After a bit of a hiatus from CG modeling I’ve finally gotten passionate enough about a ship to actually want to start some modeling. It’s one I’ve built before but new reference pictures have come into my possession that show areas that I didn’t have a clear view of before. Also, this is a good opportunity to fix some things that I knew were wrong on my last model.
For those who don’t know and/or didn’t follow my last build of the Constellation class, it’s fun, to say the least. There are at least 2 or 3 schematic sheets available for the ship, none are correct for the 4-foot filming miniature. All of them show the details on the smaller NCC-7100 model from Picard’s ready room on TNG. So, there are basically no schematics at all for the starship itself. Therefore, one must use photos. There are actually a decent amount of these available, though many of them show the same parts and there area few parts of the ship which aren’t seen or aren’t seen clearly in any photo, so there is a bit of guesswork and just making stuff up involved. But, I really like this ship, so I wanted another crack at making one that’s true(ish) to the 4-foot studio model.
First up are the nacelles. I don’t know why, but I always start there on this ship. I made a lot of mistakes on these on my first two models, I used shapes from schematics and pictures of the NCC-1701 refit model to build them. However, they are significantly different from those nacelles, enough that no schematic will show how to properly build them. So, there was a lot of moving polygons, looking at a photo, moving polygons again, look at photo, move polygons, et cetera and so-on. However, I think I wound up with nacelles that are mostly true to the original, at the very least they’re closer than I’ve ever gotten before.
(Ignore the reflective material and all materials, those are all temporary.)
This part here was particularly fun to do:
This thing took me at least a couple hours of painstakingly moving polygons by hand and lathing and all kinds of crap to build it. Unlike the same part on the 1701 refit, this one is all one piece. The side thing actually smoothly morphs into the part that wraps around the front grills. Mine isn’t 100% accurate, but it’s freakin’ close. That same part on the 1701 refit isn’t such a pill because it can be built as more than one part, this one had to be all one part to look right.
Anywho, the nacelles are basically done. All that is left on those is markings, which I’ll do one of these days. I’ve also started on the cross pylon that connects the nacelles. That part is pretty basic because they just greebled the heck out of it when they built it and I have pretty good reference photos for that part, so it shouldn’t take too long to complete. After that, I’ll start on the main hull because I want to do that part before I do the vertical pylon, there are some accuracy things that need to be fixed there and it will help to have the main hull at least partially built first.