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: