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Old July 3 2011, 04:48 AM   #31
Cary L. Brown
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Location: Austin, Texas
Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

beamMe wrote: View Post
Good lord, that's ugly.
The ship - not the modelling.
Hey, to each their own... I'd wager that there are ships you think are good-looking that I'd feel the same way over. I've always liked this one, personally...
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Old July 3 2011, 05:04 AM   #32
Cary L. Brown
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Location: Austin, Texas
Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

I've been struggling to get the "wing back" surface to work. This is one of the areas where Pro/E, frankly, sucks... surface-based modeling. I've gotten the whole thing set up, and I can create the curved surface I want, but the moment I try to assign tangency conditions, the thing flips out. There doesn't seem to be rhyme or reason behind it, though I'm sure I'll figure it out (Pro/E is full of annoying "long-term bugs" that I've had to learn ways around over the years!)

So... at the moment, my surfaces are NOT tangent to the adjacent surfaces, as I intend them to be. But you can at least get the general idea.

Also, as I always knew would be the case, once I started doing this, my neck (but not the surfaces I created to make it up) failed. So, I've got my surfaces visible, but the nice, clean structure I've had before isn't there. Mainly, you can see the neck structure extending well into regions where it doesn't "really" exist, at the moment at least. I'll fix this once I've got the secondary hull top surface fixed.

Here's a perspective view showing the new surfaces. Again, these are SUPPOSED to be tangent to the top, aft surface of the secondary hull, but they're not. Also, I've got some odd inflection event occurring out near the nacelle pylons. I'll be fixing all of that, of course. Or... maybe I'll just take this out of Pro/E to create the surface, and then import that surface back in? I'm just really annoyed at how "uncooperative" this one feature is, especially compared to how nicely this sort of thing works in other packages I've used. (I guess nothing can be perfect!)



Next, here's the view from ahead... you can see the relationship between the neck and the body fairly well from this view. Note that there will not be a sharp intersection... instead, I'll be adding a fillet to blend the neck into the body, with the upper extent of that fillet being where you can see the blue line.



Finally, the port-side elevation. This shows, better than the other views, how nicely I've managed to match the "original design intent" so far. I know what I have to do (and I know how to do it in Lightwave, Maya, or yes, even AutoDesk INVENTOR)... but Pro/E is really fighting back with me on this.



Once I can get the surface to work as I want it to, I'll solidify it, then restore the neck, blend the two... and then I'll be able to start dealing with detailing.

I've decided that the nacelle is something I'm going to get creative with... since nobody has been able to provide me with a useable LN-64 nacelle set I can modify, I've decided to create "family table" for my nacelle.

There will, literally, only be one "part" I'll be creating, but I can create additional features which can be turned on or off (top-side or bottom-side control reactor rib, interior grills, intercooler, etc), and I can assign parameters that I can feed in to adjust different elements (in this case, the starting point and ending point for the location of the control reactor rib).

I can then just type entries into the "family table" (basically a spreadsheet" to create new "instances" that I can use as components in other assemblies.

This means I'll do one LN-64 nacelle... and I'll be able to use that part for a left-hand, right-hand, middle, or "solo" nacelle... mounted from the top or from the bottom... and mounted with any configuration of pylon we've ever seen.

Which, I think, will lead me inevitably into making more TMP-era ships. It's mainly been the nacelle that I've been avoiding, re: ships from this era. So... now, I think I can just do it one time, and never have to worry about it again.
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Old July 3 2011, 09:13 AM   #33
MLJames
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

According to the original blueprints for Ariel, she doesn't use a standard LN-64 nacelle. Her nacelles are larger in all three dimensions, but, unfortunately, the percentage increase is different for length, beam, and draft. You won't be able to simply apply one factor to a basic LN-64 if you want her to be completely accurate.
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Old July 3 2011, 09:43 PM   #34
Cary L. Brown
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

FYI... I'm leaving the original text of my post, just for context... but adding to the end.
MLJames wrote: View Post
According to the original blueprints for Ariel, she doesn't use a standard LN-64 nacelle. Her nacelles are larger in all three dimensions, but, unfortunately, the percentage increase is different for length, beam, and draft. You won't be able to simply apply one factor to a basic LN-64 if you want her to be completely accurate.
Well, that's quite an interesting claim you make, MLJames.

First off, there are no "official blueprints." The closest thing to that is the two-view sheet (and descriptive page) I provided at the outset of this thread. Do you have other blueprints which you believe are "more official" than those two sheets?

Second... the original designer of the Ariel, Aridas Sofia, is working with me as I do this. If HE chose to tell me that the nacelles I'm using are wrong, that would be his prerogative. But nobody else can say anything of the sort.

Third, the text on the "descriptive sheet" I copied at the top of this thread reads as follows:
The Ariel class, while not heavy cruisers, have their origins in proposals for heavy cruiser redesign. In its original form, the great delta-winged starship was to be much smaller, with only one flight deck at the stern. Tests revealed that the warp dynamics of this shape were greatly enhanced with a much-larger "belly" area however, and the size and purpose were thus changed. As built, the shuttlecarrier can act as the focal point of fleet operations, on detached task force duty, or alone as a means of emergency resupply or evacuation. It carries a complement of 80+ embarked craft, and has a capacity to carry cargo equal in mass to an entire small starship. But what is most intriguing is its shape, which is so warp dynamic it needs only slightly modified LN-65 propulsion units to create a warp field for a starship far larger than such engines are usually attached to. As such, it may prove to be the shape which will eventually suceed the heavy cruiser to the title of "most versatile starship." While uprated Enterprise class heavy cruisers continue to be built, Star Fleet has also been pressing for development of deep-space exploratory starships externally similar to the Ariel design, and so, just as the heavy cruiser opened a new age of interstellar exploration early in this century, it may be that a new generation of huge, delta-winged starships will soon open the door to intergalactic travel.
Now... that was written by Aridas Sofia, who (in case you've forgotten) is the guy who designed the Ariel.

The LN-64 (including mods 1, 2, and 3) and the LN-65 are externally identical engines. The LN-68 is subtly different, mainly having a sloped top-front area. These various nacelle concepts have been around in "fannon" works for a long time. I'm not inventing them myself, in other words.

SO... given what I've just presented, perhaps you can support your own claim with something more than just the claim itself?

In particular, I'd love to see the "official blueprints" for this ship, as you mentioned, and know who published them, who drew them, etc, etc.

********

EDIT: Okay, MLJames didn't give me enough information, but it turns out that he was actually correct...

Here is an LN-64 (under construction) in the location, along with the backdrop of the engine Aridas put into the design... and even though other sources I've read describe the LN-65 as being in the same housing as the LN-64, clearly this isn't the same unit.



I wish MLJames had been more clear, but it turns out he was right. Apology issued...

Last edited by Cary L. Brown; July 4 2011 at 04:34 AM. Reason: Admitting I screwed up!
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Old July 4 2011, 08:52 AM   #35
MLJames
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

No biggie. I honestly didn't think I needed to go into much more detail, because the info I was citing was right off of aridas' pages from the development chart. That was the "original blueprints" I was talking about, and it was one of the images in your first post.
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Old July 4 2011, 01:04 PM   #36
Bernard Guignard
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

While it looks to be a little longer on the elevation view
how does the warp engine look on the dorsal view looks
like All you would have to do is Stretch out an LN-64 in
the elevation view. Cary I've collected a wack load of
warp engine drawings some from Gary Kerr would you like
me to send you those for reference? if so PM me with your
e-mail address. Great work by the way on the nacelle
I know that even drawing them in 2d is a pain
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Old July 5 2011, 12:55 AM   #37
Cary L. Brown
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

Bernard Guignard wrote: View Post
While it looks to be a little longer on the elevation view how does the warp engine look on the dorsal view looks like All you would have to do is Stretch out an LN-64 in the elevation view. Cary I've collected a wack load of warp engine drawings some from Gary Kerr would you like me to send you those for reference? if so PM me with your e-mail address. Great work by the way on the nacelle I know that even drawing them in 2d is a pain
Thanks, Bernard... I'll PM you with that info momentarily.

Basically, I made a copy of my LN-64 and edited the features making it up, and got an LN-65.

My first step in the nacelle creation was simply creating a "box" of datum planes representing the dimensions that Aridas listed on his drawing. I then took his two provided views and scaled the images of the nacelles in those views to exactly fit in the boxes (granted, with lines having a fairly large thickness at this scale, I just "eyeballed" things so that my real planes, or real lines for that matter, fall at about the midpoint of any of the drawn lines).

I also used the LN-64 front view, rear view, and bottom view... tweaked and stretched to best match the shape of the "box" in their particular view. They turned out pretty close, in most respects, so I was easily able to interpolate the LN-65 from the LN-64 in those views.

One thing I noticed is that the nacelles in the drawing seem to be tilted slightly nose-downwards. I'm not going to do that, however... not unless Aridas intended them to "nose down" like that. It's only by about two and a half degrees, but it's still noticeable.

One thing you'll likely notice is that even the new "LN-65" nacelle doesn't perfectly match the drawing. This is because I used the written dimensions to determine size, and the "on-print" size does not match the value given in the table.

Similarly, you may have noticed that my primary hull diameter looks "small" in the top-down view (and has its axis forward of where it is in the print by a small amount). Again, in this case, I kept the overall size of the ship as my "stake in the ground," and then treated each sub-component as being built, again, in accordance with the overall sizes listed. The amount each is off is Small , but noticeable when compared to the drawing.

For reference, here's the LN-64:


And here is the LN-65:


Now, when you look at these images, remember that I have only the "untrimmed" surface for the neck... so please disregard the excess "neck material" extending below the top of the secondary hull.

Here are the top view and the port and front elevation views.







Finally, while I'm posting, I thought I'd just toss up the current state of my nacelles... the LN-65 is shown, but the LN-64 is in the same state.





Again, I'm going to model the basic nacelle, then create some additional features ("inside grill," "outside light panel," three different intercooler fins, and two different, and parametrically-modifiable, control reactor "ribs" (top and bottom)). I'll then be able to make any particular installation of these to any ship I want, in the future, and will only have to tweak one part in order to get port, starboard, solo, or center-mounted nacelles... using a trick called a "family table" which is common in CAD.
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Old July 9 2011, 09:34 PM   #38
publiusr
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

Good job on the nacelles. I see what you meant earlier, in that you are keeping the flowing form of the secondary hull and not building a spolier-like terrace in the back for the shuttles.

You know, there is nothing that says you have to have an Excelsior styled recessed sensor/nav-deflector dish. A tesselated skin-tight phased array of plating that merges into the aztec might work. With Shuttle standing down, I just noticed how the secondary hull evokes the STS orbiter after a fashion.
I mentioned the similarity between ST 6 and Atlantis last flight here
http://federationreference.prophpbb....60.html#p11560

Nice TOS nacelles
http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/2273/nacellewip.jpg

Aridas also had the idea for ACE nacelles. I wonder if that might be easier to do:
http://federationreference.prophpbb....20.html#p11575
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Old July 13 2011, 01:04 AM   #39
Cary L. Brown
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Location: Austin, Texas
A quick update...

I've been focusing on the warp nacelles for several days now (or rather, what little time I've spent on this has been on the nacelles).

The "base" nacelles are ALMOST done now. I've done everything except for the coppery shapes near the front.

After that, I'll create separate features for the three different types of intercoolers (port, starboard, symmetrical), the inboard grills (port and starboard) and external "light panel" (port and starboard), and the upper and lower "control reactor ribs." I'll set those up as variable entries, so I can use this as all of the nacelles, anywhere this type is used.

Again, this is the very slightly larger LN-65. I haven't done all this on the 64 yet, but I do plan to.







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Old July 14 2011, 08:05 AM   #40
Cary L. Brown
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Location: Austin, Texas
Saucer Internal Layout - Starting off

Okay, even though I don't plan on doing a total, complete interior for this ship, I did want to figure out generally how it would be laid out internally. So, I've cut spaces into the interior of the saucer to help me with this.



You can see that there are eight total decks in this saucer, including the relatively small bridge at the top and the sensor/scanner operations center at the bottom. There's also a lot of "wasted space" (from a habitation standpoint, not from a "storage and equipment" standpoint, realize!) due to the slope of the hull surfaces. I've chosen to cut off the habitable spaces based upon a minimum 2m (~6ft) headroom limit. Of course, those sub-height areas will be of limited use... lower-level ones will be store-rooms, mainly, and upper-level ones can be cabins.

I put a 6' tall figure in the bridge cavity. It matches up pretty well with the TMP bridge set, I think... but it's worth noting that the latter-film bridges would not fit into this space.



The shape of the saucer precludes two full decks, with proper interstitial spaces, in the outer rim, unless the decks in the saucer are much shorter than is normal (say, 7.5' decks?). Right now, you've got 9.5' ceiling height, which is pretty much what we've seen in every series and every film.

So, what I've done is provided for a "high-bay" out there. I'm thinking that the "high bay" will only exist adjacent to the window clusters, and will represent recreation/lounge facilities. A catwalk along the outer wall will allow those windows to make sense, while there's no other way I can make them make any sense (unless I just treat them as sensors and ignore the idea of windows completely).

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Old July 14 2011, 08:18 AM   #41
Cary L. Brown
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Location: Austin, Texas
More warp nacelle stuff...

I also did some further work on my warp nacelles. These are pretty much done. I have done the "family table" thing I mentioned earlier, so in reality both of these nacelles are the same nacelle model.

There is only one major thing I have to deal with re: the nacelle... if you look closely at the upper rear, you can see that one of my "art deco tier" elements is not as smooth as it ought to be. This is one of the quirks of the surfacing module in Pro/ENGINEER... it doesn't like to do what you tell it sometimes, in this regard. So, I've got to figure out how to "work around" the bugs in the code, basically. (This is the same issue I've been having with the secondary hull, by the way.) In other packages... Maya, Lightwave, etc... this functionality works very nicely... it's not that I'm doing it "wrong," it's that it doesn't want to do what its' supposed to. Oh well... I'll figure out a way around this eventually.

(And by the way, that's how I justify spending so much time on "hobby" work this way... I'm teaching my self tricks within the software, which I can then use in my professional work.)



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Old July 14 2011, 01:54 PM   #42
aridas sofia
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Re: U.S.S. Ariel - Federation Shuttlecarrier

I like the nacelles. They have the chubby, beefy look I intended for the LN-65.

As for the bridge not working with the later sets...

You've caught me.

The low height areas at the saucer's outermost regions are for atmospheric and other life support recycling as well as farm areas for fresh fruit and vegetable production, and storage. However, the entire saucer is conceived as a semi-monocoque design, with the saucer skin and its various field geometries providing part of the structure, but part being supplied by a hollow, trunk structure connected via the thin deck structures to complex ribs that sit under the radiating force field grid at the hull surface. You can see the ribs in my cross section of Avenger, here:

http://www.cygnus-x1.net/links/lcars...ss-sheet-5.jpg

This will also show you the intended deck heights relative to the deck thckness and the saucer edge. The idea was that the gravitational plating in those decks and the antigravitational force field grid were in a constant tug of war that acted kind if like a suspension span on a bridge, and formed the field component of the "semi" monocoque structure. This gravity tug of war also was meant to be a big determinant on the warp dynamics of the ship-- its relative ease using its other gravity-antigravity generators -- the nacelles -- to manipulate the surrounding spacetime fabric.
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Old July 14 2011, 04:31 PM   #43
USS Mariner
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Re: More warp nacelle stuff...

Cary, what are your thoughts on Rhinoceros 3D? I'm working on a version of the Baton Rouge from Spaceflight Chronology, and I've had a great time working with it. My take of the stardrive hull is similar in many ways to the Ariel, mainly because I'm basing it off of the HL-10 lifting body.
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Old July 14 2011, 11:10 PM   #44
Cary L. Brown
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Re: More warp nacelle stuff...

USS Mariner wrote: View Post
Cary, what are your thoughts on Rhinoceros 3D? I'm working on a version of the Baton Rouge from Spaceflight Chronology, and I've had a great time working with it.
I have no personal hands-on knowledge of Rhino... but I've never heard anything bad about it, and I know McNeel and Associates by reputation (all good). So, the fact that I've never touched it is more due to having made choices to try to master the tools I've chosen rather than to try to "sample" all options. (I do try to "sample," honestly, but only for sampling, not for real use, frankly stated.)

If you like Rhino, I'll keep that in mind. I may try the "demo version" at some point.

One thing that jumps out at me re: Rhino is that it's "NURBS based." That's good, from a surface-modeling standpoint... but I get the impression it's not SOLIDS based. Am I mistaken about that? What I do pretty much universally involves solids (though I've been getting more into the hybrid surface-to-solids functionality recently... one of the things I've been using this ship project to train myself on, in fact! It would have been near-impossible to get that bridge module done just right without that functionality... creating a closed surface-based feature and then "solidifying" it.)
My take of the stardrive hull is similar in many ways to the Ariel, mainly because I'm basing it off of the HL-10 lifting body.
Well, I'm interested to see the Baton Rouge given a final "just as intended" high-def model someday. This is one of six or seven ships from that book that I really, really like (including the oft-neglected Sawyer-class scout, which I converted to use "Vulcan shuttle" nacelles, a while back).

I remember a DC comic which showed Kirk's prior command, the Alexander (before he was promoted to the rank of Captain, he commanded the Alexander). This was shown as a Baton Rouge class ship... and I've always carried that idea around in my mind. In TOS, they did mention at some point (can't recall where, mind you, but I do remember hearing the line) about Kirk having commanded... if memory serves, a "destroyer-type ship" before Enterprise. (Anyone else remember the line?) So, I'd guess that by that point the Alexander was upgraded quite a bit from the "as launched" configuration. As a small destroyer, I'd really more closely associate this with a coast-guard type vessel than a major ship-of-the-line. And I'm sure that Kirk did SOMETHING while in command of that vessel to earn him the command of one of the most advanced and powerful ships in the fleet.

So... the Baton Rouge class holds a very special place in my "personal version of canon." I'd love to see her done justice!
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Old July 15 2011, 08:12 AM   #45
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Re: More warp nacelle stuff...

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
One thing that jumps out at me re: Rhino is that it's "NURBS based." That's good, from a surface-modeling standpoint... but I get the impression it's not SOLIDS based. Am I mistaken about that? What I do pretty much universally involves solids (though I've been getting more into the hybrid surface-to-solids functionality recently... one of the things I've been using this ship project to train myself on, in fact! It would have been near-impossible to get that bridge module done just right without that functionality... creating a closed surface-based feature and then "solidifying" it.)
In Rhino, you can go from curves to surfaces and then to soilds and anywhere in between. Very powerful tools, powerful to the point of frustrating sometimes.
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