Frigate Musings (and a few goodies)

Good morning all, hope everyone’s weekend is going (or has gone) well so far.

 

I’ve finished describing the design/engineering aspects of both Knox and Miranda and have just started to describe the principal variants.  At first I was going to keep things simple and basically make these two the same, differing only in armament.  In getting started though, I leaned heavily on the excellent blueprints of both that were done up by Strategic Design.

Knox

Miranda

The text/description on Miranda mentions how the design was stretched/lengthened a bit vis-a-vis Knox (just as Coventry was compared to Surya) and so I decided to go with that.  Cargo capacity figures though, were borrowed from the series of reference manuals by Eric “Jackill” Kristiansen.

 

A point of contention throughout certain sectors of fandom and one I wanted to nail down sufficiently has been the location of the navigational deflector.  Obviously there’s no dish like on Enterprise, so where is it here?  The text/description from the above mentioned blueprints mentions how the deflector/sensor systems have been combined into multi-function emitters/arrays–those twin, low-profile bulges, one each on either side of the bridge module.  Another set of blueprints from Federation Frontiers (link below) supports this and goes one step further–incorporating those exhaust vent-like appendages (on the ventral surface, far back on either side of the impulse deflection crystal) into the system as well.

Avenger class Heavy Frigate General Plans

 

Principal variants I’ll spend a bit of time discussing are Soyuz and Hensley.  Comanche will get a mention as well, though right now, I’m leaning towards incorporating that as a design study that doesn’t make it to production.  After this, I’ll get into the service history portion which, given the fact Miranda made it all the way up to DS9, will take some time. The route by which I’ll explain ships like Lantree and Saratoga comes by way of Knox.  At some point during the later end of the 23rd Century, I’m thinking 2287-97 sometime, I’m going to have 2/3rds of the Knox class converted to Miranda class specs and leave the remaining 1/3rd un-touched for purposes of experimentation.

 

While browsing around looking for schematics on Hensley, I came upon a great looking TMP rendition and followed its trail straight back to the deviantART account of a great artist by the name of ‘adrasil’.  Utilizing parts/components created by himself and others, he’s come up with some great looking TOS and TMP schematics.  He’s also gotten into the blueprint game too, again, producing some top-quality stuff.  Taken together, the sheer amount of material he’s produced already is staggering–I’d go so far as to say he’s just as prolific as the late Neale “Vance” Davidson.

Check him out here

 

Another goody I stumbled upon was some work by a user known as ‘Fesarius’/’Fesarius2271’.  I found his stuff while browsing through Donny Versiga’s flickr albums (link).  Fesarius has done a great model of the TMP era Enterprise and has gone on to do some amazing work on the interior, creating some amazing examples of the cargo/hangar deck, officer’s lounge, Kirk’s quarters, torpedo bay and even the hangar bay control room which I don’t think I’ve ever seen done before.  Check out his site here and his flickr stream (with more work) here

 

Some RL stuff will interrupt my Saturday routine of sorts, so I’m not sure how much more productive I’ll be – definitely will be combing through adrasil’s stuff for sure.

Q’apla!

 

 

 

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Federation Fleet Review

Hey all.  Am continuing work on my revision of Independence.  As does happen, I got sidetracked looking for orthos (as my usual DeviantART source removed all of his and is re-uploading them here and there) and stumbled upon a great reference work – the penultimate and what I believe is the final thing we’ll see from Richard Mandel, his Federation Fleet Review (linked here, also included in the ‘Reference’ section – see link in the upper right).

 

Federation Fleet Review

 

In reading the Forward at the beginning, it’s kind of sad to hear that this is his “swan song” of sorts.  Am not sure what it was that caused him to step away and also give up part of his vision – whether real life, copyright/IP issues or whatever – I’m just glad I could get my hands on this.  I consider discovering his Federation Spaceflight Chronology a seminal moment in my own fandom ‘experience’, right up there with discovering Timo Saloniemi’s Hobbyist’s Guide…...

 

In any event, this is a TMP work that examines a pretty wide array of classes, including more than a few obscure ones.  I’ve only glanced over it, but am impressed at the scope.   Amusingly enough, I’m also credited in there (under the ‘Recommended Reading’ section at the end, as my former pseudonym “The Red Admiral”).  Also, in searching for a new title for my combined/all-in-one works, I think something along the lines of “Federation Fleet Review” might work better – still have to sort that out.  All that would be left is a different cover design.

 

Hope you all enjoy!

 

Jolan Tru

 

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!

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!

While doing some research………..

……….I unearthed some great art finds 😉   Hello again all.  While jotting down some random thoughts on Saladin this morning, I got hung up while trying to describe her engineering section, so I went looking for some blueprints (mainly, to find out just exactly where the fusion reactors were located and whether or not they were accessible at all).

The old 1981 Blueprints I’ve been looking to don’t show them at all (link).  I did however find two somewhat primative looking 3D renders of a TOS style impulse deck here and here.  Given that on a Constitution, this would seem to duplicate many, if not all functions controlled at/by/from Main Engineering, then on Saladin, this space would work perfectly for a combined Engineering section.  Besides, I could envision that upper level (the second link) as home to additional control consoles/stations as well as other machinery and miscellany.

 

I found the real gem though in the comments of the larger article (link), which pointed me to a thread over at TrekBBS where an artist/designer (Donny Versiga) doing various Enterprise interiors from both TOS and TMP.  Like Basill from Starstation Computer Art (link), Donny has some incredible talent and his work has an insane level of detail that really brings the 23rd Century to life.

The thread (link) is currently 116pgs long at the moment, but in between WIP and finished renders, there’s lots of good behind the scenes discussion/debate/trivia.  Check out his blog (link) or flickr stream (link) if you want to skip the discussion & up-to-date news and jump straight to the renders.

 

Q’apla!

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