TOS Destroyer, Pt. 01

I can’t seem to get this design by Dan “MadKoiFish” Uyeno out of my head, so I started on a new version of it. This time, I’ve gone TOS with it and it’s considerably larger than my previous model(s.) Anyway, this is where it is so far:

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Dominion War Destroyer, Pt. 03

Sometimes, it’s necessary to go back to the old drawing board. (figuratively speaking, as I don’t draw unless I have to) A couple people over at Scifi-Meshes were talking about the size of the ship and, admittedly, it has been a concern of mine. It’s hard to cram necessary systems into such a small ship. Still, I think it could work, if as nothing else than a support ship. (maybe a destroyer that patrols around a Starbase)

Anywho, I started over on the ship. I decided to go with a different design than Dan’s, something based instead on the Nova class and the Intrepid from Enterprise. I like both of those designs a lot, so I decided to do kind of a hybrid thing. Since it’s a 24th century ship, I kept hull as smooth as I could, almost like it was poured into its shape. The new design is more than twice the size of the previous one, 200 meters long and 125 meters wide. Once I add the bridge module, the ship will have 10 decks. Though, deck 10 is not very large, it would probably be used for storage. I normally give my ST ships 4 meters for decks. With 4 meters, you get plenty of space for those high ceilings that they typically have and stuff between decks, like conduits, piping, framework, etc. However, as this is a destroyer, I want it to feel a bit more “cramped,” so I gave it only 3.5 meters per deck. I figure it has lower ceilings, like the Defiant does. Also, with a change in equipment, this design might serve other purposes in the fleet, such as a science ship or a scout. (I know, big surprise, me doing a scout 😉 )

The only thing I salvaged from my old build was the nacelles, since I still like them. However, since I increased the size, I have to redo the paneling so that the paneling on them isn’t thicker than on the rest of the ship. They’re about 40 meters longer now, the rest of the dimensions are scaled up accordingly. However, I wanted to keep my pendants and the thing between the bussard openings, so I copied the center of the complete nacelle from the last build and pasted it onto this one. The little grills on the intercoolers are still there, I just have to redo the insets so that they can be seen. 😉

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No, the nacelles don’t move. I’m just deciding on two different configurations, one with the nacelles up and one with them down. Right now, I’m leaning towards down, since that makes the ship look (to me) like an animal ready to strike. Plus, I’ve done a lot of ships in the past with nacelles up, so this is a bit of a change of pace.

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My Enterprise, Pt. 03

I added some more stuff to the nacelles. I probably spent too much time and polygons on the stuff inside the nacelle that you can’t even see very well, but oh well.

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Here are some closeups. I also changed some settings on the semi-transparent pieces covering the insides, making it a bit easier to see what’s inside.

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My Enterprise, Pt. 02

So, I took a break from the Klingon ship after doing all of that paneling on the wings. After a few days of mostly doing sculpting and subdivision, what am I doing? Paneling, of course. I can’t seem to get away from it. I would like to say it gets easier from here, but the paneling on the nacelles is pretty much how it’s going to be on the entire ship. Though, I may do some of the other details on the nacelles before moving on with the paneling, just for a change of pace. Anyway, paneling and a few other bits on the nacelles.

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My Enterprise, Pt. 01

I’ve done this type of thing before, but not for several years. It started back in 2008, way before we saw the design they were using for the movie in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek. Back in those days, I yearned for a reboot of the franchise (but not necessarily the one we got) and I designed my own version of what the ship could look like. Unfortunately, this is what I came up with:

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It’s funky, it’s clunky, it’s got that weird engineering hull and those big nacelles. Anyway, I hate it. I did an earlier version, this is actually the improved version.

I’ve also done this weird thing, which I actually do still like as a majorly “alternate” version, which is why was a lot more of a departure from “normal:”

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I’ve done one or two other “redesigns,” but those are the two I still have that are readily available to show.

Anyway, the past few years, I’ve been more into the “canon” side of things. However, recently, I thought about starting one of these again. Though, instead of a drastic departure from what we know from Trek, I decide to go more low key with the updates. I don’t need to do a funky looking engineering section or huge, clunky nacelles to do a redesign, I simply need to alter a few things here and there. Anyway, this is what I have after a few days of work:

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Proportionally, she’s very close to an upscaled TOS Enterprise. I know this because I upscaled my TOS Enterprise and used it as a guide to lay out the components. However, the ship is much larger. I’ve got it at 385 meters long. This is necessary to make the edge of the saucer large enough to realistically fit 2 decks. The original Enterprise is too small for 2 decks, which may be why it originally only had 1 row of windows on the saucer edge. I also had to increase the height of the teardrop, once again to allow 2 decks there. I allow a generous 4 meters per deck, which allows for not only the internal rooms, corridors, etc, but also for framework, the ship’s skin, conduits, etc. The ship has 23 decks total. The engineering section diameter is only slightly enlarged, to allow for the deck plan. It’s also slightly longer due to how I designed the shuttlebay area, VS what they did originally. I gave the nacelle pylons a bit more bulk and moved them forward slightly at their base, but they are at a nearly identical angle to the originals. The main pylon (or “neck”) is a smidgen thinner, and it also has a different profile to the original, which was necessary due to how I designed the engineering section. The nacelles have almost the same diameter and length as the originals. Design wise, it’s a bit TOS mixed with TMP and even a JJPrise influence or two, plus some original stuff. Once I get more into the details, it will stand on its own more.

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. 🙂