Auxiliary Austere

Hangar decks for the more minimalist minded starships

Abbe_038aAdded the hangar deck to the Abbe Class, USS Corsica. Here, a shuttlecraft rests atop its raised landing platform, preparing for launch.


Finally got around to installing one of those snug hangar decks aboard the Corsica. These little hangars are most often seen on fan ship designs such as the Abbe class. They’re typically suited to much lighter ships sporting little to no secondary hull and no prominent primary hull extensions, the lack of which offers them far less internal volume for any extensive landing bay facilities. Although the Abbe class does include a mounted pod as a rather proportionately large element in its overall profile, this is a weapons pod, almost entirely devoted to its function as a storage and launch platform for its wide range of torpedo ordnance. Despite the narrow regions available to the primary hull, it’s even less likely that this torpedo pod would have the spare room for a shuttlebay of any significance, especially given its more single-minded purpose. It could manage to house a few valuable workbees however, particularly if they helped contribute to its mission. Although I am very pleased with the torpedo pod presented here, it is in fact based on the earliest versions in the Jackill’s publications. I may eventually model an alternate torpedo pod that matches the more updated version, but I would only apply that to another ship with a different name and registry.

Abbe_038bAfter the shuttle departs, the elevated landing pad is allowed to sink back into its alcove. An inner isolation door can also be seen (barely), helping to further separate the internal bay areas from the outer launch alcove.


Abbe_038cThe exterior doors can be fully closed once all takeoff or landing procedures are completed.


Between the original design and fan inspired model work (be it physical scale models or CGI creations) I’ve seen several different interpretations of this hangar style. These variations include:

  • A hangar’s precise location about the primary hull.
  • Additional control compartments protruding out of the surrounding hull and/or additional nearby equipment and details.
  • Distinctive approach and hazard markings for the surrounding hull, main doors, and landing pads.
  • Differing door styles and colors as well.

Despite these minimal differences, their common thread tends to be a very specific section of primary hull grid paneling, usurped to serve as a large exterior hatch. This section must be at high enough elevations on the dorsal side to provide the space required for housing a single shuttle craft and its surrounding bay volume.

Abbe_039A little zoom in on those closed exterior doors.

I say single shuttle because only one shuttle can occupy the launch alcove at a time, but I’m not entirely sure how many shuttles such a bare-bones ship is even meant to carry. I would have to confer with the Jackill’s manuals to get the exact numbers, but considering how much of the primary hull is already sacrificed to accommodate the ship’s main navigational deflector, let alone this small hanger bay, I can’t imagine Starfleet investing too much more real estate to this endeavor. I included an “internal bay” since there is almost certainly some need for wiggle room, especially when it comes to maintenance issues, though I personally have no evidence of what actually exists behind the outer space doors. This internal area is just wide enough to contain an entire shuttle and even a bit higher, which would be useful for those maintenance purposes. Still, there is no definitive evidence that the craft ever does anything but rest on its landing pad when corralled within the ship’s hull.

There seems to be speculation that either the shuttles can simply depart from and return to this boxy containment on their own power (especially by automated means), or that there is a remarkably thin decking within the external alcove that can be elevated just to the edge of the ship’s outer hull, making things much more convenient for the craft’s comings and goings. I chose the latter method for my model.

Abbe_039aThe shuttle’s draft must provide enough clearance for the doors above it to slide open.

In the image above you can see the internal bay, since the isolation door is completely open. I’m not sure if there is enough practical room with this set up for two permanent shuttles, but if necessary the external bay would be the sole parking spot for one of them. Routine shuttle maintenance is handled in this space, and cargo loading might also be shunted through the hanger, as there are large access hatches inside to even further interior spaces. The shuttles however, would be forced to find somewhere else to play in the interim.

Abbe_039bThe landing platform elevates the shuttle to provide for a less complicated departure.


Abbe_040fMore of the interior bay is revealed, accompanied by some splotchy global illumination as well.

Another angle reveals more of the interior bay, including its main access to the ship’s corridors. Again, the isolation door is opened here for a better view, but I’m also contemplating some type of atmospheric containment field built into the isolation door’s framework. This would be especially helpful for the cargo loading scenario.
I was having some major problems with the global illumination here given that all the little nooks and crannies were plagued with sampling splotches that aren’t as apparent on the more open areas of the ship’s exterior. I only learned last night that one can actually set a particular object layer’s radiosity settings independently of the rest of the scene. That was an amazing revelation to me, but I didn’t have much time to play with the implications before I simply had to force myself to bed. I did get one image out and it was certainly an improvement over some earlier (hideous) attempts, but I clearly have a little more work to do in this area.

Abbe_040c1Was getting better results by adjusting pixel settings, but lost lots of rich detail with all the “light bleed” Clearly still need to tweak the settings.

Abbe_040eLearning all about sample points and how to best adjust the settings in GI. This flag feature is a very helpful tool.

Abbe_040The earliest ugliest attempt, which insisted, “You have a problem.”

~ by starstation on July 7, 2015.

3 Responses to “Auxiliary Austere”

  1. The bay looks great, very well thought out.

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