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UCM engine glow

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Seret

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UCM engine glow

PostFri Feb 10, 2017 9:27 am

*** Warning ***
Automated Nerd Advisory Limit has rated the Nerd Level of this post as: High


So, I recently did a test paint on a UCM ship and included the standard blue engine glow effect, like so:

Image

Now, looking at it afterwards it struck me: why in the hell would this ship be firing big rearwards-facing engines in orbit?

The only time this ship would need to fire those engines if it was burning to transfer to a higher orbit. I know the whole "ships in space run their engines 100% of the time" is a really common sci-fi trope, but that doesn't make it any less wrong. Do you guys paint the glow on these engines? Do you care? Am I nerding out on this too much?

One of the things I like about Dropfleet is that it's at least a little shifted towards the hard sci-fi end of the spectrum compared to stuff like Star Wars and Star Trek. Ok, there's no attempt at realistic orbital maneuvering, but still...
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Bistromatic

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Re: UCM engine glow

PostFri Feb 10, 2017 9:37 am

Engine glow is good and cool.

Image

It's important to keep in mind that the setting isn't really hard scifi at all. The background mentions that under combat conditions ships slow down from orbital speeds and support themselves on "gravity nullifiers". It's easy to imagine that such devices would also create drag against the local gravitational field and thus require constant thrust to keep moving.
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Seret

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Re: UCM engine glow

PostFri Feb 10, 2017 9:52 am

Bistromatic wrote:The background mentions that under combat conditions ships slow down from orbital speeds and support themselves on "gravity nullifiers". It's easy to imagine that such devices would also create drag against the local gravitational field and thus require constant thrust to keep moving.


Hmm. Soft sci-fi is full of explanatory "facts" made up by technically minded people to explain mistakes made by the non-technical folk who write the stories (and retread the same tired old tropes). I'm reminded of this recent question I saw on Quora:

https://www.quora.com/Why-didnt-the-Empire-use-tanks-instead-of-AT-ATs

That's a perfectly good question, which fans tried to answer. Their answers were perfectly canonical, but complete nonsense.The correct answer is that it just looks cool, despite making no damn sense.

I do realise I'm being an overly picky nerd about this, btw. I'm an engineer by trade, so probably trying to be more practical than I should.
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Bistromatic

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Re: UCM engine glow

PostFri Feb 10, 2017 11:17 am

I'd call myself a spaceflight enthusiast so i like the think i have a decent grasp of the principles involved. Nothing wrong at all with nerding out about little details. I'd be happy to discuss the realism of Children Of A Dead Earth but Dropfleet is nowhere close to realistic and doesnt really try to be.

Take technobabble the same way you'd take an explanation of how magic works in a famtasy setting. An FTL jump is about as far removed from our reality as a coyote plucking the moon from the sky or a man turning into a beetle. It can just be harder to keep in mind if the setting resembles the real world.
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L. Sabia Byrne

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Re: UCM engine glow

PostSun Feb 26, 2017 10:10 pm

Other than running a painting and modelling blog Im an Engineering Technician in the real world and I love all this hard sci fi stuff

BUT (and this is a big assed but)

I never let science fact or science fiction get in the way of a great paintjob. What is moderately believable is doable in my opinion!

Go for it mate!

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Klarg1

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Re: UCM engine glow

PostThu Mar 02, 2017 11:42 pm

As near as I can tell, ships in Dropfleet aren't actually in any kind of orbit. They are near a planet in what might reasonably be called "orbital space", but they appear to maneuver in a way that is completely inconsistent with any kind of orbital mechanics I can think of.

On the other hand, based on the background information in the rulebook, it appears that ships have magical built-in anti-gravity systems keeping them "in orbit". My interpretation is that ships in Dropfleet approach a planet at much-lower-than-orbital velocities, and maneuver more-or-less as though they were in empty space, relying on their super-tech gravity control systems to keep them from crashing into the planet. It also explains why a damaged ship de-orbits so quickly in the course of a fight.

Now, should their engines be lit all the time? Probably not, even with fancy gravity control systems, but it looks cool, right? 8-)
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Re: UCM engine glow

PostSun Mar 19, 2017 3:44 pm

Klarg1 wrote:As near as I can tell, ships in Dropfleet aren't actually in any kind of orbit. They are near a planet in what might reasonably be called "orbital space", but they appear to maneuver in a way that is completely inconsistent with any kind of orbital mechanics I can think of.

On the other hand, based on the background information in the rulebook, it appears that ships have magical built-in anti-gravity systems keeping them "in orbit". My interpretation is that ships in Dropfleet approach a planet at much-lower-than-orbital velocities, and maneuver more-or-less as though they were in empty space, relying on their super-tech gravity control systems to keep them from crashing into the planet. It also explains why a damaged ship de-orbits so quickly in the course of a fight.

Now, should their engines be lit all the time? Probably not, even with fancy gravity control systems, but it looks cool, right? 8-)


Easily explained:
The model is painted and modeled just at the moment of a maneuver :D

Though from the way they look, all ships seem designed to function within atmosphere and gravity even though only a few of them are able to.
A ship build in orbit with intention to only operate outside of planetary atmosphere and gravity would look drastically different then these. In the end they look cool, which is all that matters!
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Seret

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Re: UCM engine glow

PostSun Mar 19, 2017 5:20 pm

Attackmack wrote:Though from the way they look, all ships seem designed to function within atmosphere and gravity even though only a few of them are able to.
A ship build in orbit with intention to only operate outside of planetary atmosphere and gravity would look drastically different then these.


Yeah, that kind of bugs me, too. They're all longer than they are wide with a pointy front end, and only have engines in one spot (right at the back). In reality the design space for a vehicle constructed in space is a lot more open. If they had weapons in turrets they'd be able to position them to maximise their fire arcs.

Basically they're space ships designed with all the restrictions of a boat. That's a really common fault with ships in sci-fi, I wish more designers were being a bit more imaginative and ditching some of these tropes. There should be a big sign above the desk of anyone writing sci-fi that says "Spacecraft are not boats!" and if they forget somebody is allowed to take the sign down and whack them around the head with it.
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Re: UCM engine glow

PostMon Mar 20, 2017 4:22 am

That's it- naming my UCM BB "Boaty McBoatface"
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Charistoph

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Re: UCM engine glow

PostMon Mar 20, 2017 7:48 am

Attackmack wrote:Though from the way they look, all ships seem designed to function within atmosphere and gravity even though only a few of them are able to.
A ship build in orbit with intention to only operate outside of planetary atmosphere and gravity would look drastically different then these. In the end they look cool, which is all that matters!

Well, one has to consider that people will design asthetics in to whatever they can.

In addition, while they may operate in space, there are other considerations that need to be made, that WE may not be aware of. We don't know all the principles of their starship construction any more than a Brit from 1785 would understand the principles for the HMS Hood by just having a model of it in their hands.

Seret wrote:If they had weapons in turrets they'd be able to position them to maximise their fire arcs.

Turrets actually suck, in a way, with 3d combat. For anything which requires an actual barrel and recoil mechanism you need to fit the entire recoil range within the turret. A lot of the length used for the turrets of the WWII battleship main guns was specifically for recoil and gun travel. Now, try making that thing traverse a full 90 degrees and all the stresses involved with absorbing gun firing without it going through the ship. It's not pretty.

So, the best alternatives for maximum coverage is either small caliber guns, missiles, or a beam system which can be focused via lens and/or reflector. The latter also traverse faster than the mechanics of a turret due to requiring less mass.

Seret wrote:Basically they're space ships designed with all the restrictions of a boat. That's a really common fault with ships in sci-fi, I wish more designers were being a bit more imaginative and ditching some of these tropes. There should be a big sign above the desk of anyone writing sci-fi that says "Spacecraft are not boats!" and if they forget somebody is allowed to take the sign down and whack them around the head with it.


And to be fair, it is designed to be operated in a largely 2D format, like naval ships. They also look more impressive and useful than say, the Honorverse Ships or Battletech Warships. Just saying.
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