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Old August 29 2013, 11:06 PM   #159
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
When the doors are all the way open, the Enterprise has ample clearance on both sides. It's only during the hijacking that the clearance seems more narrow, but at that point the doors don't open all the way before Enterprise passes through them.
True, but it still looks a bit tight to me in both scenes. There's space, but not tons.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
And at least one reason to think they wouldn't: If Excelsior is being designed for a totally different role than the Enterprise, then those might be a totally new class of phaser weapons larger than anything ever mounted on a starship before. This might give you a less jarring progression towards the phaser strips on the Enterprise-C.

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
RCS thrusters could also be used as a scaling tool. Plus, if the Excelsior has any docking rings for the travel pods, those are guaranteed to be identically sized, for obvious reasons. Windows may also be a tell, as the Excelsior has both circular and long rounded-edge windows, just like Enterprise. It is not outside the realm of reason to surmise that windows should be of a standard size across all Fed starships, at least of that era. They appeared bigger starting with the E-C, IIRC.
Both are pretty good ideas, although as others have noted, it doesn't appear she had any visible docking rings.

This image scales the Enterprise and Excelsior to their official sizes, and perhaps not so coincidentally scales the windows too:

The thrusters also look pretty good to me there, too.

Workbee wrote: View Post
Praetor, I would exercise great caution before using DS9 screenshots to help scale the Excelsior. The scaling on the movie era ships in TNG/DS9/VOY got a little wonky with oversized versions. The only reason I would consider using the TNG Excelsiors is because, AFAIK, all the shots of them came from the initial library that ILM filmed for Encounter at Farpoint, so I would expect some consistency. Now whether ILM had the scale of the Enterprise-D correct with what came later is another matter -- I think the creation of the ten-forward set led to a retroactive adjustment to scale, so make sure you are using the "pre ten-forward" scale if you do.
Well, first of all, that's exactly why I think of the DS9 shots with a grain of salt. Completely agreed there.

Second of all, it appears that the original stock shots are at a different scale from the later ones.

Consider this from "Farpoint"--

versus this from "Tin Man"--

It appears the shot has been purposefully altered. One might conclude that it was to correct the scale, but then again it might simply be that they didn't like the previous shot for other reasons.

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
I'll have to go back and double check, but IIRC the 622m Excelsior comes from scaling up the Generations MSD until the decks were 8ft tall (and ignoring the Enterprise-B nacelle fins when measuring, of course)

On the new Enterprise, I scaled the corridors at 8ft tall (which may be an few inches off, since the scale on the set plans is illegibly small), and with the space between decks, it may be the first ship in Trek history to accomodate all the steps and complex ceilings that Trek set designers are so fond of!
Thanks, King -- as I've said, the deck spacing is probably one of the things the Enterprise-B cross section did get right, at least as far as the ILM model was concerned.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
But this just reminds me of another can of worms: Can we truly trust the side-by-side shots of Excelsior's next to the Enterprise-D in TNG's first season?!?

Remember that Andrew Probert pitched the idea of his genuine Ambassador Class design to the TNG producers. While I simply love his Ambassador design as the evolution link between the E-B and the E-D, I'm afraid one of the suits in charge thought that the Probert Ambassador Class didn't look distinct enough to really justify the extra building cost and decided to have the "egg-cel-scissors" or whatever pretend to be Ambassador Class ships. On the small TV screens, then, nobody would really notice...

Those side-by-side comparisons could probably yield size figures of Excelsior rather compatible with Probert's Ambassador Class.
Hm, this is a good point. If, indeed the official 467 meter size had already been decided on by this point, the apparent upscaling seen above may've then been somehow intentional, to fill in from the unseen Ambassador that was intended. Mr. Sternbach's Ambassador was 526 meters long, but I'm uncertain how big Mr. Probert's version would have been. Still,

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
So far I still haven't found anything that resembles a docking ring or hatch on either version of the Excelsior model. I find this strange, as the original ILM Enterprise-D had at least two rings on either side of the neck, in the recessed area behind the forward photon launcher, just like with the refit and the E-A. You can even see a tiny round hole where this ring is on the old AMT/ERTL model kit of the E-D, so it's not like they did away with the standard after the refit Connie's time.
Yeah - once upon a time, before i had seen the true nature of the insets on the two sides of the filligreed Excelsior neck, I had assumed that this was what those insets were... but the angles don't quite work out, nor do the details. They look more like phaser turrets to me.

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
If memory serves, there were some draft-quality schematics made several years back of the original filming model - I mean these things were BIG and highly detailed. They look like they were done with AutoCAD or some other similar vector-based app and could be printed on a large plotter. If someone knows where to find them again (I don't), we may be able to get a handle on some of Excelsior's surface features to get a good idea of scale. My poor ol' rusty brain can't remember when, where or who, but I definitely remember seeing them and they blew my mind.
I think I know what you're talking about - I'll dig through my files and see if I have them, but I'm not sure that I do.

Workbee wrote: View Post
This is unfortunately what I found as well. For whatever reason there isn't an apparent docking port. The closest thing I did find was a small detail just above the arrowhead banner:
Interesting... and I completely forgot about that scene when it came to trying to make levels out of those windows. Maybe I should give that a shot for kicks.

Workbee wrote: View Post
On an unrelated note, I did find an aft view of Excelsior showing the glowing shuttle bay thing in TVH:

That at least canonically confirms that that feature was always there in the Excelsior.
Excellent... thank you for finding that one!

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
^ And it reminds us that the shuttle bay of the Miranda class also glowed at the same time, which IMO pretty solidly establishes what that feature was supposed to be.
Great point sir... thank you. It only leavings its inner workings to discern, I think.

Timo wrote: View Post

Although is that the Excelsior? Just moments ago, we saw NX-2000 with her bow pointed in a very different direction, perpendicular to the nearest space doors - and then the lights went out at the traffic control booth. Did it really take that much longer for power to be lost elsewhere, so that the ship has time to turn before she, the spacedock interior lighting and the little tugboats all shut down? Possibly Starfleet had already completed a couple of those beasts, including the Repulse?)
Eh, I'm inclined to think it's just a gaffe and it's meant to be the same ship, but you may be onto something.

Timo wrote: View Post
Well, it would be a pretty good idea to cover up those docking ports - see what Khan did to one of them? And supposedly Kirk's TOS ship did have cover plates for the ports (unless the tech was briefly dropped and then reinstated), or had the ports inside various large holds and bays accessible through the supposed color-outlined hatches.
I'm inclined to think that Excelsior, with its rather exorbitant smoothing and flattening, and rather curious details such as the neck filligree, may've been an experiment in radical warp streamlining of some sort... which may in turn point to using cover plates again. Just a theory, of course. In reality, the modelmakers may've just left them off. We do have several blue hatches on the saucer underside, that are likely either saucer landing feet to correspond with those on the 1701 refit, or docking ports. I forget if there appear to also be large docking port doors (like the one Spock and Kirk used in TMP.)
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