It’s been about 4 months since my last update on the ship’s progress but that’s because I have been busy working on other things. I could have written something a lot sooner except I decided to wait until I completely finished modeling the Bridge. Well, ‘completely’ might be an exaggeration because I will probably think of something else to add to it.
So, this time around I was able to do quite a bit. In the Helm section of the Bridge, I added computer consoles and a ceiling fixture. On the Main Bridge… I added computer consoles to the crew pits, designed a curved workstations with large tactical screens, designed controls for the doors and turbolifts on the ship, finished the docking ring airlocks, reconfigured the Bridge with regards to the Ready Room and Conference Room while finishing both rooms, changed out the entrance for the Bridge with something more substantial, added a Command Salon after shrinking down the Ready Room and finally created some star chart screens.
Starting in the Helm section, I modeled the wall consoles in the back portion. I started out by using the blank console component from the helm station and created wall sections for them to hang on. I then created spacers that would join the wall consoles together. I then made corner consoles to match. After that was done I came up with a design for the seats for those wall consoles. I could have just used the same seats I modeled for the pilots but that would be the easy way out, these stations needed something purpose built. The design I came up looks somewhat like a saddle but once you sit on it, the actuators unfold the backrest and headrest that are stored in the base. When you stand up, the backrest automatically stow in the base. The design prevents you from having to pull out the chair sit, rotate the seat move the chair into place; you just straddle the seat and you are ready to go. The seats have been dubbed as “straddle seats”.
After the straddle seats were done it was time to add the actual controls for the wall consoles. First they needed lighting so I added some pot lights and glow panels above the work area. The blank consoles from earlier had various controls added that were adapted from the ones I used for flight controls in the front of the Helm. I then added buttons, switches and different display screens to the wall panels above the console piece. I played around with the color scheme until I found something I liked. Then I thought the consoles were missing something so I added keyboards to them along with cup holders (yes, even people in space get dehydration.) In my 210CR, the keyboards were just flat touch screens but this time they are actually keys to press making them less Startrekky (no offense, I also like Star Trek but this is for a Galaxy far, far away).
The back of the half section needed a ceiling fixture to add some interest to the design. To accommodate this I had to bump up the height of the ceiling. In doing this I also had to raise the hull plating above the section.
Next, I moved onto the Main Bridge. The first thing I did was add some computer consoles to the crew pits in the middle of the bridge. These are basically the same as the wall consoles in the Helm section with the upper wall panels removed. To accommodate the amount of console stations I wanted I re-sized the pit sections by narrowing the ramp in the center of the space. I also moved the doors to pit so there would be a straight path without consoles in the way.
I was thinking about what would go in the room below the entry level of the Main Bridge and I thought it would be a good quiet place to coordinate tactical and strategic decisions. What I ended up doing was creating a large curved wall console with large display screens with a workstation attached the wall on track for moving about. The curved wall panels for the tactical consoles were based on the wall consoles from the Helm section. The seat for this workstation uses the pilot seat without the base and is mounted to a motorized dolly on a curved track. The arm that attaches the seat to the dolly has a control panel attached to it for the operator to move along the track and control the console.
Next I added some small rooms in the crew pits that were previous dead empty space. I not sure of their purpose but probably be for storage and utility. Now that I think about it, they could also be used for weapons targeting. I also added a small refresher room that is tucked in under the ramp for the bridge crew and is accessed in the room below the entry level of the Bridge.
The Helm section had four blank consoles left to be designed so I made another console design that combine the functions of astrogation (navigation in space) and communications allow for some versatility. Its layout is based on a console seen inside the Millennium Falcon in A New Hope.
The bulkhead and interior room doors of the ship and turbolifts still needed controls to operate them so I decided to get that out of the way. For the bulkhead doors I designed a small control panel that fits into one of the light panels on one of the wall dividers that go next to the doors. The control panels have buttons for controlling the doors, indicator lights and an intercom to facilitate closed door communications. That concept isn’t anything new as it is pretty much the same on many sci-fi space genre TV shows and movies. For the bulkhead doors at the end of corridors, I also modeled data ports for droids with a scomp link like Artoo.
Now that the door controls were done I decided to work on finishing the airlocks for the Docking Rings on either side of the Bridge. First of all, I determined that the airlocks were way bigger than were necessary so I shrunk down the airlocks and created an alcove for the entrance to both airlocks that are 3 wall panels wide. As I was making the changes I found a previous mistake that threw off the modeling for the docking ring ports, which I missed. I guess sometime along the way I moved the empty airlock component without noticing which threw off the alignment of subsequent parts attached to it. Once I fixed the minor setback I finished the floor, ceiling and walls for the airlocks. The wall surrounding the docking port received a cowling on either side of the port. As I was doing this I finished the other half of the hinges for the docking port doors that I neglected to model when I designed the doors. Now that there was an alcove for the entrance to the airlocks I found space for yet another storage or utility room.
The only remaining rooms on the Bridge to complete were the Ready Room and the Conference Room. These rooms were originally going to be contained in their own separate bulkheads but I decided that was no longer necessary and it would allow me to make the rooms larger. The first thing I did was put up the wall panels for both rooms. I decided to move the entrance to the conference room to the far end instead of the side to give the room better flow. The entrance to the Conference Room is now in the port side airlock alcove.
The Conference Room needed its most prominent feature to be designed — the conference table. I wanted to do something nice for the conference table. I designed it to attach to a large desk that I would also use in the CO’s Ready Room. The desk has a round base reminiscent of the table at Chalmun’s Cantina where Han Solo shoots Greedo first. The desk’s top is diamond shaped with beveled edges with a small control panel for the commanding officer or visiting higher ranked individual to use. The top of the desk base has a decent side holo-projector built in to it. The conference table extension that interfaces with the desk can accommodate up to 12 individuals. Each setting has a display screen as well. The table has a linear holo-projector that can be used for displaying battle plans as well as allowing someone to address the people at the table over HoloNet. The seats at the conference table are the pilot seats without the headrest and the gear on the back. The seat for the desk is the same as the one for the other people at the conference table except it is somewhat bigger.
I got to thinking about making the main entrance to the Bridge though the Main Corridor a lot more substantial. To me, the best way to do this was to replace the current bulkhead door with the kind that slams down instantly when telling it to close like the one for the control booth of Docking Bay 327 on the Death Star. I already had doors like that on the ship for the cargo compartments so I decided to use it as the basis for this door. I found that the door slab wasn’t thick enough so first I made them thicker for the cargo doors. Next I put the cargo door in place of the bulkhead door on the bridge then I re-sized it to fit. Once I did that I found that the frame around the door was way too big to match the scale of the entrance so I made a new frame that was similar to the frame to the one around the interior doors. I found that the new bulkhead door was interfering with the standard bulkhead door in the level below so I ended up having to integrate it with the new one so there was no more overlap. That defeats the whole idea of modular design but it was a tradeoff I had to make. I then added a data port to finish it off.
Now this update is running long…
The next thing I decided to do was add viewports (windows) to the Ready Room and the Conference Room. They windows are nearly the same as the ones in the briefing room except they are not nearly as wide. I had to change the blast door design a little to fit it in the hull of the ship because of the lack of depth in that part of the hull. To accommodate the windows inside the ship I had to push the walls of the Ready Room and Conference room outward to make the walls of the ship not so thick.
Now it was time to finish the Ready Room. First off, the room was too big so I moved the back wall forward by 9 feet. After that I created a place for a refresher because the Commanding Officer should have his own refresher. Next, I thought the Ready Room needed some shelves the put stuff on behind the desk so I moved that wall inwards by 2 feet and designed a shelving alcove with lighting in it. The middle of the alcove needed something on its back wall so I ended up putting a Republic Insignia there. I also tried out a Rebel Alliance and an Order of the Jedi emblem as well because I am not sure whom the vessel will belong to.
The Ready Room was almost finished but still needed some things. It needed some kind of display screen so I made a simple border-less display screen on the back wall so the CO can see it from the desk. The display screen could display just about anything the CO wants and it could be used for others to present information to him or her. I also put the same screen on the inner side wall of the Conference Room for the same purpose. The last thing I added to the Ready Room was a sofa on the wall for the CO to rest on.
Because I moved the back wall of the Ready Room forward, a space was left for some computer consoles in the starboard airlock alcove. On a Star Destroyer there is something called a Command Salon so that is what I am call this area. I simply re-used to wall consoles for the Helm section. If somewhere down the road I want to make different wall consoles for the section, I can easily do it.
The final thing I did on Bridge was add some freestanding see-through display screens on either side of the turbolift. Screens like this are used by the Rebel Alliance in the Star Wars Trilogy as what seem to be star charts that they use to plot locations of planets and vessels for tactical reasons. I originally put 4 of them on the bridge but they were slowing down the rendering in SketchUp so I removed two of them and the program sped back up. I don’t know when or what will happen once this model is too big to handle. I imagine I will have to use my imagination.
What’s next? I will probably be working on the corridors of the ship to get them in color and close to their final design. They need floors and ceilings for the most part. I will see what happens.