RIP Captain Christopher

one_last_flight_for_bluejay_4_by_adrasil-dch70oz(visual courtesy of ‘adrasil’ – DeviantART)

Star Trek And The Munsters Actor Roger Perry Dies At 85

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Akula Class

Hey all.  Am back from vacation and finally have a chance to sit down and pound some stuff out.  My vacation spot way up north changed hands a year or two back and wifi (as limited as it was) is now gone, so that together w/my poor cell service (Verizon worked fine, but Sprint was a joke) meant that I could get very little done, even w/Google Docs ‘offline’ feature.

 

A major thanks though to ‘admiral horton’ and ‘Rev’/’Revanche’ for getting the USS Balmung orthos back up and alerting me to them (see my previous post).  As it turns out though, because I didn’t have that to draw inspiration from, I stepped back from the Lost Era to TMP and started writing on the Knox/Miranda class (that will eventually turn into ‘Frigates of the Linear Warp Era’, with Knox, Miranda and Soyuz getting primary mention and other permutations like Commanche getting mentioned in passing I imagine).

 

Here though, I finally present my more polished take on the Akula class.  As I’ve mentioned before, this is Starfleet’s first take on building a ‘multi-mission’ vessel–combining the classic Saladin and Hermes into a single class.  However, as I mention in my annotations, the entry of the Kiaga class into service represents the distillation of a ‘Destroyer’ down to its most basic elements.  With that said, classes that have gone before it (like SaladinLarson and of course, Akula) will find themselves plugged into more specialized/niche roles, before eventually disappearing entirely.

The text is fairly basic–playing up the problems with Saladin/Hermes, getting into a brief overview of the design/engineering and then a description of its service history (the last three major battles of the Four Years War, aftermath of Operation Vanguard and then neutral zone monitoring/anti-piracy during TOS).  Adding in a little more political nuance, I mentioned some members of the UFP gov’t and Admiralty by name there towards the end.

Akula class DH

 

Going forward, two main things i have to work on are that TOS era combined publication and the above-mentioned Knox/Miranda piece, though which one I work on and how much I get done are entirely dependent on my motivation lol

 

LLAP

 

 

Independence Class Light Carrier (and some house cleaning….)

Good morning all.  At long last, I finally have Independence done and up for your perusal.

Independence class CVL

The class background & design bits were relatively easy for me to write, I think it was the Four Years War exposition that really caused things to drag out unfortunately–I’m definitely glad to have this done.  Like I said in my annotations, the beginning (background/design) and very end (post-war service) are the only truly unique parts, most of the stuff in the middle (service during the war) is similar to/the same as what I’ve written elsewhere.

Akula is next up and that’s one I’m actually looking forward too (as it marks the first step towards the simplifying/streamlining of the fleet that picks up steam towards the end of the Linear Warp/TMP era).  I’m also considering some simplifying/streamlining of my own – getting rid of some extraneous classes.  One of those on the chopping block is Seawolf.  I saw that at The Starfleet Museum and then wrote it in as a stripped-down version of Kiaga, which would be easier to produce in quantity.  Now however, my thinking has changed.  Kiaga can be the mass produced TOS equivalent of the Defiant class.  Seawolf, Burke and whatever else I’ve written to fill the gap will go by the wayside.  In their stead, I’m thinking of having the Texas class take their place – as that ortho I found a while back looks suitably upgunned enough.  Though since that class starts out life in the 22nd Century, it might be a while before I get to it.

 

There’s also going to be some house cleaning I’m going to get to.  A week or two ago, a visitor commented and asked where my Small Craft guide went.  I found it on my HD, did a bit of editing and re-uploaded it for him (can see it here).  As I explained in this post right here though, looking back at some of my earliest work (when I was dabbling in the TNG/DS9 and Future eras), my writing was incredibly fanboyish and some of the concepts I came up with were as well–reading them again makes me wince.  I’m not exactly proud of all that and its my intention to, at some point, rewrite it in my current, more grounded style.  So with that said, I’m leaving my Small Craft guide and whatever else up until the end of the month.  Come June 1, it and anything newer than TMP that I didn’t remove the first time around is going to disappear.  You’ll have that long to read & save/download it.

Jolan Tru

Texas??

Hey all.  Don’t usually post much during the week – am a creature of habit/routine and if I have anything to post, I usually do it on the weekends.

 

Anyhow, I got bored and randomly checked to see if my usual deviantART source had re-posted any of his orthos.  The ‘Texas Class’ (of Star Fleet Battles fame) was up, I gave it a once over and wow – for a supposed Light Cruiser, the class as depicted is armed rather heavily – by my count, 7 Phaser Banks, 2 Pulse Phaser Cannons(?) and 2 Torpedo Launchers.  The warp nacelles and everything too give it a solid TOS era appearance.  It’s a shame I just now paid attention to it, as it would’ve made a fine addition to my Four Years War narrative.

Check it out

If anything, I could describe it as the *one* reserve class that didn’t get committed to combat, but was held back as a dedicated system defense ship deployed around critical planets/in critical areas, but that seems like kind of a stretch.  Am not sure at this point if there’s really any plausible way I could write this thing into the Class I era or not.  Just thought I’d drop it here though.

Santee

Well folks, it’s been a while hasn’t it?  Thinking back to when I last posted something (mid-November), I had a lot of RL stuff on my plate and was battling a lack of motivation in general.

About a month later, my main external hard drive crashed and threw me for a loop.  Last April when I upgraded to an iMac, I elected to maintain as much of my day-to-day stuff as I could either in the cloud or on a 1TB Seagate HD as I didn’t want to bog my new machine down too much (a mid-2015 27″ Retina model w/o a SSD).  My music, movies, photos and the primary repository for all my blog stuff (containing document drafts, images and PDFs) went up in virtual smoke.  Luckily for me, a pair of utilities helped rectify the situation.  DiskDrill helped recover most of my files (including some rare renders of all of Sean Robertson’s/seanr’s bridge sets that have seemingly disappeared from the web) while DriveDx gave me a comprehensive look at the health of all my internal/external drives, including the damaged Seagate.  Now understand, I’m not one to pay for/buy utilities like this on either my Macs or my PC, but given this doomsday scenario and how well both of these have worked, I’d highly recommend both.

With nearly all of my files that I was able to recover (particularly the video & photo files), the file names were all scrambled, so the bulk of my time was spent renaming and reorganizing everything again.  One thing I will not do going forward is buy another Seagate drive.  I’ve had trouble with them before (a portable version used as a Time Machine backup failing in a similar manner) but this was the last straw.  Western Digital (WD) isn’t perfect either, but in my case, they’ve never let me down (I’ve got a full size 1TB drive that’s still chugging along after 8-1/2 years).  My backup/storage setup now consists exclusively of the small ‘My Passport’ drives–a 1TB drive for Time Machine backups, a main 4TB drive to replace the Seagate that failed and then another 4TB drive to act as a redundant “backup of backups”.  No matter the method you end up choosing, I’d implore anyone who doesn’t currently have a backup plan to learn from my experience and at least give it some thought.

 

All that aside, I do have something for you all, my revised take on the Santee class Shuttlecarrier (CVS).

Santee class

 

Given the time I spent re-crafting FASA’s Four Years War narrative into something of my liking, I’m not going to muddy those waters by adding in un-neccessary exposition regarding Santee’s possible wartime exploits.  Instead, I opted to focus on another common thread existing during this period–Starfleet’s logistical problems.  Basically, they spent far too much time and effort on front-line classes and by the time they finally got around to addressing their logistical issues, their solutions still fell short.  Despite what I’ve already written about the Saladin and Loknar classes being pulled from the front lines, I felt something larger and a bit more imposing was needed to protect the fleet’s logistical lines and supply convoys, so I elected to go the ‘Escort Carrier’ route.

Also, as I mentioned in the annotations, thanks to the original schematic of Santee, I elected to extend the class’ service history well into the Linear Warp era, the escort carrier idea blending in well with the ‘Tal Taan Offensive’ (against Federation merchant shipping, another FASA construct).

Harry Doddema has done some great schematics (including one of Santee as a neutronic fuel carrier) while Henry Gibbens has put together a great model/some great orthos.  Check them out here and here, respectively.

Aside from that, Donny Versiga (amazing artist who has put together some incredible TOS/TWOK interiors) has gone on to do a similarly mind-blowing job on the Class F shuttlecraft and is currently doing a similar take on a TOS version of Main Engineering.  Check out his thread on TrekBBS here.

Going forward, I’ve started a re-vamp of the Independence class Light Carrier (CVL) that actually did see combat as I have it.  I also have to go back and take another look at the Akula (DH) class, if only to conclusively determine whether the class entered service during the war or afterwards (as I think I’ve mentioned it both ways in different writeups).

 

Q’apla!

Yorktown

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted (3 months since I actually posted a writeup, 2 months since I made an actual post of any kind), but in those months, other hobbies and RL minutiae kept me preoccupied, am sure many of you know how that goes.

Anyhow, I’ve finally gotten around to redoing my writeup on the Yorktown class CV.  You can find it in the Index (top right of the screen) or at the link below

Yorktown class CV

 

As I mentioned in my update on 09/2, making the case for this class and then describing its role in the overall fleet and its activities took up the bulk of my time.  Compared to some of my other writeups, I didn’t spend nearly as much time talking about the design or the technical capabilities–I felt that doing so would be a waste of time if I couldn’t make a good case for having it around in the first place.  Also, I know in that same update, I talked about getting away from mentioning specific class production numbers.  I didn’t do that here, but given both Yorktown’s specialized nature and the more generalized description compared to other classes, I don’t think it makes too much of a difference.

Amazingly enough, even though I didn’t look at this at all while I was writing, my revised take on Yorktown fits in quite well with Yorktown II – the TMP sequel of sorts that I wrote up 6 years ago and is still up in the Index.

 

Where to go from here?  Well I’ve been looking at the other TOS Carrier classes – Santee and Independence.  Both of these are somewhat older than this Yorktown and so I’ve read through my Surya/Coventry writeup carefully.  Independence is mentioned in two or three places, so I’ll have to go back and completely re-write the historical part of that.  Reading over everything else at this point, I’m still on the fence on whether or not to re-write the design/technical part.

I didn’t bother mentioning Santee at all, so re-writing that will be simple. The one slight problem I haven’t found a way around yet concerns its role.  I think it was the Federation Spaceflight Chronology that mentioned it as an ‘escort carrier’, being used for convoy protection.  The thing is, I’ve mentioned Saladin, Larson and Loknar as being removed from the front lines eventually, being assigned to more defensive roles.  Removing the limitation of numbers, throwing yet another class into that arena would seem to be superfluous.  It’s not an insurmountable issue, just one that will take some time to work around.

 

LLAP

Yorktown CV Update

Hey all, just wanted to give you a little update/insight into my Yorktown CV re-write.

 

This, I think, will be a more difficult/time-consuming write up.  The background (everything leading up to launch) was easy enough and I’m particularly proud of the fact the Four Years War only got a tangential mention in a single paragraph.  The hard part comes in making the case for the Carrier and describing it’s role and activities throughout the 2250’s and 2260’s.

In my mind, that period–what most of us would associate with TOS in general–is not unlike the world we’re living in today.  There’s a lot of asymmetric/unconventional/hybrid warfare going on in different spots throughout the world, but no one issue or group of issues stands above any other as justification for building ships like aircraft carriers.  In my vision of the TOS period though, the emphasis is on capital ships/patrol combatants and the tit-for-tat buildups of such between the Federation and Klingons.  Sure, in a lot of novels and maybe an errant episode or two, there might be mention of random “patrols”, but such mentions are almost always left ambiguous.  My aim is to address that ambiguity by way of the “Carrier Strike Group”, utilizing ships never seen on routine missions hardly mentioned so that the UFP’s priorities of exploration, colonization, commerce and diplomacy can be carried out unimpeded.

While appearing defensive at the outset, I see them as being more offensive in operation (i.e. when it comes to anti-piracy, you wouldn’t send one of these to the ‘Triangle’ or Taurus Reach and have them wait and react to incidents of piracy, they would go on the offensive and carry out operations to flush out & eliminate pirates altogether).

A problem I see with this is one of numbers.  Many of the recent ships I’ve written on make explicit mention of production numbers in one context or another.  This runs into conflict with the way I have things organized.  For my purposes, a Strike Group is equivalent to a Battle Group in size.  Just one is made up of 54 total ships, 3 Starship Squadrons (10 ships/ea) and then 2 support squadrons (12 ships/ea).  This is pretty easy to work out – you’d have the carrier and then a squadron each of Cruisers, Frigates and Destroyers making everything nice and clean.  Go back and look at my Surya/Coventry or perhaps my Pyotr Velikiy publications and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.  I can’t recall specific numbers, but there’s hardly enough of them to fill more than 2 or three Strike/Battle Groups while also leaving some available for independent operation.

So what to do? Well, the only solution I see is to eliminate this specific point altogether.  Getting specific when it comes to production/service numbers helps keep things plausible, but the more I think about it, the more I think that doesn’t matter.  In my quest to revamp my TOS stuff, esp. with the recent classes I’ve done, I’ve taken pains to craft some reasonable backstories with plausible justifications for why this class or that class came to be in the first place.  That said, specific numbers would seem to be an unnecessary constraint – esp. if you buy into what’s presented at the link below.

Canon Fodder – The Size of Starfleet

 

So starting with Yorktown, I’m going to dispense with any mention of production/service numbers and revise past publications when I start throwing everything together.

Hope everyone has a good weekend.

 

 

 

LLAP