Having hacked up a cruiser model to get the neck and saucer, I had some warp nacelles and support struts left over: just what I need to start work on another conversion. This vessel is going to be mainly used in scenarios and as an objective piece, as it has little combat ability and is a bear to make. I'll drift off into a little "history" lesson here. Like the destroyers I've been working on recently, this tug is from the halcyon days of yore. When the Enterprise travelled back in time to create a backdoor pilot for a TV show about a man, his advanced alien sexpot cat and their secretary - no, really! - the American military somehow ended up with a mess of information about the constituent parts of Star Fleet or Starfleet. In general terms, they learned of the heavy cruiser, of which the beloved Enterprise is an example, the destroyer, which can easily be made from an Enterprise kit, the dreadnought, which had three warp nacelles, and the tug, which has underslung engines, and can lug great big cargo pods around the galaxy for various - mainly military - reasons.
The chap who came up with these ideas and Gene Roddenberry had a falling out, so you only learn of this stuff when you go looking for it, as Gene decided to write it out, and make Starfleet (not Star Fleet) much more peaceful, and a dreadnought is more of an arms-race intensifier than a pacifying agent. For more on this saga, check out this site. Suffice to say that for my games of ACTA: SF I want some of these more obscure vessels, hence the hacking and carving and slashing and scoring of kits I'd long since put together. It was a pest to assemble this vessel, and if I had any sense, I should have rigged up a jig so I could just have put the warp nacelles in place, glued them and gone away. I didn't, and there was a fair amount of profanity uttered when I finally finished them off later. It may strike you that the GS applied at various points is copious. There's a reason for that: it has diminished subsequent swearing. I've modelled this vessel with a single cargo pod, which is approximately to scale. Here are a few pics, and look forward to seeing USS Ptolemy at some future date with an escort of destroyers, as she delivers vital Mumbleonium to the Federation colony of Plotdeviceium VII!