Basicly this dilemma of never-where's has always been around. Its usually been the rule, that since we are shipdrawing community, rather than shipdesign community, we have kept that section reserved for drawings of never-where projects and in that sense it had meant shipbucket drawings made from plans or other sort of illustrations of real projects that were never materialised as actuall ships.
Generally there is three category of these type of vessels
1. The best sources are usually building plans, detailed profiles of designed ships that never materialised. They have usually entered in advanced stage of devolpment, ordered and designed fully, but by some reason no one build the ships. Or they construction was stopped and so on... naturally not all ships entered to this state retains such plans for us current generation fanbois, but theorethically such plans should exist. Or atleast rather well educated artistic profiles of those ships based on those actuall plans. Drawing ships from this first category is rather easy and simple and allows lot of actuall accuracy in terms of details, dimensions, and disposition. I myself call the "nearly-wheres" , such as the Sovejtsky Sojuz class Battle ships or Graf Zeppelin class aircraft carrier are good exambles of these.
2. The seccond best sources are usually for ships that have been planned on some decission making level, but not entered into actual production, so there usually has not been detailed construction data made. This is the most common state of all never-where's. Usually general plan view migth exists, or a conceptional artistic impression, and in best cases, competing yards offers in the call of bids. This category migth also include the prototype or early variations of some existing ship trough its design phases. Working with this category is also relatively simple and safe, although in many cases the details migth be lacking, and some of the equipment shown on the tenders migth be "placeholder" or some genric alterations. To make good SB drawings, usually requires bit of imagination therefore and artists have to choose wheter they go for blank look or tries to fill the gaps from their own better knowledge of what sort of stuff belongs here and there.
3. The third category is the remaining. Crude scetches, perhaps sliting view to show general size of the vessel, artistic impressions in perspective view based on god-know-what and so on. At best these are from ships that migth have been planned in some naval programs in higher echelon decission makings, and rather rarely they have actually materialised into detailed desing phase as actual ships to be come. Inteligence estimations from the opposing side and projects from the past future belongs here as well, and I would also add good detailed textual descriptions of some vessels with good indicators what it would have appeared and some sort of dimensions attached here as well. These "paper never-wheres" are the borderline cases, and should allways treated and introduced as such
Working with this category of sources, you start closing to the dilemma of how much own work you can add to them? To make good SB drawing, you cant just go with the crude outlines, otherwise you will have blank boxes and those are not the purpose of this community. Generally I would suggest restrain in working with them, unless you are absolutely sure what you are doing, know enough of ships of your chosen projects era and have generally good understanding of how to reproduce that knowledge in SB style. So basicly, you need the drawing experience, and lot of it to to finish the job. Also, bit of stubbournes and hard skin is not bad when working this field, since you are bound to create controversy what ever you produce, so you need to be able to defend your choises and accept the critisism.
Coming next: L/M Moskva, some research ships, pr.26bis, Pr.1144 remakes and Project 1143 complete redux.
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