Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Lewis Payne Class Dreadnought

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

This next kitbash that I'm going to talk about started out as a picture that I saw on a FaceBook Group and then is rapidly progressed into this formidable beast.

What I really like about this ship design is that it really messes with the techie heads.

USS Payton Drexler (NCC-51111)
Lewis Payne Class Dreadnought
1:2500 AMT Kitbash

Designer Name: Patrick M. Dougherty Sr.

Length: 337.5 meters
Width: 231.25 meters
Height: 156.25 meters
Decks: 21
Crew: 850
Speed: Cruise: warp 7.5 / Maximum: warp 9.6
Armaments: 13 Type-X Phaser Arrays, 8 Forward Facing Torpedo Launchers, 4 Aft Facing Torpedo Launchers
Defenses: Deflector Shields
Auxiliary craft: 10 Work Bees, 30 Fighters (10 Peregrine and 20 Valkyrie), 7 Shuttlecraft, 3 Shuttlepods

In-Universe Information:

The Excelsior class marked an end of an era for the mighty and powerful Federation Class dreadnought.

 Federation Class and Federation Class Refit Dreadnought
TOS Model Build LINK and TMP Model Build LINK

In 2296, the last of these huge vessels was retired for good. The ultimate reason for their retirement was because they were too costly to maintain and usually just sat in spacedock until needed for battle. That coupled with the fact that the newer technologies, especially those found on the Excelsior Class “battleship” easily outmatched the Federation Class.

As peace became a norm and Starfleet started focusing more and more on exploration and scientific missions, the Excelsior class ships were fitted and eventually refitted to serve a more scientific role. Their design was still modular like the Constitution class, meaning that there were some variant ships built using Excelsior and Excelsior Refit class parts.

Centaur Class                                  Curry Class
Eaglemoss Review LINK                 Eaglemoss Review LINK

Euderion Class                              Nimitz Class Carrier
Model Build LINK                        Model Build LINK

When it became apparent that the Borg were going to be a real threat to peace in the Galaxy, it was decided to look at some new ship ideas that were more focused on a military purpose. Many designs came out of the Starfleet skunkworks and the Lewis Payne class was one of them.


Although she was large, she was found to be very maneuverable and her dual warp cores allowed her to pack a bit of a punch through her newer style phaser strips. With her many torpedo launchers, and large hanger bay area slung under the saucer section, she was considered quite an offensive weapon. However, like all her other dreadnought predecessors, it was found that these types of ships were expensive to build and just as expensive to maintain. Although her secondary hulls appear to be the same as an Excelsior class, they are in fact decked out differently, which translated to extra building costs.

The class was named after the Starfleet Engineer who designed her. There were five of these ships built for Starfleet, each serving as a flagship for whatever Admiral wished to have one. Of the 5 ships, three are still in semi-active duty. The first ship of this class was called the USS Edward Teller (NCC-57110) and was named after the father of the Atomic Bomb. The Edward Teller was eventually destroyed during the Dominion War. The USS Payton Drexler was named after a famous Starfleet admiral and although she is still on active duty, like her Federation Class counterparts, she sits at a spacedock awaiting being called off to defend the galaxy.

As discussed earlier, the ship’s secondary hulls are mounted in what appears to be a sideways configuration. The internal desks however are in line with those in the saucer section. It was briefly discussed about refitting these ships to make them multi-vector assault mode capable, however, given that they already were expensive, the costs outweighed the gains.

The dual secondary hulls allow her to house two warp cores to provide for extra power for weapons and defenses.

As far as weapons go, she packs quite a punch with her 13 Type-X Phaser Arrays located around her hull.

She also sports eight forward mounted and four rear facing photon torpedo launchers. She is eventually slated to have these upgraded to be able to handle the newer type of quantum torpedoes.

He hanger bay is mounted to the underside of the primary hull and has been expanded to hold quite a few shuttles as well as fighter craft. The hanger has been laid out in a way, with bay doors facing both fore and aft of the ship, so that she can allow a fly-through which allows the ship to deploy and retrieve ships simultaneously.

Real World Information:

Parts Used: Two Round 2 Enterprise B kits.

The idea to build this ship stemmed from Mark Neate's drawing on Star Trek Modeler’s Group page of a ship with two secondary hulls attached to the side of the saucer section. His drawing used Constitution class parts. The ship looked graceful, kind of like a flying wing plane.

As with any kitbash build, mine especially, you sometimes have to go with what parts you have on hand. This fact, coupled with the fact that I wanted to build something of my own design, led me to using two Enterprise B kits. While looking at Mark’s idea, I felt that it needed to sport at least two impulse engines to give her a sleek performance. The Enterprise B saucer section had just that. A lot of people scoff at the Enterprise B’s second set of engines placement because they do in fact fire off right into the bussard collectors on the warp nacelles. I have found this kit to be extremely useful for several of my kitbashes. None of my designs have ever had the problem of burning up other parts of the ship, so the second set of impulse engines simply meant “more power”.

Naming a ship and coming up with a new class name is always an interesting challenge. I decided to name her after some fellow modelers who have inspired my work over that last year. I chose to honor Paul Lewis, Michael Payton, John Payne, and Doug Drexler with this build. All of these guys can be found over at the Star Trek Modelers Group page on FaceBook. Hopefully she turned out to be worthy of those names.

Someone in the group had suggested naming her the USS Edward Teller who was the father of the atomic bomb. I ended up using that name in the back-story for one of her sister ships.

Ship In DryDock

This ship became a bear to build when I decided to invert the nacelle struts. I lost count of the amount of times I was painting just to have one snap off and cause me to catch the ship right where the wet paint was. I came really close to setting it on fire and watching it burn.

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:

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