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Old February 14 2011, 01:48 PM   #1
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Ship sizes: ALL LIES! (big pics)

As a lifelong Trek fan who used to absorb the technical manuals, fact files and diagrams, I knew that some fudging was required to make the ships work out at their supposed sizes. A corridor here (TMP engine room) an ignored hull curve (TMP Rec Deck) or nonexistant bump on the bridge module (Ent-E) there are one thing, but a few minutes in Paint Shop Pro is all it took to show me that many of these diagrams and ship sizes are blatantly inacurrate, going all the way back to the ones in The Making of Star Trek.

Spock is 6’ tall. Apologies for the poor quality of some of the pics when scaled up.

The TOS Enterprise is supposed to be 947’/288m long, with 23 decks. At that size, the bridge deck doesn’t fit facing forwards (thanks to the turbolift) and the decks have a maximum ceiling height of 8’, less than the actual sets.

Franz Joseph Schnaubelt’s blueprints rotated the bridge and simply pretended the ship has 8’ ceilings and 6’ doorframes. Doug Drexler’s cutaway (seen in “In a Mirror, Darkly”) scales up the Constitution-class to 1420.5’/433m (150%) in order to fit everything in (check out Spock at actual size vs. the “scale” redshirt!)

Matt Jefferies' original cutaway:


Franz Joseph's blueprints:


Doug Drexler's cutaway:



The Excelsior class is supposedly 467 meters long. Take a look at this scaled section of the Enterprise-B’s MSD:



6’ decks? These decks, extrapolated from the window rows in the saucer rim and secondary hull indicate a much larger vessel indeed – either 622m (8’ ceilings, the “TOS fudge” size), 700.5m (9’ ceilings) or 777.7m (10’ ceilings)



Don’t even get me started on the miniaturized “120m” Oberth class.

The Enterprise-D and NX-01 appear to be correctly scaled. The refit 1701 was designed from the ground-up to be 1000’, and I presume it works at that size with a minimum of fudging, but I don’t have the diagrams at hand to prove either way. The shape of the Enterprise-E on it’s MSD is incorrect to begin with (it’s based on an an early sketch), and it’s saucer decks seem okay but the bridge, conference room and corridors are too small.


The 2009 USS Enterprise CG was designed at 1200 meters (not feet) in length. The 7’ bridge window and 40’ long shuttlecraft comfortably landed in the bay support this, as does the size comparison chart in the “Art of the Movie” book (yes, I know the Enterprise CG model was resized throughout the movie, that’s irrelevant here.). Similarly, the USS Kelvin is 665m long. All the sets fit perfectly with the proper ceiling height at those sizes - yet the blueray states the 2009 Enterprise to be 725m and the Kelvin to be 457m (150% of which is 685m – close to matching Drexler’s TOS Enterprise scale, and thus keeping their relative sizes). Why?

(I've lost the damn 2009 Enterprise pics! I'll find and upload them later.)

So, why all the nonsense? Why not just work out the minimum size required for everything to fit (TOS Enterprise + 20 - 50%, Excelsior + 30 - 40% etc) and call it that? Why not just use the ships at the size they were designed? It took me all of five minutes to figure out how broken each of these ship sizes are. It’s not rocket science! Why weren’t the ship sized corrected in the TNG-era manuals released – particularly since most of the TOS/movie tech concepts (as seen in The Star Fleet Technical Manual and Mr Scott’s Guide to the Enterprise) were retconned/rewritten anyway?

As it is, the Star Trek franchise features ships that can only be called “generically and unspecifically huge”

Picture credits to Franz Joseph Schnaubelt, Matt Jefferies, Doug Drexler and Mike Okuda. I suspect you all knew
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Old February 14 2011, 02:12 PM   #2
blssdwlf
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Re: Ship sizes: ALL LIES! (big pics)

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
The Enterprise-D and NX-01 appear to be correctly scaled. The refit 1701 was designed from the ground-up to be 1000’, and I presume it works at that size with a minimum of fudging...

I suspect you all knew
The 1701-D gets a bit weird when you consider the rim of the saucer was designed as one deck but with the introduction of Ten Forward as the bottom lip of the rim it became a double deck.

The refit 1701 was designed as 305m but the production people built the sets to fit a ship that was at least 355m in length. The cargo bay is too wide, the rec deck too tall, the engine room hallway too long, etc.

The TOS 1701 actually has all the sets that will fit inside a 947' hull (assuming 9' decks for all but one deck in one episode, "Charlie-X") except for the flight deck. That would be where you would scale up the ship in relation to the shuttle.

And this is all before even referring to any tech manuals or blueprints
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Old February 14 2011, 02:25 PM   #3
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Ship sizes: ALL LIES! (big pics)

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
The TOS 1701 actually has all the sets that will fit inside a 947' hull (assuming 9' decks for all but one deck in one episode, "Charlie-X") except for the flight deck. That would be where you would scale up the ship in relation to the shuttle.

And this is all before even referring to any tech manuals or blueprints
9' decks, if possible at all, would require paper-thin floors.
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Old February 14 2011, 03:07 PM   #4
blssdwlf
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Re: Ship sizes: ALL LIES! (big pics)

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
blssdwlf wrote: View Post
The TOS 1701 actually has all the sets that will fit inside a 947' hull (assuming 9' decks for all but one deck in one episode, "Charlie-X") except for the flight deck. That would be where you would scale up the ship in relation to the shuttle.

And this is all before even referring to any tech manuals or blueprints
9' decks, if possible at all, would require paper-thin floors.
No. It would require discarding any blueprints that resemble FJ's or only loosely referencing MJ's, though.
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Old February 14 2011, 03:18 PM   #5
Shaw
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Re: Ship sizes: ALL LIES! (big pics)

I've never had any fit problems (I also only deal with TOS) using Jefferies data...


As for people who are not Jefferies applying their ideas to the TOS Enterprise... well, they aren't Jefferies.
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Old February 14 2011, 03:35 PM   #6
LCARS 24
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Re: Ship sizes: ALL LIES! (big pics)

You cite the Excelsior class. Okay, here's a cross section where the length of 469 meters is shown in 695 pixels, with 4 pixels for deck height. So (469/695)*4 ylelds 2.6954 meters (8.86 feet) deck to deck. That is a bit tight, but not severe. When I do these I usually determine number of decks looking at 3.5 to 4 meters deck to deck, whatever in that range can fit the exterior clues.

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Old February 14 2011, 04:43 PM   #7
LCARS 24
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Re: Ship sizes: ALL LIES! (big pics)

Shaw wrote: View Post
I've never had any fit problems (I also only deal with TOS) using Jefferies data...


As for people who are not Jefferies applying their ideas to the TOS Enterprise... well, they aren't Jefferies.
I took Shaw's figure above as gospel when laying out the decks for the Saladin and Ptolemy. Thanks, Shaw, for making getting it right easy and convenient.

Saladin
http://lcars24.com/schem67.html
Ptolemy
http://lcars24.com/schem68.html
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Old February 14 2011, 05:39 PM   #8
Cicero
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Re: Ship sizes: ALL LIES! (big pics)

LCARS 24 wrote: View Post
You cite the Excelsior class. Okay, here's a cross section where the length of 469 meters is shown in 695 pixels, with 4 pixels for deck height. So (469/695)*4 ylelds 2.6954 meters (8.86 feet) deck to deck. That is a bit tight, but not severe. When I do these I usually determine number of decks looking at 3.5 to 4 meters deck to deck, whatever in that range can fit the exterior clues.

The most direct evidence for the Excelsior's size - the multi-deck hole in the Enterprise-B in Generations - suggests a ship of roughly 700 m.

Quoting from Ex Astris Scientia:

It is clearly discernible that three decks were ripped open; we can even see three people, namely Harriman, Scotty and Chekov, as they are standing behind a railing on the middle deck. When we compare the portion visible on screen to reference photos of the ship, we find that the three exposed decks correspond with the widest part between the two sharp edges of the Enterprise-B's hull broadenings (that were attached for the particular reason not to damage the Excelsior model). The said part is not quite as tall as the saucer rim which would occupy just two low decks of 3m at 467m. Consequently, the overall length of the ship rises by no less than 50% to 700m if there are really three decks of 3m each inside the hull extensions.
Ex Astris goes on to note:

On the other hand, it was mentioned that Captain Kirk would go down to deck 15, and Demora Sulu later reports that the hull breach is on decks 13, 14 and 15. If we go by the MSD, which does have relatively low decks and hence basically points to a big Excelsior as will be analyzed further down, these decks would all be located in the neck, at least six to eight decks above the position of the hull breach that we see on screen. This is a clear error that was not fixed in the final shooting script according to the artwork of the MSD. So we have to ignore either the spoken dialogue, or the MSD is wrong and the structure of the decks is not as it looks in the close shot of the hull breach.
Interestingly, however, the decks in question would be around 13, 14, and 15 if the decks were numbered from the top of the engineering hull. (The saucer decks, presumably, would be numbered (lettered) A-L, like on the NX-01 and in the 2009 movie. This is actually similar to current USN practice, which assigns leading zeros to decks in the superstructure to indicate that they are above the "main" deck, which is considered deck 1.) So the most conclusive evidence seems to support to a roughly 700 m Excelsior.
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Old February 15 2011, 12:25 AM   #9
LCARS 24
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Re: Ship sizes: ALL LIES! (big pics)

Perhaps the many errors in GEN were caused by the Nexus, where Paramount relied on images from the Guardian of Forever, not knowing that those images were distorted by the Nexus. Maybe Kirk was returned to the Nexus after Picard buried him or another version of him remained in the Nexus, as in the case of Guinan, who existed both in the Nexus and aboard Picard's Enterprise 80 years after being picked up by Harriman's Enterprise.
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Old February 15 2011, 01:41 AM   #10
scotpens
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Re: Ship sizes: ALL LIES! (big pics)

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
. . . The TOS Enterprise is supposed to be 947 ft/288m long, with 23 decks. At that size, the bridge deck doesn’t fit facing forwards (thanks to the turbolift) and the decks have a maximum ceiling height of 8 ft, less than the actual sets.
Like most movie and TV interior sets, the Enterprise sets had no ceilings at all. So ceiling height is whatever you want it to be.

Doug Drexler's cutaway:

We saw in Trek TOS that the dome at the aft end of the engineering hull is a flashing navigational beacon. Whose idea was it to put a control room under there?
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Old February 15 2011, 02:23 AM   #11
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Ship sizes: ALL LIES! (big pics)

scotpens wrote: View Post
KingDaniel wrote: View Post
. . . The TOS Enterprise is supposed to be 947 ft/288m long, with 23 decks. At that size, the bridge deck doesn’t fit facing forwards (thanks to the turbolift) and the decks have a maximum ceiling height of 8 ft, less than the actual sets.
Like most movie and TV interior sets, the Enterprise sets had no ceilings at all. So ceiling height is whatever you want it to be.
Sorry, I misspoke. Although there weren't ceilings on the actual sets, we occasionally saw that the walls continue up far past the top of the (6'6"?) doorframes, further than the 8' ceilings postulated by Franz Joseph Schnaubelt's blueprints would allow.

Does anyone know how tall the TOS corridor, transporter room and sickbay sets actually were?
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Old February 15 2011, 03:08 AM   #12
Shaw
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Re: Ship sizes: ALL LIES! (big pics)

LCARS 24 wrote: View Post
Thanks, Shaw, for making getting it right easy and convenient.
Your welcome... I love seeing your work. Specially on the ships I'm not very familiar with as they are a very helpful reference!

Some day I'd love to get one of your designs framed and backlit... when I have room to display that type of thing.
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Old February 15 2011, 03:53 AM   #13
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Ship sizes: ALL LIES! (big pics)

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
Does anyone know how tall the TOS corridor, transporter room and sickbay sets actually were?
About ten feet.
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Old February 15 2011, 04:06 AM   #14
LCARS 24
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Re: Ship sizes: ALL LIES! (big pics)

Shaw wrote: View Post
LCARS 24 wrote: View Post
Thanks, Shaw, for making getting it right easy and convenient.
Your welcome... I love seeing your work. Specially on the ships I'm not very familiar with as they are a very helpful reference!

Some day I'd love to get one of your designs framed and backlit... when I have room to display that type of thing.
Thanks. Actually, my LCARS system has a function to make an old laptop display all 92 of them, switching every 30 seconds and continuously repeating from the beginning (Autorun mode of Briefing, the LCARS 24 PowerPoint clone), a must for any Trek-themed restaurant.

Anyway, your figure was a quality resource for doing those ships. I was lucky to have it and will certainly use it again for any ships with the same type of saucer section, to make sure I have the deck lines placed correctly and for scaling equipment accordingly.
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Old February 15 2011, 05:39 AM   #15
Vincent Law
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Re: Ship sizes: ALL LIES! (big pics)

Many of the ships have been listed as being much smaller than they seem to be visually. It would be interesting to see some of them rescaled/rationalized to a size that seems more fitting.
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