Getting Grilled

I didn’t feel the need to put the rest of the ship in just to show the grills I made for the pylon cut-outs. Besides, the nacelles just cast shadows on them.

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50s Daedauls Pt. 06

Continuing on. I built the connector between the sphere and engineering section, which includes the nacelle pylons. This is how I’ve always wanted this part to look for this model, and now it does. The only thing left to do is add some grills in the cut-out sections and probably some windows. Now, this ship is considerably smaller than the conjectured scales I’ve seen for the “canon” Daedalus class, so the connector is only one deck. It’s basically a hallway. I’m likely going to model the entire interior for it, as it won’t take long and will be simple. Though, I’m probably going to have to do that with all of the interior spaces, as I’ll have to get close enough to the model that you’ll be able to tell if they’re just textures on a box. Speaking of textures, my 4K texture map for the nacelles holds up nicely at close range, though I knew it would. But, it’s always nice to see it actually happen. 🙂

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50s Daedalus Pt. 05

I was going through folders the other day and I found this ship, so I decided to resume work on it. When I was working on it last year, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I’ve learned techniques for doing stuff in Lightwave since then, so I need to rebuild some parts. Up first was the nacelles. There were a lot of horrid errors and yucky parts, so much of the nacelle has been rebuilt. The nacelle body, bussard outside, end cap and RCS thrusters have been redone. The bussard innards, running lights and fins are parts from the old build, since I feel they look OK. Also, many of the materials have been tweaked. I haven’t done anything with the sphere or secondary hull, but expect big changes there as I progress forward.

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50s Daedalus Pt. 04

The nacelles are finished. I want them to look like a lot like old rockets, so I didn’t want to overdo the details. So, to that end, I added some running lights and a few other bits to finish them off. The rear running lights are based off of some car taillights from the ’50s.

The only details that I added that aren’t necessarily “retro” are the 8 holes just forward of the end caps. Those are RCS thrusters. As most people who know the history of space flight know, prior to the flights of the X-15 and other “near space” craft, there were no such things as RCS thrusters. In fact, that was one of the points of the X-15 test flights, to test maneuvering in space. Prior to the invention of RCS thrusters and the test flights of the X-15 and other craft, nobody knew how you maneuvered in space. In fact, a lot of retro science fiction rockets and other space craft didn’t address this issue. They usually just put some kind of wings or tail fins on them, I guess assuming that flight dynamics in space would be the same and that you’d use some kind of aileron and rudder system, which of course doesn’t work without air. So, prior to 1959, when the X-15 test flights started, nobody really knew how to do this. The, sometime in the 1960s or so, such thrusters started appearing on science fiction space craft. Even though I’m doing my ship in retro style, I still had to add the thrusters because, realistically, you’re not maneuvering in space without them.

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Up next are the nacelle pylons. The temporary ones are just ugly and don’t look anything like what’s in my head. Then I’ll move on to the engineering section, finish that and then finish the sphere.

50s Daedalus Pt. 03

It’s been a busy couple of days and tomorrow is looking to be another one. But, I’ve managed to find a few times here and there to pick at the nacelles and get some stuff done. I cut in the lines (and, yes, they will be staying.) They’re only half an inch thick, so they shouldn’t be too bad. I’ll do some of the same width on the engineering and sphere sections also. And, I have the bussard collectors mostly done. I spent some time earlier making a bunch of stuff that won’t really be seen, but that’s how it goes. 😉 I also spent way too much time trying to figure out how to get the glows to activate in Lightwave before I finally just Googled it. Of course, I found the information I needed quite easily after I did.

Anywho, this is what I have so far. There’s not much more to be done on the nacelles.

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50s Daedalus Pt. 02

Apparently, it’s the fourth anniversary of the blog today. Who knew? I certainly didn’t until WordPress let me know. 😉 So, in honor of that occasion, free beer and pizza for those who brought their own. 😛

OK, onto more serious matters. I spent way too much time on the damn fins today. In fact, that’s all I did for several hours. But, that kind of time is worth it to get that look you want. My first fins were too small, so I started over. I sketched out the shape with the pen tool, then beveled it out to get the width. However, to get it to run along the nacelle took some hand work. Then came the sub patching, which revealed some errors that had to be fixed. So, I fixed those and here’s what we have. Though, I have to say that I never would have been able to do these in TrueSpace. To my knowledge, it has nothing like sub patching. So, I’m definitely glad I made the switch to Lightwave, it has so many more great tools to help me get the job done. 🙂

Since that took most of my modeling energy, I decided to start on the textures and at least make a color map for the nacelles. I want people to have an idea of exactly the type of look I’m going for. So, I opened up Inkscape and started drawing. I wanted to do a blend of 60s Starfleet and retro and I think I got that accomplished. The rest of the hull will be similarly patterned, so you see what the final colors will be (dark red and eggshell white.) Also, I found a cool free handwriting font for the name, because a lot of old planes and rockets had hand painted names on them. The chrome will of course be staying chrome because retro stuff should have chrome. Really, lots of things that don’t have chrome should have chrome, but that may just be my opinion. 😉

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I’m currently torn between grid lines and no grid lines. However, I’ll probably do them if for no other reason that real space ships aren’t poured into molds. They do have hull section separation lines, so I’ll likely be doing those as well.

Anywho, more tomorrow (or when I get it done. ;))

50s Daedalus Pt. 01

I was looking at a couple Daedalus Class projects on Scifi-Meshes the other day where a couple people are updating the ship to make it look more modern. While looking at one by Dan Uyeno (AKA Madkoifish) I had an interesting thought. Instead of making the ship look more modern, why not make it look less modern? I personally love retro Sci-Fi stuff, especially those old rocket ships. So, I started retooling the ship to look more like those old rockets. Also influential in my design are 1950s automobile designs, I freakin’ love cars from the 50s. Also, yes, there was a drawing circulating a while back of the Enterprise where someone had done it 50s retro style. There were even a couple great 3D models made from it and posted on Scifi-Meshes. That too is an influence here. So, this is where I am so far:

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There’s still much to be done, but this is where I am after a few days working on it. I would be further along, but I recorded the latest episode of Defiance and some 1950s Richard Carlson Sci-Fi movies to my DVR, so I’ve been also watching that stuff. I already watched It Came From Outer Space, which I hadn’t seen in years, and The Magnetic Monster, which I’d never seen. I still have Riders to the Stars to watch, which I’ll probably do here in a bit. Watching classic Sci-Fi films gets me even more in the mood for retro Sci-Fi, so this is actually a good thing. 😀

About the ship: Yes, it will be red. (if you don’t like it, come to terms with it) Or, at least, partially red. I plan to do some textures with a more exciting hull pattern, but the material settings are similar to what will be on the final ship. Also, ignore the nacelle pylons, those are just place holders until I build the actual pylons. Also, I may do some more work on the connector between the sphere and the secondary hull, to blend it into those structures a bit more. Anywho, more to come. 🙂