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Old August 12 2008, 07:56 PM   #607
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Location: Spokane, WA, USA
Re: USS Grandeur - One... More... Time!

Well, Iíve hit a bit of a snag. Iíve been working on detailing the underside of the saucer and in the process Iíve discovered that I didnít plan ahead very well in structural terms. Both the top and bottom sides have a number of features that are supposed to align with the implied radial and concentric structural members of the saucer, but I have never previously worked out exactly what the configuration of those structural members are. As a consequence, the details on the upper and lower saucer surfaces failed to magically line up as I had been hoping they would since I first realized it could be a problem.

Now, I could fudge things just enough to connect the dots, so to speak, and hope that nobody notices that certain details are a little off or slightly askew, but I have a really hard time cutting those kinds of corners after all the work Iíve put into this thing. The alternative is to basically erase most of the radial details on the saucer and rebuild them in a way that lines up with a unified internal structure. Some of the larger parts and pieces might have to be adjusted as well. Ultimately, the amount of work required is what scientists and engineers like to call ďnon-trivial.Ē Itís a significant step backward in order to move forward, which is the kind of thing I was really hoping to avoid at this late date. I swear, sometimes I wonder if Iím gonna have to leave this project to my descendants to finish.

Anyway, I have pretty much made up my mind that if itís worth doing then itís worth doing right, so I started the detail removal process last night. In most cases, I can go back to earlier iterations of the model and steal the pieces I need, but I canít do it wholesale because there are a lot of other modifications of the same parts that I need to keep. Itís actually going more quickly than I expected, if I can just figure out a structural configuration that will work with all of the design requirements Iím trying to satisfy.

One bit of good fortune in all of this is that it gives me the opportunity to fix something else that has been bugging me. Iíve been thinking for a while that the gridlines were too wide and too deep for a ship this size, to the point where they actually detract from its sense of scale. Since Iím redoing most of the gridlines anyway, I figure I might as well scale them down a little bit. Of course, that means I will have to redo ALL of the gridlines, including the ones on the warp nacelles, but in for a penny, in for a pound.

At least you will all know what to expect in the next set of WIP images, but donít count on seeing them before next weekend.
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