Drydock, TOS style...thoughts?

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by Redfern, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. Redfern

    Redfern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Something I've occasionally pondered, given the personnel and resources that were actually available from 1966 to 1969, what form might have a "space dock" taken? Yeah, retrospectively "in universe", one can reasonably assume the orbiting framework presented in ST:TMP was possibly around by the conclusion of Kirk's "5 year" mission. But let's take a hypothetical approach. Let's pretend it is still the latter 1960s. Star Trek is still a "current" production airing upon NBC. In this scenario, any thoughts of a theatrical movie are, at best, cocktail hour induced flights of idle fantasy. The idea of a "Phase II" revival would have even less meaning. "A 'revival'? What are you taking about? The show's still on the air!" I mention those two factors because I don't want them to influence the design that could reasonably achieved for primetime television of the late 60s.

    What do you think could have been built for the show? Let's assume Matt Jefferies and Wah Chang are present to provide their creativity. If need be, items from unusal sources can be obtained, like the models of the McDonell/Douglas inflatible space habitats that were used to build the K-7 space station. (I wonder for years how the show was able to present such an elaborate design given to insanely tight shooting schedules they had. I read the "pods" were inspired by the Douglas space habitats, but it wasn't until last year I learned the production obtained existing models from a display case and linked them with tubes into a single cohesive shape.) Shoot, let's say the designers are willing to "salvage" the K-7 miniature to maintain a design ethic.

    While we're at it, let's say Albert Whitlock is available and rather than opting for a physical miniature, Roddenberry and staff are giving to go the 2D route, a painting of a spaceborn scaffolding arrangement. Obviously, such an approach would be limited to a single angle (the most useful probably being the "face on tunnel" shot we saw in TMP), but such would open the possibility to a more elaborate design.

    I'm just trying to imagine something with that "1960s perception of the future...achievable on a finite TV budget" and I'm just coming up "blank".

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  2. Kaiser

    Kaiser Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Prolly K-7 like Base with one of the 3 outer pods converted to mini dry dock like the one from the TMP
     
  3. Redfern

    Redfern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Actually, I've seen something akin to that presented upon the StarShip Modelers forums. But I wonder what 1960s miniature craftsmen would have used to make the "scaffolding" and how elaborate they could made it under a tight schedule. Hobbyists of the present normally don't have those kind of time restraints and there are a lot more components readily available to make complex structures.

    There'd also be the issues with compositing. Bluescreen techniques (of that era) probably established a limit to the amount of spindly detail that could be easily separated from the neutral background. Remember, even the nacelle pylons in some episodes would vanish.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral In Memoriam

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    It would probably have been les spindly and more of a open ended box with big window cut outs along the length.
     
  5. Nightowl1701

    Nightowl1701 Commodore Commodore

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    ^ That, but with a K-7 style pod on the top surface of the box. In the absence of a side hatch on the saucer, umbilicals would be from the top down - one plugging right into the turbolift shaft behind the bridge (allowing ship turbolifts to go straight up into the station and back), two larger docking collars plugging into the topside panels on either side of the impulse engines.
     
  6. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The "less spindly" option reminds me a bit of McKinley Station. Although the style would obviously be very different.
     
  7. spiff628

    spiff628 Ensign Red Shirt

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    I would not look any further than MadMan's Prime Alternative design. Fits right in line with the Enterprise NX Warp 5 Complex, but then again creation keeps everything to the forefront!!!
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What do you think could have been built for the show?

    Maybe a pressurized dock, some kind of enclosure built around the eleven foot model (or the smaller model more like), just a box that the model could be photographed in. windows, scaffling, and multiple gangways connecting parts of the ship to the wall.

    :)
     
  9. TrekkieMonster

    TrekkieMonster Commodore Commodore

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    IIRC, Vector created just such a drydock some years ago, in conjunction with his Franz Joseph inspired USS Constitution project. Or was that Professor Moriarty's] ISS Tiberius project ...? And whichever it was, while I don't remember whether the final version contained any K-7 type elements, it seems to me that some of the WIP images did. But, both of those projects were a looooooong time ago (damn, I'm old ..., even in TBBS years). Perhaps one of the artists himself will pop up with an answer ... or tell me that my aging brain is completely mis-remembering. I'm sure I've got some jpgs somewhere.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2014
  10. BK613

    BK613 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Probably cobbled together out of studio equipment like lightstands and Klieg lights but MJ would've made it look cool.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    They could've customized an AMT model to stand in for the Enterprise and used the leftover sprues (the plastic lattices that the model kit parts are attached to) to build the drydock! ;)
     
  12. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    I envision two possible approaches:

    1: A derivative of the "K-7" concept mentioned by others above, with an outer pod becoming a kind of "space dock" enclosure. I think at least part of the outer pod hull would be intact, much as we saw it in "The Trouble with Tribbles", but there would be a very different arrangement attached to its underside:

    I see the TMP "dock" arrangement (and every TREK movie space-dock subsequently seen) as being a kind of loose "shell" for surrounding the docked ship with forcefields so that construction crews can work inside the dock fully protected from radiation and micro-meteoroids from space. The forcefields would also keep stray tools, equipment and construction materials from drifting out of the dock. (So the forcefields would be a kind of low-energy enclosure so that the dock could be considered a clean, controlled environment for working on the ship inside.) I envision this underside enclosure as looking more like spider legs loosely enveloping the ship (very vaguely similar to McKinley Station seen in TNG's "Family".

    2: The only other arrangement that comes to mind would be like a cross between SPACE ACADEMY and the alien dock shown in ENT's "In a Mirror, Darkly"; essentially, a base constructed in a cave on the side of an asteroid. The TOS precedent for this (unseen, but clearly articulated) would be the Earth Outposts in "Balance of Terror". I cite this example because I think it is possible that Earth (and the Federation) may mine asteroids for the raw materials to construct space vessels, then take the mined asteroids and use them as bases/docks to actually assemble said vessels.

    3: The only other concept I would think of would be a total enclosure (like a smaller version of the Spacedock seen in TMP3), but shaped more like a box or polyhedron; the box opens like a flower blossoming to receive a ship, then closes to completely shelter the ship in the box/polyhedron inside.


    In any concept, there should be some external shelter (or grid work for forcefields) and also a "space station" element where the dock's crew is quartered, offices and workshops are located, and probably power is generated for life-support, workshops, and the ship's umbilical.
     
  13. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm honestly surprised that nobody's mentioned Franz Joseph's Starfleet HQ shown in his "Starfleet Technical Manual". It had six spherical "drydocks" around the perimeter. (Wingsley's description in #3 above reminded me of this.) I wouldn't personally go with the design as a whole, but maybe use that as inspiration.
     
  14. Lieut. Arex

    Lieut. Arex Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    that one was Vector's and it was spot on in my eyes
     
  15. TrekkieMonster

    TrekkieMonster Commodore Commodore

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    Thank you for helping confirm that I'm not going completely senile. ;)

    I seem to remember a recognizable drydock lattice structure with a sort of command or control module reminiscent of the K-7 modules attached to it.

    But, somehow I'm thinking that element may not have made it to the final version. I seem to recall Vektor ended up with a cylindrical lattice construction that was quite atypical of what we've seen to date as Trek-verse drydocks; but it somehow had a very '60s TOS/pre-TOS feel. Just can't recall whether it had the K-7 element I'm thinking of.
     
  16. CaptainMurdock

    CaptainMurdock Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I would assume it would look like this.
    [​IMG]
     
    nightwind1 likes this.
  17. Madkoifish

    Madkoifish Commander Red Shirt

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    I think the OP means to think about it without influence of the latter years of what we think a drydock is in trek. IE a lattice of structures.
    With a mid 60s mentality turned on and a lack of understanding of girth in space Id expect some enclosed birth. Say a 3d representation of what a drydock is to ocean ships. Id pull design clues from known TOS canon industrial buildings and known stations.
    As a designer and artist though Id likely consider resources for such a structure and revert to some sort of gantry, maybe a U shaped X patterned structure that can move about the periphery of the ship to allow access to components. At one end there would be some modular components say a spire section of the K7 for management quarters and maybe stowage of raw materials. Id expect some large blisters of factory components on the arms as well as youd need to fabricate components for the ships on site or at least store them. Maybe something more like that THOLIAN dock seen in the ENT mirror ep. This would allow for all the needed storage without either large housings or nearby stations or elements that are not connected to the prime dock and all the logistics of keeping those things in relative orbit.

    Id also think given the popularity of the idea in the 60s that UP wouldn't be a prime concern as most of the latter TREK canon was with it. SO ships could dock vertically etc. Most of the space art of the time and even the 50s promoted this no UP idea in stations and facilities. Granted most of that work did not take gravplating into the design process. But that still means little as the grav plate could make down any direction.

    mm brainvomit? lol.

    love that last image.
     
  18. MGagen

    MGagen Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I love it! Surely this painting is called "Trekhawks"...

    M.
     
  19. WinstonSmith

    WinstonSmith Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Of course, remember that there was a drydock actually designed and built for the abortive 'Phase II'. Which is probably about as close as we can get to the design style of the original series without the influence of everything that came later.
    [​IMG]
    And there were some studies for phase II and tmp that are quite evocative of the 60s tv series aesthetic.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^Nice!

    Anybody have a link to Vector's concept that's been talked about? I'm sure I've seen it, I just don't remember it offhand.