Hey all, it’s ‘Labor Day’ here in the US which means instead of sipping bad coffee at a cramped desk in front of a PC I hate at the office, I’m sipping better coffee in front of a more spacious desk in front of my Mac at home (with TOS episodes streaming on my gaming rig) 🙂
Work on Surya continues. Rather than just copy the description of some of the Four Years War engagements from Pyotr Velikiy, I’ve tried to rewrite them in a more unique, analytical style (well, the Battle of Andromeda at least……). I got hung up though when describing the Klingon ships and I realized that I was at a crossroads – where I would have to choose between sticking to my nice, nostalgic, 80s-inspired SFB (Star Fleet Battles) track regarding the classic Battlecruiser evolution, or chart a new course that incorporated more canon elements.
Well, I’ve ended up choosing the latter.
This comparison chart from Axanar forms the basis of the revised approach I’m going to take.
Now most of the non-canon representations of D-5 (Dupat) and D-6 (Raxor) don’t really deviate too much from the classic D-7 (Klolode) design. These shots from ‘Atrahasis’ demonstrate this well.
Of course with the advent of ENT, all this old-school RPG goodness was left by the wayside and the D5/K5 seen above was disregarded in favor of John Eaves’ design seen on screen and in the comparison chart above. My initial take on the evolution of the Klingon Battlecruiser (quite old now and due for a refresh!) had the ‘canon D-5‘ positioned as the ‘D-3′ – an approach that made the change in design/aesthethics (from ‘D-3’ to the more recognizable designs of D-4 on up) smooth and logical.
Why not just keep that approach and revise/continue to run with it? This is really the crux of things. I suppose it comes down to my latest read-through of the Vanguard series and my own perceptions of how the Klingons would appear. The D-5 class is mentioned numerous times throughout the various novels, being mentioned in in short story “Almost Tomorrow” (part of the “Declassified” anthology, taking place in early 2265)
“………so far as he knew, the Klingon D5 class of battle cruiser had been all but replaced by the Klingon Empire more than a decade ago in favor of the larger, faster and more powerful D6 and D7 designs.”
If you assume that canon D-5 was refitted (as shown in STO, mentioned this in a previous update), then it does make more sense to include vis-a-vis the old RPG interpretation. The use of the D-6 as depicted in the comparison chart above makes more sense as well.
While many differences still remain, looking at the comparison chart and then this schematic (from the Starship Tactical Combat Simulator), you can see a vague design/aesthetic progression from the D-4, to the D-5 and then this D-6.
So while this fundamental change to my own ‘personal canon’ may have sidelined old school RPG influences where the Klingons’ Battlecruiser are concerned, its still very much an influence when it comes to the Romulans. As we see in TOS it appears that with the Treaty of S’marba (a FASA construct), the IKDF just transferred a batch of D-7’s to the Imperial Navy and called it good. Digging in to what ‘Atrahasis’ mentioned though (not sure whether this was his idea, or it goes back to SFB), the Klingons transferred a large batch of D-6’s to the Romulans and only 2-3 D-7’s.
Now with the D-7’s, the similar designs wouldn’t matter as only 2-3 ships had been transferred. I’m going to take the above idea and run with it, but with a big caveat – the IKDF, in transferring 2/3’rds of their D-6 force (in deference to D-7, which I would assume would be in service in quantity by 226x ), created a sort of ‘export variant’, stripping the hulls down, removing much of the armor plating and hull extensions, but installing upgraded impulse engines from D-7 to make up for it. This would result in something similar to what you see above and like I said, D-7 transfers would take place with comparatively little changes.
Aside from all this, all other Klingon FASA/SFB-derived designs will remain as they have been, with updates/revisions made as needed (whenever I get to them – to account for history/spec changes that I mention elsewhere).
(oh, you can find all of Atra’s model pictures in this photobucket album as well 😉 – link)