I got a bit more done on the ship. I added some panel lines to the upper saucer and some blue stuff to the nacelles.
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.
I bashed together a Hermes class scout. For those of you doing the math, yes, it’s the same design as the Saladin class destroyer. The main difference is that the destroyer variant has more weapons. However, in canon, there are two scout ships that have been name whose class was never revealed, but their names and registries come from the Starfleet Technical manual. Those ships are the USS Columbia NCC-621 and the USS Revere, NCC-595. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the Columbia is being ordered to rendezvous with the Revere during the establishing shot of the Epsilon IX station. So, I chose to make mine one of those scouts, the Revere.
The build was, obviously, mostly just rearranging parts from my Constitution class, with only a few parts to make. Then I made some new texture maps for the changed name and registry. I also moved one of the lines on the neck forward, to between the vents and the windows. So, it’s pretty simple, but it adds another ship to the fleet.
A little piece of artwork I did based on the classic TOS episode Elaan of Troyius. Elaan wasn’t necessarily the best episode, nor was it the worst, but it did give one of the best ships ever for Star Trek, the Klingon Battlecruiser. The ship was seen briefly as it chased the Enterprise, firing its disruptors. Thanks to a screwy airing order, the D7 wound up being first seen in The Enterprise Incident, representing a handful of Romulan ships, but in production order it first appeared in this episode. So, this is my take on the chase.
This is my first composition image in a long time, so be gentle. 😛
I decided not to do any paneling on the ship. It’s not hard to do or anything, I just really like how the ship looks. Besides, I went through so much to try and match the colors of the ship in the Smithsonian, why make it look totally different with some hull panels? So, I’m calling this done (for now.) I decided to render some beauty shots. I did a few renders with a single light, and a pass from each camera with the light turned off to use as illumination passes. I had the ship shots saved to .png files, so I dropped those against a starfield I made in GIMP a couple years ago, comped in my illumination passes, and we have some beauty shots:
For those who like specs:
Length: 288.6 meters
Width: 127.8 meters
Height: 69.3 meters
For those who are wondering, I took the blueprints and selected the ship only, then took the dimensions of the sheets, converted the pixels to meters, then created a cube with those dimensions. I then scaled the ship up to the canon length of 288.6 meters. That means the generally accepted canon width of 127.1 meters is slightly off, and the height of 72.6 meters is significantly off. And, it’s not a symptom of the blueprints I’m using, I’ve done the same thing with other blueprints, all of which were created by taking measurements of the model, and I always get a height of over 69 meters, but less than 70. So, I don’t know where the 72.6 meters came from. (and I don’t really care)
9 texture maps (least amount I’ve done on a model in ages)
All told, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Aside from not thinking the panels were going to look right, I also concluded that there’s no reason you can’t paint a ship in solid colors. If you look at real world examples, Navy ships are typically solid gray. I decided to keep the shine levels low, but not quite flat like the paint on the original ship. It’s got a kind of satin finish to it. The only really shiny bits are the glass domes and metallic parts.
Anyway, that’s what I have. I’ll be kitbashing this thing to create more models.
I got the color maps done. For the most part, this is all easy stuff to do. Though, some things are more of a pain, like getting the stupid little numbers on the engineering hull close to where they needed to be. But, stuff like that happens when you put stuff onto a tube and you’re working from flat images.
All that’s left to do on this one is the spec maps, which shouldn’t take too long. I can usually knock out some paneling rather quickly. Also, I need to add a material to my window boxes to make it look like the ship has an interior. I’ll probably do a procedural texture for that.
This is a render I did to test how the bussards look, and I think I finally got them were I want them. I also got the color map done for the saucer top. I’m probably going to lighten the grid lines a lot. They’re correctly colored for graphite, though, which is a nod to them being put on with pencil on the original ship.
The materials are coming along. I’ve tried to mach the colors of the ship from the TV show as best I can. Of course, nobody really knows what the colors were 50+ years ago. I used Gary Kerr’s painting guide for the ship, as Gary has tried his best to match what the colors were. Two places where I’ll definitely go off of canon, sort of, are with hull paneling and weathering. If you count TOS Remastered, the paneling is canon. My paneling will be subtle, but I want it to be there for realism and for looks. Another realism choice I’m making is to not do all that weathering they did on the TOS Enterprise. The reason for this is that it’s unrealistic that a ship is going to get dirty flying through space. While the are things that will mark up your hull, that would mean that the hull integrity is compromised and that would be fixed at a Starbase. But, there aren’t really any circumstances where a ship will pick up dirt flying through space. There just isn’t going to be dirt in concentrations in a vacuum. Even nebula gas isn’t as tightly concentrated as it’s depicted on these shows. Also, the navigational deflector and other systems would keep most of that stuff off of your hull. While it is canon that the TOS ship has all that weathering, it’s also keeping in universe to not do it, as other ships don’t have all that. Back in the ’60s, nobody really knew much about space travel. Astronauts were actually kept in quarantine when they returned in case they picked up any illnesses in space. Obviously, it was later realized that didn’t happen and that practice was dropped. I believe the weathering was applied for the same reason, because they didn’t know any better. It’s possible that, when they had more scientific advisors in the 1970s and onward that someone let them know that the ship wouldn’t pick up all that crap flying through space.
So, with all that, this is where it stands:
The bussards are a work in progress, but I like how they’re going so far. Also, ignore the sensor domes, that was an experiment that didn’t work so well. For textures, I’ll have 10 4K maps to make; color and specular maps for the saucer top, saucer bottom, engineering hull, and both nacelles. I’ve also got a couple smaller maps to make, for the teardrop and underneath the shuttlebay, as both have markings on them that will need to be textured. Also, I may do a texture for the impulse vents. Everything else is just going to be the colors they are. This pretty much matches the paint that’s done on physical models, as it’s usually just a solid color. There’s no need to texture solid colors. 😉