Ladies and gentlemen--after more than two and a half years of slow, sporadic, and often inefficient work, I am proud to present the Obviously Overcompensating, seventh in the first production line of the Rameses-class Strategic Battlecruiser.
For the rest of the page, in-universe lore text is plain; building commentary is italicized; read whatever you find interesting.
The Rameses-class Strategic Battlecruiser was designed to function as a flexible, long range, and high-endurance space combat platform, with significant carrying and communications/coordination capabilities as well. As such it is heavily armed, extremely mobile, and readily reconfigurable. By the time of the Second Galactic War,The distinction between Battlecruiser and Fast Battleship had become blurry (as in nonfictional history), but generally Battlecruisers were understood to operate most cost-effectively at extreme engagement ranges, and generally focused more on anti-ship weaponry than planetary bombardment weaponry, whereas Battleships were generally more cost effective at medium ranges and were usually armed with proportionately more bombardment weapons. Like most warships of the era, the Rameses-class is dependent on arcane (location-dependent magic, more or less) energy, stored in giant crystal capacitors, to power its incredibly energy-intensive systems. Strategic Battlecruisers are distinguished from Light Battlecruisers in that the former are designed as high-endurance ships that need to recharge relatively seldom, but even so must from time to time recharge its energy stores at an appropriate arcane nexus (these usually coincide with planets or stars, but not always).
It should be noted that these ships can move, fire and function extremely quickly, both due to the technology level and since they are controlled by extremely powerful sentiences--either spirit-beings (for lack of a better word) or hypercomputers, for whom the ship essentially becomes a body, à la the Culture ships of Iain M Banks' imagination. While the space battles in my fictional universe don't happen quite as absurdly quickly as those in the Culture books, the longest space battles between huge fleets generally span only 30 seconds or so; skirmishes between single ships may a second or two. As such, a second is a very long time in the context in which these ships operate. Ships, sensors, and weapons are not necessarily hindered by the lightspeed barrier, but breaking that barrier is extremely energy intensive, and most ships operate at sublight speeds most of the time.
The model is at 1:5000 scale, meaning that a single 1x1 lego brick represents 40m x 40m. The model is 278 studs, or 222.4 cm long, representing a ship 11.12km long. Frankly I haven't bothered to measure the wingspan/height, but it's about half the length. The brick count is somewhere around 50,000 (though I stopped counting long ago). The Obviously Overcompensating is a weighty piece of plastic. I don't have a good way to judge exactly how much it weighs, because there's not a good place to pick it up from, but I'll guestimate around 50 pounds. It hangs by parachute cord from two heavy duty hooks drilled into the joists of the ceiling in my room. The total investment over the two and a half years is about $4000. Eek.
I didn't really follow through with my initial plans to have the ship come apart into manageably-sized pieces. As such, the beastie is stuck in my room, right where it is. It can't fit through the door. The amount of redesign necessary to make it come apart into modular sections might make me explode. In the meantime, all those lovely white and blue pieces facing the window are slowly yellowing. Ah well.
All Crews Reporting.
The primary processing substrates, home to the sentiences/computers controlling the ship, are nestled at the ship's core. Why it needs giant cooling fans is beyond me, especially since the thing's in space and fans wouldn't do anything. Le shrug. The Rameses-class generally requires three spirit-beings or hypercomputers in any combination; the Obviously Overcompensating is home/body to two hypercomputers, 07-G5- and 91-R3-; and one spirt-being, Reisariaquur. The hypercomputers enjoy coming up with whimsical and often somewhat sardonic ship names, while spirit-beings tend to prefer Shahdorian names with a bit more gravitas. Reisariaquur is a good sport though, and gets along well with her hyperspatial-computation-network buddies. She'd better. She has to share a body with them.
This middle section was a huge pain to build. Instead of going about it intelligently, I wound up doing this section after all the wings were attached and clad, which made for working at some tricky angles. I actually employed a pair of forceps and some metal hooks to help build this and other poorly-planned out construction segments. These proved particularly necessary when I dropped pieces into the ship. The bottom wing is affectionately known as the "piece graveyard," for obvious reasons.
Note to self: on large hanging projects, try to work top down, and inside out.
Hailing Frequencies Open.
The Rameses features an exceptionally sophisticated communications suite mounted atop the main bridge, enabling it to serve as a communications hub for other ships. Frankly, the bridge itself isn't much of a bridge. The beings that actually control the ship inhabit processing substrates deep within the ship. The bridge is really just a place for human-sized passengers to hang out and feel important.
I use the little antenna superstructure on top of my ships to maintain a readily visible point of scale reference.
The Battlecruiser also features two extremely powerful and versatile sensor suites, enabling, among other things, precision targetting at extreme ranges. The effective detection range of the Rameses is substantially larger than that of most comparable ships, allowing for preemptive strikes from afar.
While I'm still a big fan of proliferations of purposeful-seeming antennae, I did streamline these and other sections somewhat, eliminating some busy and poorly-colored detail. That was the intent, anyway.
Set a Course.
The primary propulsion for the Rameses is provided by an Arcane Interspatial Elastic Drive. I have no idea how it works, but it enables the ship to accelerate extremely quickly. Indeed, the Rameses is one of the fastest ships in the galaxy in terms of linear acceleration. This speed, combined with its extremely large effective weapons range, enables the Rameses to effectively "kite" entire fleets of slower enemy ships.
It has occurred to me--and to others--that the effect of this ship would be significantly enhanced by internal lighting. The amount of reworking necessary to make that happen would probably make me explode, though.
The Elastic Drive is supplemented by four Warpfield GMP's mounted external nacelles. Essentially, Warpfields make superluminal travel a whole lot more manageable/plausible than it would be otherwise. Something about streamlining the ship in spacetime. Anyway, warpfields have the unfortunate side-effect of something called Warp Drag, which can substantially reduce effective maneuverability at high superluminal velocities.
After several unsatisfactory iterations of the warp nacelles, I finally got a version I liked. Naturally that version was by far the most piece intensive. I also decided to rotate the engine assembly by 45 degrees, which ultimately looked better, but was a pain to integrate into the structure.
You might notice that the warp nacelles sag somewhat. There was a whole lot of weight torquing a very narrow connection point at an angle at which the structure is not as rigid as I might've hoped. The only remedy that doesn't involve completely restructuring the nacelles is external support, ie. fishing line or similar.
Also, to whomever I've been competing with for dark bluish gray telephone pieces on bricklink, I'm done gobbling them up. For now ;) Those have become seriously hard to find on bricklink in the past few months...
At subluminal speeds, auxiliary arcane-charged particle thrusters can provide burst acceleration. Eight surround the main elastic drive, while three around mounted on each wing (for a total of twenty).
Take it slow
Slowpoke! I choose you!
Of course, work on this project did progress extremely slowly, but I'm glad to finally be able to present the finished product. I'm not at home too often, and I'm not always in the mood to build. Those realities, along with my reluctance to spend a whole lot of money at once, made this project stretch out for two and a half years. Frankly, I'm kind of sad that it's finished. Certainly, I enjoy having the finished object to admire, but there's nothing quite like being the middle of building the thing.
Shields up, Weapons Online.
The Rameses-class is built around its primary weapon, a massive Arcane Destabilization Field Generator/Modulator/Projector (GMP). The massive synthetic arcane crystal at the center of the weapon is just the tip of the massive capacitor system that runs down the long axis of the ship, and is capable of releasing massive bursts of energy in a very short time. That energy burst, in turn, is exactingly contained, manipulated, aimed, and projected by the systems contained within the four forward-projecting arms. The resultant beam streaks out to a predetermined point in space--up to 10 light-hours away at maximum range--and there causes some sort of crazy chain reaction that creates a massive spherical destabilization field, up to 5 light seconds in diameter. Conventional shielding is rendered entirely ineffective. The weapon can be fired at full power up to 30 times per second (which is really, really slowly!), and at minimum effective power can fire up to 300 times per second (a bit more reasonable). As it so happens, the weapon can also disrupt fusion at the core of a star long enough to make it go nova. Go figure. The weapon consumes a huge amount of energy, however, and oveuse can quickly deplete the Battlecruisers' capacitor reserves.
The Destabilizer GMP's effect is somewhere between the Stargate kawoosh and that giant gunship blast from Super Smash Brothers: everything within that sphere is instantly disintegrated.
Four heavy-duty Disruptor Beam GMP's round out the Battlecruiser's extreme-range energy weapon arsenal, with an effective range of 8 light hours (that's farther than the greatest distance between Pluto and the Sun). Disruptor weapons are designed to cause temporary or permanent failure of a target's energy shielding systems--which, along with evasion, are the only defenses that matter (read: armor is irrelevant, like in Stargate [nevermind Wraith ships]). Every fraction of a second a ship's shields are disrupted leaves it open to a myriad of dangers: interplanetary dust particles, hard solar radiation, hull-damaging energy attacks...
...or the thousands upon thousands of drone missiles the Battlecruiser can launch from its multiple missile tubes within the first half second of engagement. These missiles swarm around the target waiting for the slightest moment's shield fluctuation, then dive in for the kill. Unused missiles can be recovered after a successful engagement.
The Rameses also features a wide array of medium- and short-range weaponry, including disruptor pulse GMP turrets, disabler pulse GMP turrets, and more.
The turrets elevate and rotate.
Visible beneath the turrets is some inexplicably exposed power distribution infrastructure. Le shrug.
Point defense turrets line the wings.
Thanks again to Kevin Walter for the minifig-hand turret idea.
The Battlecruiser's second lines of defense, after its speed/range, are its four primary shield generators (the antenna-laden thingy in the middle of the picture) and four stealthfield generators (the repeating dishes to the right).
It can also load additional shield generators into its modular bays.
Who called in the fleet?
Numerous hangar bays allow the Rameses to deploy a range of drone ships, ranging in size from tiny fighter drones to a frigate-sized escort. These drones significantly enhance the tactical flexibility and power/volume efficacy of the ship.
Micro-ships are fun little challenges to build, and a really nice change of pace during a project like this.
The hangars where these cute little robots live.
The Rameses coordinates its drones from the ventral bridge structure.
Make it Happen.
Plenty of other odds and ends are necessary to keep the Rameses in working order.
The ship is equipped with four direct-circuit recharge ports, which can absorb concentrated arcane energy and use it to charge the ship's axial crystal capacitor.
The Destabilizer GMP requires all sorts of fancy technological wizardry to make it work. Some of this wizardry apparently needs to be on the outside of the ship.
This forward section was the first part of the ship to be designed, and as such needed a significant overhaul to bring it up to speed with the rest of the ship. Here I was trying to move away from the business of the previous forward arms and make the ship smoother overall, with more interesting, deliberate moments of detail.
The Rameses features 48 Standard Modular Bays (32 on the front neck section, 16 on the aft neck section) which can be quickly reconfigured based on the ship's current mission profile. The loadout peresented here is a fairly well-rounded one, including weapons modules, hangar bays, shield generators, and various utility modules.
These were initially alternating white and blue, but the blue wasn't doing it for me. As I worked on this project, I reigned in the color use somewhat, although there are still some portions that could still use cleanup.
The large ring stucture linking the four wings is a giant Spacetime stabilization Field GMP. It's essentially the opposite of the ship's main weapon, and acts as a defense against such weaponry. It has the added benefit of dynamically streamlining the ship's warp profile, enabling greater accelerations at superluminal velocity.
This ring was another painful section to build. Initially envisioned to help stabilize the left and right wings, it in fact did nothing of the sort, instead sagging along with them. The sagging ring, intended to be a segmented circle, was particularly unsightly. I finally remedied the issue with additional wire supports going to two smaller hooks in the ceiling. But because my house is strange, the distance to the joists on either side is uneven (13" versus 18"), causing the top wing to get pulled slightly to the left. Le Shrug.
More details! Yay!
Here, the Obviously Overcompensating and a Galanvir-class Assault Cruiser engage two Venom-class Fast Cruisers at extremely close range. Engagements at such range are uncommon.
This was a particularly fun photoshop to do. Tacky as hell, but fun. Turns out that lasers are really easy to make, and shields are really hard.
It's been quite a journey making this thing, and I like to think that the project has helped hone my craft and sensibilities. Throughout, I've gleaned inspiration from a wide range of sources, many of them here on MOCPages. I couldn't name all of them if I tried, but Kevin Walter, Mark Kelso, Thomas Benedikt, and Erik Varszegi deserve special mention, along with all the other SHIP builders out there. Thanks also go out to my family for being accomodating and encouraging.
Thanks everyone, and I hope you enjoyed. I am accepting suggestions for "next big projects," the only requirement thereof being that they have to be spaceships and they can't be white and blue.
Incredible work, I especially like that you crafted so many of the ship details to specific purposes and brought together a coordinated plan on such a magnificent scale!!!
And it is so pretty...
I also enjoyed the thorough and well put together writeup with fun starcraft etc. quotes thrown in.
This is still to this day one of the few MOCs that I consider to be arguably the best ship ever posted. I would like to feature this ship in the future in the My Current Favorite portion of my page. Would I have your permission for that?
A truly epic build, they are few and far between so to stumble on it like I did makes me very happy :p
Im loving the turrets and colour scheme and the general alienyness of the design, a lot of effort made here.
Can't fault a single bit of your design, but I would have it at 3-4km scale length not 11km but that's just me.
Good things come to those who wait so 2 1/2 years is acceptable lol.
Beautiful work, man - such detail! Love the micro-fleet set, too. With the photoshopping, this reminds me so much of ships you'd see in late 70's-early 80's sci-fi airbrush art. Serious Kudos here, bro. - Huss Q.
Thanks everybody :) The praise is sincerely appreciated; critiques/suggestions are welcome too. I'm used to having my design work torn apart by critics. It's what happens in architecture. It's not like I glued the thing together...there are still some things that could change.
Awesome! It's great to finally see this thing done, I've been following your progress, and it's definitely worth the wait. Congrats!
I like it
Acsel Of Darkness
February 22, 2012
It's both amazing and depressing to see it finished. Great job on everything, great to see you stuck to the challenge, an inspiration to other large ship builders out there, you can succeed if you persevere. Amazing work and congratulations on such an epic Moc!
Wow Bud this is a work of ART!!! Masterpiece!!! Im glad you were able to finish this Puppy. She looks amazing. By the way great job on the photo editing the shots you have are mind blowing. I wonder how many orders you had to place with Bricklink to get everything just the way you wanted. Anyway after two years you have a ship of Beauty. Now don't take her apart, LOL. Wow bud keep it up and well done on all the details. Looking forward to your next build.
You just blew my mind! *brains splatter across the wall* so, that's all being an AFOL is all about, then? spending two and a half years and a few thousand bucks on a tedious project that, once completed, sends peoples' jaws dropping through the floor? apparently I have a lot to look forward to. anyway, stunningly beautiful work. I'm afraid there's no way I can, at this point in my life, fully appreciate such incredible work. instead I guess I have to be content with being completely flabbergasted by it.
Absolutely amazing. This may be the most impressive ship I've seen yet. I love all the hidden spaceships attached to this monster. The greebling is stellar. Your color choices are perfect. The perfect MOC.
I'm going to have to sit here for a couple hours just to take in all of the details. It is absolutely breath taking. I've now added you to my favorite builders. If you have a free moment, I would greatly appreciate any expert advice you may have on my Flying Rhino.
That's a beauty, very interesting and complex shape - I bet that was great fun to put together. The level of detail is outstanding, and its great to see all the smaller ships. Well done on a magnificent MOC!
Now THAT is a SHIP! A very big SHIP, as well! There are tons of details to admire on this beast, and the colour scheme is great! I can see this being hard to beat, especially seeing as Kelso hasn't posted another update for his Eye of Chaos yet. Keep up the great work!
Overcompensating? More like overly awesome, epic, intense ... Incredible amount of detail (an understatement, btw). This SHIP is easily a contender (or dare I say frontrunner) for MOC of the year. All I can say, really, is WOW!
Amazing build, the time you have spent on this was probably excruciating sometimes, but I'm glad you went all the way to completion with this project. So many details and excellent shaping, not to mention the photo editing! This is one of my favorite SHIPs of all time.
For crying out loud. That is huge. So much to look at at once. And its 8am here and im having my coffee and are in a hurry. Will have to check it out later in all the details. But to finish. My god its huge, its awesome ... Im looking forward to the day i have bricks enough to pull something like this off..
For now ... Well done ! :P