A Maddening Inch or Two

Over the weekend I did a little more digital re-drawing of the Enterprise Officer’s Lounge blueprint. In doing so I have found that some of the hand written dimensions do not match what is drawn. In several instances some of the stated dimensions are simply “wrong” for the dimension of the element as drawn in the scale of the drawing itself.

ST-TMP-officer's-lounge-inaccuracies-01-header

With all due respect to Leslie Ekker who did the original blueline drawing back in May 7, 1979, there are some bad numbers he listed in the drawing. I am not sure if this was simply mistakes in jotting down the measured dimensions after an element was drawn, or bad math in converting imperial units to decimal when he (or whoever worked out the numbers listed) .

Officer's Lounge blueprint dimension inconsistencies.

Screenshot work-in-progress Illustrator drawing of the
Officer’s Lounge set model blueprints, showing some of the internal inconsistencies in the stated dimensions.
(Third Wave Design)

For example, if you look really close at the image of the Officer’s Lounge plan view drawing, the stated dimension of where the upper-seating/bar area opening in the wall from the centerline is not correct. Nor is the distance for the centerline to the center point for the radius of the planter curvature correct.

You can see this in the screenshot of the work-in-progress drawing I am doing in Adobe Illustrator. If you look at the distance from the centerline in the blueprint to the center-point of the planter retaining wall curvature, it is listed as 16.74 inches but if it is drawn to that length, it falls pretty short (the upper line shown in magenta). The actual distance appears to be 18.825 inches (shown in green).

Likewise, the distance from centerline to the left side of the door frame of the opening leading from the upper seating area to the bar area to the left, is listed as 12.1 inches (the second lower magenta line). Which is obviously not even close. First it is a quite a bit longer than the line that is listed as 16.74 so you know right off the bat that is not correct. Second, it appears the correct length is about 24.525 (shown in green).

Others seem pretty spot on, such as the ones showing the distance from centerline to the base of the wall separating the upper seating areas and the aft lower window seating and planter area (the lines shown in cyan).

Anyway, there are quite a few of those types of inconsistencies. Most are just slightly off, but some (like the ones I mention above) are rather glaring. It definitely leaves me in the awkward position to make judgment calls on what to do on a case-by-case basis.

Orignal blueprint plan of the Officer's Lounge of the Enterprise, for ST:TMP.

Original blueprint plan of the Enterprise Officer’s Lounge set model for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
(Third Wave Design)

I am leaning towards going with following the drawing itself, and simply ignore the listed dimensions when they don’t match the drawn elements and put in the actual ones as drawn to match the original drawing itself.

Down the road, I will also have to work out what to do about the overall scale in relation to the rest of the ship’s components and overall drawings. This is due to being a 1:4 scale drawing to produce a miniature set, which was used for the couple of SFX shots in the film where you are inside the lounge looking out of the aft windows as Spock’s long-range Vulcan shuttle moves to dock with the Bridge docking ports above the lounge.

The issue is I don’t have any data or markings to indicate what the scale of the finished officer’s lounge model is in relation to the live-action set pieces and “real life”. I will most likely use the window dimensions as well as the dotted “hull seam” line in the original drawing and match it the exterior blueprint drawings. In theory that should yield a relatively “accurate” scale-up. But it would nice to know what the intended scale of the filming miniature of the lounge was.

Anyway, another level down the rabbit-hole as it were.

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