Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Adamant Work Nearly Done

Just a little post today, showing work done so far on the Adamant refit.  Got the new warp winglet pods animated and ready.  I also bit the bullet and completely remodeled the wings and the thruster pods on the wings, as the curvature was a bit funky. 

"Reduce speed, bring us out of warp." -- Every nerd sitting in the bathroom at one point or another in their lives...
The ship's mesh is extremely heavy, now...3.4 million faces. :|  I've got to bring that down considerably.  The gun turrets add a whole 1.5 - 2 million faces by themselves.  Alas, it can't be helped.  Reducing back faces on the extruded hull plates will help somewhat.  The finalized mesh will probably use triangular faces because of the difficulties of combining quads with tris.

She's a beauty, even unoptimized :)

The new cowlings over the aft wing thrusters are purposely drawn back and less obtrusive so they can show the thrust nozzles more prominently.

Pretty much all that's left is finishing out some minor details, killing backfaces, creating the new interiors of the main sublight engines, animating those, and finishing out the forward deflector dish.  Then she'll be in great shape for film!


Friday, November 13, 2015

Finished Gingerbreed Sample Work

So, continued work on Gingerbreed.  The guys over at HiFI3D sent me some finals yesterday featuring one of the digital sets I built for them.

Here are some original OpenGL versions of the Colony set as it was being built:

Since this set was to be different from the rest of the sets built previously, I started with a single panel to get an okay from Jon and Szymon

The set was to be heavily damaged and distressed, but I started from a pristine state to get an idea what the location looked like before its demise

Jon and Szymon would give me helpful feedback on the project.  Since the scene was to include live action shots already completed, certain geometry had to be placed correctly to accommodate the paths of objects as they moved through the digital environment.  Some of these changes may stay, others may be removed at virtually any time in the production

The central core of the set was left for last.  Again, due to shooting constraints, the over all floor plan had to be followed closely

I model in Blender, because I find the modelling suite there to be easier and faster to work with.  But the film uses Maya, so the sets have to be exported to Maya scenes and set up in a certain hierarchy to facilitate lighting, texturing and shooting.
From there, Jon and Szymon take the modelled scene, light and texture it and then render it out for backgrounds for the action.  The results look like this:

So, that's what I do for a living. :)

Hope everyone enjoyed this little foray into the world of a digital environment modeller!


Friday, November 6, 2015

Shooting Spaceships: What Lens Angle Will You Use?

Hi all,

A bit of technical info today!  How to shoot a shot of your spaceship that's good looking.  This is a text version of a part of the tutorial I made a few years ago called "How I Make My Space Scenes", starting at about 16 minutes in:

So, you have a beautiful 3D model of your favorite starship in your software and now you want to shoot it effectively in a manner which is as aesthetically pleasing as can be.  There is a pretty simple method to make sure that that happens.

There are at least two main factors to consider when you are shooting your ship: 1.) Lens Angle of View; and 2.) Camera Location Relative to the Subject.


As with any form of visual art, a rudimentary understanding of how light works and how perspective affects the appearance of objects is necessary.  In this case, an understanding of Angle of View (AOV) in photography is important.  Please note the pretty good summation of this here.

To sum up, however, use a narrower AOV than normally used in photography of other objects.  My theory on why this is is because these starships are designed on orthographic drafting boards and not in perspective.  Therefore, the lines are more beautiful with less perspective.  That's my working theory on this phenomenon, anyway.

It should be noted that this phenomenon covers other stuff, too. For example, particularly in the 80's, cinematographers would film actors' faces with extremely narrow angle lenses from far away to flatten the features of the face, making it appear more beautiful.  Perhaps perspective affects the beauty of things in other ways, too, but we shall leave that for others to debate. :)

To demonstrate the difference, the Adamant in orthographic and perspective views, from the same exact camera position:

Perspective: 35mm lens.  It appears we are directly in front of the ship, viewing it at a slight angle

Orthographic view from exact same position
Note the difference between the two views.  In 35mm lens angle, the front of the ship dominates the image, all but completely obscuring the aft section of the ship.  Of the two angles, the orthographic view is more visually pleasing simply because it shows off the contours of the design much more clearly.  But, the issue with orthographic view is that there is no depth.  The ship could be traveling toward us, but it theoretically never will reach us or appear to change shape or apparent size because orthographic view mashes all depth data into a zero sum.

A happy medium must exist, right?  It does!  But it's a bit more involved than simply using the same lens angle for every single shot of a starship.

Most starships appear more beautiful when you make the aft sections look bigger in comparison to the front.  So, pick a lens angle which does this for you.  If you are looking at the front of a starship, you typically want to use a narrower angle lens, so that the back of the ship appears relatively larger than the front, despite being in perspective.  Some trial and error in your 3D software will reap results.  I have noted in the case of the Adamant that depending on what angle I'm viewing her from, a different AOV reaps different emotional responses.


Starships tend to have good angles and bad ones to view them from.  The placement of the camera will generally is dictated by this.

Let's take Star Trek, for an example of this.  I cannot include images of Star Trek ships on this post because of copyright, but I think you fellow nerds out there will know what I'm talking about.  I found several times in my studies that the design of Federation starships has good angles and bad ones.  The Enterprise D had very few good angles to shoot from.  The design of the ship was extremely saucer heavy and it was a chore to keep that saucer from dominating the shots it appeared in.  The Enterprise E, on the other hand, had a somewhat more interesting and aesthetically pleasing shape, at least strictly from a cinematographer's point of view.

Your ship may have good angles and bad ones to view from.   An understanding on where to place your shot will give you the tools necessary to make it work.

Generally speaking, looking up at a starship makes it look more heroic and impressive.  Looking down at a starship makes it look more helpless and vulnerable.



So, combining what we know about AOV and camera placement, how would we form a shot of a starship like the Adamant?

If a shot is a single sentence in a movie, the question you need to ask yourself is: What are you trying to convey in the shot?

For instance, if I had a smaller shuttle craft approaching the Adamant from the front, how much movement I had on the scene, as well as how dynamic it appears, would be affected by the lens angle and camera position.

If I wanted the smaller ship to zoom by and disappear toward the larger Adamant, and I wanted the Adamant to appear majestic, heroic and large, I might choose a 50mm lens angle and position the camera looking up at the ventral starboard bow.  This angle makes the ship look huge, heroic and impressive.

Forward ventral starboard: 50mm works best if I want to convey dynamic motion and size difference:

50mm angle of view, front starboard quarter

Forward, ventral starboard: 120mm works as well, but would make the Adamant appear more imposing on the scene, because it takes up more screen space.  The aft section looks beefier, less diminutive compared to the front. 

120mm lens angle: any ship would not move as fast toward the Adamant, and would appear larger than it really is
Both shots are effective and either could probably be used, but I would almost certainly opt for the 120mm angle simply to follow my rule of narrower angle views from the front.  I'd just have the shuttle move faster. :)

From the forward dorsal view, I have discovered that the ship always looks better with a very narrow angle lens.  The narrower, the better (even up to 200mm), as it is not a very flattering angle to view the ship from.

The overall shape of the Adamant is a hammerhead design with very wide reaching albatross wings in the back.  This shape does not look good from above in anything perspective except at very narrow lens angles.  It's even worse from the front, because it makes that nose look too big again.

Not the lady's best angle...

It takes 150mm lens angle to make the view work more beautifully
This angle would be used to depict the ship in a more unflattering way.  Perhaps if she were damaged, or in a more helpless position.  Attacking ships would be shown from this angle, diving down at her.  The problem, however, is that to make the ship more pleasing to the eye, I would have to use a very narrow angle lens, which crushes perspective.

Aft shots require that I use a wider angle lens to make that nose less imposing.  Again, if I wanted to establish the ship as heroic, impressive and "good", I would probably show it from a lower angle in the aft.

75mm aft ventral shot.  The ship appears to stretch a little off into the depths of space

Conversely, if I wanted to show the ship from the aft dorsal region, I would use a narrower angle lens because this angle would make the engines appear too small in relation to the upper section.

120mm lens angle to keep the engines from completely disappearing at this angle
Hopefully this admittedly dry post helps a few people understand the fundamentals of shooting starships.  Of course, each spaceship has a different shape, and therefore would have different angles which would look good.  Trial and error is essential.  But hopefully this gives an idea on how different angles affect the choices we make in the mechanical nature of our cameras as well.

Thanks, and have a great day!


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fairwell, TGST; and What a Difference 10 Years Makes

A sad day. :(

Blender Artists is the first art forum I really joined, way back on November 25th, 2005.  It's therefore been a decade in a couple of weeks since I joined that site.  On August 31, 2010, I started what would later be called The Giant Spaceship Thread. That thread was a great help to me back in the day, so I wanted to post an honorary post about it, here, as Blender Artists will be going to its new format by what the mods hope is the end of this year.  The Giant Spaceship Thread will be closed and archived along with the rest of all currently open threads on Blender Artists when that site migrates to its new format, and I'm finding myself a little misty eyed over that.  The TGST was very good to me for the 5 years its been around.

However, while I was in mourning over the TGST, a somewhat controversial, yet thought-provoking piece by Andrew Price slapped me across the face and got me thinking.  While it was a nice place for me to showcase my work and for other geeks to share their own work with each other, has it helped me to become a better artist?

I feel like my work has stagnated in recent months, to be honest.  Here is work from five years ago:

Woo! Old art!
Here are a few a samples from this past year:

Some improvement!

Not too bad...
In comparison, I noticed that there was some pretty impressive work on other forums, and even my very best work would be unlikely to be even mentioned on those forums.  Which was somewhat depressing.  Andrew Price's comments resonate, while also giving me pause.  While a certain level of balance is necessary--one cannot compare themselves with other artists exclusively to determine their own worth as an artist--it should be noted that any artist who becomes self-referential is in serious jeopardy of being left behind in a world that is moving forward at faster-than-light speed.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm primarily a modeller, and there is a certain unthankful nature to that job description.  A modeller doesn't generally get to put a lot of work into finalizing the product--lighting, texturing, compositing--and none of these things are my expertise, I'm afraid.  So, the majority of a modeller's work involves somewhat boring clay renders which most people don't really like much.  Obviously, images of brightly lit, colorful artistic scenes seem to light up the art pages much more than, say, a clay render of a starship interior.  Why?  Well, aside from the fact that the scenes are more colorful and seem more completed (and besides, a lot of them feature various bits of anatomy), they are just more visually interesting than the gray-box style render that modellers like myself usually put out en masse.

But, but...the spaceship doesn't have clothes on, either! :(

So, to sum up all these rambling musings, I've discovered that while I'm glad to have known The Giant Spaceship Thread, and I am grateful for its contribution to my work, and I may port over a version of it to the new Blender Artists forums, I have discovered I should spend more time in places that frighten me.  Namely, CGSociety, and ArtStation (eeeeeek!) and hopefully I don't plunge into a deep depression at what awaits.

To commemorate TGST, however, a couple screenshots (I seem to have lost a few! :( ) I've taken over the years of moments that made me happy. :)

The Adamant got the 92nd monthly header at Concept Ships, and received top-row on Blender Artists, which I never thought would happen

Top row for the 3 space fighters, too! Woo! :)
Additionally, some of the art has been featured on the top row of some 3D websites I sell on.  Quite a feather in the cap, there. :)

So, moving on, as time always seems to, I guess it's time to post some new stuff in the CGSociety and ArtStation sites...oof.  Here's hoping for the best! :|


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

New Turrets on Palatine Cruisers Make Life Easier for Crews

THIS WEEK on Pew-Pew Weekly:

Is that comet flying through space giving you problems?  Is collision imminent?  Everyone knows that striking a piece of rock at relativistic speeds can give your spaceship crew the shakes (and don't get me started on those exploding consoles).  Well, worry no more.  Here is the solution to rowdy interstellar fragments and debris (and any foolhardy pirate looking to avoid having to face that boring legal system):  The PY-280-Z heavy cannon turret!

A spectacle of destructive potential!

With a full 180 degree rotation on the z-axis and 90 degree cannon rotation, this reciprocating octo-barrel laser cannon turret provides the ultimate answer to the question: Do laser cannons really work well against rocks in space...or anything else, for that matter?  At these levels of power, the answer is an unequivocal YES!

Warning: It is inadvisable to take selfies in front of these turrets

Capable of being loaded with several types of charges, these cannons can fire both ionized plasma and particle beams capable of delivering over 25 petajoules of destructive power per barrel.  That's right, that's 200 petajoules per turret, per shot

To give you an idea of how much that would be in pure awesome might: 200 petajoules equals the same amount of energy as 47,801 tons of TNT.  To give you humans a chance to understand, your laughable nuclear Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear bomb ever tested in your history, released 210 petajoules.  That's right, just one volley from one of these turrets releases the equivalent amount of energy from your largest nuclear bomb ever! HA! Take that, puny earthlings!

Do ya feel lucky, punk?
These new turrets will be installed on all ships in the Thrassi Navy large enough to support them.  Since that's only the Palatine and Aventine classes, those are the ships that will receive these beauties!

Here is a mock-up of a typical Palatine class cruiser with the turrets mounted.  Seriously, you don't want to mess with this ship.

It was as if millions of pirates suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced...

If there was ever a bad place to find yourself, this probably qualifies

Sal Marcus, the Scan Officer aboard the Adamant had this to say about the new turrets loaded onto his ship, "I'm just glad they're not pointed at me!"  That seems to be the general consensus of anyone who has to face these things.

I'm just glad they're not pointed at me! -- A very wise man

Here are the statistics for these lovely turrets for you tech-heads out there:

Kilim & Blastem PY-280-Z Heavy Laser Cannon Turret

  • Type: Dual quad barrel reciprocating cannon turret
  • Power Rating: 25 petajoules per barrel
  • Rate of Fire: 10 shots per minute
  • Deliverable Energy Rating: 2,000 petajoules per minute

Remember, if you're a space rock heading for an Aventine or Palatine class starship of the Thrassi Navy, it might behoove you to avoid it.  If you're a pirate, get your will in order!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Adamant Remodel Progress Renders

Changes to the overall shape of the structure have been completed.  The nose is considerably more discreet and narrower than before.  Also added a gentle slope to the lower bow region.  It's now swept back slightly to improve the curved look of the entire ship's overall motif.

I'm much more pleased with the elevation orthograhic shots.  Gone is the jarring sharpness of the dropping bow, replaced with a gentler curve which matches the rest of the ship much nicer.

The bridge section is also greatly simplified and more curved, making it much more sleek and even a bit menacing, I think.  That was an unforeseen effect of the changes--the ship looks more "wicked" than before.  Sometimes you don't know what the result will be until you try it, I guess?

Still to do: the forward deflector/shield dish section.  Finish out the panels and greebles (some are still not right--hovering greebles or whatnot).  Add windows and lighted interiors, including the hangars and their doors, and create the new quad-cannon turrets.  Also, need to re-do the insides of the main engines.  I was never quite happy with the mechanism that spun.  It was way too small to be noticeable.  I'd like to make it bigger so that it's visible from medium and perhaps even wide shots.

After that, it's the materials and light schemes and I think we're done with the remodel.  The model will be ready for import into whatever project I think up for it. :)


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Reworking the Adamant (Part 1)

Reworking the Adamant model.  Looking back on the two years I've had her, she's been a great ship, but now that I look at her with a more critical eye, there are some things I would have done differently to the geometry and model.  But, as it is, she's still nice.  Here's the original picture she appeared in:

The videos she's appeared in:

Her interior was seen in these images:

Redesign Plan:

1.) Update and finish the thing. Many new tools in Blender (such as retopo and ngons) are now available, or have been improved since the model was started nearly 3 years ago.  This makes it possible to build geometry that otherwise was much more difficult to do back then.  Also, my skills as a modeler have improved since then.

2.) Redesigning certain key elements and shapes. I was never happy with certain aspects of the ship's exterior (or interior, for that matter!).  Here are some of the changes I wanted to make:

  • The aft section of the nose, in particular wasn't very successful in my mind.  Currently, it's just too sharp a transition, especially in the orthographic elevation view.  Its line dips straight down, while the lines of the aft lower sections are far more curved and flowing.  This needs to be fixed in some manner.
  • The width of the lower forward section.  The forward section's lower area is too wide.  I've been wanting to give her a more sleek, narrower profile on the lower section for a while, to match the aft section's width more closely.
  • The aft landing bay, which I changed already, was too sharp and didn't fit with the motif of the ship very well.  The lines leading up to it are relatively curved and flowing, and the sharp 90 degree end where the door is just didn't seem to fit very well.  
  • There were also several areas where angles were visible instead of smoothly curving surfaces.  Going back and remodeling those areas is better than staring at them and cringing every time.  
  • Building new turrets. Instead of the extremely low-poly versions that I had previously, I hope to have specially modeled turrets which all work and can be fired simultaneously or in groups, without the need for a lot of extra work.
  • Interior remodel.  I'm planning on remodeling the all of the current sets.  I'm just not happy with currently, in particular the lack of detail.  The floors and color-scheme may remain, but the lighting is so flat and even that it's very difficult to make interesting images using them.  Cycles has come a long way with interior lighting these past two years, so it's time to build out geometry which takes advantage of that.

3.) Materials! Cycles renderer now has some pretty nice procedural materials which will be useful on the Adamant.  The issues with UV unwrapping such an incredibly complex model are too daunting for someone like me with almost no free time on his hands.  Proper UV unwrapping really takes a more dedicated texture/material artist than I am.

4.) Prep for the big screen. Getting the ship ready for HD renders, up to 4k resolution and above will ensure her usefulness for years to come.  I'm hoping to include Adamant or one of her sisters in a film in the future.  We'll see.

Work done so far:

Here's the in-fiction lore for the Palatine Class Cruiser.

THE PALATINE CRUISER is a starship class in operation from the late 20th to mid 25th centuries in the Thrassi Republic. The first ship of this class, Palatine (SSC – 001) was launched on 10/16/1,981 M.E. The last ship of the class, Adjudicator (SSC - 020), was commissioned on 10/18/2,000 M.E. They are the largest ship class ever used by the Thrassi Navy. The original design of the ship was produced by Lethmarp Industries, and was considered revolutionary for its time

There are still 5 Palatine cruisers in operation as of this printing (2,500 M.E.), all of them still being used despite being in space for some 500 years.

Known for their signature shape and design, as well as their traditional white paint (called “Armor White 1a” by the Thrassi Navy), they were called “White Ghosts” by many Trisst and pirates for the fact these were often spied upon by a Palatine without knowing it, and were often apprehended by them with no warning.

Palatine cruisers are the only starship in the Thrassi Navy with the “SSC” prefix for their duty numbers. SSC is an acronym which stands for “Star Ship Cruiser”, and was intended as a special designation reserved for Palatine class cruisers alone. All other ships of the Thrassi Navy employed the traditional TSS, short for “Thrassi Star Ship”

With the introduction of the Trisst Doruus class battleship in 1,940 M.E., and its continuing reign as supreme spaceship of the Lathkos Sector, the Thrassi Republic found itself in need of a flagship vessel as well-armed as the Doruus. When it was discovered the cost of building a rival to the battleship was so outrageously expensive that it would bankrupt the dwindling Thrassi coffers, the Thrassi government sought instead to build an immense fleet of smaller, more nimble space vessels as part of its defense force. It was thought that a huge array of small ships could elude the ponderous and relatively rare Trisst Battleship, should war break out. The Thrass also focused on building a fleet of nimble fighter craft, choosing speed, maneuverability and sheer numbers to counter the Trisst fleet, which focused on only 100 gargantuan Doruus battleships and only a few more thousand support craft.

Over the years, as the tenuous peace continued between the Thrass and Trisst, the Republic began thinking again of devoting resources to a larger, more general purpose space vessel, capable of an extremely wide array of deployments and missions. It was not until 1,976 M.E. that the Thrassi Republic finally mustered the will to build such a vessel.

Because of the Thrassi lack of experience for building larger starships, Lethmarp Industries, the famed Isusian shipbuilders who provided the vessels for the Isus Collection for millenniums, were tapped by the Republic to build the Thrassi dream ship. In 1,981, the first Palatine class space cruiser was deployed in space, SSC-001 Palatine. The Palatine class cruiser was sold exclusively to the Thrassi Republic.

Although the Palatine class excelled in sensor and weaponry, they were reportedly slow, heavy and extremely expensive. The Republic tried to cram as much technology into as small a shell as possible so as to make the Palatine as affordable as it could be. Despite these efforts, however, the Palatine project was still prohibitively expensive, and construction was discontinued after the 20th vessel, Adjudicator, was commissioned in late 2,000 M.E. The cause of its discontinuation was cited as being because of the ship's immense size and construction cost. At 750 stretches long, and over a killostretch in width, it was one of the largest starships ever put to space in the Lathkos Sector's history, despite the vaunted efforts of the Republic Fleet to keep the size of the ship down. Each ship cost approximately 1 trillion jaspers to construct, with an additional 800 million jaspers per year to operate.


Boasting a crew complement of over 1,200, Palatine class cruisers were manned by Thrassi naval officers who had at least 2 years' experience due to the ship being so valuable. 

Palatine cruisers were renowned for their extremely impressive firepower, as well as the impregnability of their armor plating. They were used to project the Thrassi Navy's strength wherever the Thrass had the stomach to risk such valuable ships.

Featuring a hammerhead front and extremely broad wingspan with retractable warp bubble generators on the tips of the wings, Palatine cruisers really have no similar design in the entire Sector. This was on purpose, as the Thassi navy wanted their best starship to be instantly recognizable.

Palatine cruisers are extremely well-armed. Featuring up to 20 quad-laser turrets, with each barrel able to project a 60 gigajam (gj) ion-particle beam, the laser cannon turrets alone on the ship have greater destructive power than almost any other ship in the Sector, save for the Doruus battleship.

In addition to the laser turrets, Palatines also feature 6 forward facing heavy torpedo tubes, and numerous secondary launch tubes dispersed around the hull. 6 heavy 200 gj orbital bombardment single barrel turrets sit along the forward neck area of the ship, just behind the hammerhead section. 8 forward facing heavy blast cannons are fitted on the ends of the wings. These barrels are capable of projecting 300 gj beams and are, by far, the most powerful class of weapons available on any Palatine cruiser. 

After 1,986 M.E., several modifications were made to the Palatine's weaponry. Banks of new point-defense laser turrets were added when it was discovered missiles could pose a danger to the delicate sensor and electronic warfare masts atop the ship. All subsequent ships of the class launched with these modifications, and the 6 existing ships were fitted with these turrets.

The ship also boasts the best sensor and jamming technology available. A sensor resolution of 40 nanostretches at a distance of 1 light-year makes the Palatine class's e-war capabilities second to none. Many enemies have expressed surprise at being spied upon by a Palatine from extremely great distance without knowing it. This, despite being a ship over half a killo long, and not possessing any specialized stealth capabilities.

After 2,010 M.E., all Palatine cruisers remaining (by then, Bellicose had been destroyed in Operation: Hammerstop) were fitted with warp-disruption bubble generators (known as “snagnets”), capable of jamming the warp fields of approaching spacecraft and forcing them to drop out of light speed.

Interior Characteristics

The interior of the Palatine cruiser is luxurious, earning the crews of these vessels the reputation as “cruise ship passengers” more than naval officers. Following the traditionally clean styling the Thrassi Navy prefers, the ships are comfortable and warmly lit inside.

The ship's command deck, on the 12th level down from the top of the vessel, features some of the highest technology known to the Thrassi Republic, and even the Lathkos Sector. The Palatine was the first ship to employ holographic controls. This is especially of note in the helm console, which features a 3 dimensional hologram of the ship which the helm officer simply manipulates using his or her own hands. The ship's computer uses these inputs to fire the reaction control thrusters arrayed around the ship's hull. Palatine vessels were also unique in their use of robotic security sentries. These highly modified DLO-P robots had specialized software installed which made them formidable warriors, capable of successfully defending their vessel from boarding parties. They also served as bodyguards for any of the command staff who would venture to a hazardous planet's surface.The Palatine class cruiser had an official expected service life of upwards of 400 years, although with refits, it had a theoretically indefinite lifespan.

On 5 / 12 / 2,000, Bellicose was destroyed during Operation: Hammerstop. Because of the loss of the ship so rapidly to the Trisst battleship, many decried what they claimed as the uselessness of a such an expensive vessel.  Thus, many experts denounce the Palatine class as a mediocre vessel at best. This is not because of her design or manufacture, which were of the highest quality, but that the expense at which she was constructed and maintained meant she was deemed too valuable an asset to see any real combat situations, or situations where she would face peril or formidable odds. This is despite the fact that the ships were, in reality, extremely well-armed, durable, expertly designed and built, and more than capable of facing almost any threat posed against them, except, of course, a Trisst battleship.

Because of the loss of the Bellicose, and the severe damage Adamant suffered during the Drannica mission 5 years later, the Thrassi admiralty lost its stomach for sending their prized cruisers into harm's way.

Of all the vessels of the class which were constructed aside from Bellicose, 14 were later mothballed due to budget shortfalls, with 5 of those ships eventually being scrapped for spare parts for their 5 remaining active sisters. By 2,050, only Adamant, Reciprocity, Palatine, Harbinger and Truculent remained in active duty.

The ships were relegated to light mission duty, often being used to ensure the peace in outlying systems where there were no ships or weaponry which could ostensibly threaten them. They were almost never used to their original potential. Of all the ships in all of their missions, except Bellicose, Adamant sustained the greatest damage, during the Drannica mission. The damage done to her and the loss of Bellicose was sufficient enough to frighten the admiralty into sparing the ships from heavy military use, instead focusing on exploration or patrol missions in safe systems. Any pictures of the damage sustained by Adamant were suppressed so as not to anger the public over such a valuable and expensive vessel being used for a mission which they feared would be deemed meaningless.

The 9 mothballed Palatine class cruisers—known colloquially as “The Nine Ghosts”–are evidently stored in Koranna IV Construction Yards, their birthplace, under heavy guard, because of their obvious value to looters and ship thieves. If the Thrassi Republic ever needed them, these ships could be returned to active duty in less than 3 months, where they, despite their age, would still nearly double the amount of deliverable firepower of the Thrassi Navy's arsenal.


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