Impulse Access

Docking details go viral…

Well, only like some rampant virus in my nutso brain anyway.  I decided to work this weekend away on some of those Phobos engineering details that were calling to me.  Some of this I started years back, but despite frustrations, I always return to stuff I have a passion for.  I love the level of detail that Kevin Riley put into this ship design, and it is a treat to fill in some of those missing elements that his details hint at. 😀

I really liked this first test shot, but none of the new details were readily visible.  It was just more of a tease really.

Sadly, I only did one render from that POV. I didn’t save the camera position, or the render’s primo manipulation file, so it is a bit bright in places with no real hope of refinement. I decided to concentrate on this closer perspective below.

I decided to go with the recessed/pocket method rather than swing type hatches.

The hatches sink into the hull and then slide either up or down into the hull space between the two openings.  It’s a tight fit, and in order for both doors to slide into their respective pockets, one hatch (the lower) sinks back a bit further. The upper compartment houses large equipment related to the impulse engines.  You can see some type of magnetic coil assembly deep in the compartment, though it’s just a start.  The lower section could house several large equipment systems, not the least of which could be one for that aft phaser bank located just on the other side of the hull there. I’m itching to build some bulky greeblie doodad for that, but I haven’t worked out too many details in the lower section yet.

In addition to the compartments I eventually changed the color of the shuttlebay doors (I never cared for that dark blue), and on the ventral portion of the main hull, I made those four, large, round nobs into fully retractable resevoir tanks with distinguishable color markings.  The second image has a workbee engaged with a couple of these tanks.  😀

Those visible engine elements in the upper compartment, I developed a while back while working on the Phobos’s interior engineering section.  When building that engine room I’d left a fairly large area behind it open, just to lend volume to what I presumed would be large functional machinery, especially given the size and placement of the aft-most impulse features visible on the ship’s exterior.  In fact, this undefined space is part of what inspired me to begin the project.  I had already begun designing some type of segmented components for the space when I got the idea to make the exterior hull panels into access hatches (I mean, they had to serve some purpose since the original modeler put them there and labeled them 😉 ).  These “magnetic constrictor coil” units, as I’ve labelled them, were fairly large and fit snugly between the engineering compartment and the impulse exhaust units.  It seemed only reasonable that they could be accessed for maintenance or fully replaced by way of those seemingly large panels nearby.  There were some problems with the accessibility of the uppermost hatch, since the entire exterior engine set-up is clearly recessed into a nook within the aft of the catamaran hull.  This leaves a portion of that hatch’s opening (about 1/3 its width) completely blocked by this arrangement.  Another thing that snagged me early on when I began creating the recesses for the hatch panels was conflict with my previously determined internal arrangements.  Now, I’ve worked all that out and I’m happy to say that these new compartments fit perfectly with those interior set models as rendered.  In fact, that round door visible just inside the compartment with the step ladder actually butts up to the tubular “Jefferies corridor” I placed in the interior model.  This maintenance corridor was inspired by the STV: The Final Frontier engineering sets.

Screen grabs of the constrictor segments in relation to the impulse toroid and the exhaust grill.

Here’s an older image of the modifications I made to the impulse section.

The most notable modification feature is the “exhaust” unit with its new grill and altered glowing UV map, but I also did a little rounding out of that shunt like structure aft of the impulse deflection crystal assembly.  It’s the part that’s flush with the upper toroid but diverts back toward the exhaust section. The version of the Kevin Riley model I downloaded was kind of smooshed and flat in that area as the object curved down.  There are a number of smoothing errors that show up within certain camera distances, all of which I would like to correct, but altering the geometry and retexturing the model to look as good as it currently does would be a project long down the road.

Someday soon though, maybe I’ll be able to add some lower poly count version of my shuttlebay into the fray without crashing my renderer. 🙂


~ by starstation on March 26, 2012.

2 Responses to “Impulse Access”

  1. So many cool things that I can’t even begin to comment on them all !:)

    VERY inspriring as always, Basill.

    (I wish I could model this damn good)

  2. …. can’t texture my…..but…

    Just recently opened up the converted file the phobo’s I made.. man UV’s are screwed up major!! owell .. some day .. as you say.. 🙂

    things are looking excellent, and happy to see you think out internals with your ships!! glad i’m not the only one!

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