If you haven’t read the Expanse novels from volume 7 onwards, Persepolis Rising, the following may contain spoilers. Anyway, the TV series has already largely hinted at future developments around Laconia since season 5.
I’m a long time sci-fi fan, and The Expanse is one of my favorite series along with the Culture novels.
So I decided to design ships in both universes, this being easier for the Expanse since the TV series has an excellent design which is very accurate down to the details. The result is really faithful to the spirit of the books and has a certain realistic, at least plausible, way of looking at life in space and representing it.
It is clearly this aspect that I like and that sets the series apart from a large number of science fiction works. I was of course inspired by it and wanted to extend it. You can see some early versions of my Belter skiff, the Shikata ga nai here and here.
I will continue to work on it in parallel with this new project: the Gathering Storm:
It is a Laconian navy , fast attack destroyer of the Pulsar Class. (Expanse wiki link)
It represents the transition phase between the Martian engineering tradition of the Laconians and the new proto-molecule technologies discovered on Laconia. Its main innovation is that it is covered with a self-healing plate system. This kind of synthetic skin makes it very resistant to the most powerful weapons of the time such as torpedoes and rail-guns.
while reading the book I had the image of a kind of elegant deep-sea fish, narrow, pale and formidable. Its very particular skin gives it an organic side.
I started with the idea that this ship is made to roll with the punches and still win, including against the latest cruisers of Earth and Mars.
With this new revolutionnary armor, the shape returns to a logic of optimization of the shielding, like that of the main battle tanks: in effect the blows taken from low angles are more easily deflected and can rebound.
There are two sides which are more particularly protected, the top (hot side) and the front. These are the ones the Storm exposes during combat. The rail gun is mounted under the bow, while the torpedo launchers are sheltered on the protected side.
The position of the PDCs is such that there are never less than six of them at any angle. Finally the marine shuttle dock is located in the center of the “cold” side.
I find that it is still too fat and that it will be more hollow at the end. For the moment I’m working on finishing the modeling of the template in a continuous surface, in order to project the “skin” on it (which will be done with the geometry nodes) and see what happens.