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Starship Schematics Database
February 12, 2011 7:17 PM   Subscribe

Starship Schematics Database: dedicated to the sole purpose of archiving every single starship design ever conceived in the Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5, and Space Battleship Yamato (A.K.A. Star Blazers in the USA) Universes, both official and unofficial, interesting and mediocre.
posted by Joe Beese (35 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
Built with reasonably up-to-date Javascript effects, and yet looks like something built in 1998!

(but don't get me wrong, this is totally neat)
posted by chrominance at 7:23 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hah! Read that as "achieving every single starship design" and I was all "Yes! Yes! Build all the starships. Build them all!"
posted by Ahab at 7:26 PM on February 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


Good lord, that's a lot of work. I'd love to see folks chip in to help the site builder expand the selection and hunt down high-res detailed schematics.
posted by greenland at 7:30 PM on February 12, 2011


Whoa! The fact that this has never been posted before is almost as amazing as the site itself!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:31 PM on February 12, 2011


Major TMTOTH going on here...:)
posted by Melismata at 7:39 PM on February 12, 2011


Who needs this if you have the original blueprints for TOS Enterprise in their faux leather and plastic envelope?

I am such a nerd.
posted by Splunge at 7:52 PM on February 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


DAM IT JOE, I'M A FOOL NOT AN ARCHITECT!

In my kobayashi maru scenario, I launch a shuttle craft for diversion at the first cruiser and have photon torpedoes beamed into in mine/net around the first and second cruiser. I then battle the third cruiser to the self-destruct. After using the last escape pod, Uhura and I join my fourth secret force of lightly armed escape pods and Vulcan’s in spacesuits’ to rescue the Murus’ crew. A fifth team of 6 tellerites in emergency jet packs then assaults the second cruiser after it is EMP’d. The second shuttlecraft with VO5 phaser rifle security guys will augment this assault force with an engineering team aboard to restart the cruiser.
posted by clavdivs at 7:55 PM on February 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Actually, when I was a younger nerd and smoked a younger version of today's weed... I had the second page of the blueprints of the Enterprise pinned to the wall of my room. It was a cross section of the whole ship.

Pointing to one cabin on a deck which had living quarters, I had affixed a large red arrow with the note, "YOU ARE HERE." Hey, my friends at that time thought it was hilarious. So did I.

::sigh::
posted by Splunge at 8:01 PM on February 12, 2011


Oh, man, I had "blueprints" of the Enterprise that I bought back in the early 70's -- it was a collection of about 20 pages of plan views level by level, of the whole ship. I also had me one of these Technical Manuals. I had that thing memorized.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:11 PM on February 12, 2011


No SS Botany Bay? FAIL

oh god what has my life become
posted by infinitewindow at 8:12 PM on February 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I have the Tech Manual as well. Anyone want to buy the pair? Slightly used. But with love.
posted by Splunge at 8:14 PM on February 12, 2011


Dang, Splunge, I'm tempted. Those things were very well put together, from what I recall. I refuse to be embarrassed by my Trek nerdery. I'm pretty proud of the fact that I can remember seeing The Tholian Web when i was a little kid, in its original run. The scenes of Kirk floating around, half transparent, stuck between dimensions in his space suit scared the bejeesus out of me. I had to have been 6 or 7.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:24 PM on February 12, 2011


Q. What did you use to modify/create the schematics and the graphics for this site?
A. Good old Adobe PhotoShop. It's the best tool for heavy-duty image processing, especially with version 3's use of layering. I believe PhotoShop is now at version 5.
Note to self: When writing a FAQ, use ridiculously high version numbers for anything that could otherwise make your work seem dated 10 years down the road.

"I believe PhotoShop is now at version 237."
posted by circular at 8:28 PM on February 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


What is a Firefly class transport doing among the Battlestar Galactica ships? Did I miss that? (If so I obviously need to watch them all again)

(And I wish I still had my Enterprise schematics. They had a bowling ally!)
posted by shothotbot at 9:20 PM on February 12, 2011


What is a Firefly class transport doing among the Battlestar Galactica ships? Did I miss that? (If so I obviously need to watch them all again)

The same effects company worked on both shows, and slipped in the transport in the BSG pilot.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:35 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


The best part of the Tech Manual is how they retconned the devices that Mc Coy used. They were salt shakers. The manual explained how the various points were for focusing laser beams. I love that stuff. I think I'll actually open the book up, very carefully, and re-live my childhood. Yet again today.
posted by Splunge at 9:41 PM on February 12, 2011


I'm of the opinion that the Babylon 5 "Battle Crab" design (poorly named, IMO, looks more like a spider) is still the single most evil-looking ship design ever. And it's skin moves, and it screams, and doesn't move they way you'd expect it to. Creepy.
posted by Zack_Replica at 9:50 PM on February 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is the best site for star trek schematics and blueprints. So much good stuff here.

This site is trying, but is still under construction. Although, it has some good stuff like the cutaways and fleet charts.(for more see other fleet chart links at the bottom of this page)

Also of interest to every nerd are the indispensable Sci-Fi Starship Size Comparison Charts.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:14 PM on February 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yamato! I've never lost the love of the submarine looking spaceships, nor the aesthetic of spaceships rolling as they explode and "sinking" into space.
posted by yeloson at 11:19 PM on February 12, 2011


Thanks AElfwine Evenstar. A median-sized GSV would barely fit on the "Huge" graphic.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:20 PM on February 12, 2011


No SS Botany Bay? FAIL

Here you go.

A median-sized GSV would barely fit on the "Huge" graphic.

The largest of those is like 300 km no? I've never actually read the Culture series but one of my good friends was a fanatic and he was always going on about them. So being the nerd I am I picked up on the technological ins and outs of the culture.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:45 PM on February 12, 2011


Also cool is the Enterprise lineage chart.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:55 PM on February 12, 2011


Wow, I remember back when I referred to this site back in '98-99 -- and only now is it being posted to MetaFilter.
posted by armage at 12:54 AM on February 13, 2011


I have a whole bookcase full of these things. Gotta love the internet, where you can buy these secondhand in the tiniest of American bookstores from the other end of the world (well, Europe).

Also, I'm geek that draws his own starships. More (unordered) and more (not updated in eons).

Eeh.. yeah. I guess it keeps me off the street. Right?
posted by Harry at 2:55 AM on February 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also cool is the Enterprise lineage chart.

Sort of weak that the start with carrier. They missed six other USS Enterprises.
posted by shothotbot at 6:52 AM on February 13, 2011


I've never actually read the Culture series but one of my good friends was a fanatic and he was always going on about them.

What are you doing on Metafilter? You're missing valuable Consider Phlebas time!
Bora Horza Gobuchul
doo dah, doo dah
Bora Horza Gobuchul
oh a doo-dah day

posted by jtron at 7:17 AM on February 13, 2011


I'm of the opinion that the Babylon 5 "Battle Crab" design (poorly named, IMO, looks more like a spider) is still the single most evil-looking ship design ever.

Trivia: the mottled black texture on the skin of the "Battle Crab" ships? It's from closeups of a dog's nose.

Pub Quiz Man...AWAYYYYYY!
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:26 AM on February 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sort of weak that the start with carrier. They missed six other USS Enterprises.

They also skipped over the 1701 refit, although I suppose it's technically the same ship as the TOS Enterprise, with upgrades. And it looks identical to the 1701-A.




Still, I would have included it.
posted by Fleebnork at 9:21 AM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is the best site for star trek schematics and blueprints. So much good stuff here.

The NX-01 deck plans are worth a FPP by themselves.

Holy shit.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:53 AM on February 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


(And I wish I still had my Enterprise schematics. They had a bowling ally!)

Preposterous as that is, it's canon*. 'Captain' Reilly announced there would be formal dance in the bowling alley.

*Not that TOS gave much of a rat's ass about canon, thank goodness.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:09 AM on February 13, 2011


I've always felt the original 'Trek designers went a bit overboard on the saucer design. I'm sure there was some pseudotechnical reason for it but was tripped out as a kid cracking open the Technical Manual and thinking that they all looked like the Enterprise with more or less dangly bits. I think this one illustrates either the wildest variation on the disk theme or the laziest: why not just stack 'em up? Why not much thicker? WHY!??!?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:13 PM on February 13, 2011


Bear in mind that the vast majority of those are fan art, Ogre Lawless. Most of them are made by J. Random Schoolboy using the equivalent of copying and pasting. So to answer your question, "because it doesn't involve any drawing". As for the Technical Manual, I think they felt that it was no part of their brief to invent new designs; so they fleshed out the fleet roles using established design elements.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:52 PM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, if you're talking about the Star Fleet Technical Manual (and not the TNG or DS9 manuals), then there isn't really a "they". It was all done by Franz Joseph, and it was probably the first time new Star Trek ships were created and published that didn't look like the Enterprise.

You have to remember, even the Enterprise herself was rather vague. There was no VCR, and the model FX shots were probably murky at best on 60s TV sets. Apart from Matt Jefferies construction drawings, there was nothing depicting the Enterprise accurately (and even then those construction drawings were quite different from either the 3 foot or the 11 foot models.. the AMT model was way off the mark too).

So, what does a guy do? It's easier (and more logical) to assume the parts of the Enterprise are modular, instead of attempting to design something that looks like Star Trek but isn't. It makes sense, too.. the saucer is where the crew lives, the secondary hull is where engineering and the shuttlebay are, and then you need a few engines.

It's interesting to note that for TNG, Roddenberry conjured up his "Starship Design Rules", expressly stating that ships need even numbers of engines. This is often regarded as a backhanded way of invalidating Franz Joseph's works (which were more or less 'official' up until Wrath of Khan, and names and diagrams from FJ's books were used in those movies).
posted by Harry at 3:03 PM on February 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's easier (and more logical) to assume the parts of the Enterprise are modular

More practical, too: prior to the advent of cheap and easy CGI, TV starships were made by "kitbashing" commercial models of existing ships.

I love the idea of some VFX intern running down to a Toys R Us five minutes before it closes and walking out with armloads of glue and Star Trek models because oh shit, the Borg are invading and we need an armada.
posted by Zozo at 11:26 AM on February 14, 2011


And it's skin moves, and it screams, and doesn't move they way you'd expect it to. Creepy.

Dog nose makes a great 3d texture.
posted by the_artificer at 7:20 AM on February 18, 2011


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