Return To Ranger

Minor tweaks and detail additions

ranger_refit_037bShuffling some nacelle detailing.

Been real busy with a new job lately, so I haven’t had spare time or brain power to devote to much 3D fun.  Had a little spare time this past Memorial Day weekend, so I thought I would pull the Ranger class refit back into service and play around with a few items.

In addition to installing a main gangway hatch to the port saucer, I shifted and shuffled some extant features of the warp nacelles and added a few minor details.  I corralled the thin strips at the forward base of the nacelle much tighter together and played with the lengths of those extensions that run along the underside.  The grill like strips that run along the inboard and outboard lengths of the nacelles are often referred to as different things in fan based references; sometimes they are described as warp field grills, while other times they are known as  “flux chillers.”  Regardless of their labeled designation, I added a somewhat temporary likeness to those already stenciled features by beveling their overall length inward to create a slightly curved indention.  I then modeled narrowly stenciled grill sets (cut from an unaltered copy of the original stenciled shape), and placed them just over the new indention.  This is a fairly sufficient stand-in for the time being, at least for the inboard nacelle surfaces, but those exterior sections are noticeably different in their concavity and grill texture (by most Starfleet standards of the era) and will need serious reworking when I have the time.  As to the pylons, I added a grill bump map to the vent indention on the outer facing surface.  And on the interior, I placed a bluish patch of color: a common strip of detail on Starfleet pylons (and other hull plate areas), typically indicative of the plasma conduits that feed the warp nacelles.  The stripe will eventually require more detailing of course, despite its limited area. (Update: Added some shaped panel lines and color variations to breakup the area somewhat).

ranger_refit_036cSaucer gets some subtle panel features.

As noted above, the saucer rim finally got its gangway, and I added some panel features to the saucer’s ventral concavity.  I don’t have a necessary function for these yet, but they are similar to the extendable panels and retractable doors seen on the dry docked Enterprise in The Motion Picture.  Being a significantly smaller ship, I’m not sure how generous I can be with the space behind the panels, which is why they have no formal assignment yet, but I was trying to add some detail that fits with the style.  I’ve also added a round yellow hazard region right near the impulse crystal.  I’ve seen these hazard indicators on a number of ships from the TOS and Movie era designs, and it’s always been one of my favorite details.  I’ve always thought it was a perfect local for ship’s refueling so I decided the Strider could use one too.  I’ve begun adding a few greeble details to the aft underside, mostly near the pylon connection area, though I remain rather conservative at this time as to just what else I want to add.  Other than the warp nacelles and phaser banks, I’ve made very few original design choices of the Strider refit.  This ventral space and the entire aft section are areas for which I have no reference to details in Kevin Riley’s original model renders.  He had speculated as to the location of shuttle bay doors on the aft side, but outside of the impulse housing and the deflector/sensor housings hanging below, all the knickknack details that frequent the underbellies of these more flatly designed craft (e.g., Riley’s Phobos, TWOK’s Reliant) had not yet been implemented.  I’ve seen many inspirational ideas over the years, but I want to get the area just right and avoid over saturating the design just for tchotchke’s sake.  I’ll probably start on the aft section soon and maybe the aft torpedo launcher in succession.  I might add some view ports to the saucer rim and start playing around with some Aztec hull features soon as well.  No promises there though.

~ by starstation on May 31, 2013.

4 Responses to “Return To Ranger”

  1. Nice work!

  2. Looking good. Nice to see more work to the Ranger class.

  3. As much as I like ILM’s design for the Reliant, I was annoyed of their penchant for tchotchke detailing. When viewing the Enterprise (classic and uprated) as a benchmark in smoothness and simplicity, the tchotchkes seem overthought and out-of-scale.
    I think it was a mindset they leaned on too much when they built physical models back then.

  4. Thanks guys! 😀

    Stasiuwong: You’re right, it’s pretty easy to go overboard with the tchotchkes, and  it’s one of the reasons I tread lightly on any greeble implementation.

    The Enterprise has her share of greebles of course.  They just all have their very finite places given her tall stature and all her graceful organic curves.  With so many large surface planes making up such a large percentage of the Reliant however, I’m totally sympathetic to the philosophy and reasoning behind much of her greebling, though I agree, she definitely pushes the limits.

     I’ve always chalked up the Reliant’s less elegant style to her being a somewhat more utilitarian design, and I actually like how most of the greebles on her upper surface are corralled into very distinctive regions.

    Much of that planted along the bottom is acceptable, but this is where I think the boundaries of “busy” and scale are tested.

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