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Old May 12 2009, 03:07 AM   #1
CTM
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Location: The exact center of my universe
WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

I first encountered Star Trek when I was in Elementary School. I was home sick from school, and my mother plopped me down in front of an HBO showing of TWOK. It was already in progress, and it was just starting the shuttle-pod approach to Enterprise. The absolutely stunning reveal of the ship was pure magic. No other ship, no other incarnation of the ship has been as "real" to me as that one. I went on to watch all of TOS, and TNG, and all the movies (though I admit I haven't watched as much of the spinoffs).

For years and years I attempted to build the AMT/ERTL kit, but despite my best efforts it either didn't come out right, or broke not long after completion (the last one broke free of it's moorings and plummeted to my desk below, breaking the Nacelle Pylons off. The repair was never as good as the original build.

I went on to become a Draftsman and later an Engineer, and I definitely credit Engineer Scott as my inspiration. The tools of my trade are such that I now have the skills to approach my first love spacecraft and give it the quality design and build it deserves.

My approach to this TMP Enterprise is from the inside out. I started with the Strategic Designs deck plans for NCC-1701-A, and generated 2-D CAD plans using AutoCAD. As the copy of AutoCAD I have is from my days as a Draftsman, it is not one of the modern versions (R-13 from about 15 years ago). I believe that Form follows Function, therefore the modifications (extensive) to the SD plans are based upon that idea. Much of the additional changes will be done as the ship is built. I know the rendering capability of AutoCAD is low, but it is enough to identify what is built. Once done, I plan to port it to Blender for actual quality rendering and/or animations. So, on to the first pictures (pretty basic):

You can see here U-Deck (bottom) and T-Deck (top). I am holding off on the Deflector and associated compartments until I have actually built the surrounding decks and structures. The large gray box on the bottom left is the Antimatter Fuel Container, which feeds into the bottom end of the Vertical Intermix Chamber (a discussion on the placement of that is in the Tech Forum here: http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=90908 ). visible protruding into U-Deck. The box aft of the VIC will contain the Tractor Beam. U-Deck is mostly batteries, fuel handling, and ventral Phasers, so while there is a T-shaped corridor (with Turbolift at the extreme aft end), most of it is "engineering spaces". Note the Jeffries Tube extending from the lateral corridor to the Tractor Beam Housing. The outer limits of the spaces and walls will be defined by the hull and structural components when they are filled in (after completing the remaining deck plans for the secondary hull).

T-deck has the large volume for the Botanical Garden, with two corridors extending aft on either side. Lining the outside edge and aft end of this deck are Escape Pods (yellow). Forward of the Port side escape pods you can see a piece of the turbo-lift. The Turbo-shaft is T-shaped, with the top of the T crossing laterally, crossing the shaft extending aft to connect down to U-deck and up to the lower shuttle hangar decks on S-Deck. The aft compartment contains the pool portion of the gym. While the SD plans call for a pair (one on each side) of Transporter Rooms and Battery Rooms moving from aft to fore, I am likely to convert the battery rooms (or at least part of them) into the remainder of the Gym (or at least part of it). Note the inside of the small compartments outboard of the corridors aft of the Botanical Garden: these will be heads (I am going to ensure there are multiple "public" heads on each level that will have "public" access).

In the coming days, I will flesh out these rooms, and work my way up the ship. I know I am building this backwards from how virtually everyone else appears to have done it (everyone else I've seen starts with the Bridge and works their way down - if it helps, I did the 2D drawings in the conventional manner). While she may not be much to look at - yet - I trust that over time this model will show itself to be true to the spirit of what was on screen (though if you read the tech discussion some of the scenes just are not going to be quite possible in Main Engineering - and I will discuss in detail those issues when I get to that deck). I welcome any feedback, comments, or encouragements. I especially welcome constructive criticism, as I know that teams do much better jobs at dealing with design issues than individuals.

And now, the wife is reminding me to take out the garbage, so I will leave my long-winded post here, and pick up this discussion later.

CTM

*Note to Moderator, I am using my own bandwidth for image hosting.
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Old May 12 2009, 03:42 AM   #2
Cary L. Brown
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Ah, not too bad, not too bad at all. Should be interesting to see those sets laid out in 3D. Do you plan to "wrap them up" in the actual ship, or are you just doing the innards?

By the way, there's not a thing wrong with using any tool you know how to use! Some of the best 2D stuff we've seen in here has been done by people with nothing more than MSPaint!

It's more a matter of the thought process you're going through... the tool is just a tool.

I'll watch this with great interest. I'm finding it fascinating how many Enterprise threads there are right now... a few interested in figuring out the latest ship (which, to me, will never be THE Enterprise, it's "just another ship named Enterprise"), and several focusing on the original ship, or the second variation (which did keep most of the proportions of the classic ship, so it's still damned nice... but despite bookkeeping regulations, isn't the original ship in any meaningful way.)

I'd love to see this fleshed out fully. And AutoCAD is a fine tool for converting 2D prints into something 3D.
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Old May 12 2009, 03:56 AM   #3
CTM
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
Ah, not too bad, not too bad at all. Should be interesting to see those sets laid out in 3D. Do you plan to "wrap them up" in the actual ship, or are you just doing the innards?
I do plan to wrap them with the actual hull girders and hull plating. Basically, I'm not so much making pictures as I am building the ship, one piece at a time.

By the way, there's not a thing wrong with using any tool you know how to use! Some of the best 2D stuff we've seen in here has been done by people with nothing more than MSPaint!

It's more a matter of the thought process you're going through... the tool is just a tool.

I'll watch this with great interest. I'm finding it fascinating how many Enterprise threads there are right now... a few interested in figuring out the latest ship (which, to me, will never be THE Enterprise, it's "just another ship named Enterprise"), and several focusing on the original ship, or the second variation (which did keep most of the proportions of the classic ship, so it's still damned nice... but despite bookkeeping regulations, isn't the original ship in any meaningful way.)

I'd love to see this fleshed out fully. And AutoCAD is a fine tool for converting 2D prints into something 3D.
I played around with Blender, and the newer versions of 3D Studio Max (I have an ancient copy of 3D-Studio - before there were version numbers attached), but in the end I decided that I know AutoCAD very well so it is only natural to do the engineering work in there, and then port it to another application for high quality rendering/texturing. Once upon a time, a LONG time ago, I did a demo project in AutoCAD r10 (to demonstrate it's capabilities) of USS Excelsior. Plotted up very nice and beautiful and 2D. The 3D modeling engine in r10 was not really up to accomplishing the task of making a 3D model of something that complex. Unfortunately, I lost that and many other of my early projects when a HDD capacitor burned out. I still have the drive and the platters are still viable, but I've not had the $$ to get the data recovered.
One of my many other AutoCAD projects is converting 2D model ship plans (144th scale) into 3d-models of the hull and superstructure frame - which can then be printed out on paper and cut with a scroll-saw or the actual CAD plan fed to a CNC machine to cut out the precise parts to put together. 3D object modeling is my specialty, and I figured it was time to start building this ship. If it turns out well, I may apply the same technique to some other ships (Excelsior comes to mind, along with Oberth, though I'm not going to seriously look at starting any of those sorts of projects until this one is complete)
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Old May 12 2009, 08:34 PM   #4
ncc-1017-e
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

I love this! I cannot wait to see more! I love the refit Connie!
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Old May 12 2009, 08:34 PM   #5
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

I love this! I cannot wait to see more! I love the refit Connie!
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Old May 12 2009, 08:46 PM   #6
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

^ sorry about the double post
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Old May 13 2009, 02:44 AM   #7
CTM
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Not much to show for tonight, but I did start roughing out S-deck. I need to go back and install equipment in these decks, but I think I may actually finish laying out all the secondary hull decks first.

S-deck has the bottom of the main Cargo Bay, and the bottom-most hangar deck. I can see I'll need to install lift-equipment for the two shuttle elevators flanking the aft turbolift. Fortunately, there is plenty of inter-deck space in the secondary hull. I have not put in the doorways, nor most of the walls and other structures yet. This is about how the other two decks looked at the very start.
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Old May 14 2009, 03:01 AM   #8
CTM
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Added another corridor, and the edges of the cargo bay, as well as some cargo pods.


and


Maybe tomorrow I can work on the hangar elevators, and get the doors into the engineering spaces.
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Old May 14 2009, 03:05 AM   #9
Cary L. Brown
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

CTM wrote: View Post
Added another corridor, and the edges of the cargo bay, as well as some cargo pods.


and


Maybe tomorrow I can work on the hangar elevators, and get the doors into the engineering spaces.
One word of warning... I hope you have a beefy computer to do all this with. Because this is rapidly going to consume all the resource of your computer, and you'll slow to an absolute crawl, unless that's the case.

That said... I'm definitely enjoying seeing this.
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Old May 14 2009, 03:11 AM   #10
CTM
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
One word of warning... I hope you have a beefy computer to do all this with. Because this is rapidly going to consume all the resource of your computer, and you'll slow to an absolute crawl, unless that's the case.

That said... I'm definitely enjoying seeing this.
Beefy enough for the building part. Rendering may get a bit dicey later on, and I may switch to posting hidden lines for the dailies, and periodically moving it to another platform for rendering. Of course when I do that, I get to start working on texturing and proper color and lighting as well. I have done some projects on this scale before (just not for rendering).

And thank you for your encouragement.
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Old May 14 2009, 03:17 AM   #11
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Make sure to optimize your rendering and line display settings.

FYI, I have the same HDD problem, and last time I check, Staples offers a cheap data recovery service, courtesy of Seagate. I'm not entirely sure if it applies for other drive brands, but the estimate I got starts at $40, so I'd check into it if you have the spare cash.
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Old May 14 2009, 03:26 AM   #12
Birdog
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

CTM wrote: View Post
I first encountered Star Trek when I was in Elementary School. I was home sick from school, and my mother plopped me down in front of an HBO showing of TWOK. It was already in progress, and it was just starting the shuttle-pod approach to Enterprise. The absolutely stunning reveal of the ship was pure magic. No other ship, no other incarnation of the ship has been as "real" to me as that one. I went on to watch all of TOS, and TNG, and all the movies (though I admit I haven't watched as much of the spinoffs).

For years and years I attempted to build the AMT/ERTL kit, but despite my best efforts it either didn't come out right, or broke not long after completion (the last one broke free of it's moorings and plummeted to my desk below, breaking the Nacelle Pylons off. The repair was never as good as the original build.

I went on to become a Draftsman and later an Engineer, and I definitely credit Engineer Scott as my inspiration. The tools of my trade are such that I now have the skills to approach my first love spacecraft and give it the quality design and build it deserves.

My approach to this TMP Enterprise is from the inside out. I started with the Strategic Designs deck plans for NCC-1701-A, and generated 2-D CAD plans using AutoCAD. As the copy of AutoCAD I have is from my days as a Draftsman, it is not one of the modern versions (R-13 from about 15 years ago). I believe that Form follows Function, therefore the modifications (extensive) to the SD plans are based upon that idea. Much of the additional changes will be done as the ship is built. I know the rendering capability of AutoCAD is low, but it is enough to identify what is built. Once done, I plan to port it to Blender for actual quality rendering and/or animations. So, on to the first pictures (pretty basic):

You can see here U-Deck (bottom) and T-Deck (top). I am holding off on the Deflector and associated compartments until I have actually built the surrounding decks and structures. The large gray box on the bottom left is the Antimatter Fuel Container, which feeds into the bottom end of the Vertical Intermix Chamber (a discussion on the placement of that is in the Tech Forum here: http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=90908 ). visible protruding into U-Deck. The box aft of the VIC will contain the Tractor Beam. U-Deck is mostly batteries, fuel handling, and ventral Phasers, so while there is a T-shaped corridor (with Turbolift at the extreme aft end), most of it is "engineering spaces". Note the Jeffries Tube extending from the lateral corridor to the Tractor Beam Housing. The outer limits of the spaces and walls will be defined by the hull and structural components when they are filled in (after completing the remaining deck plans for the secondary hull).

T-deck has the large volume for the Botanical Garden, with two corridors extending aft on either side. Lining the outside edge and aft end of this deck are Escape Pods (yellow). Forward of the Port side escape pods you can see a piece of the turbo-lift. The Turbo-shaft is T-shaped, with the top of the T crossing laterally, crossing the shaft extending aft to connect down to U-deck and up to the lower shuttle hangar decks on S-Deck. The aft compartment contains the pool portion of the gym. While the SD plans call for a pair (one on each side) of Transporter Rooms and Battery Rooms moving from aft to fore, I am likely to convert the battery rooms (or at least part of them) into the remainder of the Gym (or at least part of it). Note the inside of the small compartments outboard of the corridors aft of the Botanical Garden: these will be heads (I am going to ensure there are multiple "public" heads on each level that will have "public" access).

In the coming days, I will flesh out these rooms, and work my way up the ship. I know I am building this backwards from how virtually everyone else appears to have done it (everyone else I've seen starts with the Bridge and works their way down - if it helps, I did the 2D drawings in the conventional manner). While she may not be much to look at - yet - I trust that over time this model will show itself to be true to the spirit of what was on screen (though if you read the tech discussion some of the scenes just are not going to be quite possible in Main Engineering - and I will discuss in detail those issues when I get to that deck). I welcome any feedback, comments, or encouragements. I especially welcome constructive criticism, as I know that teams do much better jobs at dealing with design issues than individuals.

And now, the wife is reminding me to take out the garbage, so I will leave my long-winded post here, and pick up this discussion later.

CTM

*Note to Moderator, I am using my own bandwidth for image hosting.
Dude you're my hero. I didn't know R13 had a 3D capability. I use 2008 at work and its 3D leaves a bit to be desired at times. Whose first born would I have to kidnap to talk you into giving me a copy of your .dwg when you're done?
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Old May 14 2009, 04:54 AM   #13
CTM
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

birdog wrote: View Post
Dude you're my hero. I didn't know R13 had a 3D capability. I use 2008 at work and its 3D leaves a bit to be desired at times. Whose first born would I have to kidnap to talk you into giving me a copy of your .dwg when you're done?
I'm sure 2008 works better than R13, but It's tough to beat a program designed to run efficiently on 386s 33MHz with under 16megs of RAM. When you give it a 3GHz system with over 3GB of RAM, (and it is also designed to use that much memory), it runs at warp-speed (operations that when I learned the program would take overnight to complete now merely take a few seconds).

I have not made any decisions on any release of my .dwg, .dxf, .3ds or any other format yet. This is going to represent a significant amount of my personal time - a labor of love to be sure, but still a significant time investment. I will almost certainly make some of my sub-models available (the corridor model, the intermix modules, the turbo-lifts etc.).
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Old May 16 2009, 10:05 PM   #14
CTM
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

Ok, I think I have finished the lower hangar and service decks, and the lower two levels of the cargo bay - as well as the pressure-doors between the Cargo Bay and the Hangar Bays. What follows are some overall and close-up shots. The shuttles are NOT my creation, I would love to credit the creator but the originator's name became detached from the .DWG file I'm using. Anyway, it should give some size and scale reference. Eventually, I will roll my own shuttles and workbees.
On to the pics!

First, is the wireframe environment I actually work in.

This is decks R through U, encompasing the lower two thirds of the Cargo Bay and the Shuttle Hangar (Below the Shuttle Bay), and the Shuttle Maintenance Bay (below the Shuttle Hangar). You can see the double-deck pressure-doors between the Cargo Bay and the Hangar/Shuttle Bay. One half is closed, the other half open (I did some hefty research on Probert's paintings and intents. I could not entirely duplicate his sketches, as it would have corridors protruding beyond the hull. I believe I captured the spirit of his intent, however.

Here is the rendering of (essentially) the above. I changed some color properties after this rendering, and a few other tweaks, which will appear in the close ups later.
This is the same view as the wireframe, but with basic rendering.

Overhead of the Cargo Bay and Hangar:

In this shot you can see the port-side lifts are in the elevated position, and the starboard side is not. The port-side pressure doors are closed, and the starboard side are open. There is some additional structure work that needs to go in around the corridors leading to the hangar bay, but I am waiting until I build out the hull frame itself to include those.


This is a closeup of the lifts and pressure doors.

And finally, a closeup with shuttles for scale:

Note, the closeups are just of two decks, the remaining decks are on frozen layers - to improve rendering time.

Up next, I will be working on Q-deck, which contains the docking-port (used in TMP), and the shuttlebay itself, and marks the halfway point up through the secondary rough-out. There is much work to be done, and some of the problems appear to be daunting. I tried building the hull surface two days ago, and found I could not get the proportions to work out right. I will try again once I have all the decks in the secondary completed, and build the structural ribs and associated framework - from there I can plate the exterior.
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Old May 16 2009, 11:49 PM   #15
Cary L. Brown
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Re: WIP - TMP Enterprise, deck by deck

CTM wrote: View Post
There is much work to be done, and some of the problems appear to be daunting. I tried building the hull surface two days ago, and found I could not get the proportions to work out right. I will try again once I have all the decks in the secondary completed, and build the structural ribs and associated framework - from there I can plate the exterior.
That's actually why I've chosen to work how I'm working now... do the exterior first, then "subdivide" the interior into the useable spaces. Most blueprint guys, when doing interiors, miss a few details (proper head clearance, etc, etc) and as often as not, the prints will need tweaking in order to actually fit into the exterior anyway. So you have a choice... tweak the outside, or tweak the inside. You'll probably end up doing a little bit of both (in my case, altering some window locations slightly, mainly, on the exterior) but it's almost a certainty that the "deckplans" won't match the exterior, unless both are done from the same "virtual ship."
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