30 Oct 2020

The size of the Excelsior Class

The Excelsior-class was a type of Federation starship used by Starfleet from the late 23rd century through the late 24th century. As a long-range research vessel, it was the backbone of Starfleet for nearly a century, making it one of the fleet's longest-serving spaceship designs. The Excelsior-class was later replaced by the Sovereign-class.
  • The premise for all my deck calculations: a deck is 2.5m + 0.5m for EPS cables, power cables, ... = 3m height for a deck. 
  • My calculations follow a purely mathematical approach. I do not compare bridge modules or disk heights with each other. I always pull in decks based on the rows of windows and then calculate a physically plausible room height.
If you consider two decks for the outer part of the saucer (deck 7 + 8), the result is a perfect division of the decks for the whole ship. This gives the height of the neck to the main body an even number of decks.

schematic by TheLightWorks

The large MSD (Master Systems Display) from the background of the Excelsior class bridge also gives the number of decks that I calculated: 32.

Doug Drexler with his MSD of the Enterprise-B (artstation.com)

MSD Enterprise-B by Doug Drexler (artstation.com)

Incidentally, this division also corresponds exactly with the additional construction on the main body of the Excelsior Refit (USS Enterprise-B). The place where the Nexus energy ribbon hits the Enterprise-B and thereby pulls Captain Kirk into the Nexus is exactly two decks high.

screencapture by trekcore.com (Star Trek: Generations)

According to Andrew Probert's size chart (he extended the ILM chart for Star Trek: The Next Generation, sizing his Ambassador concept halfway between the Excelsior and the Galaxy class), the official length of the ship is 467m (1531 ft). If you pull decks into the side view of the spaceship, this size seems a bit too small. 

ILM Size Chart by Andrew Probert

Commented on this by Bill George of ILM:
"The only description we had at the time was that it was "souped-up" and bigger than the Enterprise. The size the miniature was built to was determined by the camera guys as being the optimal size to shoot. As I recall Nilo [Rodis-Jamero] did that size comparison chart, but it wasn't necessarily followed. The issue of true scale wasn't a consideration. Budget, ease of use, art direction and dramatic intent were what influenced the construction of the ship."
After calculating the decks, this results in a length of 606.9m.

If the Excelsior class were 467m long, then its decks would be only 2.3m high (inclusive 0.5m for EPS cables, power cables, ...). Then only 1.80 m remained for the clear height of the rooms.

This size corresponds much more to what can be seen optically in the Star Trek series:

screencap TNG:
"Encounter at Farpoint" 
by trekcore.com

screencap TNG: "The Child"
by trekcore.com

screencap DS9: "Favor the Bold" 
by trekcore.com
screencap DS9: "Paradise Lost" 
by trekcore.com

29 Sept 2020

Oberth Class (USS Grissom & USS Pegasus) studio model - reference photos

Here are my color corrections of the Oberth Class studio model photos. Bill George has posted these photos of the Oberth class studio model at Imgur. The corrections are essentially limited to the white balance, contrast and highlights / shadows. Some images needed color matching. While formerly being the USS Grissom from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, the model photographed has the configuration from Star Trek TNG season 7, Episode 12 “The Pegasus”.

Here you get to the COLOR CORRECTED PHOTOS.

6 Jun 2020

The size of the Beacon of Kahless

The Beacon of Kahless was an ancient, sacred Klingon artifact. According to prophecy, it would call together the twenty-four Great Houses of the Klingon Empire, who would then unite in the face of a common threat. The individual who lit the Beacon was known as the Torchbearer.

schematic by Eaglemoss Collection
Commander Burnham meets the torchbearer and kills him on the hull of the Beacon of Kahless by igniting the thrusters of her spacesuit, ramming the Klingon's Bat'leth into his body.

screencapture by trekcore.com (DIS "The Vulcan Hello")

As a result of this collision, both are pushed into space and crash off the beacon's wings. At this moment, the size of the beacon can be calculated well, because the hull pattern allows to identify the impact point.
screencapture DIS: "The Vulcan Hello"
Commander Michael Burnham (actress Sonequa Martin-Green) is 1.64m tall. Therefore I assume the Klingon warrior is about 2m high.
Overall, this results in a length of 156.57m for the Beacon of Kahless.

The impression of the size is also confirmed by the design sketch by Samuel Michlap.

design sketch by Samuel Michlap (ArtStation.com)

25 Apr 2020

Klingon K'Tinga Class - The Warp Nacelles

Unfortunately, only one Warp nacelle was designed for the kit and the other mirrored. However, there are significant differences in the design of both nacelles.

top: inside right
below: outside left

top: outside right
below: inside left

The rods are included in the kit, but I sanded them down and replaced them, otherwise the gaps would have been filled. Given the size of the model, I didn't find it adequate.

4 Apr 2020

Klingon K'Tinga Class - The Hangar Deck

The deficit of the kit became clear with the hangar deck. Based on my details, which correspond to the studio model of the K'Tinga class, you can clearly see the symmetrical design of the parts.

One side of the hangar deck was designed for the kit and the other was only mirrored. But that's not something you can't replace as a ambitious model maker.

21 Mar 2020

Klingon K'Tinga Class - The Impulse Engine

To detail the impulse engine of the K'Tinga class was not very complex. Only a few parts were missing here.

I could only find this one photo that shows what the area above the engines looks like.

K'Tinga-class Studio Model (reference photo by John Eaves)

6 Mar 2020

Klingon K'Tinga Class - The Main Body

Only small details need to be added to the front of the main body. This includes an area exactly in the lower center and the removal of the small "pyramid" on the right side.

On the top I added small details in front of the Disruptor towers. I also added small plates that are asymmetrically placed on both sides. This is a small deficit of this model kit. All parts that appear on both sides are mirror-symmetrical. Regardless of the differently worked parts of the studio model.

While studying the reference photos of the original model, I noticed that the angle of the "radiator grill" needs to be changed (white marking).

 I also added small details at the lower front corners.