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.

Top 10 freighter ship designs

Top 10 Freighter Ships


This is my choice of freighter ship designs, that I like to class as long-range mid-sized vessels that ability to transport a small crew, passengers or cargo over large distances.


1st. Millennium Falcon
Star Wars (1977)

01 Millennium Falcon

Millennium Falcon The battered freighter owned and commanded by Han Solo and his co- pilot and friend Chewbacca, plying their shady smuggling trade around the galaxy far, far away, why is it top of my list in this section.

Because it looks cool, fast and well protected and great range.


2nd. Klingon Bird of Pray

Star Trek 3 The Search for Spock (1984)

02 Klingon Bird of Pray

Klingon Bird of Pray has second place for me, a winged craft for atmospheric work with the added power of a warship, plus can cloak with ease, fantastic design and first seen in Star Trek 3 The Search for Spock.


3rd. Blockage Runner

Star Wars (1977)

03 Blockade RunnerThe Blockade Runner first seen in the opening of Star Wars before the massive bulk of the Imperial Star destroyer in hot pursuit, called Tantive IV and carried Princess Leia and 2 famous droids.
According to Star Wars folklore it was first designed to be the Millennium Falcon but George Lucas felt it was to similar to the Eagle design seen in Space 1999 and it was dropped and we got the design we all love.

If I could not have the Falcon as a private ship, this would be my second choice.


4th. Brittania II

Lensman: Secret of The Lens (1984)

04 Lensmen brittania
Brittania II from the 1980s anime based on the books by E. E. Doc Smith Lensmen, note that design is nothing like described in the novels, but I really do like the animation version a lot better. I was forced to use my image depicting the ship as I cannot find a decent still from the film


5th. The Merchantman

Star Trek 3 The Search for Spock (1984)

05 Merchantman
The Merchantman is a cool design from Star Trek 3 The Search for Spock, the first Star Trek film to introduce a number of differing ship designs for the Star Trek universe but like most science fiction films this design suffers from scale issues when compared to the Klingon bird of prey.
This for me was Star Treks answer to Star Wars Blockade Runner just not so well armed. One source suggest a measurement of 100m, I think that could work.


 6. Valkyrie

Titan A.E.  (2000)

06 Valkyrie
The Valkyrie is a cool design from Don Bluth Titan A.E. animation. There is not much know about it, but from the moment I saw it, I like the look so I included it in my top 10 freighters style ships.


 7.  Serenity

Firefly (2002)

07-Serenity
Serenity a firefly class design crewed by a mixed group of renegades each having a self serving interest in there own lives until the become a family in the end. The idea of the design is Joss Whedon answer to Star Wars Millennium Falcon.


8th. Starchaser

Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (1985)

08 StarChaser
Starchaser as was seen in the 1985 animated film called Starchaser: The Legend of Orin and is often compared and criticized over the years due to similarities to Star Wars which I feel is unfair.
Star Wars is directly based on other shows and received very little in criticism, in fact is applaud for it. Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and some Asian influences. So why cannot another show / story, draw inspiration from Star Wars.


9th. Pirate Ship

The Ice Pirates (1984)

09 Ice Pirates

Ice Pirates ships have no given name, none that I ever been able to find, I liked it while its appearance is brief, it was kind of cool. A science fiction-b tongue and cheek film that is more enjoyable each time I watch it.

Starring Robert Urich as Jason Mary Crosby as Princess Karina


10th. USS Palomino

The Black Hole (1979)

10 USS Palomino
USS Palomino the first ship seen in The Black Hole, a tin can with engines, but I like it all the more for it and pales into comparison with the USS Cygnus in design and first appearance and just makes it into my top 10 mid size ships.


The Runner up


11th. X Bomber

Star fleet (1980)

07 X-bomber
Moved from 7th position
is the The X-Bomber seen in the children’s TV show called Starfleet in English, to fire one of its main weapons the ship converts by opening the neck section to show its weapons. this is a process I never cared for, but I do like the over all design.

Wikipedia info X Bomber is a marionette tokusatsu TV series. It was created by manga master Go Nagai, and produced by Cosmo Productions and Jin Productions. The show aired on Fuji TV from October 4, 1980 to March 28, 1981, with a total of 26 episodes (including the pre-series pilot episode),and was billed in Japan as being filmed in “Sūpāmariorama” a puppeteering process like Gerry Anderson’s Supermarionation works.


Next up are the shuttle craft design

Do they make your list ?

Top 10 Robot Designs

Top 10 Robot Designs


In this section of my top 10 robot designs is based on robots “that look like robots”, not having human characterising robots or droids like Commander Data from Star Trek TNG or The Terminator,  The Gun-slinger in Westworld or Roy Batty from Blade Runner.

 

1st. V.I.N.CENT

The Black Hole (1979)

1 Vincent Vital Information Necessary CENTralisedV.I.N.CENT. standing for Vital Information Necessary CENTralized.

This is the robot I would like with me, it hovers/flies, can talk, sometimes talk back at you, and is armed for defence of his crew. He appears in the Walt Disney film The Black Hole and is a film I do like to watch whenever I can for all its faults. I think VINCENT is more useful than most other robots, such as R2D2 and C3PO etc, as you need both to do the work and communication so for this reason Vincent is 1st in my list.


2. R2D2

Star Wars (1977)

2 R2D2 R2D2

A R2 series Astromech droid also know as Artoo Detoo, a tough, loyal, useful and resilient little droid, first seen in the epic science fiction hit Star Wars A New Hope in 1977 a firm favourite for fans the world over since, R2D2 did not make my first place due to its lack of vocal skills, difficulty to traverse over many terrains to get around and for this reason is 2nd place in my list


3rd. C3PO

Star Wars (1977)

3 C3POC-3PO,

Or See-Threepio is a humanoid protocol droid, is fluent in over six million forms of communication or so C3PO keeps telling everyone at any opportunity, He can be a bloody nuisance at the best of times none the less is loyal to his crew and comes through in the end of what ever danger they meet, he is normally need to help interpreting the beeps and squawks and other sounds from his counterpart R2D2 and is 3rd in my list


4th. Robbie the Robot

Forbidden Planet (1956)

4 Robbie The RobotRobbie the Robot.

The first real robot to catch the imagination of film goer’s since the robot “Maria” in Metropolis, 1927, Robby is programmed to obey Isaac Asimov’s 3 Laws of Robotics and is incredibly strong and useful with the ability to produce alcoholic beverages if needed and he appearing in MGM’s Forbidden Planet a film that has become an Icon since. Its impact would seem to have lessened since Star Wars where as the Forbidden Planet has a clear influence on Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek TV series I think, and so Robbie is 4th in my list.


5th. Robot B-9

Lost in Space (1965)

5 B9Robot B-9.

Robot B-9 or Class M-3 General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental Control Robot is in many ways the next in line since Robby the Robot in design approach, normally only called “Robot” in the TV series Lost in Space, usually caught up in the schemes of Dr Smith and befriending the youthful Will Robinson, catch phrase “Danger, “Will Robinson! Danger!” and is 5th on my list


6th. Twiki

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979)

6 TwikiTwiki

A small robot or “Ambuquad” that serves the inhabitants of Earth’s Inner Cities, such as New Chicago programmed by computer councils and other mechanical devises, much of the time Twiki carries around Dr. Theopolis or “Theo” who once acted as part of the Inner Computer Council that governs Earth, this is changed when Theo offers support for Buck when his is tried for treason against Earth in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century 6th in my list


7th. Wall E

Wall-E (2008)

7  Wall E
Wall-E is a film that surprised me, no real dialogue in the film for the most part and only communicating with body language and musical score to create the feeling for the character, Wall-E and his kind are designed to clean up the waste on Earth while humans ponder around space waiting for the clean up to complete.

A film with a great message for us all I think and so it is 7th in my list.


8th. Huey,  Dewey,  Louie

Silent Running (1972)

8 Huey (Drone 2) and Dewey (Drone 1) Louie (Drone 3)Huey (Drone 2) Dewey (Drone 1) and Louie (Drone 3) are general service drones in Douglas Trumbull’s environmentally minded film Silent Running, recognised by their colour saying nothing but doing everything, sounds very drone like to me and is 8th in my list


9th. Gort

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1952)

9 GortGort silent protector of Klaatu’s in the film “The Day the Earth Stood Still” original and not the remake. The 1951 famous quote is of course “Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!”, also the film had some influence on Star Trek just as  Forbidden Planet had and so Gort is 9th in my list


10th Bubo

Clash of the Titans (1981)

10 bubo
Bubo was forged by the god Hephaestus and sent by the god Athena to aid the human Perseus in his quest to save the princess Andromeda in the original 1981 Clash of the Titans film, he also reappears in the remake which I have not seen, In the original film Bubo helps Perseus to overcome many enemies, fun character and is 10th in my list

Did these robots make your list?

The Black Hole Fan Video

Excellent animation that catches the sprite of the scene where both space craft meet each other at the edge of “The Black Hole” it’s also great to see both my model the USS Palomino and Sean Kennedy’s USS Cygnus featured in another fan’s creative homage to a classic film, for all the original films faults, it remains a beautify filmed work and the Cygnus surely is the highlight of the film

Source of the Video
http://0x0y0z.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/the-fabled-the-black-hole-video/#comments

0x0y0z

I made the video around 2011. I added the title cards and original John Barry score the I the day. I’ve had trouble with codecs and uploading it.

The video is the opening space shots of Walt Disney’s the black Hole redone by me in CG.

I give special thanks to Sean Kennedy and Gerard Duffy. Great models thanks for making them available.

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The Black Hole: Palomino & Cygnus

The USS Palomino meets the USS Cygnus


I have said in another post that The Black Hole Film (created by Disney) is one of my favourite films, apart from a few problems with the production (due to the Actors reluctance to where some spacesuits in some for some scenes, But that was a rumour at the time).

The film was really in many people’s minds a salute to 20.000 leagues under the sea, by Jules Verne. the obsessed commander on some private mission of madness.

There are a number of things that stand out in this film, the USS Cygnus looks awesome (not perhaps very realistic) been a glassy construct, but back in the 1970s we did not care about the realistic aspects, we only went to be entertained and to escape for a hour or so into a fantasy world.

Its was designed by Peter Ellenshaw and Robert McCall, But I cannot say who got the shape first, there is no data about it. But the films apart from its glaring errors is a visual treat and I remember picking this movie at the time to go and see over the also newly released Star Trek The Motion Picture.

cygpalimino1sy1I wanted to show off this image, created by Richard Turvey, but its does contain my model of the Palomino and the Cygnus by one of my favourite modeller Sean Kennedy in all its glass frame glory. a stunning model with the equally stunning background by Greg Martin.

Enjoy

The Black Hole´s USS Palomino

The Black Hole´s USS Palomino


I first saw The Black Hole film by Disney was in one of the cinema houses in Dublin city centre and loved the film, and the floating robot Vincent was a character I think was a little more fun than either R2D2 or C3PO from Star Wars out a few years earlier and for me the plus reason was it could hover and move around, even carry crew persons across a wide space to save them from danger, a more useful robot to have in your corner, Vincent had the attitude of R2D2 and could talk like C3p0.

This was one of my earliest models and then the most difficult, and I draw your attention to the engine pods,  I found them the most difficult, but I did receive a lot of help from my good friend Tom, while not a Lightwave user gave me some solid advice… so many thanks to him… you can find this model hosted on both foundation3d and 3dgladiators to download if you’re a Lightwave user.
The USS Palomino created by Peter Ellenshaw who also designed the USS Cygnus, truly the star of the film.

All I ask (and most other modellers ask) is to receive proper credit in whatever rendering or animation they used in.