First of all, I recently found about this forum and loving it already. Now, to the point
This has been to me like an obsession (not "like", an honest to god obsession) for many years, until one day I finally decided to try and make a 3D model of a Starfury. Actually, no. At first, I only wanted to build the Revell's 1:48 kit but, before I even started building it, I saw a lot of things wrong. Features missing, wrong details and dimensions... As you may know, there's no actual original 3D model, or even a practical model, of this ship (or maybe I'm wrong). All the files, meshes and such are lost, or they say. Even Revell had to do with images extracted directly from the show. So, after some thought (not too much), and seeing that none of the 3D models out there were (imho) accurate enough (there are awesome ones in this site, really, but remember, I'm obsessed), I decided to make one from scratch, grabbing all the reference images I could, taking more than half thousand screencaps from the show and so on (not unlike most of you, i guess). Two perks, though, I had never touched a 3d modelling software before, and I wanted to make it fully printable with the idea of making a big "garage kit", 1:32 or so, in resin. Since I had no idea of 3D modelling, I started with the one software I found easier, which is probably the WORST for such an enterprise. Yep, Sketchup. So here I am, after a few hundreds (or thousands) hours and half way in, but also half way out. The most obvious, the cockpit/canopy, the back greebles, finishing the weapons, the bottom... and then panel lines, rounding edges, correcting mistakes, killing myself for choosing that software...
So far, around 250 solids optimized for printing. No textures, no fancy rendering stuff (i'm too old to learn all that)
Well, it's gonna be a looooooong ride. I'm slow as hell, and most of the time I expend it correcting mistakes (still a lot), smoothing the looks (still a lot more) and trying to figure out how to do non-linear shapes right, at which this-software-sucks (or I suck at this software, more likely)
Actually, I'm seriously thinking about exporting the whole thing to .obj and give Fusion360 a try, though that'll mean having to learn yet another software from zero. That and reducing the solids count to something more manageable. Right now is about 250 (each solid has at least one flat side and mild angles to ease the printing process and avoid supports). When (if) i finish it, we may be talking about 300-350 solids. Print aaaaall that, test fitting, smooth it, cast it, test fit again... Waaaay above my paygrade, but a fun ride anyway
Mostly I use Artisan for complicated curves that don't "flow" naturally between edges or boundaries (like the frontal piece of the bottom wing, the one touching the cockpit and the lower weapons group), and for those that do, the free ones Fredo6 Curviloft and Soap Skin Bubble. Still the pain is not really making those forms, but editing the forms once made. For instance, I need to make the curve of the "top wing to body" beam more pronounced, more "rounded" (see pic), but keeping intact both ends of the component. Any bending plugin I've tried messes all the geometry badly since you can't pick a point but you're stuck with the bounding box
So I thought that, maybe, exporting what I have right now to another software with more capabilites with solids will help. I tried Blender 2.79 and some things seemed quite easy, but others not that much (have in mind that my experience with 3D software is just "making the starfury with Sketchup"). The mouse in Blender drives me crazy, nothing works like "it should", but I'm sure there's a way to change the mouse behavior in the options
By the way, how do you go back and forth between Sketchup and Blender? Which filetype you choose to work with both?
I guess it would look fantastic with textures and all the fancy rendering stuff
Always good to see a Starfury.
I just started my journey into computer design after lurking here for years. I am a traditional model maker, have been for decades. ( I'll have to start posting both types of models here.)
Anyway, I started using Fusion 360 last year and I really like it. My first introduction to that program was 123Design, Autodesk's free version before they stopped supporting it. You can use the free version of F360 as long as you do not make over 100K. I had also tried Blender, but too complicated for me.
I designed & started printing my first model. I think you will be very pleased with the program. I had started to use Sketchup, but found it limiting in basic shapes, though many use it and create awesome models with it.
Looking forward to more progress....
I have Fusion 360 as well, free license (less than 100k, well, less than $1 for that matter ), but since I started this project with Sketchup I'm stuck with it. The things I've learned to do with Sketchup will take me again a long time to learn with F360. Probably, though, I'll end up exporting some or all the components to F360 when the hard work is finished, it looks that F360 deals better with solids (merging, combining and such) than Sketchup, just for the purpose of 3D printing readiness
BTW, those Cobra engines look great
Thanks, Brandenberg, I wish. I'd just say I'm stubborn
I've been away from the model for a few days, not much progress, though I think the pilot and seat are finally done, maybe just a few minor details to add. Now, to the cockpit
Got to love the Starfury. The Best Space fighter to grace the small screen. (well it never made it to the big screen. )
Keep up the good work matey, I will be very keen to see how this model ends up, cheers.