Sunday, August 17, 2014

Nimitz Class Carrier

NOTE:  You can click on most pictures to get a larger view of them.

I am going to take a little side trip from my usual reviews to show off some of my personal work.  In this particular case, I want to show of a ship that I call the Nimitz Class Carrier.

I will talk more about how this design came to be later on in this article, but needless to say, this model has gone through some changes during it's lifespan.

USS Reagan (NX-2076) 
Nimitz Class Refit Battle Carrier
1:2500 Scale AMT Kitbash


Length: 400 meters
Width: 175 meters
Height: 87.5 meters
Decks: 34
Crew: 900
Speed: Cruise: warp 7 / Maximum: warp 9
Armaments: 13 Type-X Phaser Arrays, 10 Dual Phaser Banks, 4 Phasor Cannons, 8 Forward Facing Torpedo Launchers, 2 Aft Facing Torpedo Launchers
Defenses: Deflector Shields
Auxiliary craft: 10 Work Bees, 20 Fighters, 6 Shuttlecraft, 4 Shuttlepods

Designer Name: Patrick M. Dougherty Sr.
Inspired by: Michael Payton

Since the hey day of the Terran navies, there has always been a need for ships to carry support craft, whether they be for humanitarian or combat missions.

USS Nimitz (CVN-68) = Nimitz Class

Starfleet was no exception and has over the last couple of centuries, devoted a lot of engineering time to solving this need.

Back in the Jim Kirk days, there was the large and ungainly Napoleon Class

By the TMP era of Starfleet, a few of these ships were refitted, however, Starfleet decided it was time to come up with a new design.

Having had a large success rate with the Constitution and Miranda class variants, the engineers began to experiment.  In some cases, they combined the Miranda hull with a Constitution hull.  Although some of thier designs did increase the shuttle capacity of the time tested and battle proven ships, the number of support craft that could be carried still were not a close match to that of the Napoleon Class

Starstalker Class
You can read an article I wrote of my build of this model at THIS LINK.

Vagabond Class Refit
You can read an article I wrote of my build of this model at THIS LINK.

Eventually, the engineers played around with the Miranda class body and lengthened it to add the much needed shuttle space.  And thus the Dakota class was born.

Dakota Class
You can rad a review I did of a resin model kit of the Curry Class at THIS LINK.

This ship was a lot more agile than her TOS era counterpart and was able to enter a planet's atmosphere to deliver her payload of shuttles and fighters.

But alas, the Dakota class was to be short lived as new technologies ushered in newer and better starships.

The Excelsior and soon to follow Excelsior Refit class proved to be a very good design for Starfleet.  Originally planned to serve as a battleship type of vessel, it was soon to be found that she could easily be adapted to other purposes as well.  This ship structure was so popular that this class of ships were still in use up through the Dominion War.  Starfleet also kept this line of ships modular which meant that they could come up with variants of her basic design.

Curry Class
You can read a review I did of the Curry Class at THIS LINK.

Euderion Class
You can read my article on a model I did of this ship at THIS LINK.

Centaur Class
You can read a review I did of the Centaur Class at THIS LINK.

Due to the rugged nature of this class, Starfleet began to look at the possibility of making a carrier class out of her.  The one and only downside of this class, at least when it came to re-purposing her, was her very sleek design.  The secondary hull was not meant to handle the amount of craft that a carrier needs to be able to store.

The engineers solved this problem by raising the deck of the secondary hull by several levels, almost bringing the top of the secondary hull in line with the bottom of the saucer section.  

Engineering and the warp nacelles were moved forward on the secondary hull to give the shuttles and fighters more clearance for take-offs and landings.  The engineers also closed off the large opening in the bottom portion of the refit's secondary hull, thus allowing room for the relocated engineering and extra crew quarters.

The new class was called the Nimitz Class in honor of the mighty aircraft carrier type of Terran's 20th century naval fleet.

There were several prototypes built of the Nimitz class.  A few of these prototypes were actually put on active duty.  One of these active duty prototypes was the USS Reagan (NX-2076).  Her crew have nicknamed her the USS Ray Gun due to her heavy armaments.

USS Reagan (NX-2076)
Nimitz Class (Prototype) Battle Carrier
1:2500 Scale AMT Kitbash


The base section of the nacelle pylons of the Reagan are significantly thicker, allowing for additional RCS thrusters as well as torpedo launchers and phaser cannons.  The increased pylon structure allows her to maneuver into a planet's atmosphere, much like her Dakota class predecessor.  The increased weapons allow her to double as a gun boat while her auxiliary craft are deployed.  The section of the ship where the original nacelle pylons mounted to has been converted into a secondary control room and sensor array.  This allows the hanger bays to operate independently of the bridge.  A constant communication is still maintained between the locations, but it was found that having a secondary command crew running things below allowed for better ship operations, especially in a firefight.

Post Dominion War Era

USS Reagan (NX-2076)
Nimitz Class Refit Battle Carrier
1:2500 Scale AMT Kitbash


The USS Reagan served with distinction for quite a few years and even saw combat during the Dominion conflict. During one battle, her hanger bays were totally destroyed by Dominion Kamikaze Fighters. Seriously wounded, she continued to fight on with her primary weapons systems and managed to survive the battle. She limped home where her fate was unsure.

After the construction of the USS Payton Drexler (NCC-51111), a Lewis Payne Class Dreadnought, it was found that the Excelsior Refit Saucer could in fact be fitted with Type 10 Phaser banks.

You can read more about the Lewis Payne Class Dreadnought at THIS LINK.

It was then decided to put the Reagan into drydock for a major overhaul.

Her entire hanger deck was removed and replaced with a more automated system that could more quickly deploy and retrieve shuttles and fighters.

She was also fitted with Type 10 Phaser banks and her regular torpedo launchers were upgraded to quantum torpedo launchers.

Her older warp core was replaced with new warp technology thus giving her more power for all of her upgrades.

She continued to serve in Starfleet for about 5 more years when it was deemed that she was becoming too expensive to maintain.

Thes Nimitz class carriers would eventually be replaced by the faster and more agile Akira Class.

Eaglemoss has produced the Akira and I did a review of that model.  you can read that review at THIS LINK.


1:2500 AMT Round 2 Kitbash

Parts Used: AMT Enterprise B, Bandai Comet Empire Zordar's Dreadnought Wings, Leftover 3D Printer Material As Filler, Styrene Sheets.

I was inspired to do this after seeing Michael Payton over at the Star Trek Modelers Group FaceBook turn an Excelsior into a carrier. When you kitbash, you make do with the parts available to you. I did not have the same style nacelle pylons that Michael used, and wasn’t keen on another one of his design elements so I created my own design. I did ask for his blessing to copy him and built mine, calling my variant design a prototype.

I was never very happy with the final outcome of the hanger deck on my original build due to the fact that when I built her, I did not have sheet styrene available to me and had to use leftover sheets of PLA plastic from a 3D print job. I always felt that the final look was very rough. I decided to rip the ship apart and have another go at the hanger deck. While I was at it, I "upgraded" the saucer section as well.

My original idea was to just Dremmel out the sides of the hanger deck and then fill it in with nice flat pieces of styrene. The end result was not very satisfying and still had a warped look to the bottom part of the deck. After realizing that I had had pieces to redo the bottom part of the deck, I then opted to remove it and remove all of the PLA and then rebuilt it the way it should have been done in the first place.

That idea turned out much better than I expected. Since I had just got done my dreadnought, and having really liked the type X phaser banks I painted on her, I decided to give the old Nimitz that upgrade as well. Overall, I'm happy with the outcome of this project although I worked on it while suffering from the Flu so it was very hard to stay on track.

As always, I hope you found this article useful and informative.  If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to comment below.

So for now, "Live long and prosper!!!"

Additional Links To Photos Of My Collection:
Nimitz Class Prototype (Model   WIP)
Nimitz Class Refit (Model     WIP)
Nimitz Class Refit Battle Carrier Contest Entry

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