Stairs & Rails

Lean beef

New upper rails, new stairs, and some added details

Finally managed to cut a chunk out of the platform and get my stairs in place as well as adding some more detailing, labels, and equipment.  I also revamped several elements of the black hand rails to make them look less silly (in my mind anyway) by reducing their beefy size and trimming their shape.  I was even able to install more refined end caps instead of settling for messy beveled tips.  I made some very minor modifications to the supports, mostly adding base connection features, while slightly narrowing the mini-rails that run through their centers.  But other than this (and more evenly and properly orienting them) they remain fairly unchanged.

I tried several stair types but finally went with these and was pleased that they didn’t stick out too far.  I chose a simple austere set and I even tried to craft its base frame to match the style of the hand rail supports above.  I’m debating a final hand rail for the stairs  if any.  For such a noticeable rise it probably should have them, but I would like to keep things as simple as possible.

Another alteration was the the corridor door frame, which I replaced with the version I’d modeled for those interior sets with higher ceilings that expose the large area above the door.  Though it is understood to be there in the frame work, the corridor set (the source of the original door frame) doesn’t need this extra feature modeled since it’s typically hidden by ceiling conduit covers anyways and the extra polygons would only burden render calculations.  I was very happy with the results and there were some unexpected benefits to this choice.  I had to raise the entire ceiling, which includes the modeled canister lights, some mere miniscule inches in order to fully squeeze the upper frame into the compartment.  However, failing to raise the corresponding spotlights in the Lightwave Layout left them more exposed from the canister rims, which managed to soften them to an overall pleasant effect.  I have to admit though that I turned on the glow effect in the image processor without too much thought for the settings and it seems to have put several of the glowing surfaces a little over the top.

View from the further refined upper platform.

A view from the upper platform shows this overly dramatic glow, but also reveals a little more detail on the new hand rails.  I put some little gaps in the rails near the end caps where the rails meet the supports, similar to the ones on the bridge version.  It’s similar but not identical, since the center supports don’t have gaps as all such junctures on the bridge do, and the bridge’s end rails extend noticeably further.  The overall shape of the rail itself is distinct as well.  Despite the angled rim, this rail plateaus flat across the top whereas the bridge version seems to pair and oppose two very modestly sloped angles that eventually peak like a roof along the center line of the rail.  Overall, I am very pleased and I thought the gaps added interest, but it was also a simple way to apply the end caps separately while avoiding the difficulty of integrating them with the lathed portion of the rail.  There’s no need for point-to-point welding here; canon provided an easy out on that one. 😀

I will almost certainly employ these hand rails and their supports in the torpedo room when I get to it, and the techniques I used here will be good practice for the bridge railing when I can wait no longer for that project.  😉


~ by starstation on July 30, 2012.

4 Responses to “Stairs & Rails”

  1. Great work as usual. Looking forward to the eventual torp room and bridge.:)

  2. Good stuff as always. 🙂 Looking forward to the next update.

    • Thanks. I have a mini update today, but it’s mostly corrections and some minor detail additions. Hopefully I can start work on another section of the ship this weekend.

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