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Old May 10 2009, 03:30 AM   #136
Praetor
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Re: Another take on the Original Enterprise...

Similarly, Cary, I don't reply with more than an 'Awesome' because frankly I haven't had a lot more constructive input, but I know how valuable it can be to have some kind of feedback, even if it is just a compliment.

Besides which, what you've come up with is so well thought out, and from a really unique perspective (from your engineering experience) that I'd hate to try to steer your efforts. I'm really interested in seeing where that engineering experience takes you.

And, if I could texture worth a crap, I'd gladly volunteer to do it for you. Perhaps one of our fellow more texture-talented BBSers would, though?
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Old May 10 2009, 08:40 AM   #137
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Re: Another take on the Original Enterprise...

Cary, I continue to enjoy this project as much as when you started it. Amazing attention to detail, sir!

I have a complaint, though not with you work, but with work done on the original model and I'd appreciate any thoughts you have on this matter. The glass shells over the port and starboard running lights are awfully damn big. Huge even. If I've forgotten any comments you've made on these systems in the past, I apologize, but why do you think they're so big and would you consider "modernizing" them for a more accurate size?
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Old May 10 2009, 08:56 AM   #138
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Re: Another take on the Original Enterprise...

They also have blinkers installed inside, you know for when the Enterprise makes a turn.

As for this project, utterly great, a lovely sneak and peek of the things you always imagined but never got to see on the show.
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Old May 10 2009, 10:52 AM   #139
Cary L. Brown
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Re: Another take on the Original Enterprise...

Psion wrote: View Post
I have a complaint, though not with you work, but with work done on the original model and I'd appreciate any thoughts you have on this matter. The glass shells over the port and starboard running lights are awfully damn big. Huge even. If I've forgotten any comments you've made on these systems in the past, I apologize, but why do you think they're so big and would you consider "modernizing" them for a more accurate size?
Well, for the sake of discussion, let's take a closer look at those features...



It's very interesting to note that there isn't just one lamp there, but several. The one "error" I seriously thought about correcting was to make the underside lamps colored as well... but that would've looked much different than what was seen on-screen, though technically it ought to have been that way.

The top lamp is larger than the bottom one. Each of the two larger lamps are what were once commercially-available bulbs, in what appear to be screw-in sockets. You used to see a lot of these bulbs around, for holiday lights and so forth, before mini-lights, and then LED Christmas lights came along.

However, it's worthwhile to note that there is another, smaller lamp next to the "big one" and yet another on the outer edge of the saucer. In order to accomplish what I think you're asking, the solution would be to remove the big lamp entirely, and just leave the little ones. A fair assessment?

So why did they not do that at the time? Well, first off, consider "production" constraints. You were looking at pretty low-res TV images, and the little lamps simply wouldn't show up on-screen. So they had to have larger lamps to get the desired effect and have it show up.

Okay, so that makes sense... but does having this make any sense in "real" terms? (That is, if you were designing a real starship to actually operate in space.)

Actually, yeah, I think it probably does, and for very much the same reason.

Despite the tendency for latter-day Trek effects to show ships flying so close that they could practically scrape paint, in a real-world situation, you'd almost never let yourself get that close to another vessel, unless you were planning to dock. Space, after all, is big... really, really big.

So, imagine that you're at extreme visual range... the little, tiny lamps would be totally undetectable. But the big ones would probably be able to be made out, and as a result you'd be able to determine the direction of travel of the ship you were observing, and even the size (within reason)... even if you were in actual deep space, where there is effectively no light except for "self-illumination" (starlight being so dim, relative to what our eyes can perceive, that it's not worth discussing, as far as I'm concerned).

So... "big lamps" make sense if you're going for "extreme range visibility," I think.

Note that "big" isn't the same as "bright," of course... it's entirely possible that the little lights could be brighter, per distance from bulb-center, than the big ones are.

Maybe the ship wouldn't operate both sets of lamps at once... maybe neither, on occasion.

Anyway, that's my take on it. I don't have a problem with the running lights being inside of those big glass spheres... just as long as the spheres don't look like classic 1950s/60s christmas tree lights inside!
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Old May 10 2009, 09:36 PM   #140
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Re: Another take on the Original Enterprise...

Absolutely gorgeous work, Cary. I've been watching you progress on this for a few weeks and decided it was time for me to stop lurking. Keep it up!
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Old May 11 2009, 12:32 AM   #141
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Re: Another take on the Original Enterprise...

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post

It's very interesting to note that there isn't just one lamp there, but several. The one "error" I seriously thought about correcting was to make the underside lamps colored as well... but that would've looked much different than what was seen on-screen, though technically it ought to have been that way.
Perhaps the top and bottom lamp having different colors serves a purpose not too different from using green and red to designate port and starboard. The nautical idea is to identify facing for a ship that's in front of you. If you see red and green lights, you know the ship is heading towards you ... especially if green is on the left and red is on the right. You're then supposed to pass green-to-green. That is, your starboard side to his starboard side.

In Trek, by adding un-colored lights under the saucer in the same general position as the colored lights, you now know that a ship in front of you is upside-down if there is a white light directly above the green light. Without them, if you saw a ship with its green lights on the right and its red lights on the left, you might assume the ship is heading the same general directioin you are. But it might be upside-down relative to you and thus heading towards you -- especially since there appears to be no mechanism for obstructing the running lights from behind. [EDIT: This is my speculation for colored on top, white on bottom, not established Trek convention.]

So the lights should be arranged to tell everyone, at a glance, your orientation and general heading in an environment that allows ships to move three dimensionally. Unfortunately, the original Enterprise is missing some more lamps that would help this make sense; red and green lamps on the tops of the nacelles, for instance, and the secondary hull in case the saucer has separated and the secondary hull is maneuvering independently.

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
The top lamp is larger than the bottom one. Each of the two larger lamps are what were once commercially-available bulbs, in what appear to be screw-in sockets. You used to see a lot of these bulbs around, for holiday lights and so forth, before mini-lights, and then LED Christmas lights came along.

However, it's worthwhile to note that there is another, smaller lamp next to the "big one" and yet another on the outer edge of the saucer. In order to accomplish what I think you're asking, the solution would be to remove the big lamp entirely, and just leave the little ones. A fair assessment?

So why did they not do that at the time? Well, first off, consider "production" constraints. You were looking at pretty low-res TV images, and the little lamps simply wouldn't show up on-screen. So they had to have larger lamps to get the desired effect and have it show up.

Okay, so that makes sense... but does having this make any sense in "real" terms? (That is, if you were designing a real starship to actually operate in space.)

Actually, yeah, I think it probably does, and for very much the same reason.

Despite the tendency for latter-day Trek effects to show ships flying so close that they could practically scrape paint, in a real-world situation, you'd almost never let yourself get that close to another vessel, unless you were planning to dock. Space, after all, is big... really, really big.

So, imagine that you're at extreme visual range... the little, tiny lamps would be totally undetectable. But the big ones would probably be able to be made out, and as a result you'd be able to determine the direction of travel of the ship you were observing, and even the size (within reason)... even if you were in actual deep space, where there is effectively no light except for "self-illumination" (starlight being so dim, relative to what our eyes can perceive, that it's not worth discussing, as far as I'm concerned).

So... "big lamps" make sense if you're going for "extreme range visibility," I think.

Note that "big" isn't the same as "bright," of course... it's entirely possible that the little lights could be brighter, per distance from bulb-center, than the big ones are.

Maybe the ship wouldn't operate both sets of lamps at once... maybe neither, on occasion.

Anyway, that's my take on it. I don't have a problem with the running lights being inside of those big glass spheres... just as long as the spheres don't look like classic 1950s/60s christmas tree lights inside!
And you're certainly welcome to your take on things! But -- as you say -- "big" isn't the same as "bright", and whenever I see those huge bulbs on the ship, I don't see a design philosophy that says "these domes are big to make them visible", I see two, magnificently out-of-scale incandescent bulbs. The filament must be as thick as rope!
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Last edited by Psion; May 11 2009 at 02:17 AM. Reason: See edit.
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Old May 11 2009, 02:57 AM   #142
Cary L. Brown
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Re: Another take on the Original Enterprise...

Psion wrote: View Post
Unfortunately, the original Enterprise is missing some more lamps that would help this make sense; red and green lamps on the tops of the nacelles, for instance, and the secondary hull in case the saucer has separated and the secondary hull is maneuvering independently.
Well, actually... there ARE colored running lights on the top of the nacelles. They're small (equivalent to the ones you see next to the "giant globe lights" on the primary hull) and are colored.

These are found on the top of the ring section behind the bussard collector domes, by the way.

As for secondary-hull lights, the only ones we see are the ones to either side of the hangar bay (which I haven't added yet) and the one red one on the centerline just forward of the little dome.

I know that TOS-R had a shot intended to demonstrate that one of those lights on the side was actually "the ion pod" but this is nonsensical, in my opinion. The dome seen there, on the model, is the same size as the small running light on the primary hull, and (from my image above) you can tell how difficult it would be to get a person inside of that. You could create a little glass "pill" that you could put a person inside of, but you couldn't then have any equipment inside, nor any way of the person to USE that equipment.

Just FYI, as far as I'm concerned, the "ion pod" is one of those conundrums that really makes very little sense from any technical basis, anyway. I mean, I can envision a reason to have a remote sensor of some sort, but no reason it should have to be manned. And unless the "ion pod" is, in fact, a remote (towed) sensor, there's no reason that you'd ever need to "jettison" it.

MY take on the "ion pod" is that it's a "towed array sensor" which is tied to the ship by a tether. It either trails from the (open) hangar bay, or from the (open) underside fantail hatch (the red rectangle with no fill color under the faintail).

In either of those situations, it sort of makes sense why you might have to "jettison" it... because you'd have to have shields down, and the doors open, for it to be operating - letting whatever nasty stuff was outside get inside. Ideally, you'd retract the pod back inside the shield barrier, back inside the doors, and get your defenses (hull and shields) back up before any harm was done. But if Ben Finney didn't come back in when you wanted, eventually you'd have to "cut the tether" and close up the doors and raise the shields.

There are two unsolvables there... first, why a person needed to be in the pod at all (I'd think an unmanned device makes much more sense), and second, why "retraction" would be at the discretion of the guy inside, rather than of someone shipside who was monitoring his deployment.

(For that matter, even if it were a "pod" physically part of the main ship, rather than a detachable remote device, you'd still think someone besides the Captain would be tracking what was happening with it, wouldn't you?)

A brief aside... I actually considered making the "little dome" atop the hangar into the "ion pod." This was because I really can't see much advantage to that dome, otherwise, except maybe for sightseeing. So I thought of making that into a detachable, towable "pod" (with a little crane element raising up from the spine of the secondary hull). But that is just too gimmicky. The ion pod is just another specialized small shuttle, tied to the ship with a cable, as far as I'm concerned.

And the "TOS-R" location of the ion pod is a running light, as I'm sure it was originally intended to be!
And you're certainly welcome to your take on things! But -- as you say -- "big" isn't the same as "bright", and whenever I see those huge bulbs on the ship, I don't see a design philosophy that says "these domes are big to make them visible", I see two, magnificently out-of-scale incandescent bulbs. The filament must be as thick as rope!
Well, heck yeah, we're talking tungsten ropes three inches thick!

Last edited by Cary L. Brown; May 11 2009 at 05:28 AM.
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Old May 11 2009, 05:15 PM   #143
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Re: Another take on the Original Enterprise...

Yeah, I was disappointed TOS-R put the ion pod where it was. I've always liked to think of the ion pod as an analogy to the crow's nest of a seagoing ship.

I always kinda liked Drexler's and Mandel's version having the pod as the 'ball' at the lower end of the little ventral navigational sensor dome - I'd always imagined it telescoping out like an antenna, although I'm not sure whether this was implied in the original design they did. I'd always thought the value of the ion pod might have been that for whatever reason other ship's sensors had to all be closed off during an ion storm (perhaps to avoid overloading the computer via those excess ions?)

The ion pod could act like a lightning rod in some sense, drawing those ions to it to take readings. Perhaps the pod had a permanently closed sensor circuit that could not fry the ship's computer, but which could be observed and reported by the person manning it. The ion pod would then be the single piece of equipment on the ship that could withstand the ion storm to take readings of it - with the caveat that it has to be manned and extended away from the hull.

Of course, I've always thought that little piece of the navigation dome was a bit too small for the way it was scaled, but on your 10xx' ship, it might work... but your tethered version works too. Just so long as it's not a running light.
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Old May 12 2009, 12:28 AM   #144
Cary L. Brown
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Re: Another take on the Original Enterprise...

Praetor wrote: View Post
Yeah, I was disappointed TOS-R put the ion pod where it was. I've always liked to think of the ion pod as an analogy to the crow's nest of a seagoing ship.
Well, technically, they never overtly stated "ION POD HERE" in the episode... they only showed a repair. Maybe the "danger to the ship" from having the pod deployed resulted in some burst light bulbs?
I always kinda liked Drexler's and Mandel's version having the pod as the 'ball' at the lower end of the little ventral navigational sensor dome - I'd always imagined it telescoping out like an antenna, although I'm not sure whether this was implied in the original design they did.
Oh yeah... I loved that image from the "USS Enterprise Officers' Manual." And I thought it sounded like such a good idea, that until I really started thinking "scale" I hung onto it.

Of course, once you seriously consider scale, it becomes a huge issue. Here's a close-up of my lower dome.



Again, this is based on Sinclair's work but with a minor "tweak" on my part to make it look like a blend between the "real" part and the little image in Scotty's tech manual (even though I don't call it a phaser!)... you'll notice that it's not a perfect sphere, slightly elongated.

This is my ubiquitous 6'0" tall "Poser Guy" that I use for scaling, but this one is the seated version I made to build my Jefferies Workpod around, so he's seated and driving an invisible pod right now...

Now, for a person to be able to sit inside that little pod... dayammm... twouldn't be fun. I suppose Frodo or Sam might fit in there... and maybe that's why Starfleet started considering putting children on starships???
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Old May 12 2009, 12:32 AM   #145
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Re: Another take on the Original Enterprise...

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
Now, for a person to be able to sit inside that little pod... dayammm... twouldn't be fun. I suppose Frodo or Sam might fit in there... and maybe that's why Starfleet started considering putting children on starships???
Nah. They just used Scotty's little sidekick from ST. Why do you think we never saw him in the show?
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Old May 12 2009, 04:25 AM   #146
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Re: Another take on the Original Enterprise...

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
Praetor wrote: View Post
Yeah, I was disappointed TOS-R put the ion pod where it was. I've always liked to think of the ion pod as an analogy to the crow's nest of a seagoing ship.
Well, technically, they never overtly stated "ION POD HERE" in the episode... they only showed a repair. Maybe the "danger to the ship" from having the pod deployed resulted in some burst light bulbs?
Now that's a happy way to think of that scene.

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
I always kinda liked Drexler's and Mandel's version having the pod as the 'ball' at the lower end of the little ventral navigational sensor dome - I'd always imagined it telescoping out like an antenna, although I'm not sure whether this was implied in the original design they did.
Oh yeah... I loved that image from the "USS Enterprise Officers' Manual." And I thought it sounded like such a good idea, that until I really started thinking "scale" I hung onto it.

Of course, once you seriously consider scale, it becomes a huge issue. Here's a close-up of my lower dome.



Again, this is based on Sinclair's work but with a minor "tweak" on my part to make it look like a blend between the "real" part and the little image in Scotty's tech manual (even though I don't call it a phaser!)... you'll notice that it's not a perfect sphere, slightly elongated.

This is my ubiquitous 6'0" tall "Poser Guy" that I use for scaling, but this one is the seated version I made to build my Jefferies Workpod around, so he's seated and driving an invisible pod right now...

Now, for a person to be able to sit inside that little pod... dayammm... twouldn't be fun. I suppose Frodo or Sam might fit in there... and maybe that's why Starfleet started considering putting children on starships???
Wow, that is even worse than I thought!

Doug's drawing seems to suggest the pod is about 3 1/2 feet across... which is obviously out of "real" scale with the actual proportions of the model to start with, and even then is a rather tight fit. Of course, given their work was meant to line up with FJ's and was before any real analysis of the ship's real proportions had been analyzed.

It's a dang shame it won't work without fudging the real size of that little blister, cuz it was a pretty spiffy idea. Then again, who says this navigation dome was the same one all along? Maybe this is the automated ion pod version?

Nah... so, tether it is?
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Old May 12 2009, 05:02 AM   #147
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Re: Another take on the Original Enterprise...

I thought the protrusion on the base of the lower saucer dome was shaped differently than that; kinda like a turret.
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Old May 12 2009, 05:43 AM   #148
Cary L. Brown
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Re: Another take on the Original Enterprise...

Well, I did a fair bit on the dorsal junction this evening, so the primary and secondary hull mating bits all fit now. It's not "done" yet (mainly some cosmetic fixes) but all the features are in place. I've also started on the other side of the hull in that area... ie, "impulse engineering."

Here's a cross-section of that area.


You can see where the leading-edge Jefferies tube enters the primary hull... this will have a secured data (well, with some redundancy) from the main computer cores. Remember, there are three cores in this ship. (No, I'm not taking that from TNG... TNG took it from "standard operating procedures for computer work. With three systems, you can constantly cross-check data and thus ensure what is effectively error-free operation, even allowing for the inevitable hardware glitch.) One is in the secondary hull, two are in the primary hull. So there's a heavy-traffic connection between them at all times, and that goes down the dorsal leading edge.

The aft set of Jefferies tubes, by contrast, are parallel to the main power lines between the hulls. At the primary hull side, there are six fusion reactors in this area, with a pair of VASIMR type propulsion units (that's real tech currently under development... however, the ones in the Enterprise would make the one we have now look like the Wright brothers' plane compared to an F-22... or worse). The impulse thrust system is NOT a fusion reactor... but there are fusion reactors ("auxiliary power") associated with it and colocated with it. The point is that you can run impulse drive from power provided by the m/am reactor, or from the fusion reactors... and you can even generate a low-level ("non-warping") subspace field in the nacelles using fusion power, allowing you to go FTL (but not "warp") using impulse power.

The fusion reactors will have fission-based initiators, and those will have "points" that can "decay to lead" if you drive the ship through strange galactic barriers, by the way.

Now, there are going to be lots more details here, including a horizontal turbolift tube on Deck 6, but for the most part, I think you can probably make out what's what already.

Now, here are a couple of shots showing the (fairly sparsely filled-in) decks 6 and 7. The entire "aft arc" is intended to be engineering spaces. (You'll note that the lift tube comes up fore of that area.)






Those engineering spaces will consist of, in the middle, the two propulsion units, the six reactors. The "L" shaped hatches on the top (which correspond to the "T" shaped one on the underside of the secondary hull) allow emergency jettisoning of faulty reactors, as well as assisting with regular maintenance. The thrust units can also be access through there. The little yellow hatches up there are for refilling of the primary hull fuel tanks, as well as several other "utility" connections.

Immediately outboard of the "L" hatches will be found a pair of energizers (port and starboard... the same as the one seen in main engineering). And outboard from those will be engineering control rooms. Finally, outboard from those will be hydrogen tanks for the fusion reactors, as well as propellant for the thrust units (which I'm not sure will use hydrogen as a propellant... since hydrogen isn't really an optimal choice... though since it's replenishable in-flight, I may stick with that).

You can see the various "rim windows" here... it's worthwhile to note that there really aren't very many windows on the ship. In this case, I've put them in four two-story rooms... two "rec rooms" forward, and two science labs aft. These rooms are accessed from Deck 6. (Much of the lower "ring" around Deck 7 consists of lifeboats, by the way.)

Finally... a trio of shots with me "tweaking" my "separation parameters" (a pair of numbers which allow me to space the two hull sections apart easily). This shows the (as-yet not quite fully completed) primary hull "interface plate" which is a massive solid metal casting which connects to mating plate in the dorsal... both of which are held together by explosive-bolt-driven pins.







This is something that I'll be able to animate easily when complete.
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Old May 12 2009, 05:46 AM   #149
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Re: Another take on the Original Enterprise...

Maybe a silly question, but: how good a simulation of reality is this engineering software? By which I mean, if you build something in there, can you operate it and see if it really would work? If so, would it be possible to fuel this thing up and try to fly it/subject it to the g-forces it would experience and see if it would really operate?
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Old May 12 2009, 05:50 AM   #150
Cary L. Brown
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Re: Another take on the Original Enterprise...

Wingsley wrote: View Post
I thought the protrusion on the base of the lower saucer dome was shaped differently than that; kinda like a turret.
Did you not see this, which I stated in that very post?
Again, this is based on Sinclair's work but with a minor "tweak" on my part to make it look like a blend between the "real" part and the little image in Scotty's tech manual (even though I don't call it a phaser!)... you'll notice that it's not a perfect sphere, slightly elongated.
So you're pointing out something I already explained...
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