Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

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

  1. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's the first thing I noticed about that diagram. Seems to me we're better off scaling up Spacedock than trying to make the smaller Excelsior size work, especially since -- IMO -- it's too small even for the Enterprise.

    I don't see how, considering the Excelsior isn't BASED on the Constitution in any way shape or form. When you consider that Enterprise received a refit to its new configuration possibly to keep pace with technology and designs on contemporary vessels -- like the Miranda and Constellation classes -- then it could be that the Constitution is actually the odd man out and some of those structural features are "cropped" on the Connie that would be full-sized on any other vessel.
     
  2. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    I´m not sure if you still need another example here, but there is one at the very beginning of TNG when Q chases the Enterprise in "Encounter at Farpoint". Upwards of warp 9.0 they keep accelerating and continuously call out the respective warp factors.

    Mario
     
  3. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    There's also that segment of The Survivors, when the Ent-D chases the phantom Husnock warship away from Rana IV, and it matches their acceleration curve "point for point," as Wesley put it.
     
  4. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I remember there was a guy (I think Tobias Richter) who built a Spacedock for one of the SOTL calendars and did rather extensive research on the ship sizes. Somewhere over at scifi-meshes I think.
     
  5. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    ...or it's not only a facility where to refuel antimatter but actually the facility where they create antimatter (in the "stem" of the "mushroom").

    Given the value of antimatter I'd say it makes sense to have such a production facility guarded and also minimize any risk of transporting antimatter to a Federation vessel...

    Since there are no constant meteorite or asteroid showers near Earth, it would be rather stupid, IMHO, to trap Federation vessels inside (ST IV anyone? :rolleyes:) - in contrast to deep space station Ticonderoga in Starship Troopers - unless the design is to ensure containment of antimatter loading accidents inside (the people on Earth wouldn't be too happy about such accidents closeby ;)).

    Bob
     
  6. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks for the suggestion, King. I might try all the scaling options and compare side by side, for fun. What's interesting about what I did above, is that I assumed the 622 Excelsior would feel too big next too everything, the D in particular... but actually it doesn't. The bridge dome doesn't actually bother me that much... especially given the ever-changing bridge dome and other details on the TOS Enterprise. I can ignore it and pretend it's round like the Constitution refit if I really must.

    I think someone (maybe Bernd Schneider) once estimated based on Drexler's Enterprise-B cutaway to have proper deck thickness she would need to be in the 700 meter range. I actually forgot to ask you, how'd you end up with 622 meters for Excelsior before? Also, what do you estimate the deck heights and thickness on the new Enterprise to be, in your reference image you made?

    If I scale the Excelsior up to 777, I'm going to end up scaling up the original Enterprise and refit too. I can feel it. :rommie:

    What's funny is, even though I left off the front views because I didn't have them all at hand, the Enterprise refit does fit through those doors, albeit barely... kind of like what we see in the famous scenes in TSFS.

    Interesting take... For clarity's sake, there is actually one feature that could be the same on the two... and those are the phaser banks. Scaled to 467 and 305 meters, their size matches somewhat closely. OTOH, there's no reason to think they really need to be the same size.

    Thanks guys... I guess this doesn't necessarily preclude the no acceleration idea, if traditional warp speeds were also available.

    Hm interesting. Anyone know how to get ahold of him?

    Interesting notion - I could definitely see that contributing to why it is built the way it is. I have also always felt the closed-ness of the dock was weird.

    Anyone ever notice that the pier the Excelsior is docked at is numbered 34 on the miniature? It's quite visible on the screencap I'm using for my wallpaper. I guess they started numbering the shuttlebays first. :rommie:

    This eveing, I'm going to try to work out some scalings to go with some screenshots that we've seen of Excelsior to other ships... such as from TSFS, TUC, and Next Gen... and maybe DS9 battle scenes too.
     
  7. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    When the doors are all the way open, the Enterprise has ample clearance on both sides. It's only during the hijacking that the clearance seems more narrow, but at that point the doors don't open all the way before Enterprise passes through them.

    And at least one reason to think they wouldn't: If Excelsior is being designed for a totally different role than the Enterprise, then those might be a totally new class of phaser weapons larger than anything ever mounted on a starship before. This might give you a less jarring progression towards the phaser strips on the Enterprise-C.
     
  8. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    RCS thrusters could also be used as a scaling tool. Plus, if the Excelsior has any docking rings for the travel pods, those are guaranteed to be identically sized, for obvious reasons. Windows may also be a tell, as the Excelsior has both circular and long rounded-edge windows, just like Enterprise. It is not outside the realm of reason to surmise that windows should be of a standard size across all Fed starships, at least of that era. They appeared bigger starting with the E-C, IIRC.
     
  9. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    Praetor, I would exercise great caution before using DS9 screenshots to help scale the Excelsior. The scaling on the movie era ships in TNG/DS9/VOY got a little wonky with oversized versions. The only reason I would consider using the TNG Excelsiors is because, AFAIK, all the shots of them came from the initial library that ILM filmed for Encounter at Farpoint, so I would expect some consistency. Now whether ILM had the scale of the Enterprise-D correct with what came later is another matter -- I think the creation of the ten-forward set led to a retroactive adjustment to scale, so make sure you are using the "pre ten-forward" scale if you do.
     
  10. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I'll have to go back and double check, but IIRC the 622m Excelsior comes from scaling up the Generations MSD until the decks were 8ft tall (and ignoring the Enterprise-B nacelle fins when measuring, of course)

    On the new Enterprise, I scaled the corridors at 8ft tall (which may be an few inches off, since the scale on the set plans is illegibly small), and with the space between decks, it may be the first ship in Trek history to accomodate all the steps and complex ceilings that Trek set designers are so fond of!
     
  11. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Constructive suggestions by 137th Gebirgsjäger (sorry, always looks so incomplete), Excelsior's rim does look like it's the same make as the one one from the refit Enterprise. If the width of the horizontal windows has the same relation to the three lateral (sensor?) stripes as Enterprise, I'd think that determines the scale. Did Excelsior have any docking rings at all?

    Good and important reminder! And I'm sure Mr. Probert would insist...;)

    But this just reminds me of another can of worms: Can we truly trust the side-by-side shots of Excelsior's next to the Enterprise-D in TNG's first season?!?

    Remember that Andrew Probert pitched the idea of his genuine Ambassador Class design to the TNG producers. While I simply love his Ambassador design as the evolution link between the E-B and the E-D, I'm afraid one of the suits in charge thought that the Probert Ambassador Class didn't look distinct enough to really justify the extra building cost and decided to have the "egg-cel-scissors" or whatever pretend to be Ambassador Class ships. On the small TV screens, then, nobody would really notice...
    Those side-by-side comparisons could probably yield size figures of Excelsior rather compatible with Probert's Ambassador Class.

    Bob
     
  12. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Can't be sure. I thought the original might have had them, but they may have been covered over by that big addition for the Enterprise-B in Generations. Images of the Lakota at the Christie's auction don't show anything exposed on the secondary hull that resembles a ring. There also doesn't appear to be a main docking hatch on the primary hull edge like Enterprise - probably because it was shown in Generations as being tethered to the drydock by a rather large superstructure from the engineering deck, topside aft. And there aren't enough images that I can find of the smaller Greg Jein model (used in "Flashback"?) to show if that one had these details either. Although the few images I have seen of that one look as if the poor old girl's back is breaking under the weight of the primary hull and engine nacelles. :(

    It's looking like the phasers, RCS thrusters, windows and sensor rings are about all you have to go on.
     
  13. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    I really like the idea of the docking port -- this is probably the most standardized and objective detail to scale things from. Windows, bridge modules, clearance with space doors and the like can all be fudged depending on deck layout, recesses and camera tricks. But the docking ring is pretty damn concrete.
     
  14. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    So far I still haven't found anything that resembles a docking ring or hatch on either version of the Excelsior model. I find this strange, as the original ILM Enterprise-D had at least two rings on either side of the neck, in the recessed area behind the forward photon launcher, just like with the refit and the E-A. You can even see a tiny round hole where this ring is on the old AMT/ERTL model kit of the E-D, so it's not like they did away with the standard after the refit Connie's time.

    If memory serves, there were some draft-quality schematics made several years back of the original filming model - I mean these things were BIG and highly detailed. They look like they were done with AutoCAD or some other similar vector-based app and could be printed on a large plotter. If someone knows where to find them again (I don't), we may be able to get a handle on some of Excelsior's surface features to get a good idea of scale. My poor ol' rusty brain can't remember when, where or who, but I definitely remember seeing them and they blew my mind.
     
  15. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    This is unfortunately what I found as well. For whatever reason there isn't an apparent docking port. The closest thing I did find was a small detail just above the arrowhead banner:
    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tvhhd/tvhhd2260.jpg

    However other pictures have that detail either missing, or it is now a lit window. I only found it on that one side, not on the other. Which begs the question, if the Travel Pod in TVH WAS going to take them to Excelsior, what would it have done? Fly into the shuttlebay? Somehow I don't think they would have expected them to pull a Dave Bowman to disembark.

    On an unrelated note, I did find an aft view of Excelsior showing the glowing shuttle bay thing in TVH:

    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tvhhd/tvhhd0293.jpg

    That at least canonically confirms that that feature was always there in the Excelsior.
     
  16. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ And it reminds us that the shuttle bay of the Miranda class also glowed at the same time, which IMO pretty solidly establishes what that feature was supposed to be.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Cool!

    (Although is that the Excelsior? Just moments ago, we saw NX-2000 with her bow pointed in a very different direction, perpendicular to the nearest space doors - and then the lights went out at the traffic control booth. Did it really take that much longer for power to be lost elsewhere, so that the ship has time to turn before she, the spacedock interior lighting and the little tugboats all shut down? Possibly Starfleet had already completed a couple of those beasts, including the Repulse?)

    Well, it would be a pretty good idea to cover up those docking ports - see what Khan did to one of them? And supposedly Kirk's TOS ship did have cover plates for the ports (unless the tech was briefly dropped and then reinstated), or had the ports inside various large holds and bays accessible through the supposed color-outlined hatches.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Completely irrelevant to the discussion, but I never could figure out how the Enterprise was hiding behind the Excelsior in this shot!
     
  19. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    True, but it still looks a bit tight to me in both scenes. There's space, but not tons.

    Agreed.

    Both are pretty good ideas, although as others have noted, it doesn't appear she had any visible docking rings.

    This image scales the Enterprise and Excelsior to their official sizes, and perhaps not so coincidentally scales the windows too:
    [​IMG]

    The thrusters also look pretty good to me there, too.

    Well, first of all, that's exactly why I think of the DS9 shots with a grain of salt. Completely agreed there.

    Second of all, it appears that the original stock shots are at a different scale from the later ones.

    Consider this from "Farpoint"--
    [​IMG]

    versus this from "Tin Man"--
    [​IMG]

    It appears the shot has been purposefully altered. One might conclude that it was to correct the scale, but then again it might simply be that they didn't like the previous shot for other reasons.

    Thanks, King -- as I've said, the deck spacing is probably one of the things the Enterprise-B cross section did get right, at least as far as the ILM model was concerned.

    Hm, this is a good point. If, indeed the official 467 meter size had already been decided on by this point, the apparent upscaling seen above may've then been somehow intentional, to fill in from the unseen Ambassador that was intended. Mr. Sternbach's Ambassador was 526 meters long, but I'm uncertain how big Mr. Probert's version would have been. Still,

    Yeah - once upon a time, before i had seen the true nature of the insets on the two sides of the filligreed Excelsior neck, I had assumed that this was what those insets were... but the angles don't quite work out, nor do the details. They look more like phaser turrets to me.

    I think I know what you're talking about - I'll dig through my files and see if I have them, but I'm not sure that I do.

    Interesting... and I completely forgot about that scene when it came to trying to make levels out of those windows. Maybe I should give that a shot for kicks.

    Excellent... thank you for finding that one!

    Great point sir... thank you. It only leavings its inner workings to discern, I think.

    Eh, I'm inclined to think it's just a gaffe and it's meant to be the same ship, but you may be onto something.

    I'm inclined to think that Excelsior, with its rather exorbitant smoothing and flattening, and rather curious details such as the neck filligree, may've been an experiment in radical warp streamlining of some sort... which may in turn point to using cover plates again. Just a theory, of course. In reality, the modelmakers may've just left them off. We do have several blue hatches on the saucer underside, that are likely either saucer landing feet to correspond with those on the 1701 refit, or docking ports. I forget if there appear to also be large docking port doors (like the one Spock and Kirk used in TMP.)
     
  20. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    :lol: Very good point but I think the pod could have landed in the shuttlebay (the TMP Blueprints reveal it to have two landing skids at the bottom). On the other hand Andrew Probert's Enterprise-D still had these docking rings so they should be there on Excelsior, too...

    @ Crazy Eddie

    I wanted to save this topic for the rainy days. I have to disagree! The openings labelled 1 and 2 on the the stern of the Miranda Class are probably inserts for standardized cargo containers (alternately attached to the exterior connect hardpoints above, total loading capacity 4).
    On a ship that size 2 hangar bays seem to be way too much. If you want a shuttlecraft carrier, I'd think the Constellation Class is a more suitable candidate. ;)

    Bob
     

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