Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Robert Comsol, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hmm, I thought I'd made that clear in my last post...obviously not. Well then...

    This has nothing to do with what I "personally like." The wall sculptures are "canon" in the fact that they were shown on screen, but in the context of the show, the intent was that those sculptures represented all the Enterprises from the aircraft carrier all the way to the Enterprise-D, for the first few years of the show. However, once the Ambassador class was represented by the Sternbach/Jein model, the wall hanging became invalidated. At best, it then represented the previous Enterprises in more of an abstract way, as the Ent-C version now looked nothing like the studio model (just like how the Ent-B would also eventually look different from the standard Excelsior seen on the wall hanging). That's probably why they were all removed only a few years into the series.

    One could also argue that, as a retcon, those wall sculptures did not in fact show the Enterprise history (even though that was the original intention), but rather instead were just sculptures of random Starfleet vessels. In that case, there could be a precedent that Starfleet indeed had a ship class that looked like that side view of Probert's design, But it wouldn't be the Ambassador class then (and yes, I'm well aware of the idea that Probert's ship could be the prototype for the Ambassador which then changed significantly in design later on, but unless that idea is canonically established, it's nothing more than a theory).
     
  2. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    @ Reverend

    Beautiful explanation that feels credible and real.

    @ Praetor

    I hope I got that right. You calculated an average deck height of 12' for the Grissom? That would seem like too much overhead space for a vessel as small as this to me.

    @ Dukhat

    I think it all comes down whether you feel that the latest "contradiction" overwrites previous continuity and takes its place or whether the previous continuity remains intact and the "contradiction" requires rationalization.

    The depiction of the Enterprise-B doesn't cause me headaches. I rather think that was some kind of upgrade to improve transwarp performance and/or reduce the adverse physical effects it might have had on the crew. Eventually they reduced the volume of these components and became able to retrofit the ship to its original appearance (as displayed in the conference lounge), which is actually how I remember seeing most Excelsior's in TNG (although several of these - from a production point of view - were apparently stand-ins for Probert's unvisualized Ambassador Class, e.g. USS Fearless)

    Bob
     
  3. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I was just adhering to the Sternbach standard of 10 feet for actual space, 2 feet for miscellanea. It could certainly be thinner given the ship's size. A 10 feet analysis might be in order.
     
  4. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In the case of the actual studio model versus a featureless side view wall sculpture, the studio model obviously overwrites it, and I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone other than yourself who would disagree with that logic.
     
  5. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    ^^ I'm starting to realize that "The misunderstood ships of Star Trek?" might have been the better thread title. ;)

    While obviously featureless the golden wall sculpture reveals the essence, the distinctive sleek lines and beautiful proportions that set Andrew Probert's Enterprise-C apart from the VFX model that appeared

    • literally out of nowhere and
    • exclusively in(side) an alternate (!) TNG reality (One could wonder whether the true Enterprise-C in the "real" timeline really looked like that VFX model).
    I'd dare to say that the Enterprise-C wall sculpture in amount of total TNG screen time had more exposure (as a part of the conference lounge) than the new Ambassador Class VFX model during the entire run of TNG.

    Bob

    @ Praetor

    Concerning the size comparison chart you provided in post # 99, I think there's bigger fish to fry than just the overall length figures of the Excelsior...notice the second starship from the top. I think some people would like to see this erased and overwritten...
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  6. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So I could have talked about Excelsior in here after all! Daggum it. ;)

    Y'know, your point about the alternate reality is a good one... but we do see ships of the same design in TNG's "Redemption" and DS9's "Emissary." Maybe they were called something else in the Prime Reality? ;)

    All kidding aside, far be it for me to be the peacemaker, but I think personal canon is what it is. If one wants to think something is a certain way on an ambiguous topic, one can find ways to do so.

    I could imagine a world in which the U.S.S. Ambassador herself looked like the sculpture, and the C did not, but the sculpter goofed.

    Or perhaps the C was the only other Enterprise to undergo a mass refit along the lines of the good ole 1701?

    I guess my point is, there are ways around it if you really want to. Depends whether you want to make everything fit I guess. Also, in a way I have to agree with Robert - the sculpture came before the model, therefore the model was revised the sculpture. It varies how you want to interpret things as to which version is real and definitive. As Treknologists, we tend to more often than not conclude that the last word is the right word. And for me, the path of least resistance is usually the right one - but that doesn't necessarily mean it's right for everyone. Half the fun of the show is interpreting it how you want to.

    You weren't supposed to notice that. :p

    I think it's interesting that all the starships in that diagram are referred to as U.S.S., except the Grissom, which gets an FSV prefix. Probably not significant. Just amusing. There is a separate diagram that has only the Enterprise and Excelsior scaled - which I had as credited to Nilo Rodis-Jamero and predating Mr. Probert's drawing but I am uncertain this is correct. If so, Mr. Probert reused part of the drawing in his.

    Regarding the Oberth, some have asserted there are two differently-sized versions. Treknologically, we have precedent in the Klingon bird-of-prey. The OCD in me wants there to only be one. What is the feeling of other folks?
     
  7. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I still think the larger one fits better, if only because the smaller one doesn't make a lot of technical sense, ESPECIALLY if we assume the sensor pod underneath really is a huge sensor array like a lot of us have always assumed.

    This is turning into yet another episode of "But the MSD is really tiny!" which is a similar issue with the ever-rescaling USS Defiant: the entire design simply makes more sense as a much larger vessel, and the only evidence for a smaller size is a three-deck MSD. If you're willing to take the MSD as being not necessarily accurate (which the FIRST Defiant MSD already was) then it gives you more room to work out a more realistic range of sizes.

    In the end, let's face it: unless the MSD was drawn by the guy who actually designed the ship -- and not farmed out to the art department after the fact -- it probably isn't going to be all that useful.
     
  8. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I posted the link to Bernd Schneider's website because of the conference lounge wall picture, and most assuredly not because of this offensive "delusional artist" rationalization (I politely asked Bernd to please change this, but apparently any rationalization on behalf of the Holy Cow of GUT is permissible, even if that's performed at the expense of the original artist and betrays the genuine intention). :rolleyes:

    IMHO improbable but not impossible. Assuming the Yorktown had been the starship that became NCC-1701-A, I wondered how this would reflect on the conference lounge wall of a Galaxy Class Yorktown. Would it show the original Constitution Class / first Yorktown of that era (that became Enterprise) or just the one that came after it and served the longest?

    Or what we see on the conference lounge wall is, indeed, the Enterprise-C but Andrew Probert's concept to have this starship be a member of the Ambassador Class was overwritten and made erroneous. The Enterprise-C on the wall could be a new Enterprise Class, a Commodore Class (yes, I'm thinking of it as a tip to the hat to "Commodore Probert" from TMP) or a Probert Class for all we know and can see. ;)

    From a strictly "Thermian" point of view and knowing that there are many alternate realities and dimensions Tasha Yar's daughter Sela could have come from into the "true" TNG reality, what we saw in "Yesterday's Enterprise" was an alternate, grim TNG reality (somewhere between the "true" reality and that of the mirror universe) and the Enterprise-C didn't necessarily come from the "past" of the "true" reality but instead the "past" of the alternate reality featured in the episode with Guinan apparently being the only one with a transdimensional awareness of things).

    Since the desciples of GUT do not like contradictions (neither do I), this could be a possible rationalization for the problem and one that neither suggests Mr. Probert was delusional, or betrays the original intention, and does not deprive the Star Trek universe of his design.

    I see your desire to put the thread back on track, and salute your unwavering interest in the original topic. :)

    Yes, this was a suggestion for rationalization in the early part of this thread and because of the Klingon BoP precedent. While it's apparently not desirable it seems inevitable to me.

    Heck, as a SW fan I've come to accept this crap for the imperial AT-AT walker (ESB vs. JEDI), the Super Star Destroyer (Executor vs. Palpatine's ship) and - of course - the Death Star (I vs. II).

    Sometimes iconic items turn out larger than they first appeared. :rolleyes:

    Bob
     
  9. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Sorry for the mess, one good example of a revision that could have qualified as correction and improvement. :D

    I did a Google picture search ("ST III Excelsior model") and several and different study model prototypes showed up (funny, each search yields different results), especially this one (with allusions to a 14th Federation design series).

    Here, the main hull also sits on a slab, not too dissimilar from the one of the Oberth Class. What were these guys at ILM trying to suggest?

    Which inevitably brings me to the Excelsior as we know it. IIRC, Andrew Probert envisioned saucer separation (e.g. battle situations) already for the/his Enterprise-C.

    But what about the Excelsior? Saucer separation only in abandon-ship scenarios or in other situations as well? Continued in Praetor's parallel thread - perhaps that is.

    Bob
     
  10. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    Well, since Andrew Probert also designed the TMP-Enterprise with a routinely detachable saucer, it would seem odd if the Excelsior would lack that feature.
     
  11. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    IIRC in "Encounter at Farpoint" Picard orders Riker to handle the docking of the saucer and, when Picard asks if he had done so before, Riker claimed that he had "preformed the maneuver" before on the Hood, which I believe was an Excelsior, right?

    Maybe I'm thinking of the novelization... been a while since I actually watched it, I could have my memory wrong.


    --Alex
     
  12. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Could be only in the novel. In the episode, Picard asks Riker, "are you qualified [for a manual docking]?" Riker answers, "Yes sir." They didn't elaborate more on which ship he did it on.
     
  13. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah... I'm starting to agree. Reverend's 200 ballpark makes some sense, and still fits nicely with "mid-sized." I think I might work on a cross section with that in mind at some point.

    Wholly, wholly agreed. Especially on the second paragraph.

    Well, yes. I think this is one of those things you and I shall just have to agree to disagree on. I do philosophically agree with you, I guess I just am not as phased by it as you are. Would I have like to have seen the more complex Probert design realized? Of course. But to me, seeing the ship on the screen is something I just can't rationalize around, beyond the aforementioned contortive ways. :)

    Hm. Acceptable but still a bit contortive. I still don't think the erroneous sculptor excuse is that bad. But what do you make of the other appearances of the design, as the Excalibur for example? Different class in the "real" timeline?

    Blame the OCD. ;)

    True. I still think a happy medium for the Oberth at least is possible, if not desirous.

    Those study models were pretty cool. I'm not sure if there was any suggestion meant to be taking place, as much as maybe the designers just working on two models that were supposed to have belonged to the same fleet, and exploring similar ideas?

    Regarding primary hull separation, it does seem like it was a planned feature as far back as TOS, given Kirk's "crack out of there with the main section" remark in "The Apple." It would seem to be more of a desperation maneuver in that time versus a standard operating procedure later on... but who knows?

    If as Robert suggests, once upon a time Starfleet primary hulls made planetfall as a part of operating procedure in lieu of transporters, perhaps older Starfleet ships separated as a matter of due course? Perhaps then, it has never been that difficult to separate the ship, but for a time it just wasn't something that was thought was useful, beyond catastrophic failures and such?
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    One thing they seemed to be desperately trying to work into the designs (perhaps by decree from on high?) was variable geometry of some sort. The four-naceller appears to have swinging pylons for the X-Wing effect; this flat one with NCC-1404 has a telescoping midhull.

    Should we "allow" these models to be examined in such detail that these concepts become evident? Swinging pylons are part and parcel of Starfleet design now, but the telescoping hull doesn't make much sense; perhaps we should accept that the "actual" ship in the far background at Wolf 359 no more looked exactly like this than another ship was named the Alka-Selsior.

    Depending, of course, on what was considered to be the "main section" back then. Perhaps the saucer was just the "habitat section" or the "landing section"?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. yenny

    yenny Captain Captain

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    The USS. Hood NCC-42296 was seen on the TNG episode Tin Man. And it was a Excelsior class starship.
     
  16. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There are several problems with that idea. First, the Enterprise-C itself wasn't from an alternate reality. It was thrown into a future alternate reality where the Federation was at war with the Klingons, but both that reality and the "real" one still share the same past, i.e. the Enterprise-C always looked like the Sternbach design.

    Also, the Enterprise-C wasn't the only Sternbach-style Ambassador class ship we see. The Zhukov, Yamaguchi and Excalibur all look the same as the Ent-C, and to my knowledge none of those ships ever just spontaneously changed appearance.



    Which means nothing in terms of "overwritten canonicity." The wall hanging could have been seen a hundred times, but it doesn't change the fact that it's just a wall hanging. When we actually see the ship that that wall hanging was meant to represent, and then see other ships of that same design that are Ambassadors too, the studio model takes precedence over some piece of background art, no matter how many times it was shown.

    And none of this is new anyway. We saw the Excelsior class Melbourne exactly once, but there was a model in Sisko's office of the Nebula class Melbourne which we saw there for the entire seven years of DS9. That doesn't change the fact that the actual ship was an Excelsior.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In pure onscreen terms, the E-C doesn't appear outside the parallel timeline. If uniforms can change back and forth, ship designs might as well. OTOH, again in pure onscreen terms, the design we see is never identified as Ambassador class in our reality; this terminology only ever refers to the unseen Horatio.

    It would be pretty darn difficult to argue that the Sternbach-style E-C is the child of a warlike timeline, though, when the "peacelike" regular timeline sports so many ships of that design (and none of Probert's intended one).

    As for the "intent" of the wall relief, we have two ships there that don't match the looks of known Enterprises already. Even the aircraft carrier is suspect, as in ST4 it was seen that CVN-65 sported a distinctively slimmer island farther forward.

    Then again, the "cube island aft" look for the ship is also multiply redundant canon, from other wall artwork (namely, Archer's Ready Room), so we might be speaking of an extensive refit there. Which makes sense, as the cubical island is a relic of 1960s radar technology, and may have been dispensed with in the 1980s. Perhaps the ship is generally remembered in her 1970s guise for her central role in the Icelandic Torpedo Crisis?

    The other fairly obvious option is that the ships on that wall are all proud carriers of the name Galaxy. (Sure, a fairly odd name for a sailing ship, considering the modernity of the astronomical usage of that term, but by no means impossible.) Or then Picard asked for a wall of ships named Stargazer, perhaps a more likely choice for a sailing frigate (and if an aircraft carrier can be named Shangri-La, then nothing is out of bounds there!).

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But the Enterprise-C crews' uniforms didn't change. Only the Ent-D crews' did.

    And the Enterprise-C has Okudagram displays which state the vessel as Ambassador class.
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And how could we tell? ;)

    Yet she is the only ship of that design to feature such displays - and comes from the parallel timeline...

    It's an unlikely thing that the Ambassador classes in the two timelines would look different - Probert in "ours", Sternbach in "theirs" - but not an utterly impossible one. There's flip-flopping of class names there anyway: in this very episode, the big Klingon BoP is the K'Vort class, yet in "Rascals" it is the B'Rel class and the name K'Vort is Okudagram-associated with a smaller design from DS9.

    Personally, I'm all against Probert's design being the one for the E-C, but I have nothing against it being the definite Ambassador of which the Horatio would be the only known onscreen (if posthumous) representative...

    ...Except that it's a bit too complicated even to my tastes!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  20. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    "Too complicated"? Surely, you must be kidding! ;) (funny, my guess would be the polar opposite, Probert's design is E-C and everything else Ambassador Class).

    Now, all those Excelsior prototypes look rather archaic and pre-TOS to me and I can't get one thought out of my head.

    Remember that the Tauntaun mammal in the second SW film began as a dezert lizard, because nobody had told the production team on what planet they would need it for?

    IIRC the production of ST III was kept a secret. I wonder (now that's a question for ILM) how much ILM knew about the premise of the film when they started designing starship proposals. Spock had died at the end of ST II, so inevitably "The Search for Spock" must have sounded as if Paramount Pictures wanted to shoot a prequel!

    Not only would this explain the distinctive archaic pre-TOS look (IMHO) of the Excelsior prototypes, but also the rather drastic design change that resulted in the USS Excelsior as seen on screen. I have no problems imagining Leonard Nimoy saying "Sorry guys for keeping you in the dark, but we are shooting a sequel, not a prequel".

    Apparently one design study wasn't altered - that of the USS Grissom...

    Bob