Internal Access…

It’s more than just a perk. It’s the law!

ranger_refit_105Entry/exit ports finally installed, as well as a few more details.

I’ve seen so many instances of that “… It’s the law!” theme recently, on T-shirts, billboards, and bumper stickers.  And after seeing that news story last weekend about a 47 story highrise in Spain with no elevator built-in past the 20th floor and catching all the noticeable changes that have gone into my own workplace since OSHA inspectors recently passed through our building, I just couldn’t resist that silly pun.

Of course, my questionably comical impetus grew from a total lack of interior doors within my shuttle bay, a few of which I finally managed to install along some side walls. I figured it was about time, given that, excepting the main exterior door and its inset docking ring, there was actually no other way to enter this bay as of yet (besides transporters, and intership beaming is probably still frowned upon in this timeframe 😉 ). Granted, I was extremely limited to where I could put any entryway, considering how tight-fitting this bay’s surrounding real estate must be, but it took me a while to commit to exactly what I wanted. Narrowed to two bulkheads, I decided I wanted at least one entryway on that back wall above the raised platform, though I was certain I didn’t want that to be the primary entrance. The platform’s very presence is a direct result of some sharp contours on the ship’s exterior, as I couldn’t extend the bay to the intended full dimensions without it jutting into outer space. Still, the chosen shuttle wouldn’t fit if the bay’s walls had been reigned in by that sharp exterior geometry. Thus, the platform raises the deck above the awkward hull angles in a limited area, allowing the bay to extend further inward and the shuttle’s raised nose to poke deeper into a more accommodating bay. At present a door upon the platform would simply step right into the heart of that prominently bulbous equipment mounted rather conspicuously to the ship’s underbelly.


Whether deflector or sensor related (or both… or neither), these structures are seen on several canon ships of the era and are something of a staple on a number of fan designs, making them one of my favorite features. They are essentially a re-fashioning of similar structures on The Original Series – Enterprise, and all part of that old “fix-it-from-the-inside-out” philosophy that Matt Jefferies himself seemed to subscribe: recognizing that putting more equipment in the dangerous environment of a ship’s exterior only increases the risk involved with having to repair it, whereas placing it within the ship’s hull would allow for a more “sleeves up” approach for most equipment repair.

Nevertheless, they serve some purpose, and even though they are protrusions extending beyond the more simple hull shapes, which would help to alleviate internal crowding, they clearly take up some internal volume where they can be controlled, accessed, and maintained. I concluded the best choice for the bay’s platform door would be one of those narrow airlock hatches seen in the early films, even if I have no exact purpose for it yet. There are probably no standard corridors right behind it, but there is certainly interior space that requires crew access.

As for the primary entrance I wanted one of the heavy internal doors, and I knew it would have to go against that inner sloped bulkhead. After wrestling with the idea of retaining an angled wall (presuming there was some justification for it in the first place), I came up with this inset notion, which will require some more refinements. There is just enough space on the other side of that door to place a relatively narrow corridor between the bay and elements of the impulse engine’s internal configuration.

ranger_refit_104aFirst version with slightly smaller primary door.

My first attempt at the door was simplistic, and after my first renders I thought it looked a little undersized, so I did some quick researching. I looked at as many screen shots as I could muster from both the movies and The Next Generation which, in addition to the corridors, continued to use that door frame from the movies. With a few images from TNG (specifically, scenes with the rather tall Jonathan Frakes) I estimated the door was somewhere between 7.5 and 8 feet in height and adjusted it to that minimal assessment.

As to any extras, I dragged the length of the platform stairs along the starboard bulkhead down a few feet, so shuttle passengers could step right onto it. I had to move the cargo unit and a few other trifles in order to clear a view and add the small stairs to the other side of the platform. I got the idea for the big round vent from landing bay sets on the original V miniseries I recently watched, and in addition to being a nice homage, I thought it would fill in that empty space well. And although you can’t see them in this shot, I increased the size of the octagonal containers to a full 3 feet across each. Something of a side effect of my door research, I realized they too were a little undersized and brought them up in scale.

~ by starstation on August 17, 2013.

5 Responses to “Internal Access…”

  1. Wow! You have been busy. Great job!

  2. That looks excellent!

  3. Actually yes it was. As I couldn’t delete the first post I figured that I would post again as Road Warrior might be more familiar.:) (was in a hurry for work at the time and wasn’t paying attention).

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