AMT Enterprise 'Dimples'...Why Are They There?

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by Tremas, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. Tremas

    Tremas Sr Member

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    I've recently managed to score an 18 inch AMT re-issue of everyone's fave the Big 'E' (It numbers the 16th time I've had this kit...don't ask!), which I plan on starting next year.

    A question I've wondered about for a lot of years is, just what are those dimples in the lower saucer supposed to be for? Where they ever on any plans done by Matt Jeffries, or just added to the kit to break up the (somewhat detail-less) bottom?
     
  2. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    I've never heard an explanation for the dimples. As for detail, there was plenty there that they overlooked :unsure
     
  3. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Somebody find Jay Chladek! :cry

    Cos, he'd know. :)

    k
     
  4. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    I honestly don't know why they are there. I heard a story I hadn't been able to confirm that the dimples on the only long box E kits were there to help de-mold the part (kind of like ejector pin marks, but not flush with the saucer exterior). When they got to the small box retool, it looks to me like whomever tooled up the new kit interpreted the dimples literally and they became more of a kit feature (and were centered to the rest of the lower saucer details).

    In a weird twist of fate, while I don't believe the dimples originally were a feature of the classic Enterprise, it seems they may have possibly inspired the docking ports on the Movie E. During the pre-production of Star Trek Phase 2, the studio model being built had at least one or two docking ports present on the lower secondary hull (below the 1701 markings on the bottom of the hull) where a Dodecahedron shaped travel pod would dock while the ship was in drydock. I've seen one painting that seemed to indicate there might have been a similar port planned for the lower saucer (perhaps more than one). One of the famous photos of the Phase II E studio model being built shows a primered small box 18" AMT Enterprise sitting on the table behind it presumably to provide some 3D detail inspiration. Of course that model was scrapped and the Motion Picture Enterprise was all new. But they kept in the travel pod sequence and there was at least one docking port on the lower saucer, but it was inside an airlock with a flush mounted door. This is the airlock that Spock and later Kirk used for their V'Ger spacewalks (both in the cut version and the scene that appeared in the theatrical cut of the film).
     
  5. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I always loved the Berkey teaser poster because, while still vague in that Berkey style :lol it gave an indication of glass blisters or something there... observation ports....?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  6. terryr

    terryr Sr Member

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    Ah yes. The plywood exit.
     
  7. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    Thanks for the image links Phase Pistol. :) Seeing all three dimples on the bottom of the P2E saucer pretty much tells me somebody was thinking "docking ports" for the dimples. So, while it doesn't explain exactly why they were originally there, I find it funny that they might have ended up influencing the refit a little bit.
     
  8. Tremas

    Tremas Sr Member

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    Thanks for me as well, Double P. :D

    I think the common thought is correct, about being possibly docking ports; I've seen them on some of the smaller 'E' models, as well (such as the original three-piece set with the D-7 & Romulan Bird of Prey).
     
  9. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Interestingly though, once the actual TMP Refit came about, those same locations became phaser banks!

    [​IMG]
     
  10. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    That little E in the 3 piece set came out about a year or two after the small box retooled 18" kit was issued (probably the same year or a year after the Romulan BOP came out). Since it mirrors the details found on the 18" kit, it looks like AMT was using the same scaling data, dimples and all.

    Ultimately in most every 18" kit I've built, I just ended up filling the dimples and sanding off the raised detailing anyway. Then I use a cutting compass to scribe in the the three rings on the bottom in their proper positions.
     
  11. Tremas

    Tremas Sr Member

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    Sounds like a good plan. Might have to steal that when I start on it. :D
     
  12. trekriffic

    trekriffic Sr Member

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    I have both the 1/650 and 1/1400 scale AMT Enterprises and I can attest to the fact the smaller model is an exact scaled down replica of the bigger kit. Right down to the dimples.
     
  13. Jedi Dade

    Jedi Dade Sr Member

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    I had always thought that the dimples were there to represent somethign at the locations on the studio mode ( that had nothing there) wher ethe phasers sometimes fired from... but maybe that was just my 10yr old mind coming up with justification for divots where i did not remember them form the show :)

    Jedi Dade
     
  14. Tremas

    Tremas Sr Member

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    So did I. :D
     
  15. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In this wonderful analysis of TOS Enterprise effects shots

    www.trekplace.com

    ...you can see that in only one episode did the phaser beams emanate from that high up on the lower saucer : "Arena"

    [​IMG]

    Most of the time the phasers emanate from the ring at the base of the lower sensor, where the dome connects to the sloping primary hull.

    [​IMG]

    K
     
  16. CessnaDriver

    CessnaDriver Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Guess we are forced to consider the ring as a phaser array like TNG did.
    Maybe the red phasers are just only visable to the naked eye after a certain point and originate from the ring too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  17. Jedi Dade

    Jedi Dade Sr Member

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    Really - the FX guys just said to them selves - "We need to fire some light beams... whats's theis gene guy smoking? Joe grab a sharpy, I need to dram on the film..."

    :lol

    Seriously - they had no intention of trying to remain consistent. It just seems clear that they had no "defined" location for phasers and torpedoes.... They just kinda winged it. as they went along. All that being said the lines form an undefeindd location on the lower part of the secondary hull were what "I" thought the inspiration was for those divots. having grown up I see the errors of my tought patterns, but still think that's what they were intended to be :)

    BTW those are two different enterprises... :D

    Jedi Dade
     
  18. CessnaDriver

    CessnaDriver Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Personally I think the ion pod thingy was supposed to be a phaser turret and it just got blown off by the FX guys or they never got the memo.
     
  19. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Me I'm just amazed that they were ever able to hit anything, what with thee beams splaying out like that. :p

    "A phaser hit at this distance would be the most fantastic stroke of luck!"

    He ain't kiddin'. :rolleyes
     
  20. CessnaDriver

    CessnaDriver Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Now where did the photon torpedoes come from?
    Until TWOK, I never even considered they involved a physical object, I thought up till then it was still a strictly an energy based weapon.
     
  21. erictank

    erictank Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In TOS, the torpedoes appeared to be emitted, like an energy-based weapon, from the dome at the bottom of the saucer. It wasn't until TMP that an actual torpedo pod, with dedicated (visible) ports, was added to the ship.
     
  22. Tremas

    Tremas Sr Member

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    At least neither the phasers or torpedoes were fired out of the deflector like that time on TNG.... :D :D
     
  23. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The MR Enterprise includes a tiny little probe that protrudes from the little nIb at the center of the sensor dome... They called that the "photon torpedo emitter."

    In early TOS the torpedoes appeared in FX shots as globs of glowing material, so it was kInd of surprising In WOK to see a physical torpedo casing.
     
  24. feek61

    feek61 Sr Member

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    I will have to go back and look but I think it says in TMOST that the photon torpedo's are mater and anit-mater held together in a magnetic field.
     
  25. CessnaDriver

    CessnaDriver Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah the whole physical need for an actual torpedo sort of dumbs it down into almost an incendiary round. What TOS did seemed more advanced. Oh well. I guess it needs some kind of materials to kick off the reaction will suffice for a cooked up reason.


    Mighty Defiant in action and how they dealt with weapons issues later...

    STAR TREK ENTERPRISE DEFIANT COMBAT VIDEO - YouTube
     
  26. JMChladek

    JMChladek Sr Member

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    I remember having a discussion with Shane Johnson about 11 years ago about the phaser emmitters as he had done a small set of exterior plans that came with a decal sheet designed for the 18" kit. As I recall, his plans said the ring just above the sensor dome was a phaser turret, which was designed to swivel around. When I asked him about it, he said based on his research that Matt Jefferies himself came up with the turret idea. The model didn't need to show swiveling, but that is where phasers were fired from for the most part (depending on who did the optical compositing).

    The bumps on the saucer for phaser banks as I recall was something Franz Joseph came up with. Of course, Joseph did mount photon banks in the B-C teardrop topside, which was contrary to what the episodes showed when Photons were fired. But it appears that Franz's phaser bank bump idea found their way onto the TMP refit saucer.

    The photons are a bit of a weird animal. It looks as though Trek didn't seem to introduce photon torpedoes as weaponry until mid-way through season 1 and never really fleshed out exactly what they were fully. But to represent them, they used the weird blanket phaser fire/depth charge animation that was created for "Balance of Terror," probably because it was so different from the phasers used in the previous episode where they were seen, which was "Corbomite Manuever". Eventually though, as the episodes progressed the photon torpedoes were fleshed out more. Somebody I suppose could argue that the "nipple" on the sensor dome is indeed the photon launcher as MR seems to have done, since it was never present on the Pilot 1 or Pilot 2 versions of the ship. It seems like as good an explaination as any.

    For the Phase 2 ship, the area in the neck pylon that became the photon launcher on the TMP refit was originally intended to be the main phaser bank. The story bible for Phase 2 (excerpts of which are printed in the Phase 2 trade paperback written by the Reeves Stevens authors) mentioned it. The reasoning for putting it there was it could draw more power from the ship's warp engines. That concept of course became a plot point in TMP (and we never saw them fire as the anti-matter imbalance cut them off when the ship was caught in a wormhole). Funny enough, an error in the TNG episode "Darmok" had the phasers firing from the photon launcher on the D. So what was originally supposed to be a phaser bank on the unfilmed Phase 2 E which became a photon launcher by the movies, for one episode became a phaser emmitter again.

    Now the one thing that has kind of jacked up phaser and photon launchers on the TOS ship though is what the Defiant used in the Enterprise episode "In a Mirror Darkly". There we had phasers and photons coming from not only the front lower dome, but also the aft secondary hull dome (which previous plan sets interpreted to be a control tower for the shuttle bay). But when you think about it, having a phaser and photon launcher on that dome makes logical sense as if the front dome acts as a turret, it can't fire due aft anyway.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
  27. Tremas

    Tremas Sr Member

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    I agree. If you're getting attacked from the front, it's all well and good (like a movie where the bad guys attack one at a time); but, if you're being chased in a shuttle and need protection, it's not good planning. So, a rear-mounted system makes sense.

    Maybe one day, a concise amalgamated set of prints with ALL these bells & whistles will be available... :D
     

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