Untitled Capital Ship Project Update 9

This is a short update because it involves just one big change: the escape pods.

As I mentioned before, the escape pods were starting to bug me and the reason is that the entry doors are just too big to be swung open into the inside of the ship. Because the doors took up so much space when opened, I had to compromise the design of the escape pod launch rooms to accommodate them.

I wanted the escape pods to match those on the Tantive IV and at the same time match the general design of the escape pod access ports inside the ship. That was just not possible to do with the design of the escape pods seen in the movie. To get the launch rooms designed to my liking I decided to compromise on the design of the escape pods themselves.

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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 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:

Starship Project Named and Ready to See

Now that my starship was done it needed a name so what I came up with is the Outer Rim Industries 210CR Fortified Blockade Runner. I didn’t want to use a known company name from the Star wars Universe because I don’t want my ship to be confused with ones in the films, books and other expanded universe sources. I choose the name Outer Rim Industries because the Alliance to Restore the Republic (a.k.a. Rebel Alliance) was mostly comprised of worlds from the Outer Rim territory of the galaxy and my intent is that this ship serve the Alliance. .Why 210CR? CR are my initials and 210 was derived from 2010. CR is also the prefix on the model number of the Tantive IV Corellian Corvette (CR90) in Star Wars which is similar to my 210CR. The Tantive IV was used as a blockade runner but due to the amount of guns my ship has, it is no ordinary blockade runner so I added “fortified” to it’s name.

To read the full specifications of the 210CR Fortified Blockade Runner, visit the My Starships section of my website.

To download and view the entire model you must have either Google SketchUp 7.0 or 8.0 installed. Click the link below download the model in the version of SketchUp you’re using:

SketchUp 7:

SketchUp 8:

To see the image gallery click here or  view the slideshow below:

Starship Project Update 13

Drum roll… This time I have taken 38 snapshots for this update beating the last update’s record of 33. There would have been a lot more pictures to show except I kept neglecting to capture every change. Since the last update I have created the Escape Pods, the bunks for the Crew Quarters, the tables and chairs for the Mess Hall, ail of the furnishings for the Officers Quarters, the door keypads and a few cosmetic changes. Along the way I have discovered quite a few shortcomings in the design of the ship which I will address later.

The first step in designing the Escape Pods was deciding where to put them and how big to make them. I decided to put them underneath the main corridor because there is over 6 feet of clearance between the bottom of the corridor and inside of the outer hull plating. The maximum length of the escape pod was determined by the width between the hull plating section bracing at 16’8. The width of the escape pods was determined by the the width of the protruding strip of blue hull plating underneath the ship at 11’. The typical size and shape of escape pods used in the Star Wars universe would not fit within this space. They are typically barrel shaped and exceed the maximum length I need. The design I came up with is closer to the design of a small shuttle craft.

I created a panel for the bottom of the hull plating that will be blown off when a pod is launched. The panels are held on by exploding bolts that explode when an electrical current is passed through their pyrotechnic charges. I am not going to bore you (or me for that matter) by going through all the details of the build up of the pods but I will instead just outline their features. They are accessed through the top hatch of the pod through an access tube accessed through the floor of the starship’s corridor. When marooned, I mean when landed, on the surface of a planet the window in the front is used as the escape hatch. The pod can act as shelter while you wait for rescue or hide from Krayt dragons. They each have the capacity for 8 crew members with enough fuel, air, water, rations and supplies for 4 standard days. The outside of the pods feature 4 small ion drive thrusters for forward propulsion and 8 pairs of maneuvering thrusters. The escape pods are attached to the ship with 4 exploding bolts on brackets attach to the outer tube or the main corridor. To get in to a pod you pull a red lever on the floor of main corridor and the floor cover raises up and the access tube and pod hatches slide open. The 8 passengers slide down into the pod, they then quickly argue about who gets to be pilot and the aggressive Senator from Alderaan takes matters into her own hands and orders the kid, the Wookiee, the professor, the smuggler and the gambler to sit down as she takes the wheel.

The design of the bunks I created for the crew quarters was inspired by the ones in a cross section drawing of the Millennium Falcon found on Wookieepedia. Each room has 4 beds and there are 8 rooms total. These beds, while small, really beat the heck out of the ones in modern nuclear submarines. The width of the “cubby holes” are wide enough for storage to sit along side the upholstered mattresses with a shelf for personal items. It is important for the bunks to be comfortable for lengthy deep space missions unless it’s an imperial starship. In that case comfort is thrown out the viewport. What’s the point of padding when you’re forced into wearing useless plastic and fiberglass storm trooper armor? If there is even a hint of blaster fire you won’t even have time to discover your bunk assignments before playing humanoid shield.

For the mess hall chairs I simply removed the armrests from the standard chairs. For the benches I took the chair and made it 2 and a half times wider with two pedestal bases. For the tables I created a rectangular top with rounded corners and created a ridge down the middle as a way to divide the sides of the table. I then created a pedestal base with a larger circumference than the chairs. I just realized that with chairs at the long ends of this table, the ridge in the way of whoever sits there. That won’t work; I’ll fix that once I publish this. Next I created a surround for the kitchen pass-through with a counter to rest food trays on. I am debating whether there should be an actual kitchen or to just use automatic food dispensers. Obviously there isn’t room for kitchen staff on a small blockade runner so if it’s going to be a kitchen then I will have to create rude cafeteria droids to insist that no droids are allowed in line.

For officer quarters I adapted the crew bunk by turning it into a single bed. That was easy. I then created a desk by modifying the ready room desk design to be linear so it would sit against the wall. I then decided the room was rather empty and I decided to create a sitting area. I accomplished this by first looking for inspiration on the web. I found a cool modern couch design that I liked so I created my own version. It has rounded hollow arm rests that the seat cushion flows through and it has an adjustable back than can fold down if necessary. After I was done with the couch I created a “brewed beverage” table using a couch armrest tipped on it’s side with a multi-tiered table top. The room still seemed empty so I placed a second couch facing the other. I moved the desk and seating around until it all looked right. I was going to also model the interior of the bathroom but after I researched that idea I decided to instead forego that and make the door closed for now. Besides, when do you actually see the bathroom on the Millennium Falcon? You know there is one somewhere but do you really need to see it?

The last thing I did was to create the door control pads. I made the one for the pocket doors first. There is nothing much to them: Just some buttons and small status screen on a rounded corner rectangular plate. For all of the other doors I made a version with more buttons and a small speaker and microphone intercom. The 2 types of bulkhead doors needed the control pads to be mounted differently so I made housings for each type to fit on the door frames. I will make additional control pads for the access tube hatches, lighting and elevators and lifts soon.

I decided to clean up the names of components for better organization. While doing so I found a bunch of mistakes in the model that I needed to fix. The problems were just minor stuff like misalignments and and some inconsistencies. There is still a lot of cleaning up to do with the names of components which I will continue to work on.

As I mentioned early I have discovered some shortcomings that the ship has. The main entrance is on the bridge which could cause a security risk while landed on a planet or in an airlock. There is no computer core or a place for it. No hyperdrive! I wasn’t aware that the big engines on a Star Wars type ship are only for sub light speed. Hyperdrive uses equipment on the inside of the vessel. To house the hyperdrive and other systems there should be a dedicated engineering room. There are no rear facing weapons. That was the major problem with the most well known blockade runner, the Tantive IV. I will address each of these issues in future updates.

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