That Spacedock "shuttle" is actually a Tug

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Maurice, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Curious... In Basill's photo, is the horizontally extending pier below the two dark holes and above the "mystery barge" present at all? The illumination makes it difficult to tell.

    No obvious fixing points for the "barge", either.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  2. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Although I will point out that the other ships in Spacedock at the end of TVH were also matted into the shot, not actually inside the station like the Planet of the Titans and barge ships were.

    That's a good point. But then why didn't the Planet of the Titans ship go after them? Or maybe the other ships' captains just assumed the Excelsior would catch them, and didn't bother?

    Yeah, I can see something directly underneath the larger black hole; presumably the ramp.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    One might assume that most starships aren't capable of departing without lengthy preparations, even when they aren't recovering from a years-long refit. One to three such ships per Spacedock would have been quite realistic, I guess. More than that, not so much.

    The inability to launch at a moment's notice might help explain why the fleet in "By Inferno's Light" was in danger even when the supposed threat was the sublight explosion of a star ten lightminutes away. It might well be that ships attempting a cold start of warp engines in less than ten minutes would blow up just as certainly as if they waited for the star's explosion to catch up with them.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    [​IMG]

    Here's a photo of the actual filming miniature.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  5. Search4

    Search4 Commander Red Shirt

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    As a big fan of filming miniatures - i collect them - thank you for the detailed close up. What a beauty.
     
  6. USS Jack Riley

    USS Jack Riley Captain Captain

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    Please sir, may I have some more?
     
  7. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I have six more photos, but I made a captioning error on them so I want to redo that before I post any more. But I will do so shortly.
     
  8. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Maurice,

    While I'm very excited to see your Spacedock tug pics, I was wondering if you happened to see any other models during your visit with Bill George. I know he built a lot of study models for Star Trek III, but I didn't know if he was actually still in possession of any of them.
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't see this tug model. He doesn't have it. He built a smaller scale version for himself, which I saw. The pic I posted was a scan of some photos he took in the past.

    He told me he has a study model or two someplace, but they weren't convenient to pull out on the times I've been to his house.
     
  10. lennier1

    lennier1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  11. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Okay, here they all are:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Perhaps there is an entry hatch on the underside.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Not according to these pictures. Indeed, the vehicle appears to be intended to be boarded only by trained personnel who can squeeze in through the twin dorsal hatches, which is a rather silly arrangement.

    ...All the more so since the cabin visible through the forward dome does not appear to include any sort of doors to the back compartment(s)! Perhaps we are instead supposed to think that the transparent canopy opens up somehow, in which case the question goes, how are the pilots supposed to climb out? Crawling over their dashboards? This is rather rare for real vehicles accessed through an opening canopy.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I could ask Bill next time I see him, but I suspect the entry/egress is via the round thing on top, and that the decals that represent the hatches are more access panels than anything, or, given that the model was never intended to be shot in closeup, no effort was made to add hatch lines or other practical details.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    If the principal role of these things indeed is towing starships around, then it would make sense for the entry systems to be built with space and zero gee in mind. A dorsal docking hatch isn't a bad idea in such a case.

    Indeed, the vehicle appears incapable of landing anywhere! Instead of sporting landing gear, it rests on an external pedestal in the ST4 matte painting describing some sort of maintenance work on two of the craft.

    ...Although why not just one but three utilitarian starship tugs would come down to Earth and appear in the same picture with supposed dignitaries walking to their important meetings, one can't readily tell. I appreciate the movie wanted to get mileage out of the beautiful model, but the matte work there doesn't really make all that much sense in general, and even less in light of George's artistic intent.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Retractable landing gear remains a strong possibility, Timo (and no, I'm not just saying that because I can tell the engines are pieced together from F-14 and F-16 model kits :D) especially considering the older Type-F shuttlecraft on the TOS enterprise was apparently equipped with the same.

    Also, there DOES seem to be a visible hatch on the side of the ship where that square window appears between the fleet delta and the "7". Probably gulwing style, and you have to climb in feet first like a submarine hatch. After all, those dock tugs are built for heavy duty, not comfort.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I'd have no problem with those "air intake" "nose gear hatches" hiding some proper landing gear as such. And the pedestal could be an antigrav tractor for ease of tarmac movement, just barely capable of sliding beneath the shuttle when it is standing on its putative landing gear (a bit wide for that, though).

    But the side hatch business is iffy as that part of the craft looks too seamless. And the big round thing is far too delicious as some sort of a heavy duty mechanism that enables this little craft to achieve big things that I'd take it for a docking port.

    The one problem with this model is that the cockpit does not appear to have doors on the back wall. The one problem with how the model is used is that it is seen in some numbers in an area where one would instead expect "civilized" shuttle types that can carry passengers. Why are we seeing the sordid back lot of a key Federation conferencing building? Or if we are seeing its classy rooftop helipad, why are there no appropriate shuttles there to balance out the inappropriate ones?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. USS Jack Riley

    USS Jack Riley Captain Captain

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    Maurice - Thanks for posting these. I love these old miniatures. When I watchd "Blade Runner" with my son not too long ago it blew his mind that everything was an actual, physical model, not a computer generated image.
     
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    USS Jack Riley: You're welcome!

    Timo/newtype: Although it's not in-story logic, I'm pretty sure the reason we see those tug shuttles at Starfleet HQ and zooming in to the rescue at the end was a practical consideration of budget: build a new model or use the existing one we have. Since the landed shuttle is a painting, they could have painted any design there, but I suspect they matched it for the sake of expediency.

    I don't have a problem with the model lacking practical details like hatches and stuff. These things were never meant to be studied closely. They were built to service the shot, so I think it's fine to assume there really is a hatch or door there, just the modelmakers didn't take the time to delineate them because all that matters, really, is that it look convincing on screen.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  20. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It could be, but don't let the lack of seems fool you, especially on a model this small. I'd just assume the seems play some sort of Whovian vanishing act when nobody's looking, sort of like the starboard hatch on the Enterprise's torpedo deck (sometimes it's there, sometimes it's not).

    Even conference buildings have to have parking lots, right? I don't think the Federation is uptight enough that their security guards act like club bouncers saying "Sorry, Sir, this lot is for limos and luxury shuttles only... you're not getting in here with those thrusters."
     

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