Stubby Nacelles

Carving out the details begins

ranger_refit_026cNot quite ready for warp.

Started chopping away on my warp nacelles, trying to create something distinct while managing to maintain that definitive Starfleet character.  I started with the basic box-cutter-inspired shape I began with and started trying to coax some details out of it.  In addition to my favorite cardboard cutlery, I was somewhat inspired by a particular design I’d seen on Scifi-Meshes a couple of years back: a nacelle formed by a 3D artist on those boards that goes by the moniker Madkoifish (aka Dan Uyeno).  His USS Mughi cargo ship sported a pair of nacelles which he himself had been inspired to flesh out based on another artist’s 2D drawing.  His final version was awesome, and gave the appearance of a genuinely authentic alternative to Starfleet’s typical space bending propulsion units.

nacelles_mughi

Madkoifish’s beautiful warp nacelles sported by his equally beautiful cargo ship USS Mughi.

While they have many features I adore, ultimately, they seemed a bit too sleek for the somewhat stubby approach I was aiming for here.  Not only that, but given the pylon’s angles, they’d most likely have to be installed upside down, which I believe would have required significant reconfiguring of the design.  Still, one feature I did try mimicking for the tiniest bit of his design flavor, was the long, cylindrical, grey-green, structure up top that gives the impression of an exposed tank of some sort. I had to place mine along the underside however, and it is not nearly as long in its apparent exposure. If I choose to lengthen it, I will have to change some major structures. I was also able to apply some other structures from previously worked on nacelle variations, but I mostly stuck to canon Starfleet standards.

ranger_refit_027Saucer was not as far off as I feared.

I have to admit there are elements I don’t like and certain ‘imbalances’ I’ll have to work out.  The larger features on the sides of the Nacelles seem kooky misaligned.  There is a little set of rail like shapes running from the lower front end of the nacelle, reaching back to a glowing crystal like detail underneath;  I’m thinking I need to narrow that feature considerably, as it looks rather slapped on at present.  Very little is set in stone though, as most is just filler additives and stencil marks, and of course I have the original shapes to fall back on if need be.

I also took the orthographic profiles Kevin Riley recently rendered and generously posted on Scifi-Meshes, and managed to line them up with what I’ve been working on.  I must say that while I was off in a number of places, I was pretty flabbergasted by how close I managed to get to some specific items.  The lower outer rim of Riley’s saucer is noticeably more rounded than mine, but the upper portion was not far off.  The saucer wasn’t quite as overtly thick as I’d feared.  And because none of the upper geometry had gone beyond basic shape and stenciling, I was actually able to bring the entire upper half of the saucer down the tiniest of increments to match the depth of his saucer, and then stretch it back into proper shape from a perfect central point.  The under concavity and central bump are not nearly as wide as they should be, but I decided not to alter this aspect of those features, since the geometry is already highly intertwined.  However, I did choose to stretch the central bump down a bit and nudge all the lower equipment down the corresponding distance (which messed up my spotlights considerably, but I was able to fix that).

I removed the port and starboard phaser banks too, replacing them with the single bank emplacements, this time mounted on the saucer’s outer slope.  They are still on opposite sides of the hull, but are now pushed closer to the bow and aligned with the ship’s forward 45 degree deflector-grid line.  This move is still under consideration, as I’m not totally satisfied with the results.

ranger_refit_028aMore minor top revisions.

I completely redid the spine again, attempting to smooth it out.  I’ve determined that the harsh scene lighting alone is making things appear a little more drastic than they are, but may need further refinement.  I chose not to lower the impulse engines to the same degree as the saucer, but I will almost certainly have to lower the “shoulder blades” that connect to the nacelle pylons.  Mine are also a bit too wide, and Riley’s actually taper at both ends with greater width in the middle, so I’ll have to work that out.

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~ by starstation on April 9, 2013.

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