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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 10 August 2010 at 5:34pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Also, regarding the Refit--here are some useful photos!

http://www.imagebam.com/gallery/z9wzquxihlyugrqy7ky2mnaa4dfw fupf

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 August 2010 at 11:41am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Sweet!

http://www.starshipmodeler.us/gallery14/gk_081110_yorktown.h tm

 

 

Also, I've been slowing working on my Excelsior. Still not 100% decided if I want to do the NX or NCC version. I'm partial to the NX, but it would take a bit of work to convert the model.

Also, the Starship Modeler store has the Excelsior replacement parts (lower saucer, neck) back in stock, and I bought them. They're really sweet!

Of course, Round 2's 1701-B reissue will also have retooled versions of these parts, but from what I've seen so far, they don't look to be as accurate as the aftermarket stuff.



Edited by Greg Kirkman on 26 August 2010 at 9:04pm
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 26 August 2010 at 7:09pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Nice work, Greg!

Wow, you changed the Starfleet pennant text too?  Did the JDecals come with Yorktown text that small, or was it homebuilt?

Already have a first production run Ertl/AMT Enterprise-B kit, but no real plans to build it or buy the aftermarket parts.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 August 2010 at 7:17pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Did the JDecals come with Yorktown text that small, or was it homebuilt

+++++++++++

The JDecals set had the text--intended for both sides of the saucer rim. I used those bits for the pennants, instead.

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John Byrne

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Posted: 26 August 2010 at 7:59pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

LINK

Unfortunately, those photos really play up the "looks like a duck from some angles" complaints of the cinematographers! A problem which, of course, affected the original design from no angles!

If it ain't broke. . .

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 August 2010 at 9:04pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I do think the Refit design does have a number of good, strong angles. Some angles are not so flattering, though. 

 

Speaking of designs, the more I work with Excelsior, the more often two things come to mind:

1. It looks halfway decent from some angles, and TERRIBLE from others (which was likely the intent).

2. It's an amazingly successful design.

 

 

No, really.

Since the ship was designed as a supposedly incredible piece of new technology that was to sweep the obsolete Enterprise out of the way, only to sputter and clunk to a stop after some sabotage, it had to look plausible, but also wrong.

Plausible, in that the look, size, and presence of the ship are somewhat impressive at first glance--enough to make one see that this is supposed to be some kind of Super-Duper New Ship, and that it might be the forerunner of a new generation of advanced ships.

Wrong, in that it's TOO big, TOO slick, TOO full of extraneous bells and whistles--it has no "soul" in the way that the Enterprise design does. The design has too much repetition, too many curves for the sake of having curves, etc.

So, on these two counts, the design is very successful. It's not easy to come up with a successful design which conjures an unsuccessful design. Designing a good ship is hard, and designing a bad ship is easy, but designing one in the middle is not easy.

As has been previously noted, Excelsior was deliberately built up as a slick new ship, which then became a joke when confronted with our heroes' ingenuity. The design really lends itself to that, and I LIKE the design on those terms.

It's just so (intentionally) ridiculous and overdetailed--

* 1 1/2 times the size of the Enterprise--a monster ship before such ships became the norm for TREK. The engines are almost double the size of the Enterprise's.

* The Refit Enterprise has six banks of phasers on the saucer--Excelsior has ten.

* The Enterprise has four spotlight housings on the lower saucer--Excelsior has six.

* The Enterprise has two small impulse engine housings--Excelsior's are HUGE.

* The Enterprise has that small undercut "notch" on the rear of the secondary hull--Excelsior's is grossly exaggerated and elongated.

I really do kinda like the deliberately tacky excesses of the Excelsior design! It's a fine execution of a design that was intended not to work--it's beautifully ugly. But, then, of course, it became a "viable" design when it was reused again and again later on, due to budget reasons.

As for the Enterprise-B modifications...well, that design is just plain UGLY. Unintentionally, I'd bet.



Edited by Greg Kirkman on 26 August 2010 at 9:08pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 07 September 2010 at 5:23pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

So, I've been doing research on the production Enterprise, and I've gotta say that version really is my favorite of the three. The slimmed-down bridge and dish are more aesthetically-pleasing to me.

After building the last two models, I've pretty much got this down to a science. The only challenges this time are the saucer grid (which will be drawn on with a compass and pencil) and the nacelle domes. I already have an idea how to simulate the gorgeous lighting effect of the original on my static model.

I also plan on adding tiny details like the "phaser turret" on the "nipple" of the lower saucer's sensor dome--which was only first discovered a few years ago (since it was often cut off by the matting process, lost after filming, and not replaced during the various restorations of the model).

That discovery was shocking to some, since it would appear that the Gray Lady is, er, well...a boy!

 

I tend to believe that she started out as a lady before undergoing surgery. After all, the nacelle domes were "reduced" and lost their prominent nipples/antenna, while the tiny phaser "tip" was added to the saucer dome.

 

(Tongue firmly in cheek for that last paragraph.)

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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 09 September 2010 at 10:00pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

"Phaser turret?"

*Stares at TOS Enterprise on this month's Ships of the Line 2010 calendar*

Ah, so that's what that is!

 

 

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 09 September 2010 at 10:15pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Well, the purpose of the, er, tip has never really been discovered. It's generally assumed to be a phaser emitter. For many years, few knew about that detail on the model.

Others have suggested that it's supposed to be the ion pod that Ben Finney was supposedly lost in, but since the detail was added to the model long before "Court Martial" was conceived, that's unlikely in terms of the part's intent.

The teensy red area on the end of the tip indicates to me that it's probably supposed to be a phaser emitter, as opposed to a sensor antenna. My personal guess is that the FX teams were told to have the phaser beams come from this spot, but the final results varied (in various episodes, the beams look like they're coming from the sensor dome, the ring around the dome, or an area above the ring).

 



Edited by Greg Kirkman on 09 September 2010 at 10:16pm
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 10 September 2010 at 6:19am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Ah, so that's what that is!

***

Dang, I should have wrote "Sokath, his eyes uncovered!" instead... ;)

Well, 20+ years later, FX teams still goofed up on TNG by having phaser blasts come out of the photon torpedo port in the episode "Darmok".

 



Edited by Bill Mimbu on 10 September 2010 at 6:36am
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 17 September 2010 at 5:39pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Hey, Bill--looks like a 1/1000 Refit impulse engine/impulse crystal replacement part will be coming soon from the same gent who made the aftermarket bridge!
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 17 September 2010 at 8:07pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Gaaaahhh!  My wallet! 

(And I just got my 2nd Refit bridge from him too!)

Edit - Forgot to say thanks for the heads-up!  Was just at the SSM Forum and it looked quite interesting.   However I might be doing the 1/1000 D-7 first this upcoming winter (started snipping parts off of the trees and doing test fits already).



Edited by Bill Mimbu on 17 September 2010 at 8:42pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 18 September 2010 at 10:30am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I've had a 1/1000 D-7 sitting in my "to build" pile for a while now--I really should get to it!
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 18 September 2010 at 12:35pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Was planning to build my first 1/1000 D-7 stock (chrome parts and all), but had to do some researching for the proper color scheme of the TV version...  [Link] 

Pretty wild.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 22 September 2010 at 10:36pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Decided to start collecting all of my TOS Enterprise model research into a blog:

http://enterproject.wordpress.com



Edited by Greg Kirkman on 23 September 2010 at 1:35pm
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 25 September 2010 at 8:55am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Good idea, Greg!   It'll make for easy referencing.

Been reading the "Decal Hell" thread over at the SSM forum... Started thinking I might not want to use the 1/1000 Refit stock aztec decals for the first one, and just paint it (waiting until R2 comes out with the separate markings and registry decals).

Also, some pretty interesting kit bash ideas there about taking the R2 Abramsprise kit's saucer and nacelles, and attaching them to a Refit secondary hull...  Still sounds like trying to turn sow's ear into a "silk purse" though.

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Al Cook
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Posted: 25 September 2010 at 10:39am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

As an amateur modeller myself - of very limited skills at that - I much prefer to paint the aztecking myself.  I'd never trust it to decals; it never looks right.
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John Byrne

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Posted: 25 September 2010 at 10:49am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

I also plan on adding tiny details like the "phaser turret" on the "nipple" of the lower saucer's sensor dome--which was only first discovered a few years ago (since it was often cut off by the matting process, lost after filming, and not replaced during the various restorations of the model).

I left that off my MasterReplica's version, and all the drawings I have done of the ship based on that model. It falls, to me, under the same heading as James Doohan's missing fingers, or William Shatner's toupee -- these are things that did not make it into the actual production, and therefore, in context, do not belong.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 25 September 2010 at 12:27pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

It's interesting to think about this stuff--"canon" is one thing, but, when it comes to reproducing physical elements of the show, what is "correct"?

What we saw on TV? The actual item/costume/set as it was constructed and appeared in reality?

I personally prefer reality. If I were to get or make a TOS command-division shirt, I'd be compelled to make sure it was a lime green color, because that's the color that the shirts really were. Now, they didn't look that way on TV, and that's not what they are canonically, but I prefer to replicate items as they really were, instead of idealized versions. YMMV.

Seriously, I'm not the anal-retentive prick I may come across as around here!

While attention to detail is one of my character traits, I will absolutely defend someone's right to artistic interpretation! If you want to paint a model of the Enterprise blue or green--cuz that's how it looked on your TV--, feel free! There are endless ways to customize and personalize a model--and none of them are "wrong", per se.

In my own case, I like trying to get as close to the item as constructed as possible because:

* It's a challenge--which is something a good hobbyist should live for. And there's a real "thrill of the hunt" when it comes to researching decades-old props and models.

* It's a bragging point when the details are are close to "right" as possible!

 

So, in the case of crazy little details like that phaser nubbin--well, it would be easy enough to build a model kit stock and call it the Enterprise without worrying about bits like that.

But, doing all the hours of research, putting all the thought and planning into it, and building the finished product to resemble the real model as closely as possible--well, it's very creatively satisfying.

All that said, there's still a degree of artistic license when it comes to any model of the Enterprise, since the port side of the real model was never finished. So, when building a model, one can make that side symmetrical (regarding the window patterns and such), or one can go wild and have fun with it. No interpretation is really "wrong".



Edited by Greg Kirkman on 25 September 2010 at 12:28pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 25 September 2010 at 12:31pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Speaking of bragging points...

http://www.starshipmodeler.us/gallery14/gk_081710_ent.htm

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John Byrne

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Posted: 25 September 2010 at 1:14pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

It's interesting to think about this stuff--"canon" is one thing, but, when it comes to reproducing physical elements of the show, what is "correct"?

What we saw on TV? The actual item/costume/set as it was constructed and appeared in reality?

I personally prefer reality. If I were to get or make a TOS command-division shirt, I'd be compelled to make sure it was a lime green color, because that's the color that the shirts really were. Now, they didn't look that way on TV, and that's not what they are canonically, but I prefer to replicate items as they really were, instead of idealized versions. YMMV.

As indeed it does!

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 25 September 2010 at 1:18pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

On the flipside, of course, if I were involved in a TREK production--fan-made or not--, I'd be darn sure that those shirts looked gold on-screen!

Edited by Greg Kirkman on 25 September 2010 at 1:18pm
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 25 September 2010 at 10:05pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Expanding on--and hopefully clarifying--that last thought, there's an important distinction I should make, here:

There are two camps that the physical stuff of TREK falls into, for me:

 

* The screen-used production materials. Models, props, costumes, sets--not "real" weapons or uniforms, just tools used for production of a show. When it comes to owning or making replicas of this stuff, I tend to strive for accuracy of detail to the original items--partly to honor the craftsmanship of the people behind those items, and partly because of the afforementioned challenge in getting the nitty-gritty details "right". Hence things like green command-division shirts and asymmetrical communicator control knobs.

* The on-screen canon, where the shirts are gold, Scotty has all of his fingers, etc. If I were to, say, wear a TOS costume to a party or convention (not my style, but...), I'd stick with a gold tunic, because that's what the shirts "really" look like within the TREK canon itself.

 

I've done several TOS prop build-ups, and for a few, I've included the little wanks and imperfections of the originals, because of the challenge that poses. It also makes them truly authentic when compared to the original hand-crafted items, warts and all.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I've done a few prop builds which represent the clean, perfect, idealized equipment of the TREK in-universe canon--no warts, lights and sound effects, and so on.

 

When it comes to the ship models, some--like the TOS Enterprise--need a little creativity and artistic license for missing details, while others don't. Sure, I could go more for an on-screen look, but I really enjoy the work that goes into rivet-counting and accurizing these little models! Slapping together a display model is easy. Researching and recreating the exact details of the originals is not.

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John Byrne

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Posted: 26 September 2010 at 6:19am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

It's worth mentioning, I suppose, that as one who sat glued to the TV every week when STAR TREK was in first broadcast, I got used to the phaser beams (which I thought of as faser beams) and photon (foton) torpedoes emerging from some vague points under the primary hull, and that when, in "The Doomsday Machine", the phaser fire very clearly originates from the illuminated dome at the base of the saucer, it looked "wrong". "That's not where the phasers are!" I thought.

It didn't help that AMT released their model of the Enterprise with three (oddly out of alignment) depressions approximately at the points from which the phasers and photon torpedoes seemed most often to fire!

There are, as I see it, three "levels".

The Practical - which includes what the models, props, sets and costumes actually looked like (ie, wires, paint strokes, seams, zippers, etc).

The Pictures - which is to say, what all these things looked like on original broadcast TV, the format for which they were intended (so no wires, paint strokes, etc).

The Internal "Reality" - which is what our imaginations were encouraged to make all these things look like. What they would "really" look like, if we were magically transported to the Enterprise in her proper time and place.

When portraying the various elements of TREK, as in the comics for IDW, I will invariably opt for the latter.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 September 2010 at 10:49am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

That's a great way to look at it!

I've instinctively thought about that third "Internal Reality" level (vs. mere Pictures, which is something of a middleground between the other two), but never really took the time to flesh out that idea in my head into those three categories.

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