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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old July 17 2014, 10:49 AM   #16
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Flipped ship?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Basically. But "up" and "down" in space is always relevant to something anyway. It may be a commonly accepted (but not really necessary) practice throughout the Galaxy for two or more ships to match orientations. Such a practice could be simply customary or a courtesy. The blinking navigation lights on the hulls of most starships may also be transmitting their respective orientations to others.

In real life, I think spaceships wouldn't bother rotating to match orientations unless they were docking. But astronauts in a zero-G space station probably orient together when they're talking.

If starships do align themselves for some reason, esthetics I guess, I'll bet the smaller guy will be the one that's supposed to adjust. The big ship will sit there, seeming to say "It's my way or the Milky Way." And thus pride will mean that Klingon battle cruisers always face us at crazy angles.
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Old July 17 2014, 12:56 PM   #17
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Re: Flipped ship?

Maurice wrote: View Post
The Reliant was designed nacelles up, and Harve Bennett approved the sketch upside down, hence it got flipped, or so various sources have said.
That's funny. I've seen the same story reported for the Enterprise (except for the nacelles being down instead of up) but with Roddenberry instead of Bennett.

I can't remember where I've seen it though?
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Old July 17 2014, 01:11 PM   #18
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Flipped ship?

BillJ wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
The Reliant was designed nacelles up, and Harve Bennett approved the sketch upside down, hence it got flipped, or so various sources have said.
That's funny. I've seen the same story reported for the Enterprise (except for the nacelles being down instead of up) but with Roddenberry instead of Bennett.

I can't remember where I've seen it though?

That basic story was always about Matt Jeffries showing a study model to Gene Roddenberry, who turned it upside down and liked it that way. I've never heard that a similar event befell the Reliant.
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Old July 17 2014, 06:19 PM   #19
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Re: Flipped ship?

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Basically. But "up" and "down" in space is always relevant to something anyway. It may be a commonly accepted (but not really necessary) practice throughout the Galaxy for two or more ships to match orientations. Such a practice could be simply customary or a courtesy. The blinking navigation lights on the hulls of most starships may also be transmitting their respective orientations to others.

In real life, I think spaceships wouldn't bother rotating to match orientations unless they were docking.

But astronauts in a zero-G space station probably orient together when they're talking.
You can apply that same idea to starships in Trek. As I said earlier, matching orientations is something that likely isn't necessary, but more customary and probably only because it doesn't really take much for the futuristic Trek ships to do so (it may only require the push of a single button on the helm).
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Old July 18 2014, 02:59 AM   #20
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Re: Flipped ship?

scotpens wrote: View Post
Some of Matt Jefferies' early concept sketches had the ship "upside down."

This reminds me of how fleeting and tenuous a thing reality is: one little change of decision on someone's part, and suddenly we'd have been looking at a different ship all these years!

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post

Great collection of flipped-over ships from back in the day!
You would think that the above example wouldn't exactly be a credibility booster for Ballantine Books, though!
Makes me wonder if there was a commonality among paste-up artists, that they never have even seen Star Trek. How odd...

Wingsley wrote: View Post
Try Starscape's remarkable Starship Spitfire out: here, here, here and here!
These are pretty nice! I'd say it only has one "weakness' design-wise, and that would be this angle:



Again, it may be the bias of familiarity, but that saucer neck part just doesn't look right. But of course if the "upside down" design had been used, I'm sure that what we've become so familiar with wouldn't look right, either!
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Old July 18 2014, 03:02 AM   #21
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Re: Flipped ship?

Doug Drexler wrote a piece about the Enterprise design way back in his fannish days (1970s) in which he suggested that the pylons and nacelles evoked the masts of a sailing vessel. Certainly having them elevated at those angles is suggestive of wings.
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Old July 18 2014, 03:17 AM   #22
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Re: Flipped ship?

There's basically no way that the nacelles can be anything like rockets in the conventional sense, because it's mathematically impossible for the center of mass of the ship to be between them (unless the top of the saucer is ridiculously heavy compared to the rest of the ship below the nacelles). You'd at least need the aft end of the engineering hull to be a rocket too, which is how the artist interpreted it for the painting on the cover of Blish's original Star Trek book. No, the engines must be something else of pure fantasy, and it follows from the design itself.
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Old July 18 2014, 06:04 AM   #23
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Re: Flipped ship?

It is intersting what is construed as 'believable'. Realistically, the Enterprise saucer and bridge is really just an enlarged version of this...

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Old July 18 2014, 08:56 AM   #24
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Re: Flipped ship?

Here's the Reliant "flip" story on Ottens (link).
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Old July 18 2014, 09:06 AM   #25
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Re: Flipped ship?

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
That basic story was always about Matt Jeffries showing a study model to Gene Roddenberry, who turned it upside down and liked it that way. I've never heard that a similar event befell the Reliant.
The version I recall reading – and this was in a Star Trek: The Magazine interview with Matt Jeffries, though the issue number escapes me – was that he had a little wood study model hanging from fishing line he took with him to a meeting, and during the meeting it flipped wrong-way round, with the nacelles on the bottom. Jeffries had to very quickly make the point to Roddenberry that it wasn't supposed to be oriented that way, out of concern that Roddenberry might like it in that direction.

So, it wasn't approved upside down; there was one, brief moment where the ship was upside down, but then it was corrected and things proceeded the way Jeffries intended. I suspect people are conflating the Enterprise anecdote with the Harve Bennet Reliant one, which as Maurice linked above did happen that way.
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Old July 19 2014, 05:53 AM   #26
Olive, the Other Reindeer
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Re: Flipped ship?

LMFAOschwarz wrote: View Post
It is intersting what is construed as 'believable'. Realistically, the Enterprise saucer and bridge is really just an enlarged version of this...

I've read that Matt Jefferies wanted to get away from the cliché of a flying saucer, but kept coming back to the saucer shape because it just looks so damn cool.
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Old July 19 2014, 03:07 PM   #27
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Re: Flipped ship?

Gep Malakai wrote: View Post
ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
That basic story was always about Matt Jeffries showing a study model to Gene Roddenberry, who turned it upside down and liked it that way. I've never heard that a similar event befell the Reliant.
The version I recall reading – and this was in a Star Trek: The Magazine interview with Matt Jeffries, though the issue number escapes me – was that he had a little wood study model hanging from fishing line he took with him to a meeting, and during the meeting it flipped wrong-way round, with the nacelles on the bottom. Jeffries had to very quickly make the point to Roddenberry that it wasn't supposed to be oriented that way, out of concern that Roddenberry might like it in that direction.

So, it wasn't approved upside down; there was one, brief moment where the ship was upside down, but then it was corrected and things proceeded the way Jeffries intended. I suspect people are conflating the Enterprise anecdote with the Harve Bennet Reliant one, which as Maurice linked above did happen that way.
Yes, this is how I've recalled it for decades.

The use of a sphere as MJ tried initially doesn't work as well aesthetically as a saucer. A sphere seems to make the design look unwieldy and "slow." You can't really make a sphere look sleek and "fast."

The final MJ design suggests many things visually. It conveys the idea that very advanced science and technology has been mastered to the point of unfamiliarity from our current understanding. Imagine if a modern jet fighter or airliner were thrown back in time to anywhere pre WW2. Such a vehicle would be completely alien to the people of those times. And any technical explanation or jargon associated with the craft would be largely meaningless.
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Old July 19 2014, 08:08 PM   #28
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Re: Flipped ship?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
One thing Star Trek never conveyed is the lack of "up and down" in space.
Star Trek II. The Enterprise goes down vertical and then comes up behind the Reliant, taking advantage of Khan's 2D thinking.
That's sort of 2D as well, Enterprise should have just pitched up and fired at Reliant from underneath (granted, not as cool of a shot as the Enterpise rising from behind).
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Old July 19 2014, 09:22 PM   #29
Timelord Victorious
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Re: Flipped ship?

drt wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
One thing Star Trek never conveyed is the lack of "up and down" in space.
Star Trek II. The Enterprise goes down vertical and then comes up behind the Reliant, taking advantage of Khan's 2D thinking.
That's sort of 2D as well, Enterprise should have just pitched up and fired at Reliant from underneath (granted, not as cool of a shot as the Enterpise rising from behind).

That one I can rationalize. Kirk needed that specific firing angle to hit the subsystems that would cripple Reliant without destroying or leaving her at least partially operational and a threat.
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Old July 19 2014, 11:12 PM   #30
C.E. Evans
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Re: Flipped ship?

drt wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
One thing Star Trek never conveyed is the lack of "up and down" in space.
Star Trek II. The Enterprise goes down vertical and then comes up behind the Reliant, taking advantage of Khan's 2D thinking.
That's sort of 2D as well, Enterprise should have just pitched up and fired at Reliant from underneath (granted, not as cool of a shot as the Enterpise rising from behind).
It's still a case of moving vertically, though. And with both ships pretty much flying blind within the Mutara Nebula, the Enterprise maneuvering up and behind the Reliant in order to get as close as possible to see her (without being detected in the process) might have been the best option at the time.
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