In the last progress update I addressed the creation of the escape pods and the piece of the hull section corresponding to the pods. This time I am going over the modeling of hull behind the Escape Pod section and including the basic design of the sub-light engines. A lot of work on the model has been done beyond what will be covered in update so I am running behind on the updates. But, it’s not like there is a deadline on a hobbyist project like this… Now that the ship is really starting to take shape I am now posting pictures throughout the updates.
First up I worked on the Dorsal Corridor that goes from the Hangar Catwalk to the Bridge Section. I removed the top part of the Escape Pod Hull Section to make room for the Dorsal Corridor. Starting with a narrow corridor section I removed the door openings, cut the top half off and stretched it to the length of Dorsal Corridor. Then I designed the profile of the canopy to be similar to the shape of the Hangar Catwalk only upside down. I extruded the profile to the length I wanted for each canopy section. I then designed the “ribs” between each canopy section. After I was happy with the design I copied each section until I filled the entire length of the corridor. I then made the terminated ends of the corridor that connect to the other sections of the ship. The lower walls of this new corridor need wall panels and dividers so I fleshed them out with standard wall panels and created new wall panel dividers that were half the normal height.
Now to join the Dorsal Corridor to the rest of the future hull I created a cowling that would act as a junction and run to the edge of the Hangar Hull. I got inspiration from the Consular-class ship, the Radiant VII, that was used by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and the Padawan Obi-Won Kenobi to board the Trade Federation battleship at the beginning of The Phantom Menace, which was then destroyed. But before it was destroyed it had a dorsal corridor that connected to a cowling on either end and that was the basis for the cowling on my ship. To make this design work I had to make a narrower turbolift junction to fit inside the new cowling.
I then got inspired to finally add some color to the ship. I made the main hull color a dark grey. The Dorsal Corridor looked a bit boring so I added a strip of dark red as an accent color. These colors may eventually change but for now I think it looks good. To properly display the colors of the ship in the SketchUp Style that I use I have to make sure every piece of the model uses only one color so the lines on the edges of objects are the same color as the color of the faces of the objects. The only time individual faces have a unique color or material is if it is intended to be a light source or surface detail. If you are not careful when the edges are set to be the same color as the object’s material you can end up with flashing edges that show up when using the camera controls to move around the model. When I colored the Dorsal Corridor, I went back into the components and divided them into groups of pieces to isolate the colors I‘m using.
For the Mid-Hull Section between the Escape Pods and the Hangar I basically extended the profile of the end of the Escape Pod hull section to the Hangar. Because not all of rooms in this section would fit into this shape I widened the top and bottom out to the full width of the hull section to make everything fit. This left it with the sides appearing flat, so I made a raised panel for the outside of the walls and colored it in a contrasting lighter grey. I suppose this would act as additional protection for the Briefing Room contained inside the section.
At this point I decided to add windows on either side of the Briefing Room. On the inside, the cutout for the window is surrounded by a cowling similar to the internal windows overlooking the inside of the Hangar. On the outside of the hull I created a cutout for the shape of the window and beveled the inside edges to make the windows look more deliberate. For the transparasteel windows themselves, I made them the same shape as the inside of the inside window cowling and made them 6 inches thick. I also designed bulkhead doors that will slide across the outside of the windows in the event of the windows being broken from enemy fire. The bulkhead doors are not apparent to the casual observer because they are one big door with a hole in the shape of window opening and work like a guillotine.
To transition the Mid-Hull Section into the Hangar hull I created another cowling to go from the Dorsal Corridor cowling to the top of the Hangar. I then created the basic shape of the Hangar Hull Section. It is slightly pointed to avoid it from looking flat and thrown together. I beveled the edges parallel to the ship instead of rounding the edges like I might tend to do. I then inset the front faces of the Hangar so I can later add random details to the surface that are seen on vessels from the Star Wars Universe. These details would serve no real purpose but to add an industrial feel to the ship.
For the Hangar Bulkhead Door openings on the Hangar Hull, I made them the same shape as the inner perimeter of the bulkhead door cowling on the inside. I decided that I should also inset the space around the outside of the Hangar Hull Bulkhead Doors. Because there wasn’t enough space on the side of the hull to do this I just framed out larger side panels with beveled corners and merged them with the side of the hull. I was looking at hangar door openings on some ships from Star Wars and found that many had a luminescent border to highlight the entrance s I added a similar element around the doors. After contemplating what to do next I decided I didn’t like how the angle of the front of the Hangar Hull transitioned into the cowling so I made it flat where the pieces meet. Next I colored the Hangar Hull Section in dark grey. The Landing Bay doors needed an opening in the bottom of the hull so I took care of that.
After some thought I decided the ship needed an Observation Tower at the stern for tactical purposes. It is similar idea to the bridge towers on a Star Destroyer or even an aircraft carrier or battleship for that matter. Also, I needed something tall in the back of the ship to house the smaller backup sub-light engines that I created placeholders for. I started out making a tower that was similar to the one on a Venator-class Star Destroyer except for only one structure on top instead of two. I made it about 7 decks high from the top of Deck 5. It looked a bit strange being as narrow as I made the tower so, to compensate for that I added bulges to either side. The bulges could possibly be for fuel storage and/or the main reactor but that hasn’t been decided.
I needed to extend to tower to the back of the ship and I needed there to be a turbolift shaft right under the Observation Deck. This required the tower to extend farther forward than my initial intent. I had no need for more rooms to be in the back of the ship so I left it at 3 decks. I didn’t want a bunch of wasted space there so I contoured the rear of the hull into the lower height of the stern of the ship. The back of the tower was too narrow for the backup sub-light engines so I made the width of the tower widen in the back and taper towards the front. I tried to make it look good with the tower all the way to the back of the ship but it wasn’t working for me so I pushed the part above the bulges forward. This caused me to eliminate one of backup engines. I then made the face of the back of the tower slightly sloped and added a ridge to finish it off.
The next thing I did was work on the rear fascia of the ship. I made a panel to fit the shape of the back of the ship and created a surround for the loading ramp. The large part above the ramp would probably house the Hyperdrive Generator. This is approximately where the Hyperdrive Generator is located on a Venator-class Star Destroyer. On the panel I added a beveled edge and inset the face of the fascia. To add more detail a spacer was put between the hull and the rear fascia.
Now that I got to this point it was time to work on the sub-light engines. Unfortunately I failed to capture images of the buildup of the engines and the struts they are attached to so I will summarize the best I can. First I removed the place holders and then I went a different direction that I had originally intended again. I got inspired again by the Consular-class Radiant VII and I decided to make the engine layout similar to that. The Radiant VII has three main engines and they are evenly spaced and in line with each other. They are attached to wing shaped struts and then attached to each other. I made some wing shaped struts and made the front of the engines and attached them to the struts. I had to give the engines a proper scale and when I got them to a size that looked good I realized they were almost touching the ground if the ship were to land. To fix this I skewed the tips of the wings upward a bit. I was going to have just 2 main engines and have 2 backup engines but I decided the 2 main engines were very far apart. There was enough space for 2 more main engines so I decided to have 4 main engines and forego the idea of smaller backup engines. I then went back and extended the rear fascia along the back of the winged struts.
The back of the engines were based on the engines from a concept sketch of the Rebel Blockade Runner. They are big and bulky and just what I was looking for. Inside the engines is a turbine that I borrowed from my last ship only this time twice the diameter. I decided to make the outer two engines about 20 feet shorter than the inner ones and visually I think it looks better. The last thing I did was try a few different paint schemes and settled on one that looks balanced. The whole ship might end up with a different paint scheme but this will work for now.
In the next update you will see the Bridge Section and Observation Deck take shape. I’ve already done the work I just need to share it on the blog.
See the gallery below or here to see what was added this update: