Excelsior Technical Manual (Third Time's The Charm?)

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Praetor, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. yotsuya

    yotsuya Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Greg Jein also regularized the grid on the bottom and made something up for the grid on top. Both are not a nice round number of degrees. He got the phasers wrong on top as a result. I've seen several versions that have used his model as a guide rather than the original. I've toyed with rendering some of his changes for a USS Fredrickson version (the only label other than Excelsior that physical model had before it was digitized), but I just don't have the interest.
     
  2. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Location:
    Manchester
    Was it not labelled Malinche?
     
  3. yotsuya

    yotsuya Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    From my research, the original studio model was labeled Excelsior (NX), Hood (full relabel), Repulse (top of saucer only), Excelsior (NCC), Melbourne (full relabel), Enterprise B (Full relabel), Lakota (nearly full relabel - they left the NCC, but changed the number). The second studio model by Jein was Excelsior (NCC) and Fredrickson (top of saucer only). It was in that state that it was digitized and in some digital shots it still has Fredrickson on the top and NCC-2000 on the bottom. The digital model may have been relabeled, but I have no interest in that so I have not researched it. As both digital and stock footage, the models represented a huge number of other ships.

    And the only time the original studio model was ever directly sourced for anything was for the digital model at ILM for Generations. Everyone else who has made drawings, models, or CG models, has worked from photographs, including Greg Jein, Gary Kerr, and Ed Giddings
     
    Praetor and Tomalak like this.
  4. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    That all fits my recollections as well. I seem to never remember seeing a photo of the re-labeled Jein model to Malinche but there is a photo somewhere of Anthony Fredrickson posing excitedly with it relabeled as his namesake. I think the Fredrickson relabel was done for the opening shot of "A Time to Stand" where it is the Excelsior class ship being towed in the right foreground.
     
  5. trekfan39

    trekfan39 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2016
    I don't think so Praetor as far as I know the Excelsior class ships were already CG by the time Malinche showed up, you can check out the screencaps at Trekcore and see that it's CG, in fact it looks to be missing it's secondary hull windows/ports. As a model builder I can tell you everything yotsuya has said is correct, the second model actually looks to be based on the old AMT kit from the 90s, at least in most of the detail but for some reason the secondary hull is out of scale with the rest of the model as in to small.
     
  6. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    The Malinche looks like a physical model to me. The paneling matches the Jein model pretty closely, but then it would if the CGI model was based off it. I'm fairly sure this is the physical Defiant model though, which points to both being physical models to me.

    I'm not sure about the Malinche but I am sure about the Fredrickson. Check out the image from MA. That's the Jein model for sure; way too big to be the AMT kit. The damage also seems to match that scene.
     
  7. yotsuya

    yotsuya Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    The Malinche was in DS9 season 5 episode 13, For the Uniform. At that point in season 5, they were still using physical models. It is season 6 when they went digital. The Malinche seems to only appear in one shot. In that shot you can make out the nature of the registry on the bottom of the saucer. You can't read the number, but you can tell there are no 1s or 7s, all the numbers fill a square. It appears to be NCC-2000. The only registry I can find for the Malinche is NCC-38997.

    According to Memory Alpha, the decision to go digital was not made until pre-production on Season 6. Jein's model was in the season 6 opener as the Fredrickson. A few episodes later they used some stock footage - the last time a physical model of Excelsior class was seen. After that it was all digital. Jein's model was evidently scanned after appearing in that opening episode. All previous appearances were the model, all subsequent appearances were a CG copy. Not the only time it was copied. According to MA, CBS still owns the original Jein model, but 12 copies made from the same molds were sold for $7500 each.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
    Praetor likes this.
  8. yotsuya

    yotsuya Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    If we are going to cover the entire Excelsior class, I think one thing needs to be addressed, the stupid oversized impulse engines on the Ent B/Lakota version. I don't raise this question without an answer. First off, the idea that they are impulse engines came from the designers and the made the grille on the back match the two center impulse engines (which in scale are more than enough and already far larger for the size of ship than the TOS, TMP, TNG, Voyager, Enterprise or the Ambassador, Miranda, or Constellation classes had. There is no need for such oversized impulse engines. However, after spending weeks drawing them, tweaking them, detailing them, staring at them looking for mistakes, I have come up with a theory.

    The Reason for the Excelsior Class Version 3 Oversized Impulse Engines
    They are warp drive boosters. That was the simple explanation. I have even come up with a name - Impulse Driven Bussard Enhancer. I have been thinking they should be warp drive boosters for some time, but I was looking at them today and I realized that they are aimed not aft, but directly at the front of the nacelles - right at the Bussard Collectors. They have their own deflector grid and they have 4 holes in the top. I got to thinking that a deflector grid could easily be designed to act as a scoop and funnel material into these four holes. They could be large, low power impulse engines mostly designed to prepare the gasses and direct them at the unique Bussard Collectors this design has. So rather than storing the gasses like it seems the normal Bussards do, this one preconditions the gasses to use immediately in an effort to enhance the warp drive and perhaps conserve fuel. Sort of like the old turbochargers. Anything that would conserve fuel would allow for extended missions. the fins then are to help cool the higher power engine and the lower wings are for additional science equipment.

    I think it all makes sense and it further makes sense that this was not a very successful experiement and only the Lakota of this batch of ships was still in service many years later - the others perhaps having been reconverted to standard Excelsior types or taken out of service.
     
    Praetor likes this.
  9. The Librarian

    The Librarian Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2002
    That's not how the collectors work, though. They're supposed to be used to gather interstellar gas (or let's be more realistic, harvest from nebulae or gas giants, since the ramscoops have been found not to actually work) in order to refuel. The warp core draws from the same fuel tanks internally as the impulse engines, and those tanks are what the collectors refill. Not only that, but the impulse engines would be spitting out helium and not hydrogen since their exhaust is the product of the impulse fusion reactors.
     
  10. yotsuya

    yotsuya Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    I didn't say it was a successful idea. But I think you misunderstood my idea. It isn't sucking in gasses and using them for the impulse engine. The impulse engine is running off of internal fuel and only heating the gasses it takes in and passing them off to the specially designed bussard collector on the warp nacelle for improved warp drive performance. It is turbocharging the warp drive. That is also why the warp engine would need the extra fins for cooling. My idea is that this was some Starfleet engineer's bright idea and he conned someone into making it and while his idea works, it does not work as well as promised.

    And I don't think they need to be in a nebula for it to work because at warp speeds they would gather a lot of gas in a short time. My understanding is that the normal bussards are like the energy recovery from braking in an electric car. It won't recharge fully, but you get something back so you don't waste it. This idea is trying to use that gas immediately instead of saving it for later to reduce usage of the fuel stores. It is one of those brilliant ideas that fizzles (we never see such large impulse engines or such poorly placed ones again).
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2018
    Praetor and Tomalak like this.
  11. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Location:
    Manchester
    I've always thought it a bit odd that those exhausts point right into the nacelles, so I don't dislike this idea at all.
     
  12. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    A very intriguing idea! I certainly like it better than them being hangar bays. :rommie:

    As far as I'm concerned, they're big bulky prototypes for the "modern" 24th century driver coil. I think all ships all the way back to Archer must have had some form of this, albeit no doubt very primitive, and that the deflection crystal on the ships that had them played a role in mass reduction. However, I think Excelsior was so big that they overdid it; the impulse engines as installed could move the ship adequately, but always ran hot and were gigantic. This required lots of maintenance and the funny little fins on top of the model.

    For the Enterprise-B variant, the standard impulse engines were "geared down" to run cooler because they were supplemented by the bulky new impulse engines, and the two radiator fins were removed.. Together, all four engines could move the ship much more effectively, and all ran less hot. The direction of exhaust for the new engines didn't matter because on the "modern" engines exhaust wasn't the main propulsive force and could be expelled on the fly in any direction. Later refits would see modern versions of the impulse engines applied in the standard location, but ships that mounted the extra engines would keep them to retain the extra power generation capabilities (and slight edge in maneuverabilty) that they afforded.

    I assume the Enterprise-B nacelle fins had something to do with either warp streamlining or possibly radiator functions needed for the new Bussard collector assembly. Actually, trying to figure out how pre-TNG engine features correlate to TNG-era engine features is rather interesting. Enterprise refit type engines kind of have almost a compound Bussard assembly at the front, but who is to say if that's really what those elements are? Plus the original Excelsior definitely didn't have its own Bussards. And then the Grissom had a solid plate where a Bussard should go... with those things on the saucer underside perhaps being some kind of ramscoops.

    I think this all tells us there's more than one way to gather fuel, and Starfleet experimented for a while before "getting it right" in TNG. So, the impulse Bussard booster could still be an added benefit.

    Nothing to show tonight, but hoping to have some progress to show this weekend. I'm basically starting over. @yotsuya's plans are so perfectly precise that I need to conform to them. Those plans are a bit more proportional and definitely more detailed than my previous resources. It may be time to switch gears to working on the history text a bit more while I work that out, as I have to have accurate schematics and floor plans to really work on the technical portion.
     
  13. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    Not a ton to report today, other than the initial findings from me starting over. It may not look like it, but it actually is going faster than the first time. I guess better references and I benefit from having done it once before.

    [​IMG]

    I should note, unlike the previous drawing, this one uses completely new elements. My previous version borrowed heavily from the version before that, which for the sake of simplicity I'll call V1. The more I pushed and pulled it to try to make it fit with the better proportions from @yotsuya's drawings, the more dissatisfied I was with it being leftovers. So, here we are. :rommie:

    More to come!
     
    Tomalak and Rekkert like this.
  14. Norsehound

    Norsehound Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    I Do Not Know What You Are Talking About... clearly Excelsior was utilizing a surround-streamlining collector system that ran the entire latitude of the nacelle :P

    The theory was that more could be collected when the ship was at rest than only having the forward area for this. Also, the equipment doubled up as field coil extenders for the Transwarp engine.

    Like many things on the Excelsior it didn't work as expected when it was discovered there was only a negligible increase. In practice, chief engineers only ran the leading portions of the bussard collectors and turned the rest off to save power. Many MK I and II Excelsiors (NX, Hood) retained the entire bank of collectors around the nacelle. Later generations (TUC, ENT-B) omitted the spare collectors but kept the cowling as empty space. ENT-B put some support equipment in there on the thought of using them for something but ultimately it was never utilized for anything.

    I know what that feels like.... good luck and perseverance!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
    Praetor likes this.
  15. yotsuya

    yotsuya Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Yeah, I know what starting over is like, too. I have three completely different attempts (not counting some attempts to edit them into better shape) plus an attempt to correct another version of Excelsior plans before I started completely over.

    My take on the MkI and MkII Excelsiors (as I have taken to refer to them) is that like the TMP Enterprise, the Bussards do not glow. they are behind the grille at the front of the engine. The Excelsior has a grille that goes all around, but the front is a standard Bussard Collector. If I was doing my own rendition of the model, I would put a blue glow on either side and a red glow in front (nothing in the back and a gap between the blue and red on either side below the front cowling). But that is not in keeping with how they lit the original studio model.
     
    Praetor likes this.
  16. Norsehound

    Norsehound Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    I've always liked the unlit TMP nacelles myself. Spoke to maturing technology that seemed more functional than ornamental. Didn't like TMP direction in that regard, but *shrug*

    One can say without a doubt that the B nacelle caps are bussards. I figured whatever system the Excelsior was using, it wasn't good enough, evidently.
     
    Praetor likes this.
  17. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
    Thank you!

    And woops. I actually meant to say there are no obvious "traditional" Bussards visible on Excelsior. Common wisdom makes the front glowy bits on NX-01 and the TOS Enterprise Bussards as well, but the refit Enterprise has structures that feel roughly analagous but are not the same (and aren't red) and the Excelsior doesn't either. I don't dislike your idea of how they worked, but I've always been of the mind that it had Bussards that were just hidden behind a single grill like everything else.

    Well, your plans are so good that you can tell you've worked on them quite a while. :)

    I think that's more or less how I've thought of the components on those engines, although I think a glow isn't necessary.

    The top blue "window" on the nacelles also bears some examination. The Ambassador class has its own version of them, just like it has its own version of the Excelsior neck radiators. Coupled together, and with my previous thoughts about the impulse engines running hot, perhaps the warp engines did too, and it carried over to the Ambassador class? Maybe that extra "window" was constructed of a material that let radiation and waste heat more easily expel from the nacelles, effectively a sunroof for the nacelles. Maybe the single grill wrapped around the Excelsior nacelles was similarly meant to leave the structures as open as possible.
     
  18. Norsehound

    Norsehound Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    I just realized I forgot to emote the kidding tone in the first part of my statement, ahh! Apologies if I came off too strong!

    It's your project, so define it as you will. I just wanted to have a little more interesting of a solution than just hiding them behind the leading edge. Excelsior was a prototype in many ways, so if I'm writing my own guesses on it, might as well make that an interesting new take on the tech that never caught on, either.

    I figured that blue top was the same construct as whatever flanks the Refit Enterprise warp nacelles. One plan calls this structure a Thermal regulator system, so I guess it makes sense. Excelsior is using a bigger version of a technology introduced in the 2270 refit a little over a decade prior. Whatever this is eventually morphs into the surround system used in Ambassador/Galaxy successive designs, probably replacing the bussard collector system I described above.
     
  19. yotsuya

    yotsuya Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    I have never given any thought to what the structures are on the top of the nacelles (other than the dome which I assume is the same as the Refit Enterprise dome in much the same location). I think it must run hotter so they left that section uncovered for cooling.
     
  20. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2000
    Location:
    42 miles west of COVFEFE
    And, IIRC, the device up there that's the rough analog of the refit Connie's magnatomic amplification Crystal was the top cockpit canopy piece off Darth Vader's TIE fighter. Or, at least, it looks a hell of a lot like it.