It’s not a massive update, but I’ve kind of been picking at the lower saucer grid lines all week. It’s tedious work, so I’ve been breaking it up. I also added the registry to the bottom. That will help me with my window layout, so I don’t have to guesstimate where that will be. Tonight I’ll start working on the windows, phasers and escape pods for the lower saucer.
So, despite my claim that I was done with this for now, I can’t help but be nitpicky. My escape pod hatches were bothering me. What really bugged me was that some of them were close to the phaser arrays. However, while I was fixing those, I decided to tighten up the spacing on them all, to put them in tight groups.
Anyway, I think it looks less sloppy. Each pod holds up to six people and there are 36 pods (so far) on the top of the saucer, allowing 216 people to abandon ship using these pods. Of course, more will come on other parts of the ship, and possibly more on the saucer top.
So, one last update before I call it a day. I’ve been thinking about how to add text to the ship. Of course, textures are always an option. However, I’ve heard good things about the “Shrinkwrap” modifier. So, I modeled the name and registry and used that to make it follow the curvature of the saucer. 🙂
I found a shortcut to doing booleans in Blender without leaving behind a bunch of geometry I don’t want and it’s been a real time saver for getting these windows in. I figured out, if I separate the faces where I want to do my cut, it just cuts through and leaves a hole, it doesn’t leave me with more geometry added by my cutting object. I do the same thing for my windows themselves, and I wind up with just the faces I want when I intersect that with my cutter, then I can inset, extrude and bevel my windows in how I want them. Then I just re-join all of that with the main mesh and I’m good to go. 🙂
So, since my windows started going faster, I also added some phasers and escape pods.
I started adding windows to the ship. I decided to start with the saucer perimeter. I opted for one row of windows here, as they did with the Enterprise-C, as I feel two rows would be too cluttered. I also broke up the edge with horizontal blue stripes, as they did with the Excelsior and Enterprise-C.
I was going to keep the window size consistent with the Ambassador class (Enterprise-C) but I found there’s nothing consistent with that class as far as size. When Andrew Probert was designing the ship, he apparently went with roughly 524m for the size of the ship, which puts it nicely between the Excelsior at 467m and the Galaxy at 642.5m. When Rick Sternbach took over the design of the Enterprise-C, he apparently put it at about 478m. (Gary Kerr came up with that number based on the model sizes, and Sternbach agrees) The biggest issue with that number is that it’s only 11m longer than the Excelsior. I guess someone else decided that and increased the scale on Sternbach’s blueprints by 15%. So, the ship comes out to 526m. The problem with that number is that this image seems to support the Enterprise-C being smaller:
That, of course, is from the episode and it seems to support the notion that the Enterprise-C was built at a scale to fit with the Enterprise-D at about the size that Sternbach originally intended. Why a “stepping stone” ship that’s between the Excelsior and the Galaxy is so small is beyond me, but that’s what it looks like, at least to my untrained eye.
So, to make a short story long, I can’t accurately determine what size the windows are supposed to be on the Ambassador without accurate figures, so I came up with my own number. They’re approximately 60cm by 1.2m. Eventually, they’ll have rooms behind them, but they obviously don’t now, that’s why they’re all dark.
Work continues on the cruiser. I got the main parts all in place, now it’s just a matter of adding details. The thing that starts under the bridge, follows the saucer curve and has the impulse engines in it is based on a ship that I did more than a decade ago. The structure under the bride (deck 2) is based on the Ambassador class, as is the bridge itself. I did elongate the back, though. One thing that bugs me about the Ambassador class is how its bridge is basically a detailed dome. Unlike other ships, there’s no obvious indicator of the turbolifts. I’m assuming that’s because the model was designed and built in a hurry. Still, it bugs me. I’ll be doing all of that on my ship. The planetary sensor is also based on the Ambassador class, in its original configuration. They added more details for later use of the ship.
Due to my work schedule and other stuff that needs done (cleaning, etc.) I’m working on this in small bursts. I’ll probably hit it harder this weekend.
The warp coils are in, or at least the blue part is. I decided to just box model and subdivide those, as I did the nacelles and secondary hull. The bussards are also started. One thing that’s superior with Blender’s Cycles render engine is that I find it quite effortlessly filters light through a transparent material. The materials are all temporary, but I like how that’s working. I couldn’t find the setting to make that work correctly in Lightwave 2018. Anywho, this is where I am for now:
I’m going to move back to the saucer next, as I still have major components to add to it.
So, this isn’t much progress, but I went 4.5 days without electricity. That’s because I live in Dayton, Ohio and there were 15 tornadoes that ripped through this region a week ago. A rare and powerful EF4 tornado passed about a mile north of where I live. Fortunately, all I lost was electricity and there was minor damage (that’s been fixed) to the house I live in. So, very lucky there. This is a not so lucky house just down the street from where I live:
So, yeah, lucky. And, there were buildings and houses so badly damaged that they’re unlivable, because that’s the kind of damage a EF4 tornado does. The scale tops out at EF5.
I presently don’t have internet at the house. Spectrum (my ISP) was supposed to call Saturday with an estimate as to when they’d be out, but they’ve not called and it’s Monday night, so they lost a customer. AT&T will be out Friday to hook up my new internet. In the meantime, I’m using my phone. Fortunately, it’s an Android phone, so I can side load images onto it. I couldn’t do that with my last phone, which was an iPhone SE (waste of money.)
So, this may not look like much, but I got new nacelle bodies built. Much of what I’m doing on this ship is proof of concept, as I’ve never built components like these before and I’m also getting used to the quirks of different software. Still, it’s going well. This is only version 4 of the nacelles (the less said about versions 2 & 3, the better.)
Much of what I did was shape refinement. The first version had some mesh errors around the back, I eliminated those with the new shape. I also wanted them to be a much more complex shape than juat a simple half circle, so that took some refinement. The top cutout starts a little farther back and is deeper than it was on version 1. So that’s all I have for now. More to follow.
I didn’t get as much done over the weekend as I would have liked, but I had other things occupying my time. I think I have most of the materials where I want them. All that’s left is to do some fresh greebles and the name and registry. The nacelles still have the old registry.