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John Byrne
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Posted: 23 March 2018 at 4:46pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

And, of course, the Constellation was depicted onscreen by an off-the-shelf AMT model kit, which had notable differences in detailing and proportion when compared to the Enterprise filming models. So much so that some have used this evidence (as well as the much lower, “NCC-1017” registry) as justification for the Constellation actually being an entirely different class of ship, or one which was older/modified from the usual specs. Of course, the filmmakers clearly intended the ship to be identical to the Enterprise. The Remastered Constellation is identical to the Remastered Enterprise, aside from name/number and battle-damage.

•••

Among the many aspects of hardened fandom that burn my behind, this is high on the list. The insistence of turning production convenience into canon. OF COURSE the Constellation was a twin to the Enterprise. And if we must explain the lower registration number, Forum member Paul Gibney has suggested a perfect solution: when a ship is decommissioned, its number and name are passed on to the next new ship, whatever the Class.

But that's too easy for these mutton heads. Occam's Razor is unknown to them.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 23 March 2018 at 6:14pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

A simpler solution at the time would have been to number it as “NCC-1710”, except:

A) The notion of Constitution (the first ship of the class) as NCC-1700, with the others’ numbers then (mostly) being sequential, came years later, from Franz Joseph;

B) NCC-1017 is obviously less similar at first glance to NCC-1701 than NCC-1710 is, and the whole point of the number rearrangement was to clearly distinguish Constellation from the Enterprise while using the existing AMT kit’s registry decals;

C) TOS gave us exactly three registry numbers: NCC-1701, (NCC-)1371, and NCC-1017. There was no indication whatsoever that the numbers followed any sort of sequential order, a la Franz Joseph. Setting aside Matt Jefferies’ offscreen idea that “1701” meant “seventeenth starship design, first build”, there’s no contradiction whatsoever based on what’s actually seen in the series.


Going by TOS and TOS alone, there are far fewer continuity/logic “errors” than fans like to pretend there are. We saw a handful of Constitution class ships onscreen in TOS, and were given a few non-sequential registry numbers. No errors to be seen at all, unless one starts applying their own ideas (or the ideas of people who came along later, like Joseph and the Okudas).

Me, I like Constitution as NCC-1700 and the class ship, and Enterprise as the second ship of the class, but I still acknowledge that stuff all came later, and that there is absolutely nothing in the actual show to support it. Aside from the Constitution class phaser schematic originally made for “Space Seed” and then actually seen onscreen on Scotty’s monitor in “The Trouble With Tribbles”. But that’s not at all rock-solid proof of the Enterprise’s class.

That “Starship Class” dedication plaque, on the other hand...
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 23 March 2018 at 10:43pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

By the way, I specifically built my own Constellation model to resemble the AMT kit seen on the show, rather than going with what it would “really” look like. Partly for fun, partly for the challenge, and partly because...that’s how it looked on the show!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 March 2018 at 7:14am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

As I've said before, there are basically three layers:

• How it looked

• How it was supposed to look

• How some interpret it as looking

Of the three, the one that really matters is the second.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 March 2018 at 8:17am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

A further note on production convenience:

After "The Changeling" was broadcast, NOMAD was chopped up and parts of him turned up in at least two other episodes, "The Enterprise Incident" and "Requiem for Methuselah." (As part of an ongoing in-joke, I have used his "head" twice in STAR TREK - NEW VISIONS.)

It's all too easy to imagine certain anal fans trying to concoct reasons that NOMAD parts would turn up elsewhere -- and thus missing the whole point, that they didn't. Budgetary considerations were at work, not alien technologies.

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Joe Boster
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Posted: 24 March 2018 at 9:27am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

but if we get into how it was 'supposed to look' absent budgetary restrictions then don't we wind up closer to Coninie that showed up in Discovery? Gene had said that he wanted to inner nacelles to be lit but it cost too much money.  

Today all ships of the line, like carriers and Battleships are all unique. Every Nmitz class carrier has a different "sail" and other unique features. Even the Even the Ford and the JFK will look different 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 March 2018 at 10:25am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

but if we get into how it was 'supposed to look' absent budgetary restrictions then don't we wind up closer to Coninie that showed up in Discovery? Gene had said that he wanted to inner nacelles to be lit but it cost too much money.

••

I take most things Roddenberry said with a grain of salt. He was a great Weaver of Legend!

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 24 March 2018 at 10:31am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

As I've said before, there are basically three layers: 

• How it looked

• How it was supposed to look

• How some interpret it as looking

Of the three, the one that really matters is the second.

++++++++

This. 


At the end of the day, filmmaking is the art of illusion, the fabrication of a designed and imaginary reality. There are limitations to that, in terms of budget and technology. Assuming that the Constellation wasn’t identical to the Enterprise simply because the filmmakers had to grab an off-the-shelf model kit for budgetary reasons is the worst sort of rivet-counting. 

It’s fun, in terms of hobby kit-building and fanmade blueprints and whatnot, but that sort of thinking should stay far away from the official canon.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 24 March 2018 at 10:37am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

but if we get into how it was 'supposed to look' absent budgetary restrictions then don't we wind up closer to Coninie that showed up in Discovery? Gene had said that he wanted to inner nacelles to be lit but it cost too much money. 

••

I take most things Roddenberry said with a grain of salt. He was a great Weaver of Legend!

++++++++


In this particular instance, the legend is true. There’s an old memo which was unearthed, showing a cost breakdown of proposed revisions to the Enterprise model between the second pilot and series production. Illuminated inner nacelle grilles were among them, but the idea was dropped because they would have had to fabricate new nacelles from scratch in order to accommodate the lighting effects, and that was too expensive. 


They settled for the lights in the front nacelle domes, but the illuminated grille idea came back for the proposed PHASE II ship, and finally found its way into the TMP version.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 March 2018 at 10:55am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

It’s fun, in terms of hobby kit-building and fanmade blueprints and whatnot, but that sort of thinking should stay far away from the official canon.

••

Yet that is precisely the kind of thinking that has infected STAR TREK since TOS went off the air, with the same people who did all that "rivet-counting" finding positions where they were actually able to CHANGE the rivets, and add some of their own!

I cannot think of another instance, even in comics, where fan influence has been so great, and so destructive.

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 24 March 2018 at 11:07am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

It has been my observation that just because fans passionately love a property doesn’t mean they actually understand it. 

There are fans who have every last detail of every episode memorized, but couldn’t write a good script to save their lives, and/or focus completely on the wrong things.

On a fundamental level, I think this is the key difference between professional writers and writers of bad fanfic that somehow gets produced and becomes official canon. The professional writer will focus on story and characters, whereas the bad fanfic writer will fixate on obscure, unimportant details, “fixing” continuity, etc.

I’ve seen far too many recent, canonical stories across various properties which dwell on subject matter that might be important to US, the fans, but should not actually be important, in-universe. Story and character logic is sacrificed on the altar of anal-retentiveness and nostalgia.

That’s one of the reasons I like the idea that the Enterprise was the second ship of the class. Because making her the lead ship makes her Important, and the Enterprise of TOS was just supposed to be another ship. Not the flagship, not the best ship, not the latest in a long, proud line of Enterprises. The continued deification of the Enterprise and her successors is an example of what’s important to the fans becoming important, in-universe.

That being said, Picard barely even blinking at Jim Kirk’s name in early TNG was taking things too far in the other direction!


Edited by Greg Kirkman on 24 March 2018 at 11:07am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 March 2018 at 11:30am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Sometimes it's okay to scratch an itch (the bowling alley, ahem), but only so long as it's not what the story is ABOUT.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 24 March 2018 at 11:32am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Exactly. That sort of stuff should be an inconsequential dessert, not the main course.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 25 March 2018 at 11:20pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

...has any other fictional spaceship been analyzed in terms of the Golden Ratio and Rule of Thirds? Can’t think of any.

I need to send this to my young friend who doesn’t understand why I think that the Enterprise is the best spaceship design ever. Science!!!

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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 26 March 2018 at 3:21pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

One design element on the TOS Enterprise that I have come to appreciate as a "Matt Jefferies" thing, is that the "cylinders" are actually very low included-angle cones.  If you've ever modeled the (CG or otherwise) Enterprise, or even the TOS shuttlecraft, you will have discovered his general distaste for parallel lines. There are some, of course, but they are often situated in such a way as they work against the parallelism.  E.g., the nacelle struts form a "V" during the profile pass, and are only parallel to the viewer when one is behind the other. The edge of the primary hull has parallel lines that pass through the silhouette, but can't form one themselves.
The TOS Enterprise is understated and elegant, like a really readable font.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 26 March 2018 at 4:12pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Yes, and the old AMT kit's nacelles didn't really have the proper taper, which led to a lot of headaches for people who were trying to accurize that kit.
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 26 March 2018 at 11:27pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Greg, I can only think of one ship that has been thus analysed - the Klingon ship from TOS. I’ve read a piece about that as well. I’ll try to find it.
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 26 March 2018 at 11:30pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

He you go, not golden circle, my mistake, but all about the geometrical design in the ship

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 27 March 2018 at 12:32am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I hadn’t seen that before. Thanks, James!


Of course, the D-7 design is also iconic and influential. Something I find interesting is that the D-7’s engine nacelles are reminiscent of what Jefferies would later design for the PHASE II Enterprise. As the story goes, he was never satisfied with the conical nacelles of the TOS ship, and had wanted them replaced during the upgrades made to the 11-foot model for the series’ production. That proved too expensive, but Jefferies continued playing around with a sleeker engine design for the D-7, elements of which later made their way into the PHASE II Enterprise.

Indeed, Jefferies’ basic concept for the PHASE II ship was that pretty much the only major design change was the new nacelles and their pylons, which is just what Jefferies had wanted to change over a decade earlier. 
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 27 March 2018 at 3:31pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I found an article that Greg hadn’t seen before!
My job here is done.

Seriously though, glad you liked it. I remember back when I saw the first ad for TMP on the back of a comic and noticed the ‘Klingon’ nacelles. I instantly wondered what had happened that allowed the Federation to be able to get their hands on the technology.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 27 March 2018 at 4:16pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

The official TMP blueprints also specifically mentioned that the Refit Enterprise had a cloaking device!
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 28 March 2018 at 8:41am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Interesting
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 18 April 2018 at 11:31pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

So, imagine my surprise when, on last night’s episode of THE FLASH, uber-nerd Cisco was building a model of the Enterprise, which was then destroyed by Harry Wells!

It should be noted, however, that the model was the 1/600 Revell Germany release, rather than the good old ‘ol Polar Lights kit that I’ve built way too many of!

(...or not enough.)
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 06 May 2018 at 9:12am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

This piques my curiosity:


Ben Robinson’s (of Eaglemoss) involvement indicates that it’ll be a quality product, although I’m leery of DISCOVERY material being shoved in there. I presume this’ll feature CGI turnarounds of various ships along with their specs and histories. 

It’ll also be interesting to see if the STD-ified TOS Enterprise will be in there alongside the original. The cover of the book shows the real one, of course. 

Speaking of the STDprise, Eaglemoss recently revealed that they’ll be making a model of it. Here’s a comparison video between the STD design and the original. As a starship fan, I find myself watching these gents’ YouTube channel often, although their fannishness can be more than a bit much.



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Peter Hicks
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Posted: 02 June 2018 at 3:40pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

R2 has announced at Wonderfest that they have the Discovery licence.  They are asking for feedback as to whether the first kit should be The Enterprise or The Shinzou, and whether the scale should be 1/1000 or 1/1400. 
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