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Thread: JR WIP Thread

  1. #1

    JR WIP Thread

    I'm taking a crack at a Romulan Bird of Prey to go with the JR-Prise. In my mind this ship fits between the Romulan BoP from Enterprise and the B'Rel BoP (or whatever the FASA manual calls the Romulan version). In JR-Trek this is the ship in "Balance of Terror," although it could also make sense that this one is the contemporary BoP type and the ship Kirk fights is an Enterprise era vessel that was pulled out of mothballs for the plasma torpedo experiment. In the later case, maybe the warp drive broke down because it is crazy old, but if it is my version of the ship I have a different explanation. Before destroying one of the Federation colonies, the ship landed so her captain could take a Vulcan love slave. The colonists made an attempt to fight back, and succeeded in damaging the ship so that the wings are stuck in the landing position. In the upward position, the warp engines do not have sufficient line-of-sight to operate. Therefore, no warp and the long limp back to the neutral zone.

    I'm not terribly thrilled with the overall shape of the ship yet, and I'm struggling with the transition from the organic John Eaves BoP, to the non-organic B'Rel, to the organic D'Deridex. Enterprise had some great moments, but it caused so many problems. It's a struggle to think of Romulan ships as having anything but smooth flowing lines, and yet the B'rel is clearly a Romulan ship. I can't think of any other Klingon ships from the movies or show that have wings, except for the Enterprise era BoP. As an aside, does that ship make any sense? Are the Romulans and Klingons operating unrelated ship types with the same name?

    Anyway, I'm questioning the bird head - I think I will keep it and pull vertices around until it works somehow. It's a little nonsensical, but the Romulans are the guys who rejected logic and went with their passions instead, right? They're supposed to be even more emotional and passionate than humans, although that never comes across on screen, but in theory putting unnecessary flourishes on their ships is in character. The D'Deridex has the bird head, but the B'rel doesn't, so that's a little strange. I may not being able to smooth over that one.

    Incidentally the head only contains the main deflector, but I may add the shield generator pipe from the B'rel to it later. The bridge is back between the shoulder blades, where it was on the TOS BoP.

    The comb on the bird head probably helps form a magnetic barrel for the plasma torpedo. Otherwise the head would need to be lower down, and I didn't like it any lower than it is.

    The rear wing is the landing gear in its retracted position. One can only imagine the kind of articulation it will take for that shape to come forward and turn into legs, but I'm sure it can be done.
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  2. #2
    Holy crap...Awsome work...

  3. #3
    SFM Guru Starrigger's Avatar
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    Dec 10
    Trenton, NJ
    That is one pretty bird!
    Come on over to my place -

  4. #4
    SFM Guru trekki's Avatar
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    May 06
    That is very nice!

  5. #5

  6. #6
    I'm glad everyone likes it. IMO it's got some not-so-good angles, and doesn't look as good with the wings down, and I'm still questioning the bird head. I may have resolved the inorganicness of the B'rel as a reductionist period in Romulan art. It's like, most Ferraris are styled by Pininfarina, but then there's the odd duck GT4 styled by Bertone. I can picture Romulans having famous stylists who go over the ships once the engineering is done, and sculpt them until they are lustworthy, because that is not the logical way to design ships. It may be why they didn't conquer more than they did. So the norm for Romulan ships is curvy and sexy, but then there's a brief period in the TMP era where shapes get broken down into their basic forms, and there's a move to a more industrial aesthetic. By the TNG era, that art movement has passed and Romulan ships have returned to sensual curves. Is that a fun backstory? I'm going to try knocking down some of the curves in this bird though and see how it looks. Storywise, I'd explain it as the reductionist era beginning to creep in.

  7. #7
    I found this comment, in an article about the Gabe Koerner Connie being mistaken for the new JJ-Prise, back in 2007 -


    They’re pretty — but it’s not Star Trek. I think that the more plates and bolts you show, the more you’re getting into the “Jules Verne” aesthetic, where 19th century technologies are used to project futuristic machines.

    I think that a more convincing Enterprise would have a smooth simplicity, like the one from ST The Motion Picture.

    I've got similar concerns about the way Trek ships are going to age, and how to treat the design of Trek ships. I've avoided "reimagining" Trek, but at some point the Trek design language is going to look like Victorian age depictions of rockets with bat wings and fish fins. Badly dated, whimsical at best. Maybe you would call it greeble-punk. I'm going to start using that to describe the 70's-to-present day design language for sci-fi tech. Greeble-punk. Unless someone's coined a better name for it, but I haven't heard one. Anyway, greeble-punk will look ridiculous in the future. People are going to get used to seeing single piece, 3d printed, generative designs that look like alien organisms. Greeble-punk will be the new steampunk. So how can I future-proof my designs, while remaining true to the source material? I don't believe Trek ships will actually be built of any variation of steel, using rib-and-spar construction and panels. It's more likely the hull would be one piece, 3d-printed from meta-materials that haven't been invented yet. The empty hull of a Connie might be something you could lift. It might not even respond to gravity or inertia. I don't think Trek fans would accept anything as radical as that though, and they wouldn't want to see a generatively designed Connie. Maybe it would be acceptable in a post-TNG era, but it won't take that long to happen in real life. Star Wars might be able to survive the end of the greeble-punk era, it will just become more fantasy than it was before, but Trek has a real problem.
    Last edited by JRXTIN; 2nd Nov 2018 at 03:11.

  8. #8
    I spent a considerable amount of time pulling around the proportions. I'm still not 100% on the shape, especially with the wings down, but it's much better. I'm starting to feel good about it. Good enough to put a few details in. I'm not going crazy on details - I did when I was younger but now, only what the shot needs. It was a little disheartening to see how low-rez the models in the Next Gen movies were, but they worked fine on screen. So did the Christmas tree ornaments on DS9, who knew? If I can have more greebles or more ships, I'm going to bet the latter option is the way to go
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  9. #9
    SFM Obsessed Rekkert's Avatar
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    Dec 08
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Very nice design! It looks almost like a dragon, very menacing.

    The double neck design reminds me a bit of the Griffin-class from Armada.
    For my finished Trek bridges and other works of mine, visit my portfolio
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Rekkert View Post

    The double neck design reminds me a bit of the Griffin-class from Armada.
    Could be coming from the same place, I wanted to work Probert's double neck design in somewhere. I mean, it's on the D'Deridex in vertical form, but that's a little different than what he had going on when the D'Deridex's wings were vertical.

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