The ship is now complete (yay!) and I am now working on a map of the interior. I have been working on this project on and off for over 4 years and I finally have a complete ship. The ship still needs a name so hopefully I come up with one. This update outlines the final work done on the model.
Here is what I have added or finished since the last update:
- Added more escape pods
- Created Gunner Stations
- Finished the Torpedo Launch Room
- Modeled the Proton Torpedoes
- Designed the Torpedo Launchers
- Designed a special droid to load the torpedoes
- Somewhere along the way, I created Secondary Cargo Holds
- Added some more detail to the exterior of the ship
- Designed a space for the Hyperdrive Generator
- Designed the Hyperdrive Generator
- Created a lab for droids to operate from
- Created an airlock and tunnel system for Astromech Droids
- Added droid power alcoves
- Created a worktable with robotic arms
- Added storage rooms and workbenches
- Created a room for auxiliary backup power storage
- Made force fields for the landing bay doors
- Added miscellaneous details to the hull of the ship
- Added Refreshers
- Overhauled the naming of components to create consistency
- Corrected errors and stray edges
After determining the approximate amount of crewmembers and passengers that the ship would normally carry, I found out quickly that 12 escape pods were not enough. The Tantive IV only had four escape pods that held a maximum of eight people per pod for the 46 crew and 39 diplomat personnel. That means 53 people are out of luck if they must abandon the ship. This ship has beds for 200, 13 more if you include 6 prisoners in the brig, 4 patients on exam tables and 3 in recovery rooms in the Medbay. My escape pods also hold eight people but maybe 10 in a pinch. That would mean I would need a minimum of 20 pods for 200 people. Another thing to consider is that the crew will likely work in shifts meaning conceivably even more people could be on the ship if more than one person uses the beds during the day.
To accommodate more escape pods, I first had to find room. I decided the mid hull of the ship was a good spot for me to add 4 more pods. Then, I thought, what if the launch tubes could hold two escape pods, one atop the other. There was plenty of room for that so I implemented that idea. There are now two escape pod junctions on Decks 3 and 5 in the mid hull section with a turbolift in the middle. It works out great because before there were just empty rooms next to the turbolift shaft that I did not know what to do with.
The next part of the ship I decided to work on were the gunner stations where all of the gun turrets are controlled. I decided to put the gunner stations in two rooms on Deck 5 directly under the Mess Hall. The ship has 18 turrets (excluding the big one) so each room has 9 gunner consoles and one comm. console for communication with the Main Bridge and Tactical Bridge. The gunner consoles started as the standard computer wall console. I removed the screens, lights and buttons and replaced them with one large views screen. I removed the keyboard, replaced it with the controls from the Heavy Turbolaser cannon, and created a radar screen to go above the controls. That was easy.
For a long time the Proton Torpedo tubes have been a fixture on the front of the ship and I even had a place set aside for the launching mechanisms but I never got around to finishing it until now. The actual torpedoes are supposed to be the same kind that Luke Skywalker used to blow up to first Death Star. The difference being, they are stock versions, not the ones the Rebels modified to increase their range and payload. They are Krupx Munitions MG-A model torpedoes (Oh, and just so you know, Star Trek used photon torpedoes and Star Wars uses proton torpedoes.) I did some research to find the proper diameter of the torpedoes and that was not so easy. I compromised on making them 11 inches in diameter that was close to the average of the dimensions I found. I modeled the torpedoes based on the diagram from an X-Wing cutaway diagram. The strange part of their design is that only the conical tip of the torpedo is the projectile bur the rest of it stays behind when fired. This is not how actual torpedoes work. I also designed crates to hold the unused torpedoes.
The main challenge here was the design something that would automate the loading of the torpedoes. I thought of many different design of varying complexity. I finally landed on making an apparatus that works like a giant revolver. Each launcher holds eight torpedo shells. Once a proton torpedo is fired, the spent shell is pulled from the launch tube breach; the next torpedo rotates into position and is pushed into the breach before it is ready to fire.
Loading the launcher is handled by a droid that I designed to interface with the torpedoes. I was initially going to make some kind of gantry to handle it but that would have been more difficult to pull off. The droid is able to move the storage crates, open the crates, latch onto the torpedoes, hover over to the launcher and place the torpedoes inside. Its design is based on few different droids: the DRK-1 probe droid from The Phantom Menace, one version of a Gonk droid and Viper probe droid from The Empire Strikes Back.
As I said earlier, somewhere along the way I added Secondary Cargo Holds. This is because I failed to capture images when I was working on them. Anyway, they are located on Decks 4 and 5 between the new Escape Pods and the Gunner Stations in the Mid Hull Section. Each one is two decks high with a bulkhead door on the floor that opens to the ground below the ship when landed. I designed a lift on the wall that cannot only move cargo between the two decks, but it also extends below the ship to take cargo in or out of the hold.
Next, I decided to start working on a space for the Hyperdrive to be. My original thought was to put it somewhere above the main entrance in the back of the ship but there was not room after the Matter/Antimatter reactor was put there. So, instead I opted to put it in front of that under the Tactical Bridge. I wanted a place for a lab for droids so it is part of the same complex for the Hyperdrive. I wanted to make it easy to replace the Hyperdrive if it were to burn out like on the Nubian yacht used in The Phantom Menace. In the film, the replacement hyperdrive is seen being lowered through the ceiling once it was secured in the pod race so I decided to put a hatch in top of the hull for access. There is a large piece of hull plating above the hatch to protect the Hyperdrive from being fired upon and must be removed to access the hatch. Along the way, I added some grooved detail to the red part of the Rear Hull. The point of the detail added is to make the opening for the Hyperdrive less obvious.
Now that there was a place for the Hyperdrive, I put in the turbolift shaft where the room would be accessed. I used to turbolift shaft from the Main Bridge because the part of the room for the Droid Lab has the height of two decks inside. I did not like that the Hyperdrive could not be sealed off from the Droid Lab so I decided to split the room with a large bulkhead door, the same kind from the Main Cargo Holds.
Moving on to the actual Hyperdrive Generator… I liked the design of the hyperdrive generator from The Phantom Menace so I made something similar but on a larger scale and far, far less detail. I borrowed the hyperdrive motivator from my 210CR blockade-runner, made it the same from front to back and placed three of them in the middle of my new Hyperdrive Generator. I do not know if that design makes sense but I thought it looked good.
The Hyperdrive Generator fits into two large pins in the floor and on either side at the top, there are clips that drop into the top of the generator to secure it fully in place.
The Hyperdrive Generator needed power so I split off or the main power conduit from the Matter/Antimatter Reactor into the back of the Hyperdrive rear wall. I used the same power conduits from Engineering to connect to the three round units on the generator. Each conduit has a power console just like in Engineering. I reconfigured the consoles to fit the layout of the room. Two more power conduits and consoles lead power up into the Tactical Bridge above.
The last thing I did to the Hyperdrive was to add some detail to the large plates to the generator so it did not look so plain.
I decided to add a lab for droids after watching the “Secret Weapons” episode of The Clone Wars season 5. In the episode, a bunch of droids, including R2-D2 set out on a covert mission to capture a decryption module. Before they leave on their mission, they go to the research and development lab for upgrades needed for the mission. I thought that this ship could use a workshop for droids to be worked on and for the repair droids to use as a home base. I also wanted to have an airlock just for astromech droids accessing the outside of the ship while in space.
First thing I did was work on the airlock idea. The location of the Droid Lab was a convenient place for a tunnel to the outside the ship at the base of the rear tower. I came up with the idea of a small chamber on a turntable where a droid would back up into the chamber and the chamber would then turn 180 degrees while maintaining an air-tight seal. Once the chamber has turned, the droid the drives through a tunnel and opens a door at the end of the tunnel to the outside of the ship.
The lab from The Clone Wars was flanked on two sides with charging alcoves for the droids. I created charging alcoves on the back wall of my lab to accommodate the standard width of Astromech Droids that I used when creating the airlocks. I went to test fit an accurate model of R2-D2 into one of the charging alcoves and it did not fit so I had to add more space. I also had to redo the airlock components because of my error.
The research and development lab from The Clone Wars had a large worktable in the middle of the room along with robotic manipulator arms above the table for working on the droids. There is also a robotic arm for picking up droids and putting them on the worktable. I made a table that looks a lot like the one from the show and then started working on the robotic arms. The robotic arms can move in almost any direction the hold just about anything. They would also be able to use tools in addition to the pincers.
There was not enough going on in Droid Labor so I decided to add workbenches with upper cabinets on the port side and starboard side. I then added a wall console to both sides. There were no storage areas for the room so I added rooms on both side of the lab that are filled with shelving. The shelves are the same ones I made for the storage area in the ship’s galley.
I did not feel the lab was done but I had an idea to work on another part of the ship. In the main entrance of the ship, above the bulkhead door there is an enclosed catwalk that leads to doors on either side of the room. Originally, these were for accessing the main engines from the inside for maintenance but that turned out to be impractical. I had an idea to add backup power storage for the ship and there was enough room for a narrow three deck tall room on both side of the ship. I decided to fill them with large arrays of batteries. The batteries are arranged on octagonal towers that are the height of three decks tall. The battery array towers rotate to access all of the battery segments for replacement and repair. There is a lift mounted to the opposite wall from the battery arrays to access each level of the room.
Back in the Droid Lab, I had forgotten to add the necessary power harnesses for charging the droids in their alcoves. With the power harnesses added to the sides of each alcove, they now resemble antique gas pumps from Earth. With this detail added the droid lab was finished.
99.9% of the interior of the ship was now complete but instead of finishing it, I instead turned my attention to the outside of the ship. The Landing Bay blast doors should only be closed in the event of force field containment failure but I failed to create the look of active force fields. I used the same technique I used for the force fields in the Armory but scaled up to the proper size. I created the images for the force fields in Photoshop and made them almost transparent. I could have added more to indicate the force field but I think it looks good the way it turned out. The force fields are dynamic components so they can be turned on and off with the click of the mouse.
The outer fascia of the port and starboard sides of the Landing Bay was very much devoid of detail so instead of leaving it that way I went ahead and broke up the flat will with a pattern of groves to add some texture to it. The shield generators on the outside of the ship had last some of their detail somehow so I fixed that.
And there you have it. After four years of work, I finished the ship by adding TOILETS to it!
While the ship’s design is done, I am working on ways of displaying the work I have done. I am working on creating deck plans to serve as a map of the ship. This is going along nicely and it even entails making no visible changes to the model for capturing the interior layout of the ship for the deck plans. While working on this I discovered many stray line segments and various errors and component collision problems. I have resolved all of those minors issues that I saw. I also overhauled the naming of the components so they were all named consistently.
What’s next? Finishing the deck plans, adding scenes to model for showing the various areas of the ship and for making an image gallery for the finished model and coming up with a name and its specifications for the website.