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Star Frontiers - Freighter and Tanker Render

By Shadowstate
35 Favourites
Here are two ships I made in SketchUp from Star Frontiers, a classic sci-fi role-playing game originally created by TSR. They are not Star Trek ships, but I guess their design would also be welcome in that universe. These ships are a freighter and a tanker respectively and of a type that were commonly encountered on the frontier transporting goods and passengers around space. What look like warp nacelles actually house the ship's atomic reactors, keeping them shielded away from the hull.

From what I've read about the technology, SF ships are actually sublight spacecraft that could approach 1% the speed of light (3,000 km/s) under ion drive propulsion. When this happened, they suddenly slipped into  "The Void" - a compressed parallel dimension to normal space where the distances between star systems was greatly reduced. The ships then slowed down to return to normal space - and hopefully at their intended destination. Typical travel times were about a light year in one day. Therefore the SF universe was confined to a group of a few dozen inhabited star systems relatively close to each other.

Traversing the Void still required complex navigation calculations or else a ship could get lost in deep space, or enter a gravity well such as a star and be destroyed. To enter the Void, the surrounding space also needed to be free of gravity wells, so a ship had to exit a star system first before it could traverse into the Void. This meant ships were vulnerable to attack and couldn't conveniently escape to the Void in an emergency.

Usually unarmed, these two ships however, sport a laser cannon ball turret and an underside missile launcher for protection from pirate and alien threats.

You can see the freighter in Issue #8 of Frontier Explorer magazine, a Star Frontiers fanzine published online.

Link to magazine:
Image size
2040x1119px 1.01 MB
© 2014 - 2020 Shadowstate
anonymous's avatar
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Blue-Jedi's avatar
SF ships look Trekified.
Sings-With-Spirits's avatar
Used at the Freighter page at the Star Frontiers Wikia:…
Shadowstate's avatar
Thanks for adding it!
Omega2064's avatar
Great work.

An interesting fact that set the Star Frontiers ships apart from other SF ships is that they are not linear. No anti-gravity. So all SF ships are towers and those capable of landing do so by landing on their tail if they are not shuttles.
Shadowstate's avatar
I'm working on the SF Survey Ship, which lands tail down, lifts off and leaves behind the lander module which is manned by robots and stays behind to continue research when the living crew depart. Some ships like the Assault Scout have rotating consoles and seating, the ship lands belly down but has stacked decks bow to stern.
Omega2064's avatar
The original Assault scouts did not do that though. They landed tail down like the Explorer does in the "Face of the Enemy" module series. The Explorer being a non-com Assault Scout.
Shadowstate's avatar
Well not to argue, but as here is an Assault Scout landed belly down on a planet: original artwork from the "War Machine" adventure module.

Also this image: from "Warriors of the White Light" shows what looks like an Assault Scout - given the three-slit canopy window, again belly down.

Remember also Star Frontiers gave us a giant elephant-like beasty with a rolling pin on it's face, so anythings possible.
Omega2064's avatar
Yeah, there are some inconsistencies with what is established. You just ignore the things that do not jibe with what has been shown.
dagorym's avatar
Love these ships.

One of these ships will be showing up in an image in Frontier Explorer issue 8.  We're looking at using both of them in issue 9 which will have a spacecraft theme. 
unusualsuspex's avatar
I downloaded these a little while ago to add to the orthos mate :) Nice work!
Shadowstate's avatar
I just updated the model, if you wanna grab this one instead:…
unusualsuspex's avatar
Cheers for that Jay :)
Shadowstate's avatar
The ones currently on 3d warehouse are different - I was asked to add some gun turrets to them. But I haven't updated those models yet. 
Dimsdale00's avatar
Yes, I remember this one.  Even  think I even played it a 1-2  times, with converted d&d ( notice I said d&d) characters.  Pretty fun if I remember this correctly.  
Shadowstate's avatar
The game had a very different system than D&D and was much simpler, used percentile die rolls mechanic, but there are people who still lovingly play it.
anonymous's avatar
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