Comm Station Gets a Go

Hailing frequencies, not quite open…

Three stations now visible

I put all my previously accomplished communications monitors in place with some minor tweaking and finally did some texture work on the deck plating, as well as trimming up the step down sections of the central pit area.

I didn’t manage to get any ceiling elements started, but I decided the stations and their consoles were of higher priority at present.  That means I can begin work on the console panels for communications shortly, if I can remain distraction free.

Speaking of distractions, looking at these last few renders, I think I really need to tone down even more of the engineering station’s graphics as well, especially the older ones in my UV library.  I must admit, if the panels on the communications console seem the most boring to me, the engineering station’s panels seem the silliest stylistically (at least when they’re fully lit).  I’m especially not fond of the large radial gauges glowing green, though I understand their value at that particular station.

I also stenciled in my turbolift “A”  and brought the soffit lighting more in line with the later films’ screen shots.  I did notice while doing some more research, that the soffit greebles above some stations in The Motion Picture do appear to have some rather contemporary (to the film), semi-recessed, swivel spotlights installed in them, though they remain completely inactive and only vividly unmistakable in a few rare shots.

Hot 70’s spotlights (double entendre intended).  Could William Shatner’s head blocking some damaged melted set piece?

While they appear to be noticeable in many scenes, they manage to be completely absent in several others, even where previously revealed.   Here are some examples of this discontinuity, as well as an example of the forward section of the bridge near the main viewer, which had no greebles in those recesses at all for the first film, but were filled in for the sequels thereafter.

Lights noticeable.


Lights completely absent.

Completely absent.

All greeble features absent near viewer (first film only).

Despite the presence of the spotlights on the TMP  set,  for most shots of the bridge in the first two films, there simply isn’t any significant lighting coming from those features.  Still, in those very clear shots the bulbs looks very 70’s and thus rather dated, kinda like a similar pair of silly lights in my living room when I first bought my house.  😉

Looking at some other interesting images from the film (the Shatner head block above and the image directly below), I began to wonder if production might have actually tried to utilize those lighting features early on and that their use may have melted or warped the molded plastic of the greeble panels.  Those spot lights can get very hot.

Just left of Uhura’s head… Damaged greeble?

Turning them on for any significant period may have damaged the set, and with the tight schedule the production staff was on, presenting them in various states of off and on could have hindered continuity to even more nightmare levels than the crew was already suffering.  It’s all just speculation of course, but not impossible.  If so, it could explain why the lights are never seen illuminated in the movie, though their mere presence does indeed indicate what their originally intended function was.  In fact, it seems pretty evident that the recesses were always intended to sport lighting of some kind, much like the soffits of The Original Series bridge did.  This is evident in Mike Minor’s  Phase II bridge concept art, though in this instance it appears the recesses in their entirety were the lights themselves.

Phase II bridge concept art by Mike Minor

Honestly, I don’t know how much of this is likely, as I don’t even know how much of the Phase II bridge designs survived to the first film production (a great deal obviously) or exactly when the soffit’s greeble inserts worked their way into the final design.  But, giant light bulbs Batman!?!?  It certainly is interesting to get smacked in the face by something that has been right in front of you for 30+ years! 😀  Be that as it may, I have no intention of incorporating this aspect of 20th century design ethos into my 23rd century bridge. 😉

~ by starstation on September 19, 2012.

2 Responses to “Comm Station Gets a Go”

  1. whatever people may think of the film – ST TMP features some of the best art direction, set designs of any scifi or sci fantasy film . great job for capturing that

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