueprints I found.

Worked on Surya a bit at work yesterday, then some more when I came home – usually don’t write this much during the week.  Anyhow, I came to a point where I had to explain the slightly ‘terraced’ look of the hull (at least from an external perspective) and so I went looking for blueprints at my usual source (the LCARS Blueprint Database).  Of the 4 or 5 results for ‘Miranda’ I found (given the diverse nature of opinion/thought regarding the design’s origin, no one’s bothered to do TOS era blueprints), a set by Jim Morvay caught my eye *(link here)

His overall design differs a bit from the one we all know, but his eye for detail is absolutely astounding (these are incredibly large in size – zoomed in on Deck 3 at 10,000 x 6,471…..definitely too big for a mobile device and almost too big for my 27″ Monitor).  After looking at them for a while, especially the first 2-3 decks, I found that the bridge module (traditionally 3 decks thick) and its integration hold the key.  Situated where it is, it serves as a ‘land bridge’ of sorts to the aft part of the hull I mentioned and its not until about decks 5-6 that you start to get down into the saucer proper.

Getting my head wrapped around the design has been the least of my issues so far.  The biggest challenge has been justifying the existence of Surya in the first place given the existence of Detroyat (similarly sized, with an overlapping mission profile).  I went back and looked at what I wrote for Baton Rouge and surmised that it and every other ship of its generation fit the ‘right idea/wrong time’ paradigm.  Following the end of the Earth-Romulan war and on past the turn of the century, a false sense of security for the Federation gave rise to complacency and a lack of will to act.  This is pretty much why Starfleet could never mount a unified shipbuilding program and explains why they had so many different classes with different aesthetics/engineering in service.

By the time decision makers got past all this and approved Baton Rouge, it was too late.  In just about two decades, the ‘Class I Revolution’ – with its radical advancements in design, engineering and technology – would render ships of earlier eras obsolete.  You’ll recall though that with Freighters and Transports, there was still a ‘good enough’ philosophy in effect that affected how many ships of a given class constructed.  Likewise, by 2240, Starfleet had Pyotr Velikiy in service and I figure that uprating all surviving Detroyats to Class I specs and then building 10 more was ‘good enough’ for the admiralty.

The linchpin, what finally gets these older ships taken out of service, is their interoperability – their capability to not only operate with ships like Constitution and Pyotr Velikiy in all manner of operations, but also their ability to be upgraded with the latest technologies right alongside their newer brethren (while foreign Air Forces like Turkey have done this, you don’t see the USAF or Royal Air Force upgrading F-4 Phantoms and planning to keep them in service alongside F-22’s, F-35’s and Eurofighters).  This will necessitate some rewrites on my part, with the most extensive revisions going to Detroyat naturally.

The other issue that I haven’t got to yet is that of Surya’s larger, Coventry class brother (Surya basically stretched out to accommodate larger flight decks/cargo bays).  I could break this out and write it separately, but given that the history of both is rather closely intertwined (according to me at least), I’ll probably make this a combined writeup as I did for Pyotr Velikiy/Kirov.

Also, I’m going to be going with the original schematics (here and here) due to the fact that both are more heavily armed (those by Neale “Vance” Davidson don’t differ in this respect at all).  As featured in Ships of the Star Fleet, both feature 4 phaser banks–2 forward (dorsal/ventral) and 1 each to port and starboard (dorsal only)–plus additional coverage aft (Surya with one emitter each over the hangar bays, Coventry with an additional bank along the centerline, above the impulse engines).  This positions them well vis-a-vis Destroyers like Saladin and Larson and larger Cruisers like Pyotr Velikiy and Constitution.

Oh and while I’m sure I mentioned this before, I’ll go ahead and mention it again – I absolutely do not care for any TOS representation of Miranda in the traditional sense, with the rollbar, torpedo pod & such.  On fan based designs, such elements might work, but I just can’t get used to them in this era, so where Miranda is concerned, you’ll have to wait until I get to the TMP era to get a ‘traditional’ take on it.

 

Q’apla!

I feel a great disturbance…..in the canon…..

Forgive my poor attempt at wordplay friends, but given 2 of the 3 things I’m going to lay out here, I thought it apt (and by ‘canon’, I mean my own ‘head canon’/’personal canon’ here).

 

First off, for those who haven’t heard already, Barry Jenner (Adm. William Ross) passed away this past Tuesday (8/9) in Los Angeles from complication of acute myeloid leukemia.

Remembering DS9’s Barry Jenner, 1941-2016

 

Secondly, I stumbled upon some, what looked like in-game, renders of a revised/reskinned D-5 class (that basically took the D-5 from ENT and updated it to fit within the TOS era)

(scroll to the bottom)
http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/D5_class

 

I’m not quite sure whether they’re from the “Agents of Yesterday” update to Star Trek Online or whether they’re from someplace else.  I’ve also been unable to find any better visuals in this same style.  If I can though and this is indeed the D5 and not another class, then it might very well be a game changer and up end a good chunk of history that I’ve personally gotten used to.

Finally, I’ve come across a great TMP trailer that resonates with me.  An opening voice over from Spock, together with tight pacing and a powerful instrumental track by John Murphy (“What Do You See?”) really make it stand out as more than just another fan edit.

 

https://youtu.be/VquTJzu6xHM

 

Hope you all are having/have had a great weekend

 

Jolan Tru

Saladin + Federation Spaceflight Chronology

Hey all, hope the weekend finds you well.  Have a major treat for you today – after dragging my feet for sometime and having my work schedule screwed up (co-worker at my side job quit, throwing my own workload into disarray), I’ve finally got the classic Saladin class up for your perusal.

**Disclaimer** – This is a work of pure fiction. As with everything else on my blog, this writing is from my own point of view. I’m working within a universe that is populated by material sourced back to CBS/Paramount Pictures and various other authors, designers and artists. This is not intended to be taken as end-all, be-all guide to this respective class, merely the history as I myself see it.  I cherry pick from some sources, ignore others and weave everything together as I see fit.

Saladin (DD 500) class Destroyer

There wasn’t too much for me to say in my annotations given the updates I’ve posted here.  I will however point you to Harry Doddema’s Titan Fleet Yards for a look at some schematics that illustrate how some of the sub-class names (Siva in particular) have been applied to different designs.  Also, if you’ll notice the outline of DD 506/Pompey, that ship in various places, has been mentioned as belonging to yet another Destroyer class, the self named Pompey (link here).

It’s mentioned as a specific sub-class in the Hobbyist’s Guide…… and also in the Federation Spaceflight Chronology that brings me to my next point.  I’ve been thinking about this all week and I’ve decided to put the original 14 PDFs (Vols. 1-12, the ‘A’ Klingon supplement and ‘B1’ Romulan supplement – haven’t found part 2 of this at all) back up for all to enjoy.

Who/whatever Richard Mandel got on the bad side of, they either haven’t seen the combined volume of his I posted some time ago, or by now they just don’t care.  Either way, they’ve become quite popular throughout the fandom and together with Timo Saloniemi’s guide, they represent some of the best fan-produced reference material out there.

One thing I would ask though, that if you view these on an actual computer (as opposed to a phone or similar mobile device), please download and/or save them yourselves.  I don’t think they’re ever going to be updated in their current form and should they disappear again, one wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of searching for them again (and alternately, someone could repost them elsewhere)

Vol. 1

Vol. 2

Vol. 3

Vol. 4

Vol. 5

Vol. 6

Vol. 7

Vol. 8

Vol. 9

Vol. 10

Vol. 11

Vol. 12

Vol. A – Klingon

Vol. B1 – Romulan (Pt I)

 

 

What’s next?  Well, going down my list, there’s both Larson and Loknar from FASA – famous classes in their own right – but I’ve been thinking a bit more about the Surya and Coventry classes (from Todd Guenther and Starstation Aurora).  With their more conventional designs, they formed the core of Starfleet’s Frigate force.  Highly adaptable and able to take on the same types of missions as their larger Cruiser brethren, they established a lineage that lives on with the Nebula class.

Larson and Loknar on the other hand are more niche classes IMO, designed and constructed for more niche purposes that had all but evaporated by the mid 24th Century.  While Linear Warp refits made them more capable, their basic roles were eventually taken over by the Akyazi class Perimeter Action Ship.  With the advent of TNG, Destroyers as a whole seemed to disappear, leaving Frigates as the smallest ship type.  DS9 brought them back with the Defiant, but in a vastly different context, one that bears little resemblance to the heady Cold War days of the 2270’s and 80’s.

On the other hand, with all that said, Larson and Loknar likely wouldn’t take too much longer than Saladin to do.  Who knows though.

 

In the meantime, Donny (the 3D designer/modeler I mentioned back on 7/13) is at it again, this time with a B’Rel class Bridge.  You can follow his progress here.

 

Peace and Long Life