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Designing UESPA-9 (SS Voyager)

80% complete

SS Voyager's current state


A bit about the design

SS Voyager (UESPA-9) is a slightly too advanced ship for the time period. The in-universe reason is attributed to strong forward thinking, human ambition, and ultimately human limitation. Whilst the powerplant is the same as colony ship SS Conestoga's grouping of six Cochrane-type fusion reactors, the spaceframe itself is too large and its systems too demanding for that immature system. Upon launch, the power draw ends up overloading one of the reactors and the ship explodes in high Earth orbit before its shakedown cruise.

The design is just too complex for 2067. Especially only two years after SS Valiant. But that is intentional. I believe a young and hoping interstellar Earth would attempt to go beyond its capabilities to get deeper into space. But the burden of World War III lingers and stops it right in its tracks, reminding humanity that it has a long way to go and that immature technologies will simply be its undoing. With DY-500 almost a decade years away, Earth will have to sit on its hands in the meantime.

Software used for designing: TechSoft 2D Design V2 and Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.

Stage one - design some candidates

SS Voyager stage 1 photo

The first thing I did was sketch up some small low detail forms for the ship based on a few well-known references from the same period; SS Valiant of 2065, SS Conestoga of 2067, and DY-500-class of 2076.

Stage two - develop the design

SS Voyager stage 2 photo

I found that the last form I did was the one I liked the most, and it was the most unique. So I took that form, refined the details, and did some basic annotations on the design. Correction: the size measurements should read "145 (length) x 20 (width) x 30 (draft), 50,000 metric tonnes". In hindsight, the width is far too small anyway and should logically be around 50 to 60 metres.

Stage three - computerise design

SS Voyager stage 3 render

I roughly recreated the form on with a CAD software so that the design would be confined to a proper scale. I then made a copy of the form and revised the layout of the ship to better suit the length and draft I specified in my annotated drawing - I am also now presuming the width to be around 50 to 60 metres to accommodate the 'wing-span' of the nacelle pylons.

Stage four - colourise design

SS Voyager stage 4 render

I colourised the best CAD form so that I could get a more realistic feel of the shapes. I then made some form refines.

Stage five - detail the design

SS Voyager stage 5 render

I added some details to make the design come alive, paying special attention to a 4-metre deck height to ensure details are correctly aligned for stage seven.

Annotations: there are only two shuttle bays - doors 1 and 3 represent a port bay and doors 2 and 4 (not visible, of course) represent a starboard bay.

Stage six - produce design orthographic (side, front and top view)

Stage seven - produce internal side schematic