The ship's beautiful, but there are some small problems that shouldn't exist on a $25.00 ship.
1) Impulse engines are in the wrong place.
They should be on the back of the saucer. The "cut-outs" for them are already there, there's just nothing there..
2) There seems to be a bug with the "camera" being too far back. It makes it turn kind of weird (As if it's front-heavy) and when looking at it in the shipyard, it becomes obvious that the camera pivot point is too far aft.
3) The 1st option under Windows (when you're customizing the ship) removes all of the lifeboats and the windows look stretched and really really bad.
4) It seems badly scaled. It's bigger then an Akira and wider then a Sovereign. David Stipes, DS9 visual effects supervisor, said the Steamrunner was 244 meters long. It should be roughly half the size of an Akira.
5) It doesn't have any floodlights covering the name and registry on either the dorsal or ventral surfaces.
6) It's missing a shuttlebay. It's shuttlebay doors should be on the leading edge of the saucer, similar to the Akira.
7) The phaser strips aren't of uniform width. The dorsal and ventral phaser strips are "Narrower" then the strips on the rear of the saucer (which don't seem to be functional at all) and on the nacelles/deflector pod.
8) The "aztecking" doesn't line up. The lines on the saucer don't line up with the lines on the nacelles, etc.
9) The RCS thrusters (Square models) about half-way down the nacelles look like crap. I didn't even know they were supposed to be RCS thrusters until I looked at the ILM render. They're raised (when they shouldn't be), they're positioned badly (look like they were just tacked on) and don't have a texture. They're just kinda' redish-brown and... "bleh"-looking..
10) Some "reflection" on the bussard collector housings would be kind of nice.
11) Lifeboats overlap what appear to be equipment hatches and major seams in the hull. It just looks silly.
The model is pretty nice, but I get the feeling the texturing was rushed. The texturing and mapping looks like it was done by a 10-year-old in MS Paint.
There is no official canon reference to where the impulse engines are. Both of the images you linked are not canon.
On top of that, even if we did put the impulse engines on the back of the saucer, where those images point to, the impulse engines would exhaust directly into the rear pylons -- engineering so awful it's hard to let it fly. In any case, we never get a close enough shot of the canon version of the ship (as intended by the original creators) to get a good idea of where, exactly, they should be.
Generally, the pivots of cameras are balanced based on the mass & length of the ship, some ships are an exception, and can look strange, due to the strange shape of the ship. The Steamrunner is no exception, it's an oddly balanced ship, feeling heavy in the back, yet having most of it's mass in the saucer.
Odd, I'll look into that. Which version are you using? There are two, the low level & high level.
The low level one is indeed smaller than the higher level retrofit. The higher level retrofit is as close to canon scale (not 244 meters long) as it can be, she's no small ship.
Generally, if no scale is directly mentioned in the show, we go off window size, escape pod size, and bridge section, if applicable.
Being the case, we went with the larger, more reasonable size of ~350 meters. Even at that length, the ship is indeed wider than the Akira.
The scales are guesses, since there is no official IP reference, just soft canon.
That's canon, unfortunately.
That's not entirely true, the only canon reference to the front end is a blurry golden blur of texture. Also, in canon, we see the Steamrunner fire a phaser beam from the front edge of the saucer in a couple of the DS9 battles.
Again, it's kind of canon. The canon model has barely visible phaser strips. It's arguable if some of them are even phaser strips. In any case, they're completely flat on the canon ship, I suppose we took some creative liberty here. As for their lack of function, you might not be using enough beam weapons to utilize them.
This is one of those things we sacrifice for the sake of customization. Every ship has this same "issue"
Still more detailed than the IP model, much like the phasers, creative liberty was taken to make them seem more apparent than they are on the canon ship, which they're hardly visible on, due to being purely a background ship.
Some of the newer ship materials have this effect.
Again, this is one of the things that are sacrificed for the sake of customization, hull materials in this case.
Thanks for those replies, very insightful.
I think you should go with floodlights, anyway. You are taking liberty with the phaser strips and it's fine. Floodlights are way too cool to be completely omitted on this little beauty.
I do agree with the OP, though, that the ship feels a little too big, compared to Akiras and Defiants. Not that there is much canon material, of course.
give jamjams a break, i think he made an extreamly nice looking ship considering how poor the canon filming model for reference is. all the ships he has made have been incredibly nice looking, i would say beter then even Logan's work. i would pay for a remodeld from scratch akira, soverign, intrepid and a further touched up galaxy from him. could release them as a 'refit variant' or something. i'd really like to see the old, canon models get some love instead of nothing but all new ship looking great. at least i know the ambassador is in good hands.
the considerations for in game functionality need to be remembered though, it cant look like a photo realistic filming model. heres what the filming model actually looks like. that gold up front is just a display error in the model viewer, it never appeared like that on screen- https://drexfiles.wordpress.com/2009...mrunner-class/
the ship is actually correctly sized, its a lot bigger then people seem to think it is, hope the norway turns up before too long too.
i have had some minor issues with it, but over all im very happy with how it turned out
1)the impulse engines should have been on the body, regardless of exhaust trails. the excelsior refit seems to do alright with its 2 extra engines washed with exhaust.
impulse engines in trek are actually mini warp engines anyway, they can move the ship so fast that they have to generate a subspace field so they arent effected by time dilation. they are just 'geared' to work best at sub light speed.
2) the ventral array, on the bottom, i like the way they were done in ST: legacy like this http://i45.tinypic.com/30k4t4x.jpg
3) the DHC hardpoints, i would have liked them in the nose like the DC hardpoints are
4) instead of an escort thats basically better then a fleet patrol, it should have been a federation vorcha, a maneuverable cruiser that can mount DHCs
You could've got away with not putting any visible impulse engine exhausts on the ship, much like the Nebula-class! :D
Wow, I'm surprised this has gotten so much attention! Thanks for taking the time to answer back on some of my concerns! I'm glad we can have this discussion. :)
Note--no lifeboats, weird-looking "barcode"-ish windows.
This isn't a big deal, I'm just a purist when it comes to this particular ship. She's always been one of my favorites. :)
Also note that the gold "blur' on the ILM model happened when someone converted it to Maya, and it wasn't like that originally.
I hope we can continue this conversation and get this girl looking as good as she deserves to!
I love seeing some action in this part of the forums.
I'm in the change the impulse engines crew as well, I'm pretty sure the Akiras impulsers line up with some struts as well, so that shouldn't be much of an issue IMO. (I do agree that it probably has functional issues though). When you look at the original cgi model it definitely feels like they would go there too.
Lights have been an issue for many people in steam runner threads so I think it should get some floods as well.
Asking for this work is kind of unfair, so I will say my usual bit in threads like this and say keep the original version too, there are probably many people silently loving it.
@JamzJamz: stop being so defensive man, accept some Feedback.
I agree that the Ship just feels to big, compared to anything else in game, completely without any canon reference material to start with.
Without pulling any theoretical numbers out of my rear end, the Bridgecake alone is indication enough if you place it near any other Ship that it is at least 2 times too big. *gut feeling*
I agree that Impulse Engines belong on the Saucer, we have never seen them placed anywhere else in the Show on any Ship (unless it had no saucer to start with).
Placing impulse engines on the nacelle struts is a pure Star Trek Online thing, i don't mind it on completely new Ships like the Odyssey, but on the Steamrunner it seems just wrong.
If there are not good enough visuals on the actual video material i think it is ok to go looking further into Models that were sold of those Ships (usually licensed and pretty detailed products) and if those don't exist go looking at Fanmade Versions of the Ship.
After looking at various pictures i'd say it is very well established that the impulse engines go on the Saucer after all, even if it is not so on the original ILM *background* model.
(btw. the Doug Drexler Rendering has skewed textures because he rendered it in the wrong program, there was a quote in his Blog about that...)
a good scale to shoot for:
lots of detail you would never find on screen:
a non canon render but i like the blue glow on the nacelles (maybe something to make optional?):
+1 impulse engine placement...
Steamrunner - Dominion Wars (another licensed product)
Star Trek - Armada 2 model:
registry number is lit here (and it looks good!):
Resin Kit by Starcraft (probably licensed and includes impulse engines)
if that isn't enough material to convince you to change the impulse engines and re-evaluate the scale... *shrug* i did all that i can to help here.
Bought the thing of steam, looked at it, wasn't impressed *not using it as is*, not the first ship in STO i bought and then didn't use.
Second-favorite design in First Contact after the Sovereign. Some people loved the Akira, I personally loved the Steamrunner.
I have a vested interest in this ship, since I plan on flying it for an extremely long time, and I'd only like to say this once.
First off, I'm extremely glad the Steamrunner is in the game. I have wanted it in the game since launch. I waited (almost) three years for this ship, and I want it to be worth my wait.
The windows/lifeboat texture thing is correct. It would appear there is a bug, since the ship seems to have been intended to have the orange ovular-shaped windows (the kind I wanted to use, actually). The bridge area itself has this window scheme, but the rest of the ship has the long blue barcode-like windows that really don't look appropriate or aesthetically pleasing.
I also echo sentiments that if you're basing canon off of a low-resolution CGI model that's barely seen, and never up close -- to go to the original designer's works as to what was intended compared to what was on-screen. You're already improving the ship design for STO, you might as well at least try to aim for what the original designer had in mind.
That said, I'll now completely contradict myself by saying that I prefer the impulse engines on the nacelle pylons. Namely because I agree that impulse engine wash over the pylons isn't that aesthetically pleasing. That's one key reason I didn't like playing the Galaxy-X or the Excelsior Retrofit (Enterprise-B version). The impulse engine trails into the pylons or nacelles just don't look right.
Personally, I think ships in STO should take a page from the 2009 release of TOS on blu-ray. Blu-ray gave the viewer the option to see things in their original effects, or using 'enhanced effects' generated by the 2006 remastering of TOS using modern-day technology. While it didn't give klingons ridges (even though Roddenberry originally wanted them to), it did improve special effects and ship designs like the S.S. Botany Bay, which was now appropriately damaged by the extremely long time it spent in space, and was more visually accurate to Spock's description of the Botany Bay being scarred with meteorite impacts, and had a docking port on the conning tower at the insistance of a NASA engineer who said a ship built in the 1990's would have a similar port to dock with the International Space Station.
Improve ship designs based on what was intended, while allowing the 'original' design for die-hard purists who prefer their Steamrunner design based off low-resolution CGI from 20 years ago. The Excelsior and Excelsior Retrofit is the closest this idea has come to in STO (given the various impulse engine and warp nacelle options).
The ship name and registry having a floodlight would be really nice, though.
Of course, that might also open the gates to improving other canon ship designs. Namely the Nebula having appropriate impulse engines (for example). I don't buy (and never did buy) the designer's excuse that the Nebula didn't 'need' impulse engines because technology had improved so much. I think he was just covering his rear-end to defend the fact that maybe he forgot to add them to begin with and didn't want to be caught looking stupid in front of Trek fans. So he made up the whole 'The Nebula is so advanced, it no longer needs traditional impulse engines!' excuse.
And I do agree the Steamrunner seems a bit too big. But I've more or less thrown in the towel when it comes to getting some sensible scaling in the game. The only thing that Cryptic budged on was the scaling of the DS9 exterior model, and I'm willing to take that as my only victory. There is too much contradictory evidence in the movies, shows, and a lot of other media on what ship is what size and what dimension. That's the reasoning Cryptic has fallen back on, and as much as I'd like to disagree with them -- it's a pretty solid excuse. If you make an exception for one thing, you have to make an exception for everything. Scaling was very contradictory in the shows and movies.
If you're going to decide what to base ship/station scales off of, put all possible reasons on post-it notes, put them on a dart board, then throw a dart at it, and you pick whatever post-it note the dart hits -- it had might as well be window-size. It's just as solid a reason as anything else.
Designers make mistakes. It's normal. It happens in real life architecture and design, it happens in movie-making, it happens in video games and STO.
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