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Old August 19 2013, 10:17 AM   #16
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

I would be very interested to hear what Mr. George has to say on the matter, thank you!
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Old August 19 2013, 10:51 AM   #17
Patrickivan
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Great topic. I never had issues with TOS E/TMP E's size, or even with the space dock doors (that I just assumed had a second set), but Excelsior's bridge and windows always seemed odd for her published length.
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Old August 19 2013, 11:14 AM   #18
JarodRussell
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

If you want to analyze the proper scale of the Excelsior, you need to watch TSFS. The sizes of Enterprise, Spacedock and Excelsior are very consistent in the film.
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Old August 19 2013, 12:47 PM   #19
Robert Comsol
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Maurice wrote: View Post
As I recall, Bill was tasked to build study models for the Excelsior from concepts by others, and when he finished early he was allowed to make his own concept model for consideration. That's the one Nimoy picked.
Thus far I was unable to find Bill George's name linked to the production of ST III. The production credits only list Fulmer and Keeler as model makers, but according to ILM-The Art of Special Effects there were two more gentlemen, but Bill George's name isn't among these, either.

Bob
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Old August 19 2013, 01:46 PM   #20
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

I'm pretty sure he did build the Excelsior. Doesn't he talk about it on the DVD?
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Old August 19 2013, 04:10 PM   #21
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Praetor wrote: View Post
Well, if there was a door big enough for the Enterprise-D, we can always pretend there was one big enough for the Excelsior, too.
Funny, when I visited the Paramount Studios back in 1988 Andrew Probert confronted me with the E-D / spacedock scaling issue and asked "Can you believe this [crap]?"
Fascinating. Now that visit sounds worthy of its own thread too.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
My reply was the same as yours and courteous as he is he politely replied "Maybe I can live with that". I took a look at his E-D schematic in front of Earth Spacedock and feel today that we definitely need a bigger Spacedock to make this work.
Well, maybe we can pretend Starbase 47 was actually bigger, and either the Enterprise was smaller than she appeared when sliding through the doors ahead of Excelsior, or that there was an unseen larger door. I do intend to more thoroughly study the TSFS scenes to glean what I can. But overall, I'm not super concerned with whether or not it fits in Spacedock, since Spacedock's exact size isn't locked down. Scaled against the Enterprises and other concrete sizes, I think i might do.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
You might want to get in touch with Andrew Probert. Back then I also brought up Shane Johnson and this was Mr. Probert's reaction: "Oh, Shane "
It's been a while, but I think I shall drop Mr. Probert a line, especially given that comment. I knew of course of the dubious canonical status of Mr. Johnson's work, though there were of course elements I admired.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Looks to me like the guys at ILM solely focused how to make the spacedoors match the size of the Enterprise for entry and exit - and forgot to make it big enough for the Excelsior, too (maybe there was a bigger one elsewhere for Excelsior but she merely blasted the small space door wider Enemy Mine style to pursue Enterprise? )
Haha, it is rather convenient we don't see the Excelsior exit, isn't it?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Is there a possibility ILM deliberately "fixed" their mistake in the size comparison chart?
In other words, they realized they made her too big, and scaled her down? I suppose that's possible.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
And what does a scale comparison of Excelsior's bridge, saucer rim and saucer ventral array with those features on the Enterprise suggest?
I will try to work up such a comparison this evening unless someone beats me to it. I can tell you the bridge is not at all identical, with a simple silver 'cap' in TSFS, and the Excelsior's being narrower in TUC.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Regarding Excelsior's engineering hull windows I'd rather find these unreliable to use these as a means to conclude the actual size from.

Apparently these could be the infamous "lower decks" (lower deck ).
You would think so, but they seem to line up too well. And, scaling from the saucer rim isn't too terribly far off from what I get in engineering - if anything, the saucer points to narrower decks and therefore more of 'em.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
And though I detest the bunk bed BS featured in ST VI, I wouldn't exclude the possibility these might be tall rooms / decks.
Not a fan of the bunks either. I believe there was a deck level sign outside Tuvok's quarters, I want to say it said deck seven. I'll need to hunt screencaps to be sure.

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
I can't work out the deck heights now, but here's a slightly butchered version of Johnson's cutaway, which I used in the Enterprise size thread over in XI+
CLICK!
Thank you sir, that's most helpful!

Maurice wrote: View Post
I know Bill George personally. I can ask him about the intended size next time I see him.
You lucky so-and-so. Moreso, we lucky so-and-sos. If you find occasion to ask him about it, I would be elated.

Maurice wrote: View Post
As I recall, Bill was tasked to build study models for the Excelsior from concepts by others, and when he finished early he was allowed to make his own concept model for consideration. That's the one Nimoy picked.
Fascinating - I remember the study model bit but not the later part. Truly he is the Father of the Excelsior then.

Maurice wrote: View Post
That's a great theory about the doors, but it's undermined by the fact that we see the Excelsior pointed at the door the Enterprise enters and exits through. http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...tsfshd0608.jpg
Damn. Is it just me, or even allowing for perspective doesn't it seem like Excelsior is just going to be too wide?

Tomalak wrote: View Post
I'm pretty sure he did build the Excelsior. Doesn't he talk about it on the DVD?
I'm pretty sure he did, indeed. Everything I've ever read about the original creation of the ship involves Mr. George.

EDIT:

I hunted down a few relevant script tidbits, from here.

35 ANOTHER ANGLE (ILM)
introducing NX 2000, Excelsior, a super starship. Her lines are similar to Enterprise, but she is clearly bigger, sleeker, and very new. She sits at her mooring like the new Queen of Space.
36 INT. SPACEDOCK - THE CAFETERIA (FX SHOT WITH ILM 36 ELEMENTS) THROUGH THE WINDOW of a Spacedock facility, a few lounging Starfleet persons look up to see a memorable sight... ... battle-scarred Enterprise is passing alongside of the sleek Excelsior. Their size differential is apparent (B-29 to B-17). Yet, Enterprise carries with her a battle-scarred history of achievement. Some of the Starfleet people begin to rise, silently. A standing ovation for a hero's return.
So there's a spot of authorial intent - Excelsior is bigger, along the lines of B-29 to Enterprise's B-17. This may be a more useful statement than we realize. Not only was the B-29 considerably larger, but it was considered fairly revolutionary for its time. Interestingly, the B-29 remained in service for a while after the war, but the B-17 was scrapped almost immediately after, as it was considered obsolete. Hrmmm...

Might be worth doing a size difference percentage.

I don't think this one is meant to represent size difference as much as set the scene, but it is amusing nonetheless:

112 INT. SPACEDOCK - THE CAFETERIA - (FX SHOT WITH ILM 112 ELEMENTS) It's darkened now, and empty. A lone cleaning man works among the stacked tables as behind him, in the great window, Enterprise begins backing away from Excelsior like a mouse tip-toeing away from a sleeping cat. The cleaning man looks up in surprise. What the hell's going on?
Another quote mentions that the Excelsior "looks faster than the Enterprise even standing still." Not very useful to our size discussion, but I'd say the modelmakers did achieve that look.
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Last edited by Praetor; August 19 2013 at 08:17 PM.
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Old August 20 2013, 01:03 AM   #22
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Very interesting topic! The ST:III/IV era Excelsior always interested me. For the purposes of your project, I hope that you not let any perceived clearance issues with Space Dock doors affect your calculations.

I have suspected that the shot of Enterprise clearing the space doors was framed in such a way to make the clearance look tighter than it really is in order to play up the drama of Scotty barely getting the doors in time. I don't take it that seriously as an objective measurement.

A couple things in this shot can support larger space doors:

http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...tsfshd0631.jpg

First, the space doors may not be completely open. In this shot, you can see that the edges of the doors still extrude from the frame. While it seems apparent that this is as far as the doors open, a possible in universe explanation is that Scotty only opened the doors JUST ENOUGH for the Enterprise to slip through, as a way to slow down Excelsior's pursuit. Excelsior would then have to wait a few more moments to have dock control fully open the doors to allow exit (or fly "sideways").

Second, the shadow cast by the enterprise is below the door frame to the left. I would need to see the actual sequence again to be sure, but from the picture it looks like, contrary to the appearance, the Enterprise is now some distance from the doors, and appears larger because of the perspective. This could allow for the Excelsior to clear the doors.

This is complicated by the fact that the enterprise model never actually passes through the doors -- all the elements had to be filmed separately and composited together. Given that this was made in 1984 on a tight budget, I am inclined to give filmmakers a "bye" on scaling when there are overlapping moving elements. For scaling purposes, the static shorts of the Excelsior and Enterprise carry more weight for me personally. YMMV of course.

That being said, I am very interested to hear what Mr. Probert or Mr. George come back with.
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Old August 20 2013, 01:33 AM   #23
Praetor
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Thanks very much. I believe I'm going to heed the advice of yourself and others and just not worry about Spacedock either way.

Here is a fantastic collage someone put together - perhaps Bernd @ EAS, I honestly don't recall - that fabulously illustrates the differences between the pre-TUC Excelsior and the TUC modifications.



As you can see, if anything the TUC version seems to make the ship seem even bigger - there appear to be several rows of windows on both the bridge module and the revised aft section ahead of the shuttlebay, plus the bridge is too narrow to accommodate the bridge.

This isn't exactly an item-by-item comparison of the features of the two ships, but this comparison I think also by Bernd puts them to rough scale via the 467 and 305 meters. Even here the edge of the saucers don't exactly match in thickness. The window pattern on the rim seems more spread out, and overall it seems like the Excelsior rim should be thicker to me.



Does anyone have any opinions on the Damn Secondary Hull Chasm? As a kid I thought it was part of the transwarp machinery (imagining that the deflector took part in the transwarp funcionality.) As an adult, I want it to be a shuttlebay. Dammit.

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Old August 20 2013, 05:57 AM   #24
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
I found that to have 8ft deck heights the Excelsior would need to be at least 622m/2060.6ft long. To fit the bridge module, larger even than that.
So, you ignore ILM when they list a ship as too small for your liking, but you hear them exclusively when they say a ship is bigger than it should be. Interesting...
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Old August 20 2013, 06:34 AM   #25
Albertese
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Man! This thread is making me want to watch TSFS again! That's a damn fine movie. In many ways, it's my favorite of the franchise.

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Old August 20 2013, 08:29 AM   #26
Maurice
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
As I recall, Bill was tasked to build study models for the Excelsior from concepts by others, and when he finished early he was allowed to make his own concept model for consideration. That's the one Nimoy picked.
Thus far I was unable to find Bill George's name linked to the production of ST III. The production credits only list Fulmer and Keeler as model makers, but according to ILM-The Art of Special Effects there were two more gentlemen, but Bill George's name isn't among these, either.

Bob
Bill worked on concept models for sure, and even has a concept Bird of Prey model he did for the film.
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Old August 20 2013, 08:32 AM   #27
Lego Thrawn
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

I wouldn't use the windows as a size standard, because it's been my thinking that the TMP-era windows, which were both round and also horizontally oriented, were more akin to true maritime porthole windows than the full-length vertical windows we saw in the TNG-era.
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Old August 20 2013, 10:25 AM   #28
Boris Skrbic
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Maurice: great, but please show Bill George the ILM size chart and ask him specifically if he has any sketches or other documentation from that time. We don't need to see that here, but if you could review any hard sources, I'd appreciate it.
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Old August 20 2013, 11:01 AM   #29
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

WarpFactorZ wrote: View Post
King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
I found that to have 8ft deck heights the Excelsior would need to be at least 622m/2060.6ft long. To fit the bridge module, larger even than that.
So, you ignore ILM when they list a ship as too small for your liking, but you hear them exclusively when they say a ship is bigger than it should be. Interesting...
No, I trust my own findings. In the case of the 2009 Enterprise, the 725m ILM gives is the minimum required to fit the sets, shuttles, locations etc inside the ship as I proved. In the case of the 467m Excelsior (and 120m Grissom) those figures are too small to fit the surface details and interiors we've seen.
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Old August 20 2013, 12:28 PM   #30
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Does anyone have any opinions on the Damn Secondary Hull Chasm?
I'd just like to point out that we don't exactly know whether it was there during the transwarp experiments yet. Since there are no stern views showing the hollow until ST6:TUC, we might speculate that the secondary hull was built "larger than it really need be" in order to accommodate machinery that was removed after the first few movies - either simply because the testing phase was over, or because the machinery had been revealed a failure.

Series production of ships with this now-useless cavity might still commence; plenty of real-world examples of such exist, such as armored vehicles designed to take useless and indeed highly detrimental lead ballast merely because an early model was supposed to accommodate a wireless or an autoloader in the space!

The photographic model features an interesting greeblie in there, but this is virtually never seen. NCC-2000 features a blue "forcefield" glow, but this is unique to that individual vessel. And then there are the differences introduced in the "Flashback" model and the CGI models. Plenty enough excuse to think that the class was constantly being tinkered with, and that engineers well saw the utility of a "useless" expansion space.

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