Galactic Fleet Voyaging

LL206 Diomedes and her squadron

Apparently Neoclassic creations are like buses: you wait all day and then two come along at once.

I built the big one of these first, aiming for a vessel that would be of substantial size even if not actually the biggest I could build.

At a mere 50 studs in length, this is no Seriously Huge Investment in Pieces, but it represents my largest Neoclassic microship to date, and I think my largest microscale creation of any kind. Which is pretty pitiful beside some of the monster vessels which grace the Internet, but I hold this truth in reserve: I could actually build something bigger, and in Classic Space livery colours, too.

It’s helped in its size achievement by being mostly conventionally-built (SNOT construction is brick-intensive), but for all its largely old-fashioned technique it looks pretty good. At least from the top.

“Goose-necked” ships like this have a long pedigree in LEGO, going back all the way to the Starfleet Voyager of 1980 and rising up through the Galaxy Commander, FT Laser Craft and so on. I guess it’s a cost-effective way to make a ship that looks suitably large and impressive.

The overall configuration of this is vaguely reminiscent of the old Starfleet Voyager (though the twin-pronged bow section is more like the Galaxy Commander). It wasn’t built as a deliberate echo or homage, but apparently there are only so many basic ship configurations out there.

Still, the name of the Starfleet Voyager might provide something like a decent derivation for a class name.

The smaller escorting vessel was built afterwards, as I looked at the pile of blue, grey and trans yellow leftovers and thought “I could have built bigger after all”.

I’ve maintained a similar design ethos so that the two ships feel like they’re part of a unified fleet with common basic features, and it was rather fun to build a “similar but different” vessel like this. And then I went smaller again for the corvettes.

As far as scale goes, I’m thinking this is a decent-sized vessel. I’m using a rough scale of one plate thickness per storey, so with a 3.5m storey height including between-decks space for power conduits and ducts and so on, that makes each stud length 8.75m long. This gives a total vessel length of 437.5m, or 1435ft.

~

The Voyager-class star cruiser LL206 Diomedes is a member of the third flight of that class, named after heroes of the Trojan War, following on from the first of the fifth-flight ships, LL198 Odysseus. It is a medium-large vessel, one of the smallest to receive the designation of “capital ship”, though in truth it only fulfils this function in the outer colonies, where fleets are composed of smaller and more versatile vessels. In the full Federation wedge-of-battle, ships like the Diomedes are more like heavy screening elements beside behemoths like the Sovereign of Space-class dreadnought.

The third flight Voyagers replace the ventral pulse cannon turret with a twin-mounted penetrator cannon turret, adding to the two forward-firing penetrator cannons already mounted on the sides of the forward hull. The so-called “penetrator cannon” is an energy-intensive meson-decay weapon able to fire through an opponent’s shields. The rest of the primary armament remains unchanged from the second flight: three twin-mounted pulse cannon turrets and six capital missile tubes in broadsides of three apiece.

Diomedes and her sisters fire the XT-13 Werewolf capital missile, whose centrally-augmented fire control allows off-beam targeting to the extent that all six missile tubes may be fired at a single opponent even in front of or behind the ship.

For secondary weapons, the Voyager-class is well equipped, as befits the class’ colonial role where individual ships must often act alone and unsupported. The Diomedes‘ secondary antimissile lasers are invisible at this scale, but provide a good all-around defensive capability against fighters and missiles.

Like all Federation starships, the Diomedes maintains both interstellar hyperspace drives and sublight impellers. The physics of hyperspace field generation requires the Ilion field generators to be located at the ship’s broadest point perpendicular to the main axis, where they generate the ring-shaped gateway field which forms the entry-point into Ilion hyperspace.

Situated at the stern of the ship are the vessel’s sublight impellers. Though in form reminiscent of the ancient reaction thrusters by which Humanity made their first forays into space, the impeller drive is a reactionless pseudogravity-magnetic drive system requiring little actual fuel beyond that used for the ship’s main power reactors.

Diomedes‘ primary weakness is its limited integral small craft capacity. The main hangar ports are located ventrally on the after hull and mostly support the class’ various landing shuttles and pinnaces, but the ship does carry a half-squadron (six ships) of small one-man fightercraft, usually older designs like the Viper and Corsair.

Escorting the Diomedes here is LL3242 Scamander, a River-class light cruiser named after the principal of the seven rivers of Troy.

Doctrinally, the River-class are intended as fleet escorts, designed to screen larger capital vessels from attack by small fighters or missiles. Accordingly, while they bristle with light-calibre antimissile and antifighter lasers invisible at this scale, their sole primary armament is a pair of twin-mounted ion cannon turrets and a heavy laser cluster cannon located dorsally amidships.

With their designated role as fleet escorts, the River-class’ fire control system and sensor net are designed to be tied into that of the fleet, allowing them to provide coordinated missile defence to several capital ships.

Also flying in LL206 Diomedes‘ ad hoc squadron are two small Dagger-class corvettes, Falx and Shuriken, each armed with a single laser cluster turret. Corvettes are the smallest Federation vessels to bear an Ilion hyperdrive unit; their primary role is as light scouts or couriers.

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9 thoughts on “Galactic Fleet Voyaging

  1. Luke Skytrekker

    Ooh, wow, sweet! This is a pretty epic fleet! Love how you went for several ships instead of one big one—it’s not a common approach, and it creates a more immersive result. All the little turrets and weapons and so forth are superb, and everything—especially on the Diomedes—just fits.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. geoffhorswood Post author

      Thanks! I really enjoyed trying to create a unified look for my fleet with progressively smaller ships.
      I am intending to create an “as large as I can possibly build in a reasonable colour scheme” ship, just to see how big I can get, but yeah, doing a fleet is great fun.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Luke Skytrekker

        Yeah, I honestly am quite interested to see what kind of a “big as you can go” ship you’d create. Also, have you done anything in LDD recently? I haven’t been on the Galleries, but for some reason I was assuming you’d stopped using them with the closure of the MBs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. geoffhorswood Post author

        Yeah, that’s right. With the closure of the LMBs I kind of lost my remaining interest in the Galleries.
        I haven’t done a lot with LDD, either. Somehow I’d rather build with real bricks.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Luke Skytrekker

        I could understand that. I do still occasionally miss your huge-scale digital creations, though. I actually have such a build on the back-burner myself, but I haven’t gotten around to setting it all up and rendering it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. geoffhorswood Post author

        Yeah, I miss your renderings of digital LEGO. If I could render worth a crap I might have kept up with it more, but I never could get the hang of Blender. I didn’t exactly put in a lot of time, I’ll admit, but I didn’t have a lot of time to put in when I was trying to learn it.
        What I’m actually thinking I need for my next evolution in presentation of models is to acquire and learn a reasonable photoshop-type program so that I can add those flashy backgrounds and light effects people use.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Luke Skytrekker

        Yeah, I miss ’em, too. Really gotta get back into it.
        And yeah, Blender has an incredibly steep learning curve. I’ve used it for over seven years, and I still only know about 5% of it, though admittedly I was never super diligent in learning more. There is a pretty nice Lego rendering template you can use if you run your model your Mecabricks, but even that’s rather tricky to get the hang of. I’m under the impression Bluerender is simpler—I know it takes straight-up LDD models— but I’ve never used it so I really don’t know.
        If you’re looking for image editing software, I’d recommend GIMP or Krita. They’re both free, and I’ve heard good things about them (and can testify Krita is effective). It would be pretty slick to see your builds with fancy backgrounds and things.

        Liked by 1 person

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