Mostly the designs I like the most are those that follow the Gene Roddenberry Starship design rules passed on to Andrew Probert.
The List in order
(Merchantmen Star Trek 3 The Search for Spock)
20 Class J starship
Mostly the designs I like the most are those that follow the Gene Roddenberry Starship design rules passed on to Andrew Probert.
The List in order
It had to be asked and answered, I sat down and thought about the designs I enjoy the most from Star Trek universe, my personal preference. aesthetics and impact to me over the years.
I think any that follow my posts here will easily guess the top designs but perhaps I am wrong and they will take you completely by surprise
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
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.
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.
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.
The 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
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
Ulysses 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
Designed 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.
7th on my list
8th on my list
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
“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
My Top 10 Enemy Fighters
Note: I have removed the Event Horizon in favour of the Excalibur for the
This is my choice of designs, I classed as a short-range vessels or auxiliary space vehicle that can transport more than two people over great distances, having hyper-light or sub-light speeds and some cargo carrying abilities, yet still classed as Auxiliary.
Lambda-class T-4a shuttle a very elegant design and really conveys that imperial stamp, this design has Hyperspace abilities with some armament and shielding to protect it , was a multi-purpose transport with a trihedral foil design used by the Galactic Empire during the Galactic Civil War, and was considered an elegant departure from the standards of brutish Imperial engineering. The shuttles were often used by high-ranking Imperial officers and such dignitaries
Star-fleet Runabout This is a cool design and one of the better designs to created for Star Trek Deep Space 9. it could be based on the versatility of Space 1999 Eagle’s based on some non canon information that I find interesting.
To make this versatility the Danube-class featured a modular design with the aft section being swappable for mission specific modules
The Eagle, Moon-base Alpha’s workhorse spacecraft in Space 1999, this has always been a firm favourite in design and appearance, I moved it down from number 1 place as it hampered by limited range.
Flown by a number of pilots, their captain is Alan Carter, the Eagle had the look and feel that many in the 1970s would be close to a realistic look for a space craft in the 1999s, at least I did.
The Surak, Federation-registered long range shuttle that was in service in the late 23rd century, I love this design the moment it appeared Star Trek The Motion Picture, sadly only appeared once in all the films and TV episodes as far as I know. With its detachable main cabin to enable to dock to another Starship when Transporters are not an option for whatever reason that arises in Star Trek, a fantastic design by the creative talents of Andrew Probert
Colonial Shuttle the work-horse for the Colonial Fleet, it can be between 85 and 110 ft long, commanded by two pilots and having room for a large number of passengers it can also carry one LandRAM land craft, but the design is limited to sub-light speed, but has significant cargo and crew capabilities.
Orion III This is a great design from 2001: A Space Odyssey and is a 2 stage lift off requirement mainly for passenger transport, apparently very limited in range only orbital abilities, its its design, that places it in 6th place.
A fan favourite “Class-F shuttle-craft” or Galileo 7, The twenty-four foot long and could carry at least seven passengers, and a smaller aft section, which contained a small engineering area. only interplanetary abilities, but somehow manages to keep up with the Warp driven USS Enterprise in “The Menagerie”.. Perhaps it has some limited warp speed?
Ranger 3 the shuttle that takes Buck Rogers from the 20th century to the 25th century while Buck is frozen, it does have features of the USA Space Shuttle, but greatly smaller, so its good to have even a fictional NASA craft appear in my top 10 Shuttles
Red Dwarfs support craft own by Jupiter Mining Corporation and manned by the last human alive by the name of Dave Lister, the last known human alive, and Arnold Rimmer, a hologram of Lister’s dead bunk mate. The other characters are Cat, a life form which evolved from the descendants of Lister’s pregnant pet cat Frankenstein; Holly, Red Dwarf’s computer; Kryten, a service mechanoid. this craft changes from each season, but I do like the basic design.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The 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
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
Every hero and villain needs a base to call home a place where you can hang your hat and control your crew or minions.
You don’t get any more daunting than the Imperial Death-star,” in this case” the second one, why? because its unfinished and looks more interesting I think. its size is nothing less than a small moon 160 and 900 kilometres in diameter according to a number of sources, other franchises have made their base bigger etc… but this one is more impressive to me.
1st in my list
Earth Space dock was imagined as having a total height of over three miles, and it’s first seen in Star Trek The Search for Spock, in what I think its one of the best opening scenes in Star Trek films showing the wounded USS Enterprise approching,
2nd on my list
Moonbase Alpha, the central location and destination in Space 1999, clearly made in homage to Clavius Base in 2001: A Space Odyssey. back in 1975 when this show was first aired, the year 1999 seemed such a long ahead in our lives that its seemed entirely possible that something like Alpha would be around by the time we reached that year, little did we know now in 2015 the closest we would be is the incredible international space station. Alpha has around 300 inhabitant and a Eagle complement of between 26 to 50 Eagles when fully operational.
this is 3rd on my list.
Orbital office complex seen in Star Trek The Motion Picture, the third space station we had ever seen in Star Trek the first been K7 and the second is Epsilon 9 station, the orbital office was created by Andrew Probert and was used again as Regula 1 Space Station in the Wrath of Khan, I like it this way around
4th on my list.
Space Station V appeared in 2001 serenade by Strauss The blue Danube, as the PanAmerican World Airways Orion III makes its approach, in the film, space station V was the largest orbital structure ever built until 2001.
For me the best science fiction film ever
5th in my list
Space Station Theta seen in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode “Space Vampire”, Ken Larson states on his website “Thete Station was built from recycled Draconia parts and a 70mm film can”, I liked it and would liked to have seen more of the design
6th in my list.
Babylon 5, I will admit that it took me awhile to get into this series, but I always liked the design of the base, “last, best hope for peace”. The station is home to 250,000, including about 100,000 humans and 2,000 Earth-Force personnel and is 5 miles long (I have heard it’s supposed to be longer, but I cannot confirm that yet)
is 7th on my list.
Deep Space Station K-7, seen first in the original series episode Trouble With Tribbles, the only star-base shown in the original Star Trek TV series in one of my favourite episodes and because of that K7 make it into my top 10 list, there are more exciting designs out there, but I do like this more and is 8th on my list
The Wheel as seen in the classic science fiction film “Conquest of Space” directed by George Pal and featuring designs by Wernher von Braun in 1955.
I still like to watch this film and is 10th in my list.
Do they make your list ?