This is topic Klingon Bird-of-Prey Wing Positions in forum Starships & Technology at Flare Sci-Fi Forums.


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Posted by MinutiaeMan (Member # 444) on :
 
I'm starting a new thread to branch off from the TNG Remastered discussion, because I've got a few other questions of my own here...

quote:
Originally posted by PsyLiam:
I do seem to remember a story where the motor mechanism on the BOP model got stuck. Weren't all BOPs from that point onwards seen with their wings stuck up (at least until the CGI model was introduced)?

If they were using the original movie model, then I think that story makes sense. Jason is right; I don't think we saw a BOP in wings-down mode again until... hmm, let's see...

"Rascals" was partly reused stock footage from "Yesterday's Enterprise," but also had a new shot with the three ships in orbit in formation, IIRC. "Reunion," "The Mind's Eye," "Redemption," "Unification," and "Firstborn" in TNG, then "Past Prologue" and "Blood Oath" in DS9, all had BOPs with their wings up.

But Generations showed the Duras sisters' BOP only with the wings fully down. Could the model have been repaired/refurbished for the movie? That seems like a likely scenario. Either that, or else it was CGI. (Except for the reuse of the explosion from The Undiscovered Country, of course. *sigh*)

Finally, I would bet that a lot of the BOPs in "Way of the Warrior" were little expendable styrene models purchased and built specifically to create greater numbers in the fleet. They could've been whichever configuration the effects guys chose.

Now, I've got my own question, and the main reason for starting a new thread... what's supposed to be the significance of the different wing modes? I've heard all sorts of stories about the ship putting the wings down so the disruptors could be placed in "optimum firing position," but that doesn't make sense if the cannons were targetable anyway.

I'm also not quite sure what the difference was supposed to be between having the wings straight-horizontal, and having them raised slightly. The only time that makes sense would be for the landing mode, but in the original movies, we saw the wings raised much higher than they were in the TNG configurations. (I guess that might lend credence to the story that the motor got stuck?)

Also, am I the only one who things that the later-DS9 episodes showed BOPs with a different wing-angle than the original model? I've always thought that the Rotarran and its sister ships didn't have their wings as far down as earlier ships did.

Anyone have any ideas, other than BILC? (Because It Looks Cool) [Wink]
 
Posted by Mars Needs Women (Member # 1505) on :
 
First off, thanks for the comment about the BOP explosion from Generations being stock footage from Star Trek VI. I thought I was the only one who noticed that.

For WotW, there's a possibility that some of the BOPs(at least the ones in the background) could have been MicroMachines. I remember reading somewhere that MM's would sometimes be used as props for the shows.
 
Posted by MinutiaeMan (Member # 444) on :
 
I've never heard the story about the MicroMachines, either. That would actually help explain why there some frikkin' tiny BOPs flying formation with the Vor'chas in WotW...

Normally I'm loathe to link to the DITL for specs, but they do have a good point about the tiny BOPs in their article about BOP sizes; they scale to between 28-35 meters long. They were only seen a couple of times in that one episode; the use of MicroMachines next to the full-size Vor'cha model (or maybe the AMT model instead) would explain that ridiculous discrepancy.
 
Posted by Josh (Member # 1884) on :
 
They re-used to shot of the Klingon getting tossed around during the BOP explosion from Generations in the DS9 finale, le sigh
 
Posted by Mars Needs Women (Member # 1505) on :
 
Actually I checked memory alpha, and no MM's were used as actual starships. They were used as figurines to decorate offices and displays. But hey, you never know. I also discovered something about the Excelsior MicroMachine, but I think I'll save it for another thread.
 
Posted by Johnny (Member # 878) on :
 
The only time I know Micro Machines were used on screen was for the starship models on the roof of Starfleet Academy.

Wouldn't the models in WotW have been shot separately and composited together? That would mean they may have been rescaled. The mini BoPs that fly beneath the Vor'cha looked a lot more detailed than MM's to me, but then I haven't got a screenshot to hand.
 
Posted by Reverend (Member # 335) on :
 
My memory may be playing tricks on me, but didn't we see the a BOP in DS9 (the one where Kor died I think) that changed the wing position to go to warp, ala Voyager?

It's not much of an explanation, but if the warp coils are in those "shoulder pad" looking things then it may be that the wings have something to do with warp geometry or maybe power distribution...pass, I think it's purely aesthetic, which, for a race that is all about chest thumbing and looking intimidating, isn't as implausible as it might sound.

It could be specifically designed to scare people.
 
Posted by Malnurtured Snay (Member # 411) on :
 
Isn't it possible that the wing position serves a psychological purpose rather than a technical one? Frankly, the Bird of Prey looks -- to my mind -- fiercer with its wings raised.
 
Posted by Dukhat (Member # 341) on :
 
IIRC, some of the background scenes of the BoPs were not Micromachines, but rather the BoP Hallmark ornaments, which were larger and better detailed than a Micromachine, and presumably easier to film.
 
Posted by Daniel Butler (Member # 1689) on :
 
MinutiaeMan - What's wrong with the DITL? He seems thorough enough...
 
Posted by Timo (Member # 245) on :
 
quote:
I've heard all sorts of stories about the ship putting the wings down so the disruptors could be placed in "optimum firing position," but that doesn't make sense if the cannons were targetable anyway.
Well, we could say that having both cannon below ship centerline allows them to be brought to bear on a proximity target simultaneously, while a horizontal wing position would create cones of blindness to the sides for one of the cannon. And since the captains of Trek can't be bothered to roll their ships anyway...

But then we'd have to think up a reason for bringing the wings up to horizontal in the first place. Apparently, that's not the optimal atmospheric movement position or anything, because the ships attack planets wings down in ST5, "Once More Unto the Breach" and so forth. And the ship is perfectly capable of non-aerodynamic hover anyway, and has been since the introduction in ST3 - the only people who have bothered with wings-horizontal for atmospheric entry have been the Federation thieves who didn't know how to operate the ship properly...

I don't think we have ever seen a BoP at warp with wings fully down or up, though. So perhaps the wings help manipulate the warp field somehow, while doing dual duty as weapons mounts?

Timo Saloniemi
 
Posted by Jason Abbadon (Member # 882) on :
 
I've never heard anything about any Micromachines used for filming (the MM KBOP's wings are far to thick to go unnoticed and are notoriously bendy).
A Micromachine would be obvious and far too small to accurately film.
As is the Hallmark Ornament.
This is the very best I could repaint a Micromachine KBOP:
 -
Obviously not good enough for anything onscreen.
I think they made a few overhead passes of the filming model and composited them in to represent the birdies getting blown up by the station (and the lack of any debris seems to confirm this theory- no damaging to the studio model).


The only toy I know was used in WOTW was three Playmates Vor'Cha cruisers (the mold of which is the same as the ERTL model kit) which were repainted and rigged to explode.

I think some KBOP shots were early CGI- particularly the scene with the tiny, misscaled ones flanking the VorCha. The KBOP that does the "sumersault-of-doom" after getting it's engines shot up was probably CGI.

As to whing position, the "attack confiuration" allows a greater overall arc of fire when combined with the forward torpedo launcher- sorta a triangle arc.

The "wings up" position does not work so well for that, but they are better for atmospheric flight -I guess- the KBOP's do just fine on their little Dominion base attack run with wings down.

WOTW showed a KBOP at warp with wings down (chasing the Defiant), so we know it's not required for them to be up while at warp.
 
Posted by Timo (Member # 245) on :
 
Hmm... I checked out "WotW" when making my previous post, and the wings there aren't anywhere near the "attack position" although they do droop slightly.
...I think.

Timo Saloniemi
 
Posted by MinutiaeMan (Member # 444) on :
 
Take a look at this screencap, though... The wings are clearly not all the way down (compared to the movies and early TNG), but I would definitely consider them to be in "attack position," myself. I think this was generally the standard position we saw most of the DS9-era BOPs in, from Dukat's captured ship and the Rotarran onward.
 
Posted by Jason Abbadon (Member # 882) on :
 
Yeah- it's pretty far down though- and the only time we see that at warp (I think).
 
Posted by Daniel Butler (Member # 1689) on :
 
I always just thought they raised the wings to land the ship...is there a reason we can't still assume this? I mean, wings-down, they'd be broken in half when the BoP touched down on a planet.
 
Posted by Reverend (Member # 335) on :
 
Traditionally there's 3 standard positions.

Position 1 - Wings way up
Position 2 - Wings flat...ish
Position 3 - Wings down

I don't think anyone disputes that the purpose of position 1 is for landing. The debate is the significance of positions 2 & 3.

Given those screen grabs from WoTW (lets call it Position 2.5) I'd say it's safe to assume that the wing positions are a trade off between engine efficiency (particularly at warp), maybe even sublight manoeuvrability and the weapons fireing arc and targeting accuracy.
It would be up to the Captain of the BOP to balance those factors by choosing a wing position.
So when Martok's squadron did a hit and run on that ground base, it was wings down for maximum effectiveness, quick and surgical, though slightly reduced manoeuvring capability.
When they're following the Defiant it was wings high, but not totally in cruise mode so they have a better chance of defending if need be (uncloaked), but still have enough speed to keep pace.
 
Posted by Timo (Member # 245) on :
 
...Or then the BoP might have suffered some damage in combat with the Defiant - including hits on the wing-folding mechanism. [Wink]

Consider also that a BoP might not be the fastest bird in the flock, at least compared with a Vor'cha cruiser. The smaller ship would be struggling to keep up with the larger one, and not making any compromises regarding speed.

Then again, it's a bit odd that a Vor'cha couldn't catch the Defiant, which herself is slowish by modern Starfleet standards. Surely the Klingons would wish to build their newest capital ships to be competitive with Federation designs? So perhaps the Klingons were deliberately holding back here - possibly with instructions from the Martok Changeling to hold fire, so that the many Founders Sisko had aboard would not come to harm.

Timo Saloniemi
 
Posted by Reverend (Member # 335) on :
 
Sorry, I wasn't very clear, I did actually mean the BOP was trying to keep pace with the Vor'Cha.
Mind you, I just had a look at Memory Alpha and yes, the Vor'cha can pull around Warp 9.5, while the BOP is stuck at 8.1. It dosen't actually say what the Defiant's normal max speed is, just that it can get 9.6 if they take the weapons offline and I'm not sure if they did that in WotW.

Then again, the DS9 tech manual (not the best source, I know) rates the B'rel-class at 9.6.

It's all speculation really, but my idea literally hinges on the possibility that Warp Coils are effectively bolted to the wing frame, under the cowls and when the wings move, it effects the warp field geometry, just like on Voyager.
Who knows, maybe the designers of the Intrepid-Class got the idea from the Klingons?
 
Posted by Guardian 2000 (Member # 743) on :
 
I'm rather fond of the KBoP-Intrepid connection there.

It's also worth noting that in "Return to Grace"[DSN4], Dukat's freighter attacks an unshielded Bird of Prey with its craptastic phasery thingies (before mounting a big honkin' disruptor to the ship).

They target the underside of the Klingon main hull, the statement being made that it was the weakest spot.

Why this would be so is uncertain, and unless it was somehow a design necessity (e.g. the egress/cargo doors or something) it doesn't stand to reason that it would be a necessary design flaw for a century or so.

However, on the smaller KBoPs one could reason that the down position is intended to provide some measure of additional protection for the area.

On the way-too-big BoPs, it's possible that this area is not weak and hence the down position was not required. The fact that the ships still appear to have all the swing mechanisms is just one of those things.

This whole protection thought is silly overall, since the extra mass and complexity of the swing-wing design seems quite wasteful, even in an in-universe sense. Better to stick a couple of hanging-down Cadillac fins on her and be done with it.

The only other significant possibility I can imagine is that the wings contained some sort of maneuvering thruster engines of some kind, perhaps even all along the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the wing, and the down position allowed their use in a lateral direction.
 
Posted by Timo (Member # 245) on :
 
What to make of the fact that the BoP (in its possible three differently sized incarnations and the ENT era precedent) is the only Klingon ship to have this fancy feature? It's not a Klingon trademark as much as it is a BoP one.

It could be that the BoP series are the only landing-capable ships in the Klingon arsenal (yes, the "Defector"/"Y's E"/"Rascals" giants included), and that the wing flapping is there purely for aerodynamic and landing-geometry reasons.

So the various wing positions are meaningless in space travel and combat, and indeed we never quite see a BoP adjust its wings for space activities! All the actual movement happens either completely off screen or within an atmosphere.

That is, the wings are never "dropped down to combat position" - they are in the lowermost position during atmospheric flight because that's the aerodynamically most advantageous position for them during atmospheric combat, and most skippers see no need to move them to any other position while in space. They are never "leveled for warp", either - they are in the middle positions because skippers forget them there after taking off from a planet and utilizing the maximum aerodynamic lift of that configuration.

For some mysterious reason, I'm beginning to favor this explanation. Mainly because then there is no "multifunctionality" to the wing flapping, no compromise in engineering or operation: no association with weapons positioning or warp dynamics. The fact that the wingtip cannon happen to move with the wings is wholly incidental, secondary to the aerodynamic main purpose of wing movement.

Timo Saloniemi
 
Posted by Nim (Member # 205) on :
 
I seem to recall the BoP in TSfS shooting the Merchantman to bits, then raising wings to middle position, "cruise". Wasn't that the case?
Also, it was the first ever scene with a BoP, I guess they wanted to showcase its features. The wingtilt after killing gave it a very casual and cold air, I thought.
 
Posted by Timo (Member # 245) on :
 
Ah, right. So Kruge was obviously intending to dip in an atmosphere right after the kill, hoping that the next planet would provide him with a new mistress...

Timo Saloniemi
 
Posted by Reverend (Member # 335) on :
 
I'm just going to pretend that wasn't sarcastic and point out they were in deep space at the time. ;-)

Also, when the Bird decloaked it's wings were up and only dipped the wings when it attacked the Merchantman.

Whatever technical justification we invent, the film maker's intention here is clear. The bird of prey likes to kill with it's wings down.
 
Posted by Shik (Member # 343) on :
 
Maybe it's got no actual techincal reason & it's just there to look intimidating. These ARE Klingons, after all.
 
Posted by Reverend (Member # 335) on :
 
I think that's an element sure, why else use feather patterns and hulls that are unmistakably bird shaped? Just as the Vikings carved dragon heads on their boats, so the Klingons do with birds.

Still there has to be some practical element in it, otherwise why don't the D7, Vor'Cha and Neg'Var classes do that, or something similar?

Personally I'm sticking firm to the warp coils/field of fire/targeting accuracy argument.

Oh and as for the belly being the weak spot, I think this is mainly because the belly is the cargo hold, which means a big open volume, with the engines right above. So all you need to do is penetrate the outer hull, into the cargo hold and you have a clean shot at the impulse engines, or deuterium tanks or whatever a BOP runs on (I surmise from ST:IV that the whole thing, impulse and all runs off the dilithium reactor, but who knows?) I think this is why we've seen several Birds completely blow up with just a single shot, because it's so small and the power systems so closely packed together (to say nothing of the torpedo magazine that's sat under the bridge) that once it take a fatal hit, it starts a chain reaction and the whole thing goes up like a Roman Candle.

You could say this is intentional on the part of the designers, as the BOP was primarily a scout and it's best to make sure that if the ship is destroyed, best not to leave survivors behind for the dishonour of being captured, or for any intelligence to fall into enemy hands.
I suppose the key to dealing with a Bird of Prey's glass jaw is to strike and run.
As Mr Miyagi say "Best way to avoid punch,
no be there."
[Wink]
 
Posted by Guardian 2000 (Member # 743) on :
 
I'm actually starting to seriously favor the maneuvering thruster idea . . . i.e. that the dorsal and ventral wing surfaces have some sort of thrusting apparatus on them.

Advantages:

1. A DS9 episode shows the rear glowing assembly flashing when the ship goes to warp, and indeed model shots suggest that there's more than merely an impulse thrust vent there.

Thus, much as I always preferred warp wings, it's likely that the rear of the KBoP is basically a single propulsion stack, with assorted warp and impulse giblets all crammed together.

2. Whenever we've seen KBoPs maneuvering at their very best, it has been with the wings down. (Yes, I know, that's a bit of a foul since it was DS9 CGI that gave us the flitting-about BoPs, but still.)

2a. Warp flight might not be affected by wing position. Thus the pursuing KBoP with wings down or mostly-down would've simply been prepped for impulse combat.

3. I'm told that a thruster on the edge of a body will be more efficient than a thruster near the massive body in regards to space vessels. (Hence the Earth fighters from Babylon 5 being big X's with maneuvering thrusters near the points.)

If true, then the areas toward the end of the wing would be the best place to put one's maneuvering thrusters.

If these are limited to the upper and lower surfaces of the wing for whatever reason, then swinging the wings downward would allow for greatly enhanced maneuvering capability.

4. Though not necessary, we could go further with our surmise. For instance, drive products could be taken from the impulse engines and sent toward numerous apertures near the far-edge of the wings, perhaps near the end of the feather-pattern-wingtips. The remainder of the wing closer to the main hull could be doing something mundane like holding fuel, or else it could have some sort of driver coils ramping up the effective thrust. Either (or both) would at least give the main area of the wings more to be doing than sitting there and looking bird-y.

But alas, I'm sure there are problems with my suggestions. Please poke as many holes as possible. [Wink]
 
Posted by B.J. (Member # 858) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Guardian 2000:
...assorted warp and impulse giblets...

This just made me laugh - how appropriate that a Bird of Prey would have giblets! [Big Grin]
 
Posted by The Mighty Monkey of Mim (Member # 646) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Guardian 2000:
Please poke as many holes as possible. [Wink]

*snicker*
 
Posted by Guardian 2000 (Member # 743) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Mighty Monkey of Mim:
quote:
Originally posted by Guardian 2000:
Please poke as many holes as possible. [Wink]

*snicker*
D'oh! [Razz]
 
Posted by Pensive's Wetness (Member # 1203) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Guardian 2000, since he asked for it:
quote:
Originally posted by The Mighty Monkey of Mim, because he provided it:
quote:
Originally posted by Guardian 2000, because by popular demand, BOHICA now includes fat free rimjobs:
Please poke as many holes as possible. [Wink]

*snicker*
D'oh! [Razz]
[Big Grin]
 
Posted by Mars Needs Women (Member # 1505) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pensive's Wetness:
quote:
Originally posted by Guardian 2000, since he asked for it:
quote:
Originally posted by The Mighty Monkey of Mim, because he provided it:
quote:
Originally posted by Guardian 2000, because by popular demand, BOHICA now includes fat free rimjobs:
Please poke as many holes as possible. [Wink]

*snicker*
D'oh! [Razz]
[Big Grin]
lol!
 
Posted by Nim (Member # 205) on :
 
oh for fuck's sake
 
Posted by Mars Needs Women (Member # 1505) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Shik:
Maybe it's got no actual techincal reason & it's just there to look intimidating. These ARE Klingons, after all.

That could be the case, if maybe the BOP's raised up their wings when attacking(kinda like a real life bird of prey). But they can fire with wings both up and down, so whose to say which position is more intimidating?
 
Posted by Jason Abbadon (Member # 882) on :
 
I think the "weak spot" on the KBOP is likely from the landing gear- assorted hatches and lighter armor/hull there.

I also thin the "propulsion stack" idea is correct- the warp nacelles are probably in the "shoulders" and the glowy part at the rear is it's (and the impulse engine's) vent.

I always figured the raised "feathers" were part of the cloaking generator (I cant fathom the 'ol cloak-is-a-box idea). Possibly they help to manage heat signature as well.
I dont think we ever see the KBOP fire with winga up (only the silly "K'Vort" in Yesterday's Enterprise).

We saw a "wings-down" decloak attack during Martok's attack of the Dominion base (cant recall the episode, but it featured several KBOP's and a K'Tinga).
 
Posted by MinutiaeMan (Member # 444) on :
 
No, we also so plenty of wings-up action in "Redemption," too.
 
Posted by Reverend (Member # 335) on :
 
Those were probably K'Vorts.

For the record, I just watched "Once More Unto The Breach" (DS9 DVD slimpacks for 18 = YOINK!) and Jason is right, during the initial strafing run at the Cardassian base the two BoPs decloak in orbit with wings down and they stay down until the Malpara is destroyed trying to escape. Same goes for the second attack, Martok's 3 BoPs all decloak with wings down (inside an atmosphere this time, I might add) though we don't see them cloak on the way out, the wings were most likely still down.

Finally near the end, right after Kor knocks out Worf, the [url= http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/IKS_Ning%27tao]Ning'tao[/url] decloaks with wings already slightly dipped (like most post WotW BoPs) drops out of warp, comes about, drops wings into attack position and warps away back to meet the Jem'Hadar (uncloaked.)

From this we can determine that a BoP can go to warp with wings up or down, though given that the wings were up to begin with AND they were running away at the time it's fair to say that UP = FASTER. We can also say that as in ST:III, the wings were very intentionally dropped before opening fire, which reinforces that wings down means optimal, if not maximum weapons effectiveness.

The key to all of this is that the wings were only seen dipped when the [url= http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/IKS_Ch%27tang]Ch'Tang[/url] was docked at DS9, when the squadron is information right before they leave DS9 and when the Ning'tao decloaks and drops out of warp after the initial battle.
To borrow Starfleet terminology, I'd call the wings dipped position "Yellow Alert", as in we're in/about to be in trouble, but nobody is shooting yet while the wings down position is clearly "Red Alert". I doubt Klingons have a "Condition Green", so lets just stick that label on the landing position. [Wink]

To put it all in simpler terms (if that's possible): Wings up = MORE SPEED, Wings down = MORE TARGETING ACCURACY.
Now a ship can warp and fire disruptors in either position, but both have their particular advantages and dis-advantages.

At least that's what we can surmise from the consistent evidence. Best to ignore TNG for the most part, they really weren't paying attention.
 
Posted by PsyLiam (Member # 73) on :
 
And the model was broken.

Possibly.
 
Posted by Reverend (Member # 335) on :
 
Yeah, that and it's sometimes hard to tell when they're supposed to be K'Vorts or normal BoPs.
If they ever remaster TNG, one would hope they replace the K'vorts with something more appropriate.
 
Posted by Bernd (Member # 6) on :
 
I was always fond of the idea that the "cooling fins" act as some kind of "variable capacitor" that is used to tune the warp field, even though it seems that the actual generator is inside the main hull, not the nacelles. If it has something to do with the warp drive, then the problem is essentially the same as with Voyager and its warp drive which is always stuck in the same position at warp and lowered at impulse for no apparent reason. While it is not really satisfying to have the same dilemma with two ships, it helps rationalize that we don't always see wing positions that immediately make sense.
 
Posted by Treknophile (Member # 1869) on :
 
Hi guys

I'm about 3/4 through my version of this ship. The following are my postulates and assumptions.

1. Multiple Wing Configuration:

Wings Up: Obviously for landing. Also allows engineers access to warp coils (starboard coil is under hull plates McCoy painted ship name on). Also, the Klingons can stage planet surface raids, with troops landed near their targets.

Wings Horizontal: This has to do with center of gravity (or trim if you are a pilot). When the wings are raised or lowered, the CoG passes vertically though the ship's decks up and down. It follows that optimum cruising performance (warp or impulse speed) is achieved with the CoG on the same 'level' as the warp coils.

Wings Down: This has to do with moment arm. Put simply, given two disks of the same mass, one with large diameter and one with small diameter, the smaller diameter disk will spin faster given the same rotational energy input. It follows that in a dogfight, the BoP would utilize this configuration. Also, the cannon are located closer together, and therefore the blast impacts will be located closer. One can still go to warp, but energy will have to be applied to offset the off-center trim. And a BoP doesn't have a lot of energy to spare.

2. Size. I postulate that there is only one size of BoP - the size we saw in ST4 (smaller than Defiant). I further assume that all BoPs have this ability - that's why they are still in service.

Regarding differences in scale as seen in different images - disregard. Otherwise you have the BoP from ST3 enormous compared to the Merchantman - but small when seen in ST4.
 
Posted by Reverend (Member # 335) on :
 
...Or the "Merchantman" was just a cargo shuttle. The interior space did contain cargo webbing right next to the "bridge".
 
Posted by Peregrinus (Member # 504) on :
 
Personal preferences aside, David, we've too much onscreen evidence of Birds-of-Prey larger than it first appeared throughout TNG and DS9. There have to be at least three sizes, regardless of exactly how big the TSFS/TVH BoP was.

--Jonah
 
Posted by Reverend (Member # 335) on :
 
Not sure if it's relevant or not, but I happened to catch a bit of ST:IV on tv the other day and there is a line, right before the bit with the whaling ship. Something to the effect of "wings in cruise position, Mr Sulu." So it is a set position and it is optional. In this case the obvious intention was to travel as fast as possible at sublight within an atmosphere. So that would support the position/speed association.

As for the different sizes, since everything from DS9's 4 season is more or less consistent in terms of scale - and, incidentally wing behaviour - (thanks to RDM, methinks) I think it's simpler to label the TNG appearances of the big version as the K'Vort cruiser and everything else is the B'rel. Which I gather is the generally accepted wisdom. Everything else I'd just chalk up to SFX gaffs. Best not to over analyse.
 
Posted by Treknophile (Member # 1869) on :
 
So is that 2 sizes and model re-use foul-ups, or 3? Does anyone have a screenshot of the BoP behind/above the Merchantman? Knowing the size of that BoP (from shots on Vulcan, under the Huey, and in San Francisco Bay, we should be able to calculate the size of the Merchantman. If it's smaller than a shuttlepod - then no shots can be trusted for 'canon' scale purposes.

Besides, what possible use would a larger version of the BoP be? Why would it look exactly ther same? Occam's Razor.
 
Posted by Reverend (Member # 335) on :
 
Occam's Razor hardly applies to special effects budgets. As for the Merchant man, I'd say it was roughly the length of the BoP's neck. Bernd has already done most of the legwork on the size issue here and here.
 
Posted by Treknophile (Member # 1869) on :
 
Point taken regarding Merchantman.

I still find it unlikely that there would be two versions of the BoP - exactly identical except for size.
 
Posted by Reverend (Member # 335) on :
 
Granted, I'd rather all the appearances of the "Big BoP(er?)" be replaced with a different design, but until they do a TNG-Remastered that's what we're stuck with. Just as we're stuck with the Delta Flyer's TARDIS like interior, the 70-odd decked constitution in ST:V, the two identical yet differently sized Ferengi shuttles, the bottomless shaft that starts at the bottom of the E-E in Nemisis, The HUGE spacedock that could fit the E-D through doors that were just big enough for the E-nil, or for that matter were too small for the excelsior in the ver same movie and dozens other similar instances. Such is life on a shoestring, it's not a big deal.
If it makes you feel better, the Big BoP's wings don't seam to move at all from cruise mode.
 
Posted by Peregrinus (Member # 504) on :
 
And I've taken a Generations boxing of the BoP model kit, which at 1:1400, would approximate the ~330m K'Vort, filled in the existing windows, added more appropriately-scaled windows in the habitable areas, and completely resculpted the torpedo launcher and shroud to fit a dual-launcher array, with a docking port between them a deck up.

I've liked the Titius-Bode notion of ship proportions for a long time, and applied it to the Romulans, Cardassians, and Federation as well. Interesting things happen when one does that. [Smile] I like to say the smallest one (~110m) is the design the Klingons originally got from the Romulans, which they designated D12, and was retired when Worf said it was. They'd already taken those plans and blown them up a little (~160m) to make the B'Rel class, which went through several generations -- the older ones being retired, and the more recent ones being of the class to which the Pagh and Rotarran belong, amongst others.

But again, that's just my take on it. *heh*

--Jonah
 
Posted by Treknophile (Member # 1869) on :
 
I hate ambiguously-sized ships.
(sound of rage).
 
Posted by Timo (Member # 245) on :
 
quote:
Does anyone have a screenshot of the BoP behind/above the Merchantman? Knowing the size of that BoP, we should be able to calculate the size of the Merchantman. If it's smaller than a shuttlepod - then no shots can be trusted for 'canon' scale purposes.
The Merchantman's not quite smaller than a shuttlepod if the BoP is about a hundred meters long (one of the guesstimates that might work with STIII/IV shots), but it comes close. No bigger than a runabout, at any rate.

Then again, nothing wrong with that. The same design was shown as a very small patrol type in "The Host", and in a similar role at ambiguous scale in "The Outrageous Okona". And the interiors in STIII showed nothing larger than a runabout cabin, with cargo tied down in a haphazard manner. The type could really be a runabout of sorts, rather than a bulk freighter.

(The same model later appears as a decidedly larger freighter type in "The Maquis", but that's about the only episode to give such a scale to the model.)

quote:
Besides, what possible use would a larger version of the BoP be? Why would it look exactly ther same? Occam's Razor.
If the BoP shape is the way to make starships capable of atmospheric operations, it would be smart to build several sizes. Landing craft were built for amphibious warfare in WWII using essentially the same basic shape but vastly different size!

And ships, being only partially immersed in a medium, aren't even the best possible argument for sticking to one shape. If function dictates form for atmospheric starships, a smart engineer might choose a single shape for which the aerodynamic characteristics are known, and scale that up and down as far as the laws of aerodynamics allow. Small for scouting, medium for inserting platoons and giving a bit of fire support, large for inserting batallions and leveling cities...

Timo Saloniemi
 
Posted by Reverend (Member # 335) on :
 
I'm not sure if the aerodynamic argument holds much water, given that the wings have a square cross-section and as such generates about as much lift as a brick. To my mind the existence of two (or more) identically scaled designs is more about Klingon lack of original thinking, combined with a proportionally small number of ship designers. I think it was simpler for them to use existing hull frame blueprints and rescale than to design a ship from scratch.

Another possible (though not mutually exclusive) explanation is that since the Empire is a feudal society, most of the ship yards are operated by different Houses and day to day operations are not under the direct control of the High Council. So some Houses make their own decisions on how they interpret the Bird of Prey blueprints, which results in dozens of variations.
 
Posted by Jason Abbadon (Member # 882) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Peregrinus:
And I've taken a Generations boxing of the BoP model kit, which at 1:1400, would approximate the ~330m K'Vort, filled in the existing windows, added more appropriately-scaled windows in the habitable areas, and completely resculpted the torpedo launcher and shroud to fit a dual-launcher array, with a docking port between them a deck up.
--Jonah

I demand to see said model!
 
Posted by Irishman (Member # 1188) on :
 
No matter what we think of the effects shots, any authoritative BoP has to be large enough to contain 2 adolescent-to-adult Humpback whales.
 
Posted by Timo (Member # 245) on :
 
...Unless Scotty took some lessons from "Terratin Incident" and shrunk the cetaceans in the transport process.

Timo Saloniemi
 
Posted by Irishman (Member # 1188) on :
 
LOL

funny, but they didn't look shrunken when Kirk and Scotty were standing outside the tank looking in.
 
Posted by Timo (Member # 245) on :
 
Magnifying plexiglass?

Timo Saloniemi
 
Posted by Reverend (Member # 335) on :
 
Stunted growth from being raised in captivity?
 
Posted by Timo (Member # 245) on :
 
...We did get a size comparison in the aquarium with the bathrobed Spock before any transporter magic was performed. (I trust the whale-head there was a mock-up and not a live specimen?)

Basically, as Bernd's pages show, it's just barely plausible to have two relatively normal-sized humpback whales inside a BoP that matches the scale of the "landed on Vulcan, people disembarking" matte painting. It would be a breeze to get them inside the BoP if she were as big as when shown relative to the whaling boat, though. And there'd basically be no way to get them in if one uses the half-sunken command pod prop as the yardstick (the BoP would be less than fifty meters long, then).

Timo Saloniemi
 
Posted by Daniel Butler (Member # 1689) on :
 
Temporal compression. See, you travel near the speed of light, and time dilates. You travel through TIME near the speed of light...and SPACE compresses. I'll take my Nobel Prize now.

Edit: That was thoroughly tongue in cheek of course...
 
Posted by Reverend (Member # 335) on :
 
There's no point trying to justify any of this as there's inconsistencies all over the place.
For one, the cargo bay/holding tank set is WAY too small, the cargo bay door exterior mock-up doesn't correspond to any exterior detail on the BoP miniature, which is presumably the same door that Sulu lowered the transparent aluminium through, which makes that impossible too.
In fact that whole movie, is ironically the least reliable for scale reference.
Point of interest, how wide is golden gate park?
 
Posted by B.J. (Member # 858) on :
 
Google maps - Golden Gate Park

It looks pretty big, but I guess you're limited to the cleared areas. Of course, I have no idea if this is even close to how the park looked in 1986.
 
Posted by Peregrinus (Member # 504) on :
 
It rivals New York's Central Part for size. There are many, many different places Sulu could tuck a 110-metre BoP without interfering with anything. [Smile]

--Jonah
 
Posted by Reverend (Member # 335) on :
 
Actually, I just had a snoop round the place on Google Earth using the ruler and the only open space I can find that's big enough for the 110m BoP is that open area in the NW quarter, right next to JFK Drive.
Not that it probably matters much, but is there anyway of knowing which part they filmed in? I understand we have at least on Frisco native on the board.
 


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