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

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

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…

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 2

This time around I made a lot of progress on the model’s interior. In my last update I said I was going to work on the engineering and cargo section but I didn’t stop there. I did some preliminary work on the Bridge, designed the Turbolifts twice, modeled some interior windows to allow viewing of the Landing Bay and Engineering Room, designed the Sleep Pods for the Bunkrooms and made the Briefing Room much larger. While working on all of those aspects, I also reconfigured the layout a bit to make things more cohesive with what I envision the ship looking like. I now think the model is almost too big for SketchUp to handle so expect some growing pains in the future.

In the Engineering Room I accomplished putting up all the basic wall panels and implementing the enclosed catwalk that will surround power core allowing unauthorized passengers to bypass the engineering room. The floating catwalk is based directly off of the design of the catwalk above the Landing Bay. In addition to the straight sections there are corner sections allowing for 90 degree bends. Initially the catwalk was to be a true circle around the power core but I decided it was too complex to make and would take away from the theme of modularity. I could have done it, but I didn’t want to devote too much time to doing it. After the floating catwalk was done I added some support struts to, you guessed it, support the weight of the catwalk over the floor of the Engineering Room.

After working on the Engineering Room I started on the Entryway which will serve as the main entrance for the ship and access point for the cargo bays when landed. When it comes time to work on the ship’s exterior the loading ramp will be added. The first thing I did here was to create an enclosed catwalk along the ceiling that will eventually provide access to the maintenance ports for the sub light engines to be added later. Once that was done I put up the wall panels. I then modeled the bulkhead doors for the cargo bays. At the front of the entry I added two small rooms that connect to the Engineering Room. The next step was to add the wall panels to the cargo bays.

I decided to do some work on the main bridge but only as much as I could do since there is no outer hull. All I did was added the wall panels for the back and side walls and model the floor for the upper level.

Next I went to work on creating the Turbolifts. At first I was lacking inspiration so I made a big square box of a turbolift. I’m not go into much detail on their design because I ended up scrapping their design. But, before I made the decision to scrap them I worked on other parts of the ship.

I did some thinking about the Briefing Room and I thought there should be some windows for observation of the Landing Bay. For the windows I simply modified the standard bulkhead door to have a pane of transparasteel in place of the door. I added the windows to the back wall of the Briefing Room’s second level. I also added these windows to the turbolift rooms in the entry area. This allows observation in to Engineering Room and into the entry area.

The next things I decided to work on were the sleeping pods in the bunkrooms. The bunkroom will be the sleep quarters for the starfighter pilots/flight crew and for the engineering crew. The reason I decided to make pods instead of bunks was to save space. Their design is based directly off the sleeping pods used in the Kamino clone training facility as seen on Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Three. I scaled mine a little smaller to fit my standard wall panel dimensions. The inside of the pods are actually pretty spacious inside and include a ceiling mounted computer terminal and a storage cabinet for personal belongings. They kind of resemble an MRI machine but that is purely unintentional.

The Briefing Room seemed too small so I doubled its size and put up it’s wall panels. I then extended the second level around the perimeter of the room. I then added an inner wall on both levels as a back drop for the speaker’s podium. It also creates a buffer zone for the entrance into the room. I also added a entry door for the upper level.

The final thing I worked on was redesigning the Turbolifts. The reason I didn’t like what I first designed is that they completely blocked the view down the corridors and they just looked boring. The new turbolift design is round and see through and a lot better looking. There will probably be many other components that I will end up changing in some way.

What’s next? I’m really not sure. I might add some color because all the white is starting to irritate me. I will probably finish the rest of the basic wall panels before doing much else. It won’t be too long until I begin on the exterior.

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

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 1

For this update I primarily focused on the Landing Bay and Hangar section of the ship. This entailed creating wall panels for it, laying out the main walls, creating archways for the repair bays, creating support beams, designing the hangar blast doors and the landing bay bulkhead doors and creating the enclosed catwalk that crosses the ceiling.

The first thing I did was make a slight change to the corridor bulkhead cowling. It was too wide to be used in the narrow corridors so I made it a foot narrower and now it fits. In regular corridors I have put the wall panel spacers on either side of the cowling making them consistent with the regular room bulkhead doors. I then decided to make wall panel dividers that flank each side of the doors a different design just to make the walls look more interesting.

Originally, the repair bay sections of the landing bay were going to be separate rooms with their own bulkhead doors. After some thought, however, I found no feasible way for these sections to have doors and they were just too small for a star fighter or small craft to fit in. I eliminated the separate rooms and decided to create the repair bays with interior walls instead.

For the walls in the landing bay I chose to create new wall panels to differentiate the section from the rest of the ship. For the first two levels of the landing bay I created a simpler 2 foot square panel to use. For the upper 3 levels of the landing bay I made a 4 foot square panel. I based these larger panels on the acoustic wall tiles seen in the interrogation room on the TV series Bones. I just figured a landing bay could use some sound deadening panels to cut down on the noise from star fighter engines. I then went to work on creating the walls for the front and back of the bay. To add some flair to the room I designed some modular support beams and put them in place.

The next step was adding the floor for the upper hangar areas. Nothing special there. I then added the walls for the repair bays using the same components created for the landing bay. The opening of the repair bays needed an archway so I designed one kind of quickly but I liked how it turned out.

The floor space above the repair bays seemed too shallow to land star fighters on so I extended the floor depth by 18 feet. After some more thought I extended the floors out another 9 feet. The extension of the floors allowed for good placement of the blast door entrances for the hangar.

Once the size of landing bay was decided I started on the entrances for the star fighter hangar. There are a total of four entrances located at each corner of the landing bay. First I created the side walls for the bay with more support beams. After that was done I designed the cowling that surrounds the entrances which was done in no time. I went on to create the blast doors for the hangar entrances. They are made similarly to the bulkhead doors on the cargo area of the last ship I created, the 210BR. The doors don’t have any detail work on them but I will address that later on.

Now it was time to cut the hole in the floor of the landing bay for the landing bay bulkhead doors. I surrounded the new opening with a transitional molding around it. I then took a moment to verify that the Millennium Falcon can fit in the landing bay and it does just barely.

The landing bay bulkhead doors are fairly simple. They have interlocking teeth for looks only. After their basic shape was done I added some detail to their surface so they wouldn’t look so plain.

Last thing I worked on was the enclosed catwalk high above the floor. The reason for the catwalk is to avoid having to walk across the floor. This is especially helpful because the entire floor opens up! It also keeps those out of the landing bay that don’t have permission to be there. Again, it was designed modularly in keeping with the idea of the overall design.

What’s next? I plan to work on the engineering and cargo sections.

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