In this update I will cover the work done on the Helm Section of the ship so far. The majority of the work was done on the pilot stations including the computer consoles, flight controls and the pilot seats. It might not seem like much but the work done here will be reflected in nearly all future computer consoles and work stations on the ship.
I am looking to make a unified design across the ship. Because the ship is intended to be new and in unused condition, there won’t be a mismatch of parts from different ships and manufacturers like the heavily worn and used ships like the Millennium Falcon or the Tantive IV.
First up in designing the helm was finding the right position for the pilots. This was a bit of a challenge based on the design of the viewport for the Helm Section. I decided to grab a 3D model of man sitting down as a stand-in from the Trimble 3D Warehouse (formerly Google) to find a place on the Helm that would allow for the pilot’s to see out and still be able to stand up without hitting their head on the viewport window. The viewport as originally designed was too short for the stand-in so I removed the lower solid grey part of the window and raised the stand-in by a foot. I then moved the stand-in forward as far as I could to give the pilots the widest field of view as possible.
For the pilots consoles I had to do some research on the appropriate layout. I settled on using the layout of the Tantive IV Bridge (Tantive IV again? Yeah, I know.) as a guide. There were a few good screen captures from Revenge of the Sith that gave me enough of an idea on what should be there. Because the shape of the Helm’s viewport I made the consoles wrap around to the sides. The basic profile of the consoles are based in part on the Tantive IV and the Millennium Falcon and will have components built on top of the basic shape.
Between the two pilot stations on the Tantive IV is a center console with some levers on both sides with a display screen in the middle. I created something similar on my ship. At this point I assume the levers are the throttle controls. I have seen similar levers in other ships in the Star Wars movies so they must be standard equipment. The display screen would aid in navigation and allow for video feeds to be received for communications. It is also used in programming the hyperdrive computer. I added an array of indicator lights some buttons to the console for some detail. I want to add enough detail to computer consoles but not so much to bloat the size of the model’s SketchUp file.
After I was done with the center console I modeled the walls for the forward section of the Helm. I again borrowed the design of the arched wall sections from the Bridge to transition from wall panels in back of the Helm to the front. With that done I created a foot tall platform will 2 steps up to keep the pilots at the right height to see out. The steps have the same profile as the ones on the Main Bridge. The Helm Section needed a ceiling so I made a flat ceiling that stops at the top of the main viewport.
Now that the walls and ceiling was done I went back to working on the pilot stations. The pilot stations are comprised of a flight console with digital gauges (to be drawn in Photoshop), an auxiliary controls module and an in-ship communications module and some data storage modules. The flight controls consist of a digital touchscreen control panels and two palm joysticks. The auxiliary controls are for operating exterior lighting, the Landing Bay doors and the landing gear. The communications module is used to communicate with the Main Bridge, Engineering, and the Observation Tower. The data storage modules do just what they say: store data.
The only thing missing for the pilots are their seats. The design of the pilot seats I made are inspired by the pilot seats from the Tantive IV, the Millennium Falcon and various seat designs on Star Destroyers and other Imperial space craft. The base of the seat is pretty much a copy of the base of the seats on the Tantive IV but with larger stabilizer feet. The backrest is tapered much like the seat backs from many Imperial spacecraft. The seating surfaces are ribbed with synthetic hide. The shape of the headrest is similar in shape to the seats behind the pilot seats on the Millennium Falcon. Some interesting trivia I found while researching seats is that those seats were actual shells of a particular model British ejector seat that had been mostly stripped down.
Also on the back of the pilots seats is what appears to be an air tank, some tubing and some kind of control box. This detail was seen on the pilot seats from the Tantive IV. I can only speculate that the purpose of this equipment was to securely hold the base to the floor without the use of bolts so the seats could be re-positioned. It might also control the seat height and adjust according to the user.
What’s next? I have already started work on the back half of the Helm Section which will be more computer consoles on walls. I have also planned a unique design for the seats for those consoles and they will fold out of the way when not in use.