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Semi hard SF design.

Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
edited February 2016 in Work in Progress #1
Here's something I'm doing for a near future SF setting that's semi hard sf, similar in aome ways to "the expanse".

This is just the fore section, where the crew would mostly live. It as most of the comm and sensor systems away from the rear section with the heavy EM and rads.Therell be a middle section witha framework to attach cargo pods to and small cargo handling ships.

The rear will be mostly reactor and engines.


Here's the most detailed point I'm at, the forward sensor array, The round one is a fixed 45 degree cone phased array radar for navigational purposes. It would usually be on. The wide arrays are sweep phased array system that can sweep from side to side or up and down. They have sp[specialized systems in them, those little bits at the ends, that contain imaging radar, lidar and similar stuff. They can either add to the forward array by sweeping in a 60, 90 or 120 degree cone or be targeted on specific objects for detailed analysis. The mid ones would sweep side to side in counter sync, the top and bottom would sweep ap and down in sync.


Feedback welcome, it's done in blender 3d.
Post edited by Judge Death on


  • SvenLittkowskiSvenLittkowski175 Posts: 20Member
    Hmmmmm, interesting...

    All I can say at this moment is, that I am waiting anxiously and curiously for more details to come. I need to get a better understanding about the design of this previously in our Earth-controlled space unseen mysterious ship type. ;-)
  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    The comm array antennas needed work, but those were moslty placeholders anyway. A little scaling, a subsurf mod and some additional rings to serve as structural braces and they look so much better IMO.

  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    I added 2 carousel modules for the crew's health and comfort. I'm afraid they give the ship a regrettable "princess leia" look but if people don't understand what carousel modules are for on a ship, frak 'em.

    I really am thinking about changing out the comms arrays with something else. I hafe an idea for something that may look better. I may also use fewer of them.


  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    This is the general form of the ship.

  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    I dumped the original comms arrays. Here's the new upper sensor array, which I patterned on a modern AWACS plane's array and one of the tightbeam comms systems. The tibhtbeam system is for secure data that is not to be broadcast. It can send messages vie a laser or maser beam to a specific can also receive a tightbeam transmission.

  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    Latest version. I dumped all those array anterrae and am working on the middle more. The thick parts around the middle bars are where cargo pods will attach to.

    The ship will be called the "swissjack" class. She is meant to be a very versatile and multi role vessel capable of doing far more than just carrying cargo. Her sensor and scanner arrays allow her to gather scientific data as she passes relatively near various parts of the solar system. She can also deploy probes, communication relays, etc along her way.

  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_180827 Posts: 8,770Member
    It looks interesting so far. It was hard to gauge at first, when you only had that first section on there. However, now that you have the rest of the ship at least partially laid out, it's easier to gauge how it will look overall. I really like that AWACS inspired dish, that's a nice detail.
  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    thanks. I've imagines ships with that AWACS type array but decided they'd likely need 2 for full coverage.

    SWASC array1.jpg
  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    Here's the docking collar for the heavy cargo pods. I worked quite a while on designing and getting this done. This and the reciprocal collar on the heavy cargo pods. These get a complex and very heavy docking arrangement as the pods are large and massive. The smaller pods will have smaller and simpler collars more like the ones seen in STTMP.


    Added an airlock.

  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_180827 Posts: 8,770Member
    Nice job on the docking area. :)
  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    Latest version, with one heavy cargo pod attached. The pod has a series of thrusters on it, located in the boxes along the frame. The frame is both structural and a fuel supply for the thrusters.

    I'm reaching a real issue here I could use a little help with. I was a little too free with subsurfing and started choking on vertexes. I've cut way back on subsurfing and eliminated it when possible but still i have a lot of verts. Could some friendly blender god here offer to take a look at my mesh and tell me what I'm doing wrong?

  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    Here's a generic shot featuring 4 pods and the forward scanner array which was a key component of the ship concept. I added 4 pods to show that not all the hard points for heavy cargo pods need be filled every flight. If the ship carried 2 it carries them on the center points. It carries 2, 4 or 6 in balanced pairs.

    I'm working on my vertex choke problem. The cargo pods really needed a subsurf but the attached docking port and thrusters didn't, so I separated them and onll subbed the pod body, it seems to work. prowview1.jpg
  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    Ok I have a question about something I'm working on. It's actually got two aspects to it. One is "artistic" and the other is technical.

    I'm hoping to get an answer to at least the technical side of this here as a lot of the people are technically minded, maybe someone will answer the artistic side too, I can hope.

    Anyway I'm working on the ship's engines and I had an idea to make the engines a little unusual. I was thinking that the ship's main power is provided by a big fusion reactor that fuses hydrogen into Helium 3. Now the helium 3 is usually used by the ship's engines as fuel and propellant.

    The H3 would be channeled to the engines from the fusion reactor, incidentally taking a lot of heat with it on the way out, and at nthe rear of the engines would be caught in an external cage like affair that is a superconducting super magnetic field generator that generates a magnetic field powerful enough to "pinch" the still very hot H3 plasma to a fusion stage. The thrust produced by magnetic fields on the rear of the engine repelling the charged fusion plasma would provide high energy thrust.

    So this would be called a "Pinch fusion drive". It's very efficient in tht is uses the fusion reactor to produce main power with hydrogen then converts the hydrogen into engine fuel and propellant, and uses it to carry away much of the heat produced to. Sounds plausible to me at least.

    Now here's my question, I had the idea of making the engine section that is facing the pinch fusion process completely plated with high purity gold. Why? You may well ask. Because gold is the best known reflector of infrared radiation (heat) we have today and it also blocks or reflect microwave radiation pretty well too, so I saw this as layer to protect the rear of the engine compartment from intense heat and microwave radiation being generated by the fusion process.

    Artistically can I make this work very well in blender as gold being like a mirror is hard to get to look right in space. Any advice? Also anyone with any tecdhnical chops can give feedback on the idea too.
  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    Here's an early model of the engines. As I said the engines will have superheated H3 plasma drawn straight into them from the fusion reactor which will be funneled into a very tight stream of very hot plasma into the engine chambers in the rear where ultra intense magnetic fields generated by the chamber will pinch it to fusion and the same fields will force it out the rear at high speed for thrust, which will be generated by the force of the fusion plasma pushing against the magnetic fields.engine1.jpg
  • psCargilepsCargile232 Posts: 546Member
    If you haven't already perused the website Atomic Rockets, go there for insight and ideas.

    So how much of the world's gold supply are you using?
  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    psCargile wrote: »
    If you haven't already perused the website Atomic Rockets, go there for insight and ideas.

    So how much of the world's gold supply are you using?

    Well, an ounce of gold can be pressed into a film that reflects IR at near 99% efficiency that would cover a football field. A lot of buildings use gold tinted glass to keep out IR from the sun to reduce cooling costs. See:

    Also once we get off earth and start seriously mining other bodies the supply of gold will skyrocket. Here, have a look at this:
  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    Engines on the rear hull. The coils on the cylinder leading up to the nozzle are accelerator coils meant to accelerate the incoming plasma to the highest speed it can be accelerated, the coils in the nozzle are the pinch field coils meant to pinch the plasma to fusion levels, which occurs just past the past coil.


    There is a light panel visible. Is there a way to put them on a layer and make the light they emit visible on the main layer and not the panels themselves?
  • psCargilepsCargile232 Posts: 546Member
    're: light panel. Try an area lamp instead, or move the emmisive panel out of frame and increase brightness.

    If you have only a few mmaterials made and aren't intimidated by using nodes, save a backup copy of the model and play around with the cycles renderer. You get more realistic lighting, but more trial and error eliminating the noise cycles adds.
  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    psCargile wrote: »
    're: light panel. Try an area lamp instead, or move the emmisive panel out of frame and increase brightness.

    If you have only a few mmaterials made and aren't intimidated by using nodes, save a backup copy of the model and play around with the cycles renderer. You get more realistic lighting, but more trial and error eliminating the noise cycles adds.

    I'm rendering in cycles now. Yes, I need to learn to texture. I'm apparently fairly decent at modelling. Now I need to texture. I have a few good tuts on texturing things like spacecraft in cycles, anyone wanna recommend more?
  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    Here's the ship with the Pitch Yaw Roll Strafe system added. These control jets control the PYRS of the ship.

    The strafe term was put in by engineers who were designing the ship. many of whom were FPS players. The PR department changed it to "slide" as "strafe" was considered too militant ad not completely accurate. The engineering department replied "That's a good argument. Now bite us." Since the engineers were far more valuable, hard to replace and important than the PR department whiners and nitpickers, the engineering department won the disagreement.

    The thrusters were inspired by some greebles I saw on JWWright's klingon cruiser revision.

    I braced the upper PYRS thrusters as the top cross beam was unsecured and thinner than the lower one.

  • psCargilepsCargile232 Posts: 546Member
    Because reaction control system or vehicle maneuvering system wasn't cool enough?:)
  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    Eh, I just liked the name, plus it clearly states what the system does: Controls Pitch, Yaw, Roll and Strafe.

    We don't hear the terms pitch and yaw used much in ship maneuvering. Sulu mentioned them while conducting the evasive maneuvers in STTMP, that was about it.

    BTW, the system is called the PYRS Control System, pronounced "Percys"Again just a whimsical embellishment of mine.

    I need to modify it a little. The thrusters are too big, and they have some missing faces in the corner vents thanks to a mirror command.

    I need to add retru/forward thrusters to the rear section too.
  • psCargilepsCargile232 Posts: 546Member
    As it pertains to attiude/translation, what do you mean by "strafe"?
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_180827 Posts: 8,770Member
    The ship is looking good so far. :)
  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    psCargile wrote: »
    As it pertains to attiude/translation, what do you mean by "strafe"?

    To strafe in a FPS means to move sideways while facing forwards. You can be moving forwards while doing so or not. In a FPS it's often accompanied by shooting at a target. It's based on the proven fact that when shooting at a moving target it's harder to hit one moving laterally across your field of fire than it is to hit one moving straight at or away from you.

    in this context it would let the ship fire the thrusters on one side to move sideways as a course correction move, to avoid a detected object on a collision course, etc.
  • bbeltbbelt0 Posts: 0Member
    This is a very unique ship with a layout that is not widely seen among sci-fi ships. Keep up the good work.

    To help reduce the number a vertices, you could instead try to use a bevel modifier to round out the edges instead of sub surfacing. It will only add the extra vertices and edges to the corners and leave the flat areas mostly untouched.

    In regards to the gold issue, take a look at images of the mylar ( I think I am spelling it correctly) blankets that NASA is using today. They either have a gold look or have a thin layer of gold themselves adn they are not that reflective optically wise. So texturing it in a way to make it look convincing wouldn't have to be as troublesome as you may think it would be.
  • psCargilepsCargile232 Posts: 546Member
    In aeronautical terms, a translation maneuver. Okay.
  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    Yeah. The engineers decided to have a little fun and call it a strafe. The pedantic crowd had their usual conniption. The engineers stood their ground.They won. the pendantics lost.
  • SanderleeSanderlee0 Posts: 0Member
    Never annoy engineers in space, they are the ones who know how the air recyclers work. :D
  • Judge DeathJudge Death0 Posts: 0Member
    I'm up to just under 1.5 megaverts. gotta be doing something wrong...
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