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 Post subject: Imperial 528's Starship Thread [No 56k] PostPosted: 2010-08-27 01:41pm
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Jedi Master
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Well, here's a starship I recently made in Sketchup:

Front:
Image
Side:
Image
Top:
Image
Bottom:
Image
Rear:
Image
Iso:
Image

Currently it is only textured with one of Sketchup's default metal textures and some teal-blue for the ion engines. This is the "working model" in that it's only one step above concept (which had no turrets and a different bridge). Once I finish making the model itself I'm going to convert it to a .3ds and make a texture.

I'm looking for advice and critique on the design (General comments are fine too). I was thinking of putting a sensor and communications suite on it but I can't decide whether to put it on top of the bridge or inside one (or all) of the four indents on the second ridge of the main superstructure. I also want to put a hangar on it somewhere, and I was thinking the empty side on the rear or on the large sides of the superstructure.



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Last edited by Imperial528 on 2011-06-29 05:34am, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-08-27 03:10pm
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Jedi Knight
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It has a rather handsome profile, but the engines look a little out of place and simplistic at this stage. I'd also prefer to see the sides slope outwards into a slightly wider ship, rather than the very slab sided effect you have now. All that pales into nothingness next to the fact that you've wallpapered the thing in tiny guns! :shock:

Are you expecting it to be attacked by millions of light fighters at very close range that your aiming technology cant track and hit? Nothing else would explain why you have so many tiny guns. The enemy must be very light if such small guns can destroy them, but in some way unhittable if you need so many.

If you could aim them with any skill you'd put fewer, more powerful and accurate guns and bust the enemy at a distance before they get close enough to do damage. If your gunnery is so poor, putting tons of them on the broadside means they'll just interfere with each others shooting. Imagine trying to see what's going on when they all fire all over the place!

If they use ammo, you're going to need to use a lot of internal space to store anyhere near enough. If they're beam weapons you're going to use a massive part of your power to run them. Fewer, more powerful weapons make more sense here again.

Warships and aircraft went through this evolution already. They went from hundereds of inaccurate and relatively weak weapons to fewer, more powerful and accurate weapons, and on to carrier aircraft and guided weapons. A modern warship looks nearly unarmed compared to a Galleon with hundereds of smooth bore cannon, but it can be sure of a killing hit way beyond visual range. Give your big ship a few anti-big ship guns, some close range weapons, and let your fighters and smaller, less armoured ships worry about enemy fighters. [/rant]



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-08-27 09:54pm
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Jedi Master
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Perhaps I should've added some numbers, hehe...

From the front to the rear edge of the engines the ship is 6.2 miles in length. The gun calibers go as follows (From memory, may be wrong) Turrets: 20', 30', 60'. Large guns: 340', 120', 80'.

The idea I had when I designed this is that the ship would begin the engagement by going in at an angle, say to the right and up, while pounding the target with as many guns as it could face it with (The ranges of the weapons are on par with SW weapons), and then turning to face the target to bring the hull-mounted heavy weapons to bear.

Anyways, how would making the smaller turrets about 50-75% larger and 1/3 in number along the ridge deck? I could also make the primary turrets twice the size they are now.

In the setting this ship is in (An RPG to be exact), 5-6km starships usually have thousands of guns. My designs have been the "odd man out" due to the fact that, relatively speaking, I have less guns.



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-08-28 06:05am
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Jedi Knight
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Too many people just spec up Uberships without thinking it through. They fall in love with numbers, and that is not what intelligent design is about. I think the worst was the guy who wanted to make a ship 15 lightyears long by about 2 wide and 1 tall. You couldn't even fly it in a galaxy as there isn't enough space between the stars, and you'd have to grind up every planet in several galaxies to get the material to make it, never mind crew. That didn't bother him, the pillock.

If your ship is going to be 6 miles long, give it guns to suit. A certain percentage of your weight and power on ships this size will be devoted to guns. You could take that amount and split it into 1000 small guns of 0.1% firepower, or you could make 10 guns that are 100 times more powerful. Which do you think will have the greater range and do more damage to another 6 mile long Ubership? If there are fighters which can take out a 6 mile long ship with ease, why build a huge ship instead of smaller carriers and fighters?



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-08-28 09:16am
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Jedi Master
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I see your point.

I'm going to tweak the body to allow for putting large turrets on the ridge deck (since only putting them where they are now would leave inexcusable gaps in firing arcs), which may lead to the engines being more integrated into the hull structure.

Unfortunately, I'm on my netbook so I won't be able to redo the turrets (at least, not easily) until I'm able to get back on my desktop. I'll put up screenshots of the changes.



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-08-28 07:43pm
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Jedi Knight
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If you're tweaking the engines it might be interesting to put some armour shielding over portions of them, or held out a little to the side of them. It would add a little visual intrest to the side aspect and add to the hard badass battleship look. Also, how about some missile banks built in somewhere. They could be your anti-fighter screen, and of course you can easily add a couple of squadrons of fighters on something this large without even noticing. :)



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-08-29 05:53am
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Okay, I made the hull ridge wider to accommodate much larger guns, and I added armor shells around the engines.

Here's an iso, it's a bit small though:
Image

I'm going to make said guns when I can get on my desktop computer later today.



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-08-29 07:55pm
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Jedi Knight
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Looking nice so far. It's wider than I thought, but none the worse for that. Should look great when the guns and other details go on.



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-08-30 05:41am
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Jedi Master
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Okay, I added some new, larger turrets, and kept a few of the old ones. Which makes a grand total of 47 large turrets and no small ones.

New front:
Image
New side:
Image
New top:
Image
New iso:
Image

How's it look?



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-08-30 06:21am
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Jedi Knight
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I think it's much better looking than the original attempt, that's for sure. There's still way too many guns and in the wrong places for my liking, but I know you want to keep true to the design you originally had in your head. There are a couple of things I'd think about doing though...

Lose the guns on the front, they're redundant and spoil the long graceful line of the ships profile. Your ship is designed to fire broadsides, how often will it be just firing at something directly in front? The firing arcs of the side guns nearest the front can cover that angle anyway.

Try altering the placement of the turrets. Right now it looks like something built out of lego, with all the guns evenly spaced along the whole length. It makes some sense, but looks wrong. To break it up a bit, why not bunch 4 turrets next to each other nearer the rear, and then bunch the remaining two nearer the front. In the spaces made by the changes you can scatter some of your small anti-fighter turrets, as it makes sense to have a few for point defence. Your ship should then look a lot more balanced.

Finally you might want to look at designing a new turret, one with a lot of elevation on the guns so that you dont need your ship to manouever so much to get a good broadside into the enemy. I like how its shaping up, once it's done you might send me the file and I'll convert it to Lightwave and do some pictures with it.



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-08-30 06:53pm
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Jedi Master
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Most recent updates:

Front:
Image
Side:
Image
Top:
Image
Back:
Image
Iso:
Image

I re-designed the front turrets, and modified the rest to make them look much more... functional. Funny that you mention Lego though, since I made my concept with Legos.



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-08-31 04:35am
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Jedi Knight
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Nice, you got what I was trying to describe exactly. It's a shame no one else is posting, you could do with a couple more opinions on this to gauge how its going. I think it now looks a lot more purposeful and 'designed' now, rather than a ship covered in machine guns. Technically you've got your guns the wrong way round (small ones on centreline, big ones on edges) but it doesn't really matter in this design.

Now you've got the layout looking good, you should start to move on to more detail and greebling, etc. How about a couple of small shuttlebays somewhere? Is there a bridge somewhere we can see? Sensor masts and blisters? A few windows scattered here and there to add scale would help, although at 6 miles long they may not show up. Add a few random bumps, cut-outs, cut-ins and ridges to add detail to the hull, that sort of thing. Dont go overboard and significantly change the shape, just make it look built rather than drawn.



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-08-31 05:53am
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I have a close up of the bridge as it is actually:

Image

Unfortunately today is my first day of school, so I won't get the chance to model until later. I'll use the time to brainstorm, perhaps make some sketches of details.



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-09-01 07:23pm
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I definitely agree with Kenny. The basic design is very solid. However, saying that, its needs some kind of detail, both large and small. I would suggest maybe flaring out the sides or even indenting them in, like the sides of a star destroyer. Adding some fins or towers might help out also. And pertaining to weapons placement take a look at this thread. I went through the exact same thing and I got quite a few people help me make the optimal setup.



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-09-02 12:12pm
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Insane Railgunner
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Location: Louisiana... or Dagobah. You know, where Yoda lives.
Thirded with Kenny. Your ship reminds me of one of my old designs, just blockier. Yes, we love our dagger-shaped warships with gun turrets here. Try making your turrets superfiring (which is why we make our ships' lines converge to a point at the bow anyway which causes the dagger shape) so you can concentrate your firepower forward while keeping otherwise huge firing arcs for your turret guns. The point can be truncated as wasted space, packed full of sensor and comms equipment, or (my favorite) fitted with a primary spinal Big Honking Space Gun.



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-09-02 04:26pm
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In the time since my last post, I have added more detail and am in the process of adding even more.

Here's some close-ups:

Bow:
Image
In this shot you can see the primary bow shield generator, mounted in a recessed area of the hull. I'm going to try my best to fill it with random-enough (but not too random) structures to make the area look more detailed. The area is symmetrical on the x-axis.

Bridge:
Image
The two dome structures are communications and sensor suites, comm being on the left and sensors on the right.

Ion Beam Weapon:
Image
This is a close-up of one of the four main ion beams on the ship, the details on the barrel are the armor shells of the last few electromagnetic accelerator rings.

Large weapons:
Image
These three are smaller than the ion beams, but work with them during combat, the center one is a laser, hence the lens, and the other two are large plasma cannons. There are four emplacements of these on the ship, above (or in the case of the bottom half, bellow) the ion beam emplacements.

Main turret:
Image
Made the barrel more detailed, and added four heat radiators.

Medium turret:
Image
Split the barrel in similar ways to the main turret's barrel, added a taper along the area where the barrel gets thinner.

Small turret
Image
Made the barrel tapper into the base, also added splitting. All turrets are plasma weapons btw.

Stern:
Image
These are some escape pod bays I'm working on, I'm also planning to add maneuvering thrusters to the exterior of the main engines and the decks near them.

Also, Grahf, I've thought about your suggestion of indenting the sides in, and I think I could make it work on the empty space where there are no turrets on the hull ridge.



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-09-02 05:52pm
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Jedi Knight
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Just got back from my trip to Brussels, boredom captal of Europe. Good to see you've been adding some worthwhile detail to the ship. Keep it up and you'll have a cracking model at the end of it.



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-09-02 09:40pm
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Looking a lot better with some detail. Next thing I would do would be to soften up some of those 90 degree edges. For example, in the last pick I would cut a diagonal slice between the top horizontal surface and the adjoining vertical surface. Then just push/pull that line to soften it up:

Image

The bottom object is how you have it now, the top is what I'm suggesting you do.



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-09-03 06:15am
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Jedi Master
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Like this?

Image

Also, for the manuvering thrusters I got inspired by the engine designs on your ships, they're quite interesting.

Added detail to the bow:
Image
Made a hangar:
Image
There's three others on the matching areas of the ship.



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-09-03 11:20am
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Jedi Knight
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Getting better all the time, the more detail you add the more real it will look. You might want to turn your attention to building some detail into the engines, they look rather bland right now. Even making that big disc glow brightly it will not look good in pictures.



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-09-03 02:55pm
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Those were just engine glow I put in, since I couldn't think of engine details at the time.

Here's a shot from the rear, with more detailed engines:
Image



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-09-05 01:08am
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Looks way better man.



They say, "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots." I suppose it never occurred to them that they are the tyrants, not the patriots. Those weapons are not being used to fight some kind of tyranny; they are bringing them to an event where people are getting together to talk. -Mike Wong

But as far as board culture in general, I do think that young male overaggression is a contributing factor to the general atmosphere of hostility. It's not SOS and the Mess throwing hand grenades all over the forum- Red

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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-09-05 07:58am
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Final changes:

Iso:
Image
Close up on engines:
Image

I would have loved to add more detail, but these last few changes were all I could come up with unfortunately. Perhaps when my creativity comes back to me I'll add more.

PS: Coincidentally, I have added some minor details since I made this post. There are now areas for docking clamps to connect.



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-09-05 08:19pm
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Jedi Knight
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Just look at the largest areas with nothing on them, and then do a little cutting or building on them. Cut little insets here and there along the outer edge, a bit like a star destroyer. They could later be made into docking ports or windows or whatever. Add a few shallow squares and shapes along the open flat areas to break it up a little. It doesn't have to be meaningful or fancy, just more greebling to add detail.



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 Post subject: Re: New Starship Design; Seeking advice PostPosted: 2010-09-05 08:49pm
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Jedi Master
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I'll see what I can do.

Also, I'm not going to change the hull ridge, as its purpose is to serve as an extra-thick armor belt and part of the primary structure support, as most of the vital equipment would be inside of the hull deck. I do plan on texturing it though. And I should be able to do a lot with the sides of the superstructure.



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