Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Praetor, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I see, it's definitely the same set, thanks. They probably put the wall next to the crewman (watch his right leg) to shield the main energizer room from our view (so where is it aboard the Excelsior?).

    @ King Daniel

    Great find! The ceiling of this engine room would perfectly fit inside the Excelsior's belly or chasm. Of course everything else would be upside down. :p

    Bob
     
  2. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I forgot about that one! And judging by those pipes carrying yellow-colored something close to the ceiling, it would almost imply a dual-core configuration! :) The larger tube closer to Kirk seems off center, directly under the one higher, smaller tube, implying that there may be a second larger tube, out-of-scene, or maybe that's the blue-colored tube in the lower-left-corner which was drawn as if it was transparent like all the others, although at a wonky angle. I'm really thinking that they believed there may have been two intermix chambers, even back then!
     
  3. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    Oh, it is the same set. At first I thought the framing was done to avoid confusion, but after further reflection I think it just came down to cost.

    I can't remember where I read it, but apparently the swirly effect seen in TMP and TWOK was created by a special effects artist on set (IIRC, the person that created the effect for TMP was brought back for TWOK to recreate his work). It wasn't just something they could flip a switch and turn on. This is why in TSFS we they used the TWOK ladder set as a stand in for the engine room, and probably why they avoided showing the intermix chamber -- it would have been more costly and complicated the production schedule to have the intermix chamber featured.

    If we take a step back and look at it from a production perspective, it makes sense. Engineering is simply a set that serves aesthetic and information purposes. It provides a certain "look" and informs the audience about the environment (the part of the ship that makes it go). Changes from TOS through TNG reflect the changes in budget and the growing development of the "theory". In TOS, warp drive was powered by some vague mix of fusion, lithium, dilithium and antimatter. A room with a forced perspective chamber filled with PVC pipes separated by a mesh screen was more than adequate given the budget and story requirements. Add a few flashes and sparks at dramatic moments and you convey this is what makes the ship GO perfectly.

    During development of phase ii, then the motion picture, ideas were refined. Warp was powered through some intermix of matter and antimatter. Large vertical and later horizontal conduits conveyed the idea of this power source being transferred to the warp nacelles. The appearance of these conduits changed as the budget increased -- going from a TV friendly column with simple glowing lights to a translucent glowing column of swirly... stuff. Considerations for widescreen led to the horizontal segment being constructed. Location of where the matter and antimatter were stored, and at what points they mixed were still ill defined.

    Likewise, when TNG came along -- besides wanting to depict advancements in the past 80ish years the series set forward, the setpiece needed practical effects that could be managed with a television production schedule and budget. By this point, Probert had further refined his understand of the mechanics that it involved a combining of matter to antimatter, and shunting the resulting energy to the warp nacelles. The TNG core is a series of chasing florescent lights -- something that can be rigged up to turn on and off at a flip of a switch. Had TNG began as a theatrical film, it is likely that an effect more like the TMP intermix would have been depicted. But like most of the other sets, compromises were made for budget. Existing movie sets were modified or cannibalized in favor of producing from scratch. TNG engineering had to utilize the structure of the Phase II/TMP engineering -- a multi layered set oriented around a vertical core.

    Is there any pre-production artwork for the Excelsior engine room anywhere? For a ship who was only a guest ship, we were already to get a different set for the bridge and turbolift. To accommodate, Engineering and Style's quarters were simple redresses of the existing Enterprise sets. Having a new engineering set for just one scene was probably never in the cards.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  4. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    The intermix wasn't partially dismantled, just kept carefully out of frame. The lower portion of what you outlined is one of the "rings" that seem to be a kind of connector joining segments of the intermix chamber. See my previous email -- they probably just didn't want to deal with the swirly effects.
     
  5. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    The two yellow tubes strike me as being similar to the two plasma conduits flanking the warp core in Star Trek First Contact. If anything, the twin impulse crystals on Excelsior in TUC are the best indication of twin cores, but this was after she was supposedly retrofitted with conventional warp drive.
     
  6. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    What you are seeing on the crewman's leg I think is not some obstruction in front -- I think that is just the jumpsuit pocket and the bottom cuff flaring out. Had to look at it closely to be sure. But yes, there seems to be a fake wall. As for where the energizer room is, possibly the same place it was in TMP. ;) But really, if it does have an energizer room, its easy to posit it's on the side opposite of the camera, or on a different deck since we do not see a horizontal shaft.


    Sorry for all the responses -- couldn't figure out how to multi-quote responses without it going all wrong. Gotta work on that. :sigh:
     
  7. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    Praetor:
    PM me if you want someone to go over and translate bits of the SULU.jp site.

    Be happy to give you summaries of each of the pages.
     
  8. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thank you very much! I may take you up on that. :)
     
  9. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I just posted an updated version of Chapter One over in the other thread if anyone would like to have a look.

    Meanwhile, I've been thinking about the unusual top "windows" on the warp nacelles. The Enterprise-C had a variation of them too, but then they disappear never again to be seen.

    Does anyone have a notion as to what they might be? I suppose it's possible that Excelsior and Ambassador engines just ran "hot," warranting additional gaps.
     
  10. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Okie dokie, made some progress on the 467 meter cross section today. Click for embiggenment.

    [​IMG]

    I used those plans of the Lakota model that I posted earlier to refine the overall outline of the ship greatly. Random black lines and white elements are a result of me converting from the original black and white version to a colored LCARS-style MSD, as well as realigning stuff.

    Other changes include:

    1. Realigned decks in saucer section to make the windows on the upper saucer step work. Initially, I was going to make the edge of the saucer have a step down, but eventually I realized that simply shifting the decks down ended up making everything line up better. In the areas at the saucer's edge where there are two rows of windows, I envision crew lounges and rec rooms. The windows around the top plateau and the upper saucer step would be executive quarters and workspaces. The solid hull section atop the neck is the space leftover because I didn't realign the secondary hull. (That would be catastrophic.) I think it's acceptable that this thickened hull section will contain explosive separation bolts. There's also a backup navigational deflector at the forward end of the Excelsior's saucer.
    2. Moved intermix chamber forward to align with where the original large deflector crystal center would have been, and reconstructed the intermix chamber as a swirl type.
    3. Concepted humpback plasma manifold/"supercharger." The yellow hexagons here are the antimatter pods, and this is both the point where the antimatter is injected into the intermix chamber and where it is re-injected to plasma headed to the engines to supercharge it. I may or may not put a phaser atop it to match the Laktoa one. Even if I don't, there's still space for one later. I'm not entirely clear on how this component would work, and I'm not entirely sold on the second horizontal core thingy. If anyone has a better idea please put it forth.
    4. Rebuilt the engine guts. Right now the forward dome is going to be a matter intake and the aft dome is going to be the off-axis field controller. I reduced the number of coils to coincide with the dorsal field window on the nacelle structures. I think the section behind the matter intake under the Darth Vader hatch* at the beginning of the dorsal oopening is going to be the plasma injector. I'm purposefully going for TNG-style nacelle guts to suggest that this set the standard.
    5. Made the warp core a two-lobe version of the one from Rick Sternbach & Tim Earls Constellation cutaway. I rationalize that this eventually develops into the two core scheme of the Galaxy class. There is also a "transwarp computer" for Scotty to sabotage down in the secondary hull.
    I'm debating showing features that wouldn't actually be seen in a true cross section. Originally I went for more of a true cross section, only showing things you would see down the middle, but I knid of like showing the turboshafts the way I've done. Still, it ends up obscuring some stuff. I may or may not end up only showing some. Right now, you can see basically all of them.

    More to come!

    *The "Darth Vader hatch" is so-called because the small cap just aft of the forward nacelle cowling is actually the entry hatch from the model kit of Darth Vader's TIE fighter. True story.
     
  11. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And now for something a bit heretical...

    [​IMG]

    The Excelsior is 622 meters long, per her window alignment.

    The refit Enterprise is about 415 meters long, or 2/3 the Excelsior's length as their relational sizes were intended.

    The Oberth would be about 300 meters long, give or take, and would probably work out well for the Tsiolkovsky.

    I quite honestly haven't figured the Miranda's length, but I had her cross section handy so I went ahead and threw her in. I'd guess her to be around 300 meters long too.

    Quite honestly, I don't hate it. I know the size of the refit was fairly well pinned down by Mr. Probert, but blssdwlf has proven that interior details point to a ship somewhat bigger on the inside to include the cargo/shuttlebay complex.

    Plus, I don't think the Galaxy looks entirely too small next to any of them, which was a main fear of mine. The Excelsior is still mostly nacelle, and the Galaxy still has more livable interior space. Even more interestingly, I suspect scaling a Constellation similarly would match some of the janky scaling seen in "The Battle" et al.

    Thoughts?
     
  12. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Those look pretty interesting, IMHO. I do like the idea that the Excelsior was as long as the Galaxy.

    So are you thinking about going with your own "unofficial" sizing?
     
  13. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    I suppose the question is really if the Galaxy scaling needs to stay the same in that relation, actually.

    Is there some reason she needs to be fixed if everything else is being adjusted for size?
     
  14. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Funny, seeing it like this with the E-D cross section it feels like the intermix shaft (of the E-A) moved further astern while the deuterium tanks (?) / humpback of the E-B moved ahead. ;)

    However, reducing the size of the E-D should have interesting consequences for the possible whereabouts of Ten Forward. :rolleyes:

    Bob
     
  15. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Reduced? Looks like it's still 642m long here. It's just the sizes of the other ships that were increased.
     
  16. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You know, at first I was dead-set in the 467 meter Excelsior camp, but the longer I look at the above image, the more I feel like it just makes sense.

    For funsies, I'm probably going to throw the TOS Enterprise and Constellation in there too and scale accordingly. But right now, I'm definitely leaning more towards this scheme. Precise measurements are still a bit TBD, but I feel like this is the general sizing I want to go with.

    I seem to recall that TNG-era decks are taller than previous era decks. Does anyone recall similarly?

    Eh, not particularly, except that I feel like the D and the Voyager are two ships that have their sizes pretty well pinned down; everything seems to fit as it should. But no, it doesn't have to.

    It does make for a potential interesting side-by-side with the Ambassador, doesn't it? And I've yet to throw the Defiant into the mix. Bwahahaha! :rommie:

    If anything, we may end up with a ginormous Enterprise-E...

    It does kind of work out elegantly, doesn't it? ;)

    B.J., you are right - I simply upsized the rest. I scaled the Excelsior to her window rows (which for the life of me I don't know why Bernd always considered impossible - it's actually really easy.) Then, I maintained the 3:2 ratio of Excelsior to refit Enterprise, and let the decks fall where they may.

    The nice thing about the D is that the hull edge section is rather ambiguous. It seems like a mid-step deck is in order to make 10-Forward work. Turns out the Galaxy is a split level. :rommie:

    I'm going to do a bit of scaling and fleshing out tonight/over the weekend, and maybe test fitting some components.
     
  17. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Here's a couple of Enterprise-E's I made over a year ago, when I realized how different the MSD and actual model of the ship were.
    [​IMG]
    Here's the Enterprise-E's size to match the MSD's deck numbering and heights:
    [​IMG]
    That said, I believe John Eaves or somebody posted (in the thread below) saying that the E-E's decks do in fact fit into 685m, despite what the MSD (based on concept art) suggests.

    THIS old thread may be of interest, although I should point out I've since changed my stance on some of it!
     
  18. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks, King. It's kind of that thread's fault I started reconsidering all this. :p

    If I may ask, what have you changed your mind about since then?
     
  19. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    Maybe we should start with a baseline of the ILM scaled JJprise, and then scale up everything from there....
     
  20. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not interested in addressing the Abramsverse ships, really, at all. I also don't need them for my purposes.

    The Excelsior model actually was scaled much larger than has been generally accepted, as I think I've proven. I'm following the logical conclusion of that to see what other classes scaled to match would be like.
     

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