Greebles Down-Below

Over the past week, I have been working on modeling the underside “greebles” of the workbee. Thanks to some reference images I got awhile back, I was able to make some more headway. I pretty much have all the detailing on the underside completed but will need to make final positioning of the lower windows and the package monitor/control panel points (panels) which are on the lower sidewalls.

Workbee traveling overhead the U.S.S. Enterprise while she is in dry dock.
Workbee traveling overhead the U.S.S. Enterprise while she is in dry dock in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

The video below shows the completed detailing of the workbee’s underside, with the aforementioned caveat.

Video showing the newly modeled underside details. (Image: Third Wave Design)

After that, the only external detail left is the supplementary thruster ports, port and starboard running lights, lower aft face detailing, front headlight mount and shutters, and the front hard-docking attachment point doors.

Then it’s on to working out and modeling the internal cabin features.

While areas of the external surface details proved to be a challenge at times, the interior will be a great one. Mainly because there is next to no reference images for the filming miniature’s internal cabin. For what scant reference images I do have of the interior, this will include modeling the dual front panel flight display/control panels, the side interior panels the facias as well as those on the vertical side window columns. The latter have the integrated piston strut that raises/lowers the door to the cab.

This can been seen on one of the concept drawings by Andrew Probert shown below.

Workbee concept drawing by Andrew Probert, showing how a pilot enters the cab when it is hard-docked into is docking port.
Workbee concept drawing by Andrew Probert, showing how a pilot enters the cab when it is hard-docked into is docking port and showing the early basic interior configuration. (Image: Courtesy Andrew Probert).

Note that this concept drawing also has overhead pull handles for presumably helping the pilot get in and out of the vehicle. I am not sure of those handles made it into the actual filming miniature, as I have not seen any hint of them in and of the reference images. But given the depth of such images, that’s not to say they weren’t somehow included. While I like the idea of the handles, again I have not seen it show up in any of images that I presume would give an indication of their presence, if they were built into the miniature.

For example, in the catalogue image from Christie’s auction house shown below, taken form when the hero miniature built for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, you can see the white background coming through the front window.

Image from Christie’s 2006 auction catalogue, highlighting where the door handle would presumably be visible.
Image from Christie’s 2006 auction catalogue, highlighting where the door handle would presumably be visible.
(Image: Courtesy Christie’s).

Presumably you would get some indication of the handles, or at least their silhouette, if their were present. But I don’t see any indication they are or there, nor even the outline of them in the silhouette of the side window columns. However you can see a slight bulge in the lower portion of the window column which presumably is there to accommodate the integrated strut that lifts the front cab door.

Perhaps the viewing angle in the Christie’s image is such that it gets lost in the outline of the vertical column itself. Another of the reference images I have, this time in profile, shows some background coming through the side windows, and I am just not seeing any handles to outline of them in the window.

Profile view detail of the workbee filming miniature.
Profile view detail of the workbee filming miniature, which doesn’t show any interior overhead door handle. (Image: Third Wave Design).

So I am wrestling with whether or not it should get included. I like the idea, and think it is a common sense detail to indulge in the design. Again a testament to the creativity and attention to design detail that went into making the miniatures for the film.

But alas, if it’s not there… it’s not there.

The other major component inside the cab that I have not yet mentioned is the pilot seat with its integrated flight-controls handles. That along with some of the other details I intend to put into the interior should be a fun challenge. But first I want to complete the remaining exterior details.

All-in-all, I am pleased with the way this is shaping up.

While the intention is to generate final detailed blueprints of the workbee, all of its components and eventually scratch-build a 1:10 model of it, I am still working out in my head how I want to simplify and scale this down to make the 1:350 scale detailing parts for my Anycubic Photon 3D printer.

But that is still a little ways down the road.

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