For Demonstration Purposes Only

Do Not Attempt In Deep Space

Gangway-009External doors slid aside to reveal the primary docking interface with all inner airlock hatches wide open, generally considered a disaster.

From this angle… Well, first off: without an environment suit… you’re dead.

I chose to do some renders with various hatches in a somewhat (OK, totally) open motif. Typically this would only be done with a standardized Starfleet docking port mated to the exterior, but this view affords us a more revealing view of the inner airlock and the outer docking mechanisms (and makes life more of a chore for anyone located in the free and open volume of this gangway entry area). Maybe we’ll just close off some doors.

Gangway-010Here, you are clearly still dead without environmental gear, unless… the suit lockers are duel purpose?

Nope.  Still a dark, frigid, airless vacuum of space from this particular vantage point.

Gangway-011Ah.  Now we can breathe with ease  (unless your lungs are frozen).  Outer airlock doors are now closed.

There, that does it.  Here we have the main airlock. It is very Starfleet standard, with storage space for EVA gear (Items sold separately, batteries not included) as well as emergency tools and provisions.  Although hardly canon, I love the idea that the airlock’s four space suit alcoves (one of which this render’s camera is hunkered down in) could possibly double as environmental shelters during some catastrophic loss of atmosphere (to anyone that evades being power blown into that vast emptiness that tends to reside just on the other side of those airlock doors anyway).  I’ve always thought it was a good idea in years past, considering they just hold hanging spacesuits like some glorified department store nook otherwise.  I got a better notion of it recently however, while placing labels on those raised panels visible on the opposite side of the room, just to the right of the alcoves.  Wanting to fill in that “blank” space between the alcoves and inner door wall, I began by adding a boxy shape at the very base, to serve as an extendable bench for use during any required airlock time (putting on environment suits, or any rare decontamination procedures).  Above it, I thought some nice storage units for emergency gear would be nice.  After I added the panels I went looking through my UV label collection for some appropriate sticker. The closest thing I could find (already fashioned) was one referring to an “emergency environmental support module.”  It claims to be sustainable for a limited period of time until responders can arrive to assist. Even with its very specific instructions, I don’t know if it is meant to be something you climb into or just something meant to replenish a compromised enclosure. I’ve previously used the same label on a cylindrical hop-in unit aboard the McCook, but I already knew this area was a bit tight for that.  I figured I would just let the labels refer to controls and stowed emergency equipment under the panels and the alcoves themselves could serve as those those emergency areas.  The Motion Picture studio set this area is based on (I cannibalized the major elements from my own modeling attempt to replicate it) had transparent partitions on either side of the alcove’s opening.  I excluded them here for rendering practicality, but I could easily reintroduce them, eventually giving them some other in-universe reason for being there.  Could they be part of a larger, sealable, slide-down partition, or maybe even just one component to some form of mini-environmental-shield emitters? Space suits will be much harder for me to model, and I’ve been putting off that task for some years now. Ironically, as many times as I’ve made use of these “space suit lockers” they’ve never held space suits. Someday maybe.

Gangway-013Latest render, working to correct some lighting issues on the upper balcony walls.

I was looking forward to getting some renders of the airlock and the outer docking interface since they had been languishing in the background.

As for my inspiration for the docking interface… Not too long ago, someone on a message board I frequent had posted some renders of his 3D ship project: A USS Bowman by a DredZed on the TrekBBS.  One feature he went into some detail on was the vessel’s main gangway hatch.  He followed up by creating an actual gangway that would, in a future rendering endeavor, extend from some as yet unmodeled port facility and lock up with the main hatch of his ship.  Both sides of the merge came complete with all the necessary and standardized interlocking mechanisms that would mate the two.

I’d seen similar 2D drawings of the form since the late eighties (example: Mr. Scott’s Guide To The Enterprise), but this one bested all those versions and even gave some solidity to the overall concept.  I was very impressed as it seemed to better follow the Starfleet standard. It’s similar to the round docking ports depicted more frequently in Star Trek, albeit far more rectangular, in better keeping with the shape actually seen on the outer hull.  He rounded the corners though, which totally made sense to me. I based my version on his.

Returning to the foyer, I was having an awful time with those upper balcony walls on either side of the inner airlock doors.  It seemed they were just fuzzy no matter what my settings.  At first I thought it was some smooth settings in the surface editor, but that didn’t pan out.  I altered some GI settings repeatedly, but that only increased render times.  I finally gave up and decided to plant some spotlights on them so they would have some genuine light/shadow contrast, until I can figure out what to do.

I broke up the wall with the giant deck labels to make it more interesting and to better fit with the new partition under the upper stairs set.  I also added the far end of the radial corridor with a turbolift door, which has managed to provide a little bit more color down that pathway, even when it is not visible.

Now the most important modeling task (other that mirror duplicating everything visible on the far right to the far left) is breaking up the decking and surfacing it accordingly.  Weekend project.  I might need to break up some more walls in the airlock to reduce blandness there as well.  I still haven’t decided exactly what kind of railing to put on the platform and stairs, considering I don’t yet know just how permanent a set up it all is.

Gangway-007Here with the inner doors open.  Earlier render, with lighting still iffy.

Gangway-008Original perspective with new wall framing, and the turbolift doors reflecting a reddish hue into the radial corridor.  Inner airlock doors opened as well.  Spotlights galore.

Gangway-014aOriginal perspective with some post render highlights.  Not perfect, but more what I am aiming for.

Gangway-012Here are the external hull doors completely closed.  This is an all new construct with no primary hull to attach it to just yet.

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~ by starstation on April 27, 2013.

2 Responses to “For Demonstration Purposes Only”

  1. This is looking fantastic. I’m really enjoying your work on this project, mostly because its an area of a star fleet ship we’ve never seen before.

    • Thanks! Yeah, that’s my favorite part of this sort of modeling. It’s the realization of stuff we’ve only been able to visualize after years of having been forced to rely upon limited publications of 2D deck plans and the like, or our own imaginations (not that that’s a bad thing 😉 ).

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