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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek Movies > Star Trek Movies I-X

Star Trek Movies I-X Discuss the first ten big screen outings in this forum!

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Old August 5 2011, 07:43 AM   #1
Maurice
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The Spacedock "shuttle"

Just a quick note to share something I learned tonight that I don't believe was previously known. I had a meeting with ILM VFX supervisor Bill George (designer of the Excelsior and the Klingon Bird or Prey, amongst others), and in his house he had a whole bunch of scratchbuilt models he'd made of various Star Trek small utility craft all in the same scale. Well, one of those was one of the small shuttle-like vehicles seen in TSFS in spacedock and in TVH over San Francisco Bay and also in spacedock. I asked if I could see the model and he plunked it into my hands. When I mentioned that I'd never seen much on this craft, he said, "It's a tug. That's the tractor beam emitter," and pointed to the array of quarter-circle ribs on the back of the ship above the the nacelles. He went on to explain his idea that these ships would act as tugboats in spacedock, which is why you see them moving around the Enterprise...ready to guide her if necessary.

So, there ya go...right from the designer's mouth, a bit of trivia I suspect none of us knew.

You can see the tractor beam detail in the photo in row3, columns 2 and 3, and row 4, column 3 of this page.
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Old August 5 2011, 09:57 AM   #2
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Re: The Spacedock "shuttle"

a) You had the chance to go over Bill George's house to see all his Trek models, and you didn't take any pictures?

b) Did he happen to have the model of the "barge" (the small ship underneath the loading ramp)?
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Old August 5 2011, 10:44 AM   #3
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Re: The Spacedock "shuttle"

I was there for a meeting. I'll be back there and he said he'll take some pix of me with some of the models. Mind you, these aren't the originals built for the movies, but his recreations of same. The "tug shuttle" is 1/2 scale the photographic miniature, but as he made both the original and the replica, it's safe to say it's pretty damned accurate.

The first thing I saw when I stepped into his front door was this beautiful recreation of the "clipper" from 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is just over 3' long. Yep, kids, it's a model, not CGI.
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Old August 5 2011, 04:58 PM   #4
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Re: The Spacedock "shuttle"

Dukhat wrote: View Post
a) You had the chance to go over Bill George's house to see all his Trek models, and you didn't take any pictures?
Worse than that. He didn't take me.
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Old August 5 2011, 07:04 PM   #5
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Re: The Spacedock "shuttle"

DS9Sega wrote: View Post
Mind you, these aren't the originals built for the movies, but his recreations of same.
Who cares? This is Bill George, man! The guy who built the Pasteur just for fun. (And saved the TNG producers' asses by generously donating it for "All Good Things...")
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Old August 5 2011, 07:09 PM   #6
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Re: The Spacedock "shuttle"

Can you ask him what that big thing in the Excelsior's hanger is? It looks like a big, boxy, ship landed and jutting out the back.

And also how big he envisioned Excelsior. The manuals all say 467m, when the detailing (windows, bridge module etc) on the model all indicate a ship that's 700+m long.

Just if you get the chance....
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Old August 5 2011, 08:40 PM   #7
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Re: The Spacedock "shuttle"

Dukhat wrote: View Post
DS9Sega wrote: View Post
Mind you, these aren't the originals built for the movies, but his recreations of same.
Who cares? This is Bill George, man! The guy who built the Pasteur just for fun. (And saved the TNG producers' asses by generously donating it for "All Good Things...")
And the Eagle on the Sci-Fi Airshow website is HUUUGE at 6-feet long.
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Old June 2 2012, 11:18 PM   #8
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Re: The Spacedock "shuttle"

FYI, photos of this model over on this post (click).
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Old June 13 2012, 09:08 PM   #9
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Re: The Spacedock "shuttle"

*jealous* beautiful pictures - shame my models look nowhere near as nice!
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Old June 20 2012, 08:22 AM   #10
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Re: The Spacedock "shuttle"

I read somewhere that this shuttle was going to be assigned to the Enterprise for the movies.

This one, the "Vulcan" runabout and V's would have been great in the movies.

beautiful model. I wish I could build. I would build it to scale for my Lego minifigs and have a interior designed after the TMP Star Fleet bridge and TVH Okudagram flatscreen displays.
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Old June 20 2012, 07:39 PM   #11
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Re: The Spacedock "shuttle"

It wasn't going to be assigned to the Enterprise. It was just a background vehicle for the Spacedock and re-used at Starfleet Command.
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Old June 20 2012, 08:50 PM   #12
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Re: The Spacedock "shuttle"

A starship having a tug or two in the event it became disabled might not be a bad idea, at least if they could perform more typical shuttle duty for ordinary situations, as well.
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Old November 20 2012, 12:47 AM   #13
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Re: The Spacedock "shuttle"

Dukhat wrote: View Post
a) You had the chance to go over Bill George's house to see all his Trek models, and you didn't take any pictures?

b) Did he happen to have the model of the "barge" (the small ship underneath the loading ramp)?
Sorry to revive this necro thread, but I pestered Bill George about that thing parked in the Spacedock beneath where the Enterprise docks, and he said this:
Bill George wrote:
It was a model of some sort of "tug" that was part of the interior model set . It may have been a design or early prototype for the merchant man vessel as I recall.
He didn't indicate if he had any pictures of it.
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Old November 20 2012, 10:17 PM   #14
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Re: The Spacedock "shuttle"

^Thanks for asking him about this. At the least, we now know that it was indeed a ship, and not just a dumpster where the Spacedock crew threw their trash away

It's too bad that there weren't more ships in Spacedock when they filmed it for Trek III. They could have thrown in the other Excelsior study models, or commercially available AMT model kits. I know the only starship kits available at the time were either TOS or TMP Enterprises, but what fun they could have had kitbashing them into new designs for the background

EDIT: After seeing this pic:

http://starstation.files.wordpress.c..._spacedock.jpg

I realize that there'd be no way that the study models or model kits could fit inside that spacedock model, as they'd be far too big in relation to the size of the interior. That barge model (and the Planet of the Titans study model that was also in the shot) must have been tiny indeed.
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Last edited by Dukhat; November 21 2012 at 12:53 AM.
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Old November 21 2012, 07:16 AM   #15
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Re: The Spacedock "shuttle"

Study model are typically small, maybe a foot or two across.
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