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Details for ship sides

Discussion of modelling

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Details for ship sides

Postby Islacrusez » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:49 am

Hi guys, I've currently got a ship model in the works, which I'm hoping to complete by the end of the month to go with an update to my project.

It's 1/5000th scale, putting meaning that 1mm = 5m, and the ship is a light cruiser around 280m long. The theme for it is modern military, in space, and sits somewhere between a star destroyer, a battlestar, and blindhorizon's pre-heresy heavy frigate in terms of aesthetics. However this being a modern military ship, I don't have BFG/40k's fallback of gothic arches to put along the hull as detailing.

Thus I am stuck, for a moment at least. Do you guys have any suggestions as to what might turn up on the side of a space warship? Defensive turrets notwithstanding; I've got enough of those plastered over the hull!
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Re: Details for ship sides

Postby RageofAchilles » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:03 pm

docking ports, lateral thrusters, shuttle bays, ablative armour,

having the same thoughts myself with the 1/3000th scale ships I'm doing, everything is so tiny! lol
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Re: Details for ship sides

Postby Islacrusez » Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:02 am

I'm currently planning a shuttle bay (with an additional turret protecting it), and some escape pods if that helps yours any. Not sure how to model on-hull ablative armour at this scale, but I do have spaced/ablative armour in the form of two outboard armoured winglets, protecting the flat sides from direct fire.
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Re: Details for ship sides

Postby mangozac » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:49 am

That's a really good question, Islacrusez! Practically you don't want more than necessary on the outside of a warship - as much as possible should be under the armour!

The most effective thing is probably going to be interesting panel line designs. There's no reason that some panels can't be raised up higher than others also. Spaced armour (no pun intended :P) is also a good idea - it adds a lot of visual interest while being very practical. Maneuvring thrusters, as suggested by RoA are a good idea also.

I'm keen to see what you're working on!
Oh yeah I can make that....
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Re: Details for ship sides

Postby Islacrusez » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:50 am

mangozac wrote:That's a really good question, Islacrusez! Practically you don't want more than necessary on the outside of a warship - as much as possible should be under the armour!


Aye, that's something that I've been thinking about an awful lot. However it conflicts with another piece of advice for generating interest and realism, and that's that there's an armour layer, a layer of detail, and then the structural layer; and the interplay between these is important. I'm hoping I've captured it, but I won't really know until I can get you guys to look at it. Hopefully it will be workable!

Mostly I've focused on the "citadel" armour, a large box around the engine cluster, which would also contain central command, and this universe's FTL drive. The armour winglets give me a little freedom as it allows me to put surface items on areas of the ship behind them, while still technically being under the armour. The other armoured section is the prow, as a significant portion of the armament fires forward. It's actually very interesting designing "realistic" space armament configurations, especially when the play will ultimately take place on a plane rather than a space.


So far, the detail added to the surface is a hangar door, "the ball", and approach lighting. Hopefully the small bumps will help paint that detail when it comes to it.

Of course, it will also be interesting to see what you make of the printability and castability of it, as I've mostly been modelling for pseudorealism since I lack the print/cast experience. Too many times have I caught myself, converted from metres, and realised "oh, that engine cluster is only 4mm across." I do know that shapeways is not an option though, as the smallest details are simply too small.
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