In the last update I wrote I said I would be working on the interior of the ship so that’s what I have been doing. I started by finishing off all of the corridors by designing the floors and ceilings and adding materials to the walls. That part of it was very monotonous and took some time but it was pretty easy. The last thing I did was to create the interior space for the Heavy Turbolaser Turret in the middle of the hull.
The first task since I wrote the last update was to add the materials to the walls of the corridors. It was a very repetitive task but it needed to be done. I also made simple designs for the floors that I repeated throughout the corridors. I didn’t take any screen captures of all that because there isn’t much to see.
After the walls and floors were finished, I went on to the ceilings. Looking for inspiration on the web, I did a search for hallway ceilings in fancy office buildings. After looking for a while I found something that would work but it wasn’t exactly what I was thinking of.
With a few changes to the design I had seen, I designed some ceiling panels with smooth edges and arranged them the way I wanted. I then added some ceiling lights that would go down the center of the ceilings with strips of red lights for the entire length of the corridor section. Near the side walls, I added spot lights to the ceiling panels. After I felt that the basic ceiling design was done I gave it a rest until the next day.
By the next day I decided the smooth edges of the ceiling panels didn’t match the look and feel of the ship so I changed them all into raised beveled panels that looked more in theme with the design.
Surrounding the perimeter of the ceiling design I modeled moldings for the top of the walls to abut against so there can be a smooth transition to the ceiling panels. For doorways along the side of the corridors I have extended the ceiling moldings out from the walls to add some more detail.
After the general design of the ceilings was done I applied it to all the corridor sections and created new components along the way as needed. Once the regular corridor sections were done I moved on to the Turbolift Junctions. Because I had designed a starburst design ceilings above the Turbolifts in other parts of the ship, it was fitting to continue with that design so I did that using the same beveled profile from the rest of the ceiling panels. Once I was satisfied with the design for the ceiling of the Turbolift Junctions, I adapted it to fit the wide Junctions that flank the Engineering Section.
The Heavy Turbolaser, mounted on the mid hull, was initially modeled 2 years ago but it took me until now to finally finish it by adding the interior to it. The time that it has taken for me to get to this point with the ship is shocking because I thought I would be done with the entire ship by now. I already knew what I wanted to do with the interior back then and it was just a matter of time that I would get back to it; but 2 years? Anyway, first thing I did was to create a way for the crew to access the interior of the weapon. There is a hatch located at the bottom of an access tube that leads up to the inside of the turret. Inside the tube is a ladder that is designed to extend to the floor below the hatch in ceiling. There are motors that activate to lower the movable section of the ladder to the floor. The diameter of the tube on the inside was 5 feet and 1/2 inch when I made it. It’s a weird dimension and way to wide for what is needed. Later on while modeling the interior I changed it to 3 feet to allow more space to walk inside the turret.
I could have made the turret remotely operated like all of the guns on my first ship but that is just not what you see in the Star Wars movies. The gunner is physically engaged in battle sitting in a seat that moves with the gun. Because the gunner is inside the turret, the seat only moves as the elevation of the gun barrels change. The gunner’s seat design was borrowed from the Tactical Bridge’s pivoting command station. It is positioned right in the middle of the turret’s center of gravity to reduce the g-forces placed on the gunner’s body when the turret rotates on its axis. The placement of the gunner puts them right above the access tube, so, in order for them to get inside the turret, the seat was mounted on a telescoping pivot to move the seat out of the way when not in use.
The gunner needs to be able to see what he is targeting so the next thing I worked on was the display. My original concept was to have the display projected on the curved wall in front of and above the gunner but I discovered too much of the view is obscured when the gun elevation is rather steep. To fix this I came up with a curved display that tilts along with the gunner seat. The view above and below is still somewhat obstructed but my thought is it would be aided by something on the display that alerts the gunner to objects above or below the display’s current position.
For the gunner controls of the turret, I wanted to do something similar to what is seen in the Millennium Falcon. After finding a bunch of screen captures from the movies, I found that the controls in the Millennium Falcon were suitable for a seat that spins around rather than mine that only tilts. So, in the alternative, I found a pictures of the control setup on a M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (It looks like a tank to me, but what do I know?) and I decided to use that as the basis for the appearance of the controls. One side of the controls operates the pitch of the turret and the other operates the rotation of the turret. There are two-step triggers on both control sticks to prevent misfiring and each control stick fires their own gun barrel.
In the back of the Heavy Turbolaser Turret interior, behind the gunner, there are two computer consoles for the targeting computer, communications and a direct link to the Tactical Bridge. These consoles are derived from the ones in the rest of the ship. I removed a section from the standard wall consoles to lower the overall height of the consoles. I removed the display screen on the console and added controls for the power output of the cannons. The last thing I added there were steps leading up to the consoles.
The final thing I did to the interior of the Heavy Turbolaser Turret was decreasing the diameter of the access tube and to add a ladder extension to help crew members climb in and out which folds when not in use. The reason I added the ladder extension is that it would be nearly impossible to climb out of the access tubes without a hand rail to grip their hands upon.
What’s next? Either the Infirmary or the Briefing Room.