The Excelsior - uncovering the design

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by yotsuya, Mar 28, 2021.

  1. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Admiral Premium Member

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    According to Ex Astris, it was initially built for VOY's "Flashback" episode (retrofitting the E-B back to its original Excelsior configuration was "deemed impossible"). Then it was re-used in DS9's "For the Uniform" as the USS Malinche. Then used three more times as a background ship in DS9 ("By Inferno's Light", "Dr. Bashir, I Presume" and "Ties of Blood and Water". Finally, the last appearance was in DS9's "A Time to Stand" as the USS Frederickson.

    So a total of 6 on-screen usages.
     
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  2. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Captain Captain

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    I guess the discrepancies with the models, combined with camera angles, explain why the Excelsior-class looks so bulky compared to other ships in ST:III yet looks so much sleeker but less imposing in DS9. I supposed camera angles played a role, but that optical illusion with a shorter secondary hull looking thinner, even if they are very similar, explains more of it that I would have expected.

    Of course, if we go by my theory that the Excelsior, Enterprise-B and Ambassador are all essentially the same architecture outfitted for different types of missions, then some Excelsior-class ships with slightly different secondary hulls works out okay ;)
     
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  3. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yep, and it was also used as the basis for the CGI model that appeared frequently in DS9.
     
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  4. yotsuya

    yotsuya Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    These photos of the Mk I have been public since 1984. Well, the side view and the back view were taken at the same time, but I don't have a 1984 source for them. the top, bottom, and both 3/4 views were in the ST III trading card set. The forward view showed up in some other materials including one of the FASA manuals. The side view I found finally in Star Trek TNG The Continuing Mission. Jein's model doesn't look like he had that view. Though from the perspective errors, Mike Okuda had it because it informed his drawing for the sourcebooks and it impacted the AMT model kit.
     
  5. publiusr

    publiusr Admiral Admiral

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  6. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Admiral Premium Member

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    Someone did a CG model of that first one in the Fan Art sub forum. It looked really good.
     
  7. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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  8. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Admiral Premium Member

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    That’s the one!
     
  9. Dukhat

    Dukhat Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, Bernd missed one. The Jein Excelsior was also used in the DS9 “A Call to Arms” fleet at the end of that episode, according to David Stipes.

    On the subject of the Jein Excelsior, many people don’t know that Rick Berman originally wanted the Enterprise-B in Generations to be a new class, necessitating the construction of a new filming model from ILM. Apparently he was sick of constantly seeing the old Excelsior on screen. But budgetary concerns made it cheaper to glue on the add-on parts to Bill George’s model. If the new model had been built, they would have used the original Excelsior for Flashback, then it would have been retired, and such ships as the Malinche, the Lakota, possibly the Bellerophon, and all the other background shots of Jein’s Excelsior would instead have been reuses of the new Enterprise-B model. But alas, that was not to be.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2023
  10. Spaceship Jo

    Spaceship Jo Commander Red Shirt

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    Considering it was an Excelsior on the wall already, I'm glad they stuck with some variation of the Excelsior, though a new build (while still at least vaguely matching that concept) would have been even better, like they did with the C wall vs model (or for some people, the reverse of that!).
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2023
  11. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Admiral Premium Member

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    Yeah, as internally-clichéd as it had become in-universe to have Excelsiors flying about everywhere, unless they've been hiding in a cave somewhere, I think every fan of the show assumed the E-B would have been a member of that class, without question.
     
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  12. yotsuya

    yotsuya Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, in the TNG and DS9 world, the Excelsior was old hat. But in the movie world, that is only the 2nd ship of the class we have seen. So it is fitting that like the new CVN-80 is going to be the 2nd Gerald Ford Class carrier, the Enterprise B was the 2nd (at least that we saw) Excelsior Class ship. And it fits with the story in STVI. So there is no alas on my end. I just wish they would have built in something into their budget to build a new hero ship each season so we could get some beauty shots for the library going forward. The smaller size like Jein built was good for the TV production. I wonder if his Excelsior and C are in scale?
     
  13. Dukhat

    Dukhat Admiral Admiral

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    I highly doubt it. I'm not sure why Jein would scale his Excelsior to an unrelated model he made six years before, and was no longer even being used in a Star Trek production for three years before "Flashback" was even produced. Not to mention that filming models don't need to be in scale with each other. It's not like the various shuttlecraft models were remotely in scale with the starship filming models.
     
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  14. yotsuya

    yotsuya Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You are probably right. The Ambassador should be longer and I think the Excelsior is longer. I think I only have one picture of an Ambassador with a person for scale and it doesn't look long enough now that I review it. It was just a musing.
     
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  15. trekfan39

    trekfan39 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Actually, the new Enterprise CVN-80 will be the third Gerald R Ford class, the new JFK is the second in the class.
     
  16. Yaroze86

    Yaroze86 Ensign Red Shirt

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    So, reading back through some of this, but there was at least one, but possibly two, commercially-available Excelsior-class AMT model kit (no. 6630) were used as stand-ins for filming models at least four episodes of DS9. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior", reuse stock footage for DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels", "Doctor Bashir, I Presume" and its final appearance in DS9: "Favor the Bold"). These ships could be identified by two running lights, one the bridge dome and one on the nacelle mount point, but also their overall lack of detail paint.
     
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  17. yotsuya

    yotsuya Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I did not know they used the AMT kit. Thanks for digging that up. Looks like the key giveaway is that the front of the nacelles don't glow like the Jein model and the CG model.
     
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  18. Yaroze86

    Yaroze86 Ensign Red Shirt

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    That is correct as well.
     
  19. Dukhat

    Dukhat Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, the easiest way to tell if they were using an AMT model or Greg Jein's studio model of the Excelsior, is that the glow on the nacelles go all the way around on the Jein model, whereas the model kit's nacelles do not glow in the front.

    Jein model: https://ds9.trekcore.com/gallery/al...-sacrifice-of-angels/sacraficeofangels379.jpg

    Model kit: https://ds9.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/screencaps/season6/605-favor-the-bold/favorthebold_473.jpg

    https://ds9.trekcore.com/gallery/al...-sacrifice-of-angels/sacraficeofangels359.jpg

    The AMT Excelsior model kit that was used for filming purposes was probably this model:

    https://forums.scifi-meshes.com/uploads/editor/dr/bclj11a26fh2.jpeg

    Also, all of the Mirandas and Galaxies in that "Favor the Bold" screencap were model kits as well (the Enterprise-D model kit is circled in red in that photo above.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2023
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  20. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Interesting. Looks like the rear of the nacelles on the model kit also do not glow.