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USS Spirit NCC-70223 by fongsaunder USS Spirit NCC-70223 by fongsaunder
For the Star Trek Universe.

*Senses trekkies heartrate increase*

Anyway.
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USS Spirit
Thunderbird-class
Federation Torpedo Frigate.

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Introduced in the year 2375, the Thunderbird-class was designed to be built quickly, yet retained high combat ability, to replace the large amount of ship losses during the Battle of Sector 001 as well as the Dominion War. Starfleet Command decided the emphasis in the ship design would focus on speed, manouverbility and armament, with minimal attention to non-combat luxuries. As a result, a very potent and capable warship emerged from the drawing boards, partially inspired by the Akira-class, also a recent design. Three ships of the class were deployed just a year after the design was finalised, and now serve to fill in gaps in the fleet as a result of the recent Dominion conflict.

Engineers designing the Thunderbirds decided upon a Torpedo Frigate classification, noting that the fleet lacked dedicated torpedo vessels. The main flaw in torpedo-based combat, as opposed to phaser-slugouts, is that torpedoes can be intercepted by phaser shots or even counter-torpedoes before they even hit their targets, rendering them useless. To counter this, engineers added ample torpedo launcher mounts onto various points in the ship, including the saucer section and aft rollbar. Furthermore, these torpedo launchers are bolstered by additional triple-tubed rotary microtorpedo launchers, similar to those mounted on Federation Starbases as defence systems. These high rate-of-fire microtorpedoes, rather than firing a single, high-yield warhead, fires many smaller, lower-yield weapons continously, overwhelming the target's defensive systems. In addition to these disposable weapons systems, the Thunderbirds are also armed with the oh-so-common Type XII Phaser systems. An upgrade to the system is also present on the vessel. In addition to the common phaser arrays laid out on strips, the Thunderbirds also have dome-shaped multidirectional phaser mounts, which can fire in nearly any direction, ensuring every flank of the ship is covered.
The ship also possesed an improved dual-layer shielding system, with the outer layer being a pulse-shield, only activating when enemy fire is detected. The inner layer is a conventional regenerative shield, similar to those on most contemporary ships. The ship is also coated in ablative hull plating, which dampens energy weapons fire, as well as reactive armour packs, which can deflect physical damage. Onboard replicators allow both these defensive system to be replaced in a matter of hours, ensuring optimum protection of the vessel even after a battle. The exposed bridge, long an issue of controversy by Federation commanders, is plated with thick neutronium armour, making it one of the toughest parts of the ship. Externally, the ship lacks windows common to most Federation ship classes, opting for a more armoured hull rather than the luxury of spacescapes. However, high resolution external cameras were installed later on to most of the Thunderbirds in service, as creature comfort when more resources became avaliable.

The Thunderbird's other specialty is her speed. Having six high powered impulse engines, the Thunderbird has one of the fastest sublight acceleration among ships in the Federation fleet, allowing it to travel quickly without engaging warp drive. Her warp drive also consists of four heavy duty nacelles, each nacelle having a pair of warp coils. At cruising, she can attain a very fast FTL speed of Warp Factor 9, and can boost to Warp 9.52 for a maximum time of around twelve hours. With her unique nacelle configuartion, she can go to warp even if three out of four of her nacelles are disabled, allowing her to escape to fight another day. Due to the high consumption of deuterium for her hungry impulse engines, larger and more buzzard collectors were installed into all four of her nacelles, ensuring her fusion reactors have enough fuel for impulse power.

Due to the ship's modular design, she is expected to serve in the fleet until even the next century, progressively being upgraded with the latest Starfleet systems as time goes by. Already the three ships in service are proving themselves, bringing Federation firepower to bear when the situation goes awry. Utopia Plaintia Fleet Yards are expected to bring around 25 of these new ships into service, probably more due to it's excellent performance.

Artist Notes:
My virgin Trek Sketchup ship. Feedback is much appreciated. I tried my best to keep in line with Gene Roddenberry's starship design rules. =)

Google Sketchup =) Mm. Ketchup...
Add a Comment:
 
:iconwidefoot:
WideFoot Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
 This is amazing!  Please put this on the warehouse.  I'd like to see it in greater detail.  (and add it to my collections)  If it's too big, break it into pieces.  (if you prefer to keep the model private, i understand, but I will be sad)
Reply
:iconsumghai:
sumghai Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2012
Waay too cool. Lovin' the toon-like render.
Reply
:iconshieldsz:
shieldsz Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2012
This is awesome! I love concept art created by others who know Star Trek logic and how to freelance :).
Reply
:iconchaos-sandwhich:
chaos-sandwhich Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
love it, like other fan ship's i've seen, she solves many of the issues present in the show's, her amrour and sheilding make her seem to be a powerful focre, dome phasers solve the targeting issue, and the bridge armour plating is a nice touch, i also like the lack of windows as a structural weakness it makes sense to do away with them
Reply
:iconte-williams:
TE-Williams Featured By Owner May 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's a hot ship.
Reply
:icontuishimi:
Tuishimi Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2011
I like the design! It's definitely different from a lot of the other designs I see on dA. One thing... impulse engines... starships are limited to .25 SOL to avoid time dilation. If they want to go faster than that they jump to warp.
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011  Hobbyist
Thanks,

I never referred to her top sublight speed as such, since technically, all spaceships wouldn't really have a sublight speed limit (barring SOL, of course, and technically, even before that, with fuel efficiencies and all), given enough acceleration time. What "faster" refers to is the ship's sublight acceleration, which is higher compared to ships of her classification and tonnage, allowing her to reach a certain velocity faster than that of other ships of her size. (High acceleration is vital for maneuverability during combat)

In layman's terms, it takes less time for the Thunderbird to achieve (x velocity here) compared to, say, a Miranda-class.
Reply
:icontuishimi:
Tuishimi Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011
AH! I should have known! Sorry! :D That makes PERFECT sense now that you said it...
Reply
:iconseebee077:
seebee077 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Very cool design. I like the long graceful warp nacelles and clean lines of this ship.
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2010  Hobbyist
Thanks. I might redo it in the future. That jagged saucer kills a little of me inside every time I look at it.
Reply
:iconseebee077:
seebee077 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome it's good to see other people's starship ideas. I really like the long graceful nacelles and sleek pylons.
Reply
:iconarmy1ret:
army1ret Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2010
This is fantastic. I'm convinced of its mass, size and it feels like a Trek ship. Good job!
Don't worry about the SketchUp skills. They grow with time.

Nice work.
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2010  Hobbyist
Thanks for the kind words. It's kinda like an enlarged, four-nacelled NX-class if you think about it (with an additional secondary hull)
Reply
:icondarktanyon4:
Darktanyon4 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2009
If I might inquire, What program are you using for the 3d rendering?
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2010  Hobbyist
The modelling and rendering in this particular piece would be done in Google Sketchup. ^-^
Reply
:icongreyflame:
Greyflame Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Heyo, sorry to trouble you, but I was curious about something; did you use any rendering programs/plugins for the final images in this, or are they simply screenshots? I ask, because your images seem to have nice lines without showing edges for every face/polygon. I imagine you're just several degrees of Sketchup skill ahead of me xD Apologies again for being a bother.
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner May 29, 2009  Hobbyist
haha. No trouble at all, mate.

I just use the Exporter native to Google Sketchup. Under the file menu, go to Export -> 2D image. I usually export in PNG with Antialias on, to keep the quality and prevent jagged edges.

My Sketchup skills are crap. haha. And it's okay, I dont mind. :)

Have fun with Sketchup!
Reply
:icongreyflame:
Greyflame Featured By Owner May 29, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah, I didn't even notice the export thing. That definitely helps a lot with the image quality. Good to know, thanks a bunch ^_^
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner May 29, 2009  Hobbyist
You're welcome. haha. Hope it serves you well. :)
Reply
:iconfips001:
fips001 Featured By Owner May 14, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice ship i like it! It reminds some sort of a mix between NX Enterprise, Constellation-Class and Miranda-Class ships.

You planed it as a warship, didn't you???
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner May 15, 2009  Hobbyist
Thank you. I guess it looks more of the Constitution/Miranda, but hey, your eyes are probby better than mine.

Nah. Wanted to do something totally different. Ended up something totally common. haha.
Reply
:iconfips001:
fips001 Featured By Owner May 15, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
My eyes are only then better when I were my glases (which is most times not so) but hey everybody may see something different...
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner May 21, 2009  Hobbyist
haha. Dont we all? XD
Reply
:iconharroldsheep:
harroldsheep Featured By Owner May 4, 2009  Professional Filmographer
um...that's an awfully small deflector for a frigate.
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner May 6, 2009  Hobbyist
Heh. I didn't notice. I wanted it to have an Excelsior-ish dish.


Thanks for the tip.
Reply
:icongryphonarts:
gryphonarts Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2009
Fong, please do this to my Wolf Class, PLEASE!
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2009  Hobbyist
Eeep.
Im afraid I can't. My sketchup skills not that powerful yet....

And Im lazy. =P
Reply
:iconathane:
Athane Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome, love the design
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2009  Hobbyist
=)
Reply
:iconovni-the-ufo:
Ovni-the-UFO Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009
This is inspiring me to finish my 2 star trek ketchup models. XD My two are an interceptor and a heavy frigate though.
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2009  Hobbyist
Well, what are you waiting for?
Go!

=P
Reply
:iconovni-the-ufo:
Ovni-the-UFO Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2009
Well, I gotta re-texture the interceptor and....well, completely redo the frigate. XDD
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2009  Hobbyist
Good luck.
=)
Reply
:icontrekkie5000:
Trekkie5000 Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very nice. I like it a lot.

Probably the only thing I'd change is the warp nacelles pylons. The way they extend past the center of the impulse fairings seems unnecessary, and kind of weird. I'd have them connect to the sides of the fairing closest to the nacelles.

But that's it. Aside from that I think it's perfect.
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009  Hobbyist
=) Thanks.

I wanted to stick with the Roddenberry ship design rules.
[link]

Specifically Rule 3. Without the pylons, there wont be much frontal clearance.

Anyway, thanks for the critisism. Will keep that in mind in my next ship ^.^
Reply
:icontrekkie5000:
Trekkie5000 Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh no, I'm saying you should keep the pylons. Heck, I'd even recommend making them longer. I just think they're connected to the ship in an odd spot.
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2009  Hobbyist
LOL okay. Sorry, misread your reply.

I connected them there as a poor excuse to hide my noob Sketchup skillz. =P
Reply
:icontitan-hq:
titan-hq Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, it's a solid design. I like it. I've always loved things based around the NX/Akira design lineage.

The Specs however, are a bit iffy. They're not Fanwank, but they're not great either. Don't worry, I'm in a good mood, so I'll elaborate. lol.

-The Warp speed, great. Not the usual 'Warp 9.9999' max speed that is oh-so common.
-The Sub light speed, I can live with too. It makes sense for a warship to be fast and agile.
-Weapons, this is where I have my first big issue. Too many torpedo launchers. I know it is a torpedo frigate, but I think less launchers, placed to face both ways on all axis, that can fire faster, would be more 'realistic' in the trek-verse. Look at how many torpedoes the Ent-E can launch in a short time frame. You don't need that many to overwhelm enemy defenses.
-Armor, again. Two layers of armor? Ablative and standard armor packs. -[Note: Ablative armor is armor that is destroyed by enemy weapons fire when hit, but by being completely vaporised, it stops the weapons energy from hitting the hull]-
- Shields, I like them. Just, make sure they are not TOO powerful. It is a small ship after all, and should be able to maneuver out of enemy fire, and should not rely on it's shields.


Again, this is not an attack on your ship. Just some (hopefully) constructive criticism that may or may not help you.
Reply
:iconharroldsheep:
harroldsheep Featured By Owner May 4, 2009  Professional Filmographer
i agree: the tubes around the really, really tiny deflector are superfluous, at best.
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009  Hobbyist
Thanks for the feedback, it's very much appreciated. =)

-Weapons. Hmm. Good point.Maybe a little overboard with them torps. =P. I think it has around 16 torpedo launchers. Tried to concentrate some to the upper section, since I noticed most starfleet ships torpedo launchers are on their ventral section.

-Armor. I was under the assumption that reactive plating would react to physical hits, like torpedo damage and ablative plating would take hits from energy weapons, like phaser and disruptors. The ablative plating Im referring to is the type used on the Prometheus class, rather than the armoured thing from the future Admiral Janeway.

-Yeah. I think the regen shields are just to protect the ship from debris/enemy transporter signals. The real shields are the pulse shields. =P

Once again, thanks for the feedback. Will take into consideration when designing next ship. ^.^
Reply
:icontitan-hq:
titan-hq Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem, I hate when people comment on my things, then refuse to explain and expand their views.

- Weapons, well 16 isn't too bad really. The Akira is said to have 15, so it's not too far-fetched.

- Armour, Yeah... I'm a bit confused with what things are called in this area. All I know that Real Life Ablative armor is that which vaporises on contact. But then again, Star Trek isn't Real Life soo... maybe that's where I'm going wrong. lol.

- Woo for shields?! lol.

Can't wait for your next creation. Actually, that reminds me, I better get my ass into gear and finish some projects of my own. lol.
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2009  Hobbyist
LOL
haha. Everyone feels the same way
But I take critisism whenever I can.

There is real life ablative armor? I thought it was just called reactive armor or active armor. =P
Reply
:iconathane:
Athane Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nothing wrong with 16 launchers, the Akira has 15 launchers facing forwards, not to mention the aft facing launchers. DS9 also had rotating torpedo launchers for faster reload times
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2009  Hobbyist
Exactly the effect I'm going for. =)

I've read about the rotary microtorpedolaunchers on DS9 on FSD, and thought it was an excellent idea, hence it's incorporation into the ship. =P
Reply
:iconathane:
Athane Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
16 launchers almost seems too few for a torpedo cruiser, but it is a good idea
Reply
:iconfongsaunder:
fongsaunder Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2009  Hobbyist
I cut down the launcher numbers halfway during design. Thought more than that would be overpowered, and that there wouldn't be enough space to carry so many torpedoes, mainly due to the unique hull design.
Reply
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