Sep 142013

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Finished off the detailing on the neck!

I’d been adding microbevels to all the asymmetric details, but I hadn’t done so on the mirrored elements of the neck, so I went back and added those, too.

Redid the lighting setup; Blender’s “sky” lighting is great for giving something a good “sitting on the ground outside” lighting, but not so much for space. Besides, I needed a more oblique light to show off my fun new textures! They’re just temporary, but I had this idea (which I’ve been experimenting with on my Ambassador — yes, I’m still working on it, too!) about using a very small image filled with multi-color noise and then scaling it up using Nearest Neighbor resampling, rather than bilinear/bicubic. It keeps the “blocks” hard, rather than smoothing them, and provides a neat base from which to make metal paneling! It still came out looking a bit too uniform, but for just a few minutes dinking around in Photoshop, I’m pretty happy with it.

Still need to decide what I’m going to do with the PDL emplacements in the neck’s weapon pods, and I’m leaning more and more toward treating the toy’s greebles as “layer one” of the ship’s greebles, with an additional layer or two required to really provide the necessary sense of scale. Also need to fill in that currently-blank strip down the middle of the neck. I think I’m going to go with the idea of a smaller bay at the far end, with the long run-up used as a sort of catapult that boosts smaller craft away from the ship before they fire off their own engines.

Roughed in the engineering section!


The extensions near the neck are almost 2D on the toy, but I decided to bulk them out. I tried shrinking their vertical height so that they were more inline with the neck, but it didn’t look as interesting. Perhaps they’re docking spars for ships too large to land in the internal hangar bay, which roughly coincides with that area.

I’ve always conceived of the round middle section as the location of the ship’s main reactor. Its circular shape kind of implies some kind of Tokamak fusion reactor design to me, or at least a large circular particle accelerator of some kind. I suppose a particle accelerator could be an antimatter reactor, too.

None of the stuff in this section (or the gunhead, come to think of it…) has microbevels yet, which is part of why it looks a little bland compared to the neck. It also just has substantially less greebling in general, but I’ll probably mirror the top details down to this side once I put them in.

I’m sort of tempted to do a master systems display-style cutaway of this ship when all is said and done…

I’m also having a lot of fun with these wacky camera angles. Can you tell?

Added in the beginning of the dorsal surface details. Main reactor in the middle (orange), fuel pods toward the bow (the three capsules on either side).


The toy is asymmetric in regards to these two sections, but one of the sections is a control console of sorts. It doesn’t make visual sense if translated directly, so I’ve mirrored the fuel pods instead. However, I’ll be lifting some of the edge-on detail from that side and re-purposing it as edge-and-overhang detail for the area beneath the fuel pods.

The gunhead now has microbevels, as do all of the railguns. Some of the elements of the core/engineering section have microbevels, but not everything does. The main body geometry itself doesn’t, for instance, but the fuel pods do.

Overall ship length for those curious: 510m. I’m not sure if I want to double/triple this for the “final” scale, or just leave it where it is. 510m is small by, say, Star Wars scales, but it’s still larger than any existing aircraft carrier. I suppose it’ll at least partially hinge on the size that the bay doors need to be.

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