U.S.S. Valiant, NCC-31
Type: light cruiser
Operator: UESPA; UFP Starfleet
Length: approximately 160 meters
Capacity: 118 humanoids
Max. Speed: warp 5.7
Max. Cruising speed: warp 4.5
Armament: phase cannons (x4 fixed batteries); photonic torpedoes (x2 torpedo tubes, mounted on turret)
Defenses: polarized hull plating
||||| Service History |||||
Constructed in the early days of the Earth-Romulan War, the S.S. Valiant saw her first combat less than a week after leaving drydock. Following the cessation of hostilities between Earth and Romulus in 2160, the Valiant was assigned to patrol the trade-lanes in local space to defend against pirate activity.
Following the foundation of the United Federation of Planets in 2161, the Valiant (now the United Space Ship, or U.S.S. Valiant) was one of the first UESPA starships to join the Federation's Combined Starfleet, alongside Vulcan, Andorian and Tellarite vessels.
In 2177 the Federation sent the Valiant with its first diplomatic envoy to Qo'noS, capital of the Klingon Empire, consisting of ambassadors from all four founding states: Andor, Earth, Tellar and Vulcan. This first contact between the Klingon Empire and nascent Federation was disastrous—the Valiant was destroyed along with her crew and the entire diplomatic delegation. While historians can only speculate on what might have incited the Klingons' wrath, it is clear that this incident led directly to decades of conflict with the Empire.
||||| Starship Background |||||
The Daedalus-class starship was a general-purpose starship used first by the United Earth Republic, and later by the United Federation of Planets. It's simple design made it durable and both easy to manufacture and repair. Used primarily for patrol and escort duty, the Earth-Romulan War saw the Daedalus-type starship rapidly become the backbone of the United Earth Starfleet, as they could be built at approximately three times the rate of the NX-type starships.
Despite the superiority of the Intrepid-class light cruisers and new Columbia-class explorers, the Daedalus also saw widespread use in the early years of the Federation. The last Daedalus-class starship in the UFP Starfleet was finally decommissioned in 2197, having served with distinction for more than a half century.
||||| Model Background |||||
My goal was to "modernize" the very primitive-looking Daedalus model we only ever got to see on-screen, in miniature, as a model in a classroom in Deep Space Nine. The Daedalus' basic design originates from some concept art Matt Jeffries' drew up for the original Enterprise, which had previously been used as the inspiration for the Olympic-class U.S.S. Pasteur in the series finale of The Next Generation.
The basic Daedalus design is... problematic. It's difficult to design any ship around a spherical hull, but a *Star Trek* ship? Even moreso. Bill George managed to do it with no small degree of grace with the Olympic-class, but even that design has some problems (most notably in lack of any clear navigational deflector—which, admittedly, is far from a unique problem).
I went through about quite a few designs before settling on what you see here: I tried warping the shape of the sphere—sometimes making it a little flatter, sometimes extending it, sometime both; I increased and decreased the angle of the nacelle pylons; I made the secondary hull narrow, I made it wide, I even tried a couple designs with the classic cutaway on the aft end. Nothing seemed to work. Eventually I decided to just take a sphere and start building the ship from there, rather than determining the general shapes of every hull component and their arrangement first. Once I had a more-or-less finalized version of that spherical hull, I found it much easier to "extrapolate" what the rest of the model should look like.
At one point I'd hoped to place all of the weaponry on the big ventral turret (originally thinking of a single torpedo tube and two phase cannons) but the turret ended up being too small. So instead the turret is just for the torpedo tubes, and the phase cannons are mounted on either side of the deflector dish—where I hoped they'd evoke imagery of old WWII fighter planes, that frequently had cannons and machine guns embedded in their fuselage to either side of the nose in a similar fashion.
I also thought, at one stage in the model's construction, that it'd be built around a massive warp-core that could easily and quickly be jettisoned and replaced. I ended up not doing that, but I do think of the cylindrical component on the rear end of the model as being the outer-casing of the warp-core, which extends deeper inside the secondary hull after the merge.
This model also marks my first foray into "scenes," so if you download it to view you'll be able to see it from a lot of cool angles (at least in my opinion) as well as some stuff that is generally hidden (specifically the shuttlebay and cross-section w/ the deck plan). I have also updated all of my other models with scenes and re-written their accompanying descriptions to use the same format as here.
(Starship information is derived partially from Memory Alpha and/or Memory Beta, and from my own imagination.)
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