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A New Ship for the End of the Year 
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Well, friends, it took a lot longer than I had originally expected (the better part of six months, in fact), but I figured out a way to get my computer out of storing and up and running in the area where I’m currently staying. It’s not exactly comfortable, but I can work with it. Frankly, I’d been going a little stir-crazy from not being able to work on anything except by pencil and paper, and I’ve gotten so used to doing things with Corel over the last few years (not to mention having most of my references and working models built into it) that pencil work doesn’t really cut it for me anymore.

I decided to start off with something I’d played around with a bit before I shut down operations in June: the light transport off of the Modular Fleet Chart. I’d actually built the light saucer parts for the Achernar era towards the beginning of the year, but I never did finish downsizing the PB-47. That’s what occupied me most of yesterday evening and all of today. The basic hull layout was something I could and did work out on scratch paper, since it was largely a modification of the basic cargo container. In any case, I have a few WIPs for you to take a look at:

http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k160/ ... n_View.png
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k160/ ... t_View.png
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k160/ ... w_View.png
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k160/ ... n_View.png
http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k160/ ... l_View.png

I had to make a couple of unplanned modifications to the general layout from the Chart. I wound up lengthening the tow module after I noticed that the tow pad layouts were slightly different on the small, medium, and full-size modules I constructed when I was working on the Ptolemy series. Since I foresee her being able to haul a maximum of two smalls or one full container, I needed to make sure that the tow pad assembly in the housing could fit any one of the three. I also needed to increase the beam of the housing a little bit. I don’t think it’s practical to slather the modules with Vaseline before sliding them in :) , so a little clearance between module and container was a must. If you look carefully at the stern WIP, you’ll see a series of circles at the front of the tow housing. These are tractor beam guides for loading and unloading. There’s a corresponding set of such emitters along the sides as well, but I didn’t feel like doing a cutaway to show where they are. The little arc sticking out at the top of the tow module is the tow pad assembly. With such a tight fit, my concept is that the pad is retractable and only extends once the cargo container is in place and ready for hard docking.

It was fun trying to come up with a workable concept that still retained most of the basic design from aridas’ chart, although I think the open layout of the Ptolemy series is a much more practical design. I have a tentative registry for her, but I haven’t come up with a name that I like quite yet. I’m open to suggestions for that. I’m also not quite sure how large to make the class. The way I’ve been thinking, the Ptolemys and Keplers are the large, long-range haulers. Their cargoes would be broken down into smaller containers, with the medium and light transports handling the intermediate and short-range supply missions. This ship and the medium one I’ve got cooking in my head are supposed to be rough contemporaries of Kepler, which has 15 members in her class. Anyone have any ideas as to how large I should make the two classes?

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27 Nov 2015 01:22
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The way I had it worked out, there might be very large supply bases in each subquadrant. There would be a need for the Ptolemy type large auxilliary to get transportables from one of these to these bases. They are defensible transport platforms that can act in a tactical role if needed. From the main supply bases, the medium auxilliaries would take pods to the various starbases and other main subquad installations. And from there, the small auxilliaries would ferry out to the fleet units.

So you can imagine that if there are nine subquads (including the central core) there might be literally hundreds of the big auxilliaries at any one time moving materiel to the main supply bases. Ptolemy-class and others. Maybe 300-400 total. Then perhaps six mediums for every one large (one for each point of the celestial compass) or ~2000. And then again six small for each of those, or as many as 12,000 or more.

It really makes you think that the modular structure you see on a Constitution is not what makes it special. It might be the frame it is installed on, and certainly the way it is outfitted. But its overall structure may be rather undistinguished and shared with thousands of other ships. That then explains how the whole Franz Joseph (probably from Matt Jefferies) concept of multiple types sharing the same saucer isn't really what is happening at all. It just looks like it.

I disagree on a zero tolerance sleeve to wrap the fractional containers. If this technology we imagine can't do that, it can't do the rest of this stuff. Besides, what looks like direct contact to our eye would have atomic level tolerances that their scanners and tractors could discern and navigate. Further, I didn't imagine that as some big metal ring. It is an intelligent flex material that expands and contracts to accomodate what it is surrounding, within limits.

The important thing to remember as I see it is that these attack auxilliaries are a special breed. They are armed transports. But not just any armed transports. They can receive a tactical pod and become a warship. They will still be limited by their internal frame and systems limitations, but some of that can be ameliorated by the pod. I sort of see these ships as the true workhorse heart of Star Fleet. When you go to the Academy, THIS is the duty you are signng for. Frigates? Cruisers? PAs? They make up a small fraction of the fleet, but the most important small fraction that is definitely supported by all this transport command, shore installation, etc. But tens of thousands of auxiliaries that can fight put an entirely different spin on a fleet that seems spread very, very thin.

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-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia Query XVII, 1783

"...here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." -Thomas Jefferson, 1820


27 Nov 2015 13:01
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Oooookay....

Been a good long while since I posted anything here or over at Treknographics (lots of stuff going on, moved to a new apartment, etc), and I still haven't gotten my beast out of storage. Still, I managed to get a few things worked on and done before I had to pull the plug, and I was able to upload some stuff to Photobucket.

Wyndham

After I put up the initial WIPs back in November, I made a few adjustments to her layout based on some comments aridas made. These largely involved changing the diameter of the tow pad collar slightly, and these in turn required adjustments to the nacelle elevations on the bow, stern, and side views. While all of this was going on, I had been rereading a book by John Wyndham, Rebirth, which I hadn't read in almost forty years. Since I needed a name for this ship, I elected to use his. While I finished these views several months ago, I never got around to posting them until now. So, then, here is the album for the initial configuration of Wyndham:

http://s87.photobucket.com/user/MLJames ... figuration


I knew going into this project that I was eventually going to do a linear-drive version after I finished the original set, but I hadn't made up my mind which nacelle to use. For a while I toyed with the idea of equipping her with the 3rd generation SCNN engine I designed for Khafre, but I'd more or less decided to use that design on pure TMP-era ships. That would mean redesigning all the remaining hull components to match, something I really had neither the time nor the desire to do at that moment. Going with the old, reliable LN-52 saved me a lot of work, although I hadn't yet finished doing a light-scale version of the engine. As it turned out, the most time-consuming part of the refit version ended up being the engine struts. Between dissatisfaction with their layout and a few bonehead errors, I wound up doing six or seven passes before I finally finished them. Other than that, the only real change was adding a set of photon torpedo tubes to her. Here are the uprated views:

http://s87.photobucket.com/user/MLJames ... figuration

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06 Sep 2016 18:26
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Didn't want to overload the field, so I decided to split this into two posts.

Qrna

My plans for the beginning of the year were to start out by doing the light and medium versions of the transport back to back. Once Wyndham was complete, I set to work on Qrna. (Her name is based on an abbreviation I used a lot at my job late last year. With a little bit of alteration to the spelling, it seemed a suitably unusual name for her.) Timeline-wise, I had it in my head that she was built in the late 2250s, close to the time that the unusual engine configurations for the various versions of Kepler were being worked on. That gave me the freedom to play around with the layout of the ship as she appeared on the Modular Fleet Chart. I still intended to do a set of drawings of her in that configuration for completeness' sake, but I wanted to start out with a layout that would make it easy for me to install the linear engines in the revised set. Anyway, this is the Chart configuration:

http://s87.photobucket.com/user/MLJames ... t%20Layout

Once the chart layout was complete, I started working on the revised version. You'll note that this file folder has a subfolder. I was nearly finished with this set of drawings when I realized I'd made a serious blunder in terms of engine placement. It wasn't apparent until I started working with the various views at the same time. My first pass with the engines resulted in the engine domes sitting much less than a meter from the keel plates on the outer saucer rim. I could see a scenario where a high-speed, high-stress maneuver might warp the struts and bang the nacelles into the hull. Not good, and the scenario for engine jettison looked even scarier. Fortunately, the solution turned out to be pretty simple; all I had to do was shift the engines further aft. The subfolder has the corrected views for top, bottom, port and starboard (the bow and stern views didn't need to be altered):

http://s87.photobucket.com/user/MLJames ... a/Qrna%201

When I started work on the final, linear-warp version, it didn't take me long to work out that the best placement for the nacelles involved a horizontal strut arrangement, one lacking the jointed layout used on Endeavor's struts. I decided to take this opportunity to dispense with the trapezoid shape of the struts as well. It made the drawing a lot simpler, and by this point I'd been working on the transports for long enough that I was getting close to the end of my enthusiasm for the project. Without further ado, I present Qrna, revised:

http://s87.photobucket.com/user/MLJames ... a/Qrna%202

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06 Sep 2016 18:33
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Dude, that linear version is fantastic. It completely works. I hated my Kepler's problems with obstruction and have always excised it from my FRS mental canon. THIS is the way all of the linear pod carriers should be configured. Just one thing- you need to find a place for the commissioning pennant. 8-)

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"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others."
-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia Query XVII, 1783

"...here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." -Thomas Jefferson, 1820


07 Sep 2016 17:06
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About the only place I can think of would be painted on the vertical edge of the tow pad sides. I did something like that on an early pen-and-ink version many, many moons ago (cue Roaring Chicken voice from F Troop :lol: ). Be real small print, though.

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07 Sep 2016 19:34
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New image links:

Wyndham: http://imgur.com/a/GD6M8

Wyndham, with engines relocated above the tow module: http://imgur.com/a/Gr7YW

Wyndham, uprated: http://imgur.com/a/0HoWZ

Qrna, based on Modular Chart layout: http://imgur.com/a/vxEKq

Qrna, first draft: http://imgur.com/a/PoF1L

Qrna, line version: http://imgur.com/a/p2VO5

Qrna, uprated: http://imgur.com/a/p5tUW

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06 Jul 2017 18:22
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