Friday, December 31, 2010
Here are some images of my 1/1000 scale kit bash of the Belliger Class Starship U.S.S. Cyclops.
Belliger Class Starship are not designed so much for exploration but rather for defense and rescue in hostile situations. The Belliger Class has offensive capabilities as well.
Service period: 23rd and 24th centuries
Length: 513.09 Meters
Width: 195.64 Meters
Height: 97.25 Meters
Crew: 739 Officers and Crew
11,200 evacuation limit
Speed: Warp Factor 9.6
Armaments: 20 Phaser banks 2x2
6 Photon/Quantum Torpedo tubes
1 Lazarus Systems type 7G Phase Cannon.
Defenses: 5 layer Deflector Shields
As you may have guessed I used the remaining parts from the AMT/ERTL Enterprise B and Excelsior model kits to create this model as well as some option parts from the Polar Lights 1/350 Enterprise A kit.
Have a Happy New Year everyone! See you on January 2 2011.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Here are some images of Academy Minicraft's Leonardo da Vinci's Self Propelled Cart.
From Leonardo da Vinci's Inventions"
Before motorized vehicles were even a glimmer in someone’s eye, Leonardo da Vinci designed a self-propelled cart capable of moving without being pushed. Among its other accomplishments, many consider da Vinci self-propelled cart invention to be the world’s first robot.
The self-propelled cart was one of the many inventions that Leonardo created dealing with locomotion and transportation. Historians later deduced that da Vinci specifically designed the cart for theatrical use.
Leonardo’s cart was powered by coiled springs and it also featured steering and brake capabilities. When the brake was released, the car would propel forward, and the steering was programmable to go either straight or at pre-set angles.
Da Vinci’s cart design was so ahead of its time that its exact workings baffled scholars until late in the 20th century. But, in 2006, Italy’s Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Florence built a working model based on da Vinci’s design and, to the surprise of many, the cart actually worked. Some experts even noted that it looked similar to the Mars Land Rover.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Here are some images of Dave Porter's Tamiya 1/48 scale Supermarine Spitfire 1A and here in his own words is his description.
Here is a mark 1A Spitfire in 1/48 from Tamiya. The only modification was a resin seat. This Spit fought in the Battle of Britain with 910 squadron. The paint was a combination of Aeromaster and Tamiya.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Here are some images of Dave Porter's Spitfire 9 and here in his own words is his description.
This is a 1/48 Hasegawa Spitfire 9 converted to a photo recon variant that served with the USAAF in Europe. One of these highly modified Spits was bounced by a gaggle of P-51 Mustangs over Zuider Dee Belgium. The Mustang pilots were thinking the Spit was actually a BF-109. As the Mustangs got into range, the Spitfire pilot hit the throttle, pulled up the nose and then rocketed away. Back at their base the P-51 guys reported an encounter with phenomenal, new BF-109 model that was probably using a special fuel blend. This is a quite a testament to PR Spitfire’s performance.
To the kit I added an aftermarket chin cowl, gun covers, and camera lenses from Quickboost. The interior is detailed and a resin seat has been added. The paint is “azure blue” by Warbird Colors.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Here are some images of my kit bash of a 1/1000 scale Jasper Class Starship.
Though similar in appearance to the Centaur Class it is not as heavily armed and is slightly faster and in my view sleeker in appearance than its Centaur cousin.
Built at the Utopia Plantitia ship yards Mars the Jasper Class is a medium cruiser designed specifically for long range scientific and exploratory missions.
This particular ship is The Sakar and is currently operating under The Vulcan Science Counsel.
When the Vulcan Shuttle Sakar was destroyed a few months earlier it was felt as a point of honor that the name much like the name Enterprise should always be maintained within the Starfleet registry.
Affiliation: Federation Starfleet/Vulcan Science Counsel
Type: Medium Cruiser
Service period: 23rd century - 24th century
Length: 381.89 meters
Width: 320.16 meters
Height: 78.47 meters
Mass: 820,000 metric tons
Crew: 298 officers and crew
Maximum Speed: Warp factor 9.73 for 12 hours
Armaments: 5 type 9 phaser emitters plus 2x2 photon torpedo launchers (2 in front and 2 in back)
Defenses: Deflector shields
Auxiliary craft: Federation and Vulcan shuttlecraft
I kit bashed this model using parts from 3 model kits. AMT/ ERTL's U.S.S. Enterprise B, U.S.S. Excelsior and the U.S.S. Reliant kits.
You may ask why I would wreck 3 models to build 1.
Well these kits were getting old and were beginning to yellow especially the decals, and as these kits are about to be re released again soon anyway I figured why not.
Here are some images of my kit bash of the 1/1000 scale Hermes/Monoceros sub type U.S.S. Aries N.C.C. 602. Built from the Polar Lights 1/1000 scale TOS U.S.S. Enterprise kit.
From Memory Beta"
The Hermes-class was a type of Federation starship in service in the 23rd century, and is classified as a scout ship. (ST reference: Star Fleet Technical Manual)
Built on the Saladin-class hull, the Hermes-class was designed to be the electronic eyes and ears of the fleet, using its long-range sensors and scanners to search much farther than other ships could.
The large number of special sensors made this ship particularly effective on scientific missions, though these came at the cost of no torpedo armament and a reduced phaser suite.
- (From the instruction manual for the video game Starfleet Command, itself taken from the original Star Fleet Battles source material).
These ships were eventually replaced by the more specialized Oberth-class science vessels for survey missions, and superceeded on long-range mapping cruises by more modern sensor technology embarked on standard starships.
Existing ships of the class were uprated beginning in 2271 to make use of new technology and capabilities that were developed for the uprated Constitution-class. This greatly increased the performance longevity of the class, carrying them into the 2300's.
The class was retired in the early part of the 24th century, but a handful of the vessels were uprated once again to face the threats of the Dominion and Borg in 2373 in a desperate move by the Federation to field numbers against the twin threats.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Here are some images of AMT's 1/50 scale Shuttlecraft Galileo II from Star Trek TOS.
A shuttlecraft, in the Star Trek fictional universe, is a smaller type of ship, usually capable of atmospheric transport, detachable from a larger starship's shuttlebay. Its role on starships is analogous to the use of naval helicopters on modern warships of the present day, as shuttlecraft often possess their own weapons and intelligence capabilities, and undertake a variety of missions--such as scouting/reconnaissance, search & rescue operations, and on a few rare occasions to fly ahead of the mother ship to provide forward navigational sensory data, map a safe flight path, and to provide course corrections to the mother ship. Most starships have shuttle bays for the launching and docking of shuttles as well as to serve as vehicle hangars similar to the way large naval ships are often equipped with helicopter pads and aircraft hangars.
Additionally, shuttlecraft also serve as landing crafts since most starships are not designed to land on planetary surfaces or to even enter dense atmospheres. Although Starfleet personnel typically use transporters to teleport themselves directly to and from a planet's surfaces for away missions, they do occasionally rely on shuttlecraft when the destination is beyond transporter range, such as distant planets or space stations, or when atmospheric disturbances or other conditions prevent the use of transporters. Shuttlecraft are also frequently used for planetary and stellar surveys. When sent on a planetary survey, the away team will often transport themselves to the surface and leave the shuttlecraft in orbit. Then when the team is ready to depart, they can activate the shuttlecraft's transporters by voice command.
The USS Enterprise traditionally names its shuttlecraft after renowned explorers and scientists. The three original named shuttlecraft were Galileo and Columbus, which appeared during the original series, and Copernicus, which appeared in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Slaver Weapon". Galileo and Copernicus remained traditional names for USS Enterprise shuttlecraft among the many incarnations of that starship. During Star Trek: The Original Series, several episodes depicted missions for the shuttlecraft. It was shown performing planetary exploration and search and rescue in "The Galileo Seven", and carried out a survey mission in "The Immunity Syndrome".
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Here are some images of Polar Lights 1/1000 scale U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 from Star Trek TOS the regular series.
From Wikipedia "
Star Trek is a science fiction television series, created by Gene Roddenberry, that was telecast in the United States of America and southern Canada by NBC-TV from September 8, 1966, through June 3, 1969.
Although this TV series had the title of Star Trek, it has acquired the retronym of Star Trek: The Original Series to distinguish it from the numerous sequels that have followed it, and also from the fictional universe that it created. Its time setting is roughly the 23rd century. The original Star Trek series follows the adventures of the starship Enterprise and its crew, led by Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), first officer Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and chief medical officer Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley). William Shatner's voice-over introduction during each episode's opening credits stated the starship's purpose:
|“||Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.||”|
When Star Trek premiered on NBC-TV in 1966, it was not an immediate hit. Initially, its Nielsen ratings were low, and its advertising revenue was modest. Before the end of the first season of Star Trek, some executives at NBC wanted to cancel the series because of its low ratings. The chief of the Desilu Productions company, Lucille Ball, reportedly "single-handedly kept Star Trek from being dumped from the NBC-TV lineup."
Toward the end of the second season, Star Trek was again in danger of cancellation. The lobbying by its fans gained it a third season, but NBC also moved its broadcast time to the Friday night "death slot", at 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (9:00 p.m. Central Time). Star Trek was cancelled at the end of the third season, after 79 episodes were produced. However, this was enough for the show to be "stripped" in TV syndication, allowing it to become extremely popular and gather a large cult following during the 1970s. The success of the program was followed by five additional television series and eleven theatrical films. The Guinness World Records lists the original Star Trek as having the largest number of spin-offs among all TV series in history.
The first regular episode of Star Trek aired on Thursday, September 8, 1966 from 8:30-9:30 as part of an NBC "sneak preview" block. Debuting against mostly reruns, it easily won its time slot with a 40.6 share. The following week against all-new programming, however, it fell to second (29.4 share) behind CBS. It ranked 33rd (out of 94 programs) over the next two weeks, before the following two episodes tumbled all the way to 51st in the ratings.
The threat of cancellation loomed, as Star Trek had an average ratings position of 52nd during the entire first season. But it was still outperforming most new shows, ranking higher than all but eight other new programs in 1966-67. NBC finally ordered a second season in March, 1967. It was originally announced that the show would fill a 7:30-8:30 PM Tuesday time slot, but it was instead given an 8:30-9:30 PM Friday slot when the 1967-68 NBC schedule was released.
Rumors of cancellation surfaced again during the show's second season. Star Trek was ranking ahead of ABC's Hondo, but was getting trounced by CBS programs (Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and the first half-hour of the CBS Friday Night Movie). When it became apparent that a third season was in jeopardy, the show's devoted fanbase conducted a letter-writing campaign, petitioning NBC to keep Star Trek on next year's schedule. Star Trek was saved by the unprecedented write-in campaign to NBC, spearheaded by a collection of fans, notably Bjo Trimble, who succeeded in getting tens of thousands of viewers to write letters of support to save the program. These letters were written in such a way that workers at NBC, not at a fan service, had to open them all, and this seriously challenged NBC's mail department. According to the Hartford Courant, the network received close to 115,000 letters between December, 1967 and March, 1968, including over 52,000 in February alone.
NBC actually made a televised announcement after a March, 1968 episode of Star Trek, stating that the series had been renewed and to please stop writing to them. This prompted letters of thanks in similar numbers. According to Dorothy C. Fontana, this was followed immediately by Lyndon B. Johnson's televised announcement that he would not seek, and would not accept, the nomination of his political party for another term as the President of the United States.
|“||While NBC paid lip service to expanding Star Trek's audience, it [now] slashed our production budget until it was actually ten percent lower than it had been in our first season....This is why in the third season you saw fewer outdoor location shots, for example. Top writers, top guest stars, top anything you needed was harder to come by. Thus, Star Trek's demise became a self-fulfilling prophecy. And I can assure you, that is exactly as it was meant to be.||”|
—Nichelle Nichols, Beyond Uhura, p.189
Although the program was renewed, it was also placed into the 10:00 PM Friday night death slot, an hour undesirable for its audience, which usually consisted of younger people who would be out and about on Friday evenings. NBC had originally announced that the show would be moving to Mondays for the third season, but eventually chose not to do so, so as not to conflict with the highly successful Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In on Monday evenings. In addition to the dismal time slot, Star Trek was now being seen on only 181 of NBC's 210 affiliates.
Roddenberry attempted to persuade NBC to give Star Trek a better day and hour, but he was not successful. As a result of this, he chose to withdraw from the stress of the daily production of Star Trek, though he remained nominally in charge as its "executive producer." Roddenberry reduced his direct involvement in Star Trek before the start of the 1968-69 TV season, and was replaced by Fred Freiberger as the producer of the TV series. NBC next reduced Star Trek's budget by a significant amount per episode, as the per-minute commercial price had dropped from $39,000 to $36,000 compared to the Season 2 time slot. This caused a marked decline in the quality of many episodes for the 1968-69 season.Nichelle Nichols has described these budget cuts as an intentional effort to kill off Star Trek.Star Trek was canceled at the end of its third season, despite the attempt of another letter-writing campaign. NBC's marketing staff later complained to senior management that this cancellation was premature, as new techniques for demographic profiling of the viewing audience showed that the audience for Star Trek, even in the 10 PM Friday time slot, was a highly desirable one for certain advertisers.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Here are some images of Polar Lights 1/1000 scale U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 from Star Trek TOS 2nd pilot episode "Where no man has gone before".
From Wikipedia "
In the fictional Star Trek universe, the Constitution class is a Starfleet starship type that began service in the mid-23rd century.
In the original television series, ships of this class support multiple exploratory, diplomatic, and — when needed — adversarial missions. The restrained use of their military capabilities reflects Starfleet's primary role as an exploratory agency, and is reflected back in the fleet designation of these ships as heavy cruisers, and not the battlecruiser appellation borne by equivalent Klingon vessels.
The class design consists of a saucerlike, eleven-deck-thick primary hull, separatable from and dorsally connected to a cylindrical secondary hull, from which spring angled pylons supporting the vessel's engines in two nacelles fully half the ship's length. The class is armed for combat, with offensive weaponry including photon torpedo launchers and phaser banks, and defensive shields. The separation of hulls was a rare event in the 23rd century, undertaken in emergencies; led from an auxiliary bridge, the secondary hull and nacelles retain FTL warp capabilities, while the main bridge and primary saucer are relegated to sublight propulsion from aft-mounted impulse engines. ("The Apple" TOS.) This contrasts with the more routine saucer separation of the later Galaxy class, often employed as a combat tactical maneuver, whose secondary hull is commanded from a dedicated 'battle bridge.'
Constitution was the only major ship class seen in the original series. Other Starfleet capital ship types include the Miranda class of the live-action films, and the older design of Bonaventure, seen in the animated episode "The Time Trap".
Though understood as such, the class was never named Constitution in the original series; Enterprise's bridge dedication plaque declares her a 'Starship' class vessel. The name debuted in show creator Gene Roddenberry's novelization of the first film, and was cemented in Trek fandom thereafter. (His novel also set K't'inga as the Klingon class name for the film's refinement of the venerated D7 battlecruiser.) The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Naked Now" tags the original Enterprise as a Constitution ship, fixing it in canon; a diagram seen in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country puts Enterprise A in the Constitution class as well.
The novelizations of the second, third, and fourth Star Trek films, written by Vonda N. McIntyre, identified the Enterprise as a "Constellation-class" heavy cruiser. This was disproven with the Next Generation episode "The Battle", in which the USS Stargazer was listed as Constellation-class.
"Where No Man Has Gone Before"
The original pilot of Star Trek, "The Cage", was rejected in February 1965 by NBC executives. The show had been sold to them as a "Wagon Train to the stars", and they thought the first pilot did not match the adventure format they had been promised and was "too cerebral" for the general audience. However, NBC maintained sufficient interest in the format to order a second pilot episode in March 1965.
Gene Roddenberry said later in a 1988 TV special that as with the first pilot, this pilot still had a lot of science-fiction elements in it, but at least it ended with Kirk in a bare knuckle fist fight with the god-like Mitchell and according to Roddenberry that's what sold NBC on Star Trek.
Series creator Gene Roddenberry wrote two story outlines, "The Omega Glory" and "Mudd's Women". He wrote a teleplay for the former, and gave the latter to Stephen Kandel to write. Roddenberry asked long-time associate and veteran scriptwriter Samuel Peeples to submit ideas for another. Peeples came up with the premise and episode title for "Where No Man Has Gone Before", and was assigned to write it.
Kandel had fallen ill and his script was not finished in time; the other two were submitted to NBC for consideration. NBC preferred "Where No Man Has Gone Before" as a pilot. "Mudd's Women" was later made as the second episode in regular production, and "The Omega Glory" was made towards the end of the second season.
While the first pilot, "The Cage", has a running time of approximately 63 minutes, the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", ran just over 55 minutes with additional footage and formatting since cut to reduce it to the standard series run-time format of approximately 50 minutes for the original NBC network broadcast in order to accommodate commercials.
Casting took place in June 1965. Jeffrey Hunter was unavailable to reprise his role as Captain Christopher Pike, and William Shatner was cast as his replacement, Captain James Kirk. The character of Number One, the female second-in-command, was dropped. The only character to be retained from the first pilot was Science Officer Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, who was given Number One's unemotional demeanor. Spock was retained despite pressure from NBC, who were worried about his "Satanic" appearance.
Apart from Captain Kirk, the episode introduced two other regular characters to the show: James Doohan was cast as the Chief Engineer — the name Montgomery Scott was chosen after Doohan had tried various accents, and had decided that an engineer ought to be Scottish - and George Takei was cast as Ship's Physicist Sulu, who would become the ship's helmsman in the series. Uhura did not appear, nor did Dr. Leonard McCoy; the ship's doctor is instead Mark Piper (Paul Fix). Piper was intended as a regular, and DeForest Kelley - who played McCoy in the series proper—was considered for the role.
Gary Lockwood, chosen to play Lt. Commander Gary Mitchell, had starred in the title role of Roddenberry's earlier series on ABC, The Lieutenant. The other major guest part was Elizabeth Dehner, played by Sally Kellerman. Both actors needed silver eyes, which were produced by an expert contact lens fabricator who sandwiched wrinkled tinfoil between two scleral contact lenses which covered the white of the eye as well as the iris. These were outdated even in the 60s and dangerous to the health of the actors' eyes. Although Kellerman could insert and remove the prosthetics easily with no discomfort, Lockwood found them almost impossible to use. He needed to raise his face and sight along his nose in order to see out of the tiny holes in the foil that aligned with his pupils. He used this to enhance his performance as the mutating Mitchell, as the unusual gaze gave him an arrogant and haughty demeanor.
Other cast members included Paul Carr playing Navigator Lee Kelso, Lloyd Haynes as Communications Officer Alden and Andrea Dromm as Yeoman Smith (Alden and Smith were intended to be regulars in the show, but were replaced by Uhura and Janice Rand, respectively). The episode also is the first time long-running background actor Eddie Paskey appeared; his character would later be identified as Lt. Leslie.
The costumes from the first pilot were used in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" but would be changed in the series proper, with the colors altered and black collars introduced. Most of the Enterprise sets were also reused from "The Cage", while Sickbay was the only major set constructed for the episode. Like "The Cage", the episode was shot at Desilu's Culver City studios.
The episode was directed by James Goldstone. Ernest Haller, who had won the 1939 Oscar for Best Color Cinematography on the movie Gone with the Wind, served as director of photography for the show. He had been brought in out of semi-retirement at Goldstone's recommendation at the last minute, after attempts to locate a cameraman had proved problematic. Robert H. Justman was credited as assistant director.
Shooting started on July 19, 1965, several days later than originally scheduled. During the filming of this episode, a wasp's nest high in the rafters of the studio was somehow disturbed, and many cast and crew members suffered stings as a result. As this happened on a Friday, the weekend break allowed time for the swelling to go down; Shatner, however, required additional makeup to hide the stings during shooting the following Monday. Filming finished late on July 28, 1965; the final footage filmed was part of the fight between Kirk and Mitchell. While the schedule allowed seven days to shoot the episode, it required nine, which was Justman's original estimate. The episode cost around $300,000, around half the money spent on making "The Cage".
Post-production on the episode was delayed by Roddenberry's involvement in another pilot, Police Story. Post-production finished in January 1966, and the episode was presented to NBC for approval; that version differed from the final broadcast cut in that each of the four acts had on-screen titles ("Act I," "Act II," etc.), as well as an epilogue, in the manner of Quinn Martin's television productions. It also featured a much longer opening narration by Shatner. In total almost 5 minutes of additional footage was removed to accommodate the original series 50 minute network broadcast format, allowing for commercials. The restored alternate pilot version of the episode will be included on the TOS Season 3 Blu-ray release, entitled: "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" - The Restored, Unaired Alternate Pilot Episode. Approval finally came in February 1966, and the series proper ramped up for production for broadcast in September 1966. The episode was shown at the 24th Worldcon in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 3, 1966, shortly before the debut of Star Trek on NBC, where it received a standing ovation. "Where No Man Has Gone Before" aired as the third episode of the series on September 22, 1966. It was the first episode to be shown in the UK by the BBC on July 12, 1969.
The episode's name is the first usage of the phrase "Where No Man Has Gone Before" in Star Trek. The phrase would be incorporated into the opening credits sequence in following episodes, as part of the famous "Space: The Final Frontier..." speech given by Captain Kirk. The phrase would also be used (with "man" changed to the gender-neutral "one"), in the credits voice-over of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Kirk's middle initial is given as "R." in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and is seen clearly on the gravestone fashioned by Mitchell for Kirk; subsequent episodes use "James T. Kirk", and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country later made official the middle name "Tiberius" (used previously in "Bem", an episode from the animated series). Various suggestions have been made to explain this discrepancy; Michael Jan Friedman's My Brother's Keeper trilogy speculates this results from an in-joke between Mitchell and Kirk. Roddenberry cited human error on Mitchell's part. Peter David's novel, Q-Squared, placed the events of this episode in a parallel universe in which, among other differences, Kirk's middle initial was indeed R.
The episode contains the first stardate (1313.8) and makes the first reference to the Academy, at which Kirk taught Mitchell. The "lithium crystals" mentioned in the episode would later be renamed to the fictional "dilithium crystals". The episode opens with Kirk and Spock playing a game of 3D chess.
Michael and Denise Okuda's Star Trek Chronology sets the episode in 2265, 300 years after its production. The Galactic Barrier is referenced and revisited in a subsequent episode, "By Any Other Name".
Many changes to the USS Enterprise bridge were made after this episode was produced. Among these were a new forward viewscreen and an updated helm/navigation console. Also, the positions of the helmsman and navigator were swapped (in this episode, the navigator sat on the port side of the console, and the helm officer was to starboard. In the regular series, the opposite was the case). When production of the series proper began, it was also decided to introduce a new uniform design for the Enterprise crew, although in the first regular episode produced, The Corbomite Maneuver, some characters, such as Uhura, are shown wearing the uniform style of Where No Man Has Gone Before. Adjustments to Spock's make-up were also made, specifically to the angle of his eyebrows, refinement of his haircut and tempering of the overall greenish-yellow cast of his skin.
Spock also makes reference to his ancestor marrying a human when in a later episode, his mother was introduced as a human.
In this episode the helm and navigation station console was used for the transporter room console. In future episodes a dedicated station would be built with the iconic sliding controls and centrally located, hooded beam-down coordinate selection screen.
The sickbay in this episode uses conventional sheets on the beds; later episodes used the more "futuristic" metallic weave materials. The "bio-probe", located under the medical monitor panel, pointed to and monitored the physiological functions of the patient. It was a simple rod, later replaced with the more detailed, internally-lit acrylic set piece.
Hand weapons are referred to as lasers and the phaser rifle makes its single appearance in Star Trek: The Original Series.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Here are some images of Polar Lights 1/1000 scale U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 from Star Trek TOS 1st pilot episode "The Cage".
Star Trek art Director Matt Jefferies designed the original Enterprise, which in series creator Gene Roddenberry's first series outline drafts was named Yorktown. The ship's "NCC-1701" registry number stemmed from "NC" being one of the international aircraft registration codes assigned to aircraft registered in the United States; the second "C" was added for differentiation. The "1701" was chosen in order to avoid any possible ambiguity (according to Jefferies himself, the numbers 3, 6, 8 and 9 are "too easily confused"). Other sources cite it as a reference to the house across the street from where Roddenberry grew up.
The first miniature built for the pilot episode "The Cage" (1965) was unlit and approximately 3 feet (91.4 cm) long. It was modified during the course of the series to match the changes eventually made to the larger miniature, and appears on-set in "Requiem for Methuselah" (1969). The second miniature built for the first pilot measures 11 feet 2 inches (3.4 m) long and was built by a small crew of model makers, Volmer Jensen, Mel Keys, and Vernon Sion, and supervised by Richard Datin, working out of Jensen's model shop in Burbank, California. It was initially filmed by both Howard A. Anderson and Linwood G. Dunn at Dunn's Film Effects of Hollywood facility, who also re-filmed later more-elaborate models of the ship, generating a variety of stock footage that could be used in later episodes.
Initially, the model was static and had no electronics. For the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (1966), various details were altered, and the starboard window ports and running lights were internally illuminated. When the series was picked up and went into production, the model was altered yet again. These alterations included the addition of translucent domes and blinking lights at the forward ends of the engine nacelles, smaller domes at the stern end of the engine nacelles, a shorter bridge dome, and a smaller deflector/sensor dish. Save for re-used footage from the two pilot episodes, this was the appearance of the ship throughout the series. The 11-foot model stands in the Gift Shop downstairs at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Greg Jein created a model of the original Enterprise for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations" (1996). Jein's model was built to be exactly half the size of the larger of the two original models, and later appeared in the 1998 Star Trek wall calendar. In addition, a CGI model of the ship makes a brief cameo appearance at the end of the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, "These Are the Voyages..." (2005), and another CGI version was created for remastered episodes of the original Star Trek, based on the model in the Smithsonian.
"The Cage" is the original pilot episode of Star Trek: The Original Series science fiction series and resulting franchise. It was completed in early 1965 (with a copyright date of 1964), but not broadcast on television in its complete form until 1988. The episode was written by Gene Roddenberry and directed by Robert Butler. It was rejected by NBC in February 1965, but they ordered an unprecedented second pilot: "Where No Man Has Gone Before". Much of The Cage's original footage was later incorporated into the first season two-part episode: "The Menagerie".
"The Cage" had most of the essential features of Star Trek, but there were many differences between this episode and the series proper. The Captain of the starship USS Enterprise was not James T. Kirk, but Christopher Pike. Spock was present, but not as First Officer. That role was taken by a character known only as Number One, played by Majel Barrett. Spock's character differs somewhat from that seen in the rest of Star Trek: he displays a youthful eagerness that contrasted with the more reserved, logical Spock that is better known. He also gets the first line in all of Star Trek: "Check the circuit!"
NBC reportedly called the pilot "too cerebral", "too intellectual", and "too slow" with "not enough action". Rather than rejecting the series outright, however, the network commissioned — in an unusual and, at the time, unprecedented move — a second pilot: "Where No Man Has Gone Before". Rather than abandon the expensive footage, most of it was recycled in the later Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Menagerie" (leaving the pilot itself to revert to its earlier name of "The Cage"), a two part episode (episodes 016-1 and 016-2), which revisited the events of the pilot, and made it part of the continuity of the rest of the series. The episode "The Cage" is sometimes listed as episode 80 when shown. On the VHS home video releases, it was credited as episode 1.
The process of editing the pilot into "The Menagerie" disassembled the original camera negative of "The Cage", and thus, for many years it was considered partly lost. Roddenberry's black-and-white 16mm print made for reference purposes was the only existing print of the show, and was frequently shown at conventions. Early video releases of "The Cage" utilized Roddenberry's 16mm print, intercut with the color scenes from "The Cage" that were used in "The Menagerie". It was only in 1987 that a film archivist found an unmarked 35mm reel in a Hollywood film laboratory with the negative trims of the unused scenes. Upon realizing what he had found, he arranged for the return of the footage to Roddenberry's company. In some fan circles, this is disputed and alleged (incorrectly) that the black-and-white 16mm footage was simply colorized.
"The Cage" was aired for the first time in its entirety and in full color in late November 1988 as part of The Star Trek Saga: From One Generation to the Next, a two-hour retrospective special hosted by Patrick Stewart. It contained interviews with Gene Roddenberry, Maurice Hurley, Rick Berman, Mel Harris and cast members from the old and new series, clips from both series and the Star Trek films I through IV with a small preview of Star Trek V. It was later rebroadcast on UPN in 1996 with a behind the scenes look at Star Trek: First Contact.
According to "The Menagerie", the events of "The Cage" take place thirteen years before the first season of Star Trek. No stardate was given.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Here are some images of my 1/87 scale kit bash of the rocket powered bomb sled "Enkidu".
That's right rocket powered powered bomb sled.
This thing wouldn't get half a foot down the track before it blew up.
Still eh! I think it looks pretty cool. ;O)
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Here are some images plus a composite of Monograms 1/48 scale Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina reconnaissance and rescue aircraft. The markings on this aircraft are that of Admiral John McCain. No not the "my friends" John McCain but his old man. This is one of the best model aircraft Monogram produced and was a real pleasure to build. The exterior has beautifully recessed panel lines and the interior is complete right down to the toilet. The model is widely available and runs for around $50 Cdn and well worth the buy.
The Consolidated PBY Catalina was an American flying boat of the 1930s and 1940s produced by Consolidated Aircraft. It was one of the most widely used multi-role aircraft of World War II. PBYs served with every branch of the US military and in the air forces and navies of many other nations. In the United States Army Air Forces and later in the United States Air Force their designation was the OA-10, while Canadian-built PBYs were known as the Canso.
During World War II, PBYs were used in anti-submarine warfare, patrol bombing, convoy escorts, search and rescue missions (especially air-sea rescue), and cargo transport. The PBY was the most successful aircraft of its kind; no other flying boat was produced in greater numbers. The last active military PBYs were not retired from service until the 1980s. Even today, over 70 years after its first flight, the aircraft continues to fly as an airtanker in aerial firefighting operations all over the world.
The initialism of "P.B.Y." was determined in accordance with the U.S. Navy aircraft designation system of 1922; PB representing "Patrol Bomber" and Y being the code used for the aircraft's manufacturer, Consolidated Aircraft.
As American dominance in the Pacific Ocean began to face competition from Japan in the 1930s, the U.S. Navy contracted Consolidated Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft Corporation in October 1933 to build competing prototypes for a patrol flying boat. Naval doctrine of the 1930s and 1940s used flying boats in a wide variety of roles that today are handled by multiple special-purpose aircraft. The US Navy had adopted the Consolidated P2Y and Martin P3M models for this role in 1931, but both aircraft proved to be underpowered and hampered by short ranges and low maximum payloads.
Consolidated and Douglas both delivered single prototypes of their designs, the XP3Y-1 and XP3D-1, respectively. Consolidated's XP3Y-1 was an evolution of the XPY-1 design that had originally competed unsuccessfully for the P3M contract two years earlier and of the XP2Y design that the Navy had authorized for a limited production run. Although the Douglas aircraft was a good design, the Navy opted for Consolidated's because the projected cost was only $90,000 per aircraft.
Consolidated's XP3Y-1 design (company Model 28) was revolutionary in a number of ways. The aircraft had a parasol wing with internal bracing that allowed the wing to be a virtual cantilever, except for two small streamlined struts on each side. Stabilizing floats, retractable in flight to form streamlined wingtips, were another aerodynamic innovation, a feature licensed from the Saunders-Roe company. The two-step hull design was similar to that of the P2Y, but the Model 28 had a cantilever cruciform tail unit instead of a strut-braced twin tail. Cleaner aerodynamics gave the Model 28 better performance than earlier designs.
The prototype was powered by two 825 hp (615 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-54 Twin Wasp engines mounted on the wing’s leading edges. Armament comprised four 0.30 in (7.62 mm) Browning machineguns and up to 2,000 lb (907 kg) of bombs.
The XP3Y-1 had its maiden flight on 28 March 1935, after which it was transferred to the US Navy for service trials. The XP3Y-1 soon proved to have significant performance improvements over current patrol flying boats. The Navy requested further development in order to bring the aircraft into the category of patrol bomber, and in October 1935, the prototype was returned to Consolidated for further work, including installation of 900 hp (671 kW) R-1830-64 engines. For the redesignated XPBY-1, Consolidated introduced redesigned vertical tail surfaces. The XPBY-1 had its maiden flight on 19 May 1936, during which a record non-stop distance flight of 3,443 miles (5,541 km) was achieved.
The XPBY-1 was delivered to VP-11F in October 1936. The second squadron to be equipped was VP-12, which received the first of its aircraft in early 1937. The second production order was placed on 25 July 1936. Over the next three years, the PBY design was gradually developed further and successive models introduced.