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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
02-03-2011, 11:44 AM
Originally Posted by NeilCell View Post
I am all for more ships added to STO, but I would strongly suggest that the graphics artists stick to the traditional layout of a Saucer, two (or four nacelles), and an engineering hull. The Long Range Science Vessle is ok, but really should have had a clearly defined Saucer. The Star Cruiser was much more in line with the tradtional designs, but it could have a more rounded saucer. It was a good start and I encourage the design teams to contiune to bring us more ships.
Well, as I said above, the Long Range Science Vessel DOES fit the design of Federation starships if you include the design of the Voyager in the consideration. Voyager wasn't Roddenberry's design, but it DOES fit the configuration of the two nacelles, engineering hull, and a main body, only that main body is now an arrowhead and not a saucer.

Second, there are many ship designs, totally canon in the Star Trek universe, that do NOT have an engineering hull. The Miranda, Sabre, Akira, Nebula, and even the original NX Enterprise have just a saucer and two warp nacelles with NO engineering hull, and these are all canon ships from the movies, TNG, and DS9, which Rodenberry was involved in. And the Olympic, with its sphere in place of a saucer, was based on an early design for the TOS Enterprise, and appeared in TNG and DS9.

The Prometheus appeared in Voyager, as well, so only the Oracle (the LRSV) the Luna (designed by fans for a ST novel series) the Hermes, the Vanguard and the various reskins of the base ship types are completely invented by STO. To my mind, I don't think they've done a bad job of capturing the look of Star Trek ships in general. Even the Stargazer, with its four nacelles (although they were in a different configuration, positioned close together above and below the ship) and the Galaxy refit with its three nacelles were feature in actual Star Trek episodes. If those designs with multiple nacelles are invalid, then they are invalid in canon ST episodes.

BTW, I think that I should point out an explanation I have heard as to why the Enterprise is such a beautiful, as well as relevent and long lasting design, which has successfully been expanded on and updated without losing its beauty. You essentially have a combination between the feminine, in the form of the main saucer hull, with the masculine, in its nacelles and engineering section. Thus, the ship conveys both strength and power, and yet also a sense of comfort and safety. It is a "home" for the characters, and so we identify with it.

You also have a sense of stability in the triangle formed by the warp nacelles and the engineering hull, which in many of the science ships is reversed, to put the warp nacelles below, and the "science pod" above. The article you linked to also points out an important factor, which is that the warp nacelles are ALWAYS visible, from any angle on the ship. (For the Voyager, this is accomplished by actually moving them before going to warp) The article implies there is a technological reason for this, but asthetically it enforces the "tripod" structure and ensures the power source of the ship is obvious to the viewer.