Docking Collar Is A Go!

Shuttlecraft… A No?

ranger_refit_070cAft bay spaces look far too small for my intended shuttlecraft.

Got quite a bit done on my prolonged holiday weekend (took Friday off since Thurs was the 4th 🙂 ). Decided to attack the ever prolonged aft shuttlebays. I had plans and everything, but not everything went exactly my way…

I started by creating some stencil shapes which I thought were plenty large enough for a decent sized shuttlecraft, even if a tight squeeze was prescribed.  I wasn’t willing to go any larger given the overall proportions on the entire aft section, especially in relation to several external hull features which appear as if they demand some share of the internal real estate themselves.  After I modeled the stencils into smoothed recessed indentations, a few greebles took their place flanking either side of the the newly formed niches.  I had every intention before I began of placing some docking ring elements nested within what would essentially be larger bay doors.  Those big doors could maybe then flop down, opening as a single platform like unit, possibly even after sliding to the outer edge of the hull.  It was a lark of an idea, but it allowed for both a bay and the standard docking collar.  I stenciled a ring in the flat section’s center and smooth shifted it out of the way.  Though this set up the scale and overall opening, I decided I would use some detailed components of a docking collar I’d already modeled when I built my own Probert style shuttlecraft, the one I’d crafted as a tag-along for the USS McCook.  That shuttle had to fit the dimensions of an Akyazi class’ catamarans and I wanted to use it on my Enterprise landing bay as well, so I built it to be noticeably smaller than the courier shuttle Spock used (warp sled free) in The Motion Picture.  The docking collar and the shuttle were stored together since I built them simultaneously, so it was the perfect chance to check them both out.  Sadly, when I finally uploaded my shuttlecraft model I discovered it was ridiculously huge despite its intended smaller scale.


Not only will it not fit through the open space’s width, the docking wall is set back a tiny bit too far for the shuttle’s docking extension to even reach it.  Even then, the the impulse engines’ outer frame also interferes with a smooth fit.  Heh.  It seems I keep getting banged over the head with just how small this ship really is. 🙂

I’ve considered pushing the recessed areas as close to the edge as possible to offer at least a possible docking capability with the Probert style shuttle, but the impulse engines might decide that effort moot.  As things stand, it seems I have a nice little recessed area, just large enough to park a standard travel pod, but providing that much needed flat hull component for their docking.  I still hold the hope that the recessed areas can indeed be bays with their double duty doors, maybe they could even slide entirely inward toward the ship’s center line without interfering with any impulse engineering (one might even speculate that is the reason for so many of the impulse engine’s elements bulge out and lining the outer hull).  At least that way some small shuttle pod/workbee bays could still be made available.  I’ve loaded my other, later style shuttlecraft to test it’s size compatibility, but things aren’t looking optimistic.  FASA’s alternate shuttlebay-forward scenario looks sweeter and sweeter.  I will almost certainly create a subclass that utilizes this method.

In addition to all this craziness, I finally added greebles to the recessed areas atop the aft hull, just above the speculative bay areas.  Buffers between the “blade” grills and the saucer section were begging me to be installed, so I put in a thin little bit of geometry to cushion something that was annoying me so.  I carved some hull plate lines on the flattest section of the underbelly in addition to a placing a few more greeble elements amidst the newly cordoned off areas.  I think I am more than satisfied with the greeble quotient at this stage and will call it a done deal down there.  I even added a few bevel touches to the view ports to help thicken the appearance of the saucer’s outer hull.  Lastly, I finally smooth shifted the deflector grid pattern on the upper saucer to complete that feature, though I am not entirely satisfied with the results.

ranger_refit_071Bay/docking features along the stern hull and the accompanying greebles just above on the dorsal aft section.

ranger_refit_072Though large bays may eventually be a FAIL, at least there are some nice flat recesses for a travel pod or two to nest without issue when in port.

ranger_refit_074b Finally smooth shifted the deflector grid lines on the upper hull.  Not entirely pleased.

ranger_refit_078cCarved a few grid lines along the flattest portion of the underbelly, and sprinkled a few more greebles nearby.

ranger_refit_075Aft view underbelly now in relation to newest  bay features- regardless of how they finally resolve themselves.

ranger_refit_076Buffers between the blade grills and saucer hull are readily visible here.  I just thought they were necessary.

scaled_docking_ringScreen capture illustrating just how large the docking collar is before I began implementing the back section details.


~ by starstation on July 6, 2013.

7 Responses to “Docking Collar Is A Go!”

  1. about the docking ports…maybe this solution might work?

    • Not sure what you’re suggesting here. Hover bikes as opposed to shuttlecraft? The Ranger class is definitely small, but I suspect the Archer class is even smaller. I might have just enough room to maneuver here and I’m going to take advantage of it.

      • sorry: i meant having the docking ports on the port and startboard edges of the saucer section. 🙂

      • Ah! Well that makes sense. Apparently born of necessity, I find that an interesting design, but it’s not my favorite. Luckily, I can avoid this entirely since the Ranger class is considerably larger than the Archer. Honestly, my only real design conflicts on this project have been on the things that Kevin Riley didn’t manage to complete on his original model. Mostly I’m trying to follow his example, but I have been forced into some bit of creative interpretation. I think I’ve reached a compromise on this dilemma though. 🙂

      • cool! can’t wait to see it!!!

        have you seen my designs on deviantArt?

      • Yes, in fact. The Redfin is a little beefy for my taste, but I really like the Beagle. 😀

  2. Okay, I’ve been following this thread for a little while.

    I knew that you said this ship was tiny, but MAN, that’s tiny. Love this stuff…

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