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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    Thank you very much Mr. George for taking the time to share these production backgrounds and anecdotes with us. Very insight- and delightful!

    Earlier in this thread there were discussions what the stern chasm in the lower engineering hull might be useful for. It looks like you just provided the answer. :)

    Can we conclude from your statement that the aft hangar on top was envisioned for smaller, onboard vehicles and the one in the chasm for bigger ships, similar to the hangar bay of an Imperial Star Destroyer?

    Bob

    P.S.
    Thanks to Maurice for getting in touch with you!
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  2. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    Whoa! Did Bill George himself just post?!?!? Awesome!

    Your work on Bladerunner, Star Trek, and Star Wars has been the main inspiration of my hobbies. In fact, for a while I was seriously trying to get into visual effects (but I shoulda been born 15 years earlier, everything is computers these days, and I like the hands-on models.) The whole story about your Y-Wing model is one of my favorite yarns from the industry.

    It's a pleasure to be on the same BBS as you! Don't be a stranger!

    --Alex
     
  3. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hey Bill, thanks for chiming in so quickly after I messaged you.

    One thing you said to me on IM, which you didn't mention above, was this:

    Lemme buy you coffee when you're back. :)
     
  4. Lord Garth FOI

    Lord Garth FOI Commander Red Shirt

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    This is getting even cooler now :)
     
  5. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Holy crap it's Bill George! I started reading the post before I saw the user name, and then did a double take. :rommie:

    Mr. George, as the instigator of this, let me just echo Bob and Albertese's comments. Your work speaks for itself, and as one of the Excelsior's fathers I must thank you. I've had a minor love affair with your ship for many years now, and her timeless lines are why I've been obsessed with her all these years. For Excelsior and your many other contributions to Trek, sci-fi, and the special effects world in general, I thank you, and I also hope you'll find some time to drop by every now and then! :)

    Awesome! This confirms what I suspected about there not really being a precisely pinned down size. Out of curiosity, do you happen to recall whether Mr. Rodis made the chart before or after the model was built?

    So it is a landing bay after all! Woot. I'd echo Bob's question as to whether the intent was that it would function much like a Star Destroyer landing bay.

    I've read before that you consciously tried to give the Excelsior a Japanese flair, which I think is awesome. I hadn't realized that you had built all of the prototype models, but I knew that the one that was ultimately selected was all your doing.

    Dare I ask whether those blueprints might sit in some ILM archive somewhere? :D

    You guys did a better job than you think. I was just re-examining the Enterprise's breakaway scene, the one shot from above and behind as she backed out and started to pivot, and it looks in that scene like the doors are around 150% to 175% the width of the Enterprise, so depending just how much bigger she was, Excelsior should probably still fit.

    In spacedock, everyone can hear you fart. :rommie:

    I think you guys did good... I mean, that set was huge. I hadn't realized until seeing a photo of some folks, probably including yourself, standing within it just how big it was!

    Interesting, I had wondered about the upper part of the saucer being different. Just how much of the lower part of the secondary hull was replaced? Lately, studying the Excelsior vs. the Enteprise-B versions of the model, I've started to wonder whether the secondary hull window patterns aren't vastly different. I've also noticed that the windows on the saucer superstructure seem to be a bit higher on the B.

    Thanks for summoning Mr. George for us, Maurice! I wish I could buy you both a coffee. And thanks for pointing out the porthole sizing. I shall have to do some mathing.

    Backing up a bit after that special guest appearance...

    Hm some interesting notions there. Regarding the former, what would you suppose the limiting factor to be?

    You know, looking at them there, it seems like the Enterprise in the left image and Excelsior in the right image might be at around the same spot, and at the very least their deflector dishes look to be about the same size. I'm thinking the scaling matches up with the TUC scene fairly closely there.
     
  6. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Y'all are welcome. I actually posted Bill's reply to me and then deleted it immediately when he said he would come on and reply himself, cause I wanted y'all to be surprised.

    Bill's good people.
     
  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    It's stuff like this that makes the internet so fantastically awesome. :bolian:

    So... does anyone know if Mike Cochrane has an online presence?
     
  8. zDarby

    zDarby Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Yeah. Not sure on that one. It can't be spacedock: thats beam, not length or draft. It's probably not the shipyards, unless there's some distance they have trouble beaming material to, which doesn't make much sense. What ever it is has to be there since the 2280s...Or whenever Excelsior was commissioned.

    Maybe there's a civilian facility so useful to Star Fleet they're willing to cater to it's size? ...I don't really like this solution.

    The most reasonable thought I've had was the warp fields themselves where hard to make larger than 650 meters or so. Not sure if this really makes much sense either. But, then, what in warp physics really does? :rommie:
     
  9. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    That's very awesome Maurice for talking to Bill George and WOW welcome to the boards Bill George!

    Just a rough estimate- this would put the scaling of the physical Excelsior model (1/16" porthole) to be 1/6th of the physical Enterprise model (6/16" porthole). How long were the two physical models?
     
  10. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed, and I would love to know the answer to that question as well. :D

    Heh, you're right, there's no single elegant solution, is there? Maybe the warp field is proportional to the size of the dilithium crystal. Or somethin. :)

    The refit is 8 feet and the Excelsior is 7.5 feet.

    See if you agree with my math...

    refit - 8 foot
    Excelsior - 7.5 foot

    refit - 6/16 porthole = .375
    Excelsior - 1/16 porthole = .0625

    To bring them on par by accounting for the relative model sizes:

    8/7.5 = 1.067
    1.067*.0625 = .067

    Finding the size difference once model size isn't an issue:

    .375/.067 = 5.6

    So the Excelsior should be 5.6 times the Enterprise's length if we go by the portholes.

    Evaluating the official 305 meter refit length:

    305 meters * 5.6 = 1708 meter Excelsior length

    Crap in a hat. :rommie:

    There's also something I've noticed about the windows on the Excelsior vs. the Enterprise-B version of the secondary hull. I don't think they're the same, to the extent that I think the deck alignment would be different. I'll provide some graphics for evaluation later. I really don't want to redo these freaking deck alignments again. :rofl:
     
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Let's bear in mind that Bill may not remember exactly how big the portholes are, so if any accurate plans show the portholes for both ships I'd begin there.
     
  12. Lord Garth FOI

    Lord Garth FOI Commander Red Shirt

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    Let's ban all portholes
     
  13. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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  14. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Commander Red Shirt

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    I suppose the next step is to contact Nilo Rodis (regarding the chart) and Mike Cochrane (regarding the blueprints).
     
  15. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yep. I don't suppose anyone knows them? :rommie:

    Great point. I see no reason that the Enterprise and Excelsior portholes need be the same size.

    Meanwhile, I think I have a new problem of sorts. As I alluded to earlier, I think the decks on the secondary hull of the Excelsior and Enterprise-B are different. Like, completely different.

    Compare:

    [​IMG]

    Among other things, the short row at the aft curve of the secondary hull behind the lower stripe of the pennant on Excelsior seems to be completely be missing from the Enterprise-B. The row below the pennant on the B appears to correspond to the row below the missing row from Excelsior. Beyond this, all windows appear to be differently sized and located. The only windows that appear to me to actually be the same are the ones on the flattop edge around the top.

    Here is the deck alignment for the secondary hull I derived from the detailed Enterprise-B drawings upthread:
    [​IMG]

    As you can see comparing to the Enterprise-B photo above, this drawing is pretty spot-on accurate. I don't question the accuracy of this, at least according to the way the windows are on the B/Lakota.

    Of course, lest we forget my study of the damage to the protrustions on the secondary hull from an earlier post.

    [​IMG]

    This of course leaves us with a discrepancy between apparent window size on the rest of the secondary hull. We could decide that the protrusions have shorter decks that somehow connect to the decks in the main body. If those shorter decks are actually 2.65 meters tall as it appears based on Chekov's height, the ship is about 589 meters long. If those decks are actually 9.5 foot decks to match the saucer, then the ship is 641 meters long. If they're only 9 feet, we get 609 meters long. Tantalizing close, eh? :rommie:

    The closest we ever get to a dead-on side view of the
    Excelsior is in TSFS when the Enterprise is entering spacedock:

    [​IMG]

    Granted, having to scale it up this much increases the margin of error, but one can find 17 decks here, compared to the 15.5 decks derived from the Enterprise-B drawing above.

    Compare this, then, to this opening shot from TUC, which is not quite a horizontally straight quarter front shot:

    [​IMG]

    I've aligned the decks horizontally even, trying to match the aft edge of the secondary hull. Here we find 16 decks.

    So we seem to know the story of the two ships, and those stories seem to be different. Since the external appearance of the two secondary hulls is so different, it may be no problem to accept that the interior of a standard Excelsior is quite different from a Enterprise-B/Lakota variant. However, this now gives me the problem of figuring out exactly how many decks there really are in the Excelsior secondary hull. Not quite square one, but kinda sorta. The one piece of good news is that we can keep the 9.5 foot alignments from the saucer, and potentially end up using the same deck heights in the secondary hull. I will play around with that next.

    Sigh. If this ain't a labor of love I don't know what is. :rofl:

    Since we keep tiptoeing around the same vicinity, it may be advantageous for my efforts to simply decide that the size the model represents is "really" around 2000 feet instead of around 1500 feet, and not chain myself so precisely with established deck heights.

    Some interesting math I discovered. Supposedly the Excelsior was intended to be 1.5 the Enterprise's 1000 foot length, which, after the model was completed, ended up being 1532.15 feet "officially."

    1532.15 ft/1500 ft = 1.02143 variance
    2000 ft * 1.02143 = 2042.86 feet = 622.67 meters

    Hilarious. :rommie:
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
  16. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    But but...a 1700m Excelsior would be COOL.
     
  17. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    Secondary question, would the portholes being much smaller on the Excelsior actually make much sense? How large are they on the Movie-Ent?
     
  18. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    This TMP screencap should help to determine the size, although I would only go by the diameter of the circular docking port doors.

    I don't trust transparent aluminium, that stuff has unpredictable properties.
    In the above docking port scene it appears to have a magnifying effect, but just a few scenes earlier it seemed to have a minimizing effect (gee, that's a giant of a travel pod :lol:).

    Close to the windows the interiors appear darker but from the distance they shine like a floodlight. ;)

    Bob
     
  19. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Okay, until I took a good look at this screencap, I had never realized that the top of the travel pod sloped down like that! :eek: I suppose it didn't help that the graphic used in the encyclopedia and other places shows it flat.
     
  20. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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