Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Starphin - class Frigate WIP II What the Stats Mean

     Work continues on the Starphin-Treaty Frigate, RocketFans.  Today, we're going to dig a little deeper into the design of a large capital ship by looking at all of the systems, sub-systems, and ancillary spaces that need to be present in order for the Starphin to perform it's mission.  First, we look at the stats, then extrapolate from those what we need.  Simple, right?

Improved version
  I wish.

    Designing a spacecraft using even the most generous of standards is difficult.  There are a lot of little things that you have to account for and keep track of.  Fortunatly, I've been blessed with an enormous amount of help form folks like Winchel Chung, Robert Brown, Curtis Saxton, and of course the Incredible Cross Sections books.  But enough shmoozing - let's dig in, shall we?

     First of all, lets look at the ship's crew and passengers. Crew is set at 175, assuming that there will be at least that many droids.  There are five gunners per turbolaser, for a total of 30, an additional 14 quadlaser gunners, a platoon of toops (32), fifteen pilots (fighters and shuttle!) and fifteen support crew, with room for eighteen more passengers, such as command staff, additional personnel or what ever.  That comes to a total of almost three hundred people.  So, right off, I need to have beds for that many.  But there is so much more that a crew needs then just a rack to fall into.  We need galleys, mess halls, heads and showers, for starters.  Obviously, we also need some kind of sick bay and dispensary.  Depending on the mission, we may need a dental unit, OBGYN, medical lab and imaging, bacta ward, and morgue.  But think of all the places we never see in science fiction that logic tells us has to be there.  There must be a ship's laundry, tailor, supply office, and a canteen to buy toothpaste and razors or whatever they use in a galaxy far, far away.  But there are even more considerations.  After perusing the general plans of the WWII escort carrier Thetis Bay (CVE-90), I discovered all sorts of space I never thought about.   Cobbler.  Barber shop.  Film lab (well, computer lab in SW).  Bakery. Post Office. Payroll Office and safe!
Just some of the systems I've had to find space for...

      Now, some of these amenities may seem like too much for a such little ship. While the Starphin is a Frigate by treaty and a Corvette by size convention, in reality, it is a Cruiser.  That's because it's consumables are listed, just like its Corellian ancestors, as being one full year's worth.  According the RAW from the REUP Manual a ships consumables are "A measure of the ship’s air, food, water and fuel and how long it can travel before having to stop for refueling and resupply."  This means that the Starohin needs to carry enough food, water, spare parts, tools, aviation fuel, tibanna gas, oxygen, uniform socks, laundry soap, replacement forks, disposible medical supplies, laser optics - everything, for three hundred people, for three hundred sixty-five days.  That's 109,799 crew-days of supplies.

     A Star Destroyer could carry that many crew-days of supplies, but then a Star Destroyer has almost fifty thousand people on board.  Fortunately, supplements such as The Darkstryder Campaign, novels such as the unfinishable Children of the Jedi give us solutions in the form of hydroponics bays and "full enzymatic breakdown" recycling technology.  Also, one can assume, since Humans and Duros  started forging the space-lanes twenty-five millennia ago, such technologies will be fully mature and operate at the peak of theoretical efficiency.  But we'll still need water tanks, plant bays, and vats of recycling material and processors. Spare parts get almost the same treatment, as self-replicating factories are a part of everyday life in the galaxy, one can assume that broken parts can be recycled into new ones with minimal feedstocks in storage.

     See?  Not impossible problems, but stuff you have to think about if you want realistic deckplans.  Next time, we take a look at the top-most ten decks of the Starphin, and actually start mapping some deckplans.  Here's a look at some of my behind-the-scenes-work, so you can get a taste of what I've been trying to deal with.  Enjoy!

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