Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Independence Class Trasport/Carrier

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

A lot of my kitbashes are inspired by other people's work.  I will see something, like the concept, and then roll with that idea using what parts I have on hand.  This was one such build.

A friend of mine named Nathan Kaiser had done up this neat looking Star Trek / Battlestar Galactica crossover ship and for a while, I had the picture in my queue of ships that I wanted to build.  I finally ended up with four Constitution Class Refit engineering hulls in my parts bin and decided it was time to make the attempt.

In Universe Notes:

USS Nimitz (NCC-2012)
Independence Class Trasport/Carrier
1:2500 Scale Cozmo Heavy Industries Kitbash


Cozmo Heavy Industries had developed a rather interesting hull that was code named the Battlestar hull type.  Starfleet engineers conducted some experiments with this hull layout and produced several classifications of ships based off of it.

Agena Class AWAC Vessel

Galactica Class Mobile Repair Platform

The Agena Class AWAC  and the Galactica Class Mobile Repair Platform ships were both very successful variants that used the Battlestar frame.

Starfleet had been experimenting with several ideas for a carrier class vessel and decided to try making one using the Battlestar hull configuration.  One of the chief design engineers, Nathan Kaiser, borrowed design elements from one of his own schematics, called the Adama Class, and implemented them into the Independence Class project.

The USS Nimitz was the only one of this class to be built as the design and build of it made for some unique challenges, which ultimately meant excessive costs.  Starfleet felt that there were other ways to accomplish the carrier idea and started looking at other designs.

She was well equipped to serve in her transport and carrier duties.  Not only did she have the four hanger bays on the low slung pylons, but she also housed an additional four hanger bays on the rear of the main hull too.  Her bulk would have normally meant that she would make for a large target, however, she was also armed with quite a few teeth.  Her dual warp cores provided ample power for her shielding and 56 dual emitter type VIII phaser banks. She was also armed with 14 forward facing and 14 rear facing torpedo launchers.

The ship was commissioned and put into service in the fleet.  Some engineers felt that she was more of a dreadnought than a carrier.  In fact, her captain felt the same way and had no problems putting her into the middle of a firefight once her support craft were deployed.  She served on several fronts, ferrying troops, fighter and shuttles, and cargo to the far reaches of the federation.  Sadly, she eventually was destroyed during the Dominion War.

Real World Notes: 

As I stated earlier, this build was inspired by Nathan Kaiser's Adama Class Battlestar.

I decided to not scratchbuild the primary hull for my ship as I am, quite frankly, a lazy guy.  And, there already was a nice resin Battlestar like hull in existence that I could use and save myself a ton of work.  I purchased an Agena class kit from Cozmo Heavy Industries and used the hull from that.


I really didn't want to reuse Nathan's name and class for my build as she was going to be a bit different from his build, so I put the question out to several FaceBook groups (Star Trek Modelers Group and Everything About Models Group).  After a day or two, I decided on calling her the USS Nimitz (thanks to Steven Tamberino for the naming idea), and making her an Independence Class (thanks to Steven Tamberino and Nathan Kaiser for the naming idea).  I cut down four refit Constitution engineering hulls to use as the end caps for the landing bays.  I then gave all the resin parts thier obligatory detergent bath to remove the casting oils.  Once those resin parts dried, I mounted up all the greebles to the primary hull.


The next day saw me commencing with the disassembly of the Sharpie Markers and cutting down the tubes to the correct length.  I then glued the Constitution Refit Engineering Hulls to either end of the tubes.  I will need to do some major putty work on these to even out the hull lines.  I glued together the nacelles.  At this point, I was still unsure on whether this will be a two nacelle ship or a four nacelle ship, nor had I decided where to mount them.


I then went into a rather busy weekend (non model work :-( )and still managed to get some work done on this ship.  I ended up doing the putty and sanding on the primary hull.  At this point, I'm realizing that I'll still need to do a little more filling on the front of the ship as well as cut out the deflector dish area on the nose.  I also started detail painting the nacelles.


The one challenge that had been haunting me for this build was that of nacelle placement.  I don't like the idea of embedding them inside the ship like Nathan's design has them.  At this point in the timeline (where TMP era parts are being used) Starfleet hadn't really experimented with the idea of recessed nacelles like on the Defiant class. That coupled with the fact that embedding them into the hull that I was using would eat up a LOT of internal space for the ship.  I also was also hoping to keep them more low profile, unlike my Galactica class as I wanted to keep the landing bays as the primary focus of the ship.  Having nacelles sticking outwards would detract from her looking like a BSG Battlestar.  At this point, I was seriously contemplating the idea of an over and under configuration like the Constellation class. Like my Galactica Class, the entire center of that model would be considered an engineering section. I posted my ideas out to my two favorite FaceBook group pages again.


This project then took a back burner for a few days as I dealt with some real world stuff.  The next time I picked the model up, I was able to squeeze in a little more time with her.  I did a little more filling in of seams on the landing pods.  I then filed off the nose of the primary hull and then hollowed it out a tiny bit to serve as the deflector dish.  I am trying to mirror the primary hull of my Galactica class because the backstory says, Starfleet experimented with this type of hull for several class types.  I did the detail painting of the deflector dish, the top of the hull and the rear of the ship.  It will touch up all my mistakes when I paint the rest of the ship.


I then had a nice weekend to work with the model.  I finished matching all the minor detail painting to my Galactica Class build.  After much thinking about it, I finally decided on going with the Constellation Class like nacelle layout and tucking a pair above and below the center of the ship.  I used some Miranda Class resin weapons pods that I had to give the ship some forward and rear facing teeth.  After mounting the nacelles, I needed to do some putty and filler work on the nacelle assembly.  I then mounted the support pylons and started painting everything white.  I finished painting the landing bay pods white and painted the bay doors a nice silver to make them stand out.


The next day, I finished painting the topside of the main hull as well as painting both warp nacelle assemblies and weapons pods.  I mounted the top side warp assembly after doing a slight shim to it to level it off with the hull.


I then ended up taking a day off from the build, however, when I returned to it two days later, I made some very promising progress with her.  I finished painting the bottom of the main hull and mounted on the bottom nacelle assembly.  I cut out several small pieces of sheet styrene to serve as the connection struts for the hanger bays.  After gluing them together, I realized that they were too long.  The landing bay pods were sticking out WAY too far.  I ended up cutting new shorter pieces of sheet styrene.  I glued the struts to the pods and let them sit for a while.  I then glued on the first of the pods to the main hull.  The strut stuck and stayed really easily, unlike other times I try to do stuff like this.  The next morning, I glued on the second pod.

I then had a super productive four day holiday weekend where I finished up three separate model projects. This project was very near completion already as I just needed to do a bunch of touch up painting around all the weapons systems.

And there you have it.  This was one of those builds that I really was not sure how it would turn out and I was nervous about how she would be received in the modeling community.  In the end though, taking it slow and steady, and thinking through the build process won out and I as well as fellow model builders seem to like the ship.  So now I have a VERY unique vessel in my fleet.  I hope you enjoyed following along with my build of her.

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:
The Ship     Work In Progress

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