• Ships of the Line 2018

    From Jack Bohn@21:1/5 to All on Wed Dec 27 08:10:32 2017
    This may be the second-latest I've posted one of these, so, while I have the time:

    cover: A Borg cube firing at a fleeing Enterprise-D. In the background, two other cubes and an unnamed Miranda class that I can barely not make out that its registry is 1864.

    January: The Enterprise over the Earth and Moon. In one corner, as if to entice comment beyond how pretty the picture is, is placed an almost TOS-ized Argo shuttle. I'm not sure I approve.

    February: The climactic scene of TNG:"Parallels". Whereas the original shot kept the ships oriented "up," this sets them at various orientations. The bright central light and a prominently askew ship give more an impression of an explosion of Enterprises. On the positive side, this picture can be hung in any orientation.

    March: The thumbnail on back makes this look like this year's "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" entry, with the pilot's helmet prominent in the frame. On the page we see our pilot is accompanied by five other planes, and they aren't F-104s, but F-16s. The pilot's
    helmet is turned enough to make out the insignia of the
    Thunderbirds aerobatic team on it. A dark triangle above the Enterprise's saucer in the thumbnail resolves itself into six navy Blue Angels planes. (I'd
    have to calculate the perspective, but I think they are above the saucer, not on the other side of it.) So this is a symbolic escort, rather than a fight.

    (Has there ever been an effects sequence exploring what unarmed demonstration planes could do to protect a crowd in a surprise attack? I want that. Whenever anybody complains that there are too many special fx explodathons I will answer that we have not had enough until we get that.) A quick look suggests the Thunderbirds flew
    F-105Bs at the time of filming, and F-100Ds in the year it was set, so this scene is current, or from a youth that took place in the 1980s. How old is John Eaves? (Twice this year I've had folks tell me their childhood model airplane collection flew
    across their ceiling in a very mixed squadron, and eventually the Enterprise joined them.)

    June is the "Tomorrow Is Yesterday" entry. The Enterprise flies over the desert of Omaha... the tundra of Omaha? I know there's a mutual of Omaha, but that's not quite right... How do we know it's from "Tomorrow is Yesterday"? Between the nacelle and
    the calendar proper is a tiny F-104 Starfighter. As this is a down shot, you can drill a hole in any side of the calendar and hang it whichever way you want. I noticed it's not merely the TOS Enterprise; well it is by deg (Douglas E. Graves). Changes
    include the name and registry repeated on the aft of the saucer, between the B-C deck and the spine, the spine itself having a small blue crystal, and additional navigation lights.

    April Two ships that look like the Akula subclass of the Akyazi Perimeter Action ships. One is NCC-9700, Hornet, and the other 9701. A hexagon pattern (lifeboats?) is prominent on what secondary hull there is. As there are two, one shows a aft-ventral-
    side view, and the other an aft-dorsal view, showing the shape well. They are encountering Klingon D-7/K'tingas or some variation of that hullform that I'm too untrained to be able to identify.

    May The refit Enterprise (with 1701 registry) overlooks the Reliant in drydock. We can take it that it is *meant* to be these ships from the title: "Better Days." An engine nacelle is being installed -- ironically, the port one. It is pushed and
    pulled by a pair of the shuttles seen in Spacedock in ST III.

    The centerfold is a technical readout, again, this time on the Phalanx class, a ship that has shown up in previous calendars. We get a side view and cutaway, and smaller fore, aft, and top views, with data and history.

    July Finds the Rio Grande and Defiant flying by a station that seems to have the shape of Deep Space Nine, but with the surface smoothed over and painted Federation white. (Do I need to read what's happened between the end of DS9 and the "Starbase Bajor"
    of the 2015 calendar?) The picture can be hung vertically so the "United Federation of Planets" painted down the pylon is legible, and the main ring is nearly parallel to your floor, but that puts the Runabout at too jaunty an angle for that space
    pickup truck; if only it had been tilted the same amount, but in the other direction. Am I misinterpreting what we see through the large windows on the ring? The one on the left looks to be the ceiling stretching back into the interior; the one on the
    right looks to be a floor, with people and platforms, runing at a different angle to the compartment next to it.

    August brings "Sunset at Veridian" and a number of small ships taking apart the Enterprise-D's saucer. Workbees are cutting out hull segments and lifting off with cargo pods, Runabouts are towing parts away -- the bridge unit is detached and ready to go
    -- and the cargo variant from "Starbase Bajor" is towing its pods. Some cubes are on the top of the hull as if escape pods were (carefully!) ejected for removal. The shuttlebay door is open showing various cargo units ready to go. Are they brought up
    from below decks, or brought down by workcraft? What small items would be brought out in cargo packs rather than transported?

    The scene is lit by a lot of portable lights and a few sports-stadium-sized ones. (Not an array of lights sized to light a sports stadium, but an array of lights the size of a sports stadium!) Not the stealthiest way, perhaps, but maybe the Powers That
    Be decided a few nights with light coming from the valley was less noticeable than more days of a stream of ships rising from the valley.

    September combines Star Trek with 2001: A Space Odyssey as the Enterprise investigates a large rectangular object in orbit around Jupiter. It's not as smooth, there are small ridges running along it, but is much more reflective. The composition is such
    that it can be hung at vertically or upside down.

    October "A Dish Best Served Cold" a pair of K'tingas close on a Regula-type station in an asteroid field. An Ambassador-class ship and its shuttle are about to intervene. They have the registration NCC-10535. The only hint I can find of the ship's
    name is in the side pennant, but it's too small to be definitely legible.

    November "Vulcan Diplomatic Escort" E-D escorting an ancient Surak-class ship. The Surak is in the foreground, so it can stretch from corner to corner of the image without worrying about scale.

    December introduces a new ship I might have thought was the Phalanx if the centerfold hadn't shown it for comparison. The ship is one of the few without
    registry and name plastered all around it, or we happen to see just the right wrong angle. A companion ship is in the upper left hand corner. From the rear view it looks to be built from parts of a Saber.

    Series scorecard: no love for Voyager. I might have assigned the Phalanx centerfold to it if I could continue to believe it had hinges on its nacelle struts, but they are explicitly called out as pulse phaser cannon modules. I generally credit post-TNG
    ships to the Generations film and sequels, so they get the centerfold and December, while April's new ship goes to TMP and its sequels. (The Ambassador goes to the credit of TNG, while the Vulcan ship splits November between TNG and ENT.)

    TOS 4
    TMP 2
    TNG 4
    DS9 1
    TGF 3
    ENT 1


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