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Old May 10 2010, 07:40 PM   #1145
Shaw
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Re: Another fan attempt at TOS deck plans

USS Jack Riley wrote: View Post
One question about the 33" model that might shed some light on the 947' v. 938'. Did Jeffries build it himself or did one of the series' model makers build it? the reason I ask is that the studio may have just said to one of the builders, "Build a 33" model of this ship," which the model maker did without much knowledge of the actual final size of the ship. Jeffries, on the other hand, might have been a little more accurate in his scaling since he knew the exact length.

Just some food for thought or garbage for the trash can. YMMV.
Well, the history of the two models is that Jefferies' only model building was done in August of 1964 when he built a mock-up of the final configuration of the Enterprise (most likely to push that design over some of the other ones on the table that Roddenberry was considering). Jefferies had done nice color renderings of all the designs for Roddenberry, but the design they eventually went with was the only one Jefferies took the additional step of building a mock-up of for that meeting. From what I can tell, the mock-up was most likely about the same size as the PL 1/1000 TOS Enterprise model kits you can get in stores today (about 10 or 11 inches long).

If it sounds a little extreme to have spent the rest of August, all of September and all of October on designing a spaceship for a TV pilot, you wouldn't be the only one. My guess is that Roddenberry was really getting into the fleshing out of the spaceship and Jefferies was happy to oblige. But towards the end of October it seems that the studio executives started worrying about the amount of time and effort being spent on the ship, and started pushing for the model building to get started.

On November 4th Richard Datin was contracted to build the nearly three foot long study model, which he got started on immediately. This is an important date to note because the date on the final plans for the models is November 7th. Datin was shown (and given) a set of earlier plans when hired to build the model. These earlier plans had an earlier design at a different scale, but notes were written on them for Datin like "DO NOT BUILD THIS PYLON" and "DO NOT BUILD THIS NOSE". Datin wasn't equipped to build shapes that size, so he in turn hired out the turning of some of the major components to a woodsmith (who's name Datin has since forgotten).

One of the major difference between the earlier drawings that Datin was given and the final plans for the models was that the earlier drawings had size callouts on them (which denoted the scale of those earlier drawings)... and the final drawings had none of that. The only notation on those was FULL SIZE & 3" = 1'-0" TO LARGE MINIATURE. But those plans were followed very closely, and other than the shape of the primary hull on the 33 inch model and the final positioning of the nacelles, the plans on the page became the models we saw.

The full version of Jefferies' original plans have not been released, but a lot of data on them has been... including a ton of measurements of the elements on the page. It was based on those data points I was able to gather that I was able to reverse engineer an approximation of Jefferies' plans.


When all the data and elements are drafted out on the page, what I got was something that looked remarkably like the Enterprise we all know and love. With one notable exception... the placement of the nacelles on their supports. From the top and side views it isn't quite so noticeable, but the front view shows just how odd the placement is compared to the way the models were eventually made.

But all of the callouts on the first sheet are strictly the measurements taken from the original plans as given to me. On the second sheet I included elements drawn by Jefferies himself from the original plans that have been made public.

So other than swapping the nacelles, I don't believe that Datin took too many liberties with the building of the models. The 33 inch model (from my studies) is 33.67 inches long, where as the plans called for a 33.75 inch long model. The 11 foot model is 134 inches in length, the original plans scaled up by a factor of four would have been 135 inches. Based on that I believe that Datin, Mel Keys, Vern Sion and Volmer Jensen were following the plans as closely as they could (given the time pressure they were under).

BTW - Shaw, great work on this as usual. I can really appreciate your love for this project given the amount of research you put into it. Look at the page count for crying out loud - 77?! Shows you are getting some good response (if not always in agreement) and that you are serious about getting this done. Keep it up!
Thanks!

I love doing this type of research and enjoy sharing whatever I can put together (obviously as time permits)... but I'm quite surprised that this thread didn't die off rather quickly back in 2008. I personally think it shows just how much interest remains in the original Enterprise (specially when one considers that there have been a number of very interesting and on going threads on this subject).

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