Rounding The Curve

Two more stations make the cut.

Two new stations: Damage & repair and… artificial gravity?

I managed to add two new stations to the pie this past weekend. They’re a bit underlit, but then again they’re still works in progress (though one is a little further along).

One is unquestionably the damage & repair station (one of my 2 favorite standup stations 🙂 ) just left of center next to my previously debuted internal security.  Many publications call this damage & control, and the stations own graphics and labels, as well as their actual use as a damage indicator in The Wrath of Khan, seem to confirm this.

The damage & repair station is one of my favorites given it’s variation on the standup motif.  I love its ‘medium’ sized console and monitor enclaves, and its graphics and control interfaces are also pretty standout.  This station’s elements tends to hold focus a little more frequently in the second and third films which allows for some good scrutiny.

One set, several ships.  Lots of screen grabs for this station…

And some extras!  One of the best reference images I’ve come across for the damage & repair station.

So, with decent screen shots combined with some other valuable reference material, it has been a bit easier to start some of the buttons and panels for this station than the next station on the round.

I’m not sure what graphics I want to put in the damage & repair station’s enclaves just yet.  I could easily put some refit Constitution orthographics as they appear in the films (mostly but not exclusively, given the set represented several Starfleet vessels), but I’m really leaning toward putting in some nice shots of the McCook, for fun.  Unfortunately, I only have one top side image of an Akyazi class I’ve ever drafted on my own, and it is something of a mechanical schematic of internal functions rather than an exterior representation.  Some closeups of it might actually work especially well in the two far right elliptical monitors though, since those two were the more animated and most varied of the group.

Continuing further counterclockwise, another stand up station was a slightly more difficult animal to classify.  According to most sources, this is artificial gravity control, but I really wanted something official to back that up.  A few sources relating to the ultimately abandoned Phase II series, including a behind-the-scenes stage manual, concept artwork, and even early images of set construction for the failed series, seemed to indicate this station had an entirely different agenda in its formative days.  Those references assign the station as a somewhat novel type of miniature transporter station called the “internal transporter.”

Phase II concept art.  Near dead center of image, in the background, is the station in question.  Notice what appears to be a stand alone podium control (and some other bulbous contraption) at this stage in development.

That behind the scenes stage document is known as the “Enterprise” Flight Manual,  intended to familiarize cast and crew with the functionality of the somewhat interactive switches and lights of the newly constructed sets, especially those of the bridge.

The behind-the-scenes “Enterprise” Flight Manual reveals much, but confuses some.

Although the publication date (Feb 1978) indicates it was part of The Motion Picture production, its composition almost certainly began sometime earlier during the Phase II project itself, and some of those initial ideas are carried over into the publication if not realized in the final set design.

Though the filmed station may have taken on a slightly different set up than any stage hand publication or concept art would argue, at least one monitor graphic revealed in the “Enterprise” Flight Manual appeared to survive any mission revision… at first glance.  Most notably, it is a rather large, mounted, wall display, which appeared to very closely resemble that insiders’ information on it.  In the “Enterprise” Flight Directory, text on the graphic directly identifies this station with transporter functions.  Most likely a backlit film or “gel” of some kind, this graphic is seen several times in the films, and is most closely visible during Khan’s surprise attack on the Enterprise in The Wrath of Khan during damage assessment.  A few years ago I was able to use screen shots (for color indication) and the Flight Manual’s  entry for an internal transporter station to recreate this as a usable graphic.  For clarity purposes I actually used a nearly identical graphic from the sickbay version of this station as my reference, but all said, they were very similar except in relation to the placement of the glowing red bars at the top (side by side rather than stacked).

My graphic rendition of the “internal transporter” station’s main monitor.

The screen shots I used were early DVD captures and were not especially useful at clearly deciphering background text on glowing graphics, but they came in handy determining color values and such.  I arbitrarily decided to go with the text provided in the Flight Manual, despite the fact, I knew there was no apparent station in any of the films featuring this bridge set.

This station had less time in the spotlight but filled in well as glowing blinkie background.

Alas, much to my chagrin, when high definition screen shots from The Wrath of Khan finally came around, I was actually able to see that revisions did indeed manage to make it to the final set design, changing words here and there to give the station a new purposeful identity.  The most telling script depicted in the original graphic from the “Enterprise” Flight Manual, “TRANSPORTER STATION,” actually appears in the second film to be an altered “GRAVITY GENERATOR STATION.”

Far left- Transporter no more!  Gravity is king!

So, it appears someone had the foresight to alter that station into something viably camera ready.  It is indeed an artificial gravity control station, and that settles that! 😀

I can’t see the entire graphic in this movie shot, and that is the single clearest version of that station I’ve ever seen, so it is difficult to infer what other alterations (besides those few visible) were made.  The next biggest question lies in the console panels and that strange graphic in the hooded monitor enclave.

There are only three interface panels I am certain are present on this console, one in the large central area, and two more opposite one another on the angled side flaps.  On the right hand side of the central area is a large, hexagonal alert indicator, seen on several other stations, coupled with yet another version of the internal communications interface and “power/aux power” settings.  The left side flap has a small panel with the bluish accordion Lite-Brite buttons for computer interface, and the right side has the rather standard green lighted, 16 button “transfer” panel that appears to be on nearly every bridge console.  These features (and a few blurry others) seem to mesh with their depiction in the “Enterprise” Flight Manual, but I can’t be certain of anything beyond that,given the total and drastic shift of duty for the station from Phase II to The Motion Picture.  The console is no longer a total mystery to me, but the “Enterprise” Flight Manual does not reliably portray this station in form or function.

As for the hooded monitor, I’ve always been fascinated by that green glowing mechanical drawing within (visible in all three of the first films) but I have never figured out what in the world it represents, much less what its labeling texts might state.  The next challenge is of course the main view screen which crosses the boundaries of “pie section” and plants its territorial flag on three sections including the far left of the gravity control station.  If my experience with those individual station borders is any indication, that frame with its tight inner curves will be a nightmare.  Can’t wait! 😀

A few mysteries solved, a few still to tease, and new challenges.


~ by starstation on November 21, 2012.

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