Warship looks

Argh’s ‘stealthy’ (or rather boxy) ship design made me remember a bit of info I’ve seen, so here is my rough translation of it.

Sometime this year some Russian sites posted an article about warship aestetics. The article claims to be a translation from an English work named:

Meier H., Roach J. Warships Should Look Warlike // US Naval Institute Proceedings. 1979. June. No 6. P. 68–69

I wasn’t able to get a copy of that, seems like it’s for pay only, so I’ll give the (greatly shortened) translation of its translation here.

Basically, in the 1970s it was noted that Soviet (and some others) ships look way more menacing (visually) than US ones. A research indicated that this has to do with some design aspects, both functional and visual.

First, Soviet ships have much more apparent weapons visible.
(top is USS Virginia CGN-38. Bottom is large antisubmarine ship Nikolaev, pr. 1134B. Ship tonnages are comparable, their classes are mostly the same as well. Notice how much more weapons the Soviet ship has. Red turrets are weapons that were added in the 1980s)

This is at the expence of internal space, so crew living conditions and ship’s maximum range are worse than those of US ships.

Second, their general outline suggests speed, power and readiness for fight.
(this compares another US cruiser with the same pr. 1134B)

The researchers came up with the concept of ‘lines of power’. Those are the lines that extend from the outlines of the ship. Vertical lines suggest bulkiness, solidness and staticness, as well as exclude dynamics and mobility. Diagonal and horizontal lines suggest mobility, firepower and readiness for fight. As a result, the ship with those lines looks more menacing and dangerous than the US one.

Researchers decided that Soviet ships were intentionally built like that, with those ‘visual propaganda’ aspects in mind.

This gives some ideas for ship model design. And Argh’s boxy thing nearly has it right - it has no clearly vertical lines (but not enough ‘lines of power’ either - those would be small details that it clearly lacks). So maybe his model can look much better if given some more work, who knows…

I still have not found a free/torrented version of the english article, but this has been useful to me in my ship design for recreational purposes.