Why are their inaccurate models on the set?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Gotham Central, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. Gotham Central

    Gotham Central Vice Admiral Admiral

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    More so than the other series, TNG frequently featured model starships used as decoration on the various sets.

    For set decorators models would be fairly easy to come by since most were commercially available.

    One thing that I've always found odd though is that on more than one occasion the models were GROSSLY in accurate.

    I'm not talking about little details being off...I'm talking about Constitution Class ships with nacells on backwards or missing entire pieces.

    The question is why?

    AMT kits were cheap and relatively easy to build. Not only were they easy, but they were usually hard to screw up (i.e. pieces would not fit together if they were backwards. Yet there were models on TNG sets that were all kinds of screwed up. The question is why?

    I seem to recall a constitution refit model with the nacells lying on their side. That would have been intentional given that the model, out of the box could not do that.
     
  2. trekker670

    trekker670 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think the majority of the time these "inaccurate" models were actually kitbashes. They used off the shelf models, but assembled the pieces differently (often mixing and matching between model sets) to create a different model than intended. This allowed them to make a more diverse fleet without having to create unique designs/molds/models for each one.
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    For the most part, I think it was a question of effort. There's no point in gluing all the pieces in place when the camera will only barely show the model at all (hence the Constitutions tending to lack those saucer rim pieces with the portholes), and no point in fitting difficult pieces in place with undue accuracy (hence some nacelles placed incorrectly - "on the side" might be an in-universe variant created by kitbashing, but "front end aft" is simply the builder rightfully not caring a bit).

    In-universe, I think we have to accept that these kits were built by people who didn't have the skill. Picard's ship would have been teeming with such - no wonder the Captain Picard Day was created to limit the exposure to one day per year...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Because people of the 24th century have evolved beyond that.
     
  5. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's funny too when things go full circle, and those models end up in the TV shows and movies representing the actual ships. ILM wanted a smaller scale miniature for when they needed the Enterprise to be small, so they used the commercially available AMT kit, and used it in Star Trek 2, 3 and 6, notably in this shot:

    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tsfshd/tsfshd0143.jpg
     
  6. TV's Frank

    TV's Frank Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Because whether it's in-universe explanation or just talking about it as a TV production, these are all items made by human beings and human beings are fallible. Deal with it.
     
  7. trekshark

    trekshark Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    the Constitution with the sideways nacelles was in an engine design lab (unless it showed up elsewhere that I don't remember), so it was probably intended to be a test bed of some kind
     
  8. Santa Claws

    Santa Claws Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ It showed up in Picard's ready room and some crew quarters in season 1, before the appearance in the Utopia Planitia recreation in season 3.

    Memory Alpha link
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...On a ship full of kids, that model no doubt was either built by one, or then broken and rebuilt a dozen times because of one.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Yup. Someone probably dumped a model kit in front of some random non-Trekkie Paramount employee and told them to have it ready for shooting in a couple of hours. Those window panels were a bitch to get in place, I wouldn't be surprised if they were rattling around inside that saucer.

    Also, I glued the nacelles of my first D7 Battlecruiser on backwards (I was 10 at the time, though)
     
  11. The Entire Bee Movie But

    The Entire Bee Movie But Badass Admiral

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    Well, now they're canon. :shrug:
     
  12. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Ah, but are they...blue? ;)
     
  13. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm talking a friend into painting some Klingon ship miniatures in a reddish color to represent other houses in the Empire.
     
  14. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd supposed the thread title was a sly admission that, yeah, these things happen.
     
  15. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You're making it sound like this kind of thing happened all the time. Other than the two instances of AMT Enterprise-A models with their nacelles attached the wrong way, what other examples of this are there? And I wouldn't exactly call it "grossly inaccurate." It's not like somebody glued the nacelles vertically, or stuck the engineering hull on top of the saucer.

    And to give my $0.02: Maybe whoever built those models just wanted to see what they looked like with the nacelles backward or at an angle?
     
  16. The Entire Bee Movie But

    The Entire Bee Movie But Badass Admiral

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    They're not canon if they're not ;)
     
  17. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    A single Starfleet officer was responsible for building all those display models that wound up in captains' ready rooms throughout the fleet. The times that he built models that were actually faithful to construction designs were when that officer, Lieutenant Steve McCroskey, picked the wrong days to stop sniffing glue.
     
  18. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Beat me to it! :bolian:
     
  19. JJohnson

    JJohnson Captain Captain

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    "Why are their inaccurate models on the set?"

    as opposed to why are my inaccurate models on the set? Or his, hers, ours, or yours?

    Or did you mean "there"?

    Aside from grammar, I'd say they use off-the-shelf ships to kitbash to cheaply come up with either fleet-building or new ships by adding bits of random stuff - the New Orleans class, for example, had markers for the two tubes atop the ship. Probably before CGI ships became cheap enough to hit the copy button in the software. But the upside is we get new and unique models to discuss and wonder about!
     
  20. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe the model makers got it right, and it's those idiots in spacedock who put the Enterprise's nacelles on backwards!