Hangin’ on the Intercom…

After a brief hiatus from working on the detailing of the Enterprise-refit‘s recreation deck, I jumped back into it and modeled the multimedia intercom panel as well as made some corrections on the sidewall buttress light-panels. In addition, I finished drawing up the artwork for the alcove signage for the remaining five alcoves.

When I began working out the multimedia intercom panel I also took the opportunity to flesh-out a “starfleet” mechanical design drawing system (i.e. “blueprints”). I did some research on how the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has their mechanical drawings standardized and formatted. I took some of the concepts and formatting standards they used, and re-worked them into a “starfleet” set of drawing standards.

The wall panel (which I have dubbed the “multimedia intercom panel” is visible in the first side alcove on the recreation deck, in the scene where Kirk addresses the assembled crew in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (TMP). There are only a couple of shots in the scene where it is visible, and most are fairly far away from the panel. This made getting precise details and sizing a challenge.

Also looked at the hallway intercom panels that are visible in several shot in various scenes in the corridor sets and made my own interpretation of what is in the panel(s). Like the intercom panels on the original series (TOS) I figure from a functionality standpoint, it should at least incorporate the red alert emergency button, a com activation button, an integrated speaker/microphone and a light-up indicator when the intercom is active.

Scene from the original series of Kirk and Spock using the ships intercom. (Image: Paramount Pictures)

In the crew assembly scene in TMP, Lt. Commander Uhura is shown activating the panel when the bridge calls down to the rec. deck to inform Kirk et al that there is an incoming message from the Epsilon IX station. Uhura walks over and presses the panel and we do see a white/clear raised portion of the panel light up. To my mind this is similar in function to the white indicator light which was present on pretty much all of the intercom panels on TOS.

Scene from Star Trek: The Motion Picture where Lt. Commander Uhura activates the intercom panel on the recreation deck. (Image: Paramount Pictures)
Scene from Star Trek: The Motion Picture where Lt. Commander Uhura activates the intercom panel on the recreation deck. (Image: Paramount Pictures)

I estimated the size by getting it to look proportionally the same in relation to the other side wall components I had already modeled. I then rounded it to the nearest logical metric unit for all the various dimensions. As previously mentioned, I fleshed out a full drawing format and system and produced a set of four drawings. These allowed me to easily create the final piece in my 3D modeling application Moment of Inspiration (MoI):

“Star Trek: The Motion Picture Peel-Off Graphics Book” featuring graphic designs by Lee Cole.

Once I finished and placed the intercom panel into the recreation deck model, I then worked out the directional signage artwork. These can be seen the six alcoves on the side walls of the rec. deck. While several of the graphics were shown in the “Star Trek: The Motion Picture Peel-Off Graphics Book” by Lee Cole, who was one of the graphic designers on the film, only three of the recreational pictograms are actually seen in the film.

Even pouring over all the various behind-the-scene images I could find, I could not positively identify which graphics went into which alcove aside form the the one Uhura is shown walking into.

In one of the Star Trek Facebook groups I am a member of, Rick Sternbach, who was one of the illustrators who worked on TMP, and would later become of of the main illustrious/designers on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager mentioned that while he did some of the inking for a lot of the set signage (including the recreation deck) he could not recall specifically which ones he worked on or what other of the recreation pictograms might have been created for the recreation deck in TMP.

In addition, the numbering scheme could not be firmly established and I had to make a best guess. Only numbers 1, 2, and 7 can be absolutely identified in the film. Beyond the open question about the alcove numbering sequence, in the sticker book there were only a total of six recreational pictograms shown. Three were actual stickers in the book, and the rest shown on the books front cover.

That there were only six “official” designs I could reference, and each of the alcoves contained two pictograms in the directional graphics, this caused a bit of a dilemma. I also figured the “bowling” pictogram would only really be used once, I opted to simply come up with two original pictogram designs. This lead me to create new pictograms for “billiards” and for “card games”. This in conjunction with repeating the pictograms that directionally are pointing to the same area behind the side-wall sections, would yield the number of graphics needed.

In the end I have eight recreation pictograms, six from the sticker book and two originals:

  • Volleyball
  • Lightcube tables
  • Tr-dimensional chess
  • Phaser battle game
  • Billards/pocket pool (original design)
  • Bowling
  • Card games (original design)
  • Table tennis

Below are the mechanical drawings I created for the directional signage:

The directional signage drawings were then imported into MoI and “cut” into the appropriate alcove wall faces.

Port side elevation of the recreation deck, showing the directional graphics in the three port side alcoves. (Image: Third Wave Design)
Port side elevation of the recreation deck, showing the directional graphics in the three port side alcoves. (Image: Third Wave Design)
Starboard side elevation of the recreation deck, showing the directional graphics in the three starboard side alcoves. (Image: Third Wave Design)
Starboard side elevation of the recreation deck, showing the directional graphics in the three starboard side alcoves. (Image: Third Wave Design)

Here are some perspective views some of the alcoves as well as the multimedia intercom panel in its proper location:

Now that the alcoves and sidewalls are completed, my next task will be to model the back wall. This is where the main view screen, turboshaft tubes and doors, the back wall balcony, as well as the display alcove where images of previous vessels named “Enterprise” are on display. The latter being mentioned in the dialog in a scene later in the film when Decker is giving the Ilia-probe a tour of the Enterprise.

Once that is done, the I will be modeling the outer window bank balcony along with its railings and support frames, the ceiling, and finally the main decking. At that point I should be able to start doing the distorting to create the  forced perspective version, as I mentioned in the previous post.

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