The Defiant, reimagined

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Graham Kennedy
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The Defiant, reimagined

Post by Graham Kennedy »

A while back I opined on some of the things I don't like about the Defiant. My Blender skills aren't really up to doing a good job on TNG hulls, but I thought I would have a go at depicting what I would have done if I'd been in charge.

The main differences are :

1) Size. The original Defiant never had a really solid size established. Estimates varied from 70 metres or so through to 170 metres (230 - 560 feet), but in truth the ship tended to vary wildly in size on screen according to whether the writers wanted to make it seem overmatched or not. And frankly, I regard all of those sizes as simply being too damn small for a ship that was supposed to comfortably outgun a 640 metre Galaxy class. And I know the justification that Defiant lacked holodecks and big quarters and science labs and all that, but even with all that I considered it too small.

My version of Defiant is 227 metres (744 feet) long, which is still small by Starship standards - but big enough to mount serious power and weapons. In length, it's comparable to real world battleships of World War II.

2) Weapons. The Defiant's famed pulse phaser cannon never impressed me. Look at them in pictures of the ship, they are absolutely tiny! This is especially true of the ventral phasers, which are mounted in small little boxes stuck to the surface. At least the dorsal cannon are built into the hull, so you could picture some structure behind them!

My version has four massive disrupter cannon, each 85 metres (278 feet) long. The look I was going for was kind of a "just enough ship to move the massive cannon around" thing. Why disrupters? Because the Borg adapt to weapons after a few hits, right? And though you can remodulate your frequencies, they will eventually adapt to that, too. So the key to fighting them, I figure, is to have not just big powerful weapons, but as many different types of weapons as you can. They adapt to one, you switch to another.

So as well as the disrupter cannon, I have added no less than a dozen phaser arrays. Standard Starfleet issue, but big and powerful.

Additionally, I have greatly increased the size of the quantum torpedo tubes. I never liked the show's take on quantums essentially being just the same as photons but a different colour. I wanted the quantum torpedoes to be something bigger, more powerful, and more imposing. Four forward tubes, two aft facing tubes.

Also, this version of Defiant is designed to use the "Deflector cannon" idea from TNG; almost the entire output of the warp core can be fired from the deflector as a super-powerful beam.

3) Engines. Defiant has what look like two decent sized impulse engines, one to port, one to starboard. The aft of the ship itself is a flat blank plate. The DS9 TM label the engine-looking things as torpedo launchers and claim the engines are behind the flat plate at the back of the ship. That seems weird to me, but I do think that flat aft plate is the logical place for engines, so I have put them there. And put four of them in - you want all the thrust you can get on a Defiant class ship.

4) Shuttles. Putting the shuttle bay in the underside doesn't make sense to me. So I've put three "shuttle garages" at the back of the dorsal housing.

So that's my take on the Defiant!

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Re: The Defiant, reimagined

Post by McAvoy »

Really clunky...
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Re: The Defiant, reimagined

Post by Graham Kennedy »

Yep. Although I kind of like the clunkiness, to be honest.

But there's no doubting the fact that my modelling skills simply aren't up to the task of doing justice to the kind of compound curves and blended shapes that started to come in during the TNG era. In a perfect world I'd love to hand this over to a professional modeller and have him or her produce something based on it, but of better quality.
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Re: The Defiant, reimagined

Post by McAvoy »

I would if I were to do this on a line drawing, I would give her visible plating, like armor plating to show she is heavily armored. Or visible markings to show the ablative armor.

I would thin her a bit as in less height. The front part of the cannons could made slightly smaller. I would have cooling vents in them as well, basically to show the power of those cannons put off alot of heat. NOT like the side vents you see on artillery weapons but maybe two or three vent lines, maybe on top. Maybe elongate the nose slightly, just my eyes see it as too blunt.
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Re: The Defiant, reimagined

Post by Teaos »

My issue with the Defiant was more weapons aren't necessarily better than one or two BFGs.

I see fan ships with 140 phaser arrays, I'd rather 2 superpowerful ones.
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Re: The Defiant, reimagined

Post by Graham Kennedy »

Defiant's cannon were supposed to be just that - except that the cannon on the model itself are tiny little things. Hency why I made them fecking great monsters on mine.
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Re: The Defiant, reimagined

Post by Mikey »

I think maybe it's a bit uber by way of making your point, but it certainly speaks to what you're trying to say with it.
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Re: The Defiant, reimagined

Post by 00111010 01000100 »

I think you’re on to something, well, a couple of somethings. :)
Bigger guns can equal bigger damage so in the case of the pulse cannons, they sacrificed multi-direction firing (like the phaser tracks on most of the ships) for firing pretty much where the ship is pointing. In most classes, this creates a problem since maneuvering quickly in battle isn’t exactly Indy 500 corners. With the defiant, they stated that she nearly tore herself apart in maneuvers. Stationary BIG guns might work out in a design favoring rapid tactical movements.

P.S. was trying to do a similar post about defiant and ask a “what if?” Question about her. I still haven’t the foggiest how to post created images but I can still pose the question! :)

What if the defiant was designed the same as she is now but instead of being tiny and a tough little ship, she was massive? Imagine seeing the Enterprise E being dwarfed by the defiant, wouldn’t that fit into more of a Battleship, bigger is better, starfleet design. No reason to upsize her pulse cannons or torpedo launchers because they would already be huge. I’ve been wondering if this was the original idea but to cut costs on CGI, they made it so small and talked a big game about it?

Just a thought, a tiny bite-sized thought.
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Re: The Defiant, reimagined

Post by Graham Kennedy »

I've posted a much improved version of the above ship, by the way.

I'm all for the Defiant being bigger than it was, but I don't favour it being the biggest ship there is, largely because it's not comparing like with like. A GCS is mostly massive quarters, holodecks, lounges, science labs, etc. If you removed all that and then scaled up the Defiant to the size of what's left, then I'd be okay with it.

Actually that's pretty much the idea behind saucer separation. Get rid of all that stuff and what's left is essentially meant to be a warship. I'd be fine if Defiant was as big as a GCS engineering hull.
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Re: The Defiant, reimagined

Post by 00111010 01000100 »

Agreed. (Removing the saucer section, stripping it down to just; propulsion, shields, and weapons). And the DA Defiant design? Quite Beefy! Mean & Aggressive looking.
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Re: The Defiant, reimagined

Post by Graham Kennedy »

The idea I had was that the Defiant should have not just weapons as powerful as possible, but as many different types as possible. Borg adapt to one, switch to another.

So the ship has :

Ball turret phasers. These are there mostly to give it a "low end" capability, like having little 20mm cannon on a Naval ship to deal with small boats and such.

Phaser arrays. As big (wide) as those on a GCS. These alone make it as powerful as the GCS is in beam armament.

Disrupter cannon. Yep, not pulse phasers, the idea is that those big cannon are Klingon technology.

Torpedoes. Quantum, photon, and tri-cobalt torps loaded.

Deflector cannon. Essentially the deflector weapon used in Best of Both Worlds 2, but built in from the start.
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Re: The Defiant, reimagined

Post by 00111010 01000100 »

It all sounds offensive as a 350lb linebacker, he may not hit you every time but when he does, it hurts a lot. Two follow on questions and I’ll stop badgering you with questions.
1. The ball turret phasers you mentioned, any similarities to the original enterprise’s phasers? (They looked like small rotating balls).
2. No use of Transphasic torps? (I get the feeling they’re not a popular subject, since they Deus Ex’d themselves up into the voyager finale to kick the cubes out of the way).
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Re: The Defiant, reimagined

Post by Graham Kennedy »

00111010 01000100 wrote:It all sounds offensive as a 350lb linebacker, he may not hit you every time but when he does, it hurts a lot. Two follow on questions and I’ll stop badgering you with questions.
1. The ball turret phasers you mentioned, any similarities to the original enterprise’s phasers? (They looked like small rotating balls).
2. No use of Transphasic torps? (I get the feeling they’re not a popular subject, since they Deus Ex’d themselves up into the voyager finale to kick the cubes out of the way).
Yes, the ball turrets were directly inspired by the TMP ball turrets. Though these are much more prominent on the hull, to give a wide field of fire.

No, transphasic torpedoes don't exist in the DS9 timeframe.

Actually, thinking about it, the forward torpedo launchers are in threes. Might look more interesting with three different tube designs in there - one for photons, one for quantum, and one for plasma torps? I know canonically a photon tube can fire pretty much anything, but I always liked the idea of tubes for different weapons looking different.
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