A couple weeks ago, I was watching the 1961 film Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. While I was watching it, I came up with an idea to do a space ship based off of the submarine Seaview from that film. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, look here. Though, as with most of my “good” ideas, I didn’t start right away. Real life distractions and things like playing the video game Mass Effect took up much of my time. However, I finally got a few days ago.
For starters, this is from my own Sci-Fi universe; not Star Trek, Star Wars, BSG, etc. Though, while it is my own thing, I’ll be borrowing from other Sci-Fi and even non Sci-Fi stuff. It’s hard to do anything completely original. In the past, I’ve even had ideas that I thought were original, but they later turned out to be something that had been done before and I hadn’t known about it. So, I’m not worried about being totally original.
The year is three thousand something. Humans no longer live on Earth, (for reasons to be determined later) but they live on a series of colonies spread across the Milky Way galaxy. They’re also part of an intergalactic community originally formed by a race called the Korvellins, known as the Korvellin Alliance. (think United Federation of Planets, Galactic Republic, etc.) And, of course, there are other races and factions throughout he cosmos. After all, you can’t have a big Sci-Fi faction without having adversaries. Though, not all races and factions are enemies of the Alliance, some simply choose not to join. I’m still working on the details of some of the races, but I’m thinking the Korvellins have tentacles. They also breathe a different atmosphere than humans, so they don’t typically serve on the same vessels as humans due to the need of cumbersome environment suits. (other races have this issue too, but not all)
Space travel isn’t done through any conventional ideas of faster than light travel. Instead of warp drive or hyperdrive, the ship uses something called subspace streams. The idea is that these naturally occurring, crisscrossing streams exist in subspace and ships ride the streams at great speed to get to where they need to be, making accurate stream maps a necessity for galactic travel. (similar to the slipstream in the TV series Andromeda) So, the ship doesn’t have to have any kind of FTL engine, it simply generates a field that allows it to transition into subspace and, therefore, into the streams. Much of the galaxy’s streams are mapped, meaning you can travel to most of the galaxy, though there are unmapped areas. Stream mapping is extremely dangerous, because you run the risk of getting lost and you also don’t know what you’ll find when you leave the stream and return to normal space. Sensors work within the stream, but scanning normal space while in the stream (or vice versa) is not possible.
So, the ship I’m building belongs to the Korvellin Alliance Defense Force. Much like modern day Coast Guards, the Defense Force has its own command structure and vessels and is independent of the Alliance Navy. The ship is an Interceptor, meaning it’s fast. Note: Interceptor is the type of ship, not the ship’s name. The jargon you see on the right side of the background in the images (KAPV 015824ST) is the ship’s designation. KAPV stands for Korvellin Alliance Patrol Vessel, the rest is the ship’s unique identifier. Though, “ST” unofficially stands for “Star Trek.” 😉 Since it’s an interceptor, it’s designed to move more quickly through the subspace streams than most vessels, allowing it to catch other vessels traveling through the streams. That’s why I thought a submarine was a good starting point, since they’re designed for rapid underwater travel. Though, what it makes up for in speed, it lacks in weapons. It’s only going to have a couple heavy cannons and a smaller rear cannon (some kind of particle beam technology.) So, it’s not useful as a front line ship, but it is useful as a scout, a courier or a border patrol vessel. In the last role, the high speeds it can travel would allow it to rapidly evade invaders and make it to a command base to warn the defense forces of a possible invasion, if it couldn’t handle the problem itself.
Size wise, it’s between 100 and 110 meters long. One thing I don’t like about Lightwave is that I haven’t found anything that tells me things like this. In software I’ve used in the past, (TrueSpace and Blender) I can bring up something that shows me length, width, height, etc. I can get all kinds of polygons stats in Lightwave, but I haven’t seen anything like that. If there is such a thing and somebody knows where it is, please tell me. (I’m using Lightwave 10.1) The ship only has two decks. It was originally going to have three, but the bulge on the bottom isn’t large enough and is too round to be a real deck, so I figure there are some water and fuel tanks down there. Don’t even ask me what the mass is. I’m not very good at math (that’s why somebody invented calculators) and I’m not even sure how you calculate mass anyway. For crew size, I’m thinking somewhere from forty to seventy. This thing is roughly submarine size and they pack more people on submarines, but a space vessel requires systems that submarines don’t, which leaves less room for a crew.
OK, here’s what I have so far:
Some wireframes, for those people who like such things:
Now, to some people, probably people who don’t do CGI or who are better at it than I am, it may not seem like I’ve done that much so far. Though, other people who do CGI and are in the same league as me (amateur) know better. Flowing, more “organic” shapes like the main hull and even the engines/pylons aren’t that fast or easy to do. They require a lot of work and a lot of it isn’t anything that can be rushed. The main hull took two tries to get right. I had a few issues with how the final shape turned out on my first attempt, so I had to start all over again. I also had to do two tries for the engines/pylons, but that was easier. The engine shape was almost what I wanted, but it was slightly off. I could have lived with it if I didn’t hate my first version of the pylons. So, I had to redo the engines and pylons because they’re connected. I’ll separate them later, but I wanted to build them connected so that they’d flow together. Anyway, it was a long and tedious process to get where I am. There were some errors that have been connected.
Another thing that slowed things down was deciding if I should put the tower on there and what shape it would be. My first version had no tower:
Then I decided I wanted one, but my first attempt came out way too submarine-like:
So, there was quite a process involved in this. The only thing that went kind of quickly were the view ports. 😉 Note on those: the original Seaview from the film and the first season of the TV series had two rows of four separate view ports. For season two, the ship got a “refit,” which drastically changed a lot of things (including, apparently, the internal volume.) Aside from adding a large launch bay for their new mini sub to the bottom, they also removed the upper row of view ports and made the bottom row into two larger ports, each bisected by a girder. Why they did all this, I don’t know. Since I’m making a space ship and not the submarine, I decided to do my own thing and went with a single row of four separate ports. Behind them will be the ship’s command center.
So, that’s what I have so far.