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Blast From The Past--A Post-FRS Starship 
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Joined: 23 Apr 2010 14:05
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BolianAdmiral's thread about his work on the Nebula class got me thinking about something I started (and abandoned) quite a while ago. It was one of my two Great Lost GEC Projects (the other being the series of transport/tugs I've been posting for the past couple of months), although I never got past the preliminary sketch stage on it. It's based on the Ambassador class, and I had gotten fairly far in laying out the basic shapes when I learned the GEC was going away. With no outlet for the project I set it aside, but I picked it up again when I got a copy of the 2002 TNG calendar, since it had a center spread of blueprints for Ambassador. I know now that those are fairly inaccurate, since they were done as a proof of concept and not intended for publication, but they still were far more detailed than the sources I had been working off of. In any case, since I wasn't trying to do an accurate model of the onscreen ship, I could explain away the differences as being due to being a different class. I quit work on it a second time when I realized how large I would have to make the drawings; for one thing, I didn't have a compass big enough to draw the hull circles. Now that I'm doing it on the computer, I can actually get this done with the amount of detail I wanted.

I've started out with the basic saucer of Ambassador (the modifications are going to come later). I hadn't intended to make this a colored drawing, but I found there was so much going on in the drawing that my eyes tended to get lost in it when it was just in black and white. I'm not exactly certain of her final dimensions yet. I had those worked out on the original rough sketches, but I need to correct the lines of the hull a bit. Also, those numbers were based on the original (and inaccurate) 526 meter length for Ambassador given in the TNG Encyclopedia, but for this project I'm using the revised figure of 478.55 meters Rick Sternbach posted on Doug Drexler's blog a couple of years ago. After I added the windows to the saucer (all 770 of them!) I realized I had made an error with the size of one of the shaded panels; I'll fix that later. I'll be flipping between this project and the transport one, since I'm trying not to get burned out on either. So, here's the saucer.

http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/677/frigatewip.jpg

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24 Jan 2012 08:03
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Wow... that is some very clean and tight 2D work... I don't envy you, having to draw all those lines, lol. :p I look forward to watching this progress.


24 Jan 2012 19:35
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I don't envy you, having to do the windows and lifeboats on Nebula :) . At least I've still got a circular saucer to work with; once I build my basic model for a given part, I can just rotate and copy it as many times as I need to (and boy, did I need to! :lol: ). Doing that on an elliptical hull is a far more daunting task, and one I'm not sure I ever want to tackle.

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25 Jan 2012 03:52
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Great start looking forward to seeing more :D

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25 Jan 2012 07:32
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MLJames wrote:
I don't envy you, having to do the windows and lifeboats on Nebula :) . At least I've still got a circular saucer to work with; once I build my basic model for a given part, I can just rotate and copy it as many times as I need to (and boy, did I need to! :lol: ). Doing that on an elliptical hull is a far more daunting task, and one I'm not sure I ever want to tackle.


I *really* hate to say this... but I might have to start all over with the nebula. :( Nothing happened in terms of a mistake, but...

The Illustrator file of the ship is on my external HD, and for the past week, my PC refuses to recognize the drive... it (the PC) keeps telling me that the drive needs to be formatted, but that's bollocks, because the drive's been working fine for over a year. My PC also shows the drive as being empty, which is also wrong, because I KNOW that I have over 500 gigs of stuff stored on that drive. So... I need to find a way to at least access the external HD long enough to transfer all of my files onto another HD, and see if I can then reformat it.

Thankfully, the Gemini plans and the 3D Gemini model are all on my PC itself. :)


25 Jan 2012 21:01
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Ouch! Hope you can salvage the data; it'd be a shame to lose all the work you've put into it. It's especially annoying when it's due to the hardware being ornery. Like I used to say when I was a technician in the Air Force: machinery is intelligent and perverse; it knows how to break itself in the most inconvenient way possible.

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26 Jan 2012 07:18
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BolianAdmiral wrote:
The Illustrator file of the ship is on my external HD, and for the past week, my PC refuses to recognize the drive... it (the PC) keeps telling me that the drive needs to be formatted, but that's bollocks, because the drive's been working fine for over a year. My PC also shows the drive as being empty, which is also wrong, because I KNOW that I have over 500 gigs of stuff stored on that drive. So... I need to find a way to at least access the external HD long enough to transfer all of my files onto another HD, and see if I can then reformat it.


See if you can boot into linux (from a thumb drive or some such) and see if linux will recognize it.

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26 Jan 2012 11:00
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MLJames wrote:
machinery is intelligent and perverse; it knows how to break itself in the most inconvenient way possible.


good one !
I will have to remember that.

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27 Jan 2012 18:04
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Time for some updates on this one. First off, take two on the upper view of the saucer:

http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/7441 ... anwip2.jpg

Not much major work here. I corrected the error I had made with the layout of the uppermost colored panels on the original WIP, and I added the last two phaser strips and the RCS mounts. The biggest change I did was the base color. I wasn't entirely satisfied with shade in the first pass; the tone of the gray turned out somewhat warmer than I intended. I set it aside to work on the transport thread, and in the interim someone posted a link on the Starship Modeler forum to a blog that had comparison photos showing the differences between the Enterprise-C and later appearances of the Ambassador. That page had links to a bunch more reference photos than the ones I was working off, and these gave me a better (and more balanced view) of the three colors on the saucer. It took a few passes, but I finally found a cooler shade that blended well with the other two colors.

Once I finished with the upper view, I got started on the first pass of the basic saucer keel view:

http://img267.imageshack.us/img267/5153 ... eelwip.jpg

This view just has the color layout, the deflector grid, and the RCS mounts. The windows, lifeboats, and phasers will come this weekend.

Much of what I was doing this week was on pencil and paper; I've been doing the measurements for the bridge and command decks. Getting those transferred into the computer should occupy most of the rest of the weekend. Once I get the saucer finished, all I'll have left in the preliminary phase will be the nacelles. After that, I can actually get down to doing the real orthos for this project (everything I've done so far has just been groundwork).

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04 Feb 2012 08:31
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Time to put up the weekend's work. First off is the saucer keel:

http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/6465 ... elwip2.jpg

A close inspection of the newer source images I found showed me I had made a mistake with the deflector radials on the first pass. Unlike those on the upper face of the saucer (which switch from 5 degree spacing to 3.75 degrees about 1/3 of the way from the center), those on the keel maintain a constant 3.75 degree spacing from center to rim. That's been corrected here.

I realized I needed to have the side view of the saucer in order to work out some of the elevations for the command decks, so I built a partial view with the upper hull curve and the rim. Actually wound up doing three versions of this, since the color pattern of the center of the saucer plan view is such that the bow, side, and stern views would be slightly different from each other. This view took a fair amount of time because of the disjointed pattern of the deflector radials. Not only did I have to do the perspective on the curves, but I also had to trim the upper or lower parts of them, depending on the section of the hull. This is the bow view:

http://img833.imageshack.us/img833/2923/bowviewwip.jpg

I also started working on the nacelles, beginning with the bow and stern views (I wanted them in order to work out the proper positions of the cutout sections on the upper and lower views):

http://img542.imageshack.us/img542/2928/nacellewip1.jpg

I've got the command decks pretty much done on paper, so I'll probably stick with the Ambassador drawings until the weekend and go back to work on the transports then.

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09 Feb 2012 07:43
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