Dish Of Ribs

Navigational Deflector gets some extra modeling texture.

Abbe_015k2Raised radial ridges for the deflector.

I inserted some raised details to the deflector dish earlier this week. Whether they are some sort of radial ridges involved in the dish’s functional burden or just some ribbed artifact of its underlying structural frame I know not, but they are classic movie era deflector, so I added them. I had considered simply updating the deflector’s UV texture, but so many other builders incorporate this single detail into the mesh or model of their own constructs, and my experience tells me the feature actually stands out remarkably well when the objects and their underlying dish are stripped of their luminosity in some attempt to feign a powered-down state. Given my frequent renders representing ships docked in Starbase ports, the conclusion to model was obvious.

Abbe_027b2Glowing a slightly darker blue hue helps it to contrast with the underlying UV texture.

They were pretty easy to make, currently just low polygon ridges. I started with a simple horizontal rectangle that I created to scale using the widest portion of the dish. I knifed it where need be and aligned each slice with the concentric curves that form the dish’s concavity. I extruded them into a single curved ridge and after some minimal but repeat copy/paste/rotate maneuvers, I had a full quarter complement of radial ridges. I was able to mirror everything else into its rightful place, and finally stretched the features to match the ovoid dish. Right now they just glow with the same surface I have applied to the impulse deflection crystal, a slightly dimmer blue than the dish’s UV texture, but that helps create a nice contrast. I probably won’t experiment with a powered down version until the ship is done and I am rendering her in some space port scene.

Abbe_023d2Now on to the sensor elements perched on either side of the dish.


~ by starstation on February 19, 2014.

4 Responses to “Dish Of Ribs”

  1. That is very well done. Do you have any interior rooms planned?

    • Thanks. I am really tinkering with some ideas for that non-canon view port at the aft of the bridge module (probably some sort of ready-room) as well as the VIP lounge just below that. Currently the only interior spaces present are in those around the saucer’s rim, though they are very primitive yet.

  2. Looking good. 🙂

    I’ve never figured out if those are supposed to be raised or beneath the surface. For that matter, neither are the model kit manufacturers, since they’ve done them both ways. I make them raised on my models.

    • Thanks!

      From all the studio model images and reference materials I’ve scoured, I’ve always assumed they were raised above the surface, if only minimally. Now, whether they are some sort of strip adhered to the dish, or just a layer of stenciled paint, their is some apparent relief there. It could be mere inches if measured in-universe. And since they can be seen in the TMP dry dock scenes on even the powered down Enterprise, I’ve never bothered thinking otherwise. Their actual function still eludes me, but it does serve to break up an otherwise large feature of hull whose plain smooth surface might manage to conflict with any attempt at the sense-of-scale being portrayed.

      However, this does raise some other interesting questions. I’ve yet to come to any firm belief on whether or not the dish is supposed to be some opaque form of hull that emits light because it is being heated to some extraordinary temperatures, or if it is supposed to be some from of exotic translucent material (perhaps even a singular solid piece, much like the TNG Bussard collectors are often described in technical publications), that only glows because it is not actually so different from how the studio model is presenting the filmed spacecraft, energized and lit from behind. I lean toward the latter though, given how dark it can appear in some of those dry dock scenes.

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