What if

General Modelling Forum => General Modeling topics => The Idea Bank => Topic started by: Weaver on January 13, 2018, 10:03:11 am

Title: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on January 13, 2018, 10:03:11 am
Been watching a few videos about the early days of the Star Wars project and got thinking about how it could have been different...

So, it's 1974 and you've just been hired by some oddball Yank director called George...something-or-other to do concept art and/or models for his whacky new space movie called 'Star Warriors', or something like that anyway: the script's being re-written every week at the moment. What are your ideas?

Note: don't get hung up on the names things were eventually given: the names followed the designs, not the other way around. Your Rebel Fighter isn't necessarily going to be called an 'X-Wing' yet so there's no requirement for it to have an 'X' shaped configuration.


The Brief:

The movie is to have the visual style of 2001, but with a fast-paced adventure feel more like the old Flash Gordon series, mixed with dogfighting scenes inspired by old WWII movies. Spacecraft are therefore striking geometric shapes, with lots of detail and weathering to make them look like realistic hardware, and no concessions to aerodynamics (force fields will take care of any pesky air they encounter). Pointy, finned rocket-ships and flying saucers are definitely out.

The latest draft of the script envisages seven spacecraft types:

1. Rebel Courier Ship. This is a small warship, equivalent to a naval destroyer or frigate, which is captured by an Imperial capital ship (see below) at the start of the movie. Key requirements:

Small enough to be easily overmatched by the Imperial ship.
Large enough crew to resist a boarding action for a matter of some minutes.
Large enough interior for some drama involving running, hiding and secret meetings.
Equipped with escape pods capable of getting at least two survivors down to a nearby planet.


2. Imperial Capital Ship. A huge, imposing warship, capable of overmatching the Courier Ship. Basically a cross between a battleship and an aircraft carrier.
Key requirements:

Imposing appearance.
Large size.
Lots of firepower.
Lots of fighters.
Docking bay capable of holding the Courier Ship.


3. Smuggler Ship. A small 'tramp freighter' used for smuggling and other illegal activities by some of the major characters. Has a performance that belies it's battered and ramshackle appearance. Key requirements:

Small and agile enough to win a fight against a handful of fighters.
Enough firepower to hold off/defeat a handful of fighters, some of it possibly concealed, Q-ship style.
Big enough to hold a visible legitimate cargo and a concealed illicit cargo.
Big enough to act as 'home' for half-a-dozen people for an extended period.
Spacious enough interior for quite a bit of drama.


4. Planet Killer. A huge ship/station that can literally blow planets up. Key requirements:

Enormous size, such that it can credibly hold a planet-killing weapon.
Huge variety of interior settings: effectively a city in space.
Huge amount of firepower and fighters.
Docking bay capable of holding the Smuggler Ship.


5. Imperial Fighter. A small cheap, expendable fighter that the Empire can build in vast quantities to protect it's capital ships from being swarm-attacked. For reference, think of a Mitsubishi Zero: agile but fragile. Key Requirements:

Single pilot.
Small size.
High agility.
Just enough firepower to take out an enemy fighter.
No protection or armour.
Fragile appearance.
No FTL drive.


6. Rebel Fighter. Since the Rebels' main problem is recruiting pilots, their fighter is the antithesis of the Imperial one: it's a big, capable 'Cadillac' of a ship, semi-self-repairing, with FTL drive and lots of capability. For reference, think of any US late WWII fighter such as the Hellcat, Corsair, Thunderbolt or Mustang, as compared to a Zero. Key Requirements:

Single pilot plus a small robot for self-repair.
Medium size (for a fighter).
Enough agility.
Plenty of firepower to take out an enemy fighter and maybe damage a capital ship.
Plenty of protection in the form of armour and/or force fields.
FTL drive.


7. Rebel Strike Craft. A large, relatively sluggish 'fighter' whose job is to carry heavy weapons capable of taking out a capital ship. For reference, think of the Mosquitoes in the film 633 Squadron or the torpedo and dive-bombers in any WWII carrier action.

Two human crew.
Large size (for a fighter).
Relatively poor agility.
Plenty of firepower to damage a capital ship, plus rear defence guns to protect it from fighters.
Plenty of protection in the form of armour and/or force fields.
FTL drive.







Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: PR19_Kit on January 13, 2018, 10:25:21 am

..........think of the Mosquitoes in the film 633 Squadron.


Do I have to?  :banghead:

I'd get another headache I know. The darn thing was on TV just the other night and I'm only just recovering.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Jesse220 on January 13, 2018, 11:58:56 am
Nice Ideas
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on January 13, 2018, 01:41:16 pm

..........think of the Mosquitoes in the film 633 Squadron.


Do I have to?  :banghead:

I'd get another headache I know. The darn thing was on TV just the other night and I'm only just recovering.

That was literally the inspiration for the trench run in Star Wars. Lucas cut bits of it, plus other WWII movies, into Star Wars footage to make daily 'roughs' when he hadn't yet got the special effects footage.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on January 13, 2018, 01:45:44 pm
Nice Ideas

Umm, not sure if you're confused or not, but they're not 'ideas': they're 'neutral' descriptions of the actual ships in Star Wars. The idea is to come up with your own designs to the same movie requirement. From top to bottom, they are:

1. Tantive IV frigate (Princess Leia's ship)
2. Imperial Star Destroyer
3. Millennium Falcon
4. Death Star
5. TIE Fighter
6. X-Wing
7. Y-Wing
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: sandiego89 on January 13, 2018, 06:40:46 pm
Well from just watching the latest one, The Last Jedi, I would not have bombers that had to fly above the evil star cruiser and have gravity realese bombs fall straight down..they even had bomb bay door and racks, with the hero pilot having to scurry down and trigger the manual release! It was all well done, but it’s space!!!
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on January 13, 2018, 07:28:55 pm
Well from just watching the latest one, The Last Jedi, I would not have bombers that had to fly above the evil star cruiser and have gravity realese bombs fall straight down..they even had bomb bay door and racks, with the hero pilot having to scurry down and trigger the manual release! It was all well done, but it’s space!!!

Really?  :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

I missed TFA at the cinema and only saw it when the DVDs appeared in a bin at the supermarket for £3. After watching it, I begrudged spending the £3, so I'm in no rush to see TLJ...
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on January 13, 2018, 07:40:40 pm
For the Imperial Fighter, it strikes me that it, rather than the Rebel Fighter, should have folding or VG features. It's intended to be cheap and numerous, so folding fins/wings would help it to stow in a smaller space, thus increasing the number that could be carried on a larger ship. What I have in mind is a spherical cockpit (not copying the TIE Fighter here: it's just the most logical pressure vessel) with a smaller-diameter power plant on the back of it. The power plant would be surrounded by four 'petals' that fold down for stowage and out for flying, making it star-shaped in flight. Each petal would have a combined thruster/blaster unit at the end that could push backward or shoot forwards, but not both at the same time. The fighter could thus choose all-thrust for max acceleration, all shoot for max damage or two thrust + two shoot for a mixture. Ideally the thrust/blast units would be fed by 'laser beams' from the central core, but that might be beyond the SFX technology of the 1970s.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: joncarrfarrelly on January 13, 2018, 10:26:36 pm
Very early pre-production concepts; drawings, paintings and models, by Colin Cantwell for a project
originally called Adventures of the Starkiller, (Episode One) “The Star Wars”.
http://www.originalprop.com/blog/2014/11/13/colin-cantwell-video-interviews-star-wars-prototype-models-nasa/

Plus sketches by Lucas that he gave to Cantwell as a starting point, from the Kitbashed site:
https://kitbashed.com/blog/a-complete-history-of-the-millennium-falcon

(https://static1.squarespace.com/static/4f209325d09a4f024c85b060/t/56d6631b37013b3ec7bf6be4/1456890686884/?format=2500w)
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: zenrat on January 14, 2018, 01:24:49 am
If the robots were allowed to pilot the fighters then they would have a huge advantage over those with human crews as they would be able to withstand vastly greater G forces and thus easilly out manoeuvre their "soft centred" opponents.
This is why Battlestar Galactica is wrong.  Vipers would have no chance against Cylons.

However, is there a need for fighters when (if we extrapolate from events in TLJ) an imperial capital ship can be taken out by strapping a hyperdrive to an appropriately aimed rock?
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on January 14, 2018, 02:21:16 am
If the robots were allowed to pilot the fighters then they would have a huge advantage over those with human crews as they would be able to withstand vastly greater G forces and thus easilly out manoeuvre their "soft centred" opponents.
This is why Battlestar Galactica is wrong.  Vipers would have no chance against Cylons.

However, is there a need for fighters when (if we extrapolate from events in TLJ) an imperial capital ship can be taken out by strapping a hyperdrive to an appropriately aimed rock?

All fair points (as are several others), but remember:

a) It's 1974. Every military fighter has a human pilot and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Even though aircraft geeks know that a few 'robot planes' exist, limited-purpose missiles have just made a dismal showing in Vietnam and the USAF has just officially reinvented the dogfighter with the F-15 & F-16/17. NOBODY in 1974 is going to allow robots to fly fighter planes.

b) It's a movie in 1974. Movies are about people doing heroic stuff and robots aren't people. 'Real' robots that can act well enough to support the empathy of the audience are well off into the sci-fi future of the 1990s, both in terms of what the SFX industry can actually do and of what the general public will buy. Yes you can point to C-3PO and R2-D2, but remember that they're supporting cast, not main players, and they are also essentially human characters in metal suites, with a range of human frailties that (especially in the case of C-3PO) are utterly unrealistic. They're there to add light relief and a constant reminder that this is a sci-fi world. If the SFX hadn't worked well or the actors hadn't been able to work in it, then the story would have changed little and suffered little for them being removed and/or replaced by biological characters.

TLJ is a LONG way in the future at this point. We're still talking about Flash Gordon meets 2001 at this point and trying to get a studio to cough up for even just the one movie.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: zenrat on January 14, 2018, 03:02:08 am
I know H.  I was just stirrin'...
 ;D


Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on January 14, 2018, 06:21:47 am
I know H.  I was just stirrin'...
 ;D

You're bucking to fly the Spoon-Wing aren't you?  :wacko:
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Snowtrooper on January 14, 2018, 07:18:03 am
The "Stingray" is a bit unclear, but looks a lot like XF-85 Goblin. Since it's already a diminutive, minimally armed short-range fighter would perhaps be a better starting point for the Imperial expendable fighter.

The "Finned Sausage" for the Imperial fighter looks a lot like a tailless Starfighter (pun intended). If the Goblin will be the starting point for the inspiration for Imperial fighter, then this will possibly end up as a Rebel fighter.

The Strike Fighter, depends if you want everyone under the same canopy or not. On the other hand, it could be F-105 without intakes, Bf 110 shaped cockpit glazing to allow for tail gunner, and X-shaped tail surfaces to clear the field of fire for the lascannon. On the other hand, something like A-3 or swept-wing Il-28 (if you want a more pronounced tail gun) or a mix and match could be the starting point.

From that perspective, the blockade runner and/or pirate ship resemble the B-70 a lot, so that could be another starting point. (What became the Tantive IV was for a long time actually the Falcon, even well into the shooting, leading to a few reshoots because the exterior sets didin't look right.)

At the time, the two leading space station archetypes in SF illustrations are probably the 2001-type rotating ring station, and the more contemporary "modules and trusses". The ring would seem more scifistic and less fragile for the Death Star, place the superlaser in the middle in the non-rotating part and have the Trench Run set along the rim somewhere (handwave that the even the superlaser itself is too strongly armoured to be hurt, and the MacGuffin weakpoint is located somewhere in the rim).

Of course, these would be just starting points, it's not like the final designs would be just 20th century planes IN SPAAAACE, but there you go.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: perttime on January 14, 2018, 08:47:37 am
A big ring with spokes, and the weapon in the hub, would work for the Planet Killer. Then you'd just need a different menacing name, instead of Death Star.

The Rebel Fighter needs to look familiar enough that people will immediately recognize it as a fighter. The X-wing configuration always seemed a bit silly to me. Maybe something more like the E-Wing that appeared later. There's some variety of artwork around. Some show it quite stubby, some more sleek.

(https://pre00.deviantart.net/4eff/th/pre/f/2015/046/c/5/e_wing_001_dev_by_ws_clave-d8i3dgb.jpg)

(https://i.pinimg.com/736x/f4/10/2e/f4102edba32cc993b2f6ac9ab7084ae6--star-wars-stuff-starwars.jpg)

The Imperial Fighter surely needs to look alien and sinister. If it cannot be a ball with plates on either side, it could be a short sausage with a windmill or ring somewhere along its length.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: tigercat on January 14, 2018, 09:04:36 am
Rebel Strike Craft : take P61 Black Widow fuselage stretch out nose and make fuselage  more angular . Add Concorde style wings and tail .
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: joncarrfarrelly on January 14, 2018, 11:49:25 am
The Stainless Steel Rat book cover mentioned in context of the Imperial "sausage", and the source of the vertical "wings":
(https://static1.squarespace.com/static/4f209325d09a4f024c85b060/t/56d6670659827ed3dbab5173/1456922452435/Sphere-4437-d+Harrison+Stainless+Steel+Rat.jpg?format=2500w)
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on January 14, 2018, 05:18:52 pm
Rebel Strike Craft : take P61 Black Widow fuselage stretch out nose and make fuselage  more angular . Add Concorde style wings and tail .

They pretty much did use the P-61 fuselage for the ARC-170:

(http://pro.bols.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Arc170_pair.jpg)

That was much later though, so for a 1974 concept it's still good, and your idea of delta wings is very different.

Thinking about the Rebel Strike Craft and it's 633 Squadron inspiration for a moment, I wonder whether a side-by-side cockpit might be appropriate? The result, with twin engines and quite a heavy look, might be a bit like this Avery Frost Orion from the TTA Handbook Spacecraft 2000-2100:

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5283/5212961282_11ee9cb143_b.jpg)

Alternately, if the Smuggler Ship wasn't going to be a 'modified flying saucer', then perhaps the Rebel Strike Craft could be, inwhich case it might look something like this Alphan Manta from the same source:

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3352/3477825268_9e8fba0601_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on January 14, 2018, 09:24:03 pm
Okay, so thinking about the Mosquito, those two TTA ships I just posted, and the wingtip pods on an F-89 Scorpion, how about this? The Rebel Strike Craft is based around a central straight wing with a relatively large combined engine and weapons pod on each end. In the middle is a small saucer-shaped fuselage, with a ring-shaped deflector screen generator around it's edge, a two-seat side-by-side cockpit in the front half and the hyperdrive unit in the rear half. Small, remote-controlled laser turrets would be on the top and bottom of the hyperdrive (NOT in the geometric centre of the disc).

This gives a sense of both engine power and firepower, but it also feels as if it'd be sluggish, at least in roll, because of the large masses on the ends of the wing. It also gives you the dramatic possibilities of a Mosquito-ish cockpit where the crew can actually look at each other, instead of just talking on the intercom.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: joncarrfarrelly on January 14, 2018, 10:24:58 pm
In reference to the TTA stuff, a number of Peter Elson and Chris Moore's designs would be possibles,
the Dragon's Dream book Parallel Lines on their stuff is a good reference, especially without the,
very often naff, TTA "descriptions" which were larded on after the fact.
 :banghead:
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Mossie on January 14, 2018, 11:58:46 pm

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3352/3477825268_9e8fba0601_b.jpg)

Star Wars aside, I'd be amazed if the craft attacking the pirate ship wasn't an inspiration for Babylon 5.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: rickshaw on January 15, 2018, 01:04:19 am
Just to make things more interesting.

All the ships should be spherical in shape.   Spheres contain the greatest volume for the least surface area.  All the ships thus far presented look like badly morphed aircraft - the appear designed to fly in an atmosphere not airless space.   Why bother?   If you have forcefields, you could make the ship more aerodynamic as you like.

(https://cdna.artstation.com/p/assets/images/images/005/244/400/large/joerg-warda-perryrhodan-spaceship01.jpg?1490115129)
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Snowtrooper on January 15, 2018, 03:21:04 am
Well, that's what the DropShips (that in addition to planetary landings did most of the space fighting until Gray Death Legion's discovery of Star League memory core) in BattleTech universe look like. ;)
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Old Wombat on January 15, 2018, 03:35:17 am
Just to make things more interesting.

All the ships should be spherical in shape.   Spheres contain the greatest volume for the least surface area.  All the ships thus far presented look like badly morphed aircraft - the appear designed to fly in an atmosphere not airless space.   Why bother?   If you have forcefields, you could make the ship more aerodynamic as you like.

(https://cdna.artstation.com/p/assets/images/images/005/244/400/large/joerg-warda-perryrhodan-spaceship01.jpg?1490115129)

Simple, mate; because Average Joe Punter wants a fighter to look like a fighter.


Only a tiny percentage of the population will say "But that's just stupid!", & even some of those will add "... but it still looks cool!".

AJP will just see the flashing "laser bolts" & a suitably "futuristic" (but familiar) design with glowy bits & go "Oooooo!"
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on January 15, 2018, 03:53:52 am
Remember that the point of the exercise was to make a movie with the feel of a Saturday morning adventure serial but with the production values of 2001. The design of the ships is supposed to evoke the WWII dogfights that most of the audience will have grown up on. If we were going for rational technological futurism, I'd have a VERY different take on all this, starting with the logic of having 'fighters' at all.

On the subject of spheres, their attraction for space travel is that they're the most efficient pressure vessels for a given mass, but even desperately weight-limited NASA compromises by going to modified cylinders for most of their designs (the ISS modules for example). If you look at the Apollo LM ascent stage with all it's external gubbins stripped off, it's basically a cylindrical pressure vessel with various kinks. Most amateur designers trying to be realistic tend to over-state the importance of pressure vessel shapes anyway. The pressure difference between the inside and outside of a spacecraft is only 14 psi if you're running at a full one atmosphere environment (and you don't need to). That's enough for the right kind of fabric to contain, let alone any rigid aluminium/kevlar/unobtainium shape you care to imagine. Bigelow Aerospace are making an entire business out of inflatable space habitats so that space agencies don't have to launch empty volume into orbit to keep their astronauts sane: there's one attached to the ISS for testing at the moment.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Old Wombat on January 15, 2018, 06:50:18 am
The Pkf.85 Falke "Anti-gravity Armoured Raider" wouldn't be a bad starting point for the fighter, although it came a few years after the time period.

(https://prometheusrising.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/falke16.jpg)
(https://prometheusrising.net/2012/04/02/maschinen-krieger-pkf-85-falke-antigravity-armored-raider-120/ (https://prometheusrising.net/2012/04/02/maschinen-krieger-pkf-85-falke-antigravity-armored-raider-120/))

So one of its parents, the P-38 might be a start point.

(http://imgproc.airliners.net/photos/airliners/5/4/0/1452045.jpg?v=v40)

Even the Lawn Dart would be a decent base-line for the fighter.

(https://luckybogey.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/320249440-28150009.jpg)

Oops! Not that one! :o ;)

Let's try this one. ;D

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c4/F16_SCANG_InFlight.jpg)
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Mossie on January 15, 2018, 10:01:18 am
Thinking on Brian's spheres, but applying them to the "Star Destroyer".  2001 kept close to Arthur Clarke's ideas on ship design, one that crept up a lot was the 'dumbbell'.  A large sphere at both ends, the crew capsule at the head, the propulsion and reactors in the tail and a body holding the payload and keeping the other parts as far from each other as possible.  Discovery is an embodiment of this, with the tail sphere hammered to shape.

This gives a pretty good basis for something a bit more low sci-fi.  The command crew in a traditionally vulnerable "bridge" position for dramatic effect, you could have the cargo bay in front "swallowing"the rebel courier ship.(every making of special will have a talking head pointing out how awesome this was when they saw it first time). The rear sphere gives plenty of room for massive engines  to protrude for the impression of power.  The middle could be filled out as much as you like, bristling with heavy weaponry.  This would also be good for battleship style broadside battles.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: The Wooksta! on January 15, 2018, 01:20:41 pm
Reading Clarke's "The Lost Worlds of 2001", the Discovery would have had wings as radiators for the reactor coolants.  But someone questioned the reason for a spacecraft to have wings and the idea got dropped. The dumbbell shape was one he'd used for the Earth-Mars liner in "The Sands of Mars".

Star Wars.  Apparently, the rebel blockade runner at the start WAS the original model for the Millenium Falcon, but Lucas felt it looked a bit wrong for what he wanted.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on January 15, 2018, 05:00:38 pm
Reading Clarke's "The Lost Worlds of 2001", the Discovery would have had wings as radiators for the reactor coolants.  But someone questioned the reason for a spacecraft to have wings and the idea got dropped. The dumbbell shape was one he'd used for the Earth-Mars liner in "The Sands of Mars".

Star Wars.  Apparently, the rebel blockade runner at the start WAS the original model for the Millenium Falcon, but Lucas felt it looked a bit wrong for what he wanted.

The original Millennium Falcon model and set was the blockade runner with the final Falcon's 'B-29' cockpit on the front end. The problem wasn't that Lucas fell out of love with it, the problem was that Space 1999 happened. The Falcon as designed was FAR too close in look and style to the Space 1999 Eagle and as soon as Lucas saw the latter, he ordered the Millennium Falcon design changed. Quite where the modified flying saucer shape came from is still a bit of a mystery: it was all done in a great hurry because the hangar bay set had already been built with the wrong ship in it, so nobody was keeping records for posterity and in any case, it mostly happened in conversations rather than memos. There's the apocryphal story that Lucas took a bite out of a hamburger, stuck an olive in the side on a cocktail stick, and told the designers that was the shape he wanted, but it's probably not true. There's also the somewhat more credible suggestion that it was based on the hero ship from the French Valerian comic strip which it's obvious Lucas plundered for all sorts of other elements. The name of the ship may well be a subtle dig at Space 1999: the 'millennium' is the year after 1999 and 'Falcon' is another bird of prey like 'Eagle'...

The original Millennium Falcon model was re-used as the blockade runner by replacing it's cockpit with a new bridge made, IIRC, out of two large paint cups glued together.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: zenrat on January 16, 2018, 01:27:52 am
On my bench right now.  The Incom T-25 Clamp Wing...

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4649/24850983897_b3dc4840c1_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/DRZMHB)Su 25 WIP 16-01-18 (https://flic.kr/p/DRZMHB) by Fred Maillardet (https://www.flickr.com/photos/156376527@N06/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: joncarrfarrelly on January 16, 2018, 12:40:05 pm
Reading Clarke's "The Lost Worlds of 2001", the Discovery would have had wings as radiators for the reactor coolants.  But someone questioned the reason for a spacecraft to have wings and the idea got dropped. The dumbbell shape was one he'd used for the Earth-Mars liner in "The Sands of Mars".

Star Wars.  Apparently, the rebel blockade runner at the start WAS the original model for the Millenium Falcon, but Lucas felt it looked a bit wrong for what he wanted.

The original Millennium Falcon model and set was the blockade runner with the final Falcon's 'B-29' cockpit on the front end. The problem wasn't that Lucas fell out of love with it, the problem was that Space 1999 happened. The Falcon as designed was FAR too close in look and style to the Space 1999 Eagle and as soon as Lucas saw the latter, he ordered the Millennium Falcon design changed. Quite where the modified flying saucer shape came from is still a bit of a mystery: it was all done in a great hurry because the hangar bay set had already been built with the wrong ship in it, so nobody was keeping records for posterity and in any case, it mostly happened in conversations rather than memos. There's the apocryphal story that Lucas took a bite out of a hamburger, stuck an olive in the side on a cocktail stick, and told the designers that was the shape he wanted, but it's probably not true. There's also the somewhat more credible suggestion that it was based on the hero ship from the French Valerian comic strip which it's obvious Lucas plundered for all sorts of other elements. The name of the ship may well be a subtle dig at Space 1999: the 'millennium' is the year after 1999 and 'Falcon' is another bird of prey like 'Eagle'...

The original Millennium Falcon model was re-used as the blockade runner by replacing it's cockpit with a new bridge made, IIRC, out of two large paint cups glued together.

"The Complete Conceptual History of the Millennium Falcon" link I posted previously addresses the Valerian issue"
and pretty much every other aspect of the Falcon's design history, from original concepts to the final design.

The overall Valerian vis. Star Wars is discussed in a longer essay on the Kitbashed site:
https://kitbashed.com/blog/valerian-and-laureline
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: zenrat on January 16, 2018, 02:25:17 pm
Years ago I once spent a fascinating couple of days at work reading through a very long text heavy website about the interior design of the Falcon. 
It seems that there hadn't been much correspondence between the interior set designers and the exterior model designers and AFAICR no real drawings showing how the various compartments, gun positions, corridors and engine spaces fitted into the hull.

Obviously any links I may have saved have long gone so I have no idea where to find all this again.  All I can remember was that it was on a site which looked at the designs and specifications of all the ships seen in ANH, TESB & ROTJ.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: joncarrfarrelly on January 16, 2018, 03:14:43 pm
Interiors and exteriors rarely align, one of the best examples being the APC from Aliens, it's
almost a freakin' TARDIS.

 ;D
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on January 16, 2018, 04:03:24 pm
Interiors and exteriors rarely align, one of the best examples being the APC from Aliens, it's
almost a freakin' TARDIS.

 ;D

One honorable exception was the Serenity from Firefly. That was mainly because it was designed by a very small team with the director closely involved, so the whole thing was based around what they needed dramatically with a 'skin' wrapped around the outside of that.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: zenrat on January 17, 2018, 02:17:33 am
Interiors and exteriors rarely align, one of the best examples being the APC from Aliens, it's
almost a freakin' TARDIS.

 ;D

Also railway carriages and airliners in movies and on TV.  They get to be very wide.


Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on July 28, 2019, 03:38:05 pm
Scrolling through my pics file I found this, which I'd started but never finished for this thread, so I finished it.

It's a concept for the Rebel Strike Fighter requirement, i.e. the role filled in the movie by the Y-Wing. Inspiration came from the Avery-Frost Orion and Alphan Manta artwork that I posted earlier in the thread. It has a roughly saucer-shaped hull with a two-seat side-by-side cockpit that's good for drama and character interaction. The hyperdrive is on the back of the saucer, and the defensive guns sit on a 'tailplane' that's actually two cylinders on four 'fins'. The six defense-shield generators are on the octagonal ring that surround the saucer but stands off from it. The pods are supposed to evoke automatic pistols held sideways (gangsta-style!  :wacko: ) without being too obvious. There are twin engines at the back of each pod, while the front has a 'torpedo' launcher and a fixed laser-cannon that's a later addition.

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48406480547_84e4fe6e80_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2gKvSdc)star wars strike fighter 1 FIN JPEG (https://flic.kr/p/2gKvSdc) by Harold Smith (https://www.flickr.com/photos/156465715@N04/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Scotaidh on July 29, 2019, 12:58:56 am
Interiors and exteriors rarely align, one of the best examples being the APC from Aliens, it's
almost a freakin' TARDIS.

 ;D

Also railway carriages and airliners in movies and on TV.  They get to be very wide.

Also ships - especially Submarines.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Mossie on July 29, 2019, 10:44:27 am
I was hoping the Hermes in The Martian film wouldn't be a flying-cathedral as the novel stuck close to real life engineering,  Never mind.....
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on July 29, 2019, 11:08:45 am
I was hoping the Hermes in The Martian film wouldn't be a flying-cathedral as the novel stuck close to real life engineering,  Never mind.....

Hmmm - okay it wasn't much like the ship in the book, but the only real criticism I've seen of it from a practical point of view is the solar panels: who needs 'em when you've got a nuclear plant? I suppose 'backup' is the answer to that one...
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: tigercat on July 29, 2019, 10:16:33 pm
for the Y  Wing  equivalent - Indiana Jones flying wing  s pacified .  So  engines  swapped out  for  something Sci fi  with  a few more turrets  and  a droid.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on July 30, 2019, 03:59:40 am
for the Y  Wing  equivalent - Indiana Jones flying wing  s pacified .  So  engines  swapped out  for  something Sci fi  with  a few more turrets  and  a droid.

Interesting - it could be, in effect, like a re-arranged B-Wing, with the cockpit in the middle and the engines split to either side of it.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: zenrat on July 30, 2019, 04:13:07 am
Interiors and exteriors rarely align, one of the best examples being the APC from Aliens, it's
almost a freakin' TARDIS.

 ;D

Also railway carriages and airliners in movies and on TV.  They get to be very wide.

Also ships - especially Submarines.


I've watched a lot of Submarine movies and when I went through The Pearl Harbour Avenger (USS Bowfin) at Pearl I couldn't believe how they had lied to me.  It was so small inside!
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on July 30, 2019, 04:16:00 am
Here's a blog with video links that has more pics and info about Colin Cantwell's contributions to Star Wars:

http://www.originalprop.com/blog/2014/11/13/colin-cantwell-video-interviews-star-wars-prototype-models-nasa/
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: NARSES2 on July 30, 2019, 06:04:03 am

I've watched a lot of Submarine movies and when I went through The Pearl Harbour Avenger (USS Bowfin) at Pearl I couldn't believe how they had lied to me.  It was so small inside!

I've been on her as well  :thumbsup: What struck me was that when I showed an ex RN submariner the interior shots on returning home he commented on "how much room the crew had had"  :o

Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on July 30, 2019, 08:51:37 am

I've watched a lot of Submarine movies and when I went through The Pearl Harbour Avenger (USS Bowfin) at Pearl I couldn't believe how they had lied to me.  It was so small inside!

I've been on her as well  :thumbsup: What struck me was that when I showed an ex RN submariner the interior shots on returning home he commented on "how much room the crew had had"  :o

I went on-board HMS Onyx a couple of times while she was a museum ship at Birkenhead (Oberon class so post-war diesel-electric, but similar to wartime conditions). Yep - scary as **** for this mild claustrophobe. NOTHING could persuade me to go to war in something like that.... :o
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: PR19_Kit on July 30, 2019, 09:22:08 am

I've watched a lot of Submarine movies and when I went through The Pearl Harbour Avenger (USS Bowfin) at Pearl I couldn't believe how they had lied to me.  It was so small inside!

I've been on her as well  :thumbsup: What struck me was that when I showed an ex RN submariner the interior shots on returning home he commented on "how much room the crew had had"  :o

I went on-board HMS Onyx a couple of times while she was a museum ship at Birkenhead (Oberon class so post-war diesel-electric, but similar to wartime conditions). Yep - scary as **** for this mild claustrophobe. NOTHING could persuade me to go to war in something like that.... :o


You can go aboard HMS Alliance at the Navy's Submarine Museum at Gosport too, and that's incredibly cramped too.

The entrance is through a hatch they've cut in the starboard bow, and you have to duck, no matter how short you are. The guide said to me 'It may be an idea to remove your hat sir, or it may get knocked off. Er, on second thoughts you better keep it on, then you're less likely to bash your head!'  ;D
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Mossie on July 30, 2019, 01:09:30 pm
Hmmm - okay it wasn't much like the ship in the book, but the only real criticism I've seen of it from a practical point of view is the solar panels: who needs 'em when you've got a nuclear plant? I suppose 'backup' is the answer to that one...

It was the interior that bothered me.  Cavernous and uncluttered, huge windows and a crew rest area that a five star hotel would be envious of. Very reminiscent of 2001 which still seems to dictate the style of more serious sci-fi.  I hoped to see tight spaces, taped up cables and kit stuffed in lockers.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on July 30, 2019, 04:05:59 pm
Hmmm - okay it wasn't much like the ship in the book, but the only real criticism I've seen of it from a practical point of view is the solar panels: who needs 'em when you've got a nuclear plant? I suppose 'backup' is the answer to that one...

It was the interior that bothered me.  Cavernous and uncluttered, huge windows and a crew rest area that a five star hotel would be envious of. Very reminiscent of 2001 which still seems to dictate the style of more serious sci-fi.  I hoped to see tight spaces, taped up cables and kit stuffed in lockers.

The windows in the spin hab did seem a bit OTT, but then again, remember that people spend years cooped up on this thing, rather than just a few days to the Moon and back: the windows and the space may be a deliberate and neccessary 'investment' in the crew's sanity, rather than a 'luxury'.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: kitnut617 on July 30, 2019, 05:50:56 pm
Hmmm - okay it wasn't much like the ship in the book, but the only real criticism I've seen of it from a practical point of view is the solar panels: who needs 'em when you've got a nuclear plant? I suppose 'backup' is the answer to that one...

It was the interior that bothered me.  Cavernous and uncluttered, huge windows and a crew rest area that a five star hotel would be envious of. Very reminiscent of 2001 which still seems to dictate the style of more serious sci-fi.  I hoped to see tight spaces, taped up cables and kit stuffed in lockers.

The windows in the spin hab did seem a bit OTT, but then again, remember that people spend years cooped up on this thing, rather than just a few days to the Moon and back: the windows and the space may be a deliberate and neccessary 'investment' in the crew's sanity, rather than a 'luxury'.

Some of your comments really made me chuckle guys  ---- I was just reading about the "new" exoplanets that are in the news right now. Only 73 light years away they say. So I went looking to see how long it would take to get there, well couldn't find a proper conversion, but there was something for 40 light years ---- only takes 137,000 years to get there  ----- you'd need something really massive to travel for that length of time, something like a death star only four or five times bigger
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on July 30, 2019, 06:34:14 pm
Hmmm - okay it wasn't much like the ship in the book, but the only real criticism I've seen of it from a practical point of view is the solar panels: who needs 'em when you've got a nuclear plant? I suppose 'backup' is the answer to that one...

It was the interior that bothered me.  Cavernous and uncluttered, huge windows and a crew rest area that a five star hotel would be envious of. Very reminiscent of 2001 which still seems to dictate the style of more serious sci-fi.  I hoped to see tight spaces, taped up cables and kit stuffed in lockers.

The windows in the spin hab did seem a bit OTT, but then again, remember that people spend years cooped up on this thing, rather than just a few days to the Moon and back: the windows and the space may be a deliberate and neccessary 'investment' in the crew's sanity, rather than a 'luxury'.

Some of your comments really made me chuckle guys  ---- I was just reading about the "new" exoplanets that are in the news right now. Only 73 light years away they say. So I went looking to see how long it would take to get there, well couldn't find a proper conversion, but there was something for 40 light years ---- only takes 137,000 years to get there  ----- you'd need something really massive to travel for that length of time, something like a death star only four or five times bigger

Fair comment, but the ship we're talking about, Hermes in the The Martian, 'only' shuttles between Earth and Mars, using low-powered ion thrusters running constantly. I just rechecked the book, and it's not as bad as I stated above: 124 days there and 124 days back, plus a 31 days surface mission. Still a long time for six people to have no company except each other while being further from the rest of humanity than anyone else has ever benn though.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: kerick on July 30, 2019, 07:53:41 pm
Hmmm - okay it wasn't much like the ship in the book, but the only real criticism I've seen of it from a practical point of view is the solar panels: who needs 'em when you've got a nuclear plant? I suppose 'backup' is the answer to that one...

It was the interior that bothered me.  Cavernous and uncluttered, huge windows and a crew rest area that a five star hotel would be envious of. Very reminiscent of 2001 which still seems to dictate the style of more serious sci-fi.  I hoped to see tight spaces, taped up cables and kit stuffed in lockers.

The windows in the spin hab did seem a bit OTT, but then again, remember that people spend years cooped up on this thing, rather than just a few days to the Moon and back: the windows and the space may be a deliberate and neccessary 'investment' in the crew's sanity, rather than a 'luxury'.

Some of your comments really made me chuckle guys  ---- I was just reading about the "new" exoplanets that are in the news right now. Only 73 light years away they say. So I went looking to see how long it would take to get there, well couldn't find a proper conversion, but there was something for 40 light years ---- only takes 137,000 years to get there  ----- you'd need something really massive to travel for that length of time, something like a death star only four or five times bigger

There was a book called rendezvous with Rama that described generation ships from an alien race that pass very close to earth. Basically giant tubes rotating to produce artificial gravity with a whole civilization packed inside.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Mossie on July 31, 2019, 03:04:59 am
Hmmm - okay it wasn't much like the ship in the book, but the only real criticism I've seen of it from a practical point of view is the solar panels: who needs 'em when you've got a nuclear plant? I suppose 'backup' is the answer to that one...

It was the interior that bothered me.  Cavernous and uncluttered, huge windows and a crew rest area that a five star hotel would be envious of. Very reminiscent of 2001 which still seems to dictate the style of more serious sci-fi.  I hoped to see tight spaces, taped up cables and kit stuffed in lockers.

The windows in the spin hab did seem a bit OTT, but then again, remember that people spend years cooped up on this thing, rather than just a few days to the Moon and back: the windows and the space may be a deliberate and neccessary 'investment' in the crew's sanity, rather than a 'luxury'.

Some of your comments really made me chuckle guys  ---- I was just reading about the "new" exoplanets that are in the news right now. Only 73 light years away they say. So I went looking to see how long it would take to get there, well couldn't find a proper conversion, but there was something for 40 light years ---- only takes 137,000 years to get there  ----- you'd need something really massive to travel for that length of time, something like a death star only four or five times bigger

Fair comment, but the ship we're talking about, Hermes in the The Martian, 'only' shuttles between Earth and Mars, using low-powered ion thrusters running constantly. I just rechecked the book, and it's not as bad as I stated above: 124 days there and 124 days back, plus a 31 days surface mission. Still a long time for six people to have no company except each other while being further from the rest of humanity than anyone else has ever benn though.

Yeah, the ISS was my benchmark.  Also submarines, that are even more cramped. A real ship would be the minimum size it could be to cut down on weight and cost.  The ISS's have module was cancelled when it was found astronauts had got on quite well hooking their sleeping bags anywhere they could find space.

Slight aside, a few weeks ago I was talking to a girl who'd worked with ISS astronauts at Johnson Space Center, She said the ramshackle nature extends there too, things regularly break down and take ages to get fixed. IT systems are antiquated.
 Cockroaches infested the phlebotomy lab she was working in.  Not quite the popular image of NASA!
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: PR19_Kit on July 31, 2019, 03:23:34 am

 IT systems are antiquated.


Aren't mission critical IT systems always antiquated?

The projects take so long to reach full development that the IT hardware and software is always out of date as they're 'developing' much faster than the rest of the job. [The word 'developing' is used here in its widest possible sense....]

My last employers NEVER used M$'s latest OS on our customer systems just because it was the 'latest and greatest', and therefore hadn't been proven well enough.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: zenrat on July 31, 2019, 03:31:58 am
... I was just reading about the "new" exoplanets that are in the news right now. Only 73 light years away they say. So I went looking to see how long it would take to get there, well couldn't find a proper conversion, but there was something for 40 light years ---- only takes 137,000 years to get there  ----- you'd need something really massive to travel for that length of time, something like a death star only four or five times bigger
Or something faster.  At warp 5 you could cover 73 light years in about 15 weeks.   :mellow:
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: kitnut617 on July 31, 2019, 06:17:36 am
... I was just reading about the "new" exoplanets that are in the news right now. Only 73 light years away they say. So I went looking to see how long it would take to get there, well couldn't find a proper conversion, but there was something for 40 light years ---- only takes 137,000 years to get there  ----- you'd need something really massive to travel for that length of time, something like a death star only four or five times bigger
Or something faster.  At warp 5 you could cover 73 light years in about 15 weeks.   :mellow:

Yes, but until someone proves you can go faster than light ------ and also invent artificial gravity, I don't see humans going anywhere serious in the solar system, let alone travelling to another.  We don't float around very well do we ----
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on July 31, 2019, 07:13:10 am
Here's a difference in character between the inside of something like the ISS and a spin-habitat ship/station though:

On the ISS they have zero-G everywhere, so they can, very efficiently, pack stuff on the 'floor', 'walls' and 'ceiling' because you move around the station by floating in the middle of those surfaces. However on a spin habitat, the whole point is that you have a more or less conventional floor, that you have to walk on, and on which you can't put things that you don't want to tread on, and an equally conventional ceiling, where you can't put things that you don't want to fall on you. Also, the entire point of a spin hab is to provide space for conventional living, which includes walking around and exercising, so cluttering it with storage kinda defeats the object.

IIRC, Hermes' supplies arrive in resupply modules which dock to the spine of the ship, so moving bulk cargo 'downwards' from there into the spin hab is going to be a pointless PITA. Better to stow it in the zero-G spine and only take it to the spin-hab if and when you need it to be there.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: kitnut617 on July 31, 2019, 07:55:35 am
Has it been proven that a spin habitat works like artificial gravity ?  I can't remember anything being tested like that ---

I think a very big opportunity was missed during the Space Shuttle flights, 135 of them. The external tanks were all destroyed during the launch and I had thought they could have been utilized better.

It seems other people had the same thought, found lots of these concepts on the internet.

(http://village.photos/images/user/8f3973c9-3f0e-4b54-80e2-017121c0bf9f/resized_1b6ab196-3d44-4ee5-80ff-3604d3eba589.jpg)
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: kitnut617 on July 31, 2019, 08:22:01 am
Can you imagine if Elon Musk got really ambitious, build a really super size tank big enough to group nine (or more) Falcon Heavies around it ---- you could have a decent size spin habitat that way fairly quickly  -----
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on July 31, 2019, 08:49:08 am
Has it been proven that a spin habitat works like artificial gravity ?  I can't remember anything being tested like that ---

I think a very big opportunity was missed during the Space Shuttle flights, 135 of them. The external tanks were all destroyed during the launch and I had thought they could have been utilized better.

It seems other people had the same thought, found lots of these concepts on the internet.

Well it doesn't need to be proven as such: the physics are pretty straight-forward. There's a bit more of a debate about how big and slow it needs to be to avoid nausea due to coriolis effect. It seems like later research is actually more optimistic than earlier work though.

The problem with the ETs was that they wern't designed to be used like that, and converting them on-orbit would have entailed multiple very fiddly spacewalks with the astronauts doing some serious cutting in zero-G to geth through six bulkhead from one end to the other. On the other hand of course, they could have been designed to be reused like that, with easily removeable bulkheads and hatches in the inner tanks, but that would certainly have made them much heavier and more expensive, and probably more prone to leaks as well. The Shuttle's OMS would have had to burn a lot more fuel to circularise the orbit with the ET still attached too.

Lots about the pros and cons of using straight tubes to build rings here: http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/artificialgrav.php
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on July 31, 2019, 08:53:02 am
Can you imagine if Elon Musk got really ambitious, build a really super size tank big enough to group nine (or more) Falcon Heavies around it ---- you could have a decent size spin habitat that way fairly quickly  -----

Have you seen his BFR? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BFR_%28rocket%29#Starship_prototypes

One thing you can't criticise him for is lack of ambition...  :o
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: kitnut617 on July 31, 2019, 09:41:54 am
Can you imagine if Elon Musk got really ambitious, build a really super size tank big enough to group nine (or more) Falcon Heavies around it ---- you could have a decent size spin habitat that way fairly quickly  -----

Have you seen his BFR? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BFR_%28rocket%29#Starship_prototypes

One thing you can't criticise him for is lack of ambition...  :o

Yep, seen and read about that, but it's still too small for long term living in. You need something really big for that ---
Reminds me of a holiday in Kauai I had, we were there just over a week, we'd seen everything in that time, I can't imagine living there full time ---
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on July 31, 2019, 10:38:28 am
Can you imagine if Elon Musk got really ambitious, build a really super size tank big enough to group nine (or more) Falcon Heavies around it ---- you could have a decent size spin habitat that way fairly quickly  -----

Have you seen his BFR? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BFR_%28rocket%29#Starship_prototypes

One thing you can't criticise him for is lack of ambition...  :o

Yep, seen and read about that, but it's still too small for long term living in. You need something really big for that ---
Reminds me of a holiday in Kauai I had, we were there just over a week, we'd seen everything in that time, I can't imagine living there full time ---

Yes, but how many launches would it take to put a really BIG station into Earth orbit using that thing, and how much time could you save by exploiting the large payload diameter to make sections self-deploying instead of needing endless spacewalks to put them together?

Imagine combining that launch capability with Bigelow Aerospace's inflatable habitat technology: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigelow_Aerospace  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: kitnut617 on July 31, 2019, 12:13:23 pm
Never heard of that project Harold, mind you, one of the reasons Musk switched to stainless steel on his Starhopper was his concern of foreign objects penetrating the carbon fiber design when in space.  I wonder if that is why that Bigelow project hasn't gone anywhere.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: kitnut617 on July 31, 2019, 12:15:35 pm

Yes, but how many launches would it take to put a really BIG station into Earth orbit using that thing, and how much time could you save by exploiting the large payload diameter to make sections self-deploying instead of needing endless spacewalks to put them together?


say 20 launches  ;D

Can you imagine 27 first stages all returning at the same time  ------
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Mossie on July 31, 2019, 01:11:57 pm
Here's a difference in character between the inside of something like the ISS and a spin-habitat ship/station though:

On the ISS they have zero-G everywhere, so they can, very efficiently, pack stuff on the 'floor', 'walls' and 'ceiling' because you move around the station by floating in the middle of those surfaces. However on a spin habitat, the whole point is that you have a more or less conventional floor, that you have to walk on, and on which you can't put things that you don't want to tread on, and an equally conventional ceiling, where you can't put things that you don't want to fall on you. Also, the entire point of a spin hab is to provide space for conventional living, which includes walking around and exercising, so cluttering it with storage kinda defeats the object.

IIRC, Hermes' supplies arrive in resupply modules which dock to the spine of the ship, so moving bulk cargo 'downwards' from there into the spin hab is going to be a pointless PITA. Better to stow it in the zero-G spine and only take it to the spin-hab if and when you need it to be there.

The shuttle is pretty cluttered too.  That still needs a roof and floor, if only for part of it's mission.  But the main point is it's interior is enormous!
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: scooter on July 31, 2019, 01:17:29 pm
Never heard of that project Harold, mind you, one of the reasons Musk switched to stainless steel on his Starhopper was his concern of foreign objects penetrating the carbon fiber design when in space.  I wonder if that is why that Bigelow project hasn't gone anywhere.

As far as I can tell, the BEAM is still attached to the ISS.  Granted, the last bit of news is from 2 years ago: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-may-extend-beam-s-time-on-the-international-space-station
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on July 31, 2019, 03:13:39 pm
Never heard of that project Harold, mind you, one of the reasons Musk switched to stainless steel on his Starhopper was his concern of foreign objects penetrating the carbon fiber design when in space.  I wonder if that is why that Bigelow project hasn't gone anywhere.

The reason for the switch is that stainless steel is lighter than carbon fibre for the range of temperatures required, i.e. from the intense cold of cryogenic propellants to the heat of re-entry. Stainless steel can be thinner than carbon-fibre and doesn't need any insulation on the leeward side of the craft during re-entry, and it can deal with the heat on the underside by being double-skinned with active cooling by fuel and evaporative cooling by water, which works out lighter than carbon-fiblre plus ceramic heat tiles.

The Bigelow project has achieved quite a lot: they've launched two unmanned habs to test the long-term durability (both still in orbit) and they've had their BEAM module attached to the ISS since mid-2016. BEAM was originally supposed to be a 2-year programme with year-by-year extensions: NASA has granted one so far and looks likely to grant more. The ISS crew use it for storing empty containers awaiting the arrival of a cargo vessel to take them back.

The main reason why Bigelow haven't launched a private space station yet is that development of commercial crew launchers has been slower than anticipated. Basically, as soon as SpaceX, ULA or Blue Origin start selling seats to low-Earth orbit, Bigelow will start trying to give them somewhere to go.

Bigelow's modules have actually demonstrated better micro-meteroid resistance than simulated ISS ones. The flexibility takes considerable force out of the impact: projectiles that penetrated the rigid ISS mockup hull only got halfway through the Bigelow hull.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on July 31, 2019, 03:22:38 pm
One thing that's occured to me is that, if you wanted a really durable space station, you could send up a Bigelow module with a big 'cargo' docking hatch on one end, then send up a 'tin can' cargo module containing rigid panels. You dock the cargo module to the inflatable one, then, in a pressurised, shirt-sleeve environment (i.e. MUCH safer than a spacewalk), you use the panels to build a rigid, pressure-tight hull inside the inflatable one. Cover those panels with built-in attachement points and you're free to use the space any way you want to, instead of only having rigid stuff attached to the core. Also, you've now got the cargo module, which can have things like solar panels and experiments attached to the outside of it.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: zenrat on August 01, 2019, 04:32:33 am
Or, you could find a suitable rock out there between Mars and Jupiter, move it into Earth orbit, hollow it out, spin it up and then move in.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on August 01, 2019, 06:50:17 am
Or, you could find a suitable rock out there between Mars and Jupiter, move it into Earth orbit, hollow it out, spin it up and then move in.

Here's a Scotsman to tell you that "ye cannae change tha laws o'physics!" : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gU9dCWY7G2M

Hmm, now where have I heard that before..... :unsure:
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Steel Penguin on August 01, 2019, 10:16:34 am
traveller asteroid hull  :thumbsup:
ive mentioned it in the past, also used as a hull form in the starstormers novels for kids by ( I think) Nicholas Fisk  ( after a quick visit to wiki, yes I am correct)
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on August 01, 2019, 10:34:59 am
traveller asteroid hull  :thumbsup:
ive mentioned it in the past, also used as a hull form in the starstormers novels for kids by ( I think) Nicholas Fisk  ( after a quick visit to wiki, yes I am correct)

Going back to the original point of this thread, that would have been another way to do the Death Star wouldn't it?
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: zenrat on August 02, 2019, 05:28:32 am
If you found a rock with the required mix of metals you could mine it, refine it and build your "death star" around the dwindling central remains.  Harvest any missing minerals from the surrounding asteroids.
If the first things you built were engines and weapons you could even be in action while still building it (might have a few issues with the Construction unions though).

Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on August 02, 2019, 10:01:18 am
Another approach to the Planet Killer (probably wouldn't call it the 'Death Star' in this case) would be to make it a really, REALLY big 'gun', so big that the spaceship bits around it don't cover it, but are built onto it, a bit like engine pods and gondolas on an airship. It might look a little like the Cygnus from The Black Hole.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Mossie on August 02, 2019, 11:04:09 am
(might have a few issues with the Construction unions though).

Vader can find new ways to motivate them....
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Mossie on August 02, 2019, 11:53:26 am
Another approach to the Planet Killer (probably wouldn't call it the 'Death Star' in this case) would be to make it a really, REALLY big 'gun', so big that the spaceship bits around it don't cover it, but are built onto it, a bit like engine pods and gondolas on an airship. It might look a little like the Cygnus from The Black Hole.

I had an idea years back for a Star Wars ship that was designed around a huge gun.   In this case it was a point defence fighter I called a Z wing.  The idea was to wrap the smallest possible design around a gun that was capable of damaging a capital ship and to employ several in a shoot and scoot manner (or more appropriately, shoot and scuttle, it would be relatively slow).  The cockpit and engine assembly would swing above the gun when it was ready to fire.  It's  the same basic concept as your planet killer, on a smaller scale.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: joncarrfarrelly on August 02, 2019, 07:23:01 pm
Another approach to the Planet Killer (probably wouldn't call it the 'Death Star' in this case) would be to make it a really, REALLY big 'gun', so big that the spaceship bits around it don't cover it, but are built onto it, a bit like engine pods and gondolas on an airship. It might look a little like the Cygnus from The Black Hole.

I had an idea years back for a Star Wars ship that was designed around a huge gun.   In this case it was a point defence fighter I called a Z wing.  The idea was to wrap the smallest possible design around a gun that was capable of damaging a capital ship and to employ several in a shoot and scoot manner (or more appropriately, shoot and scuttle, it would be relatively slow).  The cockpit and engine assembly would swing above the gun when it was ready to fire.  It's  the same basic concept as your planet killer, on a smaller scale.

What powers the gun?  :wacko:

A major reason for the bulk of the Death Star was the power generating equipment for the
Big Gun.

 :wacko: :wacko:
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: tigercat on August 02, 2019, 11:08:10 pm
One way of killing a planet  is dropping a big rock into  the gravity wel.  obviously it would need to be a sizeable  rock to  destroy it .

So your Death Star could be a giant rock slinger
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on August 03, 2019, 12:17:02 am
Another approach to the Planet Killer (probably wouldn't call it the 'Death Star' in this case) would be to make it a really, REALLY big 'gun', so big that the spaceship bits around it don't cover it, but are built onto it, a bit like engine pods and gondolas on an airship. It might look a little like the Cygnus from The Black Hole.

I had an idea years back for a Star Wars ship that was designed around a huge gun.   In this case it was a point defence fighter I called a Z wing.  The idea was to wrap the smallest possible design around a gun that was capable of damaging a capital ship and to employ several in a shoot and scoot manner (or more appropriately, shoot and scuttle, it would be relatively slow).  The cockpit and engine assembly would swing above the gun when it was ready to fire.  It's  the same basic concept as your planet killer, on a smaller scale.

What powers the gun?  :wacko:

A major reason for the bulk of the Death Star was the power generating equipment for the
Big Gun.

 :wacko: :wacko:

Big cool-looking thing on the back end, or maybe a ring of cool-looking things around the back end? This is Star Wars Engineering: the Rule-Of-Cool governs most things... ;)
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on August 03, 2019, 12:21:52 am
One way of killing a planet  is dropping a big rock into  the gravity wel.  obviously it would need to be a sizeable  rock to  destroy it .

So your Death Star could be a giant rock slinger

Yeah, but that's slow and boring: it doesn't give you that I'm-gonna-push-the-button-NO-DON'T-PUSH-THE-BUTTON!-I'm-gonna-push-the-button-harder-now-BOOM moment... :wacko:

Babylon 5 had an extended sequence where the Centauri were bombarding the Narn homeworld with mass-drivers firing, presumably, rocks, but they were small rocks and it was taking months, not a moment, to trash the surface.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: scooter on August 03, 2019, 03:37:28 am

Babylon 5 had an extended sequence where the Centauri were bombarding the Narn homeworld with mass-drivers firing, presumably, rocks, but they were small rocks and it was taking months, not a moment, to trash the surface.

You can also see the remorse and disgust in Londo's face at his actions that brought them to that point as the camera pans out of the flagship, as he's watching the Narn homeworld getting literally bombed back into the stone age.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: kitnut617 on August 03, 2019, 06:30:33 am

A major reason for the bulk of the Death Star was the power generating equipment for the
Big Gun.

 :wacko: :wacko:

So, a sci-fi version of an YAL-1   ;D
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Mossie on August 03, 2019, 07:39:16 am
What powers the gun?  :wacko:

A major reason for the bulk of the Death Star was the power generating equipment for the
Big Gun.

 :wacko: :wacko:

That has been a problem in fixing the design in my head.  Smaller planetary based weapons that can damage a capital ship exist in Star Wars but they do tend to have some superstructure associated with them or tap into a power source.

That being said, there's always the sci-fi approach of just not mentioning the power supply. :lol:

Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Scotaidh on August 03, 2019, 08:09:01 am
What powers the gun?  :wacko:

A major reason for the bulk of the Death Star was the power generating equipment for the
Big Gun.

 :wacko: :wacko:

That has been a problem in fixing the design in my head.  Smaller planetary based weapons that can damage a capital ship exist in Star Wars but they do tend to have some superstructure associated with them or tap into a power source.

That being said, there's always the sci-fi approach of just not mentioning the power supply. :lol:

Di-lithium crystals ...
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on August 03, 2019, 10:14:03 am
Perhaps the reason planet-killer guns aren't used much in normal combat is that their rate of fire is very low. Say it takes days or even weeks for the system to generate enough handwavium particles for a shot. That would make it exactly the sort of 'luxury item'  that only an evil empire with a very large fleet to protect it could afford to build.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: joncarrfarrelly on August 03, 2019, 03:41:49 pm
Another approach to the Planet Killer (probably wouldn't call it the 'Death Star' in this case) would be to make it a really, REALLY big 'gun', so big that the spaceship bits around it don't cover it, but are built onto it, a bit like engine pods and gondolas on an airship. It might look a little like the Cygnus from The Black Hole.

I had an idea years back for a Star Wars ship that was designed around a huge gun.   In this case it was a point defence fighter I called a Z wing.  The idea was to wrap the smallest possible design around a gun that was capable of damaging a capital ship and to employ several in a shoot and scoot manner (or more appropriately, shoot and scuttle, it would be relatively slow).  The cockpit and engine assembly would swing above the gun when it was ready to fire.  It's  the same basic concept as your planet killer, on a smaller scale.

What powers the gun?  :wacko:

A major reason for the bulk of the Death Star was the power generating equipment for the
Big Gun.

 :wacko: :wacko:

Big cool-looking thing on the back end, or maybe a ring of cool-looking things around the back end? This is Star Wars Engineering: the Rule-Of-Cool governs most things... ;)

Huge gun, humongous power generation and drive gubbins and a teensy-tiny cockpit.  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on August 03, 2019, 06:26:34 pm
Another approach to the Planet Killer (probably wouldn't call it the 'Death Star' in this case) would be to make it a really, REALLY big 'gun', so big that the spaceship bits around it don't cover it, but are built onto it, a bit like engine pods and gondolas on an airship. It might look a little like the Cygnus from The Black Hole.

I had an idea years back for a Star Wars ship that was designed around a huge gun.   In this case it was a point defence fighter I called a Z wing.  The idea was to wrap the smallest possible design around a gun that was capable of damaging a capital ship and to employ several in a shoot and scoot manner (or more appropriately, shoot and scuttle, it would be relatively slow).  The cockpit and engine assembly would swing above the gun when it was ready to fire.  It's  the same basic concept as your planet killer, on a smaller scale.

What powers the gun?  :wacko:

A major reason for the bulk of the Death Star was the power generating equipment for the
Big Gun.

 :wacko: :wacko:

Big cool-looking thing on the back end, or maybe a ring of cool-looking things around the back end? This is Star Wars Engineering: the Rule-Of-Cool governs most things... ;)

Huge gun, humongous power generation and drive gubbins and a teensy-tiny cockpit.  ;D ;D

Well a bridge, but still pretty insubstantial. The idea is that the power-requirement of the gun and the output of the power-generators are at the limit of the possible, so there isn't much left for thrust, life support, defense, etc... The Planet Killer is thus slow moving and relatively defenseless, and looks more like an industrial complex than a warship, with lightweight skeletal structures supporting just the bare neccessities. The bridge is a wide bar hanging underneath the back end, just in front of the power pods, which have small engines on the back of them. Shuttles dock externally rather than in a hangar bay, and most crew live on an accompanying support ship, shuttling back and forth as they go on and off shift. Escorting battleships extend their defense shields around the Planet Killer, so you have to whittle them down through attrition before you can get a shot at it.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: joncarrfarrelly on August 03, 2019, 09:01:00 pm
So you'd have some sort of interstellar tug to move it from system to system?   :wacko:

(https://johneaves.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/scan00037.jpg)
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: scooter on August 04, 2019, 12:09:54 am
What powers the gun?  :wacko:

A major reason for the bulk of the Death Star was the power generating equipment for the
Big Gun.

 :wacko: :wacko:

That has been a problem in fixing the design in my head.  Smaller planetary based weapons that can damage a capital ship exist in Star Wars but they do tend to have some superstructure associated with them or tap into a power source.

That being said, there's always the sci-fi approach of just not mentioning the power supply. :lol:

Di-lithium crystals ...

Dilithium isn't the power source in ST, its a matter-antimatter reaction.  The dilithium carried aboard is a focusing element to improve the reaction.

You can see Kirk kicking on it in Into Darkness, as the Enterprise is falling to Earth after getting shot down by Khan.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on August 04, 2019, 02:52:02 am
So you'd have some sort of interstellar tug to move it from system to system?   :wacko:

What I'm thinking is that it takes a long time to charge the weapon, it can't be held charged for very long, and it can't be taken into hyperspace charged because <insert technobabble>. So you've got plenty of power for a hyperspace jump, but you then have to crawl around the target system putting most of your power into charging the weapon with only a little left over for propulsion, making sure that you end up in range of the target just as you hit full charge, otherwise you're going to have to blow up some random asteroid and start again.

From the scriptwriting point of view, this gives a reason for the normal-space crawl towards the target that give the defenders a shot at stopping it: one of the big unadressed questions in the original movie is why the Death Star didn't just drop out of hyperspace right next to Yavin and blow it up ten seconds later*. It also keeps the purpose of stealing the Planet Killer's plans, when this version is all weak spots: it's the escort you've got to defeat. You need it's performance specs in order to work out where it can shoot from and how long it takes to charge, which in turn lets you define the area of space that needs to be monitored in order to get enough early warning to coordinate a response.


*Off topic, but it's just struck me that this is a plot hole in Rogue One. In a New Hope, the Death Star has to travel in normal space for over 15 minutes to  get into firing position on Yavin (source: Rebel command centre dialogue). However, in Rogue One, it pops out of hyperspace practically on top of Scarif and takes a shot about 1 minute later (source: timings of space battle scene). Okay it's "only" a "one-reactor" shot, but it's still pretty devastating and would more than suffice to finish off the Rebel base on Yavin. So since it worked so well at Scarif, why didn't they do the same thing a few weeks later at Yavin? Also, where was the Imperial fleet at Yavin?
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: tigercat on August 04, 2019, 10:35:34 am
so the planet killer is basically a Space Monitor . Big guns , but very slow and vulnerable .

does Star Wars have an equivalent of a Space submarine ?

The Star Destroyer is one of those Japanese carrier / battleship hybrid .
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: joncarrfarrelly on August 04, 2019, 06:08:47 pm

does Star Wars have an equivalent of a Space submarine ?


Umm, isn't any spaceship basically analogous to a submarine?
A vessel containing a bubble of air surrounded by a hostile environment?
 ;D
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on August 04, 2019, 06:46:01 pm
so the planet killer is basically a Space Monitor . Big guns , but very slow and vulnerable .

does Star Wars have an equivalent of a Space submarine ?

The Star Destroyer is one of those Japanese carrier / battleship hybrid .

Not as far as I know, but I have had thoughts along those lines before now.

Imagine this:

Your FTL technology is such that practical ships, i.e. ones with a useful payload fraction, have to make 'blind leap' jumps through hyperspace. The point where they are going to come out in normal space is determined by what they do at the start of the jump, and they are blind and powerless to change anything once in hyperspace. However, by devoting almost almost all it's mass to much more complicated and power-hungry equipment, a ship can 'hover' in hyperspace for a time, and the same equipment gives it both the ability to detect other ships during their jumps, and to project a disruption field into their path which causes their own hyperspace field to collapse, with the result that different bits of their ship re-enter normal space at different points along their path  :o :wacko:

Just as with a WWII submarine, the 'ambusher' ship has severe limitations as well as scary capabilities. It can't move very fast in hyperspace, so it has to move slowly in normal space, often to inconvenient locations, in order to 'hover' at a a suitable point in hyperspace (the mapping of normal space to hyperspace being, by definition, variable and non-linear). It's detection range in hyperspace is limited, and the act of projecting the disruption field causes it to pop out of hyperspace itself, with most of it's energy drained, and the possibility of this leading to it's own destruction (by re-entering in the middle of a star or in deep interstellar space, too far from anywhere to refuel/recharge) is a limitation on when it can fire without sacrificing itself. You could add more limitations. One thing that occurred to me was that perhaps control of the hovering/detecting/firing is only possible by telepathic and/or mutated individuals who are in short supply, thereby limiting the number of ambushers that could be deployed at any one time.

The character of a battle between normal ships and hyperspace 'bushwackers' might therefore take on the character of a WWII submarine/anti-submarine battle: a hidden enemy taking out helpless cargo ships with escorts using various semi-effective countermeasures while the respective captains try to out-think their unseen enemies using psychology and mind-games.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: zenrat on August 05, 2019, 03:49:21 am
...Off topic, but it's just struck me that this is a plot hole in Rogue One. In a New Hope, the Death Star has to travel in normal space for over 15 minutes to  get into firing position on Yavin (source: Rebel command centre dialogue). However, in Rogue One, it pops out of hyperspace practically on top of Scarif and takes a shot about 1 minute later (source: timings of space battle scene). Okay it's "only" a "one-reactor" shot, but it's still pretty devastating and would more than suffice to finish off the Rebel base on Yavin. So since it worked so well at Scarif, why didn't they do the same thing a few weeks later at Yavin? Also, where was the Imperial fleet at Yavin?

Van Allen radiation, solar winds, magnetic fields etc .  I'm sure something fairly convincing could be cobbled up out of any one of a number of sciency words.
At Yavin Tarkin prolly reckoned he didn't need to wait for the rest of the fleet as the Death Star was invincible...
He could also have wanted to prove he didn't need their support.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on August 05, 2019, 04:25:12 am
...Off topic, but it's just struck me that this is a plot hole in Rogue One. In a New Hope, the Death Star has to travel in normal space for over 15 minutes to  get into firing position on Yavin (source: Rebel command centre dialogue). However, in Rogue One, it pops out of hyperspace practically on top of Scarif and takes a shot about 1 minute later (source: timings of space battle scene). Okay it's "only" a "one-reactor" shot, but it's still pretty devastating and would more than suffice to finish off the Rebel base on Yavin. So since it worked so well at Scarif, why didn't they do the same thing a few weeks later at Yavin? Also, where was the Imperial fleet at Yavin?

Van Allen radiation, solar winds, magnetic fields etc .  I'm sure something fairly convincing could be cobbled up out of any one of a number of sciency words.
At Yavin Tarkin prolly reckoned he didn't need to wait for the rest of the fleet as the Death Star was invincible...
He could also have wanted to prove he didn't need their support.

Just thought of a good one: Scarif is a small planet but Yavin is actually Yavin 4, a moon of the gas giant Yavin. Most sci-fi holds that FTL 'jumps' can't take place deep in a gravity well, so presumably the Death Star had to drop out of hyperspace a decent distance from Yavin and then go into orbit around it to get to a firing position on Yavin 4.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Mossie on August 05, 2019, 07:58:02 am
Yep, that's it.  In the extended universe the Empire has a class of ship that exploits this, the interdictor.  It has large generators that create a gravity well that can pull a ship or even a fleet out of hyperspace.

https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Interdictor_vessel
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: joncarrfarrelly on August 05, 2019, 10:21:33 am
All real space battles would have the characteristics of submarine warfare, rather than the
WWII air combat stylings of Star Wars and similar.
 ;)

The BSG reboot and The Expanse are still the best representations of space combat
that takes into account being in space, the latter show being the even better than BSG.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: tigercat on August 05, 2019, 02:10:20 pm
trying to remember book where  missile subs were converted into space craft
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on August 06, 2019, 02:42:16 am
All real space battles would have the characteristics of submarine warfare, rather than the
WWII air combat stylings of Star Wars and similar.
 ;)

The BSG reboot and The Expanse are still the best representations of space combat
that takes into account being in space, the latter show being the even better than BSG.

Well, yes and no. It's impossible to really hide in space, since, against the extemely cold background, even the slightest amount of heat stands out like a blowtorch, and a totally cold ship is a dead ship. You can reduce your signature to reduce detection range, but you don't pay a heavy price for this in the way that submarines do for their ability to submerge, and nor do you, nor your opponents, need a totally different and specialized sensor suite to operate in this way. You can also do deception, i.e. you can't avoid being spotted, but you can control what the spotter identifes you as. If we're into WWII analogies, this aspect is more like Q-ship warfare than submarine warfare.

BSG is better than Star Wars in that fighters turn around and fly backwards while off-axis straffing (IIRC Babylon 5 was the first to do this), but they still run away from an enemy in their six instead of just turning around and blasting them and their maneuvering is generally very aircraft-like. The launch and recovery system makes very little sense and seems more a matter of evoking the tropes of carrier warfare than being practical or safe.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: zenrat on August 06, 2019, 04:52:05 am
The B5 fighter spacecraft were IIRC designed with the assistance of real rocket scientists.  Hence the lack of flight control surfaces and engine intakes.

In his Culture books Iain M Banks has engagements involving Rapid Offensive Units with no human crews taking place at great distance and in very short time.
An uncrewed craft is always going to be able to outmanoeuvre one with soft squashy lifeforms on board because it can pull much higher gee as it doesn't have to worry about killing its crew.

Neal Asher writes good space battle.  His Polity books feature massive battles between Humans, drones, massive AI controlled star dreadnoughts, Cannibalistic Alien Crustacean, Mad AIs and Self Hedgemonising Swarm.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on August 06, 2019, 05:24:41 am
The B5 fighter spacecraft were IIRC designed with the assistance of real rocket scientists.  Hence the lack of flight control surfaces and engine intakes.

Not exactly: the Starfury was designed by movie-industry artists who wanted to have something that used, and looked like it used, more realistic physics than Star Wars era films/TV shows. The show was subsequently approached by some NASA researchers who were working on MMUs and space-handling type vehicles, and they were given a briefing on the design. Nothing more came of this however.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: NARSES2 on August 06, 2019, 06:02:11 am
I've been re-reading all of this and the only conclusion I can come to is that I was obviously asleep when we covered this area in my "O Level" physics class  ;)
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: zenrat on August 06, 2019, 06:19:10 am
I might have paid more attention if Mr Powell had taught the Physics of Space Warfare.  As he'd been in bomber command between '39 & '45 he could well have had some interesting ideas about the subject.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: NARSES2 on August 06, 2019, 06:22:49 am
Probably half of my old masters were WWII vets and could quite easily be distracted  ;) ;D

Mind you it could be fun when ex Sgt Moir and ex Maj Mags rubbed each other up the wrong way, which was quite often. There was obviously a history there we didn't know about.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: scooter on August 06, 2019, 10:24:30 am
I might have paid more attention if Mr Powell had taught the Physics of Space Warfare.  As he'd been in bomber command between '39 & '45 he could well have had some interesting ideas about the subject.

Probably *not* space B-17s.

H. Paul Honsinger's Man of War series looks at space combat, and stealthing a space combatant.  Excellent read as well, definitely *not* David Weber...and his personal "massager" shaped ships or Mary Sue lead character
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: PR19_Kit on August 06, 2019, 10:41:17 am

I've been re-reading all of this and the only conclusion I can come to is that I was obviously asleep when we covered this area in my "O Level" physics class  ;)


I've been reading it too, or trying to anyway, and came to the conclusion it was written in a different language to one I'm familiar with.  ;)
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on August 07, 2019, 02:36:37 am
Okay, lets try to drag the thread back to what it's supposed to be about...

(cue an off-topic discussion about whether thread-drift is okay or not okay...)

TIE-Fighters

I always thought that the TIE-Fighter design missed a trick in not being foldable. These things are supposed to be cheap and expendable so that they can be used en masse, yet they have a very volumetrically inefficient design which means that any bay on a capital ship 'filled' with TIE-Fighters actually contains a lot of empty space. If they solar panels were split into upper and lower halves and moved apart by the width of the 'hub', then they could fold inwards without doing any disservice to the aesthetics of the ship. Furthermore, since their height is longer than the length of the arm they're mounted on, the arm could usefully telescope outwards as they fold in order to let them lie flat. You could them have them recover and launch by means of a pair of arms extending from the mother ship which engage with the ends of the arms. An alternative, of course, would be to add more frame lines to the panels so that they could fold twice (might be tricky to animate with real models and 1970s SFX tech though).

Both the Darth Vader TIE and the TIE Interceptor go some way towards this configuration by having panels with three, rather than two, vertical divisions.


Another point about the TIE is that it's supposed to be a space-only type, yet the scriptwriters soon had it flying merrily through almospheres. Yes I know that non-aerodynamic Star Wars ships supposedly fly through atmospheres by using "energy shields" but it's always stated explicitly that the TIE doesn't have defense shields to make it lighter, so you could equally say that not having "atmo-shields" would make it lighter still. It might make a more interesting limitation on the design if it really was strictly space-only, so that Rebel craft could avoid it by entering an atmosphere, thereby emphasising again the difference in design ethos between the Rebellion and the Empire. That would also force the Empire to have a different design of "aerospace fighter" for planetary defence and assault, which gives the designers another opportunity to produce something different and cool-looking (although the plot of Ep.IV doesn't actually require Imperial fighters to go into atmosphere at any point).
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: zenrat on August 07, 2019, 03:25:56 am
There is no need for TIE fighters to fold because there appears to be no lack of space inside Imperial capital craft.  Not the ones i've seen in the movies anyway.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on August 07, 2019, 03:44:20 am
There is no need for TIE fighters to fold because there appears to be no lack of space inside Imperial capital craft.  Not the ones i've seen in the movies anyway.

Even if your tech is so advanced that 'steel is cheap and air is free' (rarely actually the case in space), carrying more fighters in a given space is surely still better than carrying less? Think what you could do with the extra space: more guns, more shields, bigger and more ominous conference rooms with huge windows...

Anyway, if X-Wings with folding wings look cool, then TIE-Fighters with folding wings also look cool... ;)
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: zenrat on August 07, 2019, 04:50:56 am
X-Wings wings don't really fold though do they.  They just sort of flap up and down a bit.
Now, if the bottom set had the hinges moved outwards and both sets could move upwards through 100 degrees then THOSE would be folding wings and the rebel scum could cram twice as many X-Wings into their ancient jungle temples or ice caves.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on August 07, 2019, 05:10:31 am
X-Wings wings don't really fold though do they.  They just sort of flap up and down a bit.
Now, if the bottom set had the hinges moved outwards and both sets could move upwards through 100 degrees then THOSE would be folding wings and the rebel scum could cram twice as many X-Wings into their ancient jungle temples or ice caves.

True, but they reason X-Wings do it is to make it easier to land them on sensible-length undercarriage, so the rough principle is the same: changing the shape of the ship from landing/docking configuartion to foghting configuration.
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: tigercat on August 07, 2019, 01:34:32 pm
Wouldn't being solar powered be a disadvantage in some circumstances.

As an alternative design I suggest horten ho 229 flying wing as basis for TIE fighter
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Mossie on August 08, 2019, 06:27:57 am
Anyway, if X-Wings with folding wings look cool, then TIE-Fighters with folding wings also look cool... ;)

TIE Hunter.  First came about in one of the computer games:
https://starwars-exodus.fandom.com/wiki/TIE_Hunter
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: tigercat on August 08, 2019, 11:02:22 am
Dare someone to make a TIE R.A.C.K.

Letters can stand for whatever you desire
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: joncarrfarrelly on August 08, 2019, 12:52:38 pm
Fold only the forward and aft "points" of the hexagon panels, cut in a vertical line from top to bottom
resulting in a rectangular shape, and then nest them together turning every other one 90º.

(http://img.myconfinedspace.com/wp-content/uploads/tdomf/21042/TIE_Blueprint.jpg)
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on August 09, 2019, 12:48:54 am
Here's a page full of alternative TIE-Fighter sketches by Dwayne Vance:

http://gallery.wacom.com/gallery/23380377/Tie-Fighter-redesign
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: Weaver on August 15, 2019, 05:21:41 am
Never heard of that project Harold, mind you, one of the reasons Musk switched to stainless steel on his Starhopper was his concern of foreign objects penetrating the carbon fiber design when in space.  I wonder if that is why that Bigelow project hasn't gone anywhere.

The reason for the switch is that stainless steel is lighter than carbon fibre for the range of temperatures required, i.e. from the intense cold of cryogenic propellants to the heat of re-entry. Stainless steel can be thinner than carbon-fibre and doesn't need any insulation on the leeward side of the craft during re-entry, and it can deal with the heat on the underside by being double-skinned with active cooling by fuel and evaporative cooling by water, which works out lighter than carbon-fiblre plus ceramic heat tiles.

The Bigelow project has achieved quite a lot: they've launched two unmanned habs to test the long-term durability (both still in orbit) and they've had their BEAM module attached to the ISS since mid-2016. BEAM was originally supposed to be a 2-year programme with year-by-year extensions: NASA has granted one so far and looks likely to grant more. The ISS crew use it for storing empty containers awaiting the arrival of a cargo vessel to take them back.

The main reason why Bigelow haven't launched a private space station yet is that development of commercial crew launchers has been slower than anticipated. Basically, as soon as SpaceX, ULA or Blue Origin start selling seats to low-Earth orbit, Bigelow will start trying to give them somewhere to go.

Bigelow's modules have actually demonstrated better micro-meteroid resistance than simulated ISS ones. The flexibility takes considerable force out of the impact: projectiles that penetrated the rigid ISS mockup hull only got halfway through the Bigelow hull.

NASA have just cleared BEAM to remain on the ISS until 2028 at least. This is a technical clearance not a contract, but since the module has made itself useful and exceeded all it's durability requirements, a contract is likely to follow.

https://rocketrundown.com/nasa-clear-beam-module-to-remain-on-space-station-through-2028/
Title: Re: Redesign Star Wars
Post by: tahsin on September 27, 2019, 01:18:19 am
Can't locate a link or a Picture but am pretty sure the First Order jerks have their wings folding. At least at the concept art stage, because they cheat with a Special Operations TIE.