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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm taking a temporary diversion from my current TOS Shuttlecraft drawings project to work on something that has been brewing for a very long time.

Firstly a little background. Way back several years ago (at least a decade or more) I was involved in co-conceiving and contributing to a little fanzine project called Trek 80 Plus. The basic idea was that we accepted the James Blish novel Spock Must Die! as the 80th TOS episode never aired and proceeded from there to tell stories set in the final year of the 5-year mission. We did very well with that zine as we endeavoured to tell stories with a distinct science fiction flavour faithful to the spirit and sensibilities of TOS.

That work (of which I still have the stories available) also fanned my growing disillusionment that Trek had really gone south from what it had once been and was getting increasingly worse...which sadly panned out as things progressed.

Out of that frustration was an interest in trying to create an original sf concept inspired by aspects of Star Trek (most particularly TOS) and other better sf in literature and onscreen. My initial idea was not surprisingly very Star Trek like although I'd taken great pains to develop it towards something more distinct in many aspects. I even went so far as to build a loose form of future chronology leading up to when my idea was set. Yet as I did this I constantly refined my ideas and finally elected to set my story in an earlier era of my future history, one that would still allow me to play with some favourite concepts yet in an ever fresher way.

Eventually I arrived at the idea of an era before the development of ftl travel when ships traveled at very high relativistic speeds (and yet this setting is still about 400-500 years in the future). This idea was inspired by two basic ideas I derived from Star Trek. First: I accepted the suggestion in BoT that the Romulans during the Earth/Romulan conflict of the 22nd century did not have warpdrive. What they did have were ships capable of high relativistic speeds and longer than human life spans. I adapted this idea for my human crew of the far future. Secondly I used the real science of relativity to adapt the idea of a "5-year mission." At speeds in excess of .9c a decades to centuries long voyage (in real time) could very well equate to a voyage of about 5-8 years for the ship's crew in terms of subjective shipboard time (and I have used the correct equation to do the math to support my idea).

These ideas supported my wish to get back to a, "Space, the final frontier" concept. The notion that our heroes were truly in deep space on their own and far beyond familiar territory never knowing what lay beyond the next star. Ironically all this was developed long before ENT came about and badly fumbled what otherwise could have been a worthwhile concept for a prequel series.

Finally I wanted to get back to the type of thinking Matt Jefferies displayed in his work and the, "these are the voyages of the starship..." concept. I gave a great deal of thought (and continue developing my ideas) into what my hero ship should look like and how it was meant to operate all the while striving for a distinctive look where form more than technobabble effectively conveyed the idea of very advanced science, technology and enginnering. And a lot of my thinking was inspired by ideas in sf literature much as TOS had done when it was conceived. I also perused many original images by sf artists and illustrators, most particularly those of John Berkey, Vincent Di Fate, Bob Eggleton and Bryan Hitch.

Another aspect of the design is also influenced by science albeit with artistic license. Interstellar space is not a true vacuum being replete with interstellar dust and debris. Except in the form of nebula this matter is largely invisible. The nebula we see from Earth is due to the extreme distances we view them from. If we were actually in the nebula we wouldn't see much of anything at all except for perhaps some discolouration of the stars overhead at night. The rest of the matter is invisible simply because it is so diffuse and widely didpersed. But something curious happens when you get up to speeds of .9c and higher. That invisible matter starts to exert pressure on a ship's hull. The pressure exerted is estimated to be roughly equivalent to the Earth's atmosphere at an altitude of ninety miles up. In such a cirumstance it would be beneficial for a starship to be somewhat streamlined (somewhat akin to a boat in watter or a plane in the air) to cut through the interstellar film.

The final element in my design is the very real world aspect that whenever we master a technology and engineering aesthetica considerations inevitable come into play. It's hardwired into our nature that most everything but perhaps the most rudimentary or most utilitarian of tools have aesthetic aspects designed into them. Sometimes it's partly born out of form-follows-function, but often enough we go beyond that.

Being interested in sf hardware it's no surprise that I think the ship is very important to my overall idea much the same way as GR, MJ and the TOS cast and crew understood what the Enterprise represented in Star Trek and what it conveyed.

Lastly my current working name for my idea is Farspace, and this is a name I conjured long befor the sci-fi show Fascape ever came into being.

Much of my overall technology and ship design is cemented and I'm currently working out the details. Posted below is a low resolution quick peak at the port elevation of my ship the C.R.V. Eagle (named after the Apollo 11 lunar lander, the first manned Earth ship to land upon another world. I'll be posting more detailed updated images as the project progresses.

And finally I'm collaborating with someone to eventually create a 3D cgi model of my ship and plan to make a sort of mini one or two minut film of the ship in action. Stay tuned.

 

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I can't see the picture, either.

Nebulae are visible because the particles they are composed of
are excited by the radiation given off by stars and proto-stars inside
or nearby. Some are illuminated by the wave-front of a star that
has exploded, or blown away its' outer shell.

If your ship was in such a nebula, it may not be visible as the pretty
thing we see from our great distance, but wouldn't there be a faint
glow, as though they were in a thin atmosphere?
 

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CaptFrank said:
I can't see the picture, either.

Nebulae are visible because the particles they are composed of
are excited by the radiation given off by stars and proto-stars inside
or nearby. Some are illuminated by the wave-front of a star that
has exploded, or blown away its' outer shell.

If your ship was in such a nebula, it may not be visible as the pretty
thing we see from our great distance, but wouldn't there be a faint
glow, as though they were in a thin atmosphere?
:confused:
 

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Still not working for me.

You also wrote that the matter in nebulae is "widely dispersed".
Not all are like that.
The Coal Sack, for one.
The matter will condense and form planets, and mostly stars.
Your ship is bound to enter one of these dense nebulae!
It would be like flying through clouds; now you can see, now
you can't!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is really odd. I uploaded that pic with a PC running Windows XP and I saw it clearly and as well as I do with my eMac. But at work the computers running Vista can't see the image.

I'll try reposting the image later.
 

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Kinda similar to some of the ship designs used on SciFi book covers for years... Usually really tall and with lots of bubble-windows, and of course, FLAMES coming out from the back!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
StarCruiser said:
Kinda similar to some of the ship designs used on SciFi book covers for years... Usually really tall and with lots of bubble-windows, and of course, FLAMES coming out from the back!
(-: No flames and no bubble windows.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hard to get flames when you're using negative energy or rather negative gravity as a stardrive. (-:

I did incorporate some submarine like aspects into the design. But if you turn it on its end the bulk of the forward section looks somewhat like a skewed V2 like rocket ship from the '50s, which isn't really accidental because I kinda started from that with such a silhouette in mind.

Yes I have more views already done, but I'm working out details on them first. The devil is in the details.
 
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