Untitled Capital Ship Project Detour: Dynamic Components

detour1Halfway through working on the Mess Hall and Galley for my starship, I was given the opportunity to work with the Pro version of SketchUp for a period of time so I decided to spend it creating dynamic components for my starship project.

I had never worked on creating dynamic components before so it was a tough go at first. I didn’t seek out to do anything too fancy, just to automate doors for opening and closing with the interact tool, aim weapons, position seating, raise and lower platforms and in one case, I made one of the holoprojectors “functional”. I didn’t know what to do at first so I studied examples of basic animations and the code behind them from example models and models in the SketchUp 3D Warehouse. Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 22

Since the last update I wrote I have been able to finish the Mess Hall and the Galley as well as finish the design of the Crew Bunk Rooms. I will save the Crew Bunk Rooms for the next update and focus on the Mess Hall and Galley this time. I would have finished this a lot sooner except I took a detour which I will explain later.

A long time ago in a room not so far, far away… I thought up a way to make eating very efficient for crew members on a starship by means of tables using conveyor belts. The idea is that the crew member get’s their food on a tray from the Galley pass-through and they sits down at the nearest available table. The table consists of conveyor belts (for the benches and table top) so when the crew member takes their seat they are slowly moved down the bench towards the end of the table. After 5 to 10 minutes (speed depending on who is in charge) when they reach the end of table, time is up and they must return their tray to the Galley. If they aren’t done eating, they will just have to eat faster the next time. If they aren’t paying attention to the time, they might just find themselves on the floor. How embarrassing… How embarrassing… Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 20

Just like last time, I moved on to the next part of the ship without first writing about what I had just finished.

Anyway, this post is about the Medbay. I had done some preliminary work in the Medbay back when I was calling it the infirmary but I left it a blank room with just the bacta tanks borrowed from the last ship I made.

Instead of making it one huge open room, I decided to add an office for the supervising physician on the main level as well as three recovery suites on the upper floor. There are four exam/operating tables, a waiting area, storage area and a small laboratory in addition to the bacta tanks. Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 17

Since my last update I have focused on adding details to the exterior of the ship. Some of the details added are just cosmetic but others are essential to the operation of the vessel.

I Added:

  • Vents below Tactical Bridge
  • More Detail to the Dorsal Ridge
  • Auxiliary Thrusters
  • More Medium Turbolaser Cannons
  • More Landing Struts to the Stern Section
  • Vertical panels to various parts of the ship
  • Shield Generators
  • Proton Torpedo Tubes
  • Maneuvering Thrusters
  • Horizontal Heat Sinks along edges of ‘Wings’ and other edges of the same design Continue reading

Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 12

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. 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 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 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

Now that my first starship model (the 210CR) is finished I have decided to start on a new one. This time around I have decided to create something much bigger: a capital ship. By definition a capital ship is an armed military vessel with a length of 100 meters or greater. Based on the work I have already done it is currently 236 meters long which is 86 meters larger than the Tantive IV Corellian Corvette that I used as a benchmark for my last starship. It will have many of the same features as the 210CR but on a much larger scale. In addition to those features it will have 3 full decks, a hangar/landing bay for a small complement of star fighters and a shuttle or small freighter (must fit Millennium Falcon), retractable laser cannons, traditional Star Wars style escape pods, robust landing gear and more viewports this time. It will also have a more complete engineering section including backup power cells, life support systems, garbage compactor (dianoga free) and water treatment facilities.

So far I have modeled the general design of the interior walls, the bulkhead doors for the rooms and main corridor, and created the empty rooms and bulkhead sections.

I decided to continue the idea of keeping my ships modular. This time around I expounded on the idea by creating a layout grid of 4’x4’ squares spaced apart by 6 inches that every wall panel, fixture, door will strictly line up with. Each wall module will be four feet wide and nine feet tall. Each basic wall module will consist of a top and bottom light bar for ambient lighting that are both 6 inches tall and a 4×2 grid of 2 foot square wall panels. These standard 2 foot square panels can then be replaced with additional modules that fit the 4×2 grid configuration.  Between each wall module will be a 6 inch wide divider. When a perpendicular wall is added, it will take the place of the divider this will prevent the need for fractional wall panels.

The bulkhead doors I for this ship are based on the design of the ones from the 210CR with the exception that there is just one layer of doors instead of two. The corridor bulkhead section doors function the same way as the ones on 210BR but are designed more similar to the room bulkhead doors. The openings of the corridor sections are arched and have cowlings that are reminiscent of the ones seen in the Millennium Falcon.

With modularity being key to the design of the ship I have created standard rooms/bulkhead sections that all align with the layout grid I have established. Each room section is spaced apart precisely to fit the layout grid. These standard room sections have cutouts with matching plugs for multiple bulkhead door configurations. This makes it so the standard room shapes are versatile for any type of room. All non standard bulkhead sections will also align to the layout grid.

To assist me in the layout of the ship I have created a rudimentary drawing in Photoshop with guides arranged in the layout grid I chose. This allowed me to visualize and plan where the bulkhead sections will be. I then finished creating the bulkhead sections for the ship and arranged them according to the drawing. After doing this I quickly realized that the bulkhead section for the hangar/landing bay was much too small to accommodate star fighters and the Millennium Falcon comfortably so I moved things around and significantly enlarged the section. This currently makes the ship appear to be pregnant but I will try to balance it out soon.

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

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