Heading Due North

Revisiting the Northampton

The WIP Northampton gets some minor revisions

I decided to jump back on the Northampton bandwagon for a brief stint.  I was working on updating my interchangeable primary hull, which serves as the heart and soul of every Federation ship I’ve opened project files on.  I decided to integrate it with the Northampton first since it would require the least amount of adjustment (other than the Abbe that is).

When I last posted Northampton imagery, I was in a modeling crux trying to resolve some issues regarding the aft end of the ship’s upper hull. Since there are no direct views of that angle in the original FASA resource material, and the three angles offered generally conflicted, I felt as if I could only model by means of omission. Outside of that, I was out of luck.  Also, the little miniature I purchased on eBay a while back offered little assistance with its limited detail (but I still love it. 😀 ).  Anyone who has ever built this in 3D (mostly for game purposes it would seem) has had to improvise large regions of the vessel to their own whims and artistic license.  I had drawn my own slightly refined version of the dorsal top view,  while attempting to stick as close to the original as I could without conflict.  I was actually so happy with the drawing and the overall shape it alluded to, that I just couldn’t allow myself to remove certain features that I’d grown fond of.  Thus, I was at an impasse and simply couldn’t manage to fuse the aft section with my version of the large arms that hang below the main hull. Letting go is hard to do…

When last we met…

The main features in question were the rounded corners, each on the outermost edges of the upper aft hull.  A funny (debatable) side story; I watched a cool documentary on big African safari cats this weekend (lions and cheetahs 🙂 ) and realized those bumps sort of remind me of the shoulder blades of those big cats, and how they especially tend to stand out when the felines are in a stealthy hunting mode.  I’ve always thought the ship was a graceful design and I still love how it can remind me of a number of the more beautiful and impressive examples of nature.   Sadly, I just can’t blend them and those other features that are known to be necessary to this craft’s function.

The sacrifice yields interesting improvements

Therefore, I hacked em’ right off, just to see if it yielded any positive results.  So far, I’m pretty encouraged with what turned out, and I’m really thrilled with the landing bay door placement that, until now, I haven’t even been able to experiment with.  After looking at these images, I’m thinking I’ll probably move them a little further outboard of the impulse engines eventually.  I’m not quite sure why my impulse engines aren’t glowing in these renders.  I’ll have to check some settings on this version of the model to figure it out.

There are still huge sections of the hull that are simply below modeling par and will have to be completely rebuilt; mostly areas dealing with the large hanging “arms” and the narrow catamarans that lead to the warp nacelles.  Although this reconstruction is necessary, I finally know which direction to head, and that has been my single biggest obstacle since beginning this ship in Lightwave.

New shield grid atop the primary hull

I rebuilt my primary hull/saucer section from scratch (again) to take care of some smoothing errors which had bugged me from the beginning and to make the shield grid a little more subtle.  I had modeled the gaps much too wide on my last version and I kicked myself early on for the fault.  The smoothing errors and wide gaps are especially noticeable on my previous renders of the Abbe, Miranda and Remora class ships, and I am much happier now with what I have here.  My favorite achievement here however, was finally getting a shield grid for both the upper and lower sections of the saucer.  Since this saucer will serve somehow on all of my ships currently under construction, as well as any others I might want to tackle, it was just important to nail those details down early on.

And finally a shield grid below!

Even though I have some major structural reforming to do, I am really jonesin’ to start work on some of the more detail oriented portions of the ship, especially those areas that I know are far enough along now and committed to the final shape.  It would be simple to work on those areas and also any separate minor greebles that, regardless of any final reformations, should be easy enough to install into position once the final hull is in place.  I just have to pick those battles carefully, to avoid having to throw any babies out with the bath water.

Just imagine my craving to build some type of shuttle bay interior for this ship’s structure.  😀


~ by starstation on May 23, 2012.

5 Responses to “Heading Due North”

  1. Awesome! I have always had a fondness for this particular design..and I have never known why.

    A shuttlebay you say? Well, I suspect you wouldnt have any difficulties at all, casue as I might have said before, you,sir, are a genius.

    • Thanks so much, but I am by no means a genius. This silly model has stopped me in my tracks for years now. Something tells me the only thing that has gotten me to this stage is a good dose of OCD. 😉

  2. I’ve always liked this ship and I think I might have the miniature somewhere around here. The ship is looking really good.

  3. Thanks. I fell in love with the ship so many years ago when I first opened the source material (and I never even played the game 😀 ). I wanted the model for years but I never managed to get it, and then any chance of getting it just seemed to evaporate. eBay has proved effective a few times over the years though. 😉

  4. Thank you again for your renderings. The Starship Obready Club is getting recognition because of this “particular design” and at make the club easily identifiable on a first glance at our ” promo-ship “. Keep up the good work. Our club is ever gratefull for it.

    Bruno Signori (Aka, Vice-Admiral Robert G Kelley.)

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