24th Century Cruiser Part 11

This is a more substantial update than the last one. I got the rest of the saucer section windows in. I put quite a lot of windows on the saucer bottom, to fit with other Star Trek ships. And, to fit with other ships, some of them are at a more extreme “downward” angle than I’d like them to be, but that’s how Starfleet rolls, I guess. And, to finish up the windows, I did the structure under the bridge too. I also redesigned my phasers to be more like TNG phasers. The ones I had before were too “poofy.” These are flatter. And, of course, more escape pods. There are an odd number of those on the bottom, but I’ll even it out up top as there are still more to add up there.

There are 55 escape pods in the lower saucer, added to the 36 up top and that’s a total of 91. As I said previously, the pods can hold up to 6 people for a total of 546 people. However, ordinarily the pods hold only 4 people, for a total of 364. The pods would only have to be filled to max capacity if the ship was carrying extra people. After all, the shuttles can also be used to abandon ship. I don’t figure the ship has a crew anywhere near as many as there are escape pods. That’s normal, though, as the ships do sometimes carry extra people. The Enterprise-D had enough pods for 1400 people, plus shuttles, and a crew of only a little over 1000. Even though this ship is the same size as a Constitution class, I figure it only has a crew of about 350, owing to modern automation and stations/departments that are no longer necessary in the 24th century. IE: the ships no longer have communications officers, as the tactical and ops officers usually handle communications. The helm and navigation stations were also combined into one flight control station. We have to assume other redundant departments would be combined and unnecessary ones removed. This trend is evident by the Galaxy class having a crew of only a little over 1000 when it’s much larger than a Constitution class. The Enterprise-A in Star Trek VI had a crew of 500.

Anyway, that’s what I have for now. I may move on to the secondary hull next and get those grid lines and windows knocked out.

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24th Century Cruiser Part 10

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.

24th Century Cruiser Part 09

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.

24th Century Cruiser Part 08

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. 🙂

24th Century Cruiser Part 07

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.

24th Century Cruiser Part 06

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.

24th Century Cruiser Part 04

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.

24th Century Cruiser Part 03

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.

24th Century Cruiser Part 01

So, it’s that time again. I’ve started another ship. Hopefully, I’ll actually finish this one, as I have a bad habit lately of starting and not finishing things. Though, I’ve switched to Blender, so anything I was working on in Lightwave, including that Enterprise model, won’t be finished. That’s just how these things go. I’ve fought with getting Lightwave to work with Linux, but it just won’t. The license won’t install correctly. I found out on their forums that it has to do with the fact that there’s no Windows firewall. Lightwave 2018 uses a network render service by default. Even if you don’t use this feature, you can’t install the license without the firewall activated. But, such is life.

So, moving on. I had the urge to do something from the 24th century. I decided to do a cruiser, the same overall design and layout of the Constitution class, in fact it’s even about the same size as a Connie refit. Design elements are a blend of Connie-R, Excelsior and Ambassador. By 24th century standards, this would be a smaller cruiser, when stacked up against the Excelsior and Ambassador.

Most of the main elements are at least started. There’s more work to be done, of course, but the overall layout is there. There’s been a lot of pushing vertices and subdividing to get to this part. Everything is box modeled, as messing with splines is a pill.

Anyway, more to come on this (hopefully.)