Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

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

  1. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    Certainly sounds plausible!

    Concerning deck heights in TNG (and how they should relate to the TMP and earlier starships) I found these:

    http://ottens.co.uk/forgottentrek/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Engineering-schematic.jpg

    http://ottens.co.uk/forgottentrek/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Engineering-schematic1.jpg

    Some of the details are a little unclear, but the 12' height of the Main Engineering Deck is clear. Also clear is the fudging used for the upper and lower levels, set at a mere 7'6"

    I recall that the "making of" Voyager book shows a cross section of Sickbay, which measures 10' to the top of the lighting mesh. I imagine tall rooms are handy for sound booms etc.
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    This confirms my suspicion that the TNG engine room wouldn't fit on the Enterprise-A as seen in TUC, if the core was in the same place it was in TMP and the ship the official 305m length.
     
  3. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    Well, the TNG Engine Room set (at least the area around the core) was basically the TMP set with new paint job. Certainly the heights woud have remained unchanged, so if the Engine Room wouldn't have fitted into the Enterprise in TUC, it wouldn't have done in TMP either!

    At the official 1000' lengths anyway ;)
     
  4. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    I've been going back and looking at the only cross deck example we have for the refit saucer section - the Recreation Deck. I was curious to see how close the 9'6" proposed deck height was. The results were not what I expected!

    I looked at http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tmp2/tmphd0385.jpg and http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tmp2/tmphd1986.jpg
    By comparing the width of the turboshaft with the height of each section and reasoning that the width must be around 8 feet, I arrived at a floor to ceiling deck height of 12 FEET!

    Just for fun I also looked at the cargo bay turboshafts http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tmp2/tmphd0385.jpg and the proportions are very similiar. It really does seem that the Recreation Deck levels are 12' apart.

    So, in the same why that the modeller of the Excelsior was unaware that the secondary and primary hull were supposed to have different deck heights and assumed they were all around 9 feet, the set builders of TMP seemed to have gone with a 12' deck height for ALL their cross level sets.

    Obviously, even at a ship length of 1164' the Rec Deck will not fit into the location suggested by offical sources. In fact, the more I look at it the more it seems to suggest a room that should exist along the centreline, with its large open and symmetrical design. The twin turboshafts mirror the two on the bridge (although the distance between them is greater on the Rec Deck).
    The "forgotten Trek" website goes into some details about other potential locations for the Rec Deck, and I'm sure I read somewhere that the set designers originally wanted to place the room where the impulse engines were - obviously this was impossible, but it would have fitted the room nicely.

    So, where could the Rec Deck actually be located? If we are to assume that the 8 "windows" are actually holographic viewers then it can be located inboard easily enough - but it would require that at least part of the saucer have 12' decks. The other possible location is underneath the Cargo Deck - where the so-called arboretum windows are, And there could still be two mini-arboretums, positioned behind the bulkheads on the upper level of the Recreation Deck.
     
  5. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    ^Holy cow, you made me realize something. For years my Dad has maintained that those blue windows for the botanical gardens was where the Rec Deck was. Looking at the turboshafts in these pictures, I now see how he came to that conclusion.

    Makes me wonder why have twin shafts in the cargo bay. I can understand in the saucer because of the twin turbolifts on the bridge. But that is in the saucer. Why have two vertical in the engineering hull?

    -WB

    ETA: Here is the money shot right here:
    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tmp2/tmphd0549.jpg

    This shows the height differential between two decks. Just eyeballing, it seems like it is somewhere between 9 and 10 feet. Definitely not 12 feet.

    ETA (again): I just noticed that you can see the warp nacelle in the back windows. Since this is the HD screenshot, this must be the theatrical version, not the DE, correct? I never noticed that that was there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  6. Shat Happens

    Shat Happens Captain Captain

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    I never got why the turboshafts were transluced and lighted.
     
  7. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Fascinating. I can't help but wonder if it's coincidental that 12 +7.5 x 2 = 27/3 = 9. I can forgive the fudging, though. And as you observed, I'm fairly sure the structure is the same so one must conclude that this is probably how those decks were arranged for TMP, too.

    Regarding the Voyager, I had originally thought perhaps TNG era ships had 10' decks until dissecting the D cross section suggested 9.5' decks. Still, I haven't thought to try the Voyager.

    I'm probably missing something but why not?

    Good googly moogly. What a can of worms that is. Shall we examine the torpedo bay next? :D

    I do wonder why the rim location was eventually chosen and the details of it so mucky, when other deck layout details outlined by Mr. Probert are so, well, clear and concise.

    The one problem I see with trying to put it somewhere other than where it is, is that we seem to see the ceiling of drydock through those windows. How do your figures stack up against the known heights of any of the present principal actors? Shatner, for example.

    Great finds! I don't remember for sure if that's in the original, myself.

    I always thought that was rather odd, too.

    My friends, as you've noticed I like to wander away from this project for about a day or so to contemplate. This has proven a pretty effective pattern for me, since most of my epiphanies happen during these little wander-offs. Well, I think now, finally, truly, I have the correct and proper deck layouts for both the larger and smaller (official) versions of Excelsior.

    As the World's Record holder for the loser whose stared at the most images of Excelsior (what do I win, anyway?) I was irked by the fact that my latest attempt based on the Tobias Richter renders was suddenly 640 meters long instead of the 600-620 figure I expected. Well, I suddenly realized that she was too damn long. I had compared sections of the Enterprise-B model study plans I posted upthread, but hadn't actually bothered to study a composited version against Tobias's renders!!

    Well, shit. So I did indeed create such a composite and compared it to the available side views of the model, as well as various other models from around the web, and finally came up with a new outline (Version 4 for those who are counting, although I suspect I've deleted and redone it a few times without adding a number.) Anyhoo, applying my IMO concrete deck alignments for the secondary hull to it, I was able to again derive large (12 ft secondary, 9.5 foot saucer) and small versions of the ship.

    Click for mucho embiggenment:
    [​IMG]

    So, let's talk math. By now you guys know how much I love math, right?

    Version One (12 ft secondary hull decks, 9.5 ft saucer decks:)

    12ft/30px = .4 ft/px
    5060 * .4 = 2024 ft = 617 m

    9.5ft/24px = .4 ft/px
    5060 * .4 = 2024 ft = 617 m

    Bazinga. The two heights even agree!

    Now onto the smaller version. To try to get close to the 467 meter official size and prove my theory about all decks being equal height and all decks being of the smaller height, it becomes necessary to drop to a mere 9 feet:

    Version Two (9 ft all decks)

    9ft/30px = .3ft/px
    5060 * .3 = 1518 ft = 462.7 m

    Not quite 467 meters, but believe you me it's as close as you can get without some painfully long decimals. I consider my theory as to where the 467 meter size came from now proven.

    Here's one final interesting piece of math. (King Daniel, watch this one.)

    467m/462.7m = 1.0092

    So the difference between the official size and mine is 1.0092 If I multiply my larger size times this...

    617*1.009 = 622.5 meters.

    (Hey King, look familiar? :D)

    So, I'm choosing to blame imprecise pixel alignment for the deviation. Sticking with 467 meters for the smaller official size, I hereby proclaim my larger size to be 622 meters.

    Of neat consistency, if you check out the above you'll see I labeled the saucer decks by letter (with an optional 0-prefixed number designation as well) and the secondary hull decks starting at the neck top with digits only. The result? Deck 15 is just where Demora Sulu thinks it should be on the larger ship, and pretty damn close on the smaller one too! (Remember the secondary hull configuration doesn't change between the two, but we lose a deck in the neck because of the saucer window requirements.)

    Now, remember my scaling comparison between those two famous screenshots? With my slightly revised scaling of the big Excelsior now applied:

    [​IMG]

    Drown the kids and shoot the neighbors... that's spot on. (Again, that's next to a 642 meter Enterprise-D and 305 meter Enterprise refit.)

    My friends, the Excelsior class starship, at least according to the original filming model, is 622 meters long.

    Thoughts?
     
  8. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    True, but you have to remember that those guys at the back are standing on the raised platform, which is around 18-24 inches high:

    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tmp2/tmphd2014.jpg

    In moving the Rec Deck to another location, the 8 "windows" would have to be reinterpreted as holographic viewers (which could show anything). Since that is what Spock, McCoy and Kirk would have to be standing in front of during the "please sit down" briefing scene, and since the set was built from leftover bits of the Rec Deck, I see no problem in this particular retcon. ;)
    Hmmm, once the Rec Deck is relocated from the aft starboard saucer, perhaps the "sit down" set could be placed there instead?

    I'm only really eyeballing at this stage, so I'd be interested to find that myself! He does look short against the background in this shot though:
    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tmp2/tmphd0557.jpg

    That's an interesting coincidence about the numbers! As for Voyager, official sources often quote 4 metres for its decks, presumably to allow for the numerous Jefferies Tubes that snake between the corridor levels. There's nothing confirmed on the show however, so we have a bit of freedom there. It is quite possible that there would 9' decks on every level, it's just that Starfleet engine rooms all featured a raised centre around the core. And although Voyager had two doors on its upper level, they were never shown to be corridor access and could just as easily have been closets. Certainly the corridor decks in the movie First Contact are not 12' as crewmen merrily jump down between them. Hasn't Picard ever heard of the stairs?

    An interesting proposal...
     
  9. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    OK, I've been having a rethink. Even allowing for the extra 18" platform, I tend to agree with you that 12' is probably a bit much. Unfortunately (unlike the Cargo Bay) we can't see the edges of the turboshafts, which caused me to guess a bit more than usual as to where I should put the 8' marker. Obviously, different widths give different proportional heights, as below:

    [​IMG]


    10' decks seem a bit more workable and are also more in line as to what was going on behind the scenes at the time, as shown by Probert's "don't forget the undercut" version of the Rec Deck:

    [​IMG]
    (click for biggie)


    The 20' callout for two decks is clearly shown.

    According to Mr Scott's Guide To The Enterprise, the arboretum was indeed a potential candidate for the Recreation Deck. How much real world truth there is in that, I don't know.

    To me, twin shafts in the cargo bay make a lot more sense than just one. After all, they are the ONLY means of access from the top to the bottom of that large empty space, and also service any shuttlebay personnel. If the turboshafts were not located where they are then crewmen would have to walk to the extreme forward end of the secondary hull in order to access them - a bit too far for our noble Starfleet Officers, obviously!
    Compare that to the Rec Deck, where there are no less than FOUR turbolift exits in a much smaller space, and they are all clustered together! The Cargo Bay is positively spartan by those standards.
     
  10. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I was just in the process of relocating that original Rec Deck sketch of Mr. Probert with the ventral curvature cannibalizing floor space but you beat me to it. ;)

    Andrew Probert tried to persuade the TMP producers to pay attention to the height potential of the saucer but they decided to ignore it, insisting audiences wouldn't pay attention.

    Add to this the flat floor and we almost inevitably have to conclude that this Rec Deck has to be in the engineering hull instead.

    (It's ridiculous: The producers add the starboard stern rectangular windows to place it inside the saucer but these are barely visible for the general audience to get this intention.

    On the other hand we have the fans that are able to spot the windows but immediately notice that the room is way too tall to possibly fit inside the saucer. Quite illogical! :brickwall: Alternately, we could assume there's some kind of Terratin shrinking device involved, notice how the high walls correspond to the shape of the smaller corridor walls :devil:)

    Sounds like the only rationalization that makes sense. Unfortunately the "sit down" Officers Lounge "windows" show a perfect stern view you wouldn't have from any of these 8 windows.

    Definitely something worth fixing for the next TMP-R... :)

    Bob

    P.S. If the "money shot" of the Rec Deck supposedly shows the view of the drydock behind the window (top row, third from the left), how comes that these illuminated overhead panels visible though the windows do not exist in drydock?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  11. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
  12. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Actually, there exists a large backdrop painting and IIRC it was featured in one of the STARLOG SPFX books. It does show the starboard nacelle and the drydock complex, viewed from these 8 windows. I'll check it out, later.

    Bob
     
  13. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If not for the deck heights, I would say perhaps it could somehow go in the middle of the saucer core somewhere... however I'm inclined to agree with Bob that somewhere in the secondary hull makes more sense, if only for the deck height reason. Now, as to where.... hoboy. That sucker's pretty full up. :rommie:

    I'm inclined to be more forgiving of sets for some reason... I'm not entirely sure why. I just... am.

    Maybe the scene where Deckey're standing pr and Ilia are standing next to the Enteprise history alcove would be relevant? I think Stephen Collins might be a nice even 6' tall, and they're standing pretty close to the wall.

    Agreed all around.

    Ok, then maybe somewhere in the saucer core after all.

    Well, ain't that interesting. I think somehow the top and bottom saucer thicknesses are meant to add another foot... otherwise, at 10 feet each, the ship's overall size starts to drift out of fudge range.

    Fascinating! I never knew that.
     
  14. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Found it where I remembered it last to be (I cut off the top picture of the TMP Enterprise publicity shot, especially because it was flopped and therefore did not show 8 rectangular windows on the starboard side):

    [​IMG]

    What we see to the left is obviously and at least a draft for the backdrop painting of the 8 Rec Deck windows. What's interesting to notice is that this design of the spacedock illuminating panels reflects an earlier production painting (in the same Starlog book on page 94) with what appears to be a late Jefferies Phase II Enterprise (plenty of windows at the saucer's underside and a TOS inspired sensor dish), however the starboard nacelle is clearly the Probert design.

    What ended up in the TMP Rec Deck scene is a variation of that painting, where the overhead illuminating panels behind the windows seem to be more compatible with the overhead illuminating panels inside the TMP Enterprise.
    (too bad that the starboard nacelle is clearly visible in the background).

    What I found absolutely astonishing was the text annotation, which just confirms that Mytran was/is onto something. The text makes it abundantly clear that the Rec Deck was planned to be inside the engineering hull. :eek:

    I can't help the feeling that the decision to relocate it into the saucer was a last minute decision motivated by the desire to show the starboard nacelle in the background of the windows - which somehow didn't turn out that well as they probably hoped because you can hardly see it, especially given the short duration of the decisive shot.

    Now, you add the ambient bird chirping sounds in the Ilia-Decker Rec Deck scene and I just can't help to wonder what's the point of listening to ambient nature noise, then interrupt it by a turbo lift ride to the botanical section (quite a mood killer for romantic interests) - and continue to listen to nature sounds down there. :rolleyes: It-does-not-make-sense!

    Relocating the entire Rec Deck (and its two parallel turbo shafts) back to its original place in the engineering hull looks most definitely like the lesser of two evils to me, I wholeheartedly agree with Mytran.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
  15. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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  16. Lord Garth FOI

    Lord Garth FOI Commander Red Shirt

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    So we have an official excelsior length
    Now on to Connie and refit
    450ish anyone?
     
  17. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wow, Bob, great find. Interesting that the botanical garden was almost a bar. It's a shame the set they used didn't match those big windows exactly.

    So, I'd really like everyone's input at this point on the two Excelsior sizes. While I feel that the larger size makes more sense, it's also quite possible to make the smaller version work with the window alignments, with a minor degree of fudgery in regard to the saucer window arrangements, as thee secondary hull can actually have the same deck arrangement between the two sizes by simply and arbitrarily swapping 12 feet decks for 9 feet decks.

    At this point, I really need your help deciding which I should consider right.

    Check out the 622 meter version:
    [​IMG]

    ...and compare it to the 467 meter version:
    [​IMG]

    Please note that the deck arrangement in my 467 meter version is slightly different from before, as I've moved the saucer rim back to a full two decks thick arrangement. The heights in relation to the deck feel a little weird to me, but if I'm already suspending disbelief for the bridge I don't consider it a dealbreaker.

    Compare the green lines of the decks to the locations of the windows, from Gus's Excelsior drawing. (I negatized it to make it a little easier to see on my black background.) Please also note that my study of photographs has found that the windows on the plateau under the bridge on his drawing are a bit too high for some reason.
    [​IMG]

    Further, have a look at the large and small Excelsior next to the official sized Enterprise refit.
    [​IMG]

    So, please help me decide here guys. What do you think? Which size do you consider more correct?
     
  18. beamMe

    beamMe Commodore

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    I'd go with the larger Excelsior.
     
  19. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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    To me, 622 meters is overall more convincing.
     
  20. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    I think you should scale the TMP Enterprise to 725m and the Excelsior to 1,400. >.>