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.