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Old September 19 2013, 04:16 AM   #256
blssdwlf
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

@Praetor - type in http://sulu.jp into translate.google.com and it'll translate to english for you. Works reasonably well.

I've been thinking that since the Excelsior has a vertical intermix shaft/core similar to the Enterprise that the Transwarp drive is a bulky, primitive, add-on drive like how we see in Voyager's "Threshold" and when they steal a Transwarp Coil from the Borg (which are more compact and refined). The Excelsior runs up to her top warp speed and then engages the Transwarp Engine to take her up into the Transwarp speed regime. You could then turn the "hump" into the Transwarp component sorta like having a supercharger on an engine. That way you get to keep the vertical core/shaft and leverage the hump.

Of course later on they add phasers to that hump IIRC in "Paradise Lost".
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Old September 19 2013, 10:39 AM   #257
Robert Comsol
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

I gave my Blu-rays a spin last night to check out some of the Excelsior footage.

In ST III they really avoided showing any vertical intermix element in the Scotty-Styles "Good night and up your shaft" scene.

While this could have been deliberate to avoid confusion with the engine room of the Enterprise, the back wall looks so vastly different from what we had seen in TMP and ST II (sufficient distinction, IMHO) that just showing any vertical intermix shaft element might have been something they tried to avoid.

Did the whole set still exist by the time of ST III or had they just used some leftover elements for Excelsior's engine room?

Bob
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Old September 19 2013, 02:19 PM   #258
blssdwlf
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

I don't know if you could say the walls look different considering it's from the same set. It looks less cluttered because they don't have those free standing gear there.

You can see some parts of the vertical shaft - a blade of a segment and a side of the connecting ring. But my guess would be either that the set was partially dismantled or that they didn't want to confuse the viewer as to which engine room (Enterprise or Excelsior) they were in and they didn't have the budget to make Excelsior's core unique.

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Old September 19 2013, 05:11 PM   #259
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
@Praetor - type in http://sulu.jp into translate.google.com and it'll translate to english for you. Works reasonably well.
I was going to do that or peruse in Chrome, I was mostly being melodramatic. I really did make an abortive attempt to learn Japanese. Thanks, though.

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
I've been thinking that since the Excelsior has a vertical intermix shaft/core similar to the Enterprise that the Transwarp drive is a bulky, primitive, add-on drive like how we see in Voyager's "Threshold" and when they steal a Transwarp Coil from the Borg (which are more compact and refined). The Excelsior runs up to her top warp speed and then engages the Transwarp Engine to take her up into the Transwarp speed regime. You could then turn the "hump" into the Transwarp component sorta like having a supercharger on an engine. That way you get to keep the vertical core/shaft and leverage the hump.

Of course later on they add phasers to that hump IIRC in "Paradise Lost".
You do indeed recall correctly.

It's a very interesting idea... and a combination EPS manifold/"supercharger" would make a great deal of sense of the location, and God help me, evoke the NX-01 "plasma accelerator" thing in a way that seems plausible for a new, fancy shmancy drive. I'd still like to keep the antimatter there if at al possible, to avoid putting it above the deflector alcove. Does anyone else have any strong feelings on that?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
I gave my Blu-rays a spin last night to check out some of the Excelsior footage.

In ST III they really avoided showing any vertical intermix element in the Scotty-Styles "Good night and up your shaft" scene.

While this could have been deliberate to avoid confusion with the engine room of the Enterprise, the back wall looks so vastly different from what we had seen in TMP and ST II (sufficient distinction, IMHO) that just showing any vertical intermix shaft element might have been something they tried to avoid.

Did the whole set still exist by the time of ST III or had they just used some leftover elements for Excelsior's engine room?

Bob
It's always been my conclusion that they probably were trying to avoid confusion AND do the scene on the cheap. I always thought they used the upper level for that scene, but perhaps they just put up a fake wall? It does certainly leave things nicely ambiguous.

So the real question is, what le-le-level are they on?
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Old September 19 2013, 05:50 PM   #260
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Although I'm sure it's no help here, I've always pictured the Excelsior's engineering section the way it looked in the old post-STIII DC Comics series:
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Old September 19 2013, 06:20 PM   #261
Robert Comsol
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
I don't know if you could say the walls look different considering it's from the same set. It looks less cluttered because they don't have those free standing gear there.
I see, it's definitely the same set, thanks. They probably put the wall next to the crewman (watch his right leg) to shield the main energizer room from our view (so where is it aboard the Excelsior?).

@ King Daniel

Great find! The ceiling of this engine room would perfectly fit inside the Excelsior's belly or chasm. Of course everything else would be upside down.

Bob
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Old September 19 2013, 08:14 PM   #262
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

I forgot about that one! And judging by those pipes carrying yellow-colored something close to the ceiling, it would almost imply a dual-core configuration! The larger tube closer to Kirk seems off center, directly under the one higher, smaller tube, implying that there may be a second larger tube, out-of-scene, or maybe that's the blue-colored tube in the lower-left-corner which was drawn as if it was transparent like all the others, although at a wonky angle. I'm really thinking that they believed there may have been two intermix chambers, even back then!
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Old September 19 2013, 08:47 PM   #263
Workbee
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
I gave my Blu-rays a spin last night to check out some of the Excelsior footage.

In ST III they really avoided showing any vertical intermix element in the Scotty-Styles "Good night and up your shaft" scene.

While this could have been deliberate to avoid confusion with the engine room of the Enterprise, the back wall looks so vastly different from what we had seen in TMP and ST II (sufficient distinction, IMHO) that just showing any vertical intermix shaft element might have been something they tried to avoid.

Did the whole set still exist by the time of ST III or had they just used some leftover elements for Excelsior's engine room?

Bob
Oh, it is the same set. At first I thought the framing was done to avoid confusion, but after further reflection I think it just came down to cost.

I can't remember where I read it, but apparently the swirly effect seen in TMP and TWOK was created by a special effects artist on set (IIRC, the person that created the effect for TMP was brought back for TWOK to recreate his work). It wasn't just something they could flip a switch and turn on. This is why in TSFS we they used the TWOK ladder set as a stand in for the engine room, and probably why they avoided showing the intermix chamber -- it would have been more costly and complicated the production schedule to have the intermix chamber featured.

If we take a step back and look at it from a production perspective, it makes sense. Engineering is simply a set that serves aesthetic and information purposes. It provides a certain "look" and informs the audience about the environment (the part of the ship that makes it go). Changes from TOS through TNG reflect the changes in budget and the growing development of the "theory". In TOS, warp drive was powered by some vague mix of fusion, lithium, dilithium and antimatter. A room with a forced perspective chamber filled with PVC pipes separated by a mesh screen was more than adequate given the budget and story requirements. Add a few flashes and sparks at dramatic moments and you convey this is what makes the ship GO perfectly.

During development of phase ii, then the motion picture, ideas were refined. Warp was powered through some intermix of matter and antimatter. Large vertical and later horizontal conduits conveyed the idea of this power source being transferred to the warp nacelles. The appearance of these conduits changed as the budget increased -- going from a TV friendly column with simple glowing lights to a translucent glowing column of swirly... stuff. Considerations for widescreen led to the horizontal segment being constructed. Location of where the matter and antimatter were stored, and at what points they mixed were still ill defined.

Likewise, when TNG came along -- besides wanting to depict advancements in the past 80ish years the series set forward, the setpiece needed practical effects that could be managed with a television production schedule and budget. By this point, Probert had further refined his understand of the mechanics that it involved a combining of matter to antimatter, and shunting the resulting energy to the warp nacelles. The TNG core is a series of chasing florescent lights -- something that can be rigged up to turn on and off at a flip of a switch. Had TNG began as a theatrical film, it is likely that an effect more like the TMP intermix would have been depicted. But like most of the other sets, compromises were made for budget. Existing movie sets were modified or cannibalized in favor of producing from scratch. TNG engineering had to utilize the structure of the Phase II/TMP engineering -- a multi layered set oriented around a vertical core.

Is there any pre-production artwork for the Excelsior engine room anywhere? For a ship who was only a guest ship, we were already to get a different set for the bridge and turbolift. To accommodate, Engineering and Style's quarters were simple redresses of the existing Enterprise sets. Having a new engineering set for just one scene was probably never in the cards.
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Last edited by Workbee; September 19 2013 at 08:50 PM. Reason: Still learning how to use a spell check
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Old September 19 2013, 08:52 PM   #264
Workbee
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
I don't know if you could say the walls look different considering it's from the same set. It looks less cluttered because they don't have those free standing gear there.

You can see some parts of the vertical shaft - a blade of a segment and a side of the connecting ring. But my guess would be either that the set was partially dismantled or that they didn't want to confuse the viewer as to which engine room (Enterprise or Excelsior) they were in and they didn't have the budget to make Excelsior's core unique.

The intermix wasn't partially dismantled, just kept carefully out of frame. The lower portion of what you outlined is one of the "rings" that seem to be a kind of connector joining segments of the intermix chamber. See my previous email -- they probably just didn't want to deal with the swirly effects.
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Old September 19 2013, 08:59 PM   #265
Workbee
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
I forgot about that one! And judging by those pipes carrying yellow-colored something close to the ceiling, it would almost imply a dual-core configuration! The larger tube closer to Kirk seems off center, directly under the one higher, smaller tube, implying that there may be a second larger tube, out-of-scene, or maybe that's the blue-colored tube in the lower-left-corner which was drawn as if it was transparent like all the others, although at a wonky angle. I'm really thinking that they believed there may have been two intermix chambers, even back then!
The two yellow tubes strike me as being similar to the two plasma conduits flanking the warp core in Star Trek First Contact. If anything, the twin impulse crystals on Excelsior in TUC are the best indication of twin cores, but this was after she was supposedly retrofitted with conventional warp drive.
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Old September 19 2013, 09:08 PM   #266
Workbee
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
I don't know if you could say the walls look different considering it's from the same set. It looks less cluttered because they don't have those free standing gear there.
I see, it's definitely the same set, thanks. They probably put the wall next to the crewman (watch his right leg) to shield the main energizer room from our view (so where is it aboard the Excelsior?).


Bob
What you are seeing on the crewman's leg I think is not some obstruction in front -- I think that is just the jumpsuit pocket and the bottom cuff flaring out. Had to look at it closely to be sure. But yes, there seems to be a fake wall. As for where the energizer room is, possibly the same place it was in TMP. But really, if it does have an energizer room, its easy to posit it's on the side opposite of the camera, or on a different deck since we do not see a horizontal shaft.


Sorry for all the responses -- couldn't figure out how to multi-quote responses without it going all wrong. Gotta work on that.
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Old September 20 2013, 02:54 PM   #267
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Praetor:
PM me if you want someone to go over and translate bits of the SULU.jp site.

Be happy to give you summaries of each of the pages.
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Old September 20 2013, 04:53 PM   #268
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Thank you very much! I may take you up on that.
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Old September 21 2013, 01:45 AM   #269
Praetor
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

I just posted an updated version of Chapter One over in the other thread if anyone would like to have a look.

Meanwhile, I've been thinking about the unusual top "windows" on the warp nacelles. The Enterprise-C had a variation of them too, but then they disappear never again to be seen.

Does anyone have a notion as to what they might be? I suppose it's possible that Excelsior and Ambassador engines just ran "hot," warranting additional gaps.
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Old September 22 2013, 04:44 AM   #270
Praetor
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Okie dokie, made some progress on the 467 meter cross section today. Click for embiggenment.



I used those plans of the Lakota model that I posted earlier to refine the overall outline of the ship greatly. Random black lines and white elements are a result of me converting from the original black and white version to a colored LCARS-style MSD, as well as realigning stuff.

Other changes include:
  1. Realigned decks in saucer section to make the windows on the upper saucer step work. Initially, I was going to make the edge of the saucer have a step down, but eventually I realized that simply shifting the decks down ended up making everything line up better. In the areas at the saucer's edge where there are two rows of windows, I envision crew lounges and rec rooms. The windows around the top plateau and the upper saucer step would be executive quarters and workspaces. The solid hull section atop the neck is the space leftover because I didn't realign the secondary hull. (That would be catastrophic.) I think it's acceptable that this thickened hull section will contain explosive separation bolts. There's also a backup navigational deflector at the forward end of the Excelsior's saucer.
  2. Moved intermix chamber forward to align with where the original large deflector crystal center would have been, and reconstructed the intermix chamber as a swirl type.
  3. Concepted humpback plasma manifold/"supercharger." The yellow hexagons here are the antimatter pods, and this is both the point where the antimatter is injected into the intermix chamber and where it is re-injected to plasma headed to the engines to supercharge it. I may or may not put a phaser atop it to match the Laktoa one. Even if I don't, there's still space for one later. I'm not entirely clear on how this component would work, and I'm not entirely sold on the second horizontal core thingy. If anyone has a better idea please put it forth.
  4. Rebuilt the engine guts. Right now the forward dome is going to be a matter intake and the aft dome is going to be the off-axis field controller. I reduced the number of coils to coincide with the dorsal field window on the nacelle structures. I think the section behind the matter intake under the Darth Vader hatch* at the beginning of the dorsal oopening is going to be the plasma injector. I'm purposefully going for TNG-style nacelle guts to suggest that this set the standard.
  5. Made the warp core a two-lobe version of the one from Rick Sternbach & Tim Earls Constellation cutaway. I rationalize that this eventually develops into the two core scheme of the Galaxy class. There is also a "transwarp computer" for Scotty to sabotage down in the secondary hull.
I'm debating showing features that wouldn't actually be seen in a true cross section. Originally I went for more of a true cross section, only showing things you would see down the middle, but I knid of like showing the turboshafts the way I've done. Still, it ends up obscuring some stuff. I may or may not end up only showing some. Right now, you can see basically all of them.

More to come!

*The "Darth Vader hatch" is so-called because the small cap just aft of the forward nacelle cowling is actually the entry hatch from the model kit of Darth Vader's TIE fighter. True story.
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