Tag Archives: Ralph McQuarrie

Top 10 Capital Starship Designs

My Top 10 Capital Ship’s


What are my top designs ?

This is something I have asked and been asked a number of times, my answer has always been conditional, “I have to place them into difference classes, capital ships, fighter ship and freighter ships and so on”. I will share what my top 10 designs are and I have picked the designs based on how they look, how versatile they are so some designs that I like just did not make it into my top 10 designs. I won’t say what ones they are, some mystery in life is good for you. 🙂

I will also be using film or TV screen-caps where possible, instead of using fan made designs

These are my choice’s of capital ship designs that have Long Range abilities and that can transport a large crews over great distances, Interstellar or better, having hyper-light speeds or warp speeds and large cargo carrying abilities.


Click on thumbnails to enlarge


01 .USS Enterprise

Original and Refit

Star Trek

TOS USS Enterprise as originally designed and screened in the 1960s, The Enterprise was designed by Walter “Matt” Jefferies for Star Trek, and become an Icon from the moment it appeared changing how science fiction was perceived and is still as popular as ever.

The new USS Enterprise Refit for its transition to the big screen,in 1979 giving a new glorious look by Mike Minor, Joe Jennings, Douglas Trumbull, Harold Michaelson, Richard Taylor and  Andrew Probert. One of my favourite Star Trek films to this day.

Both these ship share my 1st place in my list due to design legacy.


02. Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica

Colonial Battlestar Galactica designed by Ralph McQuarrie and built by John Dykstra and his team at Apogee Inc.

Over 1 nautical mile long or 1852 meters  and for those who like it in feet (6076.1 ft) (its a scale supported by John Dykstra) and I found via my own work in cgi anything smaller does not work, as the launch tubes are to small for the Vipers to fit!. Containing at least 150 Vipers in my estimation when at peak fighting condition and a large number of  colonial shuttle-craft  which are between 85 ft and 110 ft long, and a unknown number of ground support units called Landrams.

As a battleship it is the equal of Star Wars Imperial Star-destroyers in my view, but perhaps having no where near the same crew compliment as the ISDs or the range, but in a toe to toe battle more or less equal. Ion Cannons and Tie Bombers could give the IMPs the advantage if the Viper screen fell.

but it does have more of a predator look than the ISD, always a fan favourite

2nd place on my list down to the design.


03. Imperial Star Destroyer

Star Wars

The Imperial Star-destroyer, One of the most imposing designs to appear on screen, designed by Ralph McQuarrie and Joe Johnston among other ships for Star Wars. just under 1 terrestrial mile long 1,600 meters (5,200 ft) and has an impressive crew compliment Imperial-class Star Destroyers had over 37,000 crew on board— 9,253 officers and 27,850 enlisted personnel. The complement of 9,700 Storm-troopers added to a total of 46,803 crew and passengers.

While shorter in length than the Colonial Battlestar’s, The ISD is wider and taller and its over all design giving it more internal volume,

I think it should also be around 1 Nautical mile long like the Galactica, I know fans will disagree with my ideas here, but that’s all they are and I like both BSG and Star Wars with equal measure.

The ISD makes it to 3rd place in my list.


04: DSV Liberator

Blakes7

05 LIBERATORThe DSV Liberator was an abandoned spacecraft found drifting in the second episode of Blakes7 TV series, The Liberator (originally called simply DSV 2) was created by the “System” an alien race that look very like young women in very tight outfits, so no complaint there. The design I estimate to be around 780 meters or 2559.06 feet long

The Liberator was not designed by a model or special effects unit but by the set designer Roger Murray-Leach, due to poor funding the effects where never stellar but the design is interesting and in my mind worthy of inclusion in my top 10 / 12 but never fully explored or as I think the show if redone should, its one of the few shows that should be remade and by the BBC.

 4th place in my list


05: USS Cygnus

The Black Hole

06 USS CYGNUSThe Star of Disney’s The Black Hole has to be the USS Cygnus designed by Peter Ellenshaw

This is a stunning design and beautifully presented design from the film and I look forward to its appearance each time I watch it. I have no idea what its scale is.

5TH on my list


06: Odyssey

Ulysses 31

07 ODYSSEYUlysses 31 cartoon from the 1980s has a massive space craft Odyssey, controlled by a ship’s computer “Shyrka” and commanded by Ulysses. Ulysses is accompanied by his son “Telemachus” and his robot toy “Nono”, they are joined later by Yumi a blue-skinned girl and her brother Numinor. All the other crew and later Numinor are kept in suspended animation for much of the adventures, a curse by the Greek god Zeus and the crew only appearing from time to time under the control or others, a very good soundtrack by Denny Crockett and Ike Egan

Scale length 1224 m, width: 3125 m, height: 2005 m

6th on my list


07: Klingon D7 and Film upgrade

Star Trek

08 KLINGON D7Designed by the renowned Walter “Matt” Jefferies for Star Trek and is a fantastic design, more visually interesting than the season one Romulan Bird of Prey, The Klingon D7 was an instant hit and in my mind was not seen enough in Star Trek. . another Icon.

08 D7 KTINGAA remake of the classic, the D7, making it a K’t’inga class.  and like the D7 not seen enough.

7th on my list


08: Roger Young

Starship Troopers

09 ROGER YOUNGROGER YOUNG Impressive battle design in my view, At this time I have very little information about the design and who worked on the models and props..  I will fix this once I do have the info.

8th on my list


09: IAS Excalibur

Crusade

09 IAS Excalibur
IAS Excalibur, The Excalibur is a big ship, a mile and a quarter long 2012 meters or 6,600 ft, powerful but with some limitations, when it fires itsbig guns they ship is powered down, power depleted unable to manoeuvre or fire back relaying on its resistant hull design to keep them safe.

I think it was based on the Liberator from Blake’s 7 and its a very elegant design and its a pity the series never reached its potential,

9th on my list


10: Cylon BaseStar

Battlestar Galactica

BasestarCylon Basestar, is the main adversary for the Colonial Battlestars, in the Battlestar Galactica universe,

“Col Tigh: [Pointing at the model of a Cylon basestar] She has 300 fighters, carries two long-range megapulsars, here and here, and over a hundred defensive laser turrets. She’s an orbiting killer, capable of destroying every ship we have, including the Galactica”.

from the episode “The Hand of God”  I cannot see Colonial Battlestar commanders going against Basestars with anything less than 150 vipers to fight those odds (2 to 1)

10th on my list


Do they make your list?

Check Out
My Top 10 Enemy Fighters

Note: I have removed the Event Horizon in favour of the Excalibur for the
9th position.

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My Top 10 Hero Fighters

My Top 10 Hero Fighters


This is a selection of hero fighters or the good guys only I will follow with the bad guys and there fighters in a later post.


1st. Incom T-65

Star Wars (1977)

1 X-wing

The Incom T-65 better known as the X-wing starfighter gains the top position for me mostly due to its versatility and range and general coolness, both humanoid and droid work too pilot and control this fighter.

While I think Buck Rogers starfighter look better and possibly is a little more manoeuvrable, the X-WINGS hyper-drive and fighter shielding makes this that bit tougher.

so this is my number 1 in my top ten.


2nd. Starfighter

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979)

2 Thunderfighter

Buck Roger’s Starfighter designed by Ralph McQuarrie and built by Mike Joyce & Ken Larson, design wise it my favourite more than the X-wing. I have always just called it Starfighter not the other name given to it by the model builders, the Thunderfighter, the name never suited it in my thinking, I recently learned it could have been called a Starfury and that works for me far better.
It has interplanetary range, but has very limited interstellar range and must make use of Stargates in space, no exact information or locations are ever mentioned in the show about them.

The design is in a firm 2nd place in my list of top 10 designs


3rd. Colonial Viper

Battlestar Galactica (1978)

3 Colonial ViperThe Colonial Viper also a Ralph McQurrie design, the main fighter serving the Colonial Battlestars including the Galactica,

I do like the classic design more than the 2003 remake. The Viper has limited sub-light range but can using emergency boost get near light-speed but pilot beware of your fuel gauge. 2 turbo lasers for it main armament and one pilot, there is a 2 seater that appears later in Galactica 1980, one assumes that the Galactica always carried such a fighter from the start it is 3rd in my list.


4th. Y-Wing

Star Wars 1977

4 Ywing
BTL Y-wing starfighter, you guessed it another Ralph McQurrie design, a fighter-bomber and not as manoeuvrable as the X-Wing, but its heavy armour and heavy payload makes this fighter 4th in my top 10


5th. Gunstar

The Last Starfighter (1984)

05 Gunstar
The Gunstar is in one of the 1980’s best science fiction films and its also one of the first to use Computer-generated imagery or CGI for visual effects, created by Ron Cobb for the film. The Gunstar carries a complement of two operators, a pilot and a gunner. but has room for 3 crew, It’s primary weapons are lasers, photon bolts, particle beams and a new weapon called the Death Blossom and 5th place in my list.


6th. Hawk’s Fighter

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1981)

6 Hawk
Hawks Fighter as seen in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, is a vary cool design and has both space travel and atmospheric abilities, with claws for landing or attach itself to other craft. built by Vance Frederick and Kenneth A. Larson, shame it will never be seen again and is in 6th place in my list.


7th Starfury

Babylon 5 (1994)

7 Starfury
SA-23E Mitchell-Hyundyne Starfury is used by Earth force with a closer adherence to real physics with regards to how human vessels manoeuvred in space, and that it could be depicted in an interesting and exciting way., the pilot stands with his or her back against what would be the wall/floor when at full thrust having no seat for a space fighter possibly the most practical design, very manoeuvrable, fast,there are a number of classes and has 1 pilot, Designed by Steve Burg and defined in Lightwave by Ron Thornton.

makes it in at number 7 in my list.


8th Thunderbolt

Babylon 5 (1996)

8 Thunderbolt

The Thunderbolt is as Starfury but with some atmospheric abilities, with what we would call a standard pilot seating arrangement, this ship has 2 pilots and I would have liked this to feature more than it did a cool, tough design.


9th BTA Fighter

Enemy Mine (1985)

9 BTA Fighter

BTA Fighter, I know next to nothing about this design, I have seen the film several times, but apart from having both pilot and navigator, I am at a loss.but I like the design enough for it to make it 9th in my list


10th Mark IX Hawk

Space 1999 (1974-5)

10 Mark IX HawkThe Mark IX Hawk is a warship featured in the first series episode of Space 1999 called “War Games”, it is highly manoeuvrable and well-armed, designed by Special Effects Supervisor Brian Johnson and then built by Martin Bower. Manned by 2 officers, pilot and gunner.

its 10th in my list due to limits of speed and range


Hammerhead

Space: Above and Beyond (1995)

SA-43 Endo/Exo-Atmospheric Attack Jet (“Hammerhead”) The Hammerhead just did not make my top 10 but it was in the running, close running, I liked the design, while I though the series had some promise.

Trivia

Full-scale models of the “Hammerhead” fighters used in the series were created in Australia at RAAF Base Williamtown. An unverified report stated that, while they were being stored on board the freighter before shipping, crewmen from a Russian freighter were caught taking pictures of them after mistakenly thinking they were a new kind of advanced U.S. tactical fighter

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Binary Approach

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Binary Approach


An old image I have reworked to get back into the artistic side of Lightwave 3d.. A Buck Rogers escort to a binary Star System. Using photo-shop I have created what I hope is an interesting image. I will leave you to create a story to it..

Buck Rogers Approch

Ralph McQuarrie´s Star War Millennium Falcon Concept design Update

Millennium Falcon Concept


Had minor PC trouble the a few days ago and my modelling time was greatly reduce, and I had to restart this model from scratch.

I have used his other early falcon images to help me add features to this design, the most notable is the rear landing gear

I have scale this access corridor from the main hull to the cockpit to around 8 & half feet tall. so Chewbacca, should have some head room.

Here is a 6ft crewman in the image to help with the scale.

I think this is working a little better now.

Ralph McQuarrie´s Star War Millennium Falcon Concept design

Ralph McQuarrie Star War Millennium Falcon


Apart from building Ralph McQuarrie Galactica concept design I also having a go at building the Falcon.

Ralph McQuarrie Falcon

Ralph McQuarrie Falcon

Based on this image.

No Copyright infringement is intended by displaying Ralph McQuarrie work here or any copyright material owned by Lucas Film.

This is for me a celebration of Mr McQuarrie´s work and contribution and vision for Star Wars.

This is close to the design we all love, but I do have a few problems with it, the cockpit area,,,, I think its to small and how do they access it, I looked at other images Mr McQuarrie created for George Lucas and Star Wars and found a few possible solutions.

RMQ Falcon 001

  This is my progress so far with the falcon, you can see I have added a narrow octagon shape going from the cockpit to the main hull.

This I built in a few hours and I have scaled it to around 112 ft long or 34 + meters, I sourced that information from starwars.wikia.com if you like to check it any other data about the ship`or riddles as one fan called it years ago.

Not sure how far I will go or how long this will take with my other projects queuing up demanding to be done.

The thing I like about this design is that its not going to be too heavy detail wise, or for 3d modellers it will be low poly and that means faster renders or animations.


Ralph McQuarrie Battlestar Galactica Concept Design

Battlestar Galactica


As I mentioned in my Ralph McQuarrie tribute page. I started to rough out the shape of the model. Its dimensions are more difficult to work out, but with some trial error I think I have it worked at well enough to call the shape done before I go in and detail it.

My Guide image

Galactica 003This is what I think is how the forward head section looks like.

Galactica 005This is the rear view section…

I have spent more time working on this area as this is where all the action is in RMQ concept painting, there are a number of dimensional issues I need to adjust this 3D model and it requires I alter  the concept design a little…. notably the section that connects the engines to the central body of the Galactica. I looks to me as it that is wider on the mid section and narrows as it reaches the engine area…… I will have to think about that and perhaps take some artistic license to make it work as I hope it will.

For those interested in such things, I have enlarged the scale to just over a 6676 ft long, longer than the Galactica seen in the show which is 6080 ft long… this could change, but I get the impression from RMQ image above that this design could be even larger…. it will be interesting to see how will detail it…..In the future I will add a 6ft human to help reinforce the scale I am work with

Galactica 006I have added this image showing the proposed positions of the support arms to the landing bays

RIP Ralph McQuarrie 2012

One of the greatest science fiction artistic visionaries has passed on, I speak of Ralph McQuarrie the creative talent behind some of the greatest Sci-fi Movies and TV shows….

March 3, 2012

Ralph McQuarrie

Ralph McQuarrie at work

He influenced the look of the Original Star Wars films, later the Indiana Jones and the original Battlestar Galactica series long has his work inspired me and many others, due to this sad news I am posting some of his work here as a tribute to his work and memory

Star Wars RMQ (1)

Ralph McQuarrie Falcon

Y-Wing Approch

X-Wing Trench Run

RMQ CBSG (1)

RMQ CBSG (3)

These are some of my favourite concept paintings created by Mr McQuarrie for both the iconic Star Wars Movies and the Battlestar Galactica TV series.

His memory will live on in his work.

RIP

While some time ago I decided to remove these images to focus on my work, but I feel that this is a justified exception.

Galactica 001

You see a few days ago I started to do some early design work on his concept drawing for the Galactica.

https://gmd3ddesigns.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/ralph-mcquarrie-battlestar-galactica-concept-design/