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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old October 15 2013, 06:33 AM   #1
Chuck4
Ensign
 
Reliant external docking ports?

I am cutting apart a Polar light refit enterprise to make a 1/350 lit model of the reliant. I noticed reliant didn't seem to have the circular docking ports for travel pods and shuttles like the enterprise, except possibly at the back of the bridg, which wasn't clearly shown for me to tell. That seems odd as refit enterprise and reliant are clearly related designs from the same era, one would think utility features like travel pod docking rings would be standard across all classes. If the enterprise needed 4 (2 on the torpedo pod of all places) on its hull, it is hard to imagine reliant wouldn't be given any.

So I plan to put some on my reliant. I will leave the one behind the bridge on the original enterprise part. I doubt reliant torpedo pod needed any, since unlike the enterprise, reliant's pod wasn't located at a nexus of turbo lifts. Where else would you think is a good place for docking rings on the reliant?
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Old October 15 2013, 01:43 PM   #2
blssdwlf
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Re: Reliant external docking ports?

@Chuck4 -

You can see the behind the bridge circular port the two times where the Reliant flies away from the camera. (After Khan retreats the 1st time, and then after the phaser exchange in the nebula.) Otherwise, you're right as there are no more circular ports.

The model has a rectangular port on the portside rim of the saucer.

You could put the extra ports in the side of the wedge afthull and hide them behind some retracting plate doors Good luck!
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Old October 15 2013, 07:41 PM   #3
Basill
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Re: Reliant external docking ports?

The Reliant studio model clearly had the same retractable doors on the saucer's underbelly as the Enterprise had in TMP. In TMP,those Enterprise doors were displayed open revealing very similar, round, airlock doors, though I don't think they were built on set as full fledged docking rings for travel pods. They looked more akin to how the airlock doors appear from the interior, probably as a cost saving measure by reusing other set elements. However, I don't know how the scale miniature depicted them, and the scenes with the on set version were never seen fully completed, despite being seen in some extended versions of the film. You could easily make that call yourself.
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Old October 16 2013, 01:23 AM   #4
Chuck4
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Re: Reliant external docking ports?

Basill wrote: View Post
The Reliant studio model clearly had the same retractable doors on the saucer's underbelly as the Enterprise had in TMP. In TMP,those Enterprise doors were displayed open revealing very similar, round, airlock doors, though I don't think they were built on set as full fledged docking rings for travel pods. They looked more akin to how the airlock doors appear from the interior, probably as a cost saving measure by reusing other set elements. However, I don't know how the scale miniature depicted them, and the scenes with the on set version were never seen fully completed, despite being seen in some extended versions of the film. You could easily make that call yourself.
I think those are more like EVA hatches for men in space suites. They were used as such in TMP. The doors on those hatches were almost flush with the back wall of the alcoves they are set in, so you are right, they can't mate with the docking ring on travel pods.
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Old October 16 2013, 07:01 AM   #5
drt
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Re: Reliant external docking ports?

I'd think that because they were of the circular "standard" airlock variety the intent was they were supposed to be accessable to travel pods, etc. - refit Enterprise had other docking ports and EVA hatches that weren't the standard variety, it seems if not intended to made with the standard collar, a rectangular shape would have been a better choice for that alcove (I'm not sure we ever saw the starboard hatch cover open, only the port, so I guess the starboard side could be a different type of hatch).
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Old October 16 2013, 07:38 AM   #6
Chuck4
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Re: Reliant external docking ports?

drt wrote: View Post
I'd think that because they were of the circular "standard" airlock variety the intent was they were supposed to be accessable to travel pods, etc. - refit Enterprise had other docking ports and EVA hatches that weren't the standard variety, it seems if not intended to made with the standard collar, a rectangular shape would have been a better choice for that alcove (I'm not sure we ever saw the starboard hatch cover open, only the port, so I guess the starboard side could be a different type of hatch).
Circular apertures are structurally safer and more efficient than rectangular apertures because corners in rectangular door openings act as stress multipliers when the bulkhead the aperture is located in is subjected to stress. This is particularly true when there is pressure difference on either side of the closed aperture.

So I think it is reasonable for any external hatches on a pressurized space ship to be circular unless there is compelling reason requiring the hatch to be a different shape.

As to docking with the recessed circular hatches hidden behind panels on the undersides of the refit enterprise saucer, then problems are:

1. It is damn inconvenient to have to fit into the recessed alcove to dock. If those hatches were meant for convenient access by docking shuttles, they can be located directly on outer hull surface instead of being recessed in alcoves behind panels.

2. The travel pod docking port has a ring of docking hooks which pivots out to grasp the inside of the circular rims of enterprise's docking ports. The hooks are visible in TMP and their functions explained in a number of authorized blue prints. This means the docking mechanism is not ambidextrous. Instead the shuttle side forms the male part of the docking mechanism, and starship docking port forms female side. The male docking hatch has to fit into the recess of the female docking hatch for it to work, and female docking hatch on the star ship side must have deeply recessed doors for the male side on the shuttle to engage. The doors behind the panels on the underside of the saucer were not deeply recessed. So travel pod and shuttle docking collars won't engage.

Last edited by Chuck4; October 16 2013 at 07:54 AM.
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Old October 23 2013, 06:13 AM   #7
wildstar
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Re: Reliant external docking ports?

The Reliant model definately had a rectangular boarding hatch on the port side of the saucer, just as the Enterprise does. But unlike the Enterprise, I swear I can see that same detail on the Reliant's starboard side in screencaps of TWOK. Doesn anyone have good images of the Reliant model from TWOK showing the starboard side?
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Old October 23 2013, 05:23 PM   #8
137th Gebirg
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Re: Reliant external docking ports?

Huh...this is truly odd. I never thought of it until now, but not only can I not recall any images of the starboard side of the filming miniature, I haven't found a single photo of the same from any of the Christie's Auction pics that are out there on the web. For some reason, the starboard side has been completely ignored. I must now ask myself why? Was it damaged at some point during its life and rendered unfilmable? Was it incomplete like the port side of the TOS Enterprise?

Weird...
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Old October 24 2013, 07:53 AM   #9
wildstar
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Re: Reliant external docking ports?

I've marked where I see some square detail on both port and starboard. The portside is seen in many images online, but looks to me anyway, that the model builders duplicated that square gangway port on the starboard as well.
http://www.timpalgut.com/mirandabot.jpg (it wont show the image?!)
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Last edited by wildstar; October 24 2013 at 07:55 AM. Reason: trying to link 2 images to post.
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Old October 24 2013, 11:07 AM   #10
Robert Comsol
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Re: Reliant external docking ports?

The starboard side is really not featured a lot but if I take a look at the HD screencaps like this and in the HD version of the shot you provided it doesn't look a lot like a gangway docking port to me.

However, there seems to be an odd vertical line on the rim that begs explanation.

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Old October 25 2013, 07:16 AM   #11
wildstar
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Re: Reliant external docking ports?

Aha! Yes, it definitely looks like the 3 rings on the outer edge aren't broken by a docking port. The lines are probably just there due to the possibility that that's an opening for a rig to hold onto the model for fx shooting.
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