Excelsior Technical Manual: Grand Finale

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Praetor, Mar 29, 2024.

  1. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Eh, Voyager had a swirl core like the TMP Enterprise. They weren't identical, of course. Even though the TNG-style core on the Enterprise-A and Enterprise-D look "the same" we can squint and pretend they didn't. Personally, I favor the idea that Excelsior introduced this sort of "collider" style core and this helped keep those ships in service for as long as they were.

    I've been having similar thoughts about the Excelsior corridors. I want them to look very much like the Enterprise-D corridors in general, but the large touchscreen panels on the outer side of the concentric corridor - even though they were seen not lit up on the Enterprise-A in "TUC" - feel like something that doesn't necessarily belong there.
     
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  2. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  3. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Captain Captain

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    I saw the way you did the bridge with the turbolifts and I really like what you did with that. Had I never seen HD pic of the ships, that is pretty much what I would believe the Excelsior had. Honestly If the bridge dome of the Excelsior had not gotten such a closeup in the spacedock scene, one could imagine that was what it was meant to look like and they just did not fully detail that part of the model (albeit that is probably not true behind the scences.)

    I like that idea since it gives the impression that if a movie had been made that needed to show that part of the Excelsior, that is what we would have seen filmed.

    Is that were you plan to have the "split" to the two impulse deflection crystals, much like the TNG set shows the plasma transfer conduits heading out from the warp core at middle height in the room? (But Voyager's main engineering does not show the conduits, so they must be on another level.)

    I may have mentioned this on this thread or somewhere else, but the only explanation must be that Leah Brahms designed a new interior for the core, and that was what was new and "exciting" for the start of TNG, since the outside appearance of the core, and the nacelles are established to have been used on apparently older ships.
     
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  4. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Admiral Premium Member

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    Good theory! In my own head-canon, I've always envisioned many of the oddly-designed classes of ships that got wrecked at Wolf 359 (Springfields, Freedoms, Challengers, Cheyennes, New Orleans and Niagaras) with their scaled-down engines and saucers, were various testbed concepts for what ultimately became the Galaxy class.
     
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  5. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If you look to the left in the screenshot you can see part of the TMP-style swirly warp core ring and a part of the angled bit of a vertical segment.
     
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  6. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Admiral Premium Member

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    Whose look and design, interestingly, was exactly what they used for Voyager's warp core all 7 seasons.

    I personally preferred this effect over TNG's neon tube light effect. Looked more "realistic" as to what high-energy plasma flow would look like in a contained area. I always thought TNG's animated tube lights looked cheap as shit. IIRC, the rationale behind moving away from TMP's swirly light effect was the immense amount of heat the lights put off inside the intermix chamber. They must have fixed that problem by the time VOY came around.
     
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  7. UssGlenn

    UssGlenn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I know both TMP and Voyager used the same system, rotating reflecive elements reflecting the internal lights. But Ive never heard heat was an issue.
     
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  8. Macintosh

    Macintosh Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've heard the term "swirl core" before but I've no idea what it's supposed to mean from an in-universe viewpoint (beyond that they're much prettier than the Enterprise-D's... pulse core?). My own thoughts on this are that the refit Enterprise core is more like an array of fine crystalline conduits, almost like the boiler tubes of an old steam locomotive, mixing antimatter and matter throughout the entire volume of the core shaft so the entire thing is one big reaction chamber; whereas Voyager's core is more like the Enterprise-D's or the Defiant's, but the reaction chamber proper is vertically stretched into a taller structure. I'm not basing this on anything other than my own head though.

    I've always believed that the Enterprise-A core was carefully shot in such a way to show only one conduit leaving it rather than the two conduits the Enterprise-D core has, making it look more like a halfway point between the TMP core and the TNG core. Which kind of helps with that whole "they look similar but aren't identical" thing.
     
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  9. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    I think the effect was done somewhat differently in Voyager versus how it had been accomplished in the movies. According to Return to Tomorrow (pg 113):

    Sam Nicholson: "[W]e designed a light gun. It consisted of a quartz filament with a kinetic, motorized system—variable speed—to churn up the light; and then an optical condensing system to focus the mixed-up light; and then a color-wheel system in front of that; and a band cooling system. And then we compacted the whole thing. It was like a large flashlight. That worked, so we built, I think, eight of them for the eight-foot-high section, for starters. We got them all lined up on a structure so that each one hid the other one's shadow."

    This article has some quotes on the VGR version.

    Richard James: "I didn't want neons going in a relay because that had been done before, so I talked with my special effects guys. I wanted it to look like gases mixing together inside and we came up with a way of using foil and lights. The foil basically rotates and the lights shine and hit it. Then on the back side of the curved Plexiglas there's a rear screen fabric; when it hits that it's like a back projection."

    The patterns did seem a lot less complex on the TV version; it's a little hard to parse Nicholson's description, but it sounds like the movie version was more based on layers of lenses, while the TV version reflected off of one layer of foil; I remember moments in VGR where the pattern of "gas" is visibly repeating and rotating, though I can't specifically cite an episode.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2024 at 3:59 PM
  10. Macintosh

    Macintosh Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There's a very odd effect at one point where the swirly pattern is static when the warp drive is offline, and then accelerates up to usual speed as they re-energise the core.
     
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  11. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Admiral Premium Member

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    :lol: I think I remember that.
     
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  12. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    That’s it, that’s the moment I’m thinking of.
     
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  13. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I went back and forth on this a lot and basically decided that the engineering spaces changed when the intermix chamber/warp core changed. I'm approaching the point of no return, but I'm currently attacking it from the thought that Excelsior's innards probably all looked a lot more like the interiors of the Enterprise-D than the refit Enterprise. I think this is more keeping with what we would have seen in "TUC" had we seen much of anything, and that would be the latest we did see of her.

    Thank you! :)

    Thank you again! :)

    I'm actually envisioning vertical power conduits running up parallel and behind the warp core itself, where they eventually connect to the twin deflection crystals. A TMP-style "swirl core" would have a pair of conduits branching out from the top of the core to either deflection crystal.

    I still like this idea. :D

    Rick Sternbach wrote up something for "Star Trek: The Magazine" for the development of the Intrepid-class that said that the "swirl core" was lined with smaller crystals, so the reaction occurred throughout the chamber rather than one central location. I'll try to locate the article and take a photo and directly quote. This always implied to me the idea that the TMP core worked similarly.

    That's never occurred to me but is entirely possible. I'll roll with it. :rommie:
     
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  14. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't have a ton to show today, but I do like to show something when I have been working.

    Here's a quick recap of all the saucer decks:
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    There aren't a ton of obvious changes and I'm still in the process of realigning decks, re-laying out turboshafts and so on. I hope to start roughing in more compartments soon, and then filling those in with actual rooms. I'm surprised how much of a different feel adding in structural elements gives them.

    More to come!
     
  15. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Captain Captain

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    I had not considered that before as an option, but I like it a lot better than having the warp core having to have a "split" at some point in its length.

    It seems like having two deflections crystals is something the NX version should have had, with the NCC version going to just one, and potentially that detail partly showing that transwarp technology was not implemented. But for some reason that is the reverse of what was done. If I ever got ask the designers some questions, near the top of the list, at least about this particular ship, would be, "Why the move to two deflection crystals?"
     
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  16. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My reasoning on the two deflection crystals is that the one was too much; whatever the darn things do, it was overloading having too much power running through one large crystal, so they replaced it with two.

    I feel like this is where I should point out, though, that at 467 meters the single crystal is actually smaller than the one on the Enterprise; if you scale the ship to 622 meters the deflection crystal and deflector dish match the Enterprise.

    So, if anything maybe I should flip my explanation and say it was underpowered. :rommie:
     
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  17. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've been working through general placements of things in the saucer so I can solidify the locations of turboshafts, corridors and the like and then start filling in rooms and other equipment. Here's a rough look at Decks 02-09:
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    I've moved and removed a few turboshafts and turbolift stops accordingly, as well as added some corridors. I'll need to go through and guesstimate about how many of each of the quarters will be present in each area I've roughed in for them to make sure there are enough according to my calculations.

    You'll notice that the rec deck, gymnasium, and ship's theater/chapel take up large chunks of Decks 06-07. On later refits of the ships of the class, these would be replaced with holodecks outright. I should also mention (as a fan of FJ's blueprints) I do plan to include a ship's pool as part of the gymnasium. I think the alpha/delta/gamma shift bridge officers "ready rooms" actually make some sense as I've placed them now, as they would provide a sense of separation from their "regular" quarters when they are and are not on duty while also giving them quicker access to the crew amenities and facilities.

    I need to go through and figure out where the portholes are on the underside of the saucer; I think these will end up on Deck 09 and probably be near the freight/cargo areas I've roughed in there.

    Finally, the labels as shown above are NOT meant to be the final labels; I'll either number different things and have a key or just have labels with arrows. Either way, these are mostly for me at this point. And apologies if these are a little hard to read as these are just quick and dirty screenshots for sharing.

    It feels pretty cool to see all this starting to finally come together after nearly twenty years of dreaming. :rommie:

    Feedback always welcome. More to come!
     
  18. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It might be because the turboshaft layout isn't finalised yet, but there seems to be a vertical pass-through missing in order for Decks 5 and 6 to connect to Deck 7
    (I've added it to the left hand image below)
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think you're right. Thank you! :)

    Today's been a bit hectic so I won't have much of an update today, but as I always say, more to come!
     
  20. publiusr

    publiusr Admiral Admiral

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    I always wanted to see that effect on the central “rib” on the bow of each refit nacelle as a step beyond TOS nacelle “turbines.”

    If I had never seen Enterprise-D’s lavish engineering set, and was asked which vessel it would go with based solely on the ship’s exterior appearance—I’d think it was the Romulan Warbird’s singularity containment site, located in the very back….where everything ties together.

    Voyager’s core is what I would expect Ent-D to have…just extended.
     
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