Monday, November 12, 2018

This is certainly a gaggle of interesting starships

I stumbled across the existence of these ships on Memory Beta a while back and after finding a better picture via Google (which unfortunately, won't tell me where I found it at), I thought I'd post it here.

Image: Don Hillenbrand.
The picture is titled Into The Breach and was created by a Don Hillenbrand for the ever popular Ships of the Line calendars, specifically the 2011 edition. The premise of the picture is that the Enterprise-A has teamed up with all of these ships to take on an unseen enemy and given the amount of firepower being poured out, it must have been one hell of a battle! As you can see, it's an interesting assortment of ships. Unfortunately, none of them have no information about them, not even class names. Instead, Memory Beta uses "type" to describe them. Starship Schematics does provide names as well as different views of each ship, so that's helpful. Using all of that info, let's ID each ship:

The two ships (one very prominently in the foreground and another in the background) with their secondary hulls mounted above the saucer are labeled as John Glenn-type. Starship Schematics lists these as being corvettes, which is more than a little silly because in both the real world and science fiction, corvettes are typically very small ships and the John Glenns don't look small at all. It's obviously a kitbash of the Constitution-class, so it stands to reason that it would be the same size.

I'll admit that I didn't like the John Glenn at first because of the way they look, but it and all of the others have quickly grown on me. I am curious how much faster the two impulse engines on the saucer make the ship go, if there is a speed improvement, that is.

The Excelsior-class kitbashes with the sensor pod is the Sun Tzu-type. I like the way it obviously foreshadows the much later Nebula-class with its own AWACs-style sensor pod. I also like the idea of Starfleet having ships like this back in the 23rd century when they would have been needed the most in keeping an eye on the Klingons and Romulans.

The two ships in the foreground firing the green phasers (I guess that's what they are???) are Valley Forge-type. I initially thought it was a kitbash of the Oberth, and these two pictures from Starship Schematics seem to support that assumption.

It looks like a combination of a Constitution-class command hull, secondary hull, and nacelles with the pylons and that flat section behind the saucer. The Valley Forge is probably my favorite of the bunch. I even started creating fanon/headcanon background fluff for them, which I might post later on.

That leaves one last ship and that's the other one firing a green beam unseen enemy. This is is labeled the Hillenbrand-type on the Schematics page and the Hildebrand on the picture below, but I'm going with the former.

The Hillenbrand is clearly a kitbash of the Miranda-class. From the side, the secondary hull looks like a Connie, but the front view shows it as being wider than a Connie's. The deflector dish is different too, so that makes me wonder if that's an original design. Considering the Sun Tzu's foreshadowing, it might be a nod towards the deflector dishes of the Galaxy and Nebula-classes.

Overall, they're very interesting ship designs. Like I said earlier, I didn't like them at first, but then they grew on me. Hell, it beats most other fan designs I've seen and they're head and shoulders better than the stuff FASA was coming up with with their games.

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