Is the bridge at a funny angle?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Mike Doyle, Dec 17, 2020.

  1. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "People are getting turned into doodads? I want a good seat for this! Wait, what do you mean it's my turn?"
     
  2. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Didn't the middle part of the bridge on the original Battlestar Galactica spin around like that?
     
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  3. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Yes. The center command post rotated.
     
  4. Redfern

    Redfern Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Turn that bottom right photo upside down and Nichelle could be posing as SpiderWoman.
     
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  5. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Distortions are certainly possible, but they would have to be unusually precise in order to reduce 9 pie wedges by exactly the same amount whilst expanding the remaining one.
    Interestingly, the viewscreen wedge being larger than the rest was also present on other, less precise sketches:
    [​IMG]
    FWIW, the average (non viewscreen) pie-wedge in that sketch is 35.138 degrees

    Perhaps not as noticeable as you might think - here is the McMaster plans (which used ten 36 degree wedges) over the Desilu set sketch from my earlier post:
    [​IMG]

    Exactly - carpenters rarely build sets using angles, they use the measurements provided (by the designer, who would take angles into account) and the angles take care of themselves in the finished product.
    Case in point is the surviving Bridge wedge sketch that has measurements
    [​IMG]
    Several of the larger distances have clear numbers which can be used to calculate the size of a standard wedge:
    [​IMG]
    As noted, the stated measurements give a wedge of 34.75 degrees
    However, increase that left-hand measurement from 10'9" to 11'0" and it becomes a 35.6 degree wedge which is almost spot-on to the Desilu sketch of 35.5

    Furthermore...
    In order to get a Bridge wedge of 36 degrees that end measurement would need to be precisely 11 feet, 1.44 inches on EVERY wedge - nobody would want to work to those tolerances.
    However, reduce that end measurement to 11 feet for 9 wedges, fudge the final wedge to fit and you've got a perfectly connected, multi-section set with minimal fuss.
     
  6. jackoverfull

    jackoverfull Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    thanks for the hilarious photos, never seen those before.

    And I was well aware of their penchant for removing parts of the bridge for filming (in fact is something we plan to do when we finally get around building the set for our fan film), I would never have imagined that whole sections of the upper level could be removed as well, including the floor! Makes sense, though.
     
  7. Cancel Culture

    Cancel Culture Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Thank you for this study.

    I think I see the reason for this. It's because McMaster stole from the wedges of the adjacent half-stations to make a viewscreen wedge that is about as wide as the one in the set plans. You can see this on his plans by eye simply by comparing the viewscreen extremes with the dashed polygons just inside labeled "edge of bridge lighting cove" and "edge of bridge main lighting" that I will call simply the lighting polygons. The closest vertices of the lighting polygons are plainly inside the extremes of the viewscreen wedge. In contrast, the nearby corresponding vertices align with the extremes of all of the other stations.

    I would therefore posit that McMaster handled the problem by having seven 36 degree wedges, one viewscreen wedge closer to the 40 degrees evident from the set, and the difference is split evenly between the remaining two half-station wedges.

    This explains why the McMaster viewscreen aligns well with the set, as you demonstrate, but also why in the McMaster plans the half-stations themselves end noticeably nearer to the viewscreen (with the remaining portions of those wedges being either wall space or secondary exit space), and why the turbo lift is noticeably clockwise from the set position.
     
  8. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm impressed. It looks like I was wrong about the sections, and you're nailing it. :bolian:
     
  9. plynch

    plynch Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I never assumed the panels with blinkies near the viewscreen were mathematically the equivalent of one half a station. Like the other half of a substation.

    If you include that panel and the angle in toward the screen, maybe they then do add up to 36 instead of 34.5.
     
  10. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It does look like half a station, though:
    https://tos.trekcore.com/hd/albums/1x02hd/charliexhd547.jpg
     
  11. Cancel Culture

    Cancel Culture Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  12. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks but I'm definitely building on the work of others here (MGagen being one) and earlier discussions about the practical constraints of set building.

    One detail the McMaster plans get right which I really like is the unfinished control panel to the right of the viewscreen - just like on the show!
     
  13. MGagen

    MGagen Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Here's my original analysis from 2005. I noticed this discrepancy in studio blueprints and came to the conclusion that the carpenters had built based on length measurements, not angles. This resulted in segments a little less than the ideal 36 degrees. The cumulative error resulted in the need for a single, built to fit, viewscreen segment.

    Interestingly, I got a message from Petrie Blomqvist shortly after publishing this finding. He had arrived at the same conclusion based on trying to match screenshots with his own digital 3D bridge model. He found he couldn't make them align until he had enlarged the viewscreen segment and reduced the others.

    [​IMG]

    My opinion is that this is an artifact of '60s set construction. No doubt the "real Enterprise" has 36 degree bridge segments.

    YMMV.

    M.
     
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  14. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yep, that was the picture I was looking for on my hard drive without success! :guffaw:
    Interesting that Petri Bloomqvist came to the same conclusion :techman:

    It would probably be more circular too, especially on the handrail area (like ENT's reproduction or TAS)
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
  15. herofan

    herofan Ensign Red Shirt

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    I had never given any of this a thought, but it’s a good observation.
     
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  16. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This discussion of angles vs measurements reminds me of something Matt Jefferies once said in an interview...

    “I had to come up with the construction drawings to actually build these sets, and my problem was in trying to figure out just what the hell Bachelin had done such a pretty painting about.
    I mean in terms of practicality, his paintings just didn’t work; the construction crew would have gone out of their minds trying to build what he’d painted."

    I wonder if the angles vs measurements was what MJ was referring to ?
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
  17. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks for posting that MJ quote. Can we get to the full thing online somewhere?

    I'm on my work computer now, but I think I have an early, pre-Cage bridge painting that shows a larger room that is very circular instead of angular.
     
  18. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Both Memory Alpha and Otten's Forgotten Trek, among other sites, have extensive quotes from various interviews MJ has done over the years.
    And yes, there's an early bridge concept by Pato Guzman that shows a bridge with smooth compound curves, which probably inspired Franz Bachelin's "pretty paintings."
     
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  19. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This one, I assume?
    [​IMG]
    I agree it would have been a nightmare to build!
     
  20. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    [​IMG]
    It's impressive how close they got, especially the shape of the consoles.
     
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