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Colossus - Updated
By Phaeton99   |   Watch
81 46 12K (1 Today)
Published: November 22, 2008
© 2008 - 2019 Phaeton99
An update of the ship concept first presented here:

A class-naming poll is still open here: [link]

There were certain nagging issues that compelled revisitation of this illustration.

While dealing with these, I added more detail overall and tweaked the design a bit, with the ship's speculative specifications requiring some reconsideration as a consequence. A profile view is still in the offing, especially now that I can now confidently extrapolate the volume of certain components — such the odd-shaped nacelles — properly.

The scale of the vessel hit home in the refinement process and certain planned features demanded rethinking.

For example, the phaser strips, typically continuous arcs, are broken up into staggered lines. One might argue that this may reflect matters of energy efficiency or redundancy; but in truth, the long runs simply seemed too stringy and failed to properly convey the sense of scale. Breaking up the strips increases visual interest without resorting to more meaningless greebling, and makes for a visual aesthetic distinct from smaller vessels. Of course, this also means that there are even more phaser strips to bloat the specs numbers.

To further demonstrate scale (and suggest crew concentrations), I decided to add lifeboat hatches to this dorsal view as well. Those shown are the SOVEREIGN type common to many current setting vessels, but in this case, the choice should not be taken as era-pegging detail. I used this type merely because I had a prepared pattern brush to rapidly render them and was disinclined to invent a new lifeboat design at this point.

Presently, I envision that this ship has far fewer windows than has become commonplace for Starfleet vessels. Likewise, certain familiar details, like shield grids, glowing nacelle grills and Bussard collectors, hull registries and markings, would be absent or significantly different, recognizable only by relative location or function. If and when I decide to add such details, the paradigm for this colossus and its contemporaries should be self-evident: this is not Star Trek as we have come to know it.

Among the conceptual details I am considering for this ship class is a centerline, ventral docking bay analogous to the aperture common to Star Wars Star Destroyers. This is not only a nod to the concept's inspirational roots, but also may be a practical feature for the conceived role of this ship as a flotilla command and support vessel, providing an open servicing bay for smaller craft and components.

And yes, this is definitely an admirals' command, so its bridge design would be both far bigger and laid out functionally different than the more familiar deck plans: probably a multilevel, cavernous affair considerably larger than suggested by the small pinnacle dome on this illustration.

I am also considering the operational methodology for this goliath. In addition to being a ship always surrounded by various escort ships and flotilla vessels, it would likely be the center of a swarm of tiny craft: couriers, shuttles, service pods, and fighter screens. This image is one seldom seen in Star Trek and more strongly associated with Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica.

What may be a mad image has also come to mind: the flotilla "locking on" (via tractor- and power-transfer beams) to the command ship in tight formation, the colossus effectively serving as the core drive for maximum quantum slipstream performance. That could be quite a new twist for this or any sci-fi setting.

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Digital Illustration, Adobe illustrator.

"Star Trek" is a Registered Trademark of CBS Studios Inc
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anonymous's avatar
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Valen123456's avatar

"What may be a mad image has also come to mind: the flotilla "locking on" (via tractor- and power-transfer beams) to the command ship in tight formation, the colossus effectively serving as the core drive for maximum quantum slipstream performance. That could be quite a new twist for this or any sci-fi setting."

This would make for a great concept should a new Star Trek series ever make it back on the networks. Get back to an exploration based approach but not with a single vessel but a small flotilla, squadron or task group, which is focused or cored around a single much larger ship that acts as their hub. This vessel should be equipped with some version of Transwarp allowing it to cover much greater distances, with the smaller (nor more normal sized) vessels acting as scouts, defenders, excavators etc. Maybe have the crew(s) as settlers on a colonisation mission, or some kind of mass tour/cruise around Federation and allied space allowing us to see how the Star Trek Universe has progressed since the end of DS9/Voyager/Nemesis.

Torchwood-5's avatar
Torchwood-5Hobbyist General Artist…
Seriously though, I would love to see a proper render of this thing.
Phaeton99's avatar
Phaeton99Professional Digital Artist
So would I — maybe time and energy will allow, one day...
loki61089's avatar
So, she's essentially a mobile starbase, right?
Phaeton99's avatar
Phaeton99Professional Digital Artist
It's warp-capable compensation for feelings of inadequacy ;) — but otherwise, these do indeed essentially serve the function of a self-propelled starbase, centerpieces of large Starfleet task-forces.
loki61089's avatar
Hmm... so it's possible that the number of in-service ships are limited... possibly no more than 4, due to the amount of resources and crew needed.
Phaeton99's avatar
Phaeton99Professional Digital Artist
The idea (as noted in the illustration text) is that Starfleet planned 12: enough to cover whatever "prime sectors" it determined required such behemoths.  How many it actually could build is anyone's guess.  Given that this is something of a joke — a "Starfleet Star Destroyer" of sorts as reaction to inter-franchise size-envy — I can't claim that it represents a very realistic, thought-out concept to begin with.  ;)
dhazlegrove's avatar
I absolutely love this design! I was delighted to see that you already had plans for a profile view in the works. I can't wait; I'd love to see other views as well. Hell, if you've already expended the brain power to go into that much detail, you owe it to yourself to fully flesh it out. ;)
Phaeton99's avatar
Phaeton99Professional Digital Artist
This is an extremely low-priority project (being as it is just a digital doodle) so it is unlikely that it will see more work any time soon.
dhazlegrove's avatar
Oh, I would love to see your take on the bridge design as well. What would change with the admiral aboard? I also wonder if there would be a single MSD or one for the ship and one tracking her auxiliary craft.
lector1980's avatar
lector1980Student Digital Artist
Excellent ship!!
Looks like a starship and half star base together.
Suggest name: Sapper
Possibe Mission: Covert Ops

Phaeton99's avatar
Phaeton99Professional Digital Artist
I doubt this ship can pull off "covert":  visible (along with the task force it supports) from the other side of the galaxy.  ;D
zambingo's avatar
I can imagine this is what a Starfleet "generational vessel" would look like. Neato!
Phaeton99's avatar
Phaeton99Professional Digital Artist
I imagine a fleet generations ship would be much larger still. ;)
Autobot-Outcast's avatar
I like the design, a lot.

I'm thinking...Icarus class.
SASteinhebel's avatar
SASteinhebelProfessional Digital Artist
If you ever do elaborate on this design and provide more images of it, I'd love to see it. This gives me inspiration for some designs of larger capital ships for Star Trek, larger than Sovereigns/Galaxy/Nebulas. I've always loved sketching out starship designs and this one makes me want to try my hand at it again.

But I'd say this...I'd like to see this go against the Scimitar in Nemesis...if it was still in one piece.

Awesome piece BTW.
Phaeton99's avatar
Phaeton99Professional Digital Artist
Considering that it is really just a digital doodle, and quite a few details would not translate properly into other orthographic views, it remains one of those concepts in the queue for proper development.

As for versus the Scimitar — since this would be the centerpiece of a good-sized task-force, and its fleet would technically have to travel back in time a least a decade or so for the match-up, I fear the Remans' obsolete supership would fare rather badly. ;)
Phaeton99's avatar
Phaeton99Professional Digital Artist
Mothership to be precise. (^_^)
AdmiralThornton's avatar
This is an intriguing concept, but I have a query. Since nobody has said it yet, perhaps I must, but remember it's just my opinion. I've been researching starship and space station design from articles around the web (not that there's enough available that takes it seriously), so bear with my pondering. How the heck do you think all that equipment will fit in this monster? Unless this ship is not to scale with the other ships in the picture (id-est, somewhat *larger* than the scale shown), I seriously believe perhaps all the "specifications" stuff may be overdoing it, just a WEEE bit. It seems you're trying to say "Star Trek can do big cap-ships, like those Star Wars fans do".

Also, it may help to show a side profile, to see how many decks "deep" this monster is, also set to scale with the other ships (esp. in relation to the Sovereign, since this design seems to be a Super-Sovereign Destroyer). However, regardless of scale and internals (equipment), the form as you've drawn it looks nice and in fair proportion, if a little long in the nacelles (perhaps scale their length down by 5%).

Why so many fighters and shuttles? Even with the larger size, it doesn't seem to be a fighter-carrier (not that I can discern where the hangars are located); but even so, large size does not indicate lots of small craft. I'd say the flush-docked aux craft may be okay, but fighters and shuttles should come in at 10-20% of what you've listed. Okay, 33% of listed if it's a long-term mission ship away from the starbases & support facilities, but half of those craft would be snugged into storage until brought out as replacements for lost craft.

Now, as to the "buildability" of such a design. My opinion is that the Federation would not build such a huge ship, at least not until the average size of the dreadnoughts and other large starships were increased year after year until it's a natural next step. Does Starfleet ever need to put that many people and resources into one gargantuan hull? Not in anything I've seen in the television or on screen. I'm not so sure they would, any time soon, if at all. But it might be designed but not built, at least not seriously built until the following century or more after the Shinzon Incident. It all depends on "the shape of the galaxy"...

Beyond all that, mate, I wish your designing process keep maturing, and something more of this develops.
Phaeton99's avatar
Phaeton99Professional Digital Artist
Simply put, it is overdoing it, and intentionally so. :laughing:

And honestly, I really can see little realistic need for such a monster, in any event, either.

Bear in mind this illustration was, at the time, a bit of a joke about ridiculous scale inflation in sci-fi (a still rather relevant bit of humor, too). Whether the general design — which turned out rather nice — can be adapted into something more serious is another matter, and the specs listed here are essentially irrelevant in that regard.

A believable ship of this scope would require very specific circumstances to justify it, no doubt.
Applebe-1's avatar
Dear Sir ,If you don't give us more of this wonderful design,your a cad. Ha! Trully you have something very special here.please allow us more views and any updated in your thinking what possible four you. You have my thanks for giving a bright spot in my day.
Phaeton99's avatar
Phaeton99Professional Digital Artist
If this concept develops further, the result will be posted here; but no promises. It's a very low-priority project.
Fastmax's avatar
In reading your comments about the ship design, its my feeling your intending to "upgrade" the view we have of a "starship"-type design.
As if "Star Trek" were invented just today ..with todays imagery of sci-fi and foreviews of what 23rd-24th century tech might be, not with of the 60's concepts.
That's a "needed" view.
anonymous's avatar
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