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Solfe
2012-Sep-05, 06:23 PM
I am trying to draw a space ship for a game and I was wonder how do TV show compare to real life fighting ships as far as crew quarters go?


In Enterprise, the captain has a room with a bed, a desk and perhaps a sitting area. He's the captain, so maybe he has more space. His officers have a smaller room, with a desk and a bed.
In BSG, the captains room is always dark and it is entirely possible he has a cot stuffed away in his office rather than an actual room. The pilots have a huge room, but lined with bunk beds. Their space is dual purpose so there is little personal space. They also have a communal bathroom/shower.
In Firefly the rooms are tiny, maybe three paces. But passenger rooms are much bigger, maybe twice the size.
In Star Trek TNG, each officer seems to have a massive suite. In TOS, the rooms are sort of vague; one grey wall or maybe a corner of two walls is all the camera allows the viewer to see. They look almost exactly like a bedroom on a stage for a play.


So, if you aren't an officer or a captain, what are the sleeping accommodations like on a real life fighting ship?

R.A.F.
2012-Sep-05, 06:31 PM
So, if you aren't an officer or a captain, what are the sleeping accommodations like on a real life fighting ship?

In a word...cramped. On a Submarine, even more cramped.


...and don't get me started on the ...um, facilities on Submarines...lets just say the shorter you are, the better.

redshifter
2012-Sep-05, 06:35 PM
I spent a few (luckily only a few) days on a troop transport ship as one of the troops being transported. Luckily there were only 500 of us. The ship could carry up to 1800 troops. Think bunk beds (more like bunk cots) stacked 6 high. It looked like an enlisted person stationed aboard the ship had a decent sized (compared to a cot) bed with a little curtain they could draw for 'privacy' and a footlocker - and that was about it for personal space.

primummobile
2012-Sep-05, 06:41 PM
There is a WWII era submarine docked on the Ohio River outside the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. I've been inside it many times, and I really couldn't imagine having to live in that thing.

Space Chimp
2012-Sep-05, 07:04 PM
There is a WWII era submarine docked on the Ohio River outside the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. I've been inside it many times, and I really couldn't imagine having to live in that thing.

For the most part, US World War Two era submarines were luxury hotels compared the submarines of most the other major combatants. They had air-conditioning, showers and refrigeration at least. Life on a German U-Boat by comparision was miserable. No proper heating, refrigeration or AC. Condensation everywhere and one head (bathroom) for the crew of fifty. (the one other head was usually packed with stores and unavailable until they were used.) You also shared your bunk or hammock with at least one other crew member by "hot-bunking". Using it when the other guy was on duty.

Solfe
2012-Sep-05, 07:09 PM
So, on a ship your personal space is a bunk where you sleep. Aside from the transport ship, are these open spaces like a hospital ward (with as many bunks as possible) or are crew crammed into tiny rooms? I could see either one as workable, but I can see downsides to each such as fire.

And another silly question: Bathrooms. I assume they sort of look like tiny locker room/bathrooms, but are there any stand alone bathrooms near work spaces/duty stations? (I'd say "head", but having not been in the Navy, I figured I be using the term wrong anyway.)

Noclevername
2012-Sep-05, 07:30 PM
The Atomic Rockets (http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/index.php) website will help give you some idea of designing a realistic spacecraft, with the "Other Decks (http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/otherdeck.php)" page having information about living quarters, and "Life Support-- Hygiene (http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/lifesupport.php#id--Hygiene)" covering bathrooms.

The moral of the latter is, you're better off with spin gravity than freefall.

schlaugh
2012-Sep-05, 09:32 PM
The word "head" is left over from the days of sail when the "seat of ease" for the common sailor was the head of the ship where he could sling his legs across part of the bow and let nature take its course; wave action would cleanse the area. You can call it a bathroom or relief station or restroom but the term "head" may yet follow us into space. (On the ISS it's called a hygiene center (http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast03apr_2/).)

Swift
2012-Sep-05, 09:34 PM
So, if you aren't an officer or a captain, what are the sleeping accommodations like on a real life fighting ship?
I think it all depends on the ship; there isn't a universal. Even with you examples, Firefly wasn't really a military vessel, it was a privately owned cargo ship.

I suspect, with modern naval vessels, that the accommodations varies a lot with the size and newness of the vessel, and which navy built it.

And I don't know if any of that will apply to spacecraft. The accommodations on the ships built by Earth to date have been very modest.

Noclevername
2012-Sep-05, 10:26 PM
In The Mote In God's Eye, even a large, vastly advanced starship with multi-G engines had crewmen slinging hammocks in the gun rooms when necessary.

Van Rijn
2012-Sep-05, 10:40 PM
I am trying to draw a space ship for a game and I was wonder how do TV show compare to real life fighting ships as far as crew quarters go?


I don't know that much about real fighting ships, but I know that most of the reason for extremely roomy ships in shows is because it makes it easier to tell the story. Imagine trying to do a Star Trek show with tight passageways and almost everyone in bunk systems rather than separate rooms (the Defiant is the only one that got close to this, and it was still roomy), where there is almost no room to position the camera, and it is hard to get people in groop shots.

You don't need that for game. Also, are you assuming a magic space drive or is it a (presumably advanced) rocket? If it's a rocket, mass would be a big concern.

Moose
2012-Sep-05, 10:48 PM
I suspect, with modern naval vessels, that the accommodations varies a lot with the size and newness of the vessel, and which navy built it.

Add to those considerations the mission of the ship, and its expected cruising duration. The doctrine under which the builders/operators... well... build and operate will govern much of this. If, for example, your ships cruises are relatively short, with considerable refit time and/or frequent turnover, _and_ maintaining crew morale isn't an overriding consideration of that doctrine, then one might expect crew accommodations to be cramped. (Klingon Navy, for example.)

Doctrines that favor long-haul cruises and recognize the value of keeping morale high will spend more effort on comfort, as practicable. TNG (and arguably TOS) USN starships were expected to sail five years (with replenishment).

Solfe
2012-Sep-05, 11:25 PM
Also, are you assuming a magic space drive or is it a (presumably advanced) rocket?

It has the most advanced drive ever imagined... its "A Plot Drive". :)

Trebuchet
2012-Sep-06, 12:07 AM
In The Mote In God's Eye, even a large, vastly advanced starship with multi-G engines had crewmen slinging hammocks in the gun rooms when necessary.

When I read that book I remember thinking "Niven has been reading too much Horatio Hornblower!"

During WWI, accomodations aboard British warships were much more comfortable than in German ones because they were expected to be able to spend months at sea, while the Germans made only relatively short trips into the Baltic and North Seas before returning to port, where the sailors lived in barracks ashore.

Life for a senior officer, at times, could be pretty comfortable. Here is a picture (http://www.cityofart.net/bship/interiors.html) of Jacky Fisher in his quarters aboard HMS Renown in 1900.

ETA: Scroll down that page for more life at sea at the beginning of the last century!

iquestor
2012-Sep-06, 12:18 AM
I think modern Nuclear Submarines will be the closest analog. BSG was pretty close as far as atmosphere; with the Captain having a very small stateroom with his own bunk, desk carroll, sink and lavatory. XO bunked with officers, who had a communal space with bunk beds with 2 or 4 occupants, and a common Officers mess facility that sat 12. Senior Enlisted (E7 - E9) had a common bunk area with a small common room with a TV and table. Regular enlisted shared a common berthing area and communal showers. Torpedomen slept in their work spaces.

Swift
2012-Sep-06, 01:04 AM
Life for a senior officer, at times, could be pretty comfortable. Here is a picture (http://www.cityofart.net/bship/interiors.html) of Jacky Fisher in his quarters aboard HMS Renown in 1900.

ETA: Scroll down that page for more life at sea at the beginning of the last century!
Very cool, though I was very alarmed by the very last picture. Using kittens as projectiles! :naughty:

Jens
2012-Sep-06, 01:11 AM
I sort of wonder, what are the actual parameters that make one choose the crew space. I suppose it depends on many factors, so it would be hard to say. But for example, with a ship in the ocean I guess you want to pack as many people as possible into a vessel that has as little drag as possible, right? With a spaceship, you don't have a problem of drag, but rather of mass, correct? So in a sense, it seems that the dynamics might be different, that you'd want to use lightweight materials but wouldn't necessarily be so concerned about space per se (though of course the inside atmosphere has mass, so that might be a consideration). Plus the construction cost, and the fact that a larger structure would experience more structural load during acceleration. But there again, if you are using warp drives there might not be any load in the first place, so you could have a large but lightweight ship (and maybe warp drives don't care about mass, so you wouldn't even have to worry about that).

swampyankee
2012-Sep-06, 01:28 AM
I've heard that the accommodations in the LA class submarines of the USN were very cramped, with hot-bunking. Surface ships tend to be roomier, as friend who was on a modern (Perry-class) frigate had a shared room (he was a lieutenant, junior grade), although he did have a pipe running just above where his head was located when he was in his bunk. Accommodations have improved with time aboard ship, with the DDG-1000 having a level of comfort that would probably be the envy of the captain of a ww1-era warship.

Merchant ships have much better accommodations, but then they can't shoot crew members who walk away during a port visit.

Noclevername
2012-Sep-06, 01:35 AM
Very cool, though I was very alarmed by the very last picture. Using kittens as projectiles! :naughty:

No, no. The kittens were trained to clean out the cannon barrels. You're looking at the "before" picture.

Jens
2012-Sep-06, 02:47 AM
Very cool, though I was very alarmed by the very last picture. Using kittens as projectiles! :naughty:

They actually tried it a couple of times, but the results were catastrophic.

Solfe
2012-Sep-06, 03:53 AM
I've heard that the accommodations in the LA class submarines of the USN were very cramped, with hot-bunking. Surface ships tend to be roomier, as friend who was on a modern (Perry-class) frigate had a shared room (he was a lieutenant, junior grade), although he did have a pipe running just above where his head was located when he was in his bunk. Accommodations have improved with time aboard ship, with the DDG-1000 having a level of comfort that would probably be the envy of the captain of a ww1-era warship.

I think modern Nuclear Submarines will be the closest analog. BSG was pretty close as far as atmosphere; with the Captain having a very small stateroom with his own bunk, desk carroll, sink and lavatory. XO bunked with officers, who had a communal space with bunk beds with 2 or 4 occupants, and a common Officers mess facility that sat 12. Senior Enlisted (E7 - E9) had a common bunk area with a small common room with a TV and table. Regular enlisted shared a common berthing area and communal showers. Torpedomen slept in their work spaces.

Now that is the sort of information I was looking for. Thank you both.


I sort of wonder, what are the actual parameters that make one choose the crew space. I suppose it depends on many factors, so it would be hard to say. But for example, with a ship in the ocean I guess you want to pack as many people as possible into a vessel that has as little drag as possible, right? With a spaceship, you don't have a problem of drag, but rather of mass, correct? So in a sense, it seems that the dynamics might be different, that you'd want to use lightweight materials but wouldn't necessarily be so concerned about space per se (though of course the inside atmosphere has mass, so that might be a consideration). Plus the construction cost, and the fact that a larger structure would experience more structural load during acceleration. But there again, if you are using warp drives there might not be any load in the first place, so you could have a large but lightweight ship (and maybe warp drives don't care about mass, so you wouldn't even have to worry about that).

I am drawing this ship from a verbal description from someone I know. It is completely unlike any ship I would design for my own artwork/gaming fun. This particular ship has an up and down, and is laid out like a sailing ship or a building. Being restricted to one plain is weird.

I tend to design ships that are both spacious and rabbit warrens because I don't have artificial gravity in my games. That is why I am lost with this drawing. The core of my typical ship has a central tunnel which is much larger than the largest piece of machinery you have move around the ship. Around this core is 1 to 4 smaller tube that accommodate the largest disassembled parts you wish to move. Both types of tubes have trams for the crew to use when free fall isn't desired. These tunnels are locked off in combat or while under inconsistent acceleration. Man-size passages are 1 meter by two meters and are padded. Every meter of padding has a step like frame so "falling down" isn't completely uncontrolled.

Quarters are spacious, about 4 meters on a side and four men to a room. They sleep in coffin like boxes on the walls. The boxes are airtight as are the sleeping bags. A rough duty hard suit is mounted on one wall and can be accessed from the inside or outside of the bunk. A rescue ball is on the other wall of the box. You can stand in the middle of the room, but really can't reach four of the walls. Obviously there are no tables or other furniture. Most walls have a tie downs so crew can strap in anywhere.

Due to the nature of the ships, hot bunking is not allowed. There is almost an "economy of spacesuits"; two suits per person are average on a ship and three or four are riches beyond belief. An opponent who cannot suit up his entire crew is going to fight no quarter or run like mad.

geonuc
2012-Sep-06, 06:32 AM
I think modern Nuclear Submarines will be the closest analog. BSG was pretty close as far as atmosphere; with the Captain having a very small stateroom with his own bunk, desk carroll, sink and lavatory. XO bunked with officers, who had a communal space with bunk beds with 2 or 4 occupants, and a common Officers mess facility that sat 12. Senior Enlisted (E7 - E9) had a common bunk area with a small common room with a TV and table. Regular enlisted shared a common berthing area and communal showers. Torpedomen slept in their work spaces.

This is my experience with modern(ish) submarines. Even the Captain's stateroom was small - actually no larger than that of the senior officers, who shared with one other person. If one officer was in the stateroom out of his bunk, there was little room for the other to move about.

The crews berthing was one large room with 'corridors' off a central head/shower/laundry facility. Each corridor had bunks stacked three high and the aisle was just wide enough for one person to walk through without turning sideways. That was true, by the way, of most passageways - if you passed someone going the other way, you both had to turn your shoulders to squeeze by.

Although it wasn't common on my boat (1970's era SSBN), most US attack submarines back then employed a 'hot-racking' system for junior enlisted. If hot-racking, you shared a rack (bunk) with one other person who was on an opposite watch schedule. While you were on watch/worked, he slept. The boats just didn't have enough racks for everyone. Not sure if the newer boats still do this.

As mentioned, there were other, smaller enlisted accommodations for certain groups. The torpedo-men slept by their fish and the missile techs slept near and amongst the missile tubes. Near a tube with three nuclear bombs sitting atop a rocket, that is.

LookingSkyward
2012-Sep-06, 08:55 AM
Trident sub - 727 - I maed 8 runs back in the day. This is a huge boat, for a sub. Officers had shared cabins, 2 (maybe 3?) to a room...about 8 feet square or so. Skipper and XO each had their own stateroom, again, tiny. Chiefs (senior enlisted) had their own space with a tiny lounge (picture a card table with bench seats, like a booth at a diner). The rest of us, most of the enlisted, had bunk rooms between the missile tubes... 6 feet square of floor, with 3 racks forward, outboard and aft... not usually any hotracking. Picture 5 guys trying to get dressed on a 6x6 floor when the alarm went off :> You don't live in your bunk, you just sleep there, and need a bit of room for clothing... you live in your work space or the mess deck.

the ammount of space available was primarily dictated by the fact the usually equipment was as important as people space. If you have a bit of room on a sub, you can usually find something mission critical to fill the space. You HAVE to leave room for the crew, but only just enough. If I was going into space, I'd rather see available room on the ship given to more potable water or air tanks than luxury living conditions... I was about to say unless it's a truly huge ship, but even then, I'd rather have the water.

captain swoop
2012-Sep-06, 09:05 AM
I server on AS Frigates and Destroyers when I was in the RN in the 80s,

Officers had individual cabins, usualy in the Superstructure, they even got a Porthole for some daylight. Bed and wardrobe were 'fitted' and lovely varnished wood. they had a chair and small table. Officers socialised and ate in the Wardroom.
Captain had a cabin with an attached office, he had a couch and comfy chairs for entertaining. he also had a diding table as the Captain eats alone. he has a personal steward to server him. He also had a small 'Sea cabin' with just a bed adjacent to the Bridge so he could be called quickly if needed.
Senior Rates had their own cabins with just a bed and a seperate 'Mess' where they could socialise and drink beer.
Ratings lived in communal messdecks of up to 30. This was the sleeping and living area. Bunks were 'triples' 3 high. Middle bunks can be folded away to make seating in the day. Each rating had his own locker and stowage space. Seperate dining rooms for food also used as open space for socialising and for the Marine detachment to drill if needed or for cinema shows and other social events.

Modern RN ships have cabins for all ratings usualy of 2 to 4 berths but they are bigger ships and the crews are smaller.

Here is a fantastic link to Type 12(Leander Class) frigates that I spent many a year aboard.

towards the bottom of the page is a picture of a typical Messdeck

http://www.leander-project.homecall.co.uk/Type%2012i.html

This page is of a slightly earlier version of the type 12 (Rothesay) class. It started life as a 'Hammock' ship and was converted to bunks.
All ships were converted in the 60s and early 70s to bunks

Crews hated the change. In the days of hammocks they could be stowed away in the day leaving a bigger living space and they are a lot more comfortable to sleep in at sea.

http://www.leander-project.homecall.co.uk/Type%2012m.html

quote from site

There is often conflict on an evening between people wanting to socialise on the seats and the bunk occupants wanting the bunks made up. For this reason the top bunks are a greatly desired luxury as they do not form the seats.

The Mess Decks tend to be noisy, the aft ones are over the ship's screws and the forward ones filled with sea noise, and always there is the roar of the fans. In warm waters the Mess Decks become unbearably hot and stuffy.

Lockers for junior rates are tiny affairs and all possible nooks are utilised to augment them, a valuable asset is the "beddy bag" a zip up mattress cover intended to secure the bunk mattress, pillows, sheets etc into a single pad that is kept strapped securely down in action so as not to clog pumps. carefully arranged clothing and personal posessions can also be stored within them.

LookingSkyward
2012-Sep-06, 09:11 AM
Thanks for the link, Swoop! She's a lovely lady!

captain swoop
2012-Sep-06, 09:29 AM
All gone now. Some sold to foreign service and most scrapped or used as targets.

they were fantastic ships. Best AS escorts in the world in their day. They were built by the Dutch Navy and the Australians as well.

type 12s started life in the 1950s as the Whitby Class, 6 were built, then another 9 as the Rothesay Class followed by 26 'Improved' Leander Class. these were the first major warships designed with a helicopter landing deck and hanger. Leanders were further improved as the class was built giving longer hull and wider beam.
Rothesay Class was rebuilt to improve them to Leander standards and they got hangers and heli decks as well.

Moose
2012-Sep-06, 09:37 AM
Very cool, though I was very alarmed by the very last picture. Using kittens as projectiles! :naughty:

The big guns use goats.

swampyankee
2012-Sep-06, 09:46 AM
The big guns use goats.

I've heard the USN ships still maintain goat lockers.

Noclevername
2012-Sep-06, 10:07 AM
I am drawing this ship from a verbal description from someone I know. It is completely unlike any ship I would design for my own artwork/gaming fun. This particular ship has an up and down, and is laid out like a sailing ship or a building. Being restricted to one plain is weird.

There is almost an "economy of spacesuits"; two suits per person are average on a ship and three or four are riches beyond belief. An opponent who cannot suit up his entire crew is going to fight no quarter or run like mad.

For a ship of the design you're creating, some form of directional pseudo-gravity field would be required, possibly compensating for acceleration and lessening the need for heavy structural members. The field might also be used to repel incoming objects, making armor lighter. So the ship can spare the mass to rely more on compartmentation, lessening the "suit economy". It could basically be a large collection of many small tanks or boxes connected by airlocks, with redundant life support.

Trebuchet
2012-Sep-06, 02:40 PM
Very cool, though I was very alarmed by the very last picture. Using kittens as projectiles! :naughty:

The one on the left looks a good deal like the one that was just on my desk, looking for attention! Exactly the same white markings.

redshifter
2012-Sep-06, 05:56 PM
They actually tried it a couple of times, but the results were catastrophic.

It rendered some sailors catatonic...