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.
(Download for full resolution)
Digital Illustration, Adobe illustrator.
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