Been a little silent on my blog regarding my Enterprise-refit project. But it isn’t because I haven’t been doing work on it. I have spent weeks now finally getting the 2-3 deck level 3D model accurate.
Getting the complex compound curves and shapes of the exterior of the bridge/2-3 deck superstructure was a real challenge. But I think I finally have the accurate baseline shapes to work with going forward.
This long-running work has yielded results that now reconciles the exterior of the original filming miniature of the Enterprise Officer’s Lounge window lines with the interior “set” miniature in 3D space.
Here’s a video showing it from within Moment of Inspiration (MoI) the 3D modeling software I have been using:
The above is the preliminary baseline model of the superstructure. But now that I have these baseline shapes, I will be using it to work backwards to build out the longeron, stringers, spars and ribs, for the underlying structure of a presumed 23rd century take on semi-monocoque construction of the Enterprise-refit spaceframe.
I will be porting out the shapes in the 2D master blueprint drawings, then moving next to the interior work out the interior column/ribs on the inside of the window frames. Then the interior lounge walls and so forth.
When I posted this video last night and linked to it over at The Fleet Workshop website, one of the regulars there asked me to clarify when I mentioned the miniature, if I was talking about the lounge model, and not the full ship miniature, and if so, do the windows on the ship model match the detailing on the lounge model?
That lead to a lengthy answer about the couple of months work to get to this point in the superstructure model which might be instructive here in this blog entry.
There was a miniature “set” that was built 1/8th scale for the VFX filming of the interior view looking out the aft windows for the shuttle arrival scene in Star Trek: The Motion Picture Picture.
That is what these Leslie Ekker drawn blueprints are of:
Which were production plans for the interior miniature, which were made from (and detailed out) the original concept drawing done by Andrew Probert.
Then there was the exterior of the bridge/2-3 deck superstructure that was part of the 1/120th scale full miniature of the Enterprise herself.
The curvature baseline of the windows (top view) is a match visually to some of the reference of the exterior “ship” miniature and to the drawing of the interior “set” miniature.
That curved window baseline is shown just below the slanted kick-board “wall” that defines the sunken seating area surround and the raised planter areas. That slanted baseboard goes up at a 60º angle to a short 90º vertical section to join with the “window” wall that slants up as a back wall and curves upward and becomes the ceiling.
So those basically align and match, and I got those to match down to the millimeter (finally) after a lot of 3D modeling and adjusting
However the large dashed outer curvature line, which is labeled as indicating the “outside seam line for ref. only. do not build” in the interior “set” drawing is not accurate to the exterior of the superstructure.
The windows and entire lounge area is further aft in relation to the superstructure saucer seam line. That dashed reference seam line in the interior “set” miniature drawing is simply too far back from the windows to match the relative position in the exterior model. Hence that dashed lines curve is off as to shape/curve to the actual exterior seam.
Since it was only meant as a conceptual reference point—and wasn’t part of the interior miniature as built—I forgoed trying to somehow make it reconcile (which simply cannot be done as drawn) with the rest of the superstructure shape.
I let the exterior superstructure and saucer seam line land where it needed to be to match the distance up the slope for the baseline of the windows. That required taking into account the depth of the window “alcove” that goes around the superstructure and is inset into it.
For the height of the windows, I went with the measured height of the aft view drawing of the interior, which was then projected back and “cut out” of the back sloping wall.
You can see what this describes in this screenshot. The magenta colored rectangle matches the measured height (converted into the same scale) taken from the Ekker interior “set” aft elevation drawing, which is then projected onto the sloping curved wall:
It pretty much aligns with the exterior miniature reference photos and placement. After considerable effort I managed to get a curvature that allows a rectangle (projected back) onto it and get it to match the interior wall seam (which you can see in the bottom view in that split view screenshot).