Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Mar 8, 2013.
There totally is.
I totally didn't remember that!
So how much screen accurate were the deck plans of the Enterprise? 10%? 5% (okay, the bridge is where you'd expect it to be, so is the shuttlebay).
I'd say a swimming pool right behind the stem of the main-sensor deflector is very weird. "Different assumptions"? "Some (???) parts of it don't fit the modern view?"
Mr. Franz Joseph Schnaubelt based the bulk of his drawings on The Making of Star Trek which contained a blueprint of the actual Season Two studio set, so he knew at least how sickbay and how the corridor leading to the engineering section needed to look like.
He apparently decided to ignore this. I also fail to remember seeing any tri-ladder tube in his deck plans and there are many locations from TOS that are either absent or reproduced in such a fashion, it's difficult to recognize these. Obviously, the FJ deck plans are nothing more than a vision how the interior could have looked like, had there not been TOS as a visual reference to compare these to.
You make it sound like conjecture became canon. Whether NCC is the acronym for your aforementioned proposal, stands for "naval commissioned craft", "naval contact code", "nifty cool craft" or "not Constitution Class" is still open for discussion and debate.
It's easy to criticize the work now after so much else has been done since. But at the time it really made an impression. For myself it started me thinking in more critical terms in regards to how things could be laid out and what needed to be shown to make something more credible.
I have to say his drawings of the shuttlecraft in his Star Fleet Technical Manual started to bother almost me right off. He drew it as basically a hollow box with no room whatsoever for mechanicals behind the walls or under the deck. There was also no aft cabin. The interior bore next to no resemblance to the onscreen shuttlecraft. The exterior was off as well. It looked like he was basically meshing elements of the onscreen shuttlecraft with the AMT model kit that was out at the time.
I thought the Technical Manual's pylons looked sort of thick--or at least somewhat "off" from that seen on the 11 footer.
How about close enough for Gene Roddenberry? And Michael McMaster and all the others who have expanded on FJS's work in the decades since? Or close enough to be used as backround graphics in the movies? I even saw them in an episode of the Phase II fan series.
But you're treating TOS as some kind of literal historical document. It was a television show limited by it's format and budget. Every corridor we saw had the same curves and junctions because they were all the same set, irrespective of what deck they were meant to be on at the time. It's assumed the same suspension of disbelief used while watching the show is brought to the blueprints. For the time, they were a reasonable extrapolation of the Enterprise's layout.
I wasn't speaking of canon, merely that it was the origin of a bit of Trek lore which cropped up on many of the unlicenced imitation blueprints as well as some licenced novels.
A lot is made of the fact that Roddenberry signed off on FJ's work, but it's well known GR didn't mind making a buck when he could and short changing others, in this case the fans. To him FJ's work was a good merchandising opportunity, and it was so far as it went, but the fact the work was quite inaccurate in many respects. If Matt Jefferies had been/remained involved the inaccuracies would likely have been less numerous. And back then accuracy for this kind of material wasn't seen as important as it is today (and today we still get inaccuracies although they might not be as immediately noticeable).
Lets be clear. To criticize FJ's work is not an indictment to devalue it. It's fair commentary without taking away any credit to FJ or any significance of what it meant to fans at the time. As has been said upthread it is an important and significant work in terms of Trek merchandising, indeed in genre material merchandising overall.
Ain't that the truth most of the time. Regardless of what I think now, as a teen, I poured over that paperwork like a hungry jackal. I still have those same blueprints and they are still front and center - cover showing - on one of my bookcases in my office.
Then and now.
Barely ten years after Star Trek ceased production we saw tie-in merchandising unlike anything we had known before. It was fascinating to see such care and attention to detail for a subject matter generally not given much thought beyond fans. FJ also had an advantage of access to resources that fans could only dream of. The best we could do was work off still shots and memory and rewatching episodes (no VHS tapes yet to pause and freeze frame).
Since archival material has been released and shared and fans have access to tools (Internet, DVD and Blu-Ray, CAD and 3D modelling as well as some fairly decent reference books) To a large extent we can compete with the pros even though some of those pros were/are also fans.
I'm going with Nifty Cool Craft for NCC from now on!
The combined efforts of all the fans beats what FJ was able to accomplish hands down, in terms of both quality man hours alone as well as access to materials. But that's because there are more of us and many of us have each devoted more time than he ever had; I'm willing to bet that's basically the only reason. Consequently, the output from fans tends to be more specialized.
Of course there will be shortcomings in the FJ tech manual; it was scrapped together after the fact. Since then, the fans have poured over the source material in efforts to correct the errors.
If someone like him, with a small team, had been hired to make the manual as the show was produced, it would have been more accurate; the TNG tech manual is definitely more accurate, although I'm not happy with its style.
Even with my criticisms I've long thought it would be cool to have seen an updated version of the Star Fleet Technical Manual. But the demand might not be there anymore. Today there are numerous websites with Treknical material (of varying quality) that can be accessed in an instant and without the expense of publishing and purchasing.
I'm a fan of FJ's publications. For more info about him and his works, check out my Trekplace web site (trekplace.com).
The blueprints and technical manual were created by hand. The reason much of the callout text looks handwritten is because it was-- using stencils. The dotted portions of the drawings were made by cutting shapes from pre-printed material and applying them to the drawings. To my knowledge all of the artwork was drawn at the size at which it was printed.
I have seen some of the original artwork in person, and it's crazy cool!
Exactly. When you take into account that he did it all without a computer, and he was inventing from scratch the then-unheard-of genre of sci-fi technical drawings for public consumption, his stuff is all the more impressive.
Fans did a lot of the same things. I've been using a computer to draw schematics for no more than maybe ten years, but before that all of my drawings were by hand and using the drafting skills I learned in high school in the mid '70s.
I have to grant that, alright. The older drawings at Cygnus were done by hand. And I myself took a drafting course in high school in the seventies, and it influenced my own drawings of STAR TREK sets and props. But FJ was a full-blown professional and (swimming pool, bowling alley etc. aside...) it really showed in his drawing.
I still have a couple of folders full of Zipatone shading at home.
Along with Rubylith, some no-repro blue pens, and the hot waxer for your galleys, no doubt. I had a meter-long T-square made from steel that I called "Excalibur." I parted with it some years ago during one of my moves. However, I still have the technical drawing set my mom used in school. The pens are all adjustable calipers for creating different weight strokes.
As a teen back in 1978 I poured over that paperwork like a hungry jackal, too (especially since the cover card promised "authentic"!), and was instantly and utterly disappointed.
Every Friday our Trek fan club had viewings of the original episodes (the VCR video tape system) and I started making notes of corridor camera angles and all these details on copies - of the studio set plan published in The Making of Star Trek (just a little while later I got hold of the Season One blueprints sold by Lincoln Enterprises).
An accurate reproduction of the Enterprise's interior would have already been possible then, if one had approached the subject with more passion (anyway, I'm doing it now with a deck plan project of my own and use traditional paper and pencil techniques).
Robert Comsol I'd be interested to know the number of man hours your project takes in total, and an enumeration of what resources you've used on it, when it's finally completed.
Separate names with a comma.