A New Renaissance….??

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 NebulaGalaxy 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also the overtaxed/overused Miranda and Excelsior classes (pulled from the Reserves due to wartime needs, but sorely outdated and not fit for modern use after the Dominion War’s conclusion).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.

 

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Retconning……..

Hey all – don’t like giving away too many details, but because I’m going to be doing some retconning with regards to the events of ST VI, I feel like I should just to make everything clear.

 

Praxis, while overmined to the hilt, wasn’t destroyed by that and a lack of safety precautions.  An overload in one of its “quantum reactors” is what did it *(read this).  Now, I’m taking that idea and merging it with another one – that of Romulan Ambassador Nanclus actually being an agent of the Tal’Shiar *(read this).

As I have it, the whole entire incident was conceived and engineered by the Tal’Shiar, who used Kriosian terrorists (from ‘The Thorn’) to infiltrate Praxis and either sabotage or plant bombs on the reactors (in the process of ironing that out).  Knowing of Chang’s conservative/traditionalist leanings, “Nanclus” knew he would be amenable to the conspiracy without question, so instead, he contacted Admiral Cartwright and disseminated the details to him.  Cartwright then passed the details along to Chang, Col. West and Lt. Valeris and helped “Nanclus” infiltrate the Federation Diplomatic Corps under the guise of being the Romulan Ambassador to the UFP.  All these details would come out after his arrest, but presumably before his death in 2298 *(read this)

Why involve the Romulans though?  Well, for one thing, it fits an historical trend.  Going back to the days of TOS, they never confronted enemies directly, instead preferring the ways of stealth & subversion as well as playing enemies off one another.  For another, it supports their later aggression in the Foxtrot sector *(read this) and at Narendra III *(read this) to varying degrees.  Finally, it highlights the shift away from the open warfare of the 23rd Century and towards shadowy/asymmetric/limited/hybrid aggression that we would see throughout much of the 24th Century.

 

(This also makes me wonder what kind of direction FASA would’ve taken had Gene Roddenberry/Paramount not squashed their efforts back in the early days of TNG………)

 

After the events of ST VI comes the final Constitution class varient – Potempkin.  One of the big things I hope to accomplish with that is straighten out my own confusion regarding advanced nacelle types (Potempkin – LN-70…….Midway CV – LN-80…Carolina BB – LN-90).  I’m still having trouble coming up with 1-2 more events to take the class into the Lost Era though.  Indeed, where Asfar Qatala and/or the Orion Syndicate are concerned, it’s hard to come up with a plot point irregardless of what class I’m writing on.

What I might just do instead, to preserve the class’ peaceful legacy, is use the death of Christopher Pike (which is pegged somewhere prior to 2320…….I’d say somewhere in the 2314-2318 range) and possibly by extension, the redevelopment of Talos IV *(read here) as a smooth ‘swan song’ to close things out.  Then, mention a few bits about future weapons/tech testing and talk about the class in the context of its Renaissance and Ambassador class successors and that’ll be it.  The period from 2335 (removal of all examples from front line service, assigned to Reserves) to 2345 (official retirement) will be covered in a future “Reserve Forces Command” publication, if I can think up some good plot points that is.

 

After writing all of this here, I realize I got my whole combined TMP era compilation to think about, but I’ve also started to give some thought to cleaning/tightening up my Lost Era stuff, which in turn would hopefully help clean up/streamline everything after that (which I alluded to in my previous post).  All in all, there’s plenty still to do/explore.

 

Jolan Tru

 

Constitution Class Project Update VI – Light at the End of the Tunnel!

Hey all – sorry about the delay between updates, have been on a bit of a PC gaming binge here.  In my last update I mentioned something about getting sucked in to Star Trek Online.  Played that for a few weeks and found it fascinating to a degree.  I got through the bulk of the campaign, even threw down some money to buy an Odyssey class ship, but after a bit, the whole cycle of replaying old missions, gaining dilithium/zen and continually refitting/upgrading my ship & character got boring (am not much of a PvP guy myself).

So, a few weeks back I got bored and decided to buy GTA V out of curiosity just to see how it would run.  To my surprise, with the new, sharper graphics, larger map and other improvements/additions, it ran buttery smooth.  Then I read somewhere that it was optimized by the same team that worked on Max Payne 3 (another one of my favorites that runs just as well) and was like “Go figure…..”.   Am sure though that I’ll replace my GTX 285 SC (from eVGA) down the road at some point.

 

Anyhow, where my actual project is concerned, I finally finished out Part III (2273-86) today.  As previously mentioned, I patterned the destruction of the Hood (mentioned in Ships of the Star Fleet with only a vague description) after WWII’s Battle of the Denmark Strait, though it’s only ended up being about a paragraph in length.  Some things to note…….

-The commander of the Hood is Commodore Lyle Craig (Memory Beta)

-The K’Teremny class Q’rish is attended by the F-5 (refit) Qu’Hegh (see this previous post)

Q’rish is destroyed 3 months later by the new Excelsior class Yorktown.

In general, I played up the extreme maneuverability/agility of the K’Teremny class, but didn’t give a “hit-by-hit” description of the battle, opting to do a somewhat broader ‘synopsis’ instead.  One might take issue with this and argue that the last major battle of the era deserves an in-depth examination, but in Part III, there have already been so many battles, I didn’t want to skew the narrative too far towards combat.

Like I mentioned, the general idea of the battle between the Hood (along with Ajax and Moltke) and Q’rish comes from Ships of the Star Fleet – am making no claims of creation or ownership over that at all, just merely expanding upon it and adding my own details.

 

Part IV (2287-2335) is the swan song and I’ve only just begun thinking about it here.  Despite the introduction of a handful of new ship classes (that I have yet to settle on), the ascendancy of Gorkon to the chancellorship tempers the traditional Klingon antagonism and gives Starfleet some breathing room.

I think it will be here where the roots of Starfleet’s consolidation and transformation into a multi-mission force will take root. Major shipbuilding trends that I’ve been kicking around (to frame the early part of Part IV) include the shift away from Dreadnoughts and other specialty classes towards singular/unified solutions (this is where old ideas/concepts like the Reserve Forces Command and Exeter class CB will play a part) as well as Starfleet’s efforts to field a true BB (the Arizona class).

Uprating all the existing Constitution II, Tikopai and Enterprise II class CH’s to Potempkin class specs will keep them relevant and keep them from being too quickly overshadowed by Excelsior and then the Renaissance class CA (which will appear around the turn of the century.

Unfortunately, I can think of no major exploratory adventures for the class to take part in, aside from an expedition to the Badlands *(which I wrote as being discovered by the Loknar class USS Yorkshire in 2263).  The only other event of note would be the recovery of the Republic (see Memory Beta), otherwise aside from this, you have the events of ST VI and then a gradual decline.  At one time, I thought the Tholian War had taken place earlier, just after the turn of the century…….but it, like the hazy conflict between the Federation and Cardassians took place in the 2350’s/60’s.

There are two sources of conflict that are more asymmetric from which I could possibly derive some ideas – terrorism (from the Kriosian group known as ‘The Thorn’ – see link) and organized crime/drug trafficking (from Asfar Qatala – possibly setting up a gang war with the Orion Syndicate?).  Either way, I see little chance of keeping Constitution’s reputation strictly peaceful in its twilight years.

 

As to any appearance of the class after 2335 (the arbitrary retirement date I chose), well, TNG (“Best of Both Worlds”) is pretty dicey, though to be fair, nothing I’ve read on Wolf 359 gives a definitive yes or no answer (see this link).  DS9 on the other hand is a bit more ambiguous.  Memory Alpha (link here) lists 4 appearances, but these most likely refer to the class as it was in TOS, either by a brief glimpse of a model or scenes from “Trials and Tribulations”.  The famous (or infamous) ‘Frankenstein Fleet’ from the DS9 Technical Manual (see this link) does include a Constitution class variant, though it is never seen on screen and it is this point that’s given rise in some quarters to the idea that one or more ships (in their normal configuration) could have participated in the war.

When it comes to the issue of a vessel’s overall lifespan, Federation Spaceflight Chronology author Richard Mandel put forth the general idea of a 75 years for a starship like Constitution, launched in the 2220’s and undergoing major refits/upgrades every 10-25 years or so.  This makes sense on the surface, given that ST VI is the last time we see the class on screen.  However, what’s not taken into account is the fact that in the transition from the TOS to TMP eras, the Enterprise and her sister ships are almost totally rebuilt (canon evidence supports this as seen here).

So with very little left that’s purely ‘original’, one could take that 75 year clock and reset it once a Constitution class ship emerged from its linear-warp uprating (like I intend to do).  Theoretically then, if the Enterprise hadn’t been decommissioned at the end of ST VI, it could’ve continued on in service until anywhere between 2346-48.  My retirement date of 2335 would leave a good 10 years or so for the ships to continue on in a reserve capacity.  Ultimately, after ‘resetting the clock’ there are two routes I can go from here……..either A) scrap the ships and let their legacy live on or B) create a ‘boneyard’ (akin to the one the USAF operates at Davis-Monthan AFB) to store old hulls after they have left the reserves.  Fleshing out this idea should help further develop my ‘Reserve Forces Command’ concept.

 

So then, there’s a lot of thinking and writing to be done, but the final chapter of Constitution‘s history promises to be an exciting one.  Thanks for sticking with me folks.

 

Jolan Tru

 

Bookends

As promised folks, after 3 months, I have another update to share.

 

The title refers to the fact that the two ships I’m presenting–Daedalus and Carolina–‘bookend’ Starfleet during the 23rd Century, representing the early years of TOS and latter years of TMP respectively.  Originally, I meant to publish Daedalus with a piece on the complete history of Starbase 47 – “Vanguard” and Carolina was but to play a part in a larger piece on Starfleet Battleships, but as I explained in the preceding post, things didn’t quite work out as planned.

Both posts also contain ample inspiration for future works, mentioning early classes like DY-X and Delta as well as alluding to larger concepts like that of the Starfleet Reserves (necessary, if only to present a unified, definitive history of which TMP era designs participated in later conflicts like the Cardassian and Dominion Wars……).  Those are definitely on the radar as is yet another TMP era design.  Before I compile all my TMP era work though into a single guide/compilation though, I want to organize all the designs by classification/type and try and get a sense if there are any groupings (Cruiser, Frigate etc) that are underrepresented at all.

 

Daedalus class Cruiser

Carolina class Battleship

 

More to come soon hopefully 🙂

 

 

Coming Up….

Hey all – feel bad here for not getting anything new up lately, that’s due entirely in part to the ‘combined volume’ format I decided to go with for this next project.

Following in the steps of my recent Ships of Starfleet: 2414, I’ve commenced on a sequel Ships of Starfleet: 2300-2365 that covers everything from the turn of the century, all the way up to the early TNG era.  Included will be another 15 classes, including…..

Renaissance

Merced

Ambassador

Apollo*

Defender

Freedom

Niagara

Belmont*

Steamrunner

Korolev

Cheyenne

Rigel

Challenger

Springfield

Olympic

*(new non-canon designs)

Due to the time it’s taking me to get this together, all future releases will be individual again, if only for the sake of avoiding ‘dry spells’ such as this.

In the meantime, I would heartily recommend picking up the new Typhon Pact novel Plagues of Night.  As with the final Vanguard novel Storming Heaven, this is a taught thriller–despite lagging in places.  The ending features a cliffhanger that I promise will have you talking for some time to come!

 

All the Best

 

Small Craft

This latest update represents the convergence of two separate projects–an all-encompassing small craft (shuttles/runabouts etc) guide and a new starfighter I had been ruminating over.  Instead of work on them seperately, I decided for the sake of simplicity, to combine both and enlarge the scope–covering all small craft, shuttles, runabouts and starfighters.  This would give me the chance to not only make things easier to find for you, my readers, but also correct a number of errors I ran across.

The format as presented is how I originally intended to present my publications.  However, as I ran across new designs and came up with ideas for new publications, I found it easier to do each ship/class/subject individually.

Small Craft

 

At some point, I will probably go back through my past publications and compile them into volumes such as I have here, is all up in the air right now though.

 

Enjoy this latest work!

 

The ‘Wagon Train’…..

As opposed to the majority of my previous updates which have dealt with various types of front-line starships from various races & eras, this update is decidedly less ‘glamorous’ — focusing on Starfleet’s Transport Command, the logistical arm that deals with the ‘heavy lifting’ you rarely, if ever, see front line ships dealing with.

Starfleet Transport Command

This single publication is made up of a detailed history, followed by a visual identification guide–featuring side/profile views as well as full specifications for 26 separate classes.

 

Enjoy!