Since the last update I decided to finish the engineering section before writing any updates and because of that there are 110 images in this post all related to the Engineering Section.
Here’s what was done:
- Matched the colors of the suspended catwalk to the catwalk in the Landing Bay.
- Changed all the wall panels to the utility wall panel design.
- Widened the rear tower to accommodate the Reactor Core.
- Designed and modeled Reactor and fuel storage tanks.
- Designed the Power Distribution Unit, power conduits and power consoles.
- Created ceiling lights based on Landing Bay.
- Designed Water Treatment Plant and Trash Incinerator.
- Merged the small controls rooms with the main room eliminating doors.
- Added computer consoles to room and created standing wall computer consoles.
- Designed the main computer racks and created moving maintenance platforms.
- Created utility wall boxes.
First off r added color to catwalk in the middle of the Engineering Section to match the colors used for the catwalk sections in the Landing Bay. That was not a problem. I then changed out the entirety of the wall paneling that I had added a long time ago with the utilitarian paneling used on the bridge that initially came from the Escape Pod Junctions. The reason for the change is to differentiate the work areas from the corridors and crew quarters.
Every starship needs a Power Core and even though it isn’t necessary to really show this in the model, I wanted to make sure I was leaving enough space for the Power Core in the base of the rear tower of ship. From looking at a cutaway view of the Venator-class star destroyer I can see that the power core is a massive grenade shaped chamber located below the ship’s rear tower. I keep referring back to the Venator a lot because it is a good template for how the large ships are laid out in the Star Wars Universe. To accommodate a big enough power core I had to expand the width of the base of the tower. The power output needed to connect to the top of the Engineering Section so I made sure there would be enough room around it.
The design of the Power Core looks a lot like the one in the Venator-class; it is just scaled down to fit in this ship. I created to basic shape by creating its profile from curves and line segments and then used the ‘Follow Me’ tool around a circle as if I had used a woodworker’s lathe. I then created a pipe with a 90 degree elbow to connect the Power Core to the center of the Engineering Section ceiling. I then added some detail to the neck of the Power Core and set its final colors. Next I cut out space in the rear tower to accommodate the core. Once there was space for the Power Core I needed to securely attach it to the ship so I modeled brackets for the neck and another to cradle the ‘globe’ which I later changed to surround it instead of just below it otherwise in space travel it may become dislodged which would be a complete disaster.
Once the Power Core was designed, it needed fuel tanks to store the volatile matter/antimatter fuel. I went on the assumption that there should be one tank for each the ‘matter’ fuel and the ‘antimatter’ fuel because mixing the two would cause the reaction that the Power Core is supposed to contain. The Power Core supposedly works by combining matter and antimatter thus releasing energy as the two substances annihilate one another. I have no idea how to antimatter is contained in a vessel made of matter because it seems like it would just eat at the ship until it’s equivalent mass was absorbed so I’ll leave that to the Sheldon Coopers of the world to figure out. The fuel tanks were always intended to be encased in the lower bulges of the rear tower so thankfully it actually worked out that way. The cylindrical tanks I created are connected to the rear fascia of the ship. I added connectors to the left and right side of the Power Core neck for the fuel lines. Then I created a path for the fuel lines and used the Follow Me tool to create the fuel lines. I copied the face of the fuel line into the geometry of the rear tower so the fuel lines are encased in the hull. Finally, I created nozzles for refueling the tanks on the face of the rear fascia.
The Power Core connects at the top of the Engineering Section so there needed to be something in that area to distribute the power not only to the hyperdrive but also the main engines, the weapons and the rest of the systems aboard. Originally I was going to have the entire Power Core in the middle of the Engineering Section and that’s why the catwalk didn’t just go straight across the middle of the room. When I researched what a power core would look like for such a large ship I found there was not enough room to put it there. In place of the Power Core I decided to fill the space with some kind of power junction which is now called Power Distribution Unit at the time of this post. Starting at the middle of the Engineering Section ceiling I made a tapered hexagonal protrusion with a cylinder extending all the way down to the floor. In the middle of the cylinder I created a hexagonal box that would serve as the junction box for the six main power conduits coming from the Power Core. I then connected it to the protrusion in ceiling with six small cylinders just for some more detail.
At this point I got distracted by the ceiling and modeled the ceiling with light boxes like the ones in the Landing Bay. To fit the ceiling lights I raised the roof just like I did in the Landing Bay. I had to reposition the support cables on the top of the catwalk to line up with the ceiling panels to affect as few of them possible.
After the ceiling was tackled I started work on the power conduits. On the junction box, I designed the ports where each conduit section starts. From there I created the profile of the power conduit and created the 90 degree corners and the straight sections. Each power conduit goes down nearly all the way to the floor and then curves back upward and over the top of the catwalk. The reason they dip down is so they could be routed through a control console which I will address next. Once over the top of the catwalk two of the conduits on either side of the Power Distribution Unit connect to panels on the side walls of the Engineering Section. Each of these conduits is assigned to one of the four main engines. The rear facing conduit connects to the ceiling of the Engineering Section and is assigned to the hyperdrive and the rear laser cannon. The front facing conduit connects to the ceiling and is assigned to the main heavy laser cannon and weapons forward of the Engineering Section. These power conduits also power the rest of the vital systems of the ship in addition to their primary roles.
The ship needs to be able to monitor and control the power being output to its many systems. To address this I designed a power console to be attached to each of the power conduits coming off of the Power Distribution Unit. The console is attached inline of the power conduit at the bottom where the conduit dips down and goes back up. The controls of the consoles consist of two rows of switches and 3 levers borrowed from the Helm consoles and two new elements resembling parts seen on the tractor beam generator that Obi-Wan Kenobi deactivates allowing the Millennium Falcon to escape from the Death Star in A New Hope. When I was satisfied with the power consoles I decided to add a glowing stripe of illumination to the power conduits.
After I was done with the main power conduits and power consoles I decided to add some smaller conduits that run across the floor from the base of the Power Distribution Unit to the walls of the Engineering Section to power just the systems inside the Engineering Section. Because they run across the floor I created some ramps for the workers to walk over the conduits on the floor because otherwise they would be a tripping hazard. Again, there is no OSHA in Star Wars but why not be a little safety conscience and cause a little less Wilhelm screams.
At this point the Engineering Section was looking very blank and devoid of detail even after adding the Power Distribution Unit. I decided to add some utility systems to the room that wasn’t in the previous ship I finished. The first is the Water Treatment Plant. I did some research on what water treatment plants look like on actual ocean going vessels and I found some pictures of different machines involved in waste processing and water treatment so I modeled a machine using many of the details from those machines combined them into one. Waste water comes in from the side wall of the Engineering and then goes through a series of filters where it is treated until the water is safe and potable. The water is then pumped into the storage tanks above and ready to be pumped to through the ship on demand.
The corner on the other side of the room needed something so I decided to add an Incinerator. I thought about making it a trash compactor and have it dump out of the bottom of the ship but a light bulb went off in my head with a better idea. I came up with an idea of an incinerator that conveys it’s ash up into the Power Core where it is then annihilating along with the fuel so nothing has to be ejected into space, it’s just gone. The filters in the Water Treatment Plant get incinerated when they are replaced as well making a complete waste management system.
Originally there were to be two control rooms attached to the Engineering Section but after thinking about it I decided to eliminate the rooms and make the space they occupied alcoves instead. The reason for the change is that it seemed too closed in and small in those rooms. Only a little bit of floor area was gained but it made the room flow a lot better.
Moving on from the utilities, it was time to work on adding computer consoles to the Engineering Section. First I added a bunch of the wall consoles from the Helm to the alcoves. Then I decided to make some new wall consoles but this time they are for standing up instead of sitting down. These new consoles are similar to the others except the work surface is at the appropriate height for standing and the light canopy has been removed. The controls are also different with the addition of slider controls and knobs. The communications control box and data storage module have been truncated to fit on the consoles and a keyboard is integrated into the work service with a display screen to save space. These Standard Wall Consoles are located on the side walls of the Engineering Section.
Next I created an expanded version of the Standing Wall Console that is twice as wide for monitoring the main engines and it includes a large display screen. I removed the controls below the screens so the large display screen was big enough to show large schematics of the engines. To fill the space on the work surface I added the details on the power consoles to the right of the rest of the controls. I put two of these consoles on both side walls of the Engineering Section, one for each main engine.
I needed a place for the ship’s main computers that was relatively safe from any problems that might come up so thought they would go above the wall consoles in the alcoves. The only problem being is there needed to be a way to access them for maintenance. The solution I came up with was a motorized platform on a track with a ladder to get to the platform. It is pretty simple and its mechanism is borrowed from the seat mounted on a track for the curved wall consoles on the Main Bridge lower level. The track in this case is straight and goes from the alcoves to the front of the Engineering Section along the side walls. I could have simply added another floor to access the computer racks but I didn’t want the Engineering Room feeling too closed in. The control for the lift is the end cap on the safety rail and would twist on way other the other to move the platform back and forth (I just made that up because I just realized I never added controls).
The computer racks were pretty simple to make. They are similar to the ones in my 210CR blockade runner. There are 16 individual CPUs in each rack and there are 10 racks, five in each alcove. The face of each CPU has a small display screen, indicator lights, switches and a part borrowed from the center console of the Helm Cockpit.
The final work done this time around was just some minor details. I added two of the expanded wall consoles on the back wall of the Engineering Section between the alcoves. I added wall boxes from the ship’s corridors to either side of the bulkhead doors at the front of the room. I updated those boxes with the indicator lights used on the computer consoles and that same part to put on the CPUs from the center console of the Helm Cockpit. And finally I added a new type of wall box to the wall panels at the same level as the Main Computer Rack along the side walls. The purposes of these wall boxes are for extra detail and for the maintenance crews to access the wiring that might be in the walls.
What’s next? I will be finishing the rear entry of the ship and potentially the cargo holds. Wish me luck.