Proper etiquette for ladies? (or, Should the Nostromo cross her legs when she lands?)

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You might be a card-carrying Nostromo geek if you find yourself obsessing over little discontinuities in the way the ship is portrayed on screen.  But there is safety in numbers…

 

Several online friends have pitched ideas at Propsummit.com, where there was a discussion about the discontinuity in the orientation of the landing gear as shown:

  • in the C-Deck landing gear chamber set,
  • on the 7-foot Nostromo miniature, and
  • on the exterior landing gear set.

For those who are not familiar with this, here are some visual aids:

 

undercarraige_rm_1
Interior, Nostromo C-Deck landing gear chamber set. Landing gear is aligned with the bay door opening.

 

model_front_1
7-foot Nostromo miniature. Landing gear is rotated 45 degrees. (Thanks, Space Jockey)

 

ext_set
Exterior, Nostromo landing gear set. Landing gear is also aligned with bay doors.

 

To get a better idea, here is another illustration (and overall beautiful drawing) by my friend, Adam Savage-Hill.  His top-down view of the landing gear set shows the orientation of the landing gear clearly:

 

Adams exterior set drawing Nostromo
Adam’s drawing of the landing gear and its doors at center left.  His reproductions of these (and other) set plans show just how clever were the folks who brought this film to life.

 

Here are some screen caps from Shadows of Reflection showing glimpses of the landing gear as the Nostromo slowly lowers herself to the gound:

 

foot1aliendc_0546
The forward landing gear is rotated 45 degrees.

 

foot2aliendc_0562
The same configuration is seen on the aft landing gear.

 

foot3aliendc_0569
Another good shot of the front landing gear orientation.

 

Forgive my lack of technical lingo to accurately describe this issue.  Here’s a hasty MSPaint drawing to compare and contrast:

 

Comparison drawing, showing the two orientations discussed, and how they relate to the direction of the ship.

 

Part of the “fun” of imagining blueprints and deckplans (even a tech manual?) is finding a workable solution that isn’t restricted by present-day technology but isn’t too Whovian either.

Sometimes you have to disregard something too difficult to justify, but in this instance, 8th_Passenger came up with an inspired solution in this animation:

 

 

Sometimes simplicity is the key, eh?

And in the end, regardless of whether or not the Nostromo crosses her legs in proper fashion when she lands, she’ll always be a lady to me.

 

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