Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

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

  1. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    ^Nice work. I think this is a reasonable compromise operating under the constraint that all decks are the same height. While I personally disagree with this interpretation, abandoning a set deck height might create so much complexity that estimates are no longer feasible.

    While the MSD's tend to show consistent deck heights, they are often in conflict with the model due to the timing of productions -- MSDs have to be finalized before principal photography can begin (at least on that set), while the model can be tweaked and altered well into post production, after all the footage has been shot. Probably the MOST accurate MSD is the Enterprise D, and that is because it was created a few episodes in. For this reason, I interpret it is a graphical illustration of the relative position of systems, not necessarily in scale. Its meant to provide at a glance information, not a basis for accurate measurement or calculation. For this reason, I have no problem with subtle proportions. In other words, I think and MSD can tell you HOW MANY decks the ship has, but not how high the decks are in relation to each other.

    If i had to adopt a constraint, I would go with one set of heights for the primary hull (excluding bridge), another height for the secondary hull decks (or a mixture of both), and whatever the heck fits for the necks. Looking your earlier deck mapping, both the TOS Enterprise and the refit seem to call for a different deck height for the secondary hull than the saucer.

    Slightly OT -- Memory Alpha posits that the original scale for the Excelsior was 1.5x the length of the refit enterprise, then later revised up to the 1531'. I wonder, if this is the case, what feature made them increase the length only 31 feet? According to the article, the scale drawing was originally created by Nilo Rodis-Jamero.
     
  2. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    It's worth bearing in mind that you could always have a combination of full decks and half-decks/overhanging decks like the Orlop on an old sailing multi-deck ship. Certain sections probably do have a standardized format, if only because that's what makes the most sense for modularity and refit (I think we see this when the Borg cut out a core sample of the Enterprise in "Q, Who") but that doesn't preclude multi-deck facilities like arboretums, cetecean ops and main engineering.
     
  3. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    Apologies for the double post -- I just saw this on another board and it brought my thoughts on the TNG vs Movie Era Warp Core / Intermix Chamber to crystal clarity

    http://www.subspace-comms.net/index.php?topic=3310.0
    Through TOS and the early movies, the Warp Nacelle were where the reactions were happening. The glowing tube in engineering was simply a conduit. When the set was redesigned and repurposed for TNG, that element became the "warp core." This isn't necessarily invalid approach, but my personal feeling is that it was a rationalization to crowbar in a visually cool element for the sake of having something looking cool. From a dramatic point of view, it makes Engineering more interesting if the super powerful and potentially dangerous reactions are happening in that very area. Even if the prior (and IMHO more logical) intent was that those reactions happened out in the nacelles, away from the crew members, and easily ejected should things go amiss. All the more reason I prefer the TMP style conduit.

    I did notice you put a kind of inverted L shaped kink in the Ent refit intermix chamber. I am curious what the reason was (and forgive me if I missed the explaination, I tried going back a few pages). Was it to accommodate that corridor section seen in TMP? Or to match up the the two diagonal conduits branching out from the back of the forced perspective set? Or something else entirely?
     
  4. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Fascinating! Thanks for saving me from doing that. ;)

    Interestingly, referencing this image of the dying Sitak and the Defiant, granted that there is questionable fudgey size there, if the Defiant appears to be around the OL of the Sitak. If the Sitak is about 276 m, the the Defiant is about 138 meters. Allowing for fudge, that works out pretty well.

    Of course, life only gets harder if you assume the Defiant was flying higher than that above the Lakota. :rommie:

    Thank you sir! Since you're here, what size was it you ended up sizing the Enterprises too in your study? I feel like I'm remarkably close without actually trying to be.

    Thank you!

    I snipped out a bit of what you said, but generally agreed that varied deck heights would be more realistic. However, I'm rather limited in my ability to push further by the reuse of sets and what we've seen in semi-official MSDs onscreen. Besides, I'm okay with a future spacefaring organization going the extra mile for the sake of OCD. :rommie:

    It's perhaps a bit hard to tell, but I actually have made the saucer decks shorter than the secondary hull decks, neck included. I'm thinking they're 10 ft and 12 ft, respectively, but I haven't done the math to yet prove it. The neck and secondary hull were the most clear areas where I could derive decks for windows for the TOS ship, and by my logic the TMP ship should be remarkably similar to the TOS one. I also felt constrained by how close the saucer-edge windows are together to think that the saucer decks would overall be thinner. The bridge gets to cheat a bit, because it's the bridge. (Also, I'm not sure if anyone is noticed but the TOS Enterprise does have an 11-deck saucer per TMoST, if you ignore the half-deck under the saucer, which I do.)

    My thought is that when the refit occurred, the neck was basically rebuild completely, mostly to facilitate the new torpedo bays, which do get an extra high deck height to make the saucer and engineering hull alignments work out as well as possible. This should also help with putting the uberlarge torpedo bay there.

    I also think that with the advent of the integrated SIF truss on Excelsior, deck heights would become a bit more regular owing to all decks and compartments being more like they are suspended within the overall exoskeleton of the ship, rather than built in and around pressure compartments.

    Not OT at all... I've read this too. I believe there was some nuance of the Excelsior model's construction, maybe related to the nacelle length, that caused this. I can't remember where I read that though. And the 1.5x ratio was what I tried to maintain in my previous effort.

    I'm actually thinking perhaps "outer" sections of some decks would have step downs - particularly on the Enterprise TOS and refit.

    Great insight, and wholly agreed. My evolving view of Trek tech has more or less decided that this is how things "really" were in-universe, too.

    Glad you asked, because I meant to address it earlier. My bad. There are several reasons why I've done it this way, and most of them stem from some of my particular assumptions with regard to the TOS Enterprise. My thinking is that there's one easily-reconfigured main engine room at the back of the saucer, which tops a proto-TMP style power shaft that was basically blocked off behind walls during TOS. (A few years ago I made a rather crude version of the "not all that different" TOS to TMP version, which can be seen here.) The L-shape is mostly my attempt to more closely match the two shafts seen in the TMoST drawing that I thought might very well be power conduits. Concurrently, the corridor in TMP never really made me happy, and at the same time I realized that the traditionally accepted TMP cross-section put the horizontal shaft up too high. So, again trying to make TOS-to-TMP a bit less herculean, I tried very hard to retain the same basic arrangement between the two. Generally, my assumption is that everything on the TOS ship is a bit more convoluted and a bit less streamlined and interconnected.

    All that said, I'm not 100% settled on the arrangement, but I'm fairly sure that for my purposes the shaft from TMP is, as you mentioned, not really the reactor. Part of my thinking is that Excelsior was the first large-scale implementation of a non-nacelle reactor paradigm.

    The rub is that I've chosen to go with a TMP-style power shaft for Excelsior, which might suggest that there should be nacelle reactors. I may ultimately go back to having the humpback contain the reactor, or instead have the TMP-style shaft "actually" be a VGR-style core lined with dilithium chips, as has been alluded before. The cosmetic similarities between an Enterprise reactor shaft and an Excelsior style would then truly be just cosmetic. :D

    I'm really starting to think the Excelsiors are going to be 600 meters long for my purposes and these other ships are going to follow suit per my most recent study.
     
  5. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    I think the Miranda in the DS9 battles has always been scaled to be about twice the overall beam of Defiant. The thing about the Operation Return battle that's tricky is that Sitak and Majestic overlap and swerve a bit while circling around Defiant before going boom.
     
  6. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That sounds about right, and agreed regarding the swervey fudgery of that shot. Indeed, most of the DS9 shots involve a large amount of fudgery. I shall have to spend more than a minute scaling these all together to determine some precise overall dimensions.

    I've been scouring fleet images from DS9 just to see if there are any that scream "no" when it comes to an oversize Excelsior. Despite the fact that the version on there was scanned from the Jein model, there's nothing very conclusive. This shot in particular almost suggests a 600 meter Excelsior to be accurate; the one above the Defiant seems to be on roughly the same horizontal plane as the Galaxy in the upper right. Then again, we have gems like this where the Galaxy just right of center has a Miranda layered behind it that would have to be huge if accurate. So I'm not putting much stock into it.

    I should also note that for my Excelsior, I scaled the deck heights to the narrower height of the saucer decks on the Enterprise TOS and refit. I recalled the narrow Enterprise-B decks of "Generations" and also thought that if the Excelsior was the point where decks got even more regular, it might make more sense for them to start off small, but really it's almost a matter of taste on my part.

    I am a bit surprised no one questioned the irregular intermix shaft in the Constellation. This is my attempt to accomodate the vertical core with two rear-stretching tubes in "Peak Perfromance" while also maintaining the decentralized feel of my Constitutions. My notion is that the horizontal V tubes would reach back to the two deflection crystals. The Constellation would still have nacelle reactors.
     
  7. Egger

    Egger Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Hi, this is my first post here.

    There actually is an indication that the shaft in TMP is not just a conduit.
    First, approximately from the center of the horizontal shaft onwards it is pulsing toward the end like the TNG warp core's matter and antimatter feed lines, and where it splits into the smaller shafts to the nacelles there is also a moving glow going up into the pylons. So the energy seems to go to the nacelles.

    Second, the swirling lights inside the shaft don't seem to go anywhere, they're just standing still. If the actual warp core is ... let's say at the bottom of the vertical shaft, shouldn't the plasma flow upwards?

    I would say that from the point on where it starts pulsing it is a conduit but before that it is the core. The only problem I see with this is that the plasma also doesn't flow to said point of the shaft, but this may be explained by the pulsing part only being visible while the ship is in drydock, and later, while accelerating to warp maybe the flow in the visible part of the shaft is very slow (like far away from a waterfall).
     
  8. Egger

    Egger Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I always thought that the warp core we have seen on the Hathaway is a newer one the Constellations were refitted with, and I like to place it where the impulse deflection crystal was on the Constitution-class part of the saucer section.
     
  9. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Welcome to the board.

    Agreed that it was a later replacement, but not so much on the placement. The V PTC's don't make much sense though because they'd go almost too wide to veer back in and up/down through the neck and into the nacelles. The only reason to have the V would be to attach to the deflection crystals, IMO. Perhaps aftward vertical branches would come off and head up... which would actually place the core further forward than I have done.

    Glad I haven't set it in stone. :D

    Regarding the swirling in the intermix shaft, I don't think we saw the Voyager's swirls flow in a particular direction... they just swirled. It's possible that in the horizontal refit shaft the reason why power appears to pulse towards the nacelles is that antimatter is being injected into the shaft and reacting back up into the nacelles.
     
  10. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    On the Constellation we do know that Hathaway had a single, rather recessed reaction chamber located somewhere in the vicinity of the impulse engines.

    I rather wonder if the warp core on a Constellation isn't used more for high output exercises like combat or increasing warp velocities over peak transitional thresholds while a large bank of fusion generators (feeding the double bank of impulse engines) do the major lifting in terms of maintaining her cruising ability.

    For example, we see in Peak Performance that Hathaway somehow was taken to a remote star system with only a shred of dilithium and no remaining antimatter. She was entirely on fusion power until Boy Genius spiked it with a tiny amount of antimatter (grams of it?) to give her brief warp ability. So perhaps she can't initiate high warp without antimatter, but can sustain it once driven enough to get it to that system.
     
  11. Egger

    Egger Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I would place the vertical intermix shaft in the Constellation exactly between the crystals and have a horizontal shaft crossing the vertical one from one crystal to the other.

    Regarding the swirling, I don't really understand what you mean by "antimatter being injected into the shaft and reacting back up into the nacelles". Wouldn't "reacting" in that pulsing part make it part of the warp core too?
    I always saw those pulsing tubes (also on the TNG era cores) as a kind of particle accelerators, and I see the pulsing part of the TMP shaft as exactly the same.

    Regarding Voyager, we saw a ruptured PTC under the central, lighted part of the floor in main engineering between the door and the core in the episode "Investigations". I see that as the main PTC running from the core to the nacelles, also implying that the door would be at the back of the room.
     
  12. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The notion of antimatter power being required for major high-warp level transitions is certainly an increasingly attractive one to me at least.

    Eh, the Constellation requires some more thought. The saucer is certainly the easy part to configure. :rommie:
     
  13. Egger

    Egger Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I don't know if it's true but Memory Alpha says she was towed to that planet:
    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/USS_Hathaway (second paragraph)
     
  14. Egger

    Egger Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    On your last comparison chart the Constellation has only about three decks in the thick part between the Constitution-style saucer, but she has four window rows and a space as thick as another deck in between them.
     
  15. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    Checked the episode transcript and there's nothing there about her being towed there. The Enterprise does tow her OUT of the system, perhaps to reuse the scene from The Battle. If she was towed there, I'd imagine whatever small ship that did that could probably just have stuck around, maybe serving as an observer or referee. I think maybe it's logical to assume Hathaway either got there under her own power, or close enough to it that there was no one else around for lightyears.
     
  16. Egger

    Egger Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Even if the Hathaway got there under her own power, she could have had dilithium and antimatter (maybe only a little bit of both) and all that, because the crew bringing her there could have taken it along when they left the ship (presumably with a shuttle) and burned the rest of the antimatter off or jettisoned it (maybe not the best idea ^^).
    I think there was nobody aboard when Enterprise arrived.
     
  17. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    Yeah, she was mostly derelict by the time they got there. The dilithium chamber being mostly empty was something I figured because they had some shards still left, like it'd just been left that way.
     
  18. Egger

    Egger Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Yeah, or with the power offline there would be no recrystalisation system (I think it was said in one episode that they can do it in the TNG era) to prevent the crystal from decomposing (like in Star Trek 4) into those shards they found later.

    On another topic:
    Earlier, Praetor mentioned "Nob Akimoto's notion that Excelsior was the first starship with a truss-integrated structural integrity field". Does this mean she was the first ship with SIF per se? I don't understand what truss-integrated means. I'm asking because I always thought especially the Constitution-class should have a structural integrity field because she looks so fragile especially compared to the excelsior, which seems to be so much sturdier with her big neck.
     
  19. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    But then again, the Excelsior still has her nacelles mounted on thin spindly pylons, this time with a 90 degree kink in them! Obviously there's some of of super-strong construction material at work here, otherwise the nacelles would drop off every time the power went offline!
     
  20. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    @Praetor - When I was building out the interior of the TMP-E I had started at 305m and scaled up only to accommodate the cargo bay and ended up at 355m. The scale might go up a little when I get to the other interior sets.

    I do agree that you would have decks at offsets to each other depending on where you are in the ship. The TMP-E had an offset in engineering hull to require a ramp down to the cargo deck. The TOS-E's engineering had the odd-height rooms like engineering, gym, etc. And the S2/3 engineering room had smaller levels that were only 6.5' off the floor. But I think the overall approach to average the deck heights will work for your scaling purposes though.

    @Mytran - yeah. I think the SIF on the Excelsiors while new probably was more of a safety feature and the hull, like the Enterprise before her, were pretty sturdy to begin with. Newer ships that followed probably used SIF more as a mass-saving feature to lighten up the ship, IMHO.