Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 8

Untitled Capital Ship Progress #9This time I managed to do exactly what I planned on doing. I changed the main weapon a bit; I added more details to the hull, changed the engine layout and created more weapons

[notice]I am trying out a new way to display the images in these updates. Now when you click on a thumbnail (when reading on JediCharles.com) a larger version will pop up and you then have the option to cycle through all the images contained in the update gallery. This will eliminate the need for the flash based gallery that I have been including in the blog posts.[/notice] Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 7

After working on the Bridge section for a while I felt the need to work on other parts of the ship.

This project may seem scatterbrain, but that is because it is. To prevent boredom I have to move on to something else to keep my creativity going. Typically those who design stuff like this sketch it out on paper first and make several revisions before they even start creating a prototype model let alone the final 3D model or a physical model. That method probably makes the most sense but in my case I am completely digital and it’s out of necessity.

I started off creating a general layout of the ship’s interior in Photoshop but after that I went straight to modeling. I only had a general idea of what the exterior design would be. Pencil sketches of my ideas would really help but instead I let my ideas evolve as I model. Some ideas just don’t work and that is evident in the design of the main weapon as you will see. Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 6

Once again I did a lot of work on the ship without writing one of these updates so there will be 2 updates. In this update I am focusing on the designing of the front entrance of the ship, the front landing gear and the main docking rings. In the next update I will be covering the rear landing gear, the buildup of the primary weapon and a few exterior details.

In order to accommodate a front entrance for the ship I added on to bottom of the bridge section giving the ship a “big chin”. The additional depth of the bridge section allowed me to extend the turbolift shaft to the new entrance. In addition to being the front entrance to the ship, the new bottom of the bridge serves as the front landing gear. Continue reading

210CR Updated: New Docking Ports

The docking ports on my 210CR starship have bothered me since the day I modeled them because it was hard to make heads or tails out of the images of the Millennium Falcon’s docking ports that I could find at the time. The main problem is that nobody seems to know how they work and without a better photo it’s impossible to tell. But since I modeled the docking ports I was able to get a great close up when I went to the Star Wars Exhibit last May.

Still, even with the close up I wasn’t sure how they worked but I  was able to make out all of the details on the model. As I about to model the docking ports on my new starship project and it made me do some more research on the web to finally figure out how they work on the Falcon. Somebody came up with the theory that there are 6 small doors that open inwards with the center section attached to the top one. Finally it seemed to make sense. The inner doors are supposed to open inwards as well but the detail on the model simply doesn’t allow them to.

So, now that I had an idea about how they worked, I decided to completely redo the docking ports on the 210CR. To make them function I had to use a little artistic license and decided what certain parts would do. I made the parts that surround the doors a locking system that would hold the doors shut magnetically. Magnetism should be enough because the air pressure behind the doors would pretty much keep them shut in the vacuum of space.

The inner doors were the only parts that opened before but now, in contrast, they no longer open. Someday this will bug me and you will see another update like this one.

The new docking ports are now part of version 1.1 of the model and can be downloaded on the starship’s page.

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 5

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. Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 4

In the last progress update I addressed the creation of the escape pods and the piece of the hull section corresponding to the pods. This time I am going over the modeling of hull behind the Escape Pod section and including the basic design of the sub-light engines. A lot of work on the model has been done beyond what will be covered in update so I am running behind on the updates. But, it’s not like there is a deadline on a hobbyist project like this… Now that the ship is really starting to take shape I am now posting pictures throughout the updates.

First up I worked on the Dorsal Corridor that goes from the Hangar Catwalk to the Bridge Section. I removed the top part of the Escape Pod Hull Section to make room for the Dorsal Corridor. Starting with a narrow corridor section I removed the door openings, cut the top half off and stretched it to the length of Dorsal Corridor. Then I designed the profile of the canopy to be similar to the shape of the Hangar Catwalk only upside down. I extruded the profile to the length I wanted for each canopy section. I then designed the “ribs” between each canopy section. After I was happy with the design I copied each section until I filled the entire length of the corridor. I then made the terminated ends of the corridor that connect to the other sections of the ship. The lower walls of this new corridor need wall panels and dividers so I fleshed them out with standard wall panels and created new wall panel dividers that were half the normal height. Continue reading

Shadow “Duke” Rhodes, 1994-2011

Yesterday, a wonderful member of our family, our Pomeranian Duke, passed away at the age of 17. He was a great dog who was such big part of our lives. He lived a long happy life and made our lives better having him. He was no ordinary dog and didn’t take a liking to many people but once he got to know you, you were a part of his pack.

Duke and I had a special relationship. After my black Labrador service dog, Quetzal, passed away 12 years ago Duke decided to take over the reins. Every day he took it upon himself to watch after me and would follow me throughout my daily routine. Every morning he was there when it was time for me to get up. And up until his final years he would ride in my lap when it came time to leave my bedroom. There were countless times when Duke would know I needed something before I would even ask. He even knew when I wasn’t feeling well.

As for the rest of us he felt the need to be the lookout. He was ready to bark at anything that would pass by the house. It didn’t matter if it was a car, a person, cat, deer, rabbit, another dog or even an aggressive blue jay. And even though he was only 12 pounds, in his mind he was a big dog and was willing to take on anything to protect us, even when it wasn’t necessary.

We consider him a pure gift from God and felt blessed to have him. He brought great joy to my family and he will be greatly missed. We love you buddy!

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 3

It’s been a long time since I last written about my new starship project but I haven’t stopped working on it. I have taken 104 snapshots of my progress since the last update so I will be dividing it in half. I left off last time with the round turbolift and since then I have made quite a few interior layout changes, completed the escape pods (what a pain that was) and designed about 70 percent of the outer hull which I will address in the next update.

The first thing I did this time was putting up the basic wall panels in the infirmary. After that I took the Bacta tank from my 210BR and adapted it to fit in this infirmary.

At this point I looked at the ship from above and I realized it was just way too long. To shrink it down a bit I decided to remove the rooms between the engineering room and the turbolift junction and I relocated the rooms so they flank either side of the turbolift junction. To allow for this the cargo bays were shortened significantly. The new rooms are much larger and will accommodate a lot more equipment. I remade the infirmary and the bunkrooms to fit the new room shapes.

I decided that the engineering room should be 5 levels high so after changing that I changed around the adjoining turbolift junctions.

I then decided to mockup the approximate shape I wanted for the rear hull. I also created mockups for the sub-light engines. The final engine layout will be addressed in the next update.

Next I worked on the rear entrance of the ship. I had been watching the entire series of Firefly on the Science Channel and I decided to model the rear entrance like Serenity’s. It’s very simple which I like. The ramp acts as the bulkhead door and lengthens as it is lowered down. Because of the change I made to Engineering I was able to open up the space around the turbolift to make it nicer to look at.

Now for the fun part: the escape pods. I decided from the beginning that this ship would use the same standard escape pods that the Tantive IV Corellian Corvette uses. I wanted them to be as accurate as possible. When I started gathering imagery of the Class-6 Escape Pods and I quickly realized it wouldn’t be so easy… The way one enters the pods was a complete mystery at first and the actual scale of the pods is not really known. I had to base their size on how they appear on the Tantive IV model. It turns out that the pods on the Tantive IV model look almost nothing like the model of the pod seen blasted out of the Tantive IV that Artoo and Threepio escaped with. Furthermore when you watch Artoo and Threepio get in the pod it never actually show the pod interior so there is no way to know exactly how to enter the pods.

To accommodate the pods I needed to make the portion of the outer hull that the pods would be housed in. I designed the hull sections similarly to the Tantive IV’s hull section containing its escape pods and secondary gun turrets. The size of the hull section turned out large enough to accommodate 12 pods as opposed to the 8 on the Tantive IV. The 12 pods will allow for the ship to accommodate 72 crew members and passengers. To get to this shape I had to resize all of the empty rooms to make the diameter of the ship smaller.

After determining the proper size of the pods I created the basic shape of the pods and put them in the hull section. I then cut holes in the hull section to accommodate the pods. After this was done I then had to redesign the main corridor the ship to allow access to the pods. The corridor section is now basically a large plus sign with 4 small rooms off of it and then two more elongated rooms for accessing the escape pods.

The escape pod access rooms were given a new wall panel design meant to appear utilitarian. These panels will likely be used on the bridge and other utility areas. In the launch sequence of the pod seen in Star Wars, you can see that the pods are housed in a tube. I designed tubes for my escape pods similarly to the tubes on the Tantive IV. It was only from watching this scene that I realized the access panels on the sides of the pods are the way into them.

Because there is no real information available on how the pod access door works, I had to figure that they were hinged and would swing outward. The doors are huge so I know that would be an issue. I contemplated redesigning the pods to make them designed better but I decided to continue on with what I started. I could go over every detail I put into the pods but that would take too long so following along in the photo gallery for this update should suffice. They will not have the same level of detail as the pod model used in the movie because it was very highly detailed. My pods are greatly simplified but if all I was doing was recreating the pod instead designing an entire ship then of course the pod would be modeled in great detail.

Next I worked on the doors in the ship that allow entry in to the pods. They are giant and red and large enough for the huge pod doors to open. Is this the way it’s done in the Tantive IV? Probably not. Do I really care? No. Making them resemble anything like the doors Artoo and Threepio.

To be continued…

In the next update you will start to see the rest of the outer hull take shape. You will also see the finally engine layout for the ship which will give the ship its unique shape.

See the gallery below or here to see what was added this update:

829 feet is too long

It’s been a while since I worked on my Untitled Capital Ship Project but after participating in a few challenges I have decided to resume working on it. One thing that has finally sunken in is that it is way too long and it is already starting to cause SketchUp to bog down. It was supposed to be more in line with the size of the Tantive IV (approx. 492 feet) but somehow I have let it explode to a staggering 829 feet. To fit the description of a capital ship, the vessel has to be at least 100 meters long and while there is no maximum size I think I have over done it this time. I am going to try to shrink it down significantly even if it means a much smaller landing bay or eliminating it altogether. I also have a new idea for the bridge section which will really define the overall look of the ship. Stay tuned…