Bellator Redux WIP#1 and Notes

Next project. You might all know the Bellator (http://fractalsponge.net/?p=2633). It was my first personal detail design for a large ship, so I guess it kicked off this whole series almost 10 years ago now. At the time, I was experimenting with how to do these types of ships, and the Bellator was technically and aesthetically the prototype for the ones that followed. Back then I didn’t have a very good idea of how to design build these large ships, or as one member of the stardestroyer.net forums once called them, “cyclopean murderwedges”, so there were a lot of compromises in the design. The flow of lines was a little janky. Some parts were poorly integrated. And since, believe it or not, I built the original as a sort of low-polygon ship, there were lots of compromises in the detail level that no longer really need to be adhered to with what computers are now capable of. After the first ship was built, I didn’t feel like continuing to tweak it, and so it’s sat since then apart from some materials updates. But now I’d like to rationalize the design a bit on the way to a massive detail upgrade in the basic geometry.

The in-universe design concept for role I like to have before starting ship designs also evolved with the project. I based the look of the ship off a poorly defined profile from Dark Empire, which Curtis Saxton called the largest of the observed Star Cruisers at 6-7km:

But as the project went the power estimates rose, from a heavy cruiser to a battlecruiser to what reasonably should be a dreadnought. Also, the design was featured in the work I did for the Star Wars Essential Guide to Warfare book. The notes for the book postulated that Bellator was a battlecruiser version of the never-depicted Mandator. I might have had a partial role in nudging the original intention of course a bit; the Dark Empire ship this was based on was slated to actually be a Mandator. But I felt like such a ship didn’t do the concept justice, so in the end, the Mandator I/II ended up in the 8km size range, and there was supposed to be a (rare) Mandator III in the 12km size range. Now all of this is lost to Legends (hehe), but the idea that a Mandator is related to the Bellator is one I liked – that, is cut down the Mandator I/II frame and strip away most of the carrier functions, to enable near-destroyer power-to-weight and acceleration. The old design though felt a little too small for this, so I’ve always wanted to expand the Bellator frame a bit, so that it could plausibly be derived from the Mandator I/II lineage. So this new version is bigger than the original ship – subtly wider, a little deeper, and longer (7.5km vs 7.2km), and with rearranged reactors to enable a 40-50 xISD power ship (4-5e26W+), vs the old ~30xISD (3.3e26W) ship. That gets it closer to the hypothetical 7.7e26W Mandator II extrapolated from the Incredible Cross Sections books. Aesthetically I also was always a bit annoyed that the engine cowl was so short relative to the rest of the hull; a little extra length allows for hypothetically more power, and also in my opinion a prettier profile and more balance between the angular and the curve bits.

The armament was also a little disconnected. At the time, much of it was an excuse to concept out what big ship guns actually looked like, guns that were never really seen on screen on ships bigger than an ISD (model making concerns at the time). So as the base powerplant idea shifted, the guns shifted. For example the large twin heavy turbolasers started at 400 teraton equivalent, then went to 560 briefly, and ended up at 720, and the turrets were distributed a bit randomly, especially the twins, which were often stuck singly on sites with admittedly good arcs, but a little odd for battery organization. So except some concentration there, and probably a few more turrets in the process, given the power upgrade. Otherwise, it’s probably going to look much like the same Bellator you know, and hopefully love, but with detail levels about that of my recent Allegiance redux.

 

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tyler
tyler
1 year ago

What software do you use to make these? Also, beautiful work, you’re super inspiring! 😀

SWTCW Freak
2 years ago

Ohh… love your work dude😊

LazerZ
LazerZ
2 years ago

Personally, I have a bit of a problem with the idea that you can scale up a hull to about two-and-a-half times the volume (i.e. the Mandator III) and then call it the same class. The new ship will have a different internal layout in order to fill out the increased space. The new design will have additional power generation for weapons and while it is possible to basically just add more weapons it isn’t necessarily a good idea, since you probably want your big ship to fight other ships in it’s new size class. So you’ll have to reconsider the armament, possibly mount bigger guns. Do you want proportionately higher troop, ground assault and starfighter capacities? Well you have the volume to fit them, but they won’t necessarily have the same arrangement. Also if you have a bigger ship, you can carry bigger craft. Maybe you want to carry AT-SPs now that you have the space? Well you’ll have to rearrange the vehicle bays to accommodate them and you’ll have to have a way of getting them to the planet, so you’ll have to find space in the hangers. At what point are you actually building a new ship entirely and at what point is just trying to make the same ship, but bigger going to actually be detrimental? Really, the resulting ship might have less in common with the Mandator II, then the Mandator II has with the Bellator. IMO, if the Mandator III is 12,000 meters in length, the Mandator I and II should also be 12,000 meters in length. If the Praetor II is 4800 meters in length, the Praetor I should be 4800 meters in length. It could just be stubbornness on the part of the Imperials I suppose or something like that. Any thoughts, am I missing something?

LazerZ
LazerZ
2 years ago
Reply to  Fractalsponge

Yeah I guess we have to deal with what we’ve got, but it seems that a lot of these size issues were a result of miscommunication between you and Lucasfilms. Personally given the amount of thought you’ve put into these projects I’d rather go with your figures than their figures. Which given that I mostly interact with Star Wars through roleplaying games these days I actually have some control over, at least at my table.

Ryadra777
2 years ago

Oh Fractal if you can, could you add in some gravity well generators on the Bellator?

Daib
Daib
2 years ago
Reply to  Fractalsponge

What’s the evidence that the Republic didn’t have access to gravity well generators, even if they were only used for customs enforcement? In the KOTOR era, interdictors were deployed, and the manufacturer was listed as Republic Sienar systems.

Ryadra777
2 years ago
Reply to  Fractalsponge

Now that I think about it the Immobilizer sized ones would be better on the Bellator than the Dominator sized ones because while the Immobilizer sized gravity wells have smaller range than the Dominator sized ones, The Bellator make up for it with it’s near star destroyer acceleration (Being 3200g) so it can catch up with fleeing ships and stop them.

The Dominator sized gravity wells would work great on the Assertor because that ship have below average acceleration (2800g) but those gravity wells have greater range so the Assertor don’t need to chase down fleeing ships.

DragonBladeM
DragonBladeM
2 years ago

Hey Fractal, can you do a 3D design of one of the ships I put on my channel DragonBladeM? If you do and you have questions about the ship(s), email me with this email address

DragonBladeM
DragonBladeM
2 years ago
Reply to  DragonBladeM
Daib
Daib
2 years ago
Reply to  DragonBladeM

This is a perfect example of all the things to write to get downvoted here. Bravo.

PhantomFury
PhantomFury
2 years ago

I lov the information in this post! It’s like looking back on the journey I never fully took part in but yet is very relatable and offer an insight into the workings of your mind! Btw, just curious, how much power output is per meter cubed of volume?

Steven A Futrell
Steven A Futrell
2 years ago

if I get rich someday or win the lottery im gonna share my fortune with you

DanielShenise
2 years ago

Me too. About two weeks after a hypothetical lottery win he’s getting a commission from me to do three variants of the Neb-B. Light anti-starfighter ala Empire, heavy like in RO, and a third that’s more a space study to see how to make a hanger actually work in that forward hull (I doubt it’s possible).

gorkmalork
gorkmalork
2 years ago
Reply to  DanielShenise

Just thickening the ‘spar’ ‘tween fore & aft (say, enough to match the thruster section’s shape/girth) might provide space for ~2 snub squads & a small (or at least not Lambda-height) shuttle.

William Asher
William Asher
2 years ago

I was just sitting here wondering if I could justify the money for a Loronar Strike Cruiser with a single Grav Well Projector midships. The idea is based on the modified Strike Cruisers the Rebels made, but for my players custom version in the Star Wars campaign I am running. Several of his ships already appear in my campaign. (I love the work and completely agree with his rates. I just haven’t found that right ticket yet.)

00Shot
00Shot
2 years ago

As has been mentioned multiple times by others, the Bellator is easily my favorite ship design. I look forward to seeing the redux finished product and will be following closely. Also like others hope to see the Mandator series one day, but first things first, it’s the Bellator right now.

gorkmalork
gorkmalork
2 years ago

As mild design retcons go, I’m looking forward to this one-that neck slope behind the command module is already shaping up nicely, though its outer-wing thrusters seem a bit lonely (2 more small & large nozzles per side?).

TheEpicDude
TheEpicDude
2 years ago

amazing this is going to be the best 3d rending of this ship ever!!

SEETHER
SEETHER
2 years ago

Fractal,

Even though this is your oldest original design, it stands as my favorite. It sat as my desktop for years. I imagine if I was in the admiralty of the Imperial Navy, this may be my flagship. The Bellator is a cool concept, the only one with twin bulb reactors, decent armament, BIG, but not ridiculous… even a practical size. I would think this design would look perfectly at home on film next to ISD’s. Did I mention, this is my favorite of your designs.

I do appreciate the hard work you put into these projects. it’s an immense investment and a labor of love. so thank you.

Ryadra777
2 years ago
Reply to  SEETHER

Actually the AT-SE is Fractal’s oldest original design. The Bellator came second but it is the oldest original ship design.

Eric Otness
Eric Otness
2 years ago

Nice work with starting the Redux. Would love to see how it turns out. Also would love to see the Mandator I-III versions as well.

Jonathan C
Jonathan C
2 years ago

I look forward to the Redux, nothing like ten years of practice to prep for a revisit of a classic. I always thought of the Bellator as the Fast Battleship analogue.

Chris
2 years ago

So crazy to be finally messaging you. I’ve been following your work for a better part of a decade and you’ve certainly left an impression upon me as a creative. I do however have a question, when working on the fine detail, what is your process? Do you work from a pool of assets you’ve prebuilt or do you just go where the spirit moves you? I model as a hobby, mostly smaller craft. So the idea of something as large as a Destroyer seems like an immense undertaking lol. But I figure if I can understand your process I can perhaps rationalize my own in time.

Thanks! Your work is incredible!

Steve
Steve
2 years ago

To quote Director Krennic “Oh…its…beautiful!” This is gonna look AMAZING!

TheIcthala
TheIcthala
2 years ago

So, we’re already looking at 28 PD turrets in 2 batteries of 8 and 6 batteries of 2, just on the conning tower. Even if fighter scale weapons were effective against ships this big, it would be suicide to try it.

STONEhenk
STONEhenk
2 years ago

50 years from now:
The Louvre burns the Mona Lisa (painted in the dark ages of art) in public for the grand opening of the Fractalsponge Exhibition

Vons Barador
Vons Barador
2 years ago

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

DanielShenise
2 years ago

Awesome. One request from you, in the future on the final render update, can you post any specs you have in mind there? Usually if you note things, they’re on the first WIP update and if you want to know how long a Kontos is, you have to hunt down that first or second Kontos WIP. Like last night I was checking various frigate and corvette sized ships and in order to get a closer size guide I’d have to hunt out the initial WIP entries.

JamesMCGR
JamesMCGR
2 years ago

Do you think we’ll ever see a Mandator? I am looking forward to seeing this progress.

Daib
Daib
2 years ago
Reply to  JamesMCGR

Every time someone asks Fractal for a Mandator, he delays releasing it for a week. He finished it in 2014, but we keep pushing it back. Current ETA is late May, 2021.

JamesMCGR
JamesMCGR
2 years ago
Reply to  Daib

I’m fine with that.

Steve
Steve
2 years ago
Reply to  Daib

There is no Mandator. When we wish for the Mandator, does it really exist? or are we just wishing for ourselves. That’s the trick…there is no Mandator.

gejemica
gejemica
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve

Don’t worry, we’ve already got a canon Mandator-IV…..

….. never mind.

Steve
Steve
2 years ago
Reply to  gejemica

We do not speak the Evil One’s name here.

Joannes808
Joannes808
2 years ago
Reply to  gejemica

I swear every time I see the IV model, I get hungry for pizza. They couldn’t get any further from the iconic humpback standard of the Madator line if they tried.

CRMcNeill
CRMcNeill
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve

The Mandator is the Schrödinger’s cat of capital ships.

Shaun
Shaun
2 years ago
Reply to  CRMcNeill

The Mandator is dead. Long live the Mandator.

gorkmalork
gorkmalork
2 years ago
Reply to  Shaun

Funny thing is, that works from Watsonian & Doylist perspectives at once.

gejemica
gejemica
2 years ago

Would love to see a side-by-side comparison when this is finished

Legionzz
Legionzz
2 years ago

I always did like your old Bellator model it stands up even 10 years later but I look forward to seeing a more detailed I guess we could call it graphical remaster of the ship.

Are you still keeping it as a fast, lightly armed dreadnought? Or are you going with something with more weapons this time around?

I counted all the weapons I could see and I saw
64 quad heavy turbolaser turrets
38 octuple barbette turbolaser turrets
14 quad (or quad heavy) ion cannons
96 heavy concussion missile launchers
110 either twin or quad point defense laser cannons.

So are you gonna stick with around that armament or go for more this time around?

Rusty
Rusty
2 years ago
Reply to  Legionzz

He stated in the notes that there will almost certainly be an increase in total turret number to go with the reworked turret arrangement.

Phoenixx
Phoenixx
2 years ago
Reply to  Rusty

I saw that he said he’d “probably” add a few more turrets but I figured that was more one here and one there type of thing. Rather then actually upgrading the overall armament making it more of a dreadnought.

Either way i’m excited I want to see the end result this ship has one of the coolest models.