History Main / ISOStandardHumanSpaceship

4th Jan '13 8:50:02 AM FastEddie
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[[quoteright:350:[[FreeSpace http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/RScreen0045_502.jpg]]]] [[caption-width-right:350:It's a flying brick. [[BeamSpam With guns]].]] ->''"UNEF's first starships had been possessed of a kind of spidery, delicate beauty. But with various technological developments, structural strength had become more important than conserving mass (one of the old ships would have folded up like an accordion if you'd tried a twenty-five-gee maneuver), and that was reflected in the design; stolid, heavy, functional-looking."'' -->-- '''Joe Haldeman''', ''Literature/TheForeverWar'' Despite living in several unrelated continuities, it seems that human engineers in science fiction have managed to agree on two standards for ship designs. The first design, the RetroRocket (often referred to as a “rocketship” and now a mostly DiscreditedTrope due to {{Zeerust}}), is (or was) a cigar-shaped needle with three or so large fins on the base. These are often either brightly coloured or chromed to make a ShinyLookingSpaceships. This initial design is now usually found in parodies or homages to classic sci-fi. The second design, mostly based on newer works and the “realistic” age of spaceflight, follows some simple rules: #Human spaceships should be grey. While some important parts may be coloured, the majority of the spaceship should be the colour of unpainted metal. Exceptions: ships in anime may be painted blue instead, while ships in American works may be painted olive-drab. #While not required, visibly being constructed from riveted metal plates is encouraged, as are [[Franchise/StarTrek Borg cube]]-like details called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeble greebles or nurnies]]. #Since OurWeaponsWillBeBoxyInTheFuture, larger spaceships must be angular too; the standard human spaceship will be mostly rectangular with engines on one end and weapons on the other. #{{Space Fighter}}s and other small craft will be [[OldSchoolDogfighting built around a cockpit and wings to look like airplanes]], but may have some style. This is probably going to be TruthInTelevision for military spacecraft in the near-future (with the earliest favoring the tinkertoy/habitrail/industrial plumbing aesthetic of the International Space Station), just because of the limits of our launching methods -- cylindrical rocket sections bolted together in space. Eventually, though, it may become a [[{{Zeerust}} relic of the near-present]] as space-based construction becomes easier. In space, there is no gravity or air resistance to design around, and due to the distances involved [[StealthInSpace and other factors]] visual camouflage probably won't be much use either. Historically, armies put quite a bit of thought into looking good and only stopped when it became necessary to do so (the British Army switching to khaki uniforms after the Boer Wars, for example); given the chance, it's likely that [[BlingOfWar looking grand]] will be back on the agenda. The [[AwesomeButImpractical engineers will probably hate it]], but [[ExecutiveMeddling then again, they probably won't be controlling things]]. On the other hand, in this modern, cost-conscious world, the accountants might have a thing or two to say about [[http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/gothic-space-bilge.php wasting money on decor]]...to say nothing of what happens when news gets back to the [[TheFederation Federation Parliament]]...will the voters ever have a ''fit'' when they hear about the gobs of cash being spent to paint their ships in gold for no reason other than "it looks pretty." However, if you think about it, a cost-conscious civilization will never launch big spaceships in the first place; a military space race is a thing of prestige and power, not of money and penny-pinching, and the RealLife space race was started by the very not money-minded Soviet Union. Existing spacecraft have so far had a mixed record: modern rockets and atmospheric landers tend to be white and aerodynamic, but blockier than sci-fi space fighters and only sometimes winged. Craft designed solely for vacuum are totally unaerodynamic, but extremely spidery and jumbled, covered in reflective foil (for heat management) and held together by networks of pipes and struts, looking much less solid than sci-fi capships. On the other hand, the products of the emerging private spaceflight industry often feature curvilinear quasi-retro stylings which bear a close resemblance to [[RetroRocket early sci-fi rockets]] of the zeerust school. Contrast the lines of the [=Scaled Composites SpaceShip=] series with those of the Soyuz capsules, or even with the Space Shuttle. (Mind you, the [=SpaceShip=] series are just pop-up suborbitals, and reentry from Mach 3 ([=SpaceShipOne=]) or 4 ([=SpaceShipTwo=]) is between 40 and 70 times less energetic (and thus easier) than reentry from orbital velocity. [=SpaceX=]'s [[http://www.spacex.com/dragon.php Dragon]] is orbital, and quite chunky-looking. On the other hand, an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-stage-to-orbit SSTO]] usually has enough empty space inside to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballistic_coefficient#Satellites_and_reentry_vehicles greatly ease the pain of reentry]], and while you can still get [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_DC-X fairly]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VentureStar blunt]] designs, you can also get [[http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/space_skylon.html this]]...) Also, some of these designs actually make some sense. For example, after the first two missions {{NASA}} decided to leave the external tank of the Space Shuttle un-painted because of the extra weight that pretty white veneer added (to give you an idea, the paint on a 747 jetliner weighs hundreds of pounds), not to mention the fact that it all burned up when it fell into the atmosphere anyway. For deep probes our designs are pretty non-blocky only because they are not meant for any kind of combat. Wings may be used on craft [[SpacePlane intended to work in atmosphere as well]] (like [[Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined BSGs]] Vipers), even though it wouldn't probably be very practical to make a dual-purpose craft like that given the hugely different conditions, especially when considering the different atmospheres and gravities of alien worlds. Unpainted metal or reflective exteriors may also be justified if the ship is intended to fly near stars: this would reflect the light assist the ship in [[SpaceIsCold staying cool,]] similar to the way that skyscrapers in the southern USA and other hot places tend to be designed with reflective glass exteriors. Note that fictional vessels tend to use enormous amounts of energy yet typically lack [[http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/rocket3au.html thermal radiators]] to shed waste heat (no air-cooling in space). Although that ''could'' explain all the so-called wings... Space wings are also often used in fiction as places to put extra weapons (like [[MacrossMissileMassacre missiles]]), and to store things (extra electronic equipment or fuel) inside them, although putting those things on or in the main hull makes more sense for a nonatmospheric SpaceFighter, as spreading out the ship's mass makes little sense for a vessel designed to maneuver in vacuum in three dimensions-- better to keep it compact, to conserve angular momentum. You ''can'' increase maneuverability by putting thrusters on the tips of them a la ''BabylonFive'' Starfuries, using the wing as essentially a big lever to rotate the ship faster, but a simple pole (especially a retractable one) would do the same job just as well and with greater shear strength (again, compactness helps here), making it less likely to bend or break off during high-thrust maneuvers whose direction is perpendicular to the broad planar surface of the wing. Internal gyroscopic flywheeels could do the same thing ''and'' be less visibly obvious tells to the enemy (no signal lights before a turn). Only SpaceFighter craft [[SpacePlane designed to go both ways]] (atmosphere and deep space) actually need wings-- and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifting_body some real airplanes don't even need them]]. See also StandardSciFiFleet ----- !!Examples: [[AC:Anime and Manga]] * ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross''[=/=]''Anime/{{Robotech}}''; Except for the ''Macross'' itself (which was, of course, alien in origin), most human vessels are pretty close to this. It should be noted that the ''Macross'' was in fact redesigned closer to those lines. Later subverted with the later Macross-class ships which were more angular, and ''Robotech's'' SDF-3, which was originally designed/disguised with Zentraedi-like lines, but by the end of the Third Robotech War had the same ''Mospeada''-style design. * While all the different factions are usually human in ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'', the ships used by most incarnations of TheFederation tend to be more boxy and utilitarian looking, [[SpaceIsAnOcean generally designed to resemble naval battleships]] and come in shades of grey, olive or white, while the the various space colony factions tend to use more exotic, organic looking designs. * ''Anime/BlueCometSPTLayzner'' is notable for the fact that the ''aliens'' have ships that look like this ([[TransplantedHumans though they may be descended from an ancient human civilization]]). * In ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' the starships of the [[UnitedSpaceOfAmerica Free Planets Alliance]] are decidedly utilitarian and bulky in appearance, with their interiors reminiscent of modern-day aircraft carriers and battleships. This of course is in contrast to TheEmpire's decidedly sleeker, more streamlined vessels. [[AC:{{Film}}]] * Originally, the ''Discovery'' in ''[[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey 2001: A Space Odyssey]]'' was going to have large heat radiators to dissipate the heat from the nuclear reactor ([[ShownTheirWork and indeed did in the novelization]]). However, Stanley Kubric decided he didn't want to have to [[RealityIsUnrealistic explain why a ship in space had what looked like wings]]. One of the very few instances in the movie they went with RuleOfCool over scientific accuracy. * ''Film/StarshipTroopers'' seems to follow this school of design. * ''Franchise/StarWars'' has spacecraft starting off as an ElegantWeaponForAMoreCivilizedAge in the prequel trilogy, then evolving into the gray, straight-lined, utilitarian war machines of the original trilogy. Strangely, almost all the spacecraft in the SW universe, even thousands of years back, [[ContinuityPorn resemble in some way the ones from the original trilogy]]. * The mile-long ''[=ISV=] Venture Star'' from ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' is designed to be realistic from a presently envisaged engineering standpoint, as a pure starship, never intended to enter an atmosphere. It's optimized for minimal mass, and thus has a wiry hollow look focused around the pair of giant front-mounted antimatter annihilation engines, with huge radiator panels glowing visibly to dissipate the engines' heat produced, and massive spherical fuel tanks carrying fuel and reaction mass for the relativistic ship. The relatively tiny habitation and cargo modules, pair of ''Valkyrie'' shuttles and even tinier artificial-gravity crew compartments are all dragged along behind. The Valkyries themselves are [=SSTO=]s, designed for atmospheric flight, and are thus fairly sleek winged designs. * Deliberately averted, avoided, hell, run away from in Darren Aronofsky's ''Film/TheFountain'', where the Astronaut's spaceship --carrying only him and the Tree of Life within it-- is a huge transparent bubble that moves easily across space in its long, long journey from Earth to the star Xibalba. WordOfGod says that they chose this simple, but appealing design because not all spaceships have to look like “trucks in space.” [[AC:{{Literature}}]] * Lampshaded in AnneMcCaffrey's ''Literature/AcornaSeries'', where the Linyaari are openly baffled as to why human spaceships only come in one color. Slightly subverted in that Linyaari ships are, to human eyes, painted in loud and garish colors. * In DavidWeber's ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series it's mentioned that all of the major powers use reactive pigments to give their ships a primary color to distinguish them in visual inspections, but it's also noted how easy it is to change the paint-scheme. ** As for the shapes, given the physics of the universe, they tend towards a generally cylindrical design, with all warships having “hammerheads” on both ends to allow room for chase armament ([[SpaceIsAnOcean similar to those on old-fashioned sailing warships]]). * Subverted in DavidDrake's ''Reaches'' trilogy, where the main characters' ships have ceramic hulls to resist the corrosive atmosphere of their native Venus. Every other spacefaring culture uses metal hulls, and it's noted that when the stresses of [[SubspaceOrHyperspace Transit]] become too great, a ceramic ship falls apart all at once, with a total loss of life (one ship is seen to have come out of Transit looking like a cloud of gravel), while a metal ship's hull might hold together long enough for some of the crew to be rescued. Also, ''everybody's'' hulls tend to be rounded, usually more-or-less cigar-shaped, although they fly or land with the long axis parallel to the ground, unlike “rocketships.” [[AC:LiveActionTV]] * ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' * ''Series/BabylonFive'' : Humorously lampshaded in “Legend of the Rangers” with the human design of the [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Valen_(ship) Valen]] looking like “a flying brick.” ([[FlyingBrick No relation]].) The later [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Valen_class_cruiser Valen]] class was made by the Minbari, further reinforcing the trope. -->'''Ranger Dulann''': ''If human military designers had their way every colour of the spectrum would be removed except for grey, green and black and we would all live in windowless boxes.'' ** Averted with ''Series/{{Crusade}}'''s [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Excalibur Excalibur]], although it must be said it was a joint human/Minbari project. *** You can see both design philosophies incorporated in it. You have the Minbari traditional triple-fin hull structure, but it's also dark grey similar to the ''Omega''-class destroyers. Interestingly, the human ''Hyperion''-class heavy cruisers are brightly-colored with white and blue. However, those (as mentioned in the fluff) were designed by a different military contractor than the ''Nova''e and the ''Omega''s. * ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' mostly averts this trope, with the majority of ships seen having either a large cylindrical design or a smaller, more agile (but still not blocky) design, such as with Serenity herself. However, the ships do tend to have very metallic appearances, and several of the ships briefly shown do fit the trope better than the larger Alliance vessels and Serenity. * The Series/RedDwarf is painted red, but that only serves to make it look ''more'' like a giant, flying brick. ** It was also stated at one point to be about 5 miles long and 3 miles wide - or 6 miles long, 4 miles wide and 3 miles high when reconstructed - and clearly had a roughly hexagonal cross-section. And apparently a crew of only 169 (or [[{{Retcon}} 1,169]]) - [[{{Retcon}} or possibly 11,169]], though granted it currently functions with a crew of ''four'' not counting [[SapientShip Holly]] or the Scutters. * Generally followed to a T in ''{{Space 1999}}'', with the show's signature Eagles being entirely utilitarian shuttles designed to function in the absence of an atmosphere, in lunar gravity. They were mostly grey, although some had orange details. The alien spaceships, on the other hand, were often brightly-coloured, in the style of contemporary sci-fi artists such as Chris Foss and Peter Elson. * ''{{Stargate}}'' : The [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/stargate/images/c/c0/F302.jpg F-302]] is essentially a forward-swept flying wing with jet and rocket engines. The [[http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/stargate/images/2/2a/X-303.jpg X-303 class battlecruiser Prometheus]] and the [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/stargate/images/3/3e/ApolloOverEarth.jpg BC-304 class deep-space carriers]] however, being built out of a naquadah/trinium alloy, fit this trope perfectly. ** The sublight [[http://images.wikia.com/stargate/images/d/d0/Novus_spaceship.jpg evacuation ships]] built by the Novus civilization (descended from alternate ''Destiny'' crew thrown back in time) also fit the trope. * The rectangular aspect is averted in ''Franchise/StarTrek'', but they're definitely grey metal plates. ** Indeed, one of the technical manuals explicitly noted that aside from the hull markings, the tonnes of paint that normally go on ships was left off around the Constitution-class refits of the movies. If memory serves, they started thinking it looks neater that way too. And apparently Starfleet started retracting its normal way of avoiding bricks--see the ''Defiant''. ** ST ships also tend to have smoother outlines in the later series because [[SpaceIsAnOcean warp fields act like hydrodynamics]]. The Galaxy class is the last class to have a highly distinct saucer and engineering section - later designs such as the Intrepid (Voyager), Sovereign (Enterprise-E) and Prometheus class have much more flowing lines where the join between the two sections is much less obvious, although most are still capable of separation, the Intrepid class being the only proven exception. ** Actually, it seems worth noting that humans are pretty much the only guys we ever see on ''Star Trek'' traveling in [[FlyingSaucer Flying Saucers]]. Many of the Starfleet ships involve some sort of saucer shape (usually, but not always, connected to a larger non-saucer shaped hull, with warp nacelles). *** Aliens like the Romulans and Klingons have clunkier looking hulls, and the most clunky looking ship on the show was designed specifically to make [[HiveMind the Borg]] look ''in''human. **** Not really Klingon designs so much, which tend to have a relatively sweeping design, with the various Bird of Prey designs' wings and neck, and the [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/File:Vorcha_class.jpg Vor'cha]] and [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/File:IKS_Negh%27Var.jpg Negh'var]] classes. *** Originally, Roddenberry wanted them to be able to separate their saucers, like the ''Next Gen'' Enterprise eventually did. The saucers were there mostly because Roddenberry was a huge fan of ''ForbiddenPlanet''. ** In the original series, the interior of the ''Enterprise'' averts (or even inverts) this trope when it comes to color. Though the walls were mostly gray, they were often lit with ''incredibly'' garish shades of green or purple! (Color TVs were a new thing back then, you see...) [[AC: TabletopGames]] * ''{{Battletech}}'' has mostly rounded ships, but otherwise adheres. ** One model of DropShip in particular, the Leopard, was even called “the Brick” in the canon itself. Its slab-sided appearance, coupled with a small bridge, stubby wings and massive engines on what amounts to a nigh-rectangular chunk of steel means it falls squarely within this trope. * ''d20 Future'' (ScienceFiction expansion to ''D20Modern'') generally presents this as the “default” look for spaceships. * ''{{Traveller}}'': There is no standard for traveller; it depends on function and aesthetic taste and there are myriads of possible ship designs(indeed some traveller fans mainly like designing ships). Ships made to actually land on and take off from a planet generally have a "needle/wedge" design which looks something like a space shuttle. However this requires sacrifice in payload and the heaviest ships are generally serviced in orbit. ** The Lightning-class ships a multipurpose merchant/scout/privateer built by the Terrans for viking like voyages into Vilani space is a handsome ship that looks like a long wedge with short stubby wings. ** One cool (but not unlikely in RealLife) gimmick on Traveller ships is a programmable surface that can be used to display a giant "screen-saver". These are available both inside and outside. Want your ship to have a different "paint job"? Just change the (enormous) image file. Another gimmick is the Shipboard Information System, which is sort of the ship's internet. This means that one can picture much of the dialogue of a given Traveller story taking place online from [=PCs=] and [=NPCs=] all over the ship, each talking into "thin air" in whatever room they happen to be, which can make for an interesting plot device and one not yet familiar to SpaceOpera . * In [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Battle Fleet Gothic]], the trope is inverted in that the ships of the Tau fit this trope. The Tau have "only just" started traveling between worlds, compared to other races, so their ships have that same early utilitarian feel that a lot of current space vehicles and those from [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture 20 minutes into the future]] have. Human ships, on the other hand, are space cathedrals. ** And due to unpopularity with the fans, the new Tau fleet follows a more graceful, anime-inspired design. ** SpaceMarine ships, on the other hand, fall somewhere in between. While they have elements of the regular Imperial design, they use more hard angles and less detailing. Also, while colour scheme varies by chapter, many of the promotional shots of the models are indeed rendered in mostly grey. * Played very straight in ''Firestorm Armada'' the human faction the [[TheAlliance Terran Alliance]], their ships are usually flat, and shaped in squares, and triangles, with most of their color being blue and grey. [[AC:VideoGames]] * ''DarkstarOne'' * Caldari ships in ''EveOnline'' are like this: Gunmetal gray, blinking signal lights and angular shapes. Conversely, the Minmatar designs are even more utilitarian, containing only the bare minimum, welded together in a junkyard shop and come in various shades of rust-brown and red. However, some of the more modern Minmatar ships such as capital ships and the Maelstrom have a more 'finished' look, with complete, symmetrical hulls, although still mostly falling within the category. Some of the Minmatar ships also have large 'sails' that look somewhat like modern satellites' solar panels. ** However, Gallente ships tend to have curvy organic-looking surfaces and Amarr ships are bright golden in colour and possibly most resemble the 'rocket ship' design in a few cases. ** {{Justified|Trope}} because each race's ships reflect their standardized personality. -->Caldari: Corporate, efficient, with emphasis on shields and electronics. Designs keep out the unnecessary. -->Amarr: 1[[superscript:st]] back into space. Large powerful empire. Golden to reflect the wealth and impress the natives. -->Gallente: Freedom loving more artistic, this more flowing and free designs in ships. -->Minmatar: Freed slaves. So all “older” ship designs should look like junk heaps as that's all they had to work with -->Thus cap' ships look more finished because they actually have an empire to support a cap' fleet. * Pretty much averted in the first ''EscapeVelocity'', which (in part due to the simple models) had ships with aerodynamic, rather anime-like shapes. Later games (especially Terrans and Voinians in ''Override'', Federation and Aurorans in ''Nova'') conformed more and more closely to this. * ''{{Freespace}}'' does this with all Terran ships (and with the [[http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/images/Gtvacolossus.jpg Colossus]], which was a combination Terran and Vasudan ship). For the [[http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v423/kc1991/VasCruis2.png Vasudan]] and [[http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/images/Sjsathanas.jpg Shivan]] ships, tendencies are to have more curved and smooth designs instead of blocky ones--the ships still tend to be paint free, but colored differently to give them a more alien look. * ''{{Halo}}'', the UNSC ships are boxy in shape, in contrast to the curvy purple flowing aesthetics of the Covenant. Acts as a visual reference for both how far advanced the Covenant ships are compared to the clumsy human vessels, as well as their ScaryDogmaticAliens status verus the practical human military. * ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}'' with the exception of the ([[spoiler:Kushan]]) Mothership and the Kadeshi vessels. * ''InfiniteSpace'': mostly averted, especially in Adis, where the ships are both extremely funky-looking and pink, but it does happen: the Freedom and Nebula in particular are both grey, flying bricks. * ''MassEffect'' averts this: the ''Normandy'' SR-1 and SR-2, the main ships in the series so far, are non-conventionally shaped, though vaguely reminiscent of rocket ship designs, and always brightly painted white. This is sort of justified, however, by the fact that visual recognition in space is almost impossible, so it doesn't really matter what color the ship is painted. Other ships featured in the series tend to follow the same philosophy, and the ''Destiny's Ascension'' is essentially a [[http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20091227112424/masseffect/images/e/e8/DestinyAscensionFlyby.png big flying cross]] [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090207040549/masseffect/images/2/2b/MassEffect_2008-08-13_12-37-43-71.png with an oval cut out of the middle.]] ** Other races' ships are shown and generally avoid this trope. Even the Quarians, who claim to salvage any ship they come upon appear to have the exact same design (a cross between the Euro symbol and the letter Q) in the third game's cutscenes, except for their massive spherical liveships. The [[AIIsACrapshoot geth]] ships, for some reason, have an insectoid look, despite most geth platforms being humanoid in shape. Turians have ship designs similar to humans, although they prefer grey to human white-and-blue. * ''SinsOfASolarEmpire'': Played straight with the TEC, who modifed their ships from cargo and civilian vessels, but averted with the Advent(who are also humans, just psychic ones with a different culture). Advent ships are sleek, [[ShinyLookingSpaceships shiny]], and definitely non-utilitarian in appearance. * Terrans of ''{{Starcraft}}'' operate these kinds of spaceships and put very little effort, if any, into making them look pretty. This is in stark contrast to the whimsical [[CrystalSpiresAndTogas Protoss]] designs which seem to feature no straight lines or right angles whatsoever, and to the Zerg OrganicTechnology. * ''SwordOfTheStars'' plays this straight. Human ships are oblong and consists of blocks riveted to a central frame and are the most utilitarian-looking of all the species: The only off part is the very noticeable ring structure around the engines (it's their faster-than-light drive). Because of this engine, human ships also have poor turret coverage on the back and tend towards front-heavy ships with forward-and-side firing arcs. While paint schemes for different sides makes some of the colour variable, the default ship colour for humans tends towards the grey with some red and green mixed in (by contrast, Tarka's ships are mostly bright red and deep green, the Hivers use beige, the Liir use turquoise, the Zuul blood red and the Morrigi deep purple). ** Interestingly, the Zuul, while avoiding this trope, also avoid the ShinyLookingSpaceships look. Their ships consist of haphazardly-welded parts of ships they find in floating battlefield graveyards. * In the ''VideoGame/WingCommander'' games, the human ships have varied between the utilitarian, blocky gray designs of ''VideoGame/WingCommander III'' and onwards, and more curvy designs of the earlier games. (''Wing Commander [=III=]'' and ''[=IV=]'' used a primitive polygon GameEngine, as opposed to the first two installments' bitmap sprite graphics.) In all the games featuring the [[MegaNeko Kilrathi]], most of the designs have a base tan color with various “warm” colors used for markings, but [[AllInTheManual the manual notes that the color is the color of the metals used for their armor]]. * In the ''VideoGame/{{X}}-Universe'' games, the [[HumansByAnyOtherName Argon]], [[PlanetTerra Terran]], and [[ProudMerchantRace Teladi]] ships all follow this. The Argon capital ships are flying gray boxes with red stripes while their fighters are ''Star Wars''-esque. The Terran capital ships are flying (blindly) white boxes with red and blue highlights while their fighters are futuristic Space Shuttles. Teladi capital ships are [[http://i.imgur.com/SOsO2.jpg flying off-gray boxes]] with protruding fuel tanks, engines, power lines, and greebles likened to "Flying junkyards", while their fighter designs resemble Star Wars mixed with a 1930s movie. ** In particular the Terran '[[EliteArmy AGI Task Force]]' or ATF seem to have taken this trope to heart with the Tyr Destroyer, and Odin Carrier, both gunmetal grey boxes with engines. * ''{{X-COM}} Interceptor'' tends to avert this, with the human ships actually using functional, forward-swept-wing designs, or in the case of the second-tier ship, rounded wings. All ships are also painted, and in the case of the X-1A tier one ship, even whimsical, with shark teeth painted on the nose. ** The carrier ''[=MacArthur=]'', which you have to protect during the final 2-part mission partly plays this trope straight. * ''TachyonTheFringe'' has this for the [[LaResistance Bora]], whose warships are hastily-converted cargo haulers and mining ships. Some of the designs aren't so functional, though, like the ''Battleaxe''-class fighters, which prominently feature a sharpened ''blade'' on the top. Mostly averted with other ships, although freighters still have an elongated, blocky look. [[MegaCorp GalSpan]], notably, has sleek-looking ships with wings (fighters) and the blue-and-white color scheme. * The Terrans in ''GalacticCivilizations'' by default have a ship aesthetic midway between ''Franchise/StarTrek'' and ''Series/BabylonFive'', with mainly rectangular shapes and stuff taken from this trope's catalogue with bluntly triangular wings, chunky radar dishes, large and blocky externals. Unless you reset the colour scheme, Terran vehicles come painted white and blue. When [[DesignItYourselfEquipment building your own]], you can use far weirder-looking alien components to make them less blocky. * ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} III'', true to its fame of having everything dead realistic, lets you build an UN Unity spaceship that more or less looks like an extremely huge rocket. This has a practical reason though: the Unity requires an aerodynamic shape in order to cut through the Earth's atmosphere. ** ''SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'', the SpiritualSequel to ''Civilization'', has the ''Unity'', Earth's first and only starship. It has your typical grey color scheme, rotating sections, massive engines in the rear, cooling panels around the engine compartment, and cryo-pods (which are also designed as autonomous landing craft). The ship is clearly not meant to land. It's sole goal is to cross the vast interstellar distance between the Sun and Alpha Centauri. [[http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg708/scaled.php?server=708&filename=earth1.jpg&res=landing Compare]] with the much sleeker-looking Progenitor scoutships shown in the ''Alien Crossfire'' addon intro. * ''VideoGame/BattlestarGalacticaOnline'' plays with this. Colonials have some blocky designs like the Jotunn or Gungnir, and the former is even greyish. However, there are also Colonial designs that don't conform; the Rhino is more or less a rotorless helicopter gunship, the Scythe has a giant ventral fin/leg, the Glaive and Halberd have diamond-shaped bodies with the latter being brownish and having fins, even the Gungnir subverts the trope by being magenta. Cylons, on the other hand, tend to use more sleek lines and curves. However, they also have some blocky dull designs like the Wraith and Jormung. It is lampshaded with the Wraith, which is a MightyGlacier described InUniverse as resembling human design principles. [[AC:{{Webcomics}}]] * Averted in ''QuentynQuinnSpaceRanger.'' Despite having forcefields, integrity fields, antigravity, and all the usual phlebotinum props of space opera, Quinn's ship the Thunderbird is deliberately designed to be a [[http://www.rhjunior.com/QQSR/00003.html sleek, airfoil wing]] in order to facilitate both atmospheric flight and glider-style emergency landings. Of course Quinn is hinted to be something of a traditionalist in this regard, still insisting on mechanical landing gear on his vessel rather than relying on repulsor beams. * In ''{{Vexxarr}}'' hu-mon ships are a lot greyer and blockier than the Bleen ships they reverse-engineered the technology from. [[http://www.vexxarr.com/archive.php?seldate=090508 lot bigger too]]. [[AC:WesternAnimation]] * Noticeable in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' where military spaceships are indeed mostly gray-white, but ''civilian'' ones come in all colors, the one used by the main characters being lime green and basically a short, fat version of a {{Zeerust}} RetroRocket (possibly justified in that the rocket shape is seen as a styling ideal but one that has been heavily compromised to maximize cargo space on a delivery vehicle). ----
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[[quoteright:350:[[FreeSpace http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/RScreen0045_502.jpg]]]] [[caption-width-right:350:It's a flying brick. [[BeamSpam With guns]].]] ->''"UNEF's first starships had been possessed of a kind of spidery, delicate beauty. But with various technological developments, structural strength had become more important than conserving mass (one of the old ships would have folded up like an accordion if you'd tried a twenty-five-gee maneuver), and that was reflected in the design; stolid, heavy, functional-looking."'' -->-- '''Joe Haldeman''', ''Literature/TheForeverWar'' Despite living in several unrelated continuities, it seems that human engineers in science fiction have managed to agree on two standards for ship designs. The first design, the RetroRocket (often referred to as a “rocketship” and now a mostly DiscreditedTrope due to {{Zeerust}}), is (or was) a cigar-shaped needle with three or so large fins on the base. These are often either brightly coloured or chromed to make a ShinyLookingSpaceships. This initial design is now usually found in parodies or homages to classic sci-fi. The second design, mostly based on newer works and the “realistic” age of spaceflight, follows some simple rules: #Human spaceships should be grey. While some important parts may be coloured, the majority of the spaceship should be the colour of unpainted metal. Exceptions: ships in anime may be painted blue instead, while ships in American works may be painted olive-drab. #While not required, visibly being constructed from riveted metal plates is encouraged, as are [[Franchise/StarTrek Borg cube]]-like details called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeble greebles or nurnies]]. #Since OurWeaponsWillBeBoxyInTheFuture, larger spaceships must be angular too; the standard human spaceship will be mostly rectangular with engines on one end and weapons on the other. #{{Space Fighter}}s and other small craft will be [[OldSchoolDogfighting built around a cockpit and wings to look like airplanes]], but may have some style. This is probably going to be TruthInTelevision for military spacecraft in the near-future (with the earliest favoring the tinkertoy/habitrail/industrial plumbing aesthetic of the International Space Station), just because of the limits of our launching methods -- cylindrical rocket sections bolted together in space. Eventually, though, it may become a [[{{Zeerust}} relic of the near-present]] as space-based construction becomes easier. In space, there is no gravity or air resistance to design around, and due to the distances involved [[StealthInSpace and other factors]] visual camouflage probably won't be much use either. Historically, armies put quite a bit of thought into looking good and only stopped when it became necessary to do so (the British Army switching to khaki uniforms after the Boer Wars, for example); given the chance, it's likely that [[BlingOfWar looking grand]] will be back on the agenda. The [[AwesomeButImpractical engineers will probably hate it]], but [[ExecutiveMeddling then again, they probably won't be controlling things]]. On the other hand, in this modern, cost-conscious world, the accountants might have a thing or two to say about [[http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/gothic-space-bilge.php wasting money on decor]]...to say nothing of what happens when news gets back to the [[TheFederation Federation Parliament]]...will the voters ever have a ''fit'' when they hear about the gobs of cash being spent to paint their ships in gold for no reason other than "it looks pretty." However, if you think about it, a cost-conscious civilization will never launch big spaceships in the first place; a military space race is a thing of prestige and power, not of money and penny-pinching, and the RealLife space race was started by the very not money-minded Soviet Union. Existing spacecraft have so far had a mixed record: modern rockets and atmospheric landers tend to be white and aerodynamic, but blockier than sci-fi space fighters and only sometimes winged. Craft designed solely for vacuum are totally unaerodynamic, but extremely spidery and jumbled, covered in reflective foil (for heat management) and held together by networks of pipes and struts, looking much less solid than sci-fi capships. On the other hand, the products of the emerging private spaceflight industry often feature curvilinear quasi-retro stylings which bear a close resemblance to [[RetroRocket early sci-fi rockets]] of the zeerust school. Contrast the lines of the [=Scaled Composites SpaceShip=] series with those of the Soyuz capsules, or even with the Space Shuttle. (Mind you, the [=SpaceShip=] series are just pop-up suborbitals, and reentry from Mach 3 ([=SpaceShipOne=]) or 4 ([=SpaceShipTwo=]) is between 40 and 70 times less energetic (and thus easier) than reentry from orbital velocity. [=SpaceX=]'s [[http://www.spacex.com/dragon.php Dragon]] is orbital, and quite chunky-looking. On the other hand, an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-stage-to-orbit SSTO]] usually has enough empty space inside to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballistic_coefficient#Satellites_and_reentry_vehicles greatly ease the pain of reentry]], and while you can still get [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_DC-X fairly]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VentureStar blunt]] designs, you can also get [[http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/space_skylon.html this]]...) Also, some of these designs actually make some sense. For example, after the first two missions {{NASA}} decided to leave the external tank of the Space Shuttle un-painted because of the extra weight that pretty white veneer added (to give you an idea, the paint on a 747 jetliner weighs hundreds of pounds), not to mention the fact that it all burned up when it fell into the atmosphere anyway. For deep probes our designs are pretty non-blocky only because they are not meant for any kind of combat. Wings may be used on craft [[SpacePlane intended to work in atmosphere as well]] (like [[Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined BSGs]] Vipers), even though it wouldn't probably be very practical to make a dual-purpose craft like that given the hugely different conditions, especially when considering the different atmospheres and gravities of alien worlds. Unpainted metal or reflective exteriors may also be justified if the ship is intended to fly near stars: this would reflect the light assist the ship in [[SpaceIsCold staying cool,]] similar to the way that skyscrapers in the southern USA and other hot places tend to be designed with reflective glass exteriors. Note that fictional vessels tend to use enormous amounts of energy yet typically lack [[http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/rocket3au.html thermal radiators]] to shed waste heat (no air-cooling in space). Although that ''could'' explain all the so-called wings... Space wings are also often used in fiction as places to put extra weapons (like [[MacrossMissileMassacre missiles]]), and to store things (extra electronic equipment or fuel) inside them, although putting those things on or in the main hull makes more sense for a nonatmospheric SpaceFighter, as spreading out the ship's mass makes little sense for a vessel designed to maneuver in vacuum in three dimensions-- better to keep it compact, to conserve angular momentum. You ''can'' increase maneuverability by putting thrusters on the tips of them a la ''BabylonFive'' Starfuries, using the wing as essentially a big lever to rotate the ship faster, but a simple pole (especially a retractable one) would do the same job just as well and with greater shear strength (again, compactness helps here), making it less likely to bend or break off during high-thrust maneuvers whose direction is perpendicular to the broad planar surface of the wing. Internal gyroscopic flywheeels could do the same thing ''and'' be less visibly obvious tells to the enemy (no signal lights before a turn). Only SpaceFighter craft [[SpacePlane designed to go both ways]] (atmosphere and deep space) actually need wings-- and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifting_body some real airplanes don't even need them]]. See also StandardSciFiFleet ----- !!Examples: [[AC:Anime and Manga]] * ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross''[=/=]''Anime/{{Robotech}}''; Except for the ''Macross'' itself (which was, of course, alien in origin), most human vessels are pretty close to this. It should be noted that the ''Macross'' was in fact redesigned closer to those lines. Later subverted with the later Macross-class ships which were more angular, and ''Robotech's'' SDF-3, which was originally designed/disguised with Zentraedi-like lines, but by the end of the Third Robotech War had the same ''Mospeada''-style design. * While all the different factions are usually human in ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'', the ships used by most incarnations of TheFederation tend to be more boxy and utilitarian looking, [[SpaceIsAnOcean generally designed to resemble naval battleships]] and come in shades of grey, olive or white, while the the various space colony factions tend to use more exotic, organic looking designs. * ''Anime/BlueCometSPTLayzner'' is notable for the fact that the ''aliens'' have ships that look like this ([[TransplantedHumans though they may be descended from an ancient human civilization]]). * In ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' the starships of the [[UnitedSpaceOfAmerica Free Planets Alliance]] are decidedly utilitarian and bulky in appearance, with their interiors reminiscent of modern-day aircraft carriers and battleships. This of course is in contrast to TheEmpire's decidedly sleeker, more streamlined vessels. [[AC:{{Film}}]] * Originally, the ''Discovery'' in ''[[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey 2001: A Space Odyssey]]'' was going to have large heat radiators to dissipate the heat from the nuclear reactor ([[ShownTheirWork and indeed did in the novelization]]). However, Stanley Kubric decided he didn't want to have to [[RealityIsUnrealistic explain why a ship in space had what looked like wings]]. One of the very few instances in the movie they went with RuleOfCool over scientific accuracy. * ''Film/StarshipTroopers'' seems to follow this school of design. * ''Franchise/StarWars'' has spacecraft starting off as an ElegantWeaponForAMoreCivilizedAge in the prequel trilogy, then evolving into the gray, straight-lined, utilitarian war machines of the original trilogy. Strangely, almost all the spacecraft in the SW universe, even thousands of years back, [[ContinuityPorn resemble in some way the ones from the original trilogy]]. * The mile-long ''[=ISV=] Venture Star'' from ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' is designed to be realistic from a presently envisaged engineering standpoint, as a pure starship, never intended to enter an atmosphere. It's optimized for minimal mass, and thus has a wiry hollow look focused around the pair of giant front-mounted antimatter annihilation engines, with huge radiator panels glowing visibly to dissipate the engines' heat produced, and massive spherical fuel tanks carrying fuel and reaction mass for the relativistic ship. The relatively tiny habitation and cargo modules, pair of ''Valkyrie'' shuttles and even tinier artificial-gravity crew compartments are all dragged along behind. The Valkyries themselves are [=SSTO=]s, designed for atmospheric flight, and are thus fairly sleek winged designs. * Deliberately averted, avoided, hell, run away from in Darren Aronofsky's ''Film/TheFountain'', where the Astronaut's spaceship --carrying only him and the Tree of Life within it-- is a huge transparent bubble that moves easily across space in its long, long journey from Earth to the star Xibalba. WordOfGod says that they chose this simple, but appealing design because not all spaceships have to look like “trucks in space.” [[AC:{{Literature}}]] * Lampshaded in AnneMcCaffrey's ''Literature/AcornaSeries'', where the Linyaari are openly baffled as to why human spaceships only come in one color. Slightly subverted in that Linyaari ships are, to human eyes, painted in loud and garish colors. * In DavidWeber's ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series it's mentioned that all of the major powers use reactive pigments to give their ships a primary color to distinguish them in visual inspections, but it's also noted how easy it is to change the paint-scheme. ** As for the shapes, given the physics of the universe, they tend towards a generally cylindrical design, with all warships having “hammerheads” on both ends to allow room for chase armament ([[SpaceIsAnOcean similar to those on old-fashioned sailing warships]]). * Subverted in DavidDrake's ''Reaches'' trilogy, where the main characters' ships have ceramic hulls to resist the corrosive atmosphere of their native Venus. Every other spacefaring culture uses metal hulls, and it's noted that when the stresses of [[SubspaceOrHyperspace Transit]] become too great, a ceramic ship falls apart all at once, with a total loss of life (one ship is seen to have come out of Transit looking like a cloud of gravel), while a metal ship's hull might hold together long enough for some of the crew to be rescued. Also, ''everybody's'' hulls tend to be rounded, usually more-or-less cigar-shaped, although they fly or land with the long axis parallel to the ground, unlike “rocketships.” [[AC:LiveActionTV]] * ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' * ''Series/BabylonFive'' : Humorously lampshaded in “Legend of the Rangers” with the human design of the [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Valen_(ship) Valen]] looking like “a flying brick.” ([[FlyingBrick No relation]].) The later [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Valen_class_cruiser Valen]] class was made by the Minbari, further reinforcing the trope. -->'''Ranger Dulann''': ''If human military designers had their way every colour of the spectrum would be removed except for grey, green and black and we would all live in windowless boxes.'' ** Averted with ''Series/{{Crusade}}'''s [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Excalibur Excalibur]], although it must be said it was a joint human/Minbari project. *** You can see both design philosophies incorporated in it. You have the Minbari traditional triple-fin hull structure, but it's also dark grey similar to the ''Omega''-class destroyers. Interestingly, the human ''Hyperion''-class heavy cruisers are brightly-colored with white and blue. However, those (as mentioned in the fluff) were designed by a different military contractor than the ''Nova''e and the ''Omega''s. * ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' mostly averts this trope, with the majority of ships seen having either a large cylindrical design or a smaller, more agile (but still not blocky) design, such as with Serenity herself. However, the ships do tend to have very metallic appearances, and several of the ships briefly shown do fit the trope better than the larger Alliance vessels and Serenity. * The Series/RedDwarf is painted red, but that only serves to make it look ''more'' like a giant, flying brick. ** It was also stated at one point to be about 5 miles long and 3 miles wide - or 6 miles long, 4 miles wide and 3 miles high when reconstructed - and clearly had a roughly hexagonal cross-section. And apparently a crew of only 169 (or [[{{Retcon}} 1,169]]) - [[{{Retcon}} or possibly 11,169]], though granted it currently functions with a crew of ''four'' not counting [[SapientShip Holly]] or the Scutters. * Generally followed to a T in ''{{Space 1999}}'', with the show's signature Eagles being entirely utilitarian shuttles designed to function in the absence of an atmosphere, in lunar gravity. They were mostly grey, although some had orange details. The alien spaceships, on the other hand, were often brightly-coloured, in the style of contemporary sci-fi artists such as Chris Foss and Peter Elson. * ''{{Stargate}}'' : The [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/stargate/images/c/c0/F302.jpg F-302]] is essentially a forward-swept flying wing with jet and rocket engines. The [[http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/stargate/images/2/2a/X-303.jpg X-303 class battlecruiser Prometheus]] and the [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/stargate/images/3/3e/ApolloOverEarth.jpg BC-304 class deep-space carriers]] however, being built out of a naquadah/trinium alloy, fit this trope perfectly. ** The sublight [[http://images.wikia.com/stargate/images/d/d0/Novus_spaceship.jpg evacuation ships]] built by the Novus civilization (descended from alternate ''Destiny'' crew thrown back in time) also fit the trope. * The rectangular aspect is averted in ''Franchise/StarTrek'', but they're definitely grey metal plates. ** Indeed, one of the technical manuals explicitly noted that aside from the hull markings, the tonnes of paint that normally go on ships was left off around the Constitution-class refits of the movies. If memory serves, they started thinking it looks neater that way too. And apparently Starfleet started retracting its normal way of avoiding bricks--see the ''Defiant''. ** ST ships also tend to have smoother outlines in the later series because [[SpaceIsAnOcean warp fields act like hydrodynamics]]. The Galaxy class is the last class to have a highly distinct saucer and engineering section - later designs such as the Intrepid (Voyager), Sovereign (Enterprise-E) and Prometheus class have much more flowing lines where the join between the two sections is much less obvious, although most are still capable of separation, the Intrepid class being the only proven exception. ** Actually, it seems worth noting that humans are pretty much the only guys we ever see on ''Star Trek'' traveling in [[FlyingSaucer Flying Saucers]]. Many of the Starfleet ships involve some sort of saucer shape (usually, but not always, connected to a larger non-saucer shaped hull, with warp nacelles). *** Aliens like the Romulans and Klingons have clunkier looking hulls, and the most clunky looking ship on the show was designed specifically to make [[HiveMind the Borg]] look ''in''human. **** Not really Klingon designs so much, which tend to have a relatively sweeping design, with the various Bird of Prey designs' wings and neck, and the [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/File:Vorcha_class.jpg Vor'cha]] and [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/File:IKS_Negh%27Var.jpg Negh'var]] classes. *** Originally, Roddenberry wanted them to be able to separate their saucers, like the ''Next Gen'' Enterprise eventually did. The saucers were there mostly because Roddenberry was a huge fan of ''ForbiddenPlanet''. ** In the original series, the interior of the ''Enterprise'' averts (or even inverts) this trope when it comes to color. Though the walls were mostly gray, they were often lit with ''incredibly'' garish shades of green or purple! (Color TVs were a new thing back then, you see...) [[AC: TabletopGames]] * ''{{Battletech}}'' has mostly rounded ships, but otherwise adheres. ** One model of DropShip in particular, the Leopard, was even called “the Brick” in the canon itself. Its slab-sided appearance, coupled with a small bridge, stubby wings and massive engines on what amounts to a nigh-rectangular chunk of steel means it falls squarely within this trope. * ''d20 Future'' (ScienceFiction expansion to ''D20Modern'') generally presents this as the “default” look for spaceships. * ''{{Traveller}}'': There is no standard for traveller; it depends on function and aesthetic taste and there are myriads of possible ship designs(indeed some traveller fans mainly like designing ships). Ships made to actually land on and take off from a planet generally have a "needle/wedge" design which looks something like a space shuttle. However this requires sacrifice in payload and the heaviest ships are generally serviced in orbit. ** The Lightning-class ships a multipurpose merchant/scout/privateer built by the Terrans for viking like voyages into Vilani space is a handsome ship that looks like a long wedge with short stubby wings. ** One cool (but not unlikely in RealLife) gimmick on Traveller ships is a programmable surface that can be used to display a giant "screen-saver". These are available both inside and outside. Want your ship to have a different "paint job"? Just change the (enormous) image file. Another gimmick is the Shipboard Information System, which is sort of the ship's internet. This means that one can picture much of the dialogue of a given Traveller story taking place online from [=PCs=] and [=NPCs=] all over the ship, each talking into "thin air" in whatever room they happen to be, which can make for an interesting plot device and one not yet familiar to SpaceOpera . * In [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Battle Fleet Gothic]], the trope is inverted in that the ships of the Tau fit this trope. The Tau have "only just" started traveling between worlds, compared to other races, so their ships have that same early utilitarian feel that a lot of current space vehicles and those from [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture 20 minutes into the future]] have. Human ships, on the other hand, are space cathedrals. ** And due to unpopularity with the fans, the new Tau fleet follows a more graceful, anime-inspired design. ** SpaceMarine ships, on the other hand, fall somewhere in between. While they have elements of the regular Imperial design, they use more hard angles and less detailing. Also, while colour scheme varies by chapter, many of the promotional shots of the models are indeed rendered in mostly grey. * Played very straight in ''Firestorm Armada'' the human faction the [[TheAlliance Terran Alliance]], their ships are usually flat, and shaped in squares, and triangles, with most of their color being blue and grey. [[AC:VideoGames]] * ''DarkstarOne'' * Caldari ships in ''EveOnline'' are like this: Gunmetal gray, blinking signal lights and angular shapes. Conversely, the Minmatar designs are even more utilitarian, containing only the bare minimum, welded together in a junkyard shop and come in various shades of rust-brown and red. However, some of the more modern Minmatar ships such as capital ships and the Maelstrom have a more 'finished' look, with complete, symmetrical hulls, although still mostly falling within the category. Some of the Minmatar ships also have large 'sails' that look somewhat like modern satellites' solar panels. ** However, Gallente ships tend to have curvy organic-looking surfaces and Amarr ships are bright golden in colour and possibly most resemble the 'rocket ship' design in a few cases. ** {{Justified|Trope}} because each race's ships reflect their standardized personality. -->Caldari: Corporate, efficient, with emphasis on shields and electronics. Designs keep out the unnecessary. -->Amarr: 1[[superscript:st]] back into space. Large powerful empire. Golden to reflect the wealth and impress the natives. -->Gallente: Freedom loving more artistic, this more flowing and free designs in ships. -->Minmatar: Freed slaves. So all “older” ship designs should look like junk heaps as that's all they had to work with -->Thus cap' ships look more finished because they actually have an empire to support a cap' fleet. * Pretty much averted in the first ''EscapeVelocity'', which (in part due to the simple models) had ships with aerodynamic, rather anime-like shapes. Later games (especially Terrans and Voinians in ''Override'', Federation and Aurorans in ''Nova'') conformed more and more closely to this. * ''{{Freespace}}'' does this with all Terran ships (and with the [[http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/images/Gtvacolossus.jpg Colossus]], which was a combination Terran and Vasudan ship). For the [[http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v423/kc1991/VasCruis2.png Vasudan]] and [[http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/images/Sjsathanas.jpg Shivan]] ships, tendencies are to have more curved and smooth designs instead of blocky ones--the ships still tend to be paint free, but colored differently to give them a more alien look. * ''{{Halo}}'', the UNSC ships are boxy in shape, in contrast to the curvy purple flowing aesthetics of the Covenant. Acts as a visual reference for both how far advanced the Covenant ships are compared to the clumsy human vessels, as well as their ScaryDogmaticAliens status verus the practical human military. * ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}'' with the exception of the ([[spoiler:Kushan]]) Mothership and the Kadeshi vessels. * ''InfiniteSpace'': mostly averted, especially in Adis, where the ships are both extremely funky-looking and pink, but it does happen: the Freedom and Nebula in particular are both grey, flying bricks. * ''MassEffect'' averts this: the ''Normandy'' SR-1 and SR-2, the main ships in the series so far, are non-conventionally shaped, though vaguely reminiscent of rocket ship designs, and always brightly painted white. This is sort of justified, however, by the fact that visual recognition in space is almost impossible, so it doesn't really matter what color the ship is painted. Other ships featured in the series tend to follow the same philosophy, and the ''Destiny's Ascension'' is essentially a [[http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20091227112424/masseffect/images/e/e8/DestinyAscensionFlyby.png big flying cross]] [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090207040549/masseffect/images/2/2b/MassEffect_2008-08-13_12-37-43-71.png with an oval cut out of the middle.]] ** Other races' ships are shown and generally avoid this trope. Even the Quarians, who claim to salvage any ship they come upon appear to have the exact same design (a cross between the Euro symbol and the letter Q) in the third game's cutscenes, except for their massive spherical liveships. The [[AIIsACrapshoot geth]] ships, for some reason, have an insectoid look, despite most geth platforms being humanoid in shape. Turians have ship designs similar to humans, although they prefer grey to human white-and-blue. * ''SinsOfASolarEmpire'': Played straight with the TEC, who modifed their ships from cargo and civilian vessels, but averted with the Advent(who are also humans, just psychic ones with a different culture). Advent ships are sleek, [[ShinyLookingSpaceships shiny]], and definitely non-utilitarian in appearance. * Terrans of ''{{Starcraft}}'' operate these kinds of spaceships and put very little effort, if any, into making them look pretty. This is in stark contrast to the whimsical [[CrystalSpiresAndTogas Protoss]] designs which seem to feature no straight lines or right angles whatsoever, and to the Zerg OrganicTechnology. * ''SwordOfTheStars'' plays this straight. Human ships are oblong and consists of blocks riveted to a central frame and are the most utilitarian-looking of all the species: The only off part is the very noticeable ring structure around the engines (it's their faster-than-light drive). Because of this engine, human ships also have poor turret coverage on the back and tend towards front-heavy ships with forward-and-side firing arcs. While paint schemes for different sides makes some of the colour variable, the default ship colour for humans tends towards the grey with some red and green mixed in (by contrast, Tarka's ships are mostly bright red and deep green, the Hivers use beige, the Liir use turquoise, the Zuul blood red and the Morrigi deep purple). ** Interestingly, the Zuul, while avoiding this trope, also avoid the ShinyLookingSpaceships look. Their ships consist of haphazardly-welded parts of ships they find in floating battlefield graveyards. * In the ''VideoGame/WingCommander'' games, the human ships have varied between the utilitarian, blocky gray designs of ''VideoGame/WingCommander III'' and onwards, and more curvy designs of the earlier games. (''Wing Commander [=III=]'' and ''[=IV=]'' used a primitive polygon GameEngine, as opposed to the first two installments' bitmap sprite graphics.) In all the games featuring the [[MegaNeko Kilrathi]], most of the designs have a base tan color with various “warm” colors used for markings, but [[AllInTheManual the manual notes that the color is the color of the metals used for their armor]]. * In the ''VideoGame/{{X}}-Universe'' games, the [[HumansByAnyOtherName Argon]], [[PlanetTerra Terran]], and [[ProudMerchantRace Teladi]] ships all follow this. The Argon capital ships are flying gray boxes with red stripes while their fighters are ''Star Wars''-esque. The Terran capital ships are flying (blindly) white boxes with red and blue highlights while their fighters are futuristic Space Shuttles. Teladi capital ships are [[http://i.imgur.com/SOsO2.jpg flying off-gray boxes]] with protruding fuel tanks, engines, power lines, and greebles likened to "Flying junkyards", while their fighter designs resemble Star Wars mixed with a 1930s movie. ** In particular the Terran '[[EliteArmy AGI Task Force]]' or ATF seem to have taken this trope to heart with the Tyr Destroyer, and Odin Carrier, both gunmetal grey boxes with engines. * ''{{X-COM}} Interceptor'' tends to avert this, with the human ships actually using functional, forward-swept-wing designs, or in the case of the second-tier ship, rounded wings. All ships are also painted, and in the case of the X-1A tier one ship, even whimsical, with shark teeth painted on the nose. ** The carrier ''[=MacArthur=]'', which you have to protect during the final 2-part mission partly plays this trope straight. * ''TachyonTheFringe'' has this for the [[LaResistance Bora]], whose warships are hastily-converted cargo haulers and mining ships. Some of the designs aren't so functional, though, like the ''Battleaxe''-class fighters, which prominently feature a sharpened ''blade'' on the top. Mostly averted with other ships, although freighters still have an elongated, blocky look. [[MegaCorp GalSpan]], notably, has sleek-looking ships with wings (fighters) and the blue-and-white color scheme. * The Terrans in ''GalacticCivilizations'' by default have a ship aesthetic midway between ''Franchise/StarTrek'' and ''Series/BabylonFive'', with mainly rectangular shapes and stuff taken from this trope's catalogue with bluntly triangular wings, chunky radar dishes, large and blocky externals. Unless you reset the colour scheme, Terran vehicles come painted white and blue. When [[DesignItYourselfEquipment building your own]], you can use far weirder-looking alien components to make them less blocky. * ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} III'', true to its fame of having everything dead realistic, lets you build an UN Unity spaceship that more or less looks like an extremely huge rocket. This has a practical reason though: the Unity requires an aerodynamic shape in order to cut through the Earth's atmosphere. ** ''SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'', the SpiritualSequel to ''Civilization'', has the ''Unity'', Earth's first and only starship. It has your typical grey color scheme, rotating sections, massive engines in the rear, cooling panels around the engine compartment, and cryo-pods (which are also designed as autonomous landing craft). The ship is clearly not meant to land. It's sole goal is to cross the vast interstellar distance between the Sun and Alpha Centauri. [[http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg708/scaled.php?server=708&filename=earth1.jpg&res=landing Compare]] with the much sleeker-looking Progenitor scoutships shown in the ''Alien Crossfire'' addon intro. * ''VideoGame/BattlestarGalacticaOnline'' plays with this. Colonials have some blocky designs like the Jotunn or Gungnir, and the former is even greyish. However, there are also Colonial designs that don't conform; the Rhino is more or less a rotorless helicopter gunship, the Scythe has a giant ventral fin/leg, the Glaive and Halberd have diamond-shaped bodies with the latter being brownish and having fins, even the Gungnir subverts the trope by being magenta. Cylons, on the other hand, tend to use more sleek lines and curves. However, they also have some blocky dull designs like the Wraith and Jormung. It is lampshaded with the Wraith, which is a MightyGlacier described InUniverse as resembling human design principles. [[AC:{{Webcomics}}]] * Averted in ''QuentynQuinnSpaceRanger.'' Despite having forcefields, integrity fields, antigravity, and all the usual phlebotinum props of space opera, Quinn's ship the Thunderbird is deliberately designed to be a [[http://www.rhjunior.com/QQSR/00003.html sleek, airfoil wing]] in order to facilitate both atmospheric flight and glider-style emergency landings. Of course Quinn is hinted to be something of a traditionalist in this regard, still insisting on mechanical landing gear on his vessel rather than relying on repulsor beams. * In ''{{Vexxarr}}'' hu-mon ships are a lot greyer and blockier than the Bleen ships they reverse-engineered the technology from. [[http://www.vexxarr.com/archive.php?seldate=090508 lot bigger too]]. [[AC:WesternAnimation]] * Noticeable in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' where military spaceships are indeed mostly gray-white, but ''civilian'' ones come in all colors, the one used by the main characters being lime green and basically a short, fat version of a {{Zeerust}} RetroRocket (possibly justified in that the rocket shape is seen as a styling ideal but one that has been heavily compromised to maximize cargo space on a delivery vehicle). ----[[redirect:StandardHumanSpaceship]]
1st Dec '12 2:50:39 PM TheRedRedKroovy
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#Human spaceships should be grey. While some important parts may be coloured, the majority of the spaceship should be the colour of unpainted metal. ** Ships in anime may be painted blue instead. ** Or olive-drab if the creator's American.
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#Human spaceships should be grey. While some important parts may be coloured, the majority of the spaceship should be the colour of unpainted metal. ** Ships metal. Exceptions: ships in anime may be painted blue instead. ** Or olive-drab if the creator's American.instead, while ships in American works may be painted olive-drab.

While this is probably going to be TruthInTelevision for military spacecraft in the near-future (with the earliest favoring the tinkertoy/habitrail/industrial plumbing aesthetic of the International Space Station, just because of the limits of our launching methods-- cylindrical rocket sections bolted together in space), eventually it may become a [[{{Zeerust}} relic of the near-present]] as space-based construction becomes easier. In space, there is no gravity or air resistance to design around, and due to the distances involved [[StealthInSpace and other factors]] visual camouflage probably won't be much use either. Historically, armies put quite a bit of thought into looking good and only stopped when it became necessary to do so; given the chance, it's likely that [[BlingOfWar looking grand]] will be back on the agenda. The [[AwesomeButImpractical engineers will probably hate it]], but [[ExecutiveMeddling then again, they probably won't be controlling things]]. On the other hand, in this modern, cost-conscious world, the accountants might have a thing or two to say about [[http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/gothic-space-bilge.php wasting money on decor]]...to say nothing of what happens when news gets back to the [[TheFederation Federation Parliament]]...will the voters ever have a ''fit'' when they hear about the gobs of cash being spent to paint their ships in gold for no reason other than "it looks pretty." However, if you think about it, a cost-conscious civilization will never launch big spaceships in the first place; a military space race is a thing of prestige and power, not of money and penny-pinching, and the RealLife space race was started by the very not money-minded Soviet Union.
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While this This is probably going to be TruthInTelevision for military spacecraft in the near-future (with the earliest favoring the tinkertoy/habitrail/industrial plumbing aesthetic of the International Space Station, Station), just because of the limits of our launching methods-- methods -- cylindrical rocket sections bolted together in space), eventually space. Eventually, though, it may become a [[{{Zeerust}} relic of the near-present]] as space-based construction becomes easier. In space, there is no gravity or air resistance to design around, and due to the distances involved [[StealthInSpace and other factors]] visual camouflage probably won't be much use either. Historically, armies put quite a bit of thought into looking good and only stopped when it became necessary to do so; so (the British Army switching to khaki uniforms after the Boer Wars, for example); given the chance, it's likely that [[BlingOfWar looking grand]] will be back on the agenda. The [[AwesomeButImpractical engineers will probably hate it]], but [[ExecutiveMeddling then again, they probably won't be controlling things]]. On the other hand, in this modern, cost-conscious world, the accountants might have a thing or two to say about [[http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/gothic-space-bilge.php wasting money on decor]]...to say nothing of what happens when news gets back to the [[TheFederation Federation Parliament]]...will the voters ever have a ''fit'' when they hear about the gobs of cash being spent to paint their ships in gold for no reason other than "it looks pretty." However, if you think about it, a cost-conscious civilization will never launch big spaceships in the first place; a military space race is a thing of prestige and power, not of money and penny-pinching, and the RealLife space race was started by the very not money-minded Soviet Union.
28th Nov '12 7:02:11 AM woodwardiocom
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** In the original series, the interior of the ''Enterprise'' averts (or even inverts) this trope when it comes to color. Though the walls were mostly gray, they were often lit with ''incredibly'' garish shades of green or purple! (Color TVs were a new thing back then, you see...)
25th Nov '12 10:16:31 PM FordPrefect
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*** Its aliens like the Romulans and Klingons who have clunkier looking hulls, and the [[HiveMind most clunky looking ship on the show]] was designed specifically to look ''in''human.
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*** Its aliens Aliens like the Romulans and Klingons who have clunkier looking hulls, and the [[HiveMind most clunky looking ship on the show]] show was designed specifically to make [[HiveMind the Borg]] look ''in''human.
25th Nov '12 10:07:56 PM FordPrefect
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fixing my botched edit
#{{Space Fighter}}s and other small craft will be [[OldSchoolDogfighting built around a cockpit and wings to look like airplanes]], bu
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#{{Space Fighter}}s and other small craft will be [[OldSchoolDogfighting built around a cockpit and wings to look like airplanes]], bubut may have some style. While this is probably going to be TruthInTelevision for military spacecraft in the near-future (with the earliest favoring the tinkertoy/habitrail/industrial plumbing aesthetic of the International Space Station, just because of the limits of our launching methods-- cylindrical rocket sections bolted together in space), eventually it may become a [[{{Zeerust}} relic of the near-present]] as space-based construction becomes easier. In space, there is no gravity or air resistance to design around, and due to the distances involved [[StealthInSpace and other factors]] visual camouflage probably won't be much use either. Historically, armies put quite a bit of thought into looking good and only stopped when it became necessary to do so; given the chance, it's likely that [[BlingOfWar looking grand]] will be back on the agenda. The [[AwesomeButImpractical engineers will probably hate it]], but [[ExecutiveMeddling then again, they probably won't be controlling things]]. On the other hand, in this modern, cost-conscious world, the accountants might have a thing or two to say about [[http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/gothic-space-bilge.php wasting money on decor]]...to say nothing of what happens when news gets back to the [[TheFederation Federation Parliament]]...will the voters ever have a ''fit'' when they hear about the gobs of cash being spent to paint their ships in gold for no reason other than "it looks pretty." However, if you think about it, a cost-conscious civilization will never launch big spaceships in the first place; a military space race is a thing of prestige and power, not of money and penny-pinching, and the RealLife space race was started by the very not money-minded Soviet Union. Existing spacecraft have so far had a mixed record: modern rockets and atmospheric landers tend to be white and aerodynamic, but blockier than sci-fi space fighters and only sometimes winged. Craft designed solely for vacuum are totally unaerodynamic, but extremely spidery and jumbled, covered in reflective foil (for heat management) and held together by networks of pipes and struts, looking much less solid than sci-fi capships. On the other hand, the products of the emerging private spaceflight industry often feature curvilinear quasi-retro stylings which bear a close resemblance to [[RetroRocket early sci-fi rockets]] of the zeerust school. Contrast the lines of the [=Scaled Composites SpaceShip=] series with those of the Soyuz capsules, or even with the Space Shuttle. (Mind you, the [=SpaceShip=] series are just pop-up suborbitals, and reentry from Mach 3 ([=SpaceShipOne=]) or 4 ([=SpaceShipTwo=]) is between 40 and 70 times less energetic (and thus easier) than reentry from orbital velocity. [=SpaceX=]'s [[http://www.spacex.com/dragon.php Dragon]] is orbital, and quite chunky-looking. On the other hand, an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-stage-to-orbit SSTO]] usually has enough empty space inside to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballistic_coefficient#Satellites_and_reentry_vehicles greatly ease the pain of reentry]], and while you can still get [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_DC-X fairly]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VentureStar blunt]] designs, you can also get [[http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/space_skylon.html this]]...) Also, some of these designs actually make some sense. For example, after the first two missions {{NASA}} decided to leave the external tank of the Space Shuttle un-painted because of the extra weight that pretty white veneer added (to give you an idea, the paint on a 747 jetliner weighs hundreds of pounds), not to mention the fact that it all burned up when it fell into the atmosphere anyway. For deep probes our designs are pretty non-blocky only because they are not meant for any kind of combat. Wings may be used on craft [[SpacePlane intended to work in atmosphere as well]] (like [[Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined BSGs]] Vipers), even though it wouldn't probably be very practical to make a dual-purpose craft like that given the hugely different conditions, especially when considering the different atmospheres and gravities of alien worlds. Unpainted metal or reflective exteriors may also be justified if the ship is intended to fly near stars: this would reflect the light assist the ship in [[SpaceIsCold staying cool,]] similar to the way that skyscrapers in the southern USA and other hot places tend to be designed with reflective glass exteriors. Note that fictional vessels tend to use enormous amounts of energy yet typically lack [[http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/rocket3au.html thermal radiators]] to shed waste heat (no air-cooling in space). Although that ''could'' explain all the so-called wings... Space wings are also often used in fiction as places to put extra weapons (like [[MacrossMissileMassacre missiles]]), and to store things (extra electronic equipment or fuel) inside them, although putting those things on or in the main hull makes more sense for a nonatmospheric SpaceFighter, as spreading out the ship's mass makes little sense for a vessel designed to maneuver in vacuum in three dimensions-- better to keep it compact, to conserve angular momentum. You ''can'' increase maneuverability by putting thrusters on the tips of them a la ''BabylonFive'' Starfuries, using the wing as essentially a big lever to rotate the ship faster, but a simple pole (especially a retractable one) would do the same job just as well and with greater shear strength (again, compactness helps here), making it less likely to bend or break off during high-thrust maneuvers whose direction is perpendicular to the broad planar surface of the wing. Internal gyroscopic flywheeels could do the same thing ''and'' be less visibly obvious tells to the enemy (no signal lights before a turn). Only SpaceFighter craft [[SpacePlane designed to go both ways]] (atmosphere and deep space) actually need wings-- and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifting_body some real airplanes don't even need them]]. See also StandardSciFiFleet ----- !!Examples: [[AC:Anime and Manga]] * ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross''[=/=]''Anime/{{Robotech}}''; Except for the ''Macross'' itself (which was, of course, alien in origin), most human vessels are pretty close to this. It should be noted that the ''Macross'' was in fact redesigned closer to those lines. Later subverted with the later Macross-class ships which were more angular, and ''Robotech's'' SDF-3, which was originally designed/disguised with Zentraedi-like lines, but by the end of the Third Robotech War had the same ''Mospeada''-style design. * While all the different factions are usually human in ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'', the ships used by most incarnations of TheFederation tend to be more boxy and utilitarian looking, [[SpaceIsAnOcean generally designed to resemble naval battleships]] and come in shades of grey, olive or white, while the the various space colony factions tend to use more exotic, organic looking designs. * ''Anime/BlueCometSPTLayzner'' is notable for the fact that the ''aliens'' have ships that look like this ([[TransplantedHumans though they may be descended from an ancient human civilization]]). * In ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' the starships of the [[UnitedSpaceOfAmerica Free Planets Alliance]] are decidedly utilitarian and bulky in appearance, with their interiors reminiscent of modern-day aircraft carriers and battleships. This of course is in contrast to TheEmpire's decidedly sleeker, more streamlined vessels. [[AC:{{Film}}]] * Originally, the ''Discovery'' in ''[[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey 2001: A Space Odyssey]]'' was going to have large heat radiators to dissipate the heat from the nuclear reactor ([[ShownTheirWork and indeed did in the novelization]]). However, Stanley Kubric decided he didn't want to have to [[RealityIsUnrealistic explain why a ship in space had what looked like wings]]. One of the very few instances in the movie they went with RuleOfCool over scientific accuracy. * ''Film/StarshipTroopers'' seems to follow this school of design. * ''Franchise/StarWars'' has spacecraft starting off as an ElegantWeaponForAMoreCivilizedAge in the prequel trilogy, then evolving into the gray, straight-lined, utilitarian war machines of the original trilogy. Strangely, almost all the spacecraft in the SW universe, even thousands of years back, [[ContinuityPorn resemble in some way the ones from the original trilogy]]. * The mile-long ''[=ISV=] Venture Star'' from ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' is designed to be realistic from a presently envisaged engineering standpoint, as a pure starship, never intended to enter an atmosphere. It's optimized for minimal mass, and thus has a wiry hollow look focused around the pair of giant front-mounted antimatter annihilation engines, with huge radiator panels glowing visibly to dissipate the engines' heat produced, and massive spherical fuel tanks carrying fuel and reaction mass for the relativistic ship. The relatively tiny habitation and cargo modules, pair of ''Valkyrie'' shuttles and even tinier artificial-gravity crew compartments are all dragged along behind. The Valkyries themselves are [=SSTO=]s, designed for atmospheric flight, and are thus fairly sleek winged designs. * Deliberately averted, avoided, hell, run away from in Darren Aronofsky's ''Film/TheFountain'', where the Astronaut's spaceship --carrying only him and the Tree of Life within it-- is a huge transparent bubble that moves easily across space in its long, long journey from Earth to the star Xibalba. WordOfGod says that they chose this simple, but appealing design because not all spaceships have to look like “trucks in space.” [[AC:{{Literature}}]] * Lampshaded in AnneMcCaffrey's ''Literature/AcornaSeries'', where the Linyaari are openly baffled as to why human spaceships only come in one color. Slightly subverted in that Linyaari ships are, to human eyes, painted in loud and garish colors. * In DavidWeber's ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series it's mentioned that all of the major powers use reactive pigments to give their ships a primary color to distinguish them in visual inspections, but it's also noted how easy it is to change the paint-scheme. ** As for the shapes, given the physics of the universe, they tend towards a generally cylindrical design, with all warships having “hammerheads” on both ends to allow room for chase armament ([[SpaceIsAnOcean similar to those on old-fashioned sailing warships]]). * Subverted in DavidDrake's ''Reaches'' trilogy, where the main characters' ships have ceramic hulls to resist the corrosive atmosphere of their native Venus. Every other spacefaring culture uses metal hulls, and it's noted that when the stresses of [[SubspaceOrHyperspace Transit]] become too great, a ceramic ship falls apart all at once, with a total loss of life (one ship is seen to have come out of Transit looking like a cloud of gravel), while a metal ship's hull might hold together long enough for some of the crew to be rescued. Also, ''everybody's'' hulls tend to be rounded, usually more-or-less cigar-shaped, although they fly or land with the long axis parallel to the ground, unlike “rocketships.” [[AC:LiveActionTV]] * ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' * ''Series/BabylonFive'' : Humorously lampshaded in “Legend of the Rangers” with the human design of the [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Valen_(ship) Valen]] looking like “a flying brick.” ([[FlyingBrick No relation]].) The later [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Valen_class_cruiser Valen]] class was made by the Minbari, further reinforcing the trope. -->'''Ranger Dulann''': ''If human military designers had their way every colour of the spectrum would be removed except for grey, green and black and we would all live in windowless boxes.'' ** Averted with ''Series/{{Crusade}}'''s [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Excalibur Excalibur]], although it must be said it was a joint human/Minbari project. *** You can see both design philosophies incorporated in it. You have the Minbari traditional triple-fin hull structure, but it's also dark grey similar to the ''Omega''-class destroyers. Interestingly, the human ''Hyperion''-class heavy cruisers are brightly-colored with white and blue. However, those (as mentioned in the fluff) were designed by a different military contractor than the ''Nova''e and the ''Omega''s. * ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' mostly averts this trope, with the majority of ships seen having either a large cylindrical design or a smaller, more agile (but still not blocky) design, such as with Serenity herself. However, the ships do tend to have very metallic appearances, and several of the ships briefly shown do fit the trope better than the larger Alliance vessels and Serenity. * The Series/RedDwarf is painted red, but that only serves to make it look ''more'' like a giant, flying brick. ** It was also stated at one point to be about 5 miles long and 3 miles wide - or 6 miles long, 4 miles wide and 3 miles high when reconstructed - and clearly had a roughly hexagonal cross-section. And apparently a crew of only 169 (or [[{{Retcon}} 1,169]]) - [[{{Retcon}} or possibly 11,169]], though granted it currently functions with a crew of ''four'' not counting [[SapientShip Holly]] or the Scutters. * Generally followed to a T in ''{{Space 1999}}'', with the show's signature Eagles being entirely utilitarian shuttles designed to function in the absence of an atmosphere, in lunar gravity. They were mostly grey, although some had orange details. The alien spaceships, on the other hand, were often brightly-coloured, in the style of contemporary sci-fi artists such as Chris Foss and Peter Elson. * ''{{Stargate}}'' : The [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/stargate/images/c/c0/F302.jpg F-302]] is essentially a forward-swept flying wing with jet and rocket engines. The [[http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/stargate/images/2/2a/X-303.jpg X-303 class battlecruiser Prometheus]] and the [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/stargate/images/3/3e/ApolloOverEarth.jpg BC-304 class deep-space carriers]] however, being built out of a naquadah/trinium alloy, fit this trope perfectly. ** The sublight [[http://images.wikia.com/stargate/images/d/d0/Novus_spaceship.jpg evacuation ships]] built by the Novus civilization (descended from alternate ''Destiny'' crew thrown back in time) also fit the trope. * The rectangular aspect is averted in ''Franchise/StarTrek'', but they're definitely grey metal plates. ** Indeed, one of the technical manuals explicitly noted that aside from the hull markings, the tonnes of paint that normally go on ships was left off around the Constitution-class refits of the movies. If memory serves, they started thinking it looks neater that way too. And apparently Starfleet started retracting its normal way of avoiding bricks--see the ''Defiant''. ** ST ships also tend to have smoother outlines in the later series because [[SpaceIsAnOcean warp fields act like hydrodynamics]]. The Galaxy class is the last class to have a highly distinct saucer and engineering section - later designs such as the Intrepid (Voyager), Sovereign (Enterprise-E) and Prometheus class have much more flowing lines where the join between the two sections is much less obvious, although most are still capable of separation, the Intrepid class being the only proven exception. ** Actually, it seems worth noting that humans are pretty much the only guys we ever see on ''Star Trek'' traveling in [[FlyingSaucer Flying Saucers]]. Many of the Starfleet ships involve some sort of saucer shape (usually, but not always, connected to a larger non-saucer shaped hull, with warp nacelles). *** Its aliens like the Romulans and Klingons who have clunkier looking hulls, and the [[HiveMind most clunky looking ship on the show]] was designed specifically to look ''in''human. **** Not really Klingon designs so much, which tend to have a relatively sweeping design, with the various Bird of Prey designs' wings and neck, and the [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/File:Vorcha_class.jpg Vor'cha]] and [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/File:IKS_Negh%27Var.jpg Negh'var]] classes. *** Originally, Roddenberry wanted them to be able to separate their saucers, like the ''Next Gen'' Enterprise eventually did. The saucers were there mostly because Roddenberry was a huge fan of ''ForbiddenPlanet''. [[AC: TabletopGames]] * ''{{Battletech}}'' has mostly rounded ships, but otherwise adheres. ** One model of DropShip in particular, the Leopard, was even called “the Brick” in the canon itself. Its slab-sided appearance, coupled with a small bridge, stubby wings and massive engines on what amounts to a nigh-rectangular chunk of steel means it falls squarely within this trope. * ''d20 Future'' (ScienceFiction expansion to ''D20Modern'') generally presents this as the “default” look for spaceships. * ''{{Traveller}}'': There is no standard for traveller; it depends on function and aesthetic taste and there are myriads of possible ship designs(indeed some traveller fans mainly like designing ships). Ships made to actually land on and take off from a planet generally have a "needle/wedge" design which looks something like a space shuttle. However this requires sacrifice in payload and the heaviest ships are generally serviced in orbit. ** The Lightning-class ships a multipurpose merchant/scout/privateer built by the Terrans for viking like voyages into Vilani space is a handsome ship that looks like a long wedge with short stubby wings. ** One cool (but not unlikely in RealLife) gimmick on Traveller ships is a programmable surface that can be used to display a giant "screen-saver". These are available both inside and outside. Want your ship to have a different "paint job"? Just change the (enormous) image file. Another gimmick is the Shipboard Information System, which is sort of the ship's internet. This means that one can picture much of the dialogue of a given Traveller story taking place online from [=PCs=] and [=NPCs=] all over the ship, each talking into "thin air" in whatever room they happen to be, which can make for an interesting plot device and one not yet familiar to SpaceOpera . * In [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Battle Fleet Gothic]], the trope is inverted in that the ships of the Tau fit this trope. The Tau have "only just" started traveling between worlds, compared to other races, so their ships have that same early utilitarian feel that a lot of current space vehicles and those from [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture 20 minutes into the future]] have. Human ships, on the other hand, are space cathedrals. ** And due to unpopularity with the fans, the new Tau fleet follows a more graceful, anime-inspired design. ** SpaceMarine ships, on the other hand, fall somewhere in between. While they have elements of the regular Imperial design, they use more hard angles and less detailing. Also, while colour scheme varies by chapter, many of the promotional shots of the models are indeed rendered in mostly grey. * Played very straight in ''Firestorm Armada'' the human faction the [[TheAlliance Terran Alliance]], their ships are usually flat, and shaped in squares, and triangles, with most of their color being blue and grey. [[AC:VideoGames]] * ''DarkstarOne'' * Caldari ships in ''EveOnline'' are like this: Gunmetal gray, blinking signal lights and angular shapes. Conversely, the Minmatar designs are even more utilitarian, containing only the bare minimum, welded together in a junkyard shop and come in various shades of rust-brown and red. However, some of the more modern Minmatar ships such as capital ships and the Maelstrom have a more 'finished' look, with complete, symmetrical hulls, although still mostly falling within the category. Some of the Minmatar ships also have large 'sails' that look somewhat like modern satellites' solar panels. ** However, Gallente ships tend to have curvy organic-looking surfaces and Amarr ships are bright golden in colour and possibly most resemble the 'rocket ship' design in a few cases. ** {{Justified|Trope}} because each race's ships reflect their standardized personality. -->Caldari: Corporate, efficient, with emphasis on shields and electronics. Designs keep out the unnecessary. -->Amarr: 1[[superscript:st]] back into space. Large powerful empire. Golden to reflect the wealth and impress the natives. -->Gallente: Freedom loving more artistic, this more flowing and free designs in ships. -->Minmatar: Freed slaves. So all “older” ship designs should look like junk heaps as that's all they had to work with -->Thus cap' ships look more finished because they actually have an empire to support a cap' fleet. * Pretty much averted in the first ''EscapeVelocity'', which (in part due to the simple models) had ships with aerodynamic, rather anime-like shapes. Later games (especially Terrans and Voinians in ''Override'', Federation and Aurorans in ''Nova'') conformed more and more closely to this. * ''{{Freespace}}'' does this with all Terran ships (and with the [[http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/images/Gtvacolossus.jpg Colossus]], which was a combination Terran and Vasudan ship). For the [[http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v423/kc1991/VasCruis2.png Vasudan]] and [[http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/images/Sjsathanas.jpg Shivan]] ships, tendencies are to have more curved and smooth designs instead of blocky ones--the ships still tend to be paint free, but colored differently to give them a more alien look. * ''{{Halo}}'', the UNSC ships are boxy in shape, in contrast to the curvy purple flowing aesthetics of the Covenant. Acts as a visual reference for both how far advanced the Covenant ships are compared to the clumsy human vessels, as well as their ScaryDogmaticAliens status verus the practical human military. * ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}'' with the exception of the ([[spoiler:Kushan]]) Mothership and the Kadeshi vessels. * ''InfiniteSpace'': mostly averted, especially in Adis, where the ships are both extremely funky-looking and pink, but it does happen: the Freedom and Nebula in particular are both grey, flying bricks. * ''MassEffect'' averts this: the ''Normandy'' SR-1 and SR-2, the main ships in the series so far, are non-conventionally shaped, though vaguely reminiscent of rocket ship designs, and always brightly painted white. This is sort of justified, however, by the fact that visual recognition in space is almost impossible, so it doesn't really matter what color the ship is painted. Other ships featured in the series tend to follow the same philosophy, and the ''Destiny's Ascension'' is essentially a [[http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20091227112424/masseffect/images/e/e8/DestinyAscensionFlyby.png big flying cross]] [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090207040549/masseffect/images/2/2b/MassEffect_2008-08-13_12-37-43-71.png with an oval cut out of the middle.]] ** Other races' ships are shown and generally avoid this trope. Even the Quarians, who claim to salvage any ship they come upon appear to have the exact same design (a cross between the Euro symbol and the letter Q) in the third game's cutscenes, except for their massive spherical liveships. The [[AIIsACrapshoot geth]] ships, for some reason, have an insectoid look, despite most geth platforms being humanoid in shape. Turians have ship designs similar to humans, although they prefer grey to human white-and-blue. * ''SinsOfASolarEmpire'': Played straight with the TEC, who modifed their ships from cargo and civilian vessels, but averted with the Advent(who are also humans, just psychic ones with a different culture). Advent ships are sleek, [[ShinyLookingSpaceships shiny]], and definitely non-utilitarian in appearance. * Terrans of ''{{Starcraft}}'' operate these kinds of spaceships and put very little effort, if any, into making them look pretty. This is in stark contrast to the whimsical [[CrystalSpiresAndTogas Protoss]] designs which seem to feature no straight lines or right angles whatsoever, and to the Zerg OrganicTechnology. * ''SwordOfTheStars'' plays this straight. Human ships are oblong and consists of blocks riveted to a central frame and are the most utilitarian-looking of all the species: The only off part is the very noticeable ring structure around the engines (it's their faster-than-light drive). Because of this engine, human ships also have poor turret coverage on the back and tend towards front-heavy ships with forward-and-side firing arcs. While paint schemes for different sides makes some of the colour variable, the default ship colour for humans tends towards the grey with some red and green mixed in (by contrast, Tarka's ships are mostly bright red and deep green, the Hivers use beige, the Liir use turquoise, the Zuul blood red and the Morrigi deep purple). ** Interestingly, the Zuul, while avoiding this trope, also avoid the ShinyLookingSpaceships look. Their ships consist of haphazardly-welded parts of ships they find in floating battlefield graveyards. * In the ''VideoGame/WingCommander'' games, the human ships have varied between the utilitarian, blocky gray designs of ''VideoGame/WingCommander III'' and onwards, and more curvy designs of the earlier games. (''Wing Commander [=III=]'' and ''[=IV=]'' used a primitive polygon GameEngine, as opposed to the first two installments' bitmap sprite graphics.) In all the games featuring the [[MegaNeko Kilrathi]], most of the designs have a base tan color with various “warm” colors used for markings, but [[AllInTheManual the manual notes that the color is the color of the metals used for their armor]]. * In the ''VideoGame/{{X}}-Universe'' games, the [[HumansByAnyOtherName Argon]], [[PlanetTerra Terran]], and [[ProudMerchantRace Teladi]] ships all follow this. The Argon capital ships are flying gray boxes with red stripes while their fighters are ''Star Wars''-esque. The Terran capital ships are flying (blindly) white boxes with red and blue highlights while their fighters are futuristic Space Shuttles. Teladi capital ships are [[http://i.imgur.com/SOsO2.jpg flying off-gray boxes]] with protruding fuel tanks, engines, power lines, and greebles likened to "Flying junkyards", while their fighter designs resemble Star Wars mixed with a 1930s movie. ** In particular the Terran '[[EliteArmy AGI Task Force]]' or ATF seem to have taken this trope to heart with the Tyr Destroyer, and Odin Carrier, both gunmetal grey boxes with engines. * ''{{X-COM}} Interceptor'' tends to avert this, with the human ships actually using functional, forward-swept-wing designs, or in the case of the second-tier ship, rounded wings. All ships are also painted, and in the case of the X-1A tier one ship, even whimsical, with shark teeth painted on the nose. ** The carrier ''[=MacArthur=]'', which you have to protect during the final 2-part mission partly plays this trope straight. * ''TachyonTheFringe'' has this for the [[LaResistance Bora]], whose warships are hastily-converted cargo haulers and mining ships. Some of the designs aren't so functional, though, like the ''Battleaxe''-class fighters, which prominently feature a sharpened ''blade'' on the top. Mostly averted with other ships, although freighters still have an elongated, blocky look. [[MegaCorp GalSpan]], notably, has sleek-looking ships with wings (fighters) and the blue-and-white color scheme. * The Terrans in ''GalacticCivilizations'' by default have a ship aesthetic midway between ''Franchise/StarTrek'' and ''Series/BabylonFive'', with mainly rectangular shapes and stuff taken from this trope's catalogue with bluntly triangular wings, chunky radar dishes, large and blocky externals. Unless you reset the colour scheme, Terran vehicles come painted white and blue. When [[DesignItYourselfEquipment building your own]], you can use far weirder-looking alien components to make them less blocky. * ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} III'', true to its fame of having everything dead realistic, lets you build an UN Unity spaceship that more or less looks like an extremely huge rocket. This has a practical reason though: the Unity requires an aerodynamic shape in order to cut through the Earth's atmosphere. ** ''SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'', the SpiritualSequel to ''Civilization'', has the ''Unity'', Earth's first and only starship. It has your typical grey color scheme, rotating sections, massive engines in the rear, cooling panels around the engine compartment, and cryo-pods (which are also designed as autonomous landing craft). The ship is clearly not meant to land. It's sole goal is to cross the vast interstellar distance between the Sun and Alpha Centauri. [[http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg708/scaled.php?server=708&filename=earth1.jpg&res=landing Compare]] with the much sleeker-looking Progenitor scoutships shown in the ''Alien Crossfire'' addon intro. * ''VideoGame/BattlestarGalacticaOnline'' plays with this. Colonials have some blocky designs like the Jotunn or Gungnir, and the former is even greyish. However, there are also Colonial designs that don't conform; the Rhino is more or less a rotorless helicopter gunship, the Scythe has a giant ventral fin/leg, the Glaive and Halberd have diamond-shaped bodies with the latter being brownish and having fins, even the Gungnir subverts the trope by being magenta. Cylons, on the other hand, tend to use more sleek lines and curves. However, they also have some blocky dull designs like the Wraith and Jormung. It is lampshaded with the Wraith, which is a MightyGlacier described InUniverse as resembling human design principles. [[AC:{{Webcomics}}]] * Averted in ''QuentynQuinnSpaceRanger.'' Despite having forcefields, integrity fields, antigravity, and all the usual phlebotinum props of space opera, Quinn's ship the Thunderbird is deliberately designed to be a [[http://www.rhjunior.com/QQSR/00003.html sleek, airfoil wing]] in order to facilitate both atmospheric flight and glider-style emergency landings. Of course Quinn is hinted to be something of a traditionalist in this regard, still insisting on mechanical landing gear on his vessel rather than relying on repulsor beams. * In ''{{Vexxarr}}'' hu-mon ships are a lot greyer and blockier than the Bleen ships they reverse-engineered the technology from. [[http://www.vexxarr.com/archive.php?seldate=090508 lot bigger too]]. [[AC:WesternAnimation]] * Noticeable in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' where military spaceships are indeed mostly gray-white, but ''civilian'' ones come in all colors, the one used by the main characters being lime green and basically a short, fat version of a {{Zeerust}} RetroRocket (possibly justified in that the rocket shape is seen as a styling ideal but one that has been heavily compromised to maximize cargo space on a delivery vehicle). ----
25th Nov '12 10:06:36 PM FordPrefect
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#While not required, visibly being constructed from riveted metal plates is encouraged, as is [[Franchise/StarTrek Borg cube]]-like details called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeble greebles or nurnies]].
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#While not required, visibly being constructed from riveted metal plates is encouraged, as is are [[Franchise/StarTrek Borg cube]]-like details called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greeble greebles or nurnies]].
25th Nov '12 9:58:26 PM FordPrefect
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The first design, the RetroRocket (often referred to as a “rocketship” and now a mostly DiscreditedTrope due to {{Zeerust}}) is (or was) a cigar-shaped needle with three or so large fins on the base. These are often either brightly coloured or chromed to make a ShinyLookingSpaceships. This initial design is now usually found in parodies or homages to classic sci-fi.
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The first design, the RetroRocket (often referred to as a “rocketship” and now a mostly DiscreditedTrope due to {{Zeerust}}) {{Zeerust}}), is (or was) a cigar-shaped needle with three or so large fins on the base. These are often either brightly coloured or chromed to make a ShinyLookingSpaceships. This initial design is now usually found in parodies or homages to classic sci-fi.

#{{Space Fighter}}s and other small craft will be [[OldSchoolDogfighting built around a cockpit and wings to look like airplanes]], but may have some style. While this is probably going to be TruthInTelevision for military spacecraft in the near-future (with the earliest favoring the tinkertoy/habitrail/industrial plumbing aesthetic of the International Space Station, just because of the limits of our launching methods-- cylindrical rocket sections bolted together in space), eventually it may become a [[{{Zeerust}} relic of the near-present]] as space-based construction becomes easier. In space, there is no gravity or air resistance to design around, and due to the distances involved [[StealthInSpace and other factors]] visual camouflage probably won't be much use either. Historically, armies put quite a bit of thought into looking good and only stopped when it became necessary to do so; given the chance, it's likely that [[BlingOfWar looking grand]] will be back on the agenda. The [[AwesomeButImpractical engineers will probably hate it]], but [[ExecutiveMeddling then again, they probably won't be controlling things]]. On the other hand, in this modern, cost-conscious world, the accountants might have a thing or two to say about [[http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/gothic-space-bilge.php wasting money on decor]]...to say nothing of what happens when news gets back to the [[TheFederation Federation Parliament]]...will the voters ever have a ''fit'' when they hear about the gobs of cash being spent to paint their ships in gold for no reason other than "it looks pretty." However, if you think about it, a cost-conscious civilization will never launch big spaceships in the first place; a military space race is a thing of prestige and power, not of money and penny-pinching, and the RealLife space race was started by the very not money-minded Soviet Union. Existing spacecraft have so far had a mixed record: modern rockets and atmospheric landers tend to be white and aerodynamic, but blockier than sci-fi space fighters and only sometimes winged. Craft designed solely for vacuum are totally unaerodynamic, but extremely spidery and jumbled, covered in reflective foil (for heat management) and held together by networks of pipes and struts, looking much less solid than sci-fi capships. On the other hand, the products of the emerging private spaceflight industry often feature curvilinear quasi-retro stylings which bear a close resemblance to [[RetroRocket early sci-fi rockets]] of the zeerust school. Contrast the lines of the [=Scaled Composites SpaceShip=] series with those of the Soyuz capsules, or even with the Space Shuttle. (Mind you, the [=SpaceShip=] series are just pop-up suborbitals, and reentry from Mach 3 ([=SpaceShipOne=]) or 4 ([=SpaceShipTwo=]) is between 40 and 70 times less energetic (and thus easier) than reentry from orbital velocity. [=SpaceX=]'s [[http://www.spacex.com/dragon.php Dragon]] is orbital, and quite chunky-looking. On the other hand, an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-stage-to-orbit SSTO]] usually has enough empty space inside to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballistic_coefficient#Satellites_and_reentry_vehicles greatly ease the pain of reentry]], and while you can still get [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_DC-X fairly]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VentureStar blunt]] designs, you can also get [[http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/space_skylon.html this]]...) Also, some of these designs actually make some sense. For example, after the first two missions {{NASA}} decided to leave the external tank of the Space Shuttle un-painted because of the extra weight that pretty white veneer added (to give you an idea, the paint on a 747 jetliner weighs hundreds of pounds), not to mention the fact that it all burned up when it fell into the atmosphere anyway. For deep probes our designs are pretty non-blocky only because they are not meant for any kind of combat. Wings may be used on craft [[SpacePlane intended to work in atmosphere as well]] (like [[Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined BSGs]] Vipers), even though it wouldn't probably be very practical to make a dual-purpose craft like that given the hugely different conditions, especially when considering the different atmospheres and gravities of alien worlds. Unpainted metal or reflective exteriors may also be justified if the ship is intended to fly near stars: this would reflect the light assist the ship in [[SpaceIsCold staying cool,]] similar to the way that skyscrapers in the southern USA and other hot places tend to be designed with reflective glass exteriors. Note that fictional vessels tend to use enormous amounts of energy yet typically lack [[http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/rocket3au.html thermal radiators]] to shed waste heat (no air-cooling in space). Although that ''could'' explain all the so-called wings... Space wings are also often used in fiction as places to put extra weapons (like [[MacrossMissileMassacre missiles]]), and to store things (extra electronic equipment or fuel) inside them, although putting those things on or in the main hull makes more sense for a nonatmospheric SpaceFighter, as spreading out the ship's mass makes little sense for a vessel designed to maneuver in vacuum in three dimensions-- better to keep it compact, to conserve angular momentum. You ''can'' increase maneuverability by putting thrusters on the tips of them a la ''BabylonFive'' Starfuries, using the wing as essentially a big lever to rotate the ship faster, but a simple pole (especially a retractable one) would do the same job just as well and with greater shear strength (again, compactness helps here), making it less likely to bend or break off during high-thrust maneuvers whose direction is perpendicular to the broad planar surface of the wing. Internal gyroscopic flywheeels could do the same thing ''and'' be less visibly obvious tells to the enemy (no signal lights before a turn). Only SpaceFighter craft [[SpacePlane designed to go both ways]] (atmosphere and deep space) actually need wings-- and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifting_body some real airplanes don't even need them]]. See also StandardSciFiFleet ----- !!Examples: [[AC:Anime and Manga]] * ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross''[=/=]''Anime/{{Robotech}}''; Except for the ''Macross'' itself (which was, of course, alien in origin), most human vessels are pretty close to this. It should be noted that the ''Macross'' was in fact redesigned closer to those lines. Later subverted with the later Macross-class ships which were more angular, and ''Robotech's'' SDF-3, which was originally designed/disguised with Zentraedi-like lines, but by the end of the Third Robotech War had the same ''Mospeada''-style design. * While all the different factions are usually human in ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'', the ships used by most incarnations of TheFederation tend to be more boxy and utilitarian looking, [[SpaceIsAnOcean generally designed to resemble naval battleships]] and come in shades of grey, olive or white, while the the various space colony factions tend to use more exotic, organic looking designs. * ''Anime/BlueCometSPTLayzner'' is notable for the fact that the ''aliens'' have ships that look like this ([[TransplantedHumans though they may be descended from an ancient human civilization]]). * In ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' the starships of the [[UnitedSpaceOfAmerica Free Planets Alliance]] are decidedly utilitarian and bulky in appearance, with their interiors reminiscent of modern-day aircraft carriers and battleships. This of course is in contrast to TheEmpire's decidedly sleeker, more streamlined vessels. [[AC:{{Film}}]] * Originally, the ''Discovery'' in ''[[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey 2001: A Space Odyssey]]'' was going to have large heat radiators to dissipate the heat from the nuclear reactor ([[ShownTheirWork and indeed did in the novelization]]). However, Stanley Kubric decided he didn't want to have to [[RealityIsUnrealistic explain why a ship in space had what looked like wings]]. One of the very few instances in the movie they went with RuleOfCool over scientific accuracy. * ''Film/StarshipTroopers'' seems to follow this school of design. * ''Franchise/StarWars'' has spacecraft starting off as an ElegantWeaponForAMoreCivilizedAge in the prequel trilogy, then evolving into the gray, straight-lined, utilitarian war machines of the original trilogy. Strangely, almost all the spacecraft in the SW universe, even thousands of years back, [[ContinuityPorn resemble in some way the ones from the original trilogy]]. * The mile-long ''[=ISV=] Venture Star'' from ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' is designed to be realistic from a presently envisaged engineering standpoint, as a pure starship, never intended to enter an atmosphere. It's optimized for minimal mass, and thus has a wiry hollow look focused around the pair of giant front-mounted antimatter annihilation engines, with huge radiator panels glowing visibly to dissipate the engines' heat produced, and massive spherical fuel tanks carrying fuel and reaction mass for the relativistic ship. The relatively tiny habitation and cargo modules, pair of ''Valkyrie'' shuttles and even tinier artificial-gravity crew compartments are all dragged along behind. The Valkyries themselves are [=SSTO=]s, designed for atmospheric flight, and are thus fairly sleek winged designs. * Deliberately averted, avoided, hell, run away from in Darren Aronofsky's ''Film/TheFountain'', where the Astronaut's spaceship --carrying only him and the Tree of Life within it-- is a huge transparent bubble that moves easily across space in its long, long journey from Earth to the star Xibalba. WordOfGod says that they chose this simple, but appealing design because not all spaceships have to look like “trucks in space.” [[AC:{{Literature}}]] * Lampshaded in AnneMcCaffrey's ''Literature/AcornaSeries'', where the Linyaari are openly baffled as to why human spaceships only come in one color. Slightly subverted in that Linyaari ships are, to human eyes, painted in loud and garish colors. * In DavidWeber's ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series it's mentioned that all of the major powers use reactive pigments to give their ships a primary color to distinguish them in visual inspections, but it's also noted how easy it is to change the paint-scheme. ** As for the shapes, given the physics of the universe, they tend towards a generally cylindrical design, with all warships having “hammerheads” on both ends to allow room for chase armament ([[SpaceIsAnOcean similar to those on old-fashioned sailing warships]]). * Subverted in DavidDrake's ''Reaches'' trilogy, where the main characters' ships have ceramic hulls to resist the corrosive atmosphere of their native Venus. Every other spacefaring culture uses metal hulls, and it's noted that when the stresses of [[SubspaceOrHyperspace Transit]] become too great, a ceramic ship falls apart all at once, with a total loss of life (one ship is seen to have come out of Transit looking like a cloud of gravel), while a metal ship's hull might hold together long enough for some of the crew to be rescued. Also, ''everybody's'' hulls tend to be rounded, usually more-or-less cigar-shaped, although they fly or land with the long axis parallel to the ground, unlike “rocketships.” [[AC:LiveActionTV]] * ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' * ''Series/BabylonFive'' : Humorously lampshaded in “Legend of the Rangers” with the human design of the [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Valen_(ship) Valen]] looking like “a flying brick.” ([[FlyingBrick No relation]].) The later [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Valen_class_cruiser Valen]] class was made by the Minbari, further reinforcing the trope. -->'''Ranger Dulann''': ''If human military designers had their way every colour of the spectrum would be removed except for grey, green and black and we would all live in windowless boxes.'' ** Averted with ''Series/{{Crusade}}'''s [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Excalibur Excalibur]], although it must be said it was a joint human/Minbari project. *** You can see both design philosophies incorporated in it. You have the Minbari traditional triple-fin hull structure, but it's also dark grey similar to the ''Omega''-class destroyers. Interestingly, the human ''Hyperion''-class heavy cruisers are brightly-colored with white and blue. However, those (as mentioned in the fluff) were designed by a different military contractor than the ''Nova''e and the ''Omega''s. * ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' mostly averts this trope, with the majority of ships seen having either a large cylindrical design or a smaller, more agile (but still not blocky) design, such as with Serenity herself. However, the ships do tend to have very metallic appearances, and several of the ships briefly shown do fit the trope better than the larger Alliance vessels and Serenity. * The Series/RedDwarf is painted red, but that only serves to make it look ''more'' like a giant, flying brick. ** It was also stated at one point to be about 5 miles long and 3 miles wide - or 6 miles long, 4 miles wide and 3 miles high when reconstructed - and clearly had a roughly hexagonal cross-section. And apparently a crew of only 169 (or [[{{Retcon}} 1,169]]) - [[{{Retcon}} or possibly 11,169]], though granted it currently functions with a crew of ''four'' not counting [[SapientShip Holly]] or the Scutters. * Generally followed to a T in ''{{Space 1999}}'', with the show's signature Eagles being entirely utilitarian shuttles designed to function in the absence of an atmosphere, in lunar gravity. They were mostly grey, although some had orange details. The alien spaceships, on the other hand, were often brightly-coloured, in the style of contemporary sci-fi artists such as Chris Foss and Peter Elson. * ''{{Stargate}}'' : The [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/stargate/images/c/c0/F302.jpg F-302]] is essentially a forward-swept flying wing with jet and rocket engines. The [[http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/stargate/images/2/2a/X-303.jpg X-303 class battlecruiser Prometheus]] and the [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/stargate/images/3/3e/ApolloOverEarth.jpg BC-304 class deep-space carriers]] however, being built out of a naquadah/trinium alloy, fit this trope perfectly. ** The sublight [[http://images.wikia.com/stargate/images/d/d0/Novus_spaceship.jpg evacuation ships]] built by the Novus civilization (descended from alternate ''Destiny'' crew thrown back in time) also fit the trope. * The rectangular aspect is averted in ''Franchise/StarTrek'', but they're definitely grey metal plates. ** Indeed, one of the technical manuals explicitly noted that aside from the hull markings, the tonnes of paint that normally go on ships was left off around the Constitution-class refits of the movies. If memory serves, they started thinking it looks neater that way too. And apparently Starfleet started retracting its normal way of avoiding bricks--see the ''Defiant''. ** ST ships also tend to have smoother outlines in the later series because [[SpaceIsAnOcean warp fields act like hydrodynamics]]. The Galaxy class is the last class to have a highly distinct saucer and engineering section - later designs such as the Intrepid (Voyager), Sovereign (Enterprise-E) and Prometheus class have much more flowing lines where the join between the two sections is much less obvious, although most are still capable of separation, the Intrepid class being the only proven exception. ** Actually, it seems worth noting that humans are pretty much the only guys we ever see on ''Star Trek'' traveling in [[FlyingSaucer Flying Saucers]]. Many of the Starfleet ships involve some sort of saucer shape (usually, but not always, connected to a larger non-saucer shaped hull, with warp nacelles). *** Its aliens like the Romulans and Klingons who have clunkier looking hulls, and the [[HiveMind most clunky looking ship on the show]] was designed specifically to look ''in''human. **** Not really Klingon designs so much, which tend to have a relatively sweeping design, with the various Bird of Prey designs' wings and neck, and the [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/File:Vorcha_class.jpg Vor'cha]] and [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/File:IKS_Negh%27Var.jpg Negh'var]] classes. *** Originally, Roddenberry wanted them to be able to separate their saucers, like the ''Next Gen'' Enterprise eventually did. The saucers were there mostly because Roddenberry was a huge fan of ''ForbiddenPlanet''. [[AC: TabletopGames]] * ''{{Battletech}}'' has mostly rounded ships, but otherwise adheres. ** One model of DropShip in particular, the Leopard, was even called “the Brick” in the canon itself. Its slab-sided appearance, coupled with a small bridge, stubby wings and massive engines on what amounts to a nigh-rectangular chunk of steel means it falls squarely within this trope. * ''d20 Future'' (ScienceFiction expansion to ''D20Modern'') generally presents this as the “default” look for spaceships. * ''{{Traveller}}'': There is no standard for traveller; it depends on function and aesthetic taste and there are myriads of possible ship designs(indeed some traveller fans mainly like designing ships). Ships made to actually land on and take off from a planet generally have a "needle/wedge" design which looks something like a space shuttle. However this requires sacrifice in payload and the heaviest ships are generally serviced in orbit. ** The Lightning-class ships a multipurpose merchant/scout/privateer built by the Terrans for viking like voyages into Vilani space is a handsome ship that looks like a long wedge with short stubby wings. ** One cool (but not unlikely in RealLife) gimmick on Traveller ships is a programmable surface that can be used to display a giant "screen-saver". These are available both inside and outside. Want your ship to have a different "paint job"? Just change the (enormous) image file. Another gimmick is the Shipboard Information System, which is sort of the ship's internet. This means that one can picture much of the dialogue of a given Traveller story taking place online from [=PCs=] and [=NPCs=] all over the ship, each talking into "thin air" in whatever room they happen to be, which can make for an interesting plot device and one not yet familiar to SpaceOpera . * In [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Battle Fleet Gothic]], the trope is inverted in that the ships of the Tau fit this trope. The Tau have "only just" started traveling between worlds, compared to other races, so their ships have that same early utilitarian feel that a lot of current space vehicles and those from [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture 20 minutes into the future]] have. Human ships, on the other hand, are space cathedrals. ** And due to unpopularity with the fans, the new Tau fleet follows a more graceful, anime-inspired design. ** SpaceMarine ships, on the other hand, fall somewhere in between. While they have elements of the regular Imperial design, they use more hard angles and less detailing. Also, while colour scheme varies by chapter, many of the promotional shots of the models are indeed rendered in mostly grey. * Played very straight in ''Firestorm Armada'' the human faction the [[TheAlliance Terran Alliance]], their ships are usually flat, and shaped in squares, and triangles, with most of their color being blue and grey. [[AC:VideoGames]] * ''DarkstarOne'' * Caldari ships in ''EveOnline'' are like this: Gunmetal gray, blinking signal lights and angular shapes. Conversely, the Minmatar designs are even more utilitarian, containing only the bare minimum, welded together in a junkyard shop and come in various shades of rust-brown and red. However, some of the more modern Minmatar ships such as capital ships and the Maelstrom have a more 'finished' look, with complete, symmetrical hulls, although still mostly falling within the category. Some of the Minmatar ships also have large 'sails' that look somewhat like modern satellites' solar panels. ** However, Gallente ships tend to have curvy organic-looking surfaces and Amarr ships are bright golden in colour and possibly most resemble the 'rocket ship' design in a few cases. ** {{Justified|Trope}} because each race's ships reflect their standardized personality. -->Caldari: Corporate, efficient, with emphasis on shields and electronics. Designs keep out the unnecessary. -->Amarr: 1[[superscript:st]] back into space. Large powerful empire. Golden to reflect the wealth and impress the natives. -->Gallente: Freedom loving more artistic, this more flowing and free designs in ships. -->Minmatar: Freed slaves. So all “older” ship designs should look like junk heaps as that's all they had to work with -->Thus cap' ships look more finished because they actually have an empire to support a cap' fleet. * Pretty much averted in the first ''EscapeVelocity'', which (in part due to the simple models) had ships with aerodynamic, rather anime-like shapes. Later games (especially Terrans and Voinians in ''Override'', Federation and Aurorans in ''Nova'') conformed more and more closely to this. * ''{{Freespace}}'' does this with all Terran ships (and with the [[http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/images/Gtvacolossus.jpg Colossus]], which was a combination Terran and Vasudan ship). For the [[http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v423/kc1991/VasCruis2.png Vasudan]] and [[http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/images/Sjsathanas.jpg Shivan]] ships, tendencies are to have more curved and smooth designs instead of blocky ones--the ships still tend to be paint free, but colored differently to give them a more alien look. * ''{{Halo}}'', the UNSC ships are boxy in shape, in contrast to the curvy purple flowing aesthetics of the Covenant. Acts as a visual reference for both how far advanced the Covenant ships are compared to the clumsy human vessels, as well as their ScaryDogmaticAliens status verus the practical human military. * ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}'' with the exception of the ([[spoiler:Kushan]]) Mothership and the Kadeshi vessels. * ''InfiniteSpace'': mostly averted, especially in Adis, where the ships are both extremely funky-looking and pink, but it does happen: the Freedom and Nebula in particular are both grey, flying bricks. * ''MassEffect'' averts this: the ''Normandy'' SR-1 and SR-2, the main ships in the series so far, are non-conventionally shaped, though vaguely reminiscent of rocket ship designs, and always brightly painted white. This is sort of justified, however, by the fact that visual recognition in space is almost impossible, so it doesn't really matter what color the ship is painted. Other ships featured in the series tend to follow the same philosophy, and the ''Destiny's Ascension'' is essentially a [[http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20091227112424/masseffect/images/e/e8/DestinyAscensionFlyby.png big flying cross]] [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090207040549/masseffect/images/2/2b/MassEffect_2008-08-13_12-37-43-71.png with an oval cut out of the middle.]] ** Other races' ships are shown and generally avoid this trope. Even the Quarians, who claim to salvage any ship they come upon appear to have the exact same design (a cross between the Euro symbol and the letter Q) in the third game's cutscenes, except for their massive spherical liveships. The [[AIIsACrapshoot geth]] ships, for some reason, have an insectoid look, despite most geth platforms being humanoid in shape. Turians have ship designs similar to humans, although they prefer grey to human white-and-blue. * ''SinsOfASolarEmpire'': Played straight with the TEC, who modifed their ships from cargo and civilian vessels, but averted with the Advent(who are also humans, just psychic ones with a different culture). Advent ships are sleek, [[ShinyLookingSpaceships shiny]], and definitely non-utilitarian in appearance. * Terrans of ''{{Starcraft}}'' operate these kinds of spaceships and put very little effort, if any, into making them look pretty. This is in stark contrast to the whimsical [[CrystalSpiresAndTogas Protoss]] designs which seem to feature no straight lines or right angles whatsoever, and to the Zerg OrganicTechnology. * ''SwordOfTheStars'' plays this straight. Human ships are oblong and consists of blocks riveted to a central frame and are the most utilitarian-looking of all the species: The only off part is the very noticeable ring structure around the engines (it's their faster-than-light drive). Because of this engine, human ships also have poor turret coverage on the back and tend towards front-heavy ships with forward-and-side firing arcs. While paint schemes for different sides makes some of the colour variable, the default ship colour for humans tends towards the grey with some red and green mixed in (by contrast, Tarka's ships are mostly bright red and deep green, the Hivers use beige, the Liir use turquoise, the Zuul blood red and the Morrigi deep purple). ** Interestingly, the Zuul, while avoiding this trope, also avoid the ShinyLookingSpaceships look. Their ships consist of haphazardly-welded parts of ships they find in floating battlefield graveyards. * In the ''VideoGame/WingCommander'' games, the human ships have varied between the utilitarian, blocky gray designs of ''VideoGame/WingCommander III'' and onwards, and more curvy designs of the earlier games. (''Wing Commander [=III=]'' and ''[=IV=]'' used a primitive polygon GameEngine, as opposed to the first two installments' bitmap sprite graphics.) In all the games featuring the [[MegaNeko Kilrathi]], most of the designs have a base tan color with various “warm” colors used for markings, but [[AllInTheManual the manual notes that the color is the color of the metals used for their armor]]. * In the ''VideoGame/{{X}}-Universe'' games, the [[HumansByAnyOtherName Argon]], [[PlanetTerra Terran]], and [[ProudMerchantRace Teladi]] ships all follow this. The Argon capital ships are flying gray boxes with red stripes while their fighters are ''Star Wars''-esque. The Terran capital ships are flying (blindly) white boxes with red and blue highlights while their fighters are futuristic Space Shuttles. Teladi capital ships are [[http://i.imgur.com/SOsO2.jpg flying off-gray boxes]] with protruding fuel tanks, engines, power lines, and greebles likened to "Flying junkyards", while their fighter designs resemble Star Wars mixed with a 1930s movie. ** In particular the Terran '[[EliteArmy AGI Task Force]]' or ATF seem to have taken this trope to heart with the Tyr Destroyer, and Odin Carrier, both gunmetal grey boxes with engines. * ''{{X-COM}} Interceptor'' tends to avert this, with the human ships actually using functional, forward-swept-wing designs, or in the case of the second-tier ship, rounded wings. All ships are also painted, and in the case of the X-1A tier one ship, even whimsical, with shark teeth painted on the nose. ** The carrier ''[=MacArthur=]'', which you have to protect during the final 2-part mission partly plays this trope straight. * ''TachyonTheFringe'' has this for the [[LaResistance Bora]], whose warships are hastily-converted cargo haulers and mining ships. Some of the designs aren't so functional, though, like the ''Battleaxe''-class fighters, which prominently feature a sharpened ''blade'' on the top. Mostly averted with other ships, although freighters still have an elongated, blocky look. [[MegaCorp GalSpan]], notably, has sleek-looking ships with wings (fighters) and the blue-and-white color scheme. * The Terrans in ''GalacticCivilizations'' by default have a ship aesthetic midway between ''Franchise/StarTrek'' and ''Series/BabylonFive'', with mainly rectangular shapes and stuff taken from this trope's catalogue with bluntly triangular wings, chunky radar dishes, large and blocky externals. Unless you reset the colour scheme, Terran vehicles come painted white and blue. When [[DesignItYourselfEquipment building your own]], you can use far weirder-looking alien components to make them less blocky. * ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} III'', true to its fame of having everything dead realistic, lets you build an UN Unity spaceship that more or less looks like an extremely huge rocket. This has a practical reason though: the Unity requires an aerodynamic shape in order to cut through the Earth's atmosphere. ** ''SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'', the SpiritualSequel to ''Civilization'', has the ''Unity'', Earth's first and only starship. It has your typical grey color scheme, rotating sections, massive engines in the rear, cooling panels around the engine compartment, and cryo-pods (which are also designed as autonomous landing craft). The ship is clearly not meant to land. It's sole goal is to cross the vast interstellar distance between the Sun and Alpha Centauri. [[http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg708/scaled.php?server=708&filename=earth1.jpg&res=landing Compare]] with the much sleeker-looking Progenitor scoutships shown in the ''Alien Crossfire'' addon intro. * ''VideoGame/BattlestarGalacticaOnline'' plays with this. Colonials have some blocky designs like the Jotunn or Gungnir, and the former is even greyish. However, there are also Colonial designs that don't conform; the Rhino is more or less a rotorless helicopter gunship, the Scythe has a giant ventral fin/leg, the Glaive and Halberd have diamond-shaped bodies with the latter being brownish and having fins, even the Gungnir subverts the trope by being magenta. Cylons, on the other hand, tend to use more sleek lines and curves. However, they also have some blocky dull designs like the Wraith and Jormung. It is lampshaded with the Wraith, which is a MightyGlacier described InUniverse as resembling human design principles. [[AC:{{Webcomics}}]] * Averted in ''QuentynQuinnSpaceRanger.'' Despite having forcefields, integrity fields, antigravity, and all the usual phlebotinum props of space opera, Quinn's ship the Thunderbird is deliberately designed to be a [[http://www.rhjunior.com/QQSR/00003.html sleek, airfoil wing]] in order to facilitate both atmospheric flight and glider-style emergency landings. Of course Quinn is hinted to be something of a traditionalist in this regard, still insisting on mechanical landing gear on his vessel rather than relying on repulsor beams. * In ''{{Vexxarr}}'' hu-mon ships are a lot greyer and blockier than the Bleen ships they reverse-engineered the technology from. [[http://www.vexxarr.com/archive.php?seldate=090508 lot bigger too]]. [[AC:WesternAnimation]] * Noticeable in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' where military spaceships are indeed mostly gray-white, but ''civilian'' ones come in all colors, the one used by the main characters being lime green and basically a short, fat version of a {{Zeerust}} RetroRocket (possibly justified in that the rocket shape is seen as a styling ideal but one that has been heavily compromised to maximize cargo space on a delivery vehicle). ----
to:
#{{Space Fighter}}s and other small craft will be [[OldSchoolDogfighting built around a cockpit and wings to look like airplanes]], but may have some style. While this is probably going to be TruthInTelevision for military spacecraft in the near-future (with the earliest favoring the tinkertoy/habitrail/industrial plumbing aesthetic of the International Space Station, just because of the limits of our launching methods-- cylindrical rocket sections bolted together in space), eventually it may become a [[{{Zeerust}} relic of the near-present]] as space-based construction becomes easier. In space, there is no gravity or air resistance to design around, and due to the distances involved [[StealthInSpace and other factors]] visual camouflage probably won't be much use either. Historically, armies put quite a bit of thought into looking good and only stopped when it became necessary to do so; given the chance, it's likely that [[BlingOfWar looking grand]] will be back on the agenda. The [[AwesomeButImpractical engineers will probably hate it]], but [[ExecutiveMeddling then again, they probably won't be controlling things]]. On the other hand, in this modern, cost-conscious world, the accountants might have a thing or two to say about [[http://www.somethingawful.com/d/news/gothic-space-bilge.php wasting money on decor]]...to say nothing of what happens when news gets back to the [[TheFederation Federation Parliament]]...will the voters ever have a ''fit'' when they hear about the gobs of cash being spent to paint their ships in gold for no reason other than "it looks pretty." However, if you think about it, a cost-conscious civilization will never launch big spaceships in the first place; a military space race is a thing of prestige and power, not of money and penny-pinching, and the RealLife space race was started by the very not money-minded Soviet Union. Existing spacecraft have so far had a mixed record: modern rockets and atmospheric landers tend to be white and aerodynamic, but blockier than sci-fi space fighters and only sometimes winged. Craft designed solely for vacuum are totally unaerodynamic, but extremely spidery and jumbled, covered in reflective foil (for heat management) and held together by networks of pipes and struts, looking much less solid than sci-fi capships. On the other hand, the products of the emerging private spaceflight industry often feature curvilinear quasi-retro stylings which bear a close resemblance to [[RetroRocket early sci-fi rockets]] of the zeerust school. Contrast the lines of the [=Scaled Composites SpaceShip=] series with those of the Soyuz capsules, or even with the Space Shuttle. (Mind you, the [=SpaceShip=] series are just pop-up suborbitals, and reentry from Mach 3 ([=SpaceShipOne=]) or 4 ([=SpaceShipTwo=]) is between 40 and 70 times less energetic (and thus easier) than reentry from orbital velocity. [=SpaceX=]'s [[http://www.spacex.com/dragon.php Dragon]] is orbital, and quite chunky-looking. On the other hand, an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-stage-to-orbit SSTO]] usually has enough empty space inside to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballistic_coefficient#Satellites_and_reentry_vehicles greatly ease the pain of reentry]], and while you can still get [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_DC-X fairly]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VentureStar blunt]] designs, you can also get [[http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/space_skylon.html this]]...) Also, some of these designs actually make some sense. For example, after the first two missions {{NASA}} decided to leave the external tank of the Space Shuttle un-painted because of the extra weight that pretty white veneer added (to give you an idea, the paint on a 747 jetliner weighs hundreds of pounds), not to mention the fact that it all burned up when it fell into the atmosphere anyway. For deep probes our designs are pretty non-blocky only because they are not meant for any kind of combat. Wings may be used on craft [[SpacePlane intended to work in atmosphere as well]] (like [[Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined BSGs]] Vipers), even though it wouldn't probably be very practical to make a dual-purpose craft like that given the hugely different conditions, especially when considering the different atmospheres and gravities of alien worlds. Unpainted metal or reflective exteriors may also be justified if the ship is intended to fly near stars: this would reflect the light assist the ship in [[SpaceIsCold staying cool,]] similar to the way that skyscrapers in the southern USA and other hot places tend to be designed with reflective glass exteriors. Note that fictional vessels tend to use enormous amounts of energy yet typically lack [[http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/rocket3au.html thermal radiators]] to shed waste heat (no air-cooling in space). Although that ''could'' explain all the so-called wings... Space wings are also often used in fiction as places to put extra weapons (like [[MacrossMissileMassacre missiles]]), and to store things (extra electronic equipment or fuel) inside them, although putting those things on or in the main hull makes more sense for a nonatmospheric SpaceFighter, as spreading out the ship's mass makes little sense for a vessel designed to maneuver in vacuum in three dimensions-- better to keep it compact, to conserve angular momentum. You ''can'' increase maneuverability by putting thrusters on the tips of them a la ''BabylonFive'' Starfuries, using the wing as essentially a big lever to rotate the ship faster, but a simple pole (especially a retractable one) would do the same job just as well and with greater shear strength (again, compactness helps here), making it less likely to bend or break off during high-thrust maneuvers whose direction is perpendicular to the broad planar surface of the wing. Internal gyroscopic flywheeels could do the same thing ''and'' be less visibly obvious tells to the enemy (no signal lights before a turn). Only SpaceFighter craft [[SpacePlane designed to go both ways]] (atmosphere and deep space) actually need wings-- and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifting_body some real airplanes don't even need them]]. See also StandardSciFiFleet ----- !!Examples: [[AC:Anime and Manga]] * ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross''[=/=]''Anime/{{Robotech}}''; Except for the ''Macross'' itself (which was, of course, alien in origin), most human vessels are pretty close to this. It should be noted that the ''Macross'' was in fact redesigned closer to those lines. Later subverted with the later Macross-class ships which were more angular, and ''Robotech's'' SDF-3, which was originally designed/disguised with Zentraedi-like lines, but by the end of the Third Robotech War had the same ''Mospeada''-style design. * While all the different factions are usually human in ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'', the ships used by most incarnations of TheFederation tend to be more boxy and utilitarian looking, [[SpaceIsAnOcean generally designed to resemble naval battleships]] and come in shades of grey, olive or white, while the the various space colony factions tend to use more exotic, organic looking designs. * ''Anime/BlueCometSPTLayzner'' is notable for the fact that the ''aliens'' have ships that look like this ([[TransplantedHumans though they may be descended from an ancient human civilization]]). * In ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' the starships of the [[UnitedSpaceOfAmerica Free Planets Alliance]] are decidedly utilitarian and bulky in appearance, with their interiors reminiscent of modern-day aircraft carriers and battleships. This of course is in contrast to TheEmpire's decidedly sleeker, more streamlined vessels. [[AC:{{Film}}]] * Originally, the ''Discovery'' in ''[[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey 2001: A Space Odyssey]]'' was going to have large heat radiators to dissipate the heat from the nuclear reactor ([[ShownTheirWork and indeed did in the novelization]]). However, Stanley Kubric decided he didn't want to have to [[RealityIsUnrealistic explain why a ship in space had what looked like wings]]. One of the very few instances in the movie they went with RuleOfCool over scientific accuracy. * ''Film/StarshipTroopers'' seems to follow this school of design. * ''Franchise/StarWars'' has spacecraft starting off as an ElegantWeaponForAMoreCivilizedAge in the prequel trilogy, then evolving into the gray, straight-lined, utilitarian war machines of the original trilogy. Strangely, almost all the spacecraft in the SW universe, even thousands of years back, [[ContinuityPorn resemble in some way the ones from the original trilogy]]. * The mile-long ''[=ISV=] Venture Star'' from ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' is designed to be realistic from a presently envisaged engineering standpoint, as a pure starship, never intended to enter an atmosphere. It's optimized for minimal mass, and thus has a wiry hollow look focused around the pair of giant front-mounted antimatter annihilation engines, with huge radiator panels glowing visibly to dissipate the engines' heat produced, and massive spherical fuel tanks carrying fuel and reaction mass for the relativistic ship. The relatively tiny habitation and cargo modules, pair of ''Valkyrie'' shuttles and even tinier artificial-gravity crew compartments are all dragged along behind. The Valkyries themselves are [=SSTO=]s, designed for atmospheric flight, and are thus fairly sleek winged designs. * Deliberately averted, avoided, hell, run away from in Darren Aronofsky's ''Film/TheFountain'', where the Astronaut's spaceship --carrying only him and the Tree of Life within it-- is a huge transparent bubble that moves easily across space in its long, long journey from Earth to the star Xibalba. WordOfGod says that they chose this simple, but appealing design because not all spaceships have to look like “trucks in space.” [[AC:{{Literature}}]] * Lampshaded in AnneMcCaffrey's ''Literature/AcornaSeries'', where the Linyaari are openly baffled as to why human spaceships only come in one color. Slightly subverted in that Linyaari ships are, to human eyes, painted in loud and garish colors. * In DavidWeber's ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series it's mentioned that all of the major powers use reactive pigments to give their ships a primary color to distinguish them in visual inspections, but it's also noted how easy it is to change the paint-scheme. ** As for the shapes, given the physics of the universe, they tend towards a generally cylindrical design, with all warships having “hammerheads” on both ends to allow room for chase armament ([[SpaceIsAnOcean similar to those on old-fashioned sailing warships]]). * Subverted in DavidDrake's ''Reaches'' trilogy, where the main characters' ships have ceramic hulls to resist the corrosive atmosphere of their native Venus. Every other spacefaring culture uses metal hulls, and it's noted that when the stresses of [[SubspaceOrHyperspace Transit]] become too great, a ceramic ship falls apart all at once, with a total loss of life (one ship is seen to have come out of Transit looking like a cloud of gravel), while a metal ship's hull might hold together long enough for some of the crew to be rescued. Also, ''everybody's'' hulls tend to be rounded, usually more-or-less cigar-shaped, although they fly or land with the long axis parallel to the ground, unlike “rocketships.” [[AC:LiveActionTV]] * ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' * ''Series/BabylonFive'' : Humorously lampshaded in “Legend of the Rangers” with the human design of the [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Valen_(ship) Valen]] looking like “a flying brick.” ([[FlyingBrick No relation]].) The later [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Valen_class_cruiser Valen]] class was made by the Minbari, further reinforcing the trope. -->'''Ranger Dulann''': ''If human military designers had their way every colour of the spectrum would be removed except for grey, green and black and we would all live in windowless boxes.'' ** Averted with ''Series/{{Crusade}}'''s [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Excalibur Excalibur]], although it must be said it was a joint human/Minbari project. *** You can see both design philosophies incorporated in it. You have the Minbari traditional triple-fin hull structure, but it's also dark grey similar to the ''Omega''-class destroyers. Interestingly, the human ''Hyperion''-class heavy cruisers are brightly-colored with white and blue. However, those (as mentioned in the fluff) were designed by a different military contractor than the ''Nova''e and the ''Omega''s. * ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' mostly averts this trope, with the majority of ships seen having either a large cylindrical design or a smaller, more agile (but still not blocky) design, such as with Serenity herself. However, the ships do tend to have very metallic appearances, and several of the ships briefly shown do fit the trope better than the larger Alliance vessels and Serenity. * The Series/RedDwarf is painted red, but that only serves to make it look ''more'' like a giant, flying brick. ** It was also stated at one point to be about 5 miles long and 3 miles wide - or 6 miles long, 4 miles wide and 3 miles high when reconstructed - and clearly had a roughly hexagonal cross-section. And apparently a crew of only 169 (or [[{{Retcon}} 1,169]]) - [[{{Retcon}} or possibly 11,169]], though granted it currently functions with a crew of ''four'' not counting [[SapientShip Holly]] or the Scutters. * Generally followed to a T in ''{{Space 1999}}'', with the show's signature Eagles being entirely utilitarian shuttles designed to function in the absence of an atmosphere, in lunar gravity. They were mostly grey, although some had orange details. The alien spaceships, on the other hand, were often brightly-coloured, in the style of contemporary sci-fi artists such as Chris Foss and Peter Elson. * ''{{Stargate}}'' : The [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/stargate/images/c/c0/F302.jpg F-302]] is essentially a forward-swept flying wing with jet and rocket engines. The [[http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/stargate/images/2/2a/X-303.jpg X-303 class battlecruiser Prometheus]] and the [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/stargate/images/3/3e/ApolloOverEarth.jpg BC-304 class deep-space carriers]] however, being built out of a naquadah/trinium alloy, fit this trope perfectly. ** The sublight [[http://images.wikia.com/stargate/images/d/d0/Novus_spaceship.jpg evacuation ships]] built by the Novus civilization (descended from alternate ''Destiny'' crew thrown back in time) also fit the trope. * The rectangular aspect is averted in ''Franchise/StarTrek'', but they're definitely grey metal plates. ** Indeed, one of the technical manuals explicitly noted that aside from the hull markings, the tonnes of paint that normally go on ships was left off around the Constitution-class refits of the movies. If memory serves, they started thinking it looks neater that way too. And apparently Starfleet started retracting its normal way of avoiding bricks--see the ''Defiant''. ** ST ships also tend to have smoother outlines in the later series because [[SpaceIsAnOcean warp fields act like hydrodynamics]]. The Galaxy class is the last class to have a highly distinct saucer and engineering section - later designs such as the Intrepid (Voyager), Sovereign (Enterprise-E) and Prometheus class have much more flowing lines where the join between the two sections is much less obvious, although most are still capable of separation, the Intrepid class being the only proven exception. ** Actually, it seems worth noting that humans are pretty much the only guys we ever see on ''Star Trek'' traveling in [[FlyingSaucer Flying Saucers]]. Many of the Starfleet ships involve some sort of saucer shape (usually, but not always, connected to a larger non-saucer shaped hull, with warp nacelles). *** Its aliens like the Romulans and Klingons who have clunkier looking hulls, and the [[HiveMind most clunky looking ship on the show]] was designed specifically to look ''in''human. **** Not really Klingon designs so much, which tend to have a relatively sweeping design, with the various Bird of Prey designs' wings and neck, and the [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/File:Vorcha_class.jpg Vor'cha]] and [[http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/File:IKS_Negh%27Var.jpg Negh'var]] classes. *** Originally, Roddenberry wanted them to be able to separate their saucers, like the ''Next Gen'' Enterprise eventually did. The saucers were there mostly because Roddenberry was a huge fan of ''ForbiddenPlanet''. [[AC: TabletopGames]] * ''{{Battletech}}'' has mostly rounded ships, but otherwise adheres. ** One model of DropShip in particular, the Leopard, was even called “the Brick” in the canon itself. Its slab-sided appearance, coupled with a small bridge, stubby wings and massive engines on what amounts to a nigh-rectangular chunk of steel means it falls squarely within this trope. * ''d20 Future'' (ScienceFiction expansion to ''D20Modern'') generally presents this as the “default” look for spaceships. * ''{{Traveller}}'': There is no standard for traveller; it depends on function and aesthetic taste and there are myriads of possible ship designs(indeed some traveller fans mainly like designing ships). Ships made to actually land on and take off from a planet generally have a "needle/wedge" design which looks something like a space shuttle. However this requires sacrifice in payload and the heaviest ships are generally serviced in orbit. ** The Lightning-class ships a multipurpose merchant/scout/privateer built by the Terrans for viking like voyages into Vilani space is a handsome ship that looks like a long wedge with short stubby wings. ** One cool (but not unlikely in RealLife) gimmick on Traveller ships is a programmable surface that can be used to display a giant "screen-saver". These are available both inside and outside. Want your ship to have a different "paint job"? Just change the (enormous) image file. Another gimmick is the Shipboard Information System, which is sort of the ship's internet. This means that one can picture much of the dialogue of a given Traveller story taking place online from [=PCs=] and [=NPCs=] all over the ship, each talking into "thin air" in whatever room they happen to be, which can make for an interesting plot device and one not yet familiar to SpaceOpera . * In [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Battle Fleet Gothic]], the trope is inverted in that the ships of the Tau fit this trope. The Tau have "only just" started traveling between worlds, compared to other races, so their ships have that same early utilitarian feel that a lot of current space vehicles and those from [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture 20 minutes into the future]] have. Human ships, on the other hand, are space cathedrals. ** And due to unpopularity with the fans, the new Tau fleet follows a more graceful, anime-inspired design. ** SpaceMarine ships, on the other hand, fall somewhere in between. While they have elements of the regular Imperial design, they use more hard angles and less detailing. Also, while colour scheme varies by chapter, many of the promotional shots of the models are indeed rendered in mostly grey. * Played very straight in ''Firestorm Armada'' the human faction the [[TheAlliance Terran Alliance]], their ships are usually flat, and shaped in squares, and triangles, with most of their color being blue and grey. [[AC:VideoGames]] * ''DarkstarOne'' * Caldari ships in ''EveOnline'' are like this: Gunmetal gray, blinking signal lights and angular shapes. Conversely, the Minmatar designs are even more utilitarian, containing only the bare minimum, welded together in a junkyard shop and come in various shades of rust-brown and red. However, some of the more modern Minmatar ships such as capital ships and the Maelstrom have a more 'finished' look, with complete, symmetrical hulls, although still mostly falling within the category. Some of the Minmatar ships also have large 'sails' that look somewhat like modern satellites' solar panels. ** However, Gallente ships tend to have curvy organic-looking surfaces and Amarr ships are bright golden in colour and possibly most resemble the 'rocket ship' design in a few cases. ** {{Justified|Trope}} because each race's ships reflect their standardized personality. -->Caldari: Corporate, efficient, with emphasis on shields and electronics. Designs keep out the unnecessary. -->Amarr: 1[[superscript:st]] back into space. Large powerful empire. Golden to reflect the wealth and impress the natives. -->Gallente: Freedom loving more artistic, this more flowing and free designs in ships. -->Minmatar: Freed slaves. So all “older” ship designs should look like junk heaps as that's all they had to work with -->Thus cap' ships look more finished because they actually have an empire to support a cap' fleet. * Pretty much averted in the first ''EscapeVelocity'', which (in part due to the simple models) had ships with aerodynamic, rather anime-like shapes. Later games (especially Terrans and Voinians in ''Override'', Federation and Aurorans in ''Nova'') conformed more and more closely to this. * ''{{Freespace}}'' does this with all Terran ships (and with the [[http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/images/Gtvacolossus.jpg Colossus]], which was a combination Terran and Vasudan ship). For the [[http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v423/kc1991/VasCruis2.png Vasudan]] and [[http://www.hard-light.net/wiki/images/Sjsathanas.jpg Shivan]] ships, tendencies are to have more curved and smooth designs instead of blocky ones--the ships still tend to be paint free, but colored differently to give them a more alien look. * ''{{Halo}}'', the UNSC ships are boxy in shape, in contrast to the curvy purple flowing aesthetics of the Covenant. Acts as a visual reference for both how far advanced the Covenant ships are compared to the clumsy human vessels, as well as their ScaryDogmaticAliens status verus the practical human military. * ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}'' with the exception of the ([[spoiler:Kushan]]) Mothership and the Kadeshi vessels. * ''InfiniteSpace'': mostly averted, especially in Adis, where the ships are both extremely funky-looking and pink, but it does happen: the Freedom and Nebula in particular are both grey, flying bricks. * ''MassEffect'' averts this: the ''Normandy'' SR-1 and SR-2, the main ships in the series so far, are non-conventionally shaped, though vaguely reminiscent of rocket ship designs, and always brightly painted white. This is sort of justified, however, by the fact that visual recognition in space is almost impossible, so it doesn't really matter what color the ship is painted. Other ships featured in the series tend to follow the same philosophy, and the ''Destiny's Ascension'' is essentially a [[http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20091227112424/masseffect/images/e/e8/DestinyAscensionFlyby.png big flying cross]] [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090207040549/masseffect/images/2/2b/MassEffect_2008-08-13_12-37-43-71.png with an oval cut out of the middle.]] ** Other races' ships are shown and generally avoid this trope. Even the Quarians, who claim to salvage any ship they come upon appear to have the exact same design (a cross between the Euro symbol and the letter Q) in the third game's cutscenes, except for their massive spherical liveships. The [[AIIsACrapshoot geth]] ships, for some reason, have an insectoid look, despite most geth platforms being humanoid in shape. Turians have ship designs similar to humans, although they prefer grey to human white-and-blue. * ''SinsOfASolarEmpire'': Played straight with the TEC, who modifed their ships from cargo and civilian vessels, but averted with the Advent(who are also humans, just psychic ones with a different culture). Advent ships are sleek, [[ShinyLookingSpaceships shiny]], and definitely non-utilitarian in appearance. * Terrans of ''{{Starcraft}}'' operate these kinds of spaceships and put very little effort, if any, into making them look pretty. This is in stark contrast to the whimsical [[CrystalSpiresAndTogas Protoss]] designs which seem to feature no straight lines or right angles whatsoever, and to the Zerg OrganicTechnology. * ''SwordOfTheStars'' plays this straight. Human ships are oblong and consists of blocks riveted to a central frame and are the most utilitarian-looking of all the species: The only off part is the very noticeable ring structure around the engines (it's their faster-than-light drive). Because of this engine, human ships also have poor turret coverage on the back and tend towards front-heavy ships with forward-and-side firing arcs. While paint schemes for different sides makes some of the colour variable, the default ship colour for humans tends towards the grey with some red and green mixed in (by contrast, Tarka's ships are mostly bright red and deep green, the Hivers use beige, the Liir use turquoise, the Zuul blood red and the Morrigi deep purple). ** Interestingly, the Zuul, while avoiding this trope, also avoid the ShinyLookingSpaceships look. Their ships consist of haphazardly-welded parts of ships they find in floating battlefield graveyards. * In the ''VideoGame/WingCommander'' games, the human ships have varied between the utilitarian, blocky gray designs of ''VideoGame/WingCommander III'' and onwards, and more curvy designs of the earlier games. (''Wing Commander [=III=]'' and ''[=IV=]'' used a primitive polygon GameEngine, as opposed to the first two installments' bitmap sprite graphics.) In all the games featuring the [[MegaNeko Kilrathi]], most of the designs have a base tan color with various “warm” colors used for markings, but [[AllInTheManual the manual notes that the color is the color of the metals used for their armor]]. * In the ''VideoGame/{{X}}-Universe'' games, the [[HumansByAnyOtherName Argon]], [[PlanetTerra Terran]], and [[ProudMerchantRace Teladi]] ships all follow this. The Argon capital ships are flying gray boxes with red stripes while their fighters are ''Star Wars''-esque. The Terran capital ships are flying (blindly) white boxes with red and blue highlights while their fighters are futuristic Space Shuttles. Teladi capital ships are [[http://i.imgur.com/SOsO2.jpg flying off-gray boxes]] with protruding fuel tanks, engines, power lines, and greebles likened to "Flying junkyards", while their fighter designs resemble Star Wars mixed with a 1930s movie. ** In particular the Terran '[[EliteArmy AGI Task Force]]' or ATF seem to have taken this trope to heart with the Tyr Destroyer, and Odin Carrier, both gunmetal grey boxes with engines. * ''{{X-COM}} Interceptor'' tends to avert this, with the human ships actually using functional, forward-swept-wing designs, or in the case of the second-tier ship, rounded wings. All ships are also painted, and in the case of the X-1A tier one ship, even whimsical, with shark teeth painted on the nose. ** The carrier ''[=MacArthur=]'', which you have to protect during the final 2-part mission partly plays this trope straight. * ''TachyonTheFringe'' has this for the [[LaResistance Bora]], whose warships are hastily-converted cargo haulers and mining ships. Some of the designs aren't so functional, though, like the ''Battleaxe''-class fighters, which prominently feature a sharpened ''blade'' on the top. Mostly averted with other ships, although freighters still have an elongated, blocky look. [[MegaCorp GalSpan]], notably, has sleek-looking ships with wings (fighters) and the blue-and-white color scheme. * The Terrans in ''GalacticCivilizations'' by default have a ship aesthetic midway between ''Franchise/StarTrek'' and ''Series/BabylonFive'', with mainly rectangular shapes and stuff taken from this trope's catalogue with bluntly triangular wings, chunky radar dishes, large and blocky externals. Unless you reset the colour scheme, Terran vehicles come painted white and blue. When [[DesignItYourselfEquipment building your own]], you can use far weirder-looking alien components to make them less blocky. * ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} III'', true to its fame of having everything dead realistic, lets you build an UN Unity spaceship that more or less looks like an extremely huge rocket. This has a practical reason though: the Unity requires an aerodynamic shape in order to cut through the Earth's atmosphere. ** ''SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'', the SpiritualSequel to ''Civilization'', has the ''Unity'', Earth's first and only starship. It has your typical grey color scheme, rotating sections, massive engines in the rear, cooling panels around the engine compartment, and cryo-pods (which are also designed as autonomous landing craft). The ship is clearly not meant to land. It's sole goal is to cross the vast interstellar distance between the Sun and Alpha Centauri. [[http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg708/scaled.php?server=708&filename=earth1.jpg&res=landing Compare]] with the much sleeker-looking Progenitor scoutships shown in the ''Alien Crossfire'' addon intro. * ''VideoGame/BattlestarGalacticaOnline'' plays with this. Colonials have some blocky designs like the Jotunn or Gungnir, and the former is even greyish. However, there are also Colonial designs that don't conform; the Rhino is more or less a rotorless helicopter gunship, the Scythe has a giant ventral fin/leg, the Glaive and Halberd have diamond-shaped bodies with the latter being brownish and having fins, even the Gungnir subverts the trope by being magenta. Cylons, on the other hand, tend to use more sleek lines and curves. However, they also have some blocky dull designs like the Wraith and Jormung. It is lampshaded with the Wraith, which is a MightyGlacier described InUniverse as resembling human design principles. [[AC:{{Webcomics}}]] * Averted in ''QuentynQuinnSpaceRanger.'' Despite having forcefields, integrity fields, antigravity, and all the usual phlebotinum props of space opera, Quinn's ship the Thunderbird is deliberately designed to be a [[http://www.rhjunior.com/QQSR/00003.html sleek, airfoil wing]] in order to facilitate both atmospheric flight and glider-style emergency landings. Of course Quinn is hinted to be something of a traditionalist in this regard, still insisting on mechanical landing gear on his vessel rather than relying on repulsor beams. * In ''{{Vexxarr}}'' hu-mon ships are a lot greyer and blockier than the Bleen ships they reverse-engineered the technology from. [[http://www.vexxarr.com/archive.php?seldate=090508 lot bigger too]]. [[AC:WesternAnimation]] * Noticeable in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' where military spaceships are indeed mostly gray-white, but ''civilian'' ones come in all colors, the one used by the main characters being lime green and basically a short, fat version of a {{Zeerust}} RetroRocket (possibly justified in that the rocket shape is seen as a styling ideal but one that has been heavily compromised to maximize cargo space on a delivery vehicle). ----bu
4th Nov '12 1:10:36 PM nombretomado
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* Lampshaded in AnneMcCaffrey's ''{{Acorna}}'' series, where the Linyaari are openly baffled as to why human spaceships only come in one color. Slightly subverted in that Linyaari ships are, to human eyes, painted in loud and garish colors.
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* Lampshaded in AnneMcCaffrey's ''{{Acorna}}'' series, ''Literature/AcornaSeries'', where the Linyaari are openly baffled as to why human spaceships only come in one color. Slightly subverted in that Linyaari ships are, to human eyes, painted in loud and garish colors.
6th Oct '12 5:48:07 PM nombretomado
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-->-- '''Joe Haldeman''', ''TheForeverWar''
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-->-- '''Joe Haldeman''', ''TheForeverWar'' ''Literature/TheForeverWar''

* ''SuperDimensionFortressMacross''[=/=]''{{Robotech}}''; Except for the ''Macross'' itself (which was, of course, alien in origin), most human vessels are pretty close to this. It should be noted that the ''Macross'' was in fact redesigned closer to those lines. Later subverted with the later Macross-class ships which were more angular, and ''Robotech's'' SDF-3, which was originally designed/disguised with Zentraedi-like lines, but by the end of the Third Robotech War had the same ''Mospeada''-style design. * While all the different factions are usually human in ''{{Gundam}}'', the ships used by most incarnations of TheFederation tend to be more boxy and utilitarian looking, [[SpaceIsAnOcean generally designed to resemble naval battleships]] and come in shades of grey, olive or white, while the the various space colony factions tend to use more exotic, organic looking designs. * ''BlueCometSPTLayzner'' is notable for the fact that the ''aliens'' have ships that look like this ([[TransplantedHumans though they may be descended from an ancient human civilization]]). * In ''LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' the starships of the [[UnitedSpaceOfAmerica Free Planets Alliance]] are decidedly utilitarian and bulky in appearance, with their interiors reminiscent of modern-day aircraft carriers and battleships. This of course is in contrast to TheEmpire's decidedly sleeker, more streamlined vessels.
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\n* ''SuperDimensionFortressMacross''[=/=]''{{Robotech}}''; ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross''[=/=]''Anime/{{Robotech}}''; Except for the ''Macross'' itself (which was, of course, alien in origin), most human vessels are pretty close to this. It should be noted that the ''Macross'' was in fact redesigned closer to those lines. Later subverted with the later Macross-class ships which were more angular, and ''Robotech's'' SDF-3, which was originally designed/disguised with Zentraedi-like lines, but by the end of the Third Robotech War had the same ''Mospeada''-style design. * While all the different factions are usually human in ''{{Gundam}}'', ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'', the ships used by most incarnations of TheFederation tend to be more boxy and utilitarian looking, [[SpaceIsAnOcean generally designed to resemble naval battleships]] and come in shades of grey, olive or white, while the the various space colony factions tend to use more exotic, organic looking designs. * ''BlueCometSPTLayzner'' ''Anime/BlueCometSPTLayzner'' is notable for the fact that the ''aliens'' have ships that look like this ([[TransplantedHumans though they may be descended from an ancient human civilization]]). * In ''LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' the starships of the [[UnitedSpaceOfAmerica Free Planets Alliance]] are decidedly utilitarian and bulky in appearance, with their interiors reminiscent of modern-day aircraft carriers and battleships. This of course is in contrast to TheEmpire's decidedly sleeker, more streamlined vessels.

* Originally, the ''Discovery'' in ''[[TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey 2001: A Space Odyssey]]'' was going to have large heat radiators to dissipate the heat from the nuclear reactor ([[ShownTheirWork and indeed did in the novelization]]). However, Stanley Kubric decided he didn't want to have to [[RealityIsUnrealistic explain why a ship in space had what looked like wings]]. One of the very few instances in the movie they went with RuleOfCool over scientific accuracy.
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* Originally, the ''Discovery'' in ''[[TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey ''[[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey 2001: A Space Odyssey]]'' was going to have large heat radiators to dissipate the heat from the nuclear reactor ([[ShownTheirWork and indeed did in the novelization]]). However, Stanley Kubric decided he didn't want to have to [[RealityIsUnrealistic explain why a ship in space had what looked like wings]]. One of the very few instances in the movie they went with RuleOfCool over scientific accuracy.

* ''StarWars'' has spacecraft starting off as an ElegantWeaponForAMoreCivilizedAge in the prequel trilogy, then evolving into the gray, straight-lined, utilitarian war machines of the original trilogy. Strangely, almost all the spacecraft in the SW universe, even thousands of years back, [[ContinuityPorn resemble in some way the ones from the original trilogy]].
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* ''StarWars'' ''Franchise/StarWars'' has spacecraft starting off as an ElegantWeaponForAMoreCivilizedAge in the prequel trilogy, then evolving into the gray, straight-lined, utilitarian war machines of the original trilogy. Strangely, almost all the spacecraft in the SW universe, even thousands of years back, [[ContinuityPorn resemble in some way the ones from the original trilogy]].

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* Deliberately averted, avoided, hell, run away from in Darren Aronofsky's ''Film/TheFountain'', where the Astronaut's spaceship --carrying only him and the Tree of Life within it-- is a huge transparent bubble that moves easily across space in its long, long journey from Earth to the star Xibalba. WordOfGod says that they chose this simple, but appealing design because not all spaceships have to look like “trucks in space.”

* Deliberately averted, avoided, hell, run away from in Darren Aronofsky's ''TheFountain'', where the Astronaut's spaceship --carrying only him and the Tree of Life within it-- is a huge transparent bubble that moves easily across space in its long, long journey from Earth to the star Xibalba. WordOfGod says that they chose this simple, but appealing design because not all spaceships have to look like “trucks in space.”

* ''BabylonFive'' : Humorously lampshaded in “Legend of the Rangers” with the human design of the [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Valen_(ship) Valen]] looking like “a flying brick.” ([[FlyingBrick No relation]].) The later [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Valen_class_cruiser Valen]] class was made by the Minbari, further reinforcing the trope.
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* ''BabylonFive'' ''Series/BabylonFive'' : Humorously lampshaded in “Legend of the Rangers” with the human design of the [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Valen_(ship) Valen]] looking like “a flying brick.” ([[FlyingBrick No relation]].) The later [[http://babylon5.wikia.com/wiki/Valen_class_cruiser Valen]] class was made by the Minbari, further reinforcing the trope.

* {{Traveller}} : There is no standard for traveller; it depends on function and aesthetic taste and there are myriads of possible ship designs(indeed some traveller fans mainly like designing ships). Ships made to actually land on and take off from a planet generally have a "needle/wedge" design which looks something like a space shuttle. However this requires sacrifice in payload and the heaviest ships are generally serviced in orbit.
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* {{Traveller}} : ''{{Traveller}}'': There is no standard for traveller; it depends on function and aesthetic taste and there are myriads of possible ship designs(indeed some traveller fans mainly like designing ships). Ships made to actually land on and take off from a planet generally have a "needle/wedge" design which looks something like a space shuttle. However this requires sacrifice in payload and the heaviest ships are generally serviced in orbit.


** Other races' ships are shown and generally avoid this trope. Even the quarians, who claim to salvage any ship they come upon appear to have the exact same design (a cross between the Euro symbol and the letter Q) in the third game's cutscenes, except for their massive spherical liveships. The [[AIIsACrapshoot geth]] ships, for some reason, have an insectoid look, despite most geth platforms being humanoid in shape. Turians have ship designs similar to humans, although they prefer grey to human white-and-blue.
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** Other races' ships are shown and generally avoid this trope. Even the quarians, Quarians, who claim to salvage any ship they come upon appear to have the exact same design (a cross between the Euro symbol and the letter Q) in the third game's cutscenes, except for their massive spherical liveships. The [[AIIsACrapshoot geth]] ships, for some reason, have an insectoid look, despite most geth platforms being humanoid in shape. Turians have ship designs similar to humans, although they prefer grey to human white-and-blue.

* The Terrans in ''GalacticCivilizations'' by default have a ship aesthetic midway between ''Franchise/StarTrek'' and ''Series/{{Babylon 5}}'', with mainly rectangular shapes and stuff taken from this trope's catalogue with bluntly triangular wings, chunky radar dishes, large and blocky externals. Unless you reset the colour scheme, Terran vehicles come painted white and blue. When [[DesignItYourselfEquipment building your own]], you can use far weirder-looking alien components to make them less blocky.
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* The Terrans in ''GalacticCivilizations'' by default have a ship aesthetic midway between ''Franchise/StarTrek'' and ''Series/{{Babylon 5}}'', ''Series/BabylonFive'', with mainly rectangular shapes and stuff taken from this trope's catalogue with bluntly triangular wings, chunky radar dishes, large and blocky externals. Unless you reset the colour scheme, Terran vehicles come painted white and blue. When [[DesignItYourselfEquipment building your own]], you can use far weirder-looking alien components to make them less blocky.

* Noticeable in ''{{Futurama}}'' where military spaceships are indeed mostly gray-white, but ''civilian'' ones come in all colors, the one used by the main characters being lime green and basically a short, fat version of a {{Zeerust}} RetroRocket (possibly justified in that the rocket shape is seen as a styling ideal but one that has been heavily compromised to maximize cargo space on a delivery vehicle). ----
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* Noticeable in ''{{Futurama}}'' ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' where military spaceships are indeed mostly gray-white, but ''civilian'' ones come in all colors, the one used by the main characters being lime green and basically a short, fat version of a {{Zeerust}} RetroRocket (possibly justified in that the rocket shape is seen as a styling ideal but one that has been heavily compromised to maximize cargo space on a delivery vehicle). ----
1st Oct '12 10:27:43 PM nombretomado
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* ''BattlestarGalactica''
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* ''BattlestarGalactica''''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}''
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