Another fan attempt at TOS deck plans

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by Shaw, Feb 11, 2008.

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  1. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    Well, "creator intent" undeniably shows that the lift is supposed to be in the little "nub" at the back of the bridge dome. That is established on MJ's own artwork.

    What artwork from MJ, or anyone else on the production staff for that matter, which was created during the run of TOS, establishes that the bridge was supposed to "face forward?"

    Stating "what they likely would have said" is just silly. I can just as easily say "they likely would have said that the bridge was manufactured from pressed pasta" and there is absolutely no less support for that statement than there is for the one I'm addressing.

    Either they said it, or they didn't. Either MJ drew the "nub" as being the lift shaft or he didn't. If he did (and yes, he did) then it's the lift shaft... regardless of any made-up "what I think they really meants" we might come up with.
     
  2. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    It isn't a matter of what is better or worse... in the 1960s the drawings for set construction were made with english unit call outs. In studying these plans you have to keep in mind that what they say is a measurement might be more important than the size drawn on the page as some of these were drawn rather quickly.

    [​IMG]

    Corel Draw has no button for converting written measurements, specially if the plans don't match those measurements. Part of the reason for me redrawing all these set plans is to make sure that they agree with the dimensions as noted on the plans.

    For me, this is a historical study as much as anything else... and I don't care for revisionism in that type of study. People who don't care about the artist who worked on this stuff some 40 years ago are obviously free to do what ever they please.
     
  3. Tallguy

    Tallguy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Shaw, every time you say you're starting on a clean-up project I start to drool.
     
  4. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Cary, take another look at MJ's drawings. That nub on the back of the bridge dome is never identified as anything. It's just always been assumed to be the turbolift housing (and to be fair, it was also probably intended as such), but it was also assumed by those on the show that the bridge faced forward, regardless of the placing of the turbolift on the set.

    And in cases like this, any wiggle room is to be taken advantage of.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2009
  5. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    I found that same thing in digging over the Sinclair drawings of the ship. Translating the various decimals back into standard fractions was very enlightening, not to mention making things a lot easier when using an architect's scale.
     
  6. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    Very true, and yet another reason that I tend to think that Sinclair's drawings may be slightly "better" than Casimiro's, all conventional thinking to the contrary aside.

    As I was doing my own model (well, it's not DONE yet, so technically I'm "still doing it") I kept coming up with nice, even, round proportional numbers (and ratios) when using his version and this seemed less the case with Casimiro's. In cases like that, where the two disagreed, I tended to stick closer to Sinclair.

    When you think about the fact that the people who made the 11' miniature were almost certainly using an inch-based ruler, tape-measure, or yardstick to do most of their measurements... his version does seem to match that better.

    Of course, this isn't "proof"... it's also possible that Sinclair assumed certain "nice round numbers" which weren't REALLY used in the model as he assumed them. But all things being equal, I'd be surprised if the Anderson company had used a lot of non-standard, non-fractional-inch measures as they built this thing!
     
  7. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    Here is the thing that one should keep in mind when considering the measurements of the Enterprise... she is more sculpture than anything else.

    Lets look at one single part of the model as a for instance here... the tear-drop structure on the top of the primary hull.

    What do we know about this piece of the model? Well, it is made of wood, originally a solid piece. It was based on the curves on the original Jefferies plans and should be 4 times the scale of the plans and the same structure on the 33 inch model (made a month earlier).

    In December of 1964, how does one convert a curve on a drawing to something 4 times the size of the original? There are a few techniques available, but I would guess that they had a pantograph available to them.

    Still, the shape is irregular. Odds are that the block of wood that they started with was originally some dimensions made up of nice measurements... but wouldn't end up in nice measurements after the carving and sanding was done in an attempt to match the drawn curves. You end up with a lot of human imperfections in the final dimensions of that piece.

    And perfection wasn't the primary goal, finishing was. The one shot the model was needed for (the crane zoom in on the bridge set) had been shot on November 30th, and they needed a model to match that footage up with. The 11 foot model was started on December 8th and finished on December 29th. That gave three men (Richard Datin, Mel Keys and Vern Sion) three weeks to build that model.

    Many of the measurements are not nice because of this. Another example is the primary hull, which is not a perfect circle, and is not exactly 4 times the size on the original drawings (or the 33 inch model).

    It is a work of art and it is a credit to the near Herculean undertaking of her builders. And in a study of her, in many places you aren't going to find measurements that turn out to be nice numbers... no matter what units you use.

    Again, all of this needs to be put into context... and not everyone is looking at this type of thing the same way. For me, this is a documentation of an important part of history, so all of these things play a role. For others, everything I just detailed is a massive waste of time, just round off to the nearest nice measurement and move on. I'm not expecting everyone to look at this the same way I do, though it would be nice if people did stop for a moment to reflect on these aspects (which, if you are still reading, you already have :techman: ).
     
  8. Cary L. Brown

    Cary L. Brown Rear Admiral

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    This is all true... but not every bit of it is sculpture.

    For instance, the primary hull is a wooden framework with vacuum-formed plastic skin. (The TMP one was very similar... except an aluminum frame).

    When they made the primary hull, most likely they made a "template" which was a single cross-section portion of the shape, then duplicated it (as likely as not, from plywood, using a band-saw and sandpaper to clean up!). They'd have made a couple of big plywood-sheet disks to "string up" those pie-wedge panels onto, and they lay the skin over that.

    Am I incorrect about any of that? I've never actually gotten to disassembled the Anderson model, after all... very few people have... but this is my understanding of the construction.

    Those main elements... the flat "pie-wedge" pieces, the big disks, etc... they'd be cut to a specific size, based upon the tools available in the shop where the work was being done. And for consistency, the guys doing the work would, again as likely as not, simply set their tools to the closes "index mark" on their scale.

    For the secondary hull and nacelles, those were made differently... turned from large wooden solids. For this reason, we should expect them to be symmetrical around the axis of the shape, not "artistically curved"... in other words, every section should be effectively circular, and every circular section should share a common axis. (This is also preferable from a real-world mechanical standpoint, as the "lowest energy" shapes are always symmetrical, and any assymetricality means that the structure is going to be more heavily stressed, and more likely to deform, when a load is applied, all other considerations being equal).

    Nobody is "disregarding" what you've said, David... it's all very relevant and worthwhile. Believe me, I love seeing the "vast Shaw archive of research" as much as the next guy. :)

    But this model was created in a real workshop using real tools and as such I'd have been surprised if it hadn't been manufactured in such a way that the shapes were best-matched to the little index lines on the lathe. (Hey, this is in the days before CNC machining, remember!)

    When I see things match up, "in scale," to where I'd expect them to be in a real, machined product... it says one of two things. Either (1) this is accurate and represents the real object as made, or (2) the guy who did the drawings made assumptions about how it was made, but the real object was made in a more complicated and less straightforward fashion.

    As far as the "teardrop" goes... yeah, I've never seen two "versions" of this which looked alike. And I suspect that the 11' and 3' models are dramatically different in that area... true?

    Ultimately, you're an archivist... you're trying to record the exact condition of the real prop/miniature. Whereas, for me (for example), the 11' miniature is the "closest available approximation" of some "real" ship (yeah, yeah, it's not real... but we're supposed to believe that it is, that's what I'm saying, so please, no snide remarks from the peanut gallery! ;) )

    For that reason, I'm fine with disregarding "minor defects" in the model... assymetricalities, droops, etc, etc... since it's "just a model," not the "real" ship that it's supposed to represent. It's just the best model we have, and the closest approximation of that "real" ship.

    If something was supposed to be a certain size (say, the bridge dome) but it got "shaved down" later and ends up reduced in diameter... well... I'm perfectly comfortable with going with the original-intent diameter and treating the reduced-diameter as one of those "defects." If the B/C-deck superstructure is shaped in a slightly "lumpy" fashion, I'm willing to chock that up to the short production schedule... that's why I've got a "teardrop" that doesn't match ANY of the existing versions, but instead is a mathematically-correct conic shape (something that Anderson and Co would never have been able to make in the compressed timeframe that they had... just as you describe!)

    Both approaches are valid... and neither is "dismissive" of the other... not inherently so, at least.
     
  9. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    I'm not meaning to sound dismissive of an idealized approach... in the end, I'll be returning to an idealized version also. The models are, as you said, just models... full of the short comings that models have.

    Interestingly about the primary hull, the cross sectional curvature does change depending on which angle you are viewing the model from. Not a lot, but it does. Some of that comes from warping over time, some from the hasty addition of lights (which generated heat which deformed areas of the surface). In the end I averaged a number of curves for the final curve I used. And the diameter was supposed to be 60 inches, but it actually varied in diameter averaging 59.25 inches (which is actually an additional rounding to a nice number on top of the averaging :eek: ).

    There is a thick ring of wood around the outer edge, the lighting access squares on the top surface are cut into it, and the thickness can bee seen by the placement of the lowest windows on the edge (which had to be drilled into the wood rather than open air behind the plastic skin) which are higher than if arrange to match where decks would have been. The ring looks to be a couple sheets thick.

    The construction of the nacelle is also interesting in that only the first third is wood (along with the rear end caps), the back two-thirds is rolled sheet metal around a framing to lighten them. But the port nacelle is heavier than the starboard one because the trench is made of wood and added to the weight (which is why it droops more than the other). The metal is screwed into the wood and the edges are visible on the model when seen in person (or in normal photographs).

    I started in on documenting those aspects in these drawings a few months back...


    And I know that most likely none of that helps with what you are working on... and it won't really make any difference with my deck plans either. But I figure as long as I'm taking the time to study this thing, why not really study it and provide a public record to make up for the lack of transparency of those who have had better access to her over the years.

    :rolleyes:

    Though nothing I've come up with is as transparent as the x-ray image that was released. :eek:
     
  10. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    X-RAY IMAGE!?!

    Come on, Dave, you don't just drop a bombshell like that and go back to talking about the salad, let's see the goods!
     
  11. USS Mariner

    USS Mariner Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Look upthread.
     
  12. Shaw

    Shaw Commodore Commodore

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    The Smithsonian released a number of images that had not been seen before... one of the best shows an X-ray of the rear of the secondary hull (which includes a light bulb socket, using a modern energy saving bulb... which also generates less heat). Most of what is seen there was already visible in other photos through the hole behind the hangar bay door, but what was new (for me at least) was the way the underside of the fantail had been mounted on the model.

    The model was always lit with conventional lights (including what were standard Christmas Tree lights for the 60s and 70s), and this posed an issue for anyone wanting to display the model for any length of time. The model was filmed in short runs and then turned off because the lights effected the model once they got hot. As I recall, 5 minutes was about the max the model could handle before warping occurred.

    The original solution was to put weak lights in the model (1974 to 1991), but since the major restoration I believe a better lighting system was used in key areas (better as in brighter and not as hot).

    But yeah, a single bulb supplied all the light for the rear of the secondary hull (other than the blinking light on the side). Clear rods were used to help direct the light to where it was needed. The same technique was used all over the model.
     
  13. Tallguy

    Tallguy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    After seeing the condition they received it in I will never say anything bad about ANY of the Smithsonian restorations.
     
  14. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Well, at least their hearts were in the right place.

    And they did promise to start posting more pics of the ol' girl, so it's all good.
     
  15. doctorwho 03

    doctorwho 03 Captain Captain

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    I had a thought about the bridge the other day (and it does not involve the rotation issue). I was browsing through the old 'Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise' when I noticed the aft docking port and airlock on the bridge schematic. Right beside the docking port was a lavatory. This got me thinking; that docking port and toilet lines up almost perfectly with the 'turbolift nub' on the original Enterprise. Then I thought what if the nub was not part of the turbolifts at all, but rather it's where the bridge toilet was located. There must've been one, so that bridge personnel didn't have to go to another deck to find a head, right?

    Is there any logic to this, or have I been hitting the Saurian Brandy a little hard today? Any thoughts?
     
  16. Birdog

    Birdog Commander Red Shirt

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    I like that idea. How did they get to it?
     
  17. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They crawled underneath Uhura's console on their backs.
     
  18. Birdog

    Birdog Commander Red Shirt

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    Kinda brings a whole new meaning to the term "Going to the head":lol:
     
  19. doctorwho 03

    doctorwho 03 Captain Captain

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    According to the 'Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise', the portside turbolift would rotate in the shaft to access the docking port/head on the refit E. If the nub is indeed the toilet, I'm guessing the TOS turbolift would do the same thing.
     
  20. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    I ran with the idea that the nub was the subspace tranceiver array, but the head works, too. Maybe even better, if only because of that diagram (helps establish the design lineage).
     
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