The Excelsior - uncovering the design

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

  1. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The 60 ship classes come from canon and official Star Trek works such as Okudagrams, the Star Trek Encyclopedia, et. al. I’d be happy to provide you an exhaustive list.

    It’s pretty clear that I’m not going to change your mind about your beliefs no matter what I say, so I’m fine dropping the matter.
     
  2. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Admiral Premium Member

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    I've always had a secret obsession with the Centaur, but its mismatched scale parts always threw me for a loop.

    The original Buckner configuration had a Miranda-sized bridge on an Excelsior primary hull possessing big windows that were in scale with that bridge. The additional use of that big Miranda-scale photon pod underneath added to that headache. This makes it super tiny, maybe less than half of the internal volume of a Miranda.

    Later iterations, I think originally started by the Star Trek Fact Files, later perpetuated by Eaglemoss' Official starships collection (which were really a lot of the same people from STFF), gave the Centaur an Excelsior-scale bridge, making it a little more believable in-universe and fully solidifying the larger scale into the Excelsior generation of ships.

    Scale issues aside, I always loved the design. Turning the Reliant rollbar into warp engine pylon "wings" was, IMO, a stroke of genius, and made for one of the more (relatively) well-rounded designs in the DS9 kitbash Frankenfleet. Simple but effective and quite bad-ass looking from various angles. I do wish we had seen more of them flying around out there. :)
     
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  3. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    I'm of the mind that just because a component from a given design is used on another design, like the Miranda type pod, it doesn't necessarily follow that it's meant to be scaled as that pod would be on the Miranda. I don't see why Starfleet couldn't build components in multiple scales that happen to share the same exterior design, as we've seen with some of the shuttles having nacelles that are basically scaled down versions of those used by their home vessels.

    This would also go some way to explaining aspects of FASA's ship designs, as many of those were just kitbashes but perhaps were not intended to have components on the same scale as another ship. They're still pretty wonky, of course. :rommie:
     
  4. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

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    I don't doubt the classes are canon, but I'm talking about the dating. And I am genuinely asking. How do you come up with 60 classes between the movies and TNG? Only the detailed ships are the large studio models. The kitbashes are questionable at best. Just because something was around during the TNG/DS9/Voy era doesn't mean it was old or from a class that had a lot of ships. So even if there were a lot of classes, that still doesn't change what classes were the most common, the most used, and the most durable.
     
  5. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

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    According to the images, it has windows that make it in scale with the Excelsior parts, not the Miranda parts. Scaling it to the Miranda parts doesn't make a lot of sense. But the windows are the clear giveaway.
     
  6. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Just think of the bridge module being Kelvinverse-sized on an Excelsior-sized saucer, with a central plaza and bridge forward of deck 2 a la the Kelvinprise and everything's fine.
     
  7. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Admiral Premium Member

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    They seemed a lot bigger to me than they should have been if it were in scale with an Excelsior. In this image here of the original filming model, for example:
    uss_centaur_top.jpg
    Based on the size of the kit parts in question, those windows are just about a centimeter in length. Maybe 2/3 or 3/4 cm. the original windows around the edge of the saucer at Excelsior-scale are tiny little pin-points. I've tried drilling them before when lighting up an old E-B ERTL kit. They are MUCH smaller than the long windows painted on the top, clearly painted to be in scale with the Reliant bridge module.

    Further, this paint job (another contributing factor in the scale problem of this ship) makes one believe that there's a deck for every row of windows, similar to what was done to the surface of the E-D. There is literally no way that there are 7 decks stuffed in under that curve, which is much too shallow. This is probably where the larger scale assumptions come from. There is a subtle curve there, along the top of the saucer, but fitting 7 distinct decks between the A/B deck module topside and the widest decks along the rim is quite impossible. Two decks there - maybe three, at most.

    Then again, perhaps the TARDIS tech used to support the main DISCO fun-house turbolift hub was reused for the interior construction of this ship. Never know! :D

    The other change Eaglemoss made on their schematics and models was a removal of a considerable amount of the surface details. I'm of a mixed-mind about the greebles on the original, but I can live with or without them, either way. They also removed the topside windows entirely, because they were pretty much wrong and a bad idea to include on the original model to begin with:
    frigate_centaur.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  8. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    1. Akira class NCC-6XXXX
    2. Ambassador class NCC-1XXXX to 2XXXX
    3. Andromeda class NCC 6XXXX to 7XXXX
    4. Antares class NCC-1XXXX
    5. Apollo class NCC-1XXXX
    6. Bradbury class NCC-7XXXX
    7. Centaur type NCC-4XXXX
    8. Challenger class NCC-5XXXX
    9. Cheyenne class NCC-7XXXX
    10. Chimera class NCC-5XXXX
    11. Constellation class NCC-1XXX to 9XXX
    12. Constitution class NCC-9XX to 1XXX
    13. Curry type NCC-4XXXX
    14. Danube class NCC-7XXXX
    15. Defiant class NCC-7XXXX
    16. Deneva class NCC-6XXX
    17. Excelsior class NCC-2XXX to 4XXXX
    18. Excelsior study model type 1 NCC-1XXX
    19. Excelsior study model type 2
    20. Excelsior study model type 3
    21. Freedom class NCC-6XXXX
    22. Galaxy class NCC-7XXXX
    23. Hokule'a class NCC-1XXXX
    24. Intrepid class NCC-7XXXX
    25. Istanbul class NCC-3XXXX to 4XXXX
    26. Korolev class NCC-5XXXX
    27. Mediterranean class NCC-4XXXX
    28. Merced class NCC-3XXXX
    29. Miranda class NCC-1XXX to 3XXXX
    30. Nebula class NCC-6XXXX to 7XXXX
    31. New Orleans class NCC-5XXXX
    32. Niagara class NCC-3XXXX to 5XXXX
    33. Norway class NCC-6XXXX
    34. Nova class NCC-7XXXX
    35. Oberth class NCC-6XX to 5XXXX
    36. Olympic class NCC-5XXXX
    37. Peregrine class
    38. Planet of the Titans study model 1
    39. Planet of the Titans study model 2
    40. Prometheus class NCC-5XXXX or 7XXXX
    41. Renaissance class NCC-4XXXX
    42. Rigel class NCC-6XXXX
    43. Saber class NCC-6XXXX
    44. Star Trek: Insurrection scout ship NCC-7XXXX
    45. Sequioa class NCC-7XXXX
    46. Sovereign class
    47. Soyuz class NCC-1XXX
    48. Springfield class NCC-5XXXX
    49. Steamrunner class NCC-5XXXX
    50. Surak class NCC-3XXXX
    51. Sydney class NCC-2XXX
    52. Tug type
    53. Wambundu class NCC-2XXXX
    54. Yeager type NCC-6XXXX
    55. Yorkshire class NCC-5XXXX
    56. Zodiac class NCC-6XXXX
    57. Raging Queen type NCC-4XXXX
    58. Elkins type NCC-7XXXX
    59. Leondegrance type NCC-2XXX
    60. Curiosity class NCC-7XXXX

    All of these classes are from ships that were seen on screen, information about them from an Okudagram on screen, or from an official publication such as the Star Trek Encyclopedia. Based on the registry numbers, they were ships produced during the almost 100 years between the TMP movie era and the TNG era. As you can see, the registry numbers indicate that the vast majority of these classes are newer than the Excelsior and Miranda TMP-era designs. Therefore, I've logically concluded that during the Dominion war where we see large fleet shots (the only other instance of an on-screen battle being Wolf 359 and its aftermath), the reason why we only saw 8 of the above classes at a time was because fleets containing examples of the other 52 classes were fighting elsewhere off-screen. I find no other logical reason why Starfleet would have produced 60 ship classes when only two of them (and from the TMP-era, no less) outlived all the other newer ones.

    If the VFX personnel hadn't had the original Reliant and Greg Jein's Excelsior to scan into CGI, and if ILM hadn't given them the three First Contact ships to remap, the CGI fleet would probably have only consisted of Galaxies, Nebulas, and Defiants (and maybe Intrepids and Sovereigns if CGI models of them were available at the time), and we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Not that it's not fun to speculate, of course.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2021
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  9. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

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    The placement of the windows matches the Ent D style windows and they line up with the Excelsior scale decks. Yes they are larger than the edge windows on the Excelsior. But the deck placement is what interests me.
     
  10. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

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    I see. Well, one issue I have is those registries. How do we get from 2000 to 10000? Excelsior is NX/NCC-2000. Ambassador is NX/NCC-10521. That list doesn't have a lot between them. I don't think 60 is probably accurate. It probably is a lot more. And again we go back to the success of the classes during the movie era and the years after.

    And I don't consider any of the study models to be anything other than an item to fill the background. I don't consider them valid or canon classes of ships.
     
  11. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, we know that the U.S.S. Entente NCC-2120 was operational in the 2270's per TMP, and the Apollo class U.S.S. Ajax NCC-11574 was operating in the year 2327. So that's a time span of at least 50 years for registries to go from 2XXX to 1XXXX. I see nothing unrealistic about getting from one number to the other in that amount of time.

    They were shown on screen. That makes them canon.
     
  12. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

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    I went through and googled all those classes. Besides the ones we have discussed (Excelsior, Oberth, and Soyuz/Miranda), the study models, and the mixed up kit bashes, there are Centaur, Curry, Sydney. The rest are all contemporary to the Ambassordor class or later. That is 8 out of 60. From the lack of very many Ambassador class contemporary designs, it is clear that some theory about the quality, endurance, or number built fits with what we see on screen. These old movie era designs would also be the ones that could be pulled into service to flesh out an armada where other ships might be on useful missions.

    See, that is where we start to diverge. I don't think everything shown on screen is canon. There are plenty of mistakes in sets, models, FX, and other things. I consider such background ships that you can't really see to be an approximation. Like the 10 foot height of the TOS sets, the TMP rec room being too short, and a host of other things.
     
  13. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'd like to see you re-draw the Ingram. It has more of a link to the refit.

    Have the neck lean forward....widen the nacelles....and have two of the rectangular torp emitters where the Excelsior just has the round holes--indented in the secondary hull where the holes go. The aft weapons would be the tips of two megaphasers between two rectangular tubes to either side...in the fantail.
     
  14. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Because we do not know the designs for 18 of the conjectural starship classes, we can't say with 100% certainty that many if not all of them were not Ambassador class variants.

    If we're strictly talking canon in regards to the ships shown on screen, I don't see any reason not to take them at face value. They were used in those shots for a reason - to pad out the fleet, whether they were shown in the background in a surplus depot, the aftermath of a battle with the Borg or the Dominion, or just in establishing shots of Deep Space Nine or whatever. It's no different from the VFX guys filling the DS9 CGI fleet shots with Excelsiors and Mirandas - they were just padding out the fleet. The only design that even comes close to needing a 'reinterpretation' is the Yeager class with its Intrepid saucer and out-of-scale Maquis raider secondary hull. But CBS has no intention of reinterpreting the design, as Eaglemoss has already made a model of it based on its original design.
     
  15. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

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    Thee was only one that I could not find the design for and only 3 others that I could not nail down to a time frame. So there are not 18. It was pretty easy to tell what era each of the other 56 ships is from.
     
  16. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Huh? The 18 conjectural starship classes do not have designs for them. That's why they're called 'conjectural.'
     
  17. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Commander Red Shirt

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    Though you are essentially correct, Ex Astris Scientia points out that if we start assuming that Starfleet can scale otherwise-identical-looking parts, we would not be able to have a frame of reference to gauge the size of a kitbashed ship. The Galaxy class family, though has to be an exception to that since some of those ships at Wolf 359 intentionally used bigger bridges to suggest they were smaller ships, despite being made from Galaxy-style parts. Maybe that scalability is what makes the Galaxy class family the cutting-edge design of the 2360's?

    Ex Astris Scientia has a complete list of all ship classes mentioned or seen onscreen. Some class names are only from charts seen in the background on viewscreens. Other classes are seen but not named (Centaur, for example, was the name of the ship and, to my knowledge, was not actually called "Centaur-class" onscreen, but being the interesting design it was, the name stuck.)

    It is possible that some un-named classes we see match with class names from the viewscreens for which we don't see the ship. For a (semi-canon) example, Memory Alpha reports some fans consider the Voyager prototype model to be the Bradbury class. Using educated guesses based on the best canon facts I could interpolate, I matched seen-but-not-named with named-but-not-seen classes at one time and did get about 60 classes and 60 unique models shown onscreen.

    I think most fans would agree that we'd hope the "Curry-class" from DS9 is just a single ship with an odd layout and not a "real" class. However, even if it is the only one, it might be still called "Curry-class," and looking at it this way does get up to around 60 classes.

    The best reason for this I can think of would be ships like the "Curry": Starfleet must have said, "We tried that, it was too expensive to just scrap but let's not make any more." ;)
     
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  18. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The DS9 Technical Manual states that the six ships depicted at the back of the book were not actual classes but just parts of other ships cobbled together for wartime. This is absolute nonsense; the most likely reason for this statement was that Rick Sternbach (a co-author of the book) dislikes kitbashes of this nature and presumably wanted to downplay their existence. That's all fine and good, but it doesn't make sense in-universe to have an Excelsior saucer and secondary hull attached to Constitution nacelles that have been upscaled to ridiculous proportions (what other actual class ship would have had those nacelles?), or to have an Excelsior saucer and nacelles downscaled so small that the entire ship is smaller than a Miranda (the Centaur). Sorry, but these ships are from actual classes, not in-universe 1:1 scale kitbashes.

    With that said, the Curry and her sister ship the Raging Queen (similar in configuration but just enough differences to warrant it being a separate class), along with the Centaur, all have registries of NCC-4XXXX, which could make them members of the Mediterranean, Istanbul, and Renaissance conjectural classes, as all of those also have 4XXXX registries.
     
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  19. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    While getting annoyed at "ridiculous" upscaled nacelles, a reminder of how the 1701 and 1701-D's shuttlecraft have identical nacelles to their motherships at about 1/1000 the size. Of course you can make bigger Connie nacelles to match an Excelsior hull if you can do that.
     
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  20. Boris Skrbic

    Boris Skrbic Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There is a difference between scaling finished parts and maintaining a consistent architecture.