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Radical shift of ship design

Discussion concerning the TV, film, and comic adaptations.
Re: Radical shift of ship design
Post by Blackswimmer   » Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:11 am


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Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:05 pm

Conversation between McKeon and Bachfisch
War of Honor wrote: "We haven't really tried to make our presence a secret—after all, half the effect of a Q-ship derives from the fact that potential raiders know she's out there somewhere. If they don't know she exists, then they're not going to be worried over the possibility that any given merchantman might be her. But by the same token, we haven't exactly broadcast a description of any of our ships, and we've been known to change the paint scheme from time to time. The smart paint cost us a pretty penny, but it was worth it."
"I often think it's more useful to Q-ships than it's ever been to regular men-of-war," Alistair McKeon observed, and several heads nodded. The "paint" used by the RMN and most other navies was liberally laced with nanotech and reactive pigments which allowed it to be programmed and altered, essentially without limit, at will. Unfortunately, as McKeon had just suggested, that was of strictly limited utility for a warship. After all, the distinctive hammerhead hull form of a warship could scarcely be mistaken for anything else, whatever color it might be. Besides, no one was likely to rely on visual identification of any man-of-war, which was one reason most navies also had a distinct tendency to choose one paint scheme—like the RMN's basic white—and leave it that way.
But merchantmen were another matter entirely. Even there, cruisers and pirate vessels alike tended to rely primarily upon transponder codes, but anyone who wanted to steal a ship's cargo had to come close enough to do it. And at that point, visual identifications—or misidentifications, in some very special cases—became the norm.

Seems ship design is unlikely to be an issue for IDing warships, but for merchies it is a factor, especially given that Bachfisch being able to disguise his ship is a non-trivial plot point in War of Honor.
Re: Radical shift of ship design
Post by hvb   » Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:37 am

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The differences discussed by Oversteegen & crew was a distinctive design of the hammerheads that marked the ship as of Solarian design; as Crewdude mentions other "distinct visual differences" include placement of radar/gravitic arrays & weapons deck/hatche layout. (and of course radar/ladar/gravitics emissions of a ship are used in identification beyond visual identification range)

These features (with the possible exception of the hammerheads, if made overly blatant) will all be irrelevant for the viewing audience in assessing the allegiance of a ship, as they (and we) don't have the information to distinguish features that are indicative of specific navies' building policies/traditions versus those that are merely the product of the normal variation between different classes (and within classes).

As for the kind of differences that would be clear assignments of allegiance ... in modern-day war movies this is often done with on-screen text captions enumerating: name class allegiance location & time when cutting to the vessen, as well as shots of the hull markings -Latin vs Cyrillic letters are anvilicious blatantly obvious-.

As the Honorverse seems to use only the Latin letters, some other anvilicious tool is needed. My suggestion has been to use naval crests over the name, and stuff like distinctive color schemes (when not acting under stealth).

The Q-ship feature was the ability to raise and lower the (larger) military nodes out from recesses in the hull allowing casual inspection to mistake them for civilian nodes in the lowered position (i.e. in a parking orbit), which is very much a non-issue where regular warships are concerned.

George J. Smith wrote:I think that was when Oversteegen mentioned the differences in the shape of the nodes on the ships being used by the pirates at Tiberius.
Roguevictory wrote:Ships looking the same wouldn't necessarily make it hard to tell who is on what side but I believe it would clash with the source material. If memory serves there are distinct visual differences between ship classes of the same type mentioned in one of the novels so why shouldn't ship classes in the game and movie follow that pattern? I don't exactly like all of the designs in the game but nor do I dislike them enough to feel a need to complain


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