Starship Project Update 13

Drum roll… This time I have taken 38 snapshots for this update beating the last update’s record of 33. There would have been a lot more pictures to show except I kept neglecting to capture every change. Since the last update I have created the Escape Pods, the bunks for the Crew Quarters, the tables and chairs for the Mess Hall, ail of the furnishings for the Officers Quarters, the door keypads and a few cosmetic changes. Along the way I have discovered quite a few shortcomings in the design of the ship which I will address later.

The first step in designing the Escape Pods was deciding where to put them and how big to make them. I decided to put them underneath the main corridor because there is over 6 feet of clearance between the bottom of the corridor and inside of the outer hull plating. The maximum length of the escape pod was determined by the width between the hull plating section bracing at 16’8. The width of the escape pods was determined by the the width of the protruding strip of blue hull plating underneath the ship at 11’. The typical size and shape of escape pods used in the Star Wars universe would not fit within this space. They are typically barrel shaped and exceed the maximum length I need. The design I came up with is closer to the design of a small shuttle craft.

I created a panel for the bottom of the hull plating that will be blown off when a pod is launched. The panels are held on by exploding bolts that explode when an electrical current is passed through their pyrotechnic charges. I am not going to bore you (or me for that matter) by going through all the details of the build up of the pods but I will instead just outline their features. They are accessed through the top hatch of the pod through an access tube accessed through the floor of the starship’s corridor. When marooned, I mean when landed, on the surface of a planet the window in the front is used as the escape hatch. The pod can act as shelter while you wait for rescue or hide from Krayt dragons. They each have the capacity for 8 crew members with enough fuel, air, water, rations and supplies for 4 standard days. The outside of the pods feature 4 small ion drive thrusters for forward propulsion and 8 pairs of maneuvering thrusters. The escape pods are attached to the ship with 4 exploding bolts on brackets attach to the outer tube or the main corridor. To get in to a pod you pull a red lever on the floor of main corridor and the floor cover raises up and the access tube and pod hatches slide open. The 8 passengers slide down into the pod, they then quickly argue about who gets to be pilot and the aggressive Senator from Alderaan takes matters into her own hands and orders the kid, the Wookiee, the professor, the smuggler and the gambler to sit down as she takes the wheel.

The design of the bunks I created for the crew quarters was inspired by the ones in a cross section drawing of the Millennium Falcon found on Wookieepedia. Each room has 4 beds and there are 8 rooms total. These beds, while small, really beat the heck out of the ones in modern nuclear submarines. The width of the “cubby holes” are wide enough for storage to sit along side the upholstered mattresses with a shelf for personal items. It is important for the bunks to be comfortable for lengthy deep space missions unless it’s an imperial starship. In that case comfort is thrown out the viewport. What’s the point of padding when you’re forced into wearing useless plastic and fiberglass storm trooper armor? If there is even a hint of blaster fire you won’t even have time to discover your bunk assignments before playing humanoid shield.

For the mess hall chairs I simply removed the armrests from the standard chairs. For the benches I took the chair and made it 2 and a half times wider with two pedestal bases. For the tables I created a rectangular top with rounded corners and created a ridge down the middle as a way to divide the sides of the table. I then created a pedestal base with a larger circumference than the chairs. I just realized that with chairs at the long ends of this table, the ridge in the way of whoever sits there. That won’t work; I’ll fix that once I publish this. Next I created a surround for the kitchen pass-through with a counter to rest food trays on. I am debating whether there should be an actual kitchen or to just use automatic food dispensers. Obviously there isn’t room for kitchen staff on a small blockade runner so if it’s going to be a kitchen then I will have to create rude cafeteria droids to insist that no droids are allowed in line.

For officer quarters I adapted the crew bunk by turning it into a single bed. That was easy. I then created a desk by modifying the ready room desk design to be linear so it would sit against the wall. I then decided the room was rather empty and I decided to create a sitting area. I accomplished this by first looking for inspiration on the web. I found a cool modern couch design that I liked so I created my own version. It has rounded hollow arm rests that the seat cushion flows through and it has an adjustable back than can fold down if necessary. After I was done with the couch I created a “brewed beverage” table using a couch armrest tipped on it’s side with a multi-tiered table top. The room still seemed empty so I placed a second couch facing the other. I moved the desk and seating around until it all looked right. I was going to also model the interior of the bathroom but after I researched that idea I decided to instead forego that and make the door closed for now. Besides, when do you actually see the bathroom on the Millennium Falcon? You know there is one somewhere but do you really need to see it?

The last thing I did was to create the door control pads. I made the one for the pocket doors first. There is nothing much to them: Just some buttons and small status screen on a rounded corner rectangular plate. For all of the other doors I made a version with more buttons and a small speaker and microphone intercom. The 2 types of bulkhead doors needed the control pads to be mounted differently so I made housings for each type to fit on the door frames. I will make additional control pads for the access tube hatches, lighting and elevators and lifts soon.

I decided to clean up the names of components for better organization. While doing so I found a bunch of mistakes in the model that I needed to fix. The problems were just minor stuff like misalignments and and some inconsistencies. There is still a lot of cleaning up to do with the names of components which I will continue to work on.

As I mentioned early I have discovered some shortcomings that the ship has. The main entrance is on the bridge which could cause a security risk while landed on a planet or in an airlock. There is no computer core or a place for it. No hyperdrive! I wasn’t aware that the big engines on a Star Wars type ship are only for sub light speed. Hyperdrive uses equipment on the inside of the vessel. To house the hyperdrive and other systems there should be a dedicated engineering room. There are no rear facing weapons. That was the major problem with the most well known blockade runner, the Tantive IV. I will address each of these issues in future updates.

See the gallery below or here to see what was added this update:

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