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Archer Class Ortho by Gwentari Archer Class Ortho by Gwentari
The Archer class starship from my "Alpha Borders" alternate universe.
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Like many people, I have always counted the NCC-1701-B among my favorite Enterprises. (second after the XCV-330 and before the NCC-1701-E) I always liked seeing an Excelsior class show up alongside Picard's ship to transfer some dignitary or other plot device.

But, it looked odd as a serious contender in the Dominion War with it's TMP-era styling. A post-Dominion era refit is a welcome sight

Excelsior derivatives aren't uncommon. As a fan favorite, they're likely to pop up regularly. Many right now are attempting to shoehorn a great design into the problematic aesthetic of Nu Trek. It is good to see one move in a more reasonable direction.

This ship is billed as a totally new design. Rather than calling it the Excelsior refit, Gwentari calls this the Archer Class. This gives her more leeway in re-designing the ship than was had between the TOS 1701 and it's direct antecedent. Some of that leeway was used, but not much. I could imagine a spare 2300's era space frame in place under the hood. This bridges the border of good and ill. On one hand, the Excelsior has an excellent overall shape which is good to keep. On the other, part of trek lore requires continuously increasing hull streamlining as warp field dynamics become more precise. A greater degree of change from the original design would not have gone amiss (such as the difference between the 1701-A vs. the 1701-E which had obvious similarities).

Setting aside the historical context of this ship, there are many excellent design elements here, as well as a few things which could be improved. The ship has an excellent overall balance. In upgrading components, She did not lose sight of the design scheme or proportions that made the original such a success.

The bussard collectors peek over the top of the saucer, making this ship fit the "rules." The notch for the secondary deflector adds some visual interest and rams home the idea of the intended era. The phaser strips look right at home on the saucer.

I only have a couple complaints. The first thing I noticed is that the nacelles look a bit flat or shallow from a side elevation. They could stand to be vertically inflated. And the second is the at the main deflector is huge. Maybe this serves a functional purpose, but it does look outsized.

A neutral item is the size of the cut-in windows on the saucer. the cut-ins have a perfect size and placement, but the windows would be enormous compared to the size of the ship (and the other windows). On the other hand, I like large windows and would want one in my stateroom. The cut-ins add to the era upgrade nicely.

Gwentari has a definite style when it comes to her SketchUp work and I view this ship in that context, but that style suffers somewhat in the realm of Star Trek. Gwentari is excellent at making minimalist greebles, meaning that the intended purpose of every element is immediately understood with the minimum of geometry and texturing. This is a huge strength in ships with lots of complex geometry and moving parts (and her completely original designs usually have lots of both!). Star Trek ships have neither. A 2600's ship would have a lot more color and texture to provide interest to the hull than is provided here.

The other most notable thing is the number of segments to the curve of the saucer rim. Gwentari uses a standard 24-sided SketchUp circle. Doubling the number of segments would have put this issue out of mind completely and balanced the mesh size to the rest of the ship. (consequently, this is the most common issue with Star Trek and Sketchup.)

However, despite these modeling style issues her model's intended purpose comes through very clearly. The intent of the design is immediately understood and the scale and vision of the model do not suffer at all.

Overall, I like the idea and I like the design. I hope that it appears in many future renderings, maybe alongside her previous Meridian Class Cruiser.
What do you think?
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3 out of 3 deviants thought this was fair.

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Leopold002 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
MirrorKhaos Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice work
SenkanYamato Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2017
nichodo Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
This is the Excelsior class Upgraded and Updated to 25th century stats, Cool!
Gwentari Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Yup! This an a number of my other startrek projects are for my "Alpha Borders" story.
Pixel-pencil Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2016  Student General Artist
Awesome model! Those are great proportions! 
Gwentari Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks ^-^
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Submitted on
August 25, 2016
Image Size
1.2 MB


27 (who?)