I preffer the "same design, larger doors" idea, if it must be the same design. The "same design, larger everything" idea is not how design works. If it's bigger all over, it's not gonna look exactly like the ESD, it's gonna look like it's own thing.
Basically same stuff I said in the K'Vort thread. The image was just a FVX shortcut, and if push comes to shove should be redone and retconned. It's made up, so the people making it up are gonna make mistakes that need to be fixed from time to time. It does less damage to the world of Star Trek to redo the design and assume it was always like that than it does to break logic trying force daft justifications around the half-arsed original. Treating every nut and bolt as immutable reality once it's seen on screen, regardless of how that tortures logic or the setting, is an OCD way of completely missing the point IMO.
Last edited by connectamabob; 12-23-2012 at 02:21 PM.
Obviously the details get changed in the process. An example would be how the 777 is a scaled up 707. It's not the same design in a larger size. But from the outside it looks almost like it. The 707-120 is ~144 feet long. The 777-300 is ~242 feet long.
The aircraft have the same design elements and many internal similarities, so it's conceivable that this is the same sort of difference between the Fed starbases....
That's a more specific cherry-picked sort of engineering situation, and the difference in scale is relatively small. With a general-purpose airframe, as long as your ratios for drag, engine power, fuel space needs, and average velocity are comparable, you can get away with just using the same shape with slightly larger volume.
It's different with space ships (and more specialized aircraft, and most other real world stuff). Shape is determined by components, support systems, maintenance needs, etc. Every shape and angle is determined by a host of things and how they interact. Change the size, you change the weight, which changes the power requirements, which changes the fuel and heat-management requirements, all of which changes the maintenance requirements, which changes the crew requirements, which changes utilities and crew space requirements, and it goes on and on like that.
And then there's the cost efficiency: your space station is twice as big, so the guts are completely different, but you want to use a standard hull shape to reduce costs for that component. Well, it won't reduce manufacturing/tooling cost, since although it's the same shape, the frame and panel components won't be the same because the materials and manufacturing methods will behave differently and have different needs on different scales. So you still have to re-engineer it as if it was a new hull design anyway, just to make the same shape work on a different scale. Remember that distinction: past a certain scale, it can't actually physically be a rescaling of the same construction or engineering anymore, just a rescaling of the same abstract shape. Then you've gotta rearrange the guts so they fit in a configuration friendly to that shape, which may not be the optimal efficient arrangement for those components at that scale, or may even force new problems that you have to engineer or kluge your way around. On top of that, all that work-around engineering inefficiency means designing a new hull to allow the guts to be arranged in their own optimal fashion would likely result in a hull which requires less material to build than the scaled-up shape.
Even if only a quarter of those turn out to be the case, or are only partially the case, you're still gonna run up against a point fairly early in the process where simply designing a new hull is more efficient and cost effective than designing around a scaled up preexisting hull shape.
So yeah, it does happen in real life, but only under relatively specific and constrained circumstances, making examples cherry-picking rather than substantial arguments for the practice.
But more importantly, since we're talking about made-up stuff here rather than actual engineering (though that does matter for verisimilitude, otherwise I wouldn't be arguing the point), it's creatively lazy, inherently less visually interesting than a new design would be, and makes the fictional feel world smaller & shallower rather than bigger and deeper.
There is no reason to endorse such a thing other than an OCD clinging to the idea that all original images MUST represent some kind of immutable reality and as such cannot be questioned or changed, logic, aesthetics, continuity, drama, or verisimilitude all be damned.
...And even if you do go with it being the same shape rescaled, literally every detail on it is going to look different. Panel texture and thickness, piping, windows, hanger size and placement, edge and trench thicknesses, door design/structure and inset, that cluster of buildings and antennae on top, and even color palette. Only the plainest, most broad-strokes, low-res subsurf geometry shapes should be the same. It would still look like a completely different station not just a cut/paste of Spacedock. That goes for the K'Vort too, given the size difference even at the minimum estimates.
Last edited by connectamabob; 12-24-2012 at 03:33 PM.
The point I was making is that, IRL, people are quite willing to go to the work of making a "new" design that looks the same as the old design, but bigger.
In the case of SB74, it's a space station, most of the similarities are in the way things are organized. It's undoubtedly a much larger task to redesign a Starbase that measures miles in diameter than a 707, but it's still the same principle.
And truthfully... the exterior look of it is cosmetic. The 7x7 series of aircraft built by Boeing don't all use the same types of engines, but the engine pods all look the same. Why? It's all about aesthetics. To the people flying the aircraft it doesn't matter whether it uses Pratt and Whitney engines or General Electric engines. Most people who are passengers don't even know what companies make engines for the aircraft. Anyways, the point is that Boeing designed the engine cowlings based as much on aesthetics as practical concerns.
The point I'm getting at is that it is entirely possible to design an airframe to be approximately the same shape as an existing one then add a "skin" that simulates the look of an older craft.
In the 7x7 case, they were all designed by Boeing engineers as a passenger/cargo craft. In the case of the Klingon Empire..... Well, I can easily imagine them using the same design principles in the design of 2 different ship models.
Yes, I agree that, realistically, you would expect there to be variations. Comparing the 707 to the 777 you see that the cockpit windows are in fact approximately the same size, but those on the 777 look smaller because the plane is much larger compared to the windows. Yeah, I get that there is a very valid reason to have changes like that. But TV shows have budgets, and that wasn't in the budget. :p
Taking the Question Literally in regards to STO: Starbase 74 is probably still around. It's located in Sector 001 in orbit of Tarsas III. In other words, it's in our back yard. It is not in-game for the same reason other planets and locations aren't in game. There's no need for it unless content is created that involves or requires it.
Taking the question literally in regards to aesthetics and what was up with it: As previous stated, it's the same as ESD in ST: III. The Enterprise-D was super-imposed over the Enterprise-A. As a result, the scaling of Starbase 74 is much much larger. Like much of Star Trek, the shows used a lot of recycled stock footage. It's cheaper to generate than creating something from scratch. The shows had budget constraints, and the people in charge cut corners wherever they could to stay within that budget while being able to tell a story.
Taking the question literally in regards to the inner-workings of Star Trek: The ESD design worked, I guess? I suppose in some ways it was easier to just re-use the spaceframe of ESD to create a much larger version of it, Starbase 74. There was nothing wrong with the design, and maybe the engineers wanted to re-capture the golden era of Starfleet and made a much larger replica of ESD for the Tarsas III system. They have the materials, and technology. I'm sure these things are challenging and fun for engineers from an architectural and artistic standpoint. That's the same reasoning I use when it comes to the replica of the Connie and NX-01. Engineers are engineers. These can be pet projects of theirs, and I'm sure Starfleet would have no issues with it as long as the designs incorporated the latest technology and could work. Maybe this was an artistic challenge that Starfleet set up. Many different locations on Earth were generated by similar challenges. For instance there's a replica of the White House owned by a rich entrepreneur in China who wanted to quite literally live in 'the White House', and now owns a 1:1 scale replica of it on his property.