It’s not much, but I’ve been playing with a possible way of adding text to the ship using the heat shrink tool in Lightwave. I’ve never used this tool before, but I like it. I may or may not go this route for the final text, but this at least gives me a look at the placement of the text and a visual guide for where it’s going to be when I want to add other details. The only minor drawback to this method is that it “floats” slightly over the hull and casts a shadow, but that’s an easily fixed issue. Other methods include simply texturing it or actually stenciling it onto the hull. Anyway, I did some renders to see how it looks, so I might as well share them.
I got the basics of the bridge module in. It’s similar to ones I’ve done in the past. It channels some Enterprise refit, Excelsior and Voyager love. This also gives the ship a spine.
And, speaking of spines, mine is requesting that I take a break from working on this and watch the latest episode of Picard, and maybe play some Doom 64 on the XBOX One. OK, my spine isn’t really requesting Picard or Doom, but that’s what’s about to happen. 😉
So, I decided to do a new Star Trek ship. It’s totally from the depths of my brain, but I’m of course taking some inspiration from existing designs. The general idea is for it to fit in with the late TNG-era. The general idea an expansion of what was mentioned in more than one episode, which is that the Federation started building more warships with the Borg and Dominion threat. (not to mention that little skirmish with the Klingons) So, this ship is a frigate, which is, by definition, a fast and maneuverable warship. Apart from spending time on the front lines of conflicts, the ship would be very useful for defense, patrolling the Federation borders or defending outposts such as Federation planets and starbases. It’s on the small side, only 200m long, but it’s designed for maximum speed and maneuverability for a ship of its size. It has sparse crew accommodations and little in the way of science capabilities. Instead, most of its power systems are optimized for engines, weapons and defensive systems. The ship isn’t designed to be on its own for more than a few months at a time. Instead, it will usually be attached to a fleet, planet or base.
Anyway, this is what I have so far:
I have the main elements mostly put in, with only the bridge module still to add. Then it’s down to detail work.
So, when I start a collection, I don’t do things in half measures. I got hooked on these little Eaglemoss Star Trek ships a few months ago, and I haven’t been able to stop buying them. I have a dozen of them now:
Most of these are direct from Eaglemoss, though a few are from Ebay and Amazon.
So, this is where I’m at with this little funky design.
The underside is pretty flat right now, so I’m not showing it just yet. After several attempts to redo the secondary hull to something I like, I wound up just going with what I had before, but with some modifications. Right now, this ship is around 81.5m long, 45.6m wide and 11.35m tall. It’s going to get taller when I add a bridge and something to the bottom. As previously stated, this is a support ship, so it’s nothing that is going to have to survive for long periods of time on its own. I’m also thinking it doesn’t have a very big crew, maybe 15 or so. It would likely mostly be used for transport duties, possibly the occasional scouting or scientific mission. It also would likely be used for defense.
The square part in the back is going to be for a shuttlebay, I’m thinking it only carries one shuttle. I’m not planning on giving it the ability to land, as landing gear would take up too much of the finite internal space. That’s what transporters are for. Anyway, that’s what I have for now.
This is an idea I’ve been playing around with for a while. I don’t know if it’s going any further than this. The idea is that this is a very small ship. It’s not something that would go into deep space or on missions of long duration. Even with pattern replication, a ship this small simply couldn’t sustain itself long term. It could be a support ship for a Starbase, or something like that.
But, I’m not really sure I like it all that well, so it may just go away. But this is what I’ve been working on lately.
It took a while to come up with a navigational deflector design that I like. Ctrl+Z and Delete were used a lot during the process. 😉 One thing I don’t like are what I call “lazy” deflectors, where somebody just adds a texture with some glow. For ships from the ’90s, such as the CGI ships in First Contact and Deep Space Nine, I get why they did that. They were rendering on ancient computers with no processing power and they needed to save memory usage where they could. However, in this day and age, there’s no good reason to not add some real detail to bits like a nav deflector. I finally settled on a dish that juts out a bit as a nod to the original ship. Behind it, I wanted something more than just a glow. I noticed that Voyager has vanes in front with the glowing bit behind that, so I decided to go with something like that. The vanes were a royal pain to do, but I figured them out. Eventually, I’ll do a gradient (probably a texture) so that the center glows brightly and it fades out towards the sides, like the one on Voyager does.
I started on the weapons with the dorsal saucer phaser arrays. Being a destroyer, this ship is going to be well armed. The cut-out section in the front is going to be a weapons cluster, with torpedo launchers and pulse phasers. There will also be rear torpedo launchers and type 10 phasers all over the place. I also added the escape pods. I based mine on the pods from the Vesta class, designed by Mark Rademaker. The Vesta class has pods similar to the ones from the Sovereign class (and, due to photos of the Ent-E being used to texture them, the Steamrunner and Akira classes) but they’re slightly different. Instead of being inset in grooves, they’re protruding slightly. Also, the scale on the ones on those other ships is questionable, where Mark has designed his to a specific size, which is how I like to do things too. He illustrated on Scifi-Meshes recently that the pods can hold 10 people. There are 30 pods on my ship, giving it a 300 person evacuation limit. (not counting shuttles) I don’t figure the ship has a crew anywhere near that size, but it is a combat ship and may be called upon to beam up people from a planet or from a ship that’s in distress. Then, if it’s destroyed, those people need to get off the ship somehow. 😉
I fixed the error in the grid lines. If you don’t know what the error was, that’s fine. However, suffice to say, there was an error and now there’s not. It involved some surgical removal and cutting and pasting, but it’s all better now. 😉 I also added port/starboard docking ports to the saucer. I have them a bit farther forward than I normally would because the impulse engines are going to go on the back edges of the saucer and I don’t want the ports there due to the impulse internal components. I also added some RCS thrusters, which it’s OK to have near the impulse engines. (it all has to do with movement 😉 ) And, lastly I added some windows. I may do a few more, but this is probably going to be most of them. I know, some people think a destroyer shouldn’t have windows because they’re weak spots, but most Federation ships have them. Besides, I looked up real destroyers on Wikipedia and some have portholes, some don’t.