Starship Schematic FAQ

(General to the Site)

To begin with:

I've been collecting starship schematics, now, for going on fifteen years. Needless to say, I have amassed quite a pile of drawings. My parents always asked me, "What are you going to use all those things for, anyway?" I didn't have an answer for them at the time, but I decided around March of 1997 that maybe I could put them to good use. I also had a hefty collection of 3-D starship renderings from the internet; models that were completely different from most of the things I had in print, but they had no corresponding schematics associated with them. So began the schematics project. If I had them, I scanned them. If I didn't have them, I cut and pasted from other designs to make a good approximation of what I saw. The result is literally thousands of different schematics, occupying 50+ megabytes on my hard drive. Now, you might say, "Don't you have anything better to do with your time? Don't you do sports, or watch TV like normal people?" Well, been there, done that, got the T-Shirt, and now I'm building the web page, 'cause as far as I can tell, NOBODY has attempted what I have accomplished here on this page. It ain't perfect, but it's substantial. So enjoy & thanks for visiting!

Legal Stuff:

Star Trek, Starfleet, The United Federation of Planets, and ALL related marks are trademarks of Paramount Pictures and ViaCom Productions. All rights reserved.

Battlestar Galactica, and ALL related marks are trademarks of MCA/Universal and Sci Fi Channel. All rights reserved.

Babylon Five, and ALL related marks are trademarks of PTEN Entertainment, Warner Brothers and Babylonian Productions. All rights reserved.

Space Battleship Yamato, and ALL related marks are trademarks of Leiji Matsumoto. All rights reserved.
Star Blazers, and ALL related marks are trademarks of Voyager Entertainment, Inc. and Musashi Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

All other trademarks and copyrights are properties of their respective owners.

Screen shots and product logos can be used for limited, non-profit, educational and personal web page use in accordance with "Fair Use" guidelines. This use requires all copyrights be clearly maintained by all web page developers and must be reflected in their respective web page material.

On with the FAQ:

Q. Exactly how many starship designs do you currently have in the entire site?
A. Currently, I have ships for the following groups:

Star Trek - 4557
Battlestar Galactica - 156
Babylon Five - 26
Space Battleship Yamato - 324
TOTAL - 5063

Q. What did you use to modify/create the schematics and the graphics for this site?
A. Good old Adobe PhotoShop. It's the best tool for heavy-duty image processing, especially with version 3's use of layering. I believe PhotoShop is now at version 5.

Q. How will I know who did what designs?
A. If known, FULL bibliographical credit is given to the publisher of every design under the "Source" hyperlink of each ship, in its earliest incarnation (as far as I have the ability to research). When I say "earliest incarnation", I mean it's possible that someone in 1992 may have reprinted (and maybe even updated, slightly) a design that I know to have been printed in another completely different publication seven years before. I will give credit to the publication seven years prior to its reprint.

Q. Are you making any money on this page?
A. NO PROFIT WHATSOEVER will either be made or accepted on my part, in any way, shape, or form. This is NOT a money-making venture, only a service to the Internet and all who surf it. Anybody who feels the need to send me a check for my work will have "VOID" written on it and sent back. Anyone who sends cash will have the exact amount written on a check from me and returned. I appreciate the gesture, but don't bother. It's not my goal to be profitable, just to get a little recognition.

Q. Do you put the submitted designs in untouched (based on the artist's original concept), or are they changed in any way?
A. I try as much as possible to keep the artist's original design intact. If it's some chincy pencil drawing that has potential, chances are I'll redo it to bring it up to the quality of the rest of the images in the database. Color images will be made greyscale (to maximize the detail perception). The bottom line is, I will try to keep all designs original, but I do reserve the right to make any changes/alterations to the designs as I see fit before making final submissions. So far, everyone who has submitted designs that I've had to change have thought my changes were better. That's what I strive to do in any rebuilt design.

Q. I have some of these designs, and I think I know where they came from, but they don't have any of the lines drawn into them, saying what the different parts of the ship are.
A. Some minor editing needed to be done to remove the "pointer-lines" from the images to make them look as clean as possible. The images got extremely cluttered with the module labels, so I removed them (this was a time-consuming venture, I can tell you).

Q. Are these schematics all to-scale with each other?
A. In a word...No.

Q. Could you put together one big image or sampling of all your designs which could show comparative scale?
A. In another word...No.

Q. Can you cut a CD or zip up all the image files into one big archive so I can download one file, instead of hundreds of little files?
A. I can't tell you how many people have asked me that question. If I were the sole owner and user of the server I'm running the site on, I would consider it. But since I'm sharing it with a bunch of other projects, there's no way I could feasibly double my site size (which is already dangerously large in any case) by adding an archive file of all my designs. It would just eat up too much hard drive space, not to mention kill bandwidth. Your best bet is to just go through the pages and download each image individually. So please don't ask for an all-inclusive archive. It's just not going to happen.

Q. Can you email me when changes are made, or send me new designs via email?
A. Again, no. Nobody gets special privilege when it comes to these designs. If everybody asked for emails of updates, I would be spending my time sending emails and never updating. I think there's a paradox in there somewhere. Anyway, you'll just have to check back to the Chronology sections every so once in a while just like everyone else. Also, my ISP would kill me if I sent huge quantities of graphics files to people, clogging their internet links. If that happens, they'll likely drop my connection. If THAT happens, guess what? No more SSDB! That wouldn't be good, would it?

Q. The content on this page is hot for now, but it'll get cold real fast. Any planned upgrades?
A. Attempts will be made to keep the database as up-to-date as possible with all the latest schematics and starship designs, both in print, and published digitally on the Internet. I go to Science Fiction conventions on a regular basis, and I always find a new blueprint set come out or something to that effect. Web pages with custom starship graphics are also popping up all over the place. It's just a matter of me finding them. However, PLEASE do NOT send emails asking when the next release will be. It only serves as an annoyance and will go unanswered.

Q. I've got a design I would like to submit. Can I send it to you?
A. Not any more. From this time forward, I will not be accepting any new fan-submitted designs. It has been a long haul, and there are too many other things that have occupied my life in recent years for me to effectively maintain this site. Not the least of which the fact that three of the four genres I support on this site are now effectively dead. Only Battlestar Galactica and her ragtag fleet survives in her new incarnation. I may add a few official Battlestar-related designs down the road, but I must soon move on. Of course, the site will remain alive as long as I can afford it, but that shall be the extent of my involvement for a VERY long time to come. I appreciate all the support and efforts given to me by the users of the SSDB.

Q. Do you have deck plans, specifications, or close-ups of the bridges of each ship?
A. No. The only things I have in this database are general outboard designs. Nothing specific such as bridge or deck layout. I had long considered including some specifications for each ship in the database, but decided against it, as it would have required too much extra research (which I, quite frankly, don't have the time to do).

Q. Have you asked for permission to use any of these designs?
A. As a matter of fact, I have. I've successfully contacted several people and groups on the Web, and attained their full support in this endeavor. Some requests have gone unanswered, but I have yet to get a negative response. Until I do, I will publish every single design in my library, official and unofficial, to the fullest of my ability, while keeping the most accurate list of sources possible.

Q. Can I use any of the content (i.e. artwork/schematics) of your site for my site?
A. Yes, but on the following condition: That all images that are taken/used be given FULL credit where credit is due, either to the author of the original schematic, or to me for compiling them in the first place, or both. I've had problems in the past with people stealing the content from my site and claiming it to be their own (this happened specifically with my schematic of the Prometheus. Check the Chronology section for details on that one). This is a BIG NO NO!! I'm all for the fair use of site content, and keeping the 'Web free, but we must adhere to the rules regarding fair use. I go to great lengths to keep my bibliography section as up-to-date and complete as possible, siting all credits (where available). I EXPECT AND REQUIRE no less from anyone else who chooses to use data from this database.

Q. I sent you schematics days ago! When are you going to get around to putting them in? I want to see them now! NOW NOW NOW!!
A. Yes, believe it or not, I've had MANY people ask me this in email messages, some of them probably no older than 14 years of age, I would suspect. Please keep in mind that I do have a family and a 40-hour-a-week job, taking most of my time. I'm also a professional web developer on the side, which can be considered a second job. I'm the proud owner of two used cars (they are nice, but they do require maintenance), and I have many other myriad side projects that require my attention as well. I am giving this site a higher priority than the other sites I maintain, but PLEASE don't send me emails why I haven't gotten around to putting something in. Everything is looked at and updated accordingly. I think I've done a pretty good job so far keeping things moving right along, so let me continue to maintain things at my own pace. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

Q. Your server is down again!
A. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME AN EMAIL SAYING THE SERVER IS DOWN! Sometimes this happens, be it a full swap disk, or a web server crash, etc. etc. I check the site periodically almost every day, to verify the status. If I find it's down, I will contact the sys-admins and have them do a reboot. So, since I get 200-300 hits a day, and if 10% of those hits tell me the server's down, that's at least 20-30 emails I have to sift through and reply why it went down. It's much easier to do one update to the Chronology section explaining the downtime, than returning 30 emails.

Q. What is your definition of "Official"?
A. Generally speaking, I consider "Official" to be any ship mentioned or, more especially, physically appearing in a TV episode or movie.

Q. Why are you missing a few views on some images, specifically bottom views?
A. Some designs are missing views because they didn't come with them originally, and I didn't have enough time/information to fill in the blanks. As for the bottom views, that was a time/space constraint issue. I decided to leave them out as very few designs I had included bottom views anyway, and I figured that if I had all the other views, a bottom view could be inferred, and wasn't necessary to include.

Q. What's with the difference in quality between the different designs?
A. Some came from professionally edited books, where the authors took the time to do a real bang-up job on the detailing. Others simply don't have that level of detail. Most of my personal designs that I've included were direct scans from hand-drawn schematics that I thought up back in '84. Give me a break, already! I was just a kid back then :-)

Q. Some of the different schematics look identical. Why did you include duplicate designs?
A. Actually, there are no identical designs. Each design is different in some way or another. The differences generally lie in different paneling designs in the hull. Take a close look at the detailing and flip back and forth between the two images which you think are the same. You'll eventually see the difference. Again, most of these designs are unofficial, and I took every step to include all the schematics I have access to, even similar ones.

Q. Hey! This was my design and you didn't even ask if you could use it!
A. I made every attempt to contact the owners of these designs. That can be difficult, as some don't have email addresses, and some companies have gone out of business or stopped printing/producing the material I have. If I overlooked you, I sincerely apologize and will update the sources accordingly if necessary. I would still ask your support to allow me to keep every design I have intact for the use of the 'net. And if you REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want me to remove the design from my database, then so mote it be.

Q. You shouldn't start a sentence with the article "And" as you did in your last answer.
A. Nyyyaaaa! Bugger off y'Anglish major! :-)

Q. How come some of your sources you list as being "Internet" don't have corresponding URL's?
A. Some of the designs I found over a year ago, and when I went back to find them, I couldn't. The web is a BIG place, and it just never occurred to me at the time to write down the exact location of the image I discovered (this was before I decided to build this page).

Q. I'd love to get my hands on some of the books and blueprints you refer to in this page. How can I obtain them?
A. Your best-case scenario is to go to science fiction conventions. Generally, these things can be found on tables or in racks, but a lot of the stuff I have is out-of-print and is exceedingly hard to find nowadays. I'm just personally glad I got in at the ground floor on this one.

Q. You have Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Babylon Five, and Space Battleship Yamato. Do you plan on including designs from Star Wars?
A. Nahh. It's been done already...check out "Star Wars: The Essential Guide to vehicles and Vessels". It's quite good. Even if it didn't exist, I'm tired of all the Star Wars hype, anyways. And they tell trekkers to get a life!! ;-P

In Conclusion:

I will leave you with this last statement: The premise of this web project is not to fly in the face of copyright laws or trademark violations, or make a quick buck, but to act as a resource for the more technically oriented Trek-fans in the world, who would use these designs in the creation of artwork or models, either in a kit form, or digital 3-D rendering. At the same time, I will spread the word about these companies and schematics as well as the people who design them, so that popularity in such a topic will grow, encouraging more designs to be made. I hope to be there to procure and re-publish them, and I'd like to continue to provide this page to people who I know could use exactly what is contained within these walls. Take care & I hope to hear from you.

Read the F.A.Q. (General to the site)
Chronology (General to the site)
References, Reviews and Awards (General to the site)
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| Babylon Five | Space Battleship Yamato |

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