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Vader
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Re: NOSTROMO – the Accurate Deck Plans (IMO, anyway...)

Fri 20 Dec 2019, 15:25

 rather starting from scratch as seems to be the case here.
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Not scratch, my friend -- the movie.
The movie we're all fans of.
That's what I meant.  From scratch as in ignoring everything other than what ended up in the film.  It wasn't intended as a criticism.
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That's an interesting point. Depends on the definition of "scratch building", I suppose.

From my perspective, what Graham does is a lot of scratch building, too, in a sense -- he adds elevators, a second shuttle, docking tube, science labs, and various features never seen or even hinted at in any material ... "greeblies" that mainly make sense to him, I suspect.

He also does a bit of the same kind of scratch building that I do, like the hanging feature containing the airlock and observation blister, that is in direct contradiction with how the set is built, but becomes necessary to rationalise what we see on-screen.

For me, it is easier -- not to mention, a lot more fun! -- to take the movie at verbatim, use production material (like set drawings) as supporting material only where appropriate, and then go from there, shooting for the most screen accurate representation that I can make. In my mind, the film is the only source material that it actually is necessary to stay true to, to the furthest extent possible.
For example, the film very explicitly states that the Nostromo is a "commercial towing vehicle", so for me, that means that is what she is. So, not a "modified transport" -- ergo, no cargo holds; nor any extensive scientific facilities.
In the film, Ripley descends a gangway to get from the bridge to the infirmary. So, these two compartments are on different decks -- ergo, the "A-Deck" set (and by implication, the other "Deck" sets as well) must depict more than one level on board the ship.
The sequence of turns Ripley takes to reach the Narcissus from Engineering necessitates that the approach to the shuttle must come from inside the port nacelle -- which makes the port landing gear well the most logical location for the cocooning scene.
And so on.

By contrast, I can feel a lot of (primarily the fan-made) later material wants to go much too far the other way: ignoring what did end up in the film -- taking the whole mass of the production material (including early concepts, screenplay drafts, etc) more at verbatim than the film itself, and where discrepancies occur, dismissing the movie as being at fault: "Elevator sets cost money". "Oh, there will always be issues when you shoot a movie."
Sure, there are always issues -- but in my approach to this project, I at least try to resort to that rationalisation to as small an extent as I can.


But you did say at one point:
There's more internal artwork by Cobb depicting only three decks.
That got me curious. What did you have in mind?
- They're a bit like Facehuggers, aren't they?
- Face ... huggers?
- Yeah, you know. Alien.
- ...?
- The horror movie, Alien.
- There's a horror movie called Alien?? That's really offensive! No wonder everyone keeps invading you.
 
rennarda
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri 20 Dec 2019, 15:28

Re: NOSTROMO – the Accurate Deck Plans (IMO, anyway...)

Fri 20 Dec 2019, 15:35

Another point of reference - in the DLC for the Alien Isolation game, you can freely roam around the Nostromo (well, until you're murdered, but that's another story). If you walk around the bridge you'll find not only is it cramped, it's quite small. Walking up the windows, they are just slightly too small to walk into, upright. I'd say just under 6ft top to bottom. 

Yes, this contradicts the on-set image we have, but we've already seen Scott did some odd things with scaling sets, and the windows are barely seen in the movie. Alien Isolation is canon, AFAIAK (at least as far as this RPG is concerned). This also makes the maps in Isolation canon, I believe. 

Does the Sullaco have similar problems fitting interior to exterior? That also seems like an unreasonably huge ship for such a small company of soldiers. We know that hyperdrives in Alien can't be huge, per-se, because the Narcissus has one. Perhaps it's all just reaction mass that's taking up all that space (and, yes, you can see stuff - water actually - getting ejected from the drives, so they aren't reaction-less). 
 
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Vader
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Re: NOSTROMO – the Accurate Deck Plans (IMO, anyway...)

Fri 20 Dec 2019, 16:15

Does the Sullaco have similar problems fitting interior to exterior? That also seems like an unreasonably huge ship for such a small company of soldiers.
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Judging the size of the ship from the dropship launch, and considering the amount of space we actually get to see from the Sulaco's interior (the Marine quarters and the launch bay) ... no, not really.

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We know that hyperdrives in Alien can't be huge, per-se, because the Narcissus has one.
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Um ... a couple of points:

If you read my thoughts on the Narcissus launch in the OP ... we don't know the speed of the shuttle at the time of separation. If it is, as I postulate, very high, then it might well have passed through several light years -- certainly enough to go past the core systems -- in 57 years. So a hyperdrive wouldn't necessarily even be needed for what we see in the movies.

But even if she has one, the Narcissus is very, very small. On the other hand, who can say what size of hyper generator is necessary to create an asymmetric field large enough to envelop the gargantuan Nostromo and the infinitely larger payload...? Say the size of the drive needs to scale exponentially...

And if not the hyperdrive -- what else is the unfathomably vast, cathedral-like space that we see outside the Engineering control room view ports in the movie for?

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Perhaps it's all just reaction mass that's taking up all that space (and, yes, you can see stuff - water actually - getting ejected from the drives, so they aren't reaction-less).
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The relatively modest steam plumes might be vented cooling from the reactionless drive emitters revving up. But as has been discussed earlier on this thread -- you can't create a reaction drive efficient enough to budge the Nostromo off the planetoid, much less carry the reaction mass even to lift the reaction mass itself, let alone the actual ship.

At the same time, with the mass of the ship (just consider the micrometeor armour and radiation plating necessary in interstellar and interplanetary space), a reaction drive efficient enough to nudge it to useful accelerations is hardly any less realistic than a reactionless drive to begin with...
Last edited by Vader on Sat 21 Dec 2019, 00:56, edited 1 time in total.
- They're a bit like Facehuggers, aren't they?
- Face ... huggers?
- Yeah, you know. Alien.
- ...?
- The horror movie, Alien.
- There's a horror movie called Alien?? That's really offensive! No wonder everyone keeps invading you.
 
Riggswolfe
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed 07 Dec 2016, 17:27

Re: NOSTROMO – the Accurate Deck Plans (IMO, anyway...)

Fri 20 Dec 2019, 23:59

Another point of reference - in the DLC for the Alien Isolation game, you can freely roam around the Nostromo (well, until you're murdered, but that's another story). If you walk around the bridge you'll find not only is it cramped, it's quite small. Walking up the windows, they are just slightly too small to walk into, upright. I'd say just under 6ft top to bottom. 

Alien: Isolation is a weird case. They worked hard to get as much accurate as they could and went for the "feeling" if the movie as much as possible. That said, if you play the bit that mimics Dallas's ventilation scene it doesn't really feel right to the movie to my mind. 

However, the game company got TONS of material from Fox. They've said they got set photos, design blueprints, concept art and more. They've expressed how surprised they were by how much Fox shared with them. I'm sure a lot of compromises were made to fit this all into a game but the A deck to me just feels right. This leads me to believe that for the A deck at least, they're probably pretty close to accurate. There is, of course, the debate Vader and I have about whether the A-deck is just a set design or can be extrapolated to be part of the ship itself. I need to rewatch the movie I think because I don't remember Ripley going down the ladder on the way to see Kane but that also doesn't mean anything. It's not like I have it memorized.

On another note, I forgot how small those windows are in the game which I've played like 3 times! I fired it up briefly and those windows are pretty close to my "eyeball" estimate of their size. Another thing I need to rewatch the movie for is to see if we ever have a view that implies their size any better than the movie. I remember the bridge feeling super claustrophobic which is why I object to the size Vader postulates. It just doesn't fit my mental image of that bridge but I am potentially way off. I don't know if I've mentioned this in this thread but I spent years convinced the Nostromo was quite large, closer to how Vader pictures it but as I've gotten older I've become convinced it is smaller than I first thought.
Does the Sullaco have similar problems fitting interior to exterior? That also seems like an unreasonably huge ship for such a small company of soldiers. We know that hyperdrives in Alien can't be huge, per-se, because the Narcissus has one. Perhaps it's all just reaction mass that's taking up all that space (and, yes, you can see stuff - water actually - getting ejected from the drives, so they aren't reaction-less).
The Aliens EU has "fixed" this for the most part by making it so that the Sulaco was most definitely undermanned and their platoon was way understrength. The implication, of course, is that the company and/or the government didn't care about the mission or didn't want to waste resources on it. 
 
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Vader
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Re: NOSTROMO – the Accurate Deck Plans (IMO, anyway...)

Sat 21 Dec 2019, 00:52

I need to rewatch the movie I think because I don't remember Ripley going down the ladder on the way to see Kane
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It's in the extended version; right before she gets slapped by Lambert.

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Another thing I need to rewatch the movie for is to see if we ever have a view that implies their size any better
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Actually, I'd recommend that precise course of action ... and besides, it's not as if you can watch it too often anyway...

Once you have, give a holler. I think we can have a very interesting, refreshed discussion going from your perception. In particular I'd say, apart from the bridge view ports -- keep your antennae peeled for the sense of sheer scale the movie tries to convey for the Nostromo, especially in exterior detail shots throughout.

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I don't know if I've mentioned this in this thread but I spent years convinced the Nostromo was quite large, closer to how Vader pictures it but as I've gotten older I've become convinced it is smaller than I first thought
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Interestingly, I have pretty much gone the reverse route. My initial exposure to Alien 40 years ago came from the Heavy Metal comic, which really gives no frame of reference for the Nostromo's size. I thought she'd be ... well, the three-deck size that has been proposed here would be about right, probably. Big, but somehow manageable.
It was when I eventually saw the movie that I needed to make a mental double-take, and then another one, to assimilate the absolutely smegging stupendous size of the ship.
- They're a bit like Facehuggers, aren't they?
- Face ... huggers?
- Yeah, you know. Alien.
- ...?
- The horror movie, Alien.
- There's a horror movie called Alien?? That's really offensive! No wonder everyone keeps invading you.
 
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Umberto Octo
Posts: 115
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Re: NOSTROMO – the Accurate Deck Plans (IMO, anyway...)

Sat 21 Dec 2019, 02:21

 the absolutely smegging stupendous size of the ship.
The Nostromo is essentially a tug boat. The staggering size of what is seen in the film that you refer to is the oil refinery they are towing.
"Se til helvete å komme dere vekk. Det er ikke en bikkje! Det er en slags TING!
Det imiterer en bikkje. Det er ikke virkelig! Kom dere vekk, IDIOTER!"
 
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Vader
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Re: NOSTROMO – the Accurate Deck Plans (IMO, anyway...)

Sat 21 Dec 2019, 03:17

 the absolutely smegging stupendous size of the ship.
The Nostromo is essentially a tug boat. The staggering size of what is seen in the film that you refer to is the oil refinery they are towing.
We're discussing the vessel the outline of which can be seen in the plans in the first post.

I doubt that's the refinery...
- They're a bit like Facehuggers, aren't they?
- Face ... huggers?
- Yeah, you know. Alien.
- ...?
- The horror movie, Alien.
- There's a horror movie called Alien?? That's really offensive! No wonder everyone keeps invading you.
 
sathyr
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu 05 Dec 2019, 08:36

Re: NOSTROMO – the Accurate Deck Plans (IMO, anyway...)

Sat 21 Dec 2019, 07:50

Does the Sullaco have similar problems fitting interior to exterior?
I can't speak to the Sulaco... But the APCs in that movie are noticeably inconsistent in scale when you compare exterior, interior, and motion (ie, miniature) shots.

Sometimes these things are impossible to reconcile without liberal application of non-euclidean geometry and extradimensional space. Or, you know... Willing suspension of disbelief. But why would anyone want to use that? 😉
 
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Vader
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Re: NOSTROMO – the Accurate Deck Plans (IMO, anyway...)

Sat 21 Dec 2019, 22:24

Sometimes these things are impossible to reconcile without liberal application of non-euclidean geometry and extradimensional space. Or, you know... Willing suspension of disbelief. But why would anyone want to use that?
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Only as a final resort! Extradimensional space (a.k.a. the TARDIS Effect) is of course well known in these circumstances, and generously employed. Non-Euclidean geometry works just fine, albeit the more esoteric forms of it seem to come with certain risks ... apart from having to renew my wards constantly, now something keeps going tekeli-li in the next room.

But willing suspension of disbelief? That's the most dangerous of them all. In my book, it's only to be used in moderation, and only as a very last resort.
- They're a bit like Facehuggers, aren't they?
- Face ... huggers?
- Yeah, you know. Alien.
- ...?
- The horror movie, Alien.
- There's a horror movie called Alien?? That's really offensive! No wonder everyone keeps invading you.
 
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Umberto Octo
Posts: 115
Joined: Wed 24 Feb 2016, 06:01

Re: NOSTROMO – the Accurate Deck Plans (IMO, anyway...)

Sun 22 Dec 2019, 07:23


We're discussing the vessel the outline of which can be seen in the plans in the first post.

I doubt that's the refinery...
I am aware of what is being discussed. And you are correct that the deck plans at the beginning of the thread are not the refinery.
The massive size of the ship is due to a mineral refinery (I apologize for calling it an oil refinery) and 20 billion tons of ore, which dwarfs the Nostromo itself. I just have never heard someone using such leviathan adjectives to describe the tug itself.

Continue pontificating.
"Se til helvete å komme dere vekk. Det er ikke en bikkje! Det er en slags TING!
Det imiterer en bikkje. Det er ikke virkelig! Kom dere vekk, IDIOTER!"
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