Maintenance Bays

Chopping Up the Details

Been a little busy the last week, but I finally got a little done on the large pier bays that have been begging for some detail.   I created a new object file and copy/pasted the essential elements of this shuttle-cargo facility as well as a few exterior surfaces (for context).  I’ve put in a few details, but the next step is to chop up the overhead and deck  polygons to get the appropriate features on those two faces.  Everything is currently low-poly, but to my chagrin, that is quickly changing.  It’s one of the main reasons I pulled it into separate file like I did the Main Concourse area.  I will probably go to town with this one. 😛

Interior of the “M-5” landing bay in South Pier-A.  The bays might be renamed when I begin new deck markings.

Context is everything.  A view of the exterior, excerpted from a previously posted image, prior to rampant detailing.

This is how it should pan out.  This facility is one huge deck that, like the Concourses, runs through the entire pier structure.   The areas immediately adjacent the exterior doors are of course the landing bays for craft like shuttles and workbees.  These craft will be suited to a variety of tasks including passenger service, cargo hauling, and station/ship maintenance.  This facility will be dedicated almost entirely to station vehicles, as visiting craft will have their own separate bays.  Each section is separated by a force field barrier from the next section down.  I’ll probably put in some emergency airtight doors as well.  There are sections between the individual flight decks that will, naturally, serve as cross over spaces to other landing/launching areas, will house the elevator pads that lead to shuttle service and storage areas, and will be lined with the ever recognizable “cargo walls” for most incoming and outgoing cargo flow.

View looking in from the pier’s exterior.  No cargo walls yet, but the minor detailing of the next bay down is just visible in this shot.

That same detailing visible from the exterior of the side bay doors within the pier’s cradle section.

The interior bulkheads have insets similar to most Starfleet landing bays.  They represent maintenance garages and storage areas.  I had one visible in the earlier renders above, and I used the same stencil I previously created for it.  Right now they are no more than walled off insets that look like closed doors, but I plan to mark some and open a few, putting lighting and equipment within to denote functionality.  I wanted them to be fairly large for these bays since I planned on putting a few “Clydesdale” class shuttles on duty at this station.  Not the smallest of shuttles, mind you.  But after considering these renders, I think they might be a tad too tall, especially next to the turbo lift tubes.  I think it hinders the scale.  This should be fixed easily enough though, once I build even the most low-poly “Clydesdale” to get a better sense of proportion.  I will probably build a number of low-poly shuttles and maintenance vehicles just for sprinkling throughout these bays.  I just have to promise myself to go “light” on the poly count.  Calories, polygons…  I can’t win. 😉

I inserted the turbo lift tubes because they provide detail and and sense of scale, and they actually correspond to some of the tubes in the Concourse.  They don’t fit perfectly with the overall deck height however.  I might have to get creative with this problem.  Past this first section, the overhead glows entirely white, which explains the grossly over lighted spaces beyond.  That will be corrected when the chopping resumes and the lighting patterns are determined.

As for chopping the flight deck, I’ve been sketching some plans for how the markings should be detailed, but I haven’t settled on anything yet.  I’m leaning towards a cross between movie style and TNG style markings.  I definitely want turntables and elevators (they’re just neat 😀 ), but I also want something like the clean well-defined indicators that stood out on the Enterprise-D shuttle bays.  I want them to appear functional but not busy.  I am also considering renaming the bays themselves.  Early on, I numbered them all and placed an M in front to designate “maintenance”.  Using this “M-x” method on all four piers would leave no less than sixty four bays to be labeled around the station.  Unfortunately, bay “M-47” or “M-53” sounds kinda lame to me, but I could live with it.  One possible solution would be to label them specific to their pier set;  namely, every bay in each pier would have an N,E,S, or W to indicate its compass inspired namesake followed by the bay’s number.  That would leave no bay numbers higher than 16.  Unlike the docking ports, I would have to drop the A or B for these; That would just get confusing.  Regardless of the naming resolution, the text might need to be somewhat smaller.

I also haven’t decided how much of the interior should be lined with the overhead observation decks.  The low poly versions will probably only have them right up front here, but when I do a more detailed interior, I might place them near all the exterior doors.

Ok, sorry for rambling.  Enjoy your weekend. 😀

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~ by starstation on April 15, 2011.

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