Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 25 – Modeling is completed!

The ship is now complete (yay!) and I am now working on a map of the interior. I have been working on this project on and off for over 4 years and I finally have a complete ship. The ship still needs a name so hopefully I come up with one. This update outlines the final work done on the model.

Here is what I have added or finished since the last update:

  • Added more escape pods
  • Created Gunner Stations
  • Finished the Torpedo Launch Room
    • Modeled the Proton Torpedoes
    • Designed the Torpedo Launchers
    • Designed a special droid to load the torpedoes
  • Somewhere along the way, I created Secondary Cargo Holds
  • Added some more detail to the exterior of the ship
  • Designed a space for the Hyperdrive Generator
    • Designed the Hyperdrive Generator
  • Created a lab for droids to operate from
    • Created an airlock and tunnel system for Astromech Droids
    • Added droid power alcoves
    • Created a worktable with robotic arms
    • Added storage rooms and workbenches
  • Created a room for auxiliary backup power storage
  • Made force fields for the landing bay doors
  • Added miscellaneous details to the hull of the ship
  • Added Refreshers
  • Overhauled the naming of components to create consistency
  • Corrected errors and stray edges

After determining the approximate amount of crewmembers and passengers that the ship would normally carry, I found out quickly that 12 escape pods were not enough. The Tantive IV only had four escape pods that held a maximum of eight people per pod for the 46 crew and 39 diplomat personnel. That means 53 people are out of luck if they must abandon the ship. This ship has beds for 200, 13 more if you include 6 prisoners in the brig, 4 patients on exam tables and 3 in recovery rooms in the Medbay. My escape pods also hold eight people but maybe 10 in a pinch. That would mean I would need a minimum of 20 pods for 200 people. Another thing to consider is that the crew will likely work in shifts meaning conceivably even more people could be on the ship if more than one person uses the beds during the day.

To accommodate more escape pods, I first had to find room. I decided the mid hull of the ship was a good spot for me to add 4 more pods. Then, I thought, what if the launch tubes could hold two escape pods, one atop the other. There was plenty of room for that so I implemented that idea. There are now two escape pod junctions on Decks 3 and 5 in the mid hull section with a turbolift in the middle. It works out great because before there were just empty rooms next to the turbolift shaft that I did not know what to do with.

The next part of the ship I decided to work on were the gunner stations where all of the gun turrets are controlled. I decided to put the gunner stations in two rooms on Deck 5 directly under the Mess Hall. The ship has 18 turrets (excluding the big one) so each room has 9 gunner consoles and one comm. console for communication with the Main Bridge and Tactical Bridge. The gunner consoles started as the standard computer wall console. I removed the screens, lights and buttons and replaced them with one large views screen. I removed the keyboard, replaced it with the controls from the Heavy Turbolaser cannon, and created a radar screen to go above the controls. That was easy.

For a long time the Proton Torpedo tubes have been a fixture on the front of the ship and I even had a place set aside for the launching mechanisms but I never got around to finishing it until now. The actual torpedoes are supposed to be the same kind that Luke Skywalker used to blow up to first Death Star. The difference being, they are stock versions, not the ones the Rebels modified to increase their range and payload. They are Krupx Munitions MG-A model torpedoes (Oh, and just so you know, Star Trek used photon torpedoes and Star Wars uses proton torpedoes.) I did some research to find the proper diameter of the torpedoes and that was not so easy. I compromised on making them 11 inches in diameter that was close to the average of the dimensions I found. I modeled the torpedoes based on the diagram from an X-Wing cutaway diagram. The strange part of their design is that only the conical tip of the torpedo is the projectile bur the rest of it stays behind when fired. This is not how actual torpedoes work. I also designed crates to hold the unused torpedoes.

The main challenge here was the design something that would automate the loading of the torpedoes. I thought of many different design of varying complexity. I finally landed on making an apparatus that works like a giant revolver. Each launcher holds eight torpedo shells. Once a proton torpedo is fired, the spent shell is pulled from the launch tube breach; the next torpedo rotates into position and is pushed into the breach before it is ready to fire.

Loading the launcher is handled by a droid that I designed to interface with the torpedoes. I was initially going to make some kind of gantry to handle it but that would have been more difficult to pull off. The droid is able to move the storage crates, open the crates, latch onto the torpedoes, hover over to the launcher and place the torpedoes inside. Its design is based on few different droids: the DRK-1 probe droid from The Phantom Menace, one version of a Gonk droid and Viper probe droid from The Empire Strikes Back.

As I said earlier, somewhere along the way I added Secondary Cargo Holds. This is because I failed to capture images when I was working on them. Anyway, they are located on Decks 4 and 5 between the new Escape Pods and the Gunner Stations in the Mid Hull Section. Each one is two decks high with a bulkhead door on the floor that opens to the ground below the ship when landed. I designed a lift on the wall that cannot only move cargo between the two decks, but it also extends below the ship to take cargo in or out of the hold.

Next, I decided to start working on a space for the Hyperdrive to be. My original thought was to put it somewhere above the main entrance in the back of the ship but there was not room after the Matter/Antimatter reactor was put there. So, instead I opted to put it in front of that under the Tactical Bridge. I wanted a place for a lab for droids so it is part of the same complex for the Hyperdrive. I wanted to make it easy to replace the Hyperdrive if it were to burn out like on the Nubian yacht used in The Phantom Menace. In the film, the replacement hyperdrive is seen being lowered through the ceiling once it was secured in the pod race so I decided to put a hatch in top of the hull for access. There is a large piece of hull plating above the hatch to protect the Hyperdrive from being fired upon and must be removed to access the hatch. Along the way, I added some grooved detail to the red part of the Rear Hull.  The point of the detail added is to make the opening for the Hyperdrive less obvious.

Now that there was a place for the Hyperdrive, I put in the turbolift shaft where the room would be accessed. I used to turbolift shaft from the Main Bridge because the part of the room for the Droid Lab has the height of two decks inside. I did not like that the Hyperdrive could not be sealed off from the Droid Lab so I decided to split the room with a large bulkhead door, the same kind from the Main Cargo Holds.

Moving on to the actual Hyperdrive Generator… I liked the design of the hyperdrive generator from The Phantom Menace so I made something similar but on a larger scale and far, far less detail. I borrowed the hyperdrive motivator from my 210CR blockade-runner, made it the same from front to back and placed three of them in the middle of my new Hyperdrive Generator. I do not know if that design makes sense but I thought it looked good.

The Hyperdrive Generator fits into two large pins in the floor and on either side at the top, there are clips that drop into the top of the generator to secure it fully in place.

The Hyperdrive Generator needed power so I split off or the main power conduit from the Matter/Antimatter Reactor into the back of the Hyperdrive rear wall. I used the same power conduits from Engineering to connect to the three round units on the generator. Each conduit has a power console just like in Engineering. I reconfigured the consoles to fit the layout of the room. Two more power conduits and consoles lead power up into the Tactical Bridge above.

The last thing I did to the Hyperdrive was to add some detail to the large plates to the generator so it did not look so plain.

I decided to add a lab for droids after watching the “Secret Weapons” episode of The Clone Wars season 5. In the episode, a bunch of droids, including R2-D2 set out on a covert mission to capture a decryption module. Before they leave on their mission, they go to the research and development lab for upgrades needed for the mission. I thought that this ship could use a workshop for droids to be worked on and for the repair droids to use as a home base. I also wanted to have an airlock just for astromech droids accessing the outside of the ship while in space.

First thing I did was work on the airlock idea. The location of the Droid Lab was a convenient place for a tunnel to the outside the ship at the base of the rear tower. I came up with the idea of a small chamber on a turntable where a droid would back up into the chamber and the chamber would then turn 180 degrees while maintaining an air-tight seal. Once the chamber has turned, the droid the drives through a tunnel and opens a door at the end of the tunnel to the outside of the ship.

The lab from The Clone Wars was flanked on two sides with charging alcoves for the droids. I created charging alcoves on the back wall of my lab to accommodate the standard width of Astromech Droids that I used when creating the airlocks. I went to test fit an accurate model of R2-D2 into one of the charging alcoves and it did not fit so I had to add more space. I also had to redo the airlock components because of my error.

The research and development lab from The Clone Wars had a large worktable in the middle of the room along with robotic manipulator arms above the table for working on the droids. There is also a robotic arm for picking up droids and putting them on the worktable. I made a table that looks a lot like the one from the show and then started working on the robotic arms. The robotic arms can move in almost any direction the hold just about anything. They would also be able to use tools in addition to the pincers.

There was not enough going on in Droid Labor so I decided to add workbenches with upper cabinets on the port side and starboard side. I then added a wall console to both sides. There were no storage areas for the room so I added rooms on both side of the lab that are filled with shelving. The shelves are the same ones I made for the storage area in the ship’s galley.

I did not feel the lab was done but I had an idea to work on another part of the ship. In the main entrance of the ship, above the bulkhead door there is an enclosed catwalk that leads to doors on either side of the room. Originally, these were for accessing the main engines from the inside for maintenance but that turned out to be impractical. I had an idea to add backup power storage for the ship and there was enough room for a narrow three deck tall room on both side of the ship. I decided to fill them with large arrays of batteries. The batteries are arranged on octagonal towers that are the height of three decks tall. The battery array towers rotate to access all of the battery segments for replacement and repair. There is a lift mounted to the opposite wall from the battery arrays to access each level of the room.

Back in the Droid Lab, I had forgotten to add the necessary power harnesses for charging the droids in their alcoves. With the power harnesses added to the sides of each alcove, they now resemble antique gas pumps from Earth. With this detail added the droid lab was finished.

99.9% of the interior of the ship was now complete but instead of finishing it, I instead turned my attention to the outside of the ship. The Landing Bay blast doors should only be closed in the event of force field containment failure but I failed to create the look of active force fields. I used the same technique I used for the force fields in the Armory but scaled up to the proper size. I created the images for the force fields in Photoshop and made them almost transparent. I could have added more to indicate the force field but I think it looks good the way it turned out. The force fields are dynamic components so they can be turned on and off with the click of the mouse.

The outer fascia of the port and starboard sides of the Landing Bay was very much devoid of detail so instead of leaving it that way I went ahead and broke up the flat will with a pattern of groves to add some texture to it. The shield generators on the outside of the ship had last some of their detail somehow so I fixed that.

The final thing the ship needed was foe me to finish adding refreshers (bathrooms) to the areas I intend for them to be. I copied the components for the refreshers from the staterooms added before.

And there you have it. After four years of work, I finished the ship by adding TOILETS to it!

While the ship’s design is done, I am working on ways of displaying the work I have done. I am working on creating deck plans to serve as a map of the ship. This is going along nicely and it even entails making no visible changes to the model for capturing the interior layout of the ship for the deck plans. While working on this I discovered many stray line segments and various errors and component collision problems. I have resolved all of those minors issues that I saw. I also overhauled the naming of the components so they were all named consistently.

What’s next? Finishing the deck plans, adding scenes to model for showing the various areas of the ship and for making an image gallery for the finished model and coming up with a name and its specifications for the website.

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 24

Now that the Crew Bunk Rooms were finished I could move on to the rest of the crew quarters. I ended up creating just three types of State Rooms: One for the most senior officers (8), one for officers (8) and the last one for general crew members of the ship (64). I did one thing to the Mess Hall and the Galley that I had forgotten to do before starting on the rooms.

I discovered that a forgot to make something for collection of the dirty food trays in the Mess hall so I worked on making that first. Basically I created a wall panel with three slots that go through the wall of the Mess Hall and into a cabinet inside the Galley. There are three receptacles inside the cabinet that remove when full of dirty trays. I didn’t make anything for cleaning them but I guess there would be a droid for that.

The first type of State Room I worked on is the largest and it is for Senior Officers and any guest passengers of the ship. These are located right off the main bridge just outside of the portcullis-like blast door. I started off by designing all new wall panels. Each wall section has four horizontal panels instead of two large squares or eight smaller squares that is seen throughout the ship. The light crown and floor molding is based on the standard type but I made them a lot more shallow. The wall section dividers were then made to follow the contour of the light crown. I wanted the living areas to have a softer look than the work areas and I think the new components accomplished that.

I laid out the room with the new panels while leaving space for the head (bathroom). I went ahead and modeled the head using the the wall panels from the Crew Bunk Room’s head. I made a single vanity sink along with the mirror also based on the ones in the other room. I added the waste extractor and the shower pod and that part of the State Room was done with exception to the ceiling.

Since the Large State Room are for officers, I felt they deserved to have a desk to use outside of their command duties. I had thought curved wall panels in room corners would go well in the room so I made one with a four-foot radius where the desk would be. I started with two curved panels at the top of the wall section and one at the bottom. I left the flat panels in the remaining area and made a desktop that curved outward atop of the bottom curved panel. I then made flat surface under the second curved panel down from the top of the wall section and put a pot light in the middle of it to illuminate the desktop. I thought it looked odd with the two upper curved panels so I reduced it to just one at the top of the wall. Once I pasted in a chair from the Situation Room in front of the desk it was done.

Next, the room needed a storage locker… I decided on using the storage locker from the Crew Bunk Rooms, so to make space, I pulled the wall panels next to the head forward by two feet. I made a two foot radius curved wall panel to transition from the head door to the locker.

The room needed a bed and I opted for the equivalent of a queen sized bed. I didn’t take any screenshots of the bed as I modeled it but it wasn’t hard to make. Because it is in the corner of the room I made a headboard that wraps around the wall. I wanted the bed to look as though it was floating, so, much of it is cantilevered over the floor. The mattress sections came from the beds in the Medbay and were re-sized to fit the bed.

With the bed in the corner of the room there was a lot of space left to fill in the room so I decided to add a sitting area across from it. First off, I made the corner opposite of the bed round as well. I added a niche shelf to the corner for some detail. For the chairs I took just a few moments to come up with an idea for what they would look like. I just made a path and a profile and used the Follow Me tool to create the shape of the chair and then the Fredo6 Round Corner extension to round the bottom edges of the ‘cushioning’. The end table was made the same way and made in a slight arc so the chairs slightly face each other.

The room needed more storage so I made an open closet unit next to the locker I added earlier. It is really no different from a standard closet organizer. Again, no need to reinvent the wheel.

The last thing I did in the large State Room was add the ceiling. I added the standard ceiling bezel and created curved sections for the rounded corners. Instead of using ceiling tiles, this time I made the ceiling one large glowing light source that would be designed to give the room soft ambient and natural light. I suppose it could also display a natural looking sky if the occupant wanted.

The two other types of State Rooms are just derivatives of the large one except they are much smaller and have bunk beds for double occupancy. The bunk bed unit is directly based on the bed in the recovery rooms in the Medbay. When I made the beds for the Medbay I designed them exactly for the purpose of adapting the design for bunk beds later on. I removed the medical equipment on the side of the bed and replaced it with step-ladder rungs.

The smaller rooms needed storage so I made the panels below the lower bunks into lockable storage drawers.

As far as placement in the ship, there are 8 State Rooms in the Escape Pod Junction corridor. These rooms include a corner desk just like the one in the large State Room. They accommodate 16 crew members total. The rest of the State Rooms, which account for the majority of them, are off of the narrow corridors above and below the middle deck corridor for a total of 64 double occupancy rooms. These rooms combined house 128 crew members. Add these rooms to the 4 large State Rooms plus the 4 Crew Bunk Rooms the ship can accommodate a crew of 196.

What’s next? The ship is nearly completed and most of the rooms are done. I have added some more Escape Pods and reconfigured the locations of some of the rooms since the progress in this update and will address that in the next update I write. I will also be adding the gunner stations and finishing off the torpedo rooms. I am currently thinking about alternatives to the Turbolifts if power to ship is theoretically lost as well.

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 23

After finishing the Mess Hall and the Galley I started working on the Crew Bunk Rooms.  These rooms are intended for the flight and engineering crew but not for other personnel and senior officers who will have state rooms. There are four of these rooms for housing 48 crewmembers. The layout of the rooms had already been established and the design for the bunk pods was already done but now was time to put the rest of the design together.

Starting with what I had done already, I applied materials to the existing components including the bunk pods. I then added the standard ceiling details to the room as well as adding the floor.

The bunk rooms needed an area for the bunk-mates belongings so the next thing I worked on was adding lockers to the wall opposite to the pods. To make space for the lockers, I moved the wall they would be on away from the bulkhead so the lockers would fit flush with the wall. After the wall was moved I fixed the ceiling to line up with the wall’s new position. The dividers between the panels on the wall had lights and I figured they would be too bright for people trying to sleep so I made a new divider without lights.

For the design of the lockers I first went on the Internet to look for inspiration for their design, but, after no luck finding a design I liked, I just started modeling something. I made the cabinet for the locker with a place for the lockable door and an open cubby below. To make the wall look more visibly interesting, I made the locker doors alternate from top to bottom along the wall. The locker doors were modeled with rounded front faces. I created an inset with a thinner profile just to add detail. The locker doors needed locks (hence lockers) so I made a push button lock with a handle. Finally, I decided the lockers shouldn’t go all the way to the crown on the ceiling because they would be too hard to get access to so I shortened the lockers significantly.

After the bunk pods and lockers were done it was time to work on the Head and the Shower Room. For the showers I opted again to use a pod like design. The showers have a cylindrical interior with sliding doors for privacy. Each one has a rain shower had centered at the top of the interior with a drain in the floor. Once the showers were designed, I added the wall panels and ceiling tiles to the area for the head and the showers. The wall panels are simple with only a beveled edge on their perimeter and very like gray. I played around with the layout of the room and eventually settled on having just four showers on the right-side wall with a partition wall dividing off the room.

Moving on I started working on waste extractor (toilet) stalls. The waste extractor design is based on the one in my first ship like the one in the Brig. The stalls each have two doors that would operate in unison as they open and close. The design isn’t much different from ones in the real world and there is no need to stray too from that design.

For the sinks in the head, I again borrowed from my first ship design. I neglected to take any screen captures as I worked on this but it’s no big deal here. Instead of individual sink tubs I created a long L-shaped trough along the walls. The mirrors were just resized to fit the wall panels. The faucets were changed so they would come out of the walls and have buttons for controls. I put the hand drier and the soap dispenser on either side of the faucets on the wall.

Now that the Head and Shower Room was done the only thing left to do was put in a bench in front of the lockers for the crew members to dress themselves. The bench design is modular so it can be used pretty much anywhere need on the ship.

What’s next? I will tackle State Rooms and the rest of the crew quarters.

Untitled Capital Ship Project Detour: Dynamic Components

detour1Halfway through working on the Mess Hall and Galley for my starship, I was given the opportunity to work with the Pro version of SketchUp for a period of time so I decided to spend it creating dynamic components for my starship project.

I had never worked on creating dynamic components before so it was a tough go at first. I didn’t seek out to do anything too fancy, just to automate doors for opening and closing with the interact tool, aim weapons, position seating, raise and lower platforms and in one case, I made one of the holoprojectors “functional”. I didn’t know what to do at first so I studied examples of basic animations and the code behind them from example models and models in the SketchUp 3D Warehouse. Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 22

Since the last update I wrote I have been able to finish the Mess Hall and the Galley as well as finish the design of the Crew Bunk Rooms. I will save the Crew Bunk Rooms for the next update and focus on the Mess Hall and Galley this time. I would have finished this a lot sooner except I took a detour which I will explain later.

A long time ago in a room not so far, far away… I thought up a way to make eating very efficient for crew members on a starship by means of tables using conveyor belts. The idea is that the crew member get’s their food on a tray from the Galley pass-through and they sits down at the nearest available table. The table consists of conveyor belts (for the benches and table top) so when the crew member takes their seat they are slowly moved down the bench towards the end of the table. After 5 to 10 minutes (speed depending on who is in charge) when they reach the end of table, time is up and they must return their tray to the Galley. If they aren’t done eating, they will just have to eat faster the next time. If they aren’t paying attention to the time, they might just find themselves on the floor. How embarrassing… How embarrassing… Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 21

Since the last update, I haven’t done anything to the model because I am behind on writing updates on the project. The Brig and the Armory are now done and I am happy with the results. After this, there is not much left to do until I consider the ship complete. I still don’t have a name for the ship but I will think about it eventually.

The Brig is reminiscent of Detention Block AA-23 on the Death Star where Princess Leia was being held prior to her self-assisted rescue by the less than tall enough Stormtrooper and the scruffy looking nerf herder. It’s not nearly as big as the detention block nor does it have a smelly Wookiee resistant trash chute but it gets the job done. Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 20

Just like last time, I moved on to the next part of the ship without first writing about what I had just finished.

Anyway, this post is about the Medbay. I had done some preliminary work in the Medbay back when I was calling it the infirmary but I left it a blank room with just the bacta tanks borrowed from the last ship I made.

Instead of making it one huge open room, I decided to add an office for the supervising physician on the main level as well as three recovery suites on the upper floor. There are four exam/operating tables, a waiting area, storage area and a small laboratory in addition to the bacta tanks. Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 19

This post covers the final work done on the Briefing Room. I have since finished the Medbay (formerly the Infirmary) and I will cover that in the next update. This was a rather simple room to finish because all it was missing were the railing on the upper level, a large tactical holoprolector, seating for the lower level and the ceiling design for the room.

First off I decided to make the opening of the upper floor circular instead of square as I had left it before. Making it round would give the crew an equal vantage point for viewing the holoprojection from the upper floor during the briefings. Around the circle there are four other openings in the floor for no real purpose other than aesthetics. Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 18

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. Continue reading