The Dreaded Embedded Begins

Navigational deflector takes shape.

Abbe_027Navigational deflector- basic structures begin to take shape.

Procrastination may be my style, but I can no longer put off this endeavor.  I decided last night, at the last minute, to start playing with some of the shapes and how-to methods of implanting this structure, and spent the last hour before bed coming up with this.

Abbe_023bNothing is yet welded into place and a few items are still totally missing.

While just the most basic of foundations, I was able to carve out that narrow portion of the saucer’s underside that will eventually serve as an alcove for the main navigational deflector dish. The deflector dish itself is the design feature furthest along in refinement proceedings, as it was essentially the easiest to model and I chose to make it the baseline for most other scale justifications.  All it really needs now is some finishing textures to complete it.

The alcove was a little harder to tackle, but I managed it in just under an hour, so I can’t really complain like I’d feared.  I backed up the main saucer to prevent loss of anything valuable before I started to essentially gut the poor thing.  I had to judge the size and placement of everything on good-ole’-fashioned approximation, as I don’t have any decent orthographic plans of the upgraded version on my computer to use as background.  I did just get the updated Jackill book on Friday though.  Still, thanks to many reference images and the ship’s own grid lines (the only other viable justifications for size), I could tell which lines served as perfect boundaries and what sections would need to be pulled in order for everything to fit properly.  I then used the outermost points of those pulled sections (the front and sides only) to create three new open curved lines (also known as splines).  With the addition of a final opened curve to represent the arched interior backing of the new alcove itself, I was able to use the patch tool to create the alcove’s “ceiling.”

That final arched spline was derived from a basic circlular shape cut down to a mere portion of its size leaving only a wide arch stretching across the cavity left behind when the select hull portions were removed.  It was mirrored at its base to create a single and distinct eye shaped polygon, thus forming the back edge of the alcove. That was then extruded towards the aft, creating a basin that juts out from the hull, serving to encompass the deflector equipment from below.  Finally, the same eye shaped polygon was beveled multiple times to hollow out the basin shape, creating the recess where the dish and its equipment will be housed.

Right now all these parts are just floating in a “WIP” layer, so nothing is welded into place, explaining a lot of visible light leakage. Eventually, either side of the alcove will sport some very familiar, mound-like structures with their equally familiar, movie-era-styled greebles. Seeemingly aimed forward, these are found on many Starfleet vessels of the period, often in association with navigational deflector/sensor assemblies. I have not yet begun modeling those, but once I have some basics constructed I can better study how I will start to bring all these elements together and incorporate them permanently into the design. All this organic shaping is eventually supposed to blend into the hull’s structure in some way- not my strong suit.

~ by starstation on February 10, 2014.

2 Responses to “The Dreaded Embedded Begins”

  1. That looks really good. Thanks for the explanation too. It’s always interesting to know how other modelers approach things. Personally, I like to do cut-outs like these before I add grid lines, but that’s just how I roll. 😉

    • Thanks, and I’d have to say I agree with you about cut-outs in general, but since I created this particular primary hull for another ship (the Northampton) with a focused intent on utilizing it for as many ships as it would serve, I had already tackled that feature.
      Luckily, the Abbe class’s deflector alcove is situated within a very specific set of grid lines, which didn’t force me to cut across any of the raised panels, just remove them all together. I’ll have a little more difficulty when I start adding those sensor mound contraptions to either side, but technically, I’ll only have to do that once and mirror the results. 🙂

      And we’ll keep rollin’ 😉

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