Old Stuff Reborn

An old project gets some new life

All imagery is from my “ancient” works. Please go easy. 😉

In 1996 I bought my first computer, an Apple Macintosh Performa 6300.  Shortly thereafter I bought my first 3D modeling software, Raydream Designer.  It pretty much changed my life.  It was a somewhat limited program even by the standards of the day, but it was considerably useful to me, given my lack of experience at the time.  I would later dive in deep and go with the more sophisticated Lightwave, but those early years with the “training wheels” were still filled with fun and challenges.  One of my first major pet projects was…

Star Station India- the latest (12 years counting) rendering

Star Station India! 😀  It was mentioned in a few throwaway lines in TNG’s second season episode “Unnatural Selection”.  Like a little seed from some tossed fruit, I chose to create a Federation space station that would be a major hub of galactic transportation and trade. Also, it just happens to be this blog’s namesake. 😉

It was, of course, inspired by many Star Trek special effects shots  and other Trek related art; both from the Star Trek films and subsequent television productions, as well as a number of non-canon sources and fan illustrated publications.  The giant Spacedock which premiered in STIII: The Search For Spock was naturally the best example to turn to, as was Deep Space Nine, though that station did have decidedly alien origins and aesthetics.   There was also the Alamo Class defense outposts from FASA’s Star Trek: The Role Playing Game, which I never played but collected a number of source material for the artwork.  I always loved the design of that station, but I always thought it should be far more gargantuan than they were described in the text;  not just a weapons platform but a whole starbase!

FASA’s Alamo Class Defense Outpost

I wanted my station to be big, but not necessarily “gravitationally overwhelming” and I definitely wanted it to appear busy.  Though I’ve always loved the giant “mushroom” spacedock, I decided that I wanted a much smaller (if any) interior docking area.  I wanted it to appear more like a pier and less like a garage.  I was also fascinated by the concept of the drydock.  I loved the version from ST: The Motion Picture, but after seeing the McKinley station in TNG’s Season 4 episode “Family”, I was impressed with the large claw like structures that could wrap around a starship in dock, and took note.

Not too long ago I finally obtained a pretty decent scanner and decided I wanted to back up as many of my old sketches and drawings as I could in order to preserve them in at least one other format.  Looking over and organizing the drawings and deciding which ones would take priority really got some of my creative juices flowing.  Sketches on paper are awesome and allow me the freedom to be creative and experimental, but taking a 2D image and realizing it as 3D geometry can be a very fulfilling experience.  Still, in those early days I found translating the 2D into the 3D world could be a bit frustrating.  Ray Dream Designer allowed me to make some pretty interesting shapes, but when I wanted to build more and more complex shapes, not to mention texture them in any meaningful way, it simply fell short.  But I was still able to get some interesting (though sloppy) results in those first few years of 3D modeling.  It’s funny.  Looking back on all these old 3D renderings (some are 12-13 years old ), I realize that I remember little to NOTHING about how I did most of this in that earlier program.

Here are just a few of the ever evolving sketches.  Some of these were on the backs of receipts and such, but they came in very handy during my “ideas phase” (the phase that never ends).

Overall profile sketch (done in the fold and mirror technique 😉 )

Command Hub Sketch- partial cutaway.  This command hub had a huge open atrium under a dome at the top, with gardens, apartments and huge view ports looking out into space.  I’ve noticed over the years that many fans incorporate similar ideas into their designs.  I suppose it is the “home away from home” approach.

Docking pier sketches

I decided to classify Star Station India as a “Lotus Class” station.  Given the connection to the name “India” and with its large folded out arms and rounded structures, it just seemed natural.  I now know a number of other fans have used the term “Lotus” to name any of a number of Trek oriented concepts (ships, fleets, and the like), but this is in no way an attempt to step on any toes I assure you.

This is the earliest version and first render- The primitive starship models were for scale.  I always imagined the station was a movie era construction and those tall crooked extensions atop the lower extensions were later add-ons for larger and larger starships as the station continued toward the TNG era (i.e. Ambassador and Galaxy classes).

An underside view of those extensions revealing the “crab leg” drydocks (à la McKinley Station)

The upper command hub was still primitive here, but I began upgrading the piers early on.  Ships docked on multiple surfaces of the piers both inside and outside the giant arches.  There were no less than 16 docking ports imagined for the four large pier constructions, though a final number was never decided upon.

The upper docking section (arches, piers, and command hub) never pleased me and it continued to change more than any other feature.

Those McKinley Station inspired claws.  The giant fuel tanks and deflector panels can be seen hanging below the station’s core.

Another view of a single arm.  The arms eventually began to fall out of favor as I continued to work on the project.

A later revision of the Command Hub, though with no spires or towers on top of the dome yet.

Close up of the fuel stores and deflector panels.  I envisioned the panels rotating downward and the tanks popping out should they need to be replaced.  I imagined huge, slow moving tugs pushing strings of the giant tanks through space to their destinations, but never pursued that concept beyond this.

The airlock/gangway inspired by “11001001”

In my Revisted” post back in April, I uploaded some images of my old Ray Dream effort to build this gangway/docking port from “11001001” and my all-new attempts at the project in Lightwave.

I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty with this space station again in Lightwave.  Here’s a little screen cap of the latest work on the upper arches and command hub.


~ by starstation on August 18, 2010.

One Response to “Old Stuff Reborn”

  1. I totally love Star Station India! More, more more, more! *greedy fingers* Gemme gemme!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: