Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 17 "Compare Contrast Construct."

While finishing up the actual blueprints for the TOS Enterprise I want to shift the focus of this blog toward the actual construction of the new model and a few ancillary topics relative to construction. Additionally, I'll be comparing some of the existing prints with what I've been working on as well as comparing some of the differences between the physical models. After studying the screen captures, photos of the physical model, the Smithsonian dimensions etc... I came up with a profile the I feel confident is wholly accurate to the engineering hull, I then went back and compared that profile to the Sinclair and Casimiro profiles. I overlayed a section of Sinclair's cutaway to highlight the differences. I sized that profile up to the scale I'm working in and used it in the last post to come up with a conical form to create the primary section of the engineering hull using the same methods that I developed to create the 1/350th scale ship. This time around I used a finer, more flexible, higher quality mesh to begin construction. Using the simple compass that I discussed in the last post I cut out a flat for building up the upper and lower halves of the primary hull, this too is the same method I used to build the 1/350th, but again with higher quality, more substantial materials. When I built my first scratch built project I wanted to use the cheapest, easily affordable materials available to virtually anyone. I wanted to show that you don't have to have an entire facility full of high dollar, precision equipment to be able to come up with a reasonable representation of the Enterprise. The last time I used paper, tape, glue, fiberglass and Bondo. I'm essentially using the very same method with only slightly higher quality materials, this is in part due to time constraints and the size of the project involved. "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Albert Einstein. I feel the opposite is also true, if something works the first time then there's no reason not to do it the same way, with the caveat that you learn from your mistakes and refine your process.

I'll come back and show more of this process later, however I will have to refer back to the construction of the original 1/350th ship. Unfortunately I was making progress and didn't have the time to take stage by stage photos.

I want to move into construction of a basic vacuum table and some basic electronics in the next couple of posts. In the mean time I've uploaded some more reference shots of the various incarnations of the ship.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 16 "Phasors on Maximum."

I should note that the Day 1-16 designation only represents days of actual work and do not reflect running days on a calender.

Before I move onto to a basic explanation of phasors and how they applicable to this discussion I need to take the time to make a couple of corrections. In a previous post I stated that there were 16 ribs on the *exhaust vents" on the sides of each nacelle. In fact there are 17 ribs on these vents and the pattern is actually a corrugated pattern, this same pattern is reflected on the "S-Curve" at the rear of each nacelle. See applicable photos. I also stated earlier that I had not seen anyone correctly represent the lower sensor dome. I stand corrected. After looking over the Casimiro blueprints I find that he did indeed present an accurate profile for this parts. My apologies to Charles.

Onto to phasors... Essentially phasors are straight lines that follow along a center point of origin and point out to a point at highest amplitude of a sinusoidal waveform. This may not seem to be applicable to our discussion of transforming from 2 dimensions into three, but it is. Another way of thinking of phasors as one line in a right triangle. How we use phasors is really very simple. Earlier I said that we had to follow back down both angles on the engineering hull to a point of convergence. When these lines meet, or converge we establish the point of origin for our phasor. When we took our separate measurements for each section of the engineering hull cutaway and used the diameters to establish each circumference and finally used that as a linear measurement for each section we established the outer parameters for each conical, or tubular part. Now that we have our measurements we can use our phasor as a compass to get the arc for each conical. We don't need to do this for the tubular components.

Follow along with the pictures below and it will all become clear.

Since we are multiplying each diameter by pie (3.14), we're going to need a larger surface area than our original print profile. To keep things simple I used basic poster board available at any craft store. The first thing to do is to establish a center line mid way through the poster board. This gives us room to scale out our parts to whatever scale we choose to work with. After establishing our center line we over lay our profile and start plotting out straight lines to with reference to the original. As you can see I separated only the first three sections of the hull to keep things simple, the additional lines are referencing the pylon position. Upon establishing the points for each measurement on the rear most section of the hull use a rule to connect the points and draw a straight line, then us a compass from the point of origin following our phasor out to the next measurement and draw each arc. Now we have the shape of our cone that matches our profile and we've brought that section out into the 3rd dimension. In the following photo you can see that I created a simple compass using what I had at hand. Since I didn't have a large enough compass for the job at hand I took a 1"X2" strip of pine and used a drill bit and a drywall screw to plot out my arcs, this is the same compass that I used to create parts for the upper and lower saucer section. What you see is a piece of scrap poly styrene used to illustrate the method. The drywall screw made a nice scribe for cutting the styrene. There are a few that mock my methods, however, quoting Albert Einstein..... "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." ;)