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Old October 17 2013, 03:30 AM   #367
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Location: The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Workbee wrote: View Post
@ Praetor That is a great find with the Jenolan. I'll have to work extra hard now to find evidence that reinforces my entirely personnel preference for the movie aesthetic over TNG aesthetics.

Though if I recall, that model was a reuse of some kind of shuttlecraft in TUC. If the scale is meant to be anything close to that shuttle, then extrapolating a "full size" starship's warp core from this vessel is problematic at best. Coupled with other inconsistincies -- the fact that a TOS transporter sound and visual effect (sort of) were used instead of one of the movie era effects makes this a troublesome example of 23rd century hardware.
As B.J. points out, enough changes were made to the model that it was clearly meant to be a starship. Memory fails at the moment, but I think there were at least six visible window rows. She was probably a ship of fourteen or so decks. I understand your belief though; several sources tend to say that the Jenolan/Nash and the "executive shuttle" were the same thing, but it's just not possible.

Workbee wrote: View Post
One question I have is if that graphic appeared somewhere before. Does it have the name Jenolan on it? If not, it could be one of the many plates that got reused for various ships of the week.
When the Blu-Ray screencaps are available, we'll probably have much more data. For now, I think we'll have to speculate. The color scheme of the graphic would seem to suggest it could have only been used on another movies-era set, which off-hand I think could only point to the Bozeman or Hathaway. To me, it's almost a reinforcement that the TNG-era core in TUC shouldn't just be accepted as a throwaway use of what they had; it seems like the tech team decided that as of 2294, the paradigm had changed. Still quite ambivalent on this point, though. Speaking of the Hathaway...

Workbee wrote: View Post
Another example that came up earlier was the ship in Peak Performance. Its warp core looked almost nothing like the TMP or TNG core, aside from being a vertical conduit. In fact, it probably has more similarity to the aborted Phase II core.
Eh, to me it looked like a very clunky version of the TNG core. It had the central hatch and the black boiler type components, as well as two power transfer conduits stretching back horizontally at a bit wider than 45 degrees.

That said, I see no reason that the core on the Hathaway should have been original to her 2280s construction. I don't feel beholden to it in any way.

Workbee wrote: View Post
But we are back to our TNG vs TMP core. IIRC, Shane Johnson in his MSGTTE explained the difference between the Enterprise and Excelsior Warp Nacelles as coming from different manufacturers. Meaning the difference isn't so much due a technology advancement, rather it is another contractor's approach to fulfilling the same functioning (not to say they aren't more advanced). But it is like the difference between Boeing and Airbus. Lockheed Martin vs Nothrop Grumman. The Mirandas, Oberths and similar old style starships we see in the 24th century may be the result of continued agreements with other manufacturer. But they are outfitted with newer tech. A 747 built in 1983 is not the same as a 747 built in 2013, even though they look similar on the outside.

So while the MSD on the Ent-B shows a TNG style warp core, I could accept that the Excelsior utilized a TMP era structure, as it was a prototype, which often make use of existing hardware cobbled together to get the job done. Technological refinements and improvements can be accomplished once the initial design succeeds.

I guess what I find myself saying is, I am okay with any other excelsior class using TNG tech, as long as the original excelsior, or at least in its NX-2000 phase, utilized the TMP era core.
I have always liked the corporate explanations too, but I'm not entirely sure if I can buy the difference between the TMP and TNG style cores being that simple. To me, it suggests a paradigm shift. One of the great things about this whole thread (who knew scaling a damn model could have scope creep like this?) is that it has forced me to really examine how warp drive works, and how I thought it works.

Workbee wrote: View Post
Egger and Nob -- love the contributions. These are great perspectives and always helpful to have a fresh pair of eyes. A belated welcome to the board Egger!
Agreed, and ditto if I forgot to welcome you, Egger.

Egger wrote: View Post
What it also has in common with the TNG core is the dilithium chamber with its dilithium articulation frame holding the crystal.
Yep... which may or may not be analagous to The Thing That Killed Spock in TWOK.

Egger wrote: View Post
I agree, maybe this could also support that there are now two impulse deflection crystals on the NCC version. The new warp core wouldn't be directly connected to those crystals, but the warp plasma conduits could. There are always (?) two conduits coming out of the core and these could split right behind it with two running up to the crystals and two running to the nacelles.
Decent notion. I guess to my thinking, the reason for two deflection crystals would be that one was insufficient to bear the load, maybe prone to overload. If you think about it, one of the Excelsior's impulse engines is larger and probably at least as powerful as both of the Enterprise refit's. If you scale them side by side, it's possible that the one large deflection crystal was just insufficient.

Workbee wrote: View Post
OT, but I came across this picture of the original concept for Excelsior's bridge. Would have loved if they used this design

Though for a one off set, there was almost zero chance of this being realized on the available budget. I think what we ended up with was the best possible compromise.
I've always dug that, myself.

Lord Garth, FOI wrote: View Post
Excellsior definitely longer than the galaxy
Want the smoking gun? Check out the big ass Fed vs. dominion battle in DS9. Haven't watched those episodes in a while and this awesome thread had me nostalgic for the last televised Trek I actually liked (in DS9's case loved)
Nearly every shot in which an Ex is alongside a galaxy it is longer
For what it's worth I'd go with the biggest upscaled size and the larger upscaled size of the Connie and Refit as well.
I know the docking rings tend to poopoo the much larger upscaled size of the refit but they pooched the size of the docking rings on the Enterprise C as well
Damn I wish I had Cgi skills, love to render a refit with smaller docking rings to see how she would look
I love this thread
While some of those shots are a bit dubious, they may bear closer examination. And I may be a bit biased, but I love this thread too. There've been some really great discussions, mostly spurred on by my fellow BBSers.

Ok, time for some pretty pictures. But first, let me talk about my current mindset. As I mentioned upthread, this entire process has made me re-evaluate my notions about how warp drive works, which, frankly is great. I love a challenge.

A few assumptions/decisions on my part with regards to the evolutionary path here.
  1. The TOS Enterprise had one reactor in each nacelle, and another reactor in the secondary hull someplace. The one in the secondary hull was a smaller "control reactor" used to prime and regulate the other two.
  2. The TMP Enterprise's power shaft/intermix chamber was an outgrowth of the TOS version's secondary hull reactor. Now, greater interconnectivity was at play, and the reactors in the nacelles are still present, but of a much more secondary nature. Ships of the refit tech "family" function much the same way, e.g. Miranda and Constellation.
  3. The primary goal of warp reactor technology is to create warp plasma, which is the magical nectar that makes the whole thing work. Dilithium is the magic mediator that allows the byproduct of annihilation reactions to produce energetic plasma rather than a big, apocalyptic explosion. Rather than capturing energy at the moment of annihilation, this energy is captured within the plasma, and this captured power in turn powers whatever you want it to.
  4. The deflection crystal is used to shunt warp plasma into the impulse engines, probably primarily to "supercharge" or maybe even jump start the primary fusion reactions that power them. This whole assembly generates a heavy mass force that helps move the ship.
  5. In the pre-TNG era, warp reactor ejection was not really a viable safety option. Ships meant for long term voyages were designed to have their engine systems be highly compartmentalized to help ensure saftey in the face of disaster. Ejecting nacelles was the first safety measure, followed by separating a primary hull (if applicable... sorry Mirandas.) Warp reactor and antimatter pod ejection was possible, but was a true last-ditch method that no one really ever put any faith in. Warp reactors/intermix chambers did typically align to service/maintenance hatches, and through some effort could be removed from their starship, but this in and of itself does not constitute a safety maneuver.
With all that said, I have chosen a rough path for Excelsior with two possible iterations, the TMP flavor and the TNG flavor. Shown here, they are applied to the 467 meter version of the ship. (I'm alternating working on the large and small versions to make sure I finish both.)

The yellow hexagon shapes are antimatter pods, which you'll notice are present both above the deflector alcove and in the "humpback." In both versions, the intermix chamber/warp core serves to provide what I'm calling an "initial stage" reaction, with the antimatter pods above the alcove providing primary antimatter for this. As the warp plasma transfers back to the humpback, the plasma manifold draws power for most of the ship's main systems, after which a secondary reaction takes place, which I'm calling the "power stage." Here, more antimatter is injected into the already volatile plasma through a sort of "dilithium distributor," supercharging it for its final transfer into the massive nacelles.

Unlike previous generations, the Excelsior generation nacelles no longer have reactors, with the supercharging process in the humpback replacing the need for the multiple reactor configuration. With some effort, all the antimatter pods could be ejected, as could the vertical components of the intermix chambers. (Of course in the TNG version, the horizontal chunk is just a PTC.) The humpback reactor isn't really ejectible the way I have it set up now, although the entire nacelle/pylon/humpback assembly could be.

Regardless which version I pick to be the launch and TUC configuration of the ship, I think the TNG version is probably still viable as the setup that would be used during the 24th century. Maybe the need for the secondary supercharging reaction would be rendered unnecessary, but maybe not... frankly I kind of like the idea of Excelsior having a supercharger.

One thing worthy of note: in the chasm, I've decided the primary use of the grabber and doors above is to launch and retrieve the ships' large executive shuttle (the model that became the Jenolan.)

I look forward to your thoughts on all this.
"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross; but it's not for the timid." - Q
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