Now that I finished working on the basic shape of the hull and the sub-light engines it was time to design the Bridge Hull Section and the Observation Deck.
The original idea for the front of the ship was to be rounded and to somewhat resemble the Tantive IV Corellian Corvette but after quite a bit of thought I have decided to change the layout of the bridge and make the front of the ship pointed. And how it turned out in the end is much different than what I had envisioned.
Earlier in the project I laid out the bridge section to be a series of rooms connected together with a wide main bridge. But, now I have decided to make the bridge interior similar to a Star Destroyer bridge which is longer than it is wide. On the previous ship I did something similar but this time it is going to be much closer to what is seen in Star Wars. Maybe I am overdoing it again for a small capital ship but the bridge is the most important part of the vessel.
First I took the existing rooms in the bridge and moved them down by one deck. I then copied the Mid-Hull Section plating and placed it in front of the Escape Pod Hull Section. I then widened it and gave the sides the profile of the narrow parts of the Escape Pod Section. I needed the hull to be even wider to accommodate the airlocks and docking rings so I made it wider with the profile of the wide part of the Escape Pod Section. At the same time I duplicated the cowling on the other side of the Dorsal Corridor, turned it around and put it on top of the Bridge Section. I then cleaned up the new hull parts and made them flush with each other.
Next I removed most of the rooms for the Bridge and replaced them with a single narrow room three decks high on the inside. The wall panels inside were mostly left the way they had been to be changed later.
Now I created the front fascia of the ship. This is another part of the design process that I neglected to take pictures of but to summarize…: I created a single face from the profile of the front of the ship and extruded it forward to give me enough to work with. I then created the front faces of the bridge hull making them swept back by 30 degrees both horizontally and vertically. On either side of the hull I pushed back a portion of angled front of the ship to define the weapon rooms that are on both sides of the Bridge. I then made the front of the Bridge swept back even farther at the corners. The front of the cowling above the bridge was made wider and sloped to match the front edge of the hull. Finally I cut out space for the main viewport.
I wanted to get an idea what the main viewport would look like so I quickly made a place holder until I got to it. The front of the upper bridge cowling was just three faces so I added the faces to the cowling and finished it by making it solid. The two ridges flanking the cowling needed to stop somewhere so I built a shape on to the front of the cowling for the ridges to terminate against. Next I finished off the shape of the interior of the bridge and hollowed out the front fascia. I then removed the placeholder for the main viewport.
The cowling on the top of the Bridge Section is the canopy for the Helm so it needed its own viewport. I designed the shape of the viewport by adding lines to the face of the canopy and once I was satisfied I cut out the shape of the viewport. The viewport was then modeled to be a foot thick. Next I modeled the main viewport making it also a foot thick. I decided the front of the ship looked a little too wide so I stepped in the sides a bit and I resized the rooms inside the hull appropriately. The side of the Bridge Section needed something so I added beveled hull panels that are similar to the ones on the Mid-Hull Section.
The Bridge Section was designed to have docking rings attached to airlocks like the last ship only bigger this time. To accommodate the docking rings I added a housing to the side of the Bridge Section. The housing is hexagonal with a short tube at the end and is tapered up to the top of the hull plating. When I merged the housing with the hull section it was slightly too wide and the side of it stuck out into the back of the hull section. I thought the accident looked good so I kept it. The beveled panel blocked where the docking ring will go so I cut out the part in the way.
I then took some time to work on the interior or the Main Bridge. After looking at the design of a star destroyer bridge I decided that I wanted the bridge to be tri-level. Sure, I am not fond of tri-level houses being a wheelchair user but in the case of a fictional starship I’ll never have to navigate it so it works great. On the bridge of a star destroyer there is an upper level that surrounds two pits that the bridge crew operates from. In my ship I didn’t want the upper platform to be too high so I designed it to be half a deck higher than the pits instead of a whole deck higher. Because the platform is lower than the main viewport there is room for control consoles to line the bottom edge of the viewport leave the view unobstructed. The rest of the bridge’s upper level is a full deck higher and a ramp takes you down to the area around the pits.
Now on to the Observation Deck… I’m not quite sure what it would be used for yet so I will figure that out as time goes by. The design is pretty straight forward: it is slightly arrow shaped and resembles a star destroyer bridge tower only it is a single deck. Once I finished the outer shape I decided it was missing something so I added some “wings” on either side. The top of the Observation deck and wings will have communications equipment attached to it and perhaps the sensor dish. The inside has had the basic wall panels put in and a turbolift shaft. The view port is designed the same way as the Mid-Hull Section windows except there is a bend in the middle and there is no emergency bulkhead door. There will be an emergency bulkhead for all exterior windows and viewports eventually except for the Helm Deck which could pose an issue.
What’s next? I’m as undecided as a Republican presidential candidate but, it will be good, trust me.
See the gallery below or here to see what was added this update: