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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 June 2010 at 12:55pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Almost ready for decals--but they've yet to arrive, so it'll be the Waiting Game for a while.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 28 June 2010 at 10:04pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Looiks like Round2 is re-releasing the Enterprise-B, and that the Excelsior molds were permanently altered to make the "B" back in the 90s.

http://www.round2models.com/models/star-trek/enterprise-b

 

As previously stated, I like the Excelsior because it's supposed to be an over-designed parody of the Enterprise (and works well on that level in TSFS), but the "B" holds no interest for me (except maybe for the challenge of the build).

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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 June 2010 at 3:45am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I like the Excelsior because it's supposed to be an over-designed parody of the Enterprise

I wasn't aware of that intent. I thought it was just supposed to be the muscle car version of the chopped and channeled Enterprise of the first movie -- which to me reads as the over-designed parody!

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 29 June 2010 at 11:39am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I did mention the idea behind the Excelsior previously in this thread, but I'll reprhrase here so people don't have to search.

 

While I certainly understand (and at times share) your thoughts on the redesigned Enterprise, JB, you do seem a bit in the minority, as many people love that design--and the films work under the conceit that it's a successful design (and basically the same ship as the original). Although, as I've noted, more and more I see that it doesn't hold up to the original.

Anyway, that said, the idea was that the revised Enterprise was the Real Deal, and the Excelsior, while supposedly the new Queen of Space, was not able to defeat the trusty old Enterprise.

The Excelsior was intentionally designed by ILM modelmaker Bill George to be a Japanese-inspired parody of the Enterprise--too curvy, too much repetitive detailing, and too MUCH detailing.

The ship is almost twice the theoretical size of the Enterprise--it's a study in taking the movie Enterprise's design elements and making them as excessive as possible--lots of phaser banks, an exaggeratedly elongated secondary hull, etc. Even the registry, NX-2000, says "experimental" and brings to mind the then-upcoming year 2000--which arrogantly screams "wave of the future!".

And, of course, her Captain is a pompous jerk who carries a swagger stick, while the ship stalls out after some simple sabotage by Scotty. Director Nimoy went about making this supposedly great new ship look somewhat ridiculous and ineffectual.

Also, the reaction of our heroes (and many fans) to Excelsior was, "That's the future? No, thanks."--which was the intent behind the design. And yet it has since become a beloved design by many fans (which baffles me), and was even the basis for the Enterprise-B.

Sure, it seems clear that the Excelsior was reused and/or renamed many times due to budgetary considerations ("Sulu needs a ship? Okay, just use that model we already have!"), but it irks me that the the design became such a part of TREK lore--lasting into the TNG/DS9/VGR era.

But I do like the Excelsior as the joke it was originally shown as, and would enjoy building a model.

 



Edited by Greg Kirkman on 29 June 2010 at 11:40am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 June 2010 at 12:05pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I guess the "joke" was lost on me. I see no point in introducing a new ship, only to show how inferior it is.

Of course, that was sort of what TREK became all about, when the movies started, wasn't it? The chopped and channeled Enterprise had all kinds of teething troubles, leading to the question of why this "refit" was thought to be such a good idea.

I guess everybody was still recovering from that off-screen Galaxy-wide technological crash.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 29 June 2010 at 12:18pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I get the impression that it was done partly to:

A) Set up a bit of "us vs. them" conflict in terms of our heroes going rogue during ST III.

B) Make the trusty old Enterprise and her crew look better and more heroic by comparison since they manage to sabotage and evade this supposedly great new ship.

Basically, the age and change motif begun in TWOK is continued here. The battle-scarred, aging Enterprise pulls into Spacedock (to the shock of Rand and the other people watching), while Excelsior (which is essentially her replacement) is waiting in the wings.

But our heroes chafe at the thought of another, newer ship that's supposedly better than the Enterprise, and are uncomfortable with the prospect of Enterprise now being obsolete and decommissioned.

However, the rest of the film goes on to show that Excelsior isn't all she's cracked up to be (hence the "joke" nature of the ship), that the Enterprise is, in the end, a tool that can and must be sacrificed to save lives, and that our heroes can still make a difference--even in their golden years.

"And the adventure continues..."

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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 June 2010 at 12:58pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I guess Sulu really got screwed when he was handed the top job aboard the Excelsior, huh?

Incidentally -- "The Excelsior was intentionally designed by ILM modelmaker Bill George to be a Japanese-inspired parody of the Enterprise--too curvy, too much repetitive detailing, and too MUCH detailing."

That sounds to me like a description of the Enterprise D!

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 29 June 2010 at 1:17pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I guess Sulu really got screwed when he was handed the top job aboard the Excelsior, huh?

++++++++++

That's something I've found interesting. Excelsior is touted as the wave of the future--but she proves to be not all she's cracked up to be when the Enterprise evades her due to Scott's sabotage.

Interestingly, Sulu seems a bit excited when he sees the ship ("She's supposed to have transwarp drive"), and later, in ST IV, before the Enterprise-A is revealed, he says, "I'm counting on Excelsior" as their new ride.

Methinks these are possibly references to the deleted dialogue from TWOK, in which it is revealed that, after the Enterprise's ill-fated training cruise, the newly-promoted Captain Sulu was to take command of Excelsior.

Sulu seems to be the only one who likes Excelsior, and he's eventually given command of the ship. The model was slightly modified for ST VI (and the transwarp drive concept dropped), so she was presumably overhauled and improved after the Spacedock fiasco in ST III.

++++++++++++

That sounds to me like a description of the Enterprise D!

+++++++++++

Andy Probert, designer of the "D", did use Excelsior as a design influence. Which is kind of missing the point! Also, the "C", designed AFTER the "D", is even more Excelsior/Enterprise-B-ish.

There does seem to be a distinct design evolution when you put them all together. Guess which one doesn't belong?

enterprise.jpg image by methosivanhoe

Again, I find it a bit sad (and also rather telling in regards to the franchise's direction) that Excelsior, rather than the Constitution-class, proved to have the longest shelf-life and design influence on future ships.



Edited by Greg Kirkman on 29 June 2010 at 1:20pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 29 June 2010 at 4:19pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I know I'm biased, but I look at those ships and it's still the original NCC-1701 that looks real and solid and practical. The rest all look like what they are -- later generations pursuing the "cool" factor.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 29 June 2010 at 9:45pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Agreed. Nothing beats the original!

However, I do also like the Refit/A, since it retains the same BASIC look and feel, while adding additional "realistic" details deemed necessary at the time. I don't mind the extra detailing on this version. But not one of the other, over-detailed designs does anything for me.

And, as stated, I like the original, jokey Excelsior, but the Enterprise-B revision is rather ugly.

Some people say that the original Enterprise is part of the outdated, old-fashioned,  "smooth rocketship" wave of the 30s-50s, but it really does represent a lot of careful planning and stylistic choices. Matt Jefferies was an engineer and an airman long before TOS, and he brought a clean, functional, futuristic look to everything he did.

Most--if not all--of the later designers were, well, movie and TV production designers.

Excelsior/Enterprise-B was designed as a parody of the Refit Enterprise.

Enterprise-C was designed as a transitional step between Excelsior and D.

D's design was based on a "future starship" concept painting.

http://probertdesigns.com/Folder_DESIGN/ENT-D_Exterior.html

 

E's design was a mix between an elongated version of D and the original Jefferies design (the long nacelles, etc.).

NX-01 is a*koff*ripoff*koff* variation of the Akira class design, with elements from TOS, TMP, and TNG mixed in.

Nu-1701 is a curvy kitbash of TOS and TMP.

 

The TOS Enterprise exterior is clean and simple because space is so unforgiving, and thus essential parts are kept on the inside for ease of maintenance. And the simple design makes it look like major parts (like the nacelles) can be swapped out with ease. There are no visible weapons, reaction-control thrusters, etc. Aside from the windows, navigation lights, and technical markings/hatches, the exterior is very simple.

The Refit (initially redesigned by Jefferies as smooth and simple), while still pretty sleek, has visible phaser banks, visible torpedo tubes, gangway and personnel hatches, docking ports, deflector gridlines, lots of navigation blinkers, and spotlights for the registry markings.

The later ships, added even more detail, and the components are so curvy and integrated that it's hard to imagine an easy job of swapping them out.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 01 July 2010 at 11:30am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Received the Acreation aztec decals today. Very impressive! More color and more detail than the stock decals. I look forward to applying them soon. And hopefully, the registry markings will come soon.

The only downer is that some areas I painted based on the kit instructions are already covered by these more comprehensive aftermarket decals. D'oh!

 

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Adam Hutchinson
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Posted: 01 July 2010 at 12:37pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I think I like Probert's original concept painting better than the finished product.
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