A parade of spaceships...

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by Warped9, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Studying these images and sketching last night I can see contradictions. The most familiar view of the ship (as seen from above) leads one to think that the wings flow back from the nose and flare out yet fixed above the main body. But seen from below that's not how the ship is drawn. Seen from below we don't see a discernible fuselage separate from the wings. As drawn it looks like the wings are much thicker and merged with the protruding forward section. The ship is more manta ray like than bird or airplane like. I don't have a problem with that, but it makes reconciling the top view a challenge. Granted annimated ships are stylized and simplified, but a simple extra line easily added to the bottom view would have made a big difference and yet it's not there. It could be that what we're seeing from above is more of a painting scheme rather than hard lines or shapes. Also the bottom and top surfaces each appear to have a subtle crest or ridge to them as evidenced by a continuous line from bow to stern.
     
  2. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    What you see here are the basis for my main control panel for Flash Gordon's ship. I'm basing this on the panel seen in the first serial because I think it's the most interesting one seen in those serials.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    It would be nice to see some of these as production kits. I have no experience with resin kits, but from little I've seen I didn't really care for them. They don't seem to have the same crisp detailing and shapes as styrene kits. Of course maybe the pics I've seen are of mediocre resin kits and/or mediocre builds.

    I can understand why many of these subjects mightn't make it to kit form because many of them are obscure. So that leaves it in the hands of those willing to produce garage kits (more expensive?) or scrathbuilds. Now to that hand decent drawings could easily be made available for those willing to try either one.

    I also have to add that it could be challenging to make truly accurate replicas of these ships. The Flash Gordon ship is a good example. All that's left to go by are the serials to try to get the shapes and details right. In terms of interiors it changed drastically during the run of the serials so which one do you follow? And in many cases (like my control panel) details and true shapes are obscured and not easily discernible. For myself I'm left to "best guess" it and approximate. Then what about colours? It's b&w so other than skin tone anything else is pretty much up for grabs.

    And there are inconsistencies though sometimes not large. In the first episode during take-off only Dr. Zarkov has a seat while Flash and Dale have to stand up and use hand-holds(!!!). Yet later while in flight two extra seats for Flash and Dale have magically appeared. So which is it? I'm opting for the three seats on my model.

    I admit much of the interior on my 3D model is adaptation and even outright invention on my part. Although the screencaps give me an idea of what the interior looks like in the central part of the ship I don't think we saw beyond that rearward. So from what little I can see I extrapolated and "filled in the blanks." I'm also left to contradict what is shown onscreen because of blatant inconsistencies. The overhead bulkhead of the forward compartment in no way matches the exterior with those large overhead windows so I'm left to defer to one or the other. Since the exterior never changed (in that respect) throughout the whole time it appeared I went with that and reconciled the interior to be consistent. Of course the filmmakers simplified the interior in some ways to facilitate construction, but I don't have that concern. I'm treating the design as an integrated whole in similar fashion as I did with my TOS shuttlecraft plans.


    Still a WIP, but here is my emerging rocketship control panel for Flash Gordon's ship. The colours are my guess since I'm working from b&w stills. The shape of the pedestal probably isn't exact either, but I can't get a really good look at it in the screen caps.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    In the past I would have agreed upon the lack of detail in resin castings.

    However, when I received "replacement" parts for my AMT "Mr. Spock" assembly kit earlier this week, I stared dumbfounded! The replacement phaser gripped within a right hand had all sorts of recessed detail one can not achieve with rigid metallic molds. Silicone molds were used with such exacting precision that the 1/12th scale phaser had a needle thin beam emitter. (Of course, the resin has to be of a decent quality to produce such tiny shapes.)

    The forerunner of JT-Graphics explained the originals were "modeled" in ZBrush and then "3D printed". Those pieces served as the masters around which the silicone molds were cured. Those, in turn have been casting the final resin pieces.

    Yes, I've seen many a garage kit that looked rather crude and amorphous, but 3D printing has really changed the game.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  5. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ Sweet! I didn't know that. Thanks.
     
  6. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    If I had a recent camera, I'd snap an image of the phaser-in-hand piece to back up my claims. Just keep in mind the initial tools and materials have to be top notch to achieve those final results. It may be out of reach for a one man shop. I really don't know.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Okay, here is a little something and then I'm calling it a day. Main control panel and three seats for our adventurers. This part is done and next I'm moving onto wall fixtures...tomorrow.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Nice! Gotta love the huge dials that was a staple of science fiction of that era. :D
     
  9. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks. There is actually supposed to be more detail added to the faces of those dials, but considering I have to shrink this down to fit into the ship model it's pointless to add detail no one will be able to make out. In fact I put more detail into that console then I originally planned. I basically got carried away with it.

    The revised version of the ship's main control panel (seen in the second serial) was of simpler shape (basically a cylinder with an angled cut to it) but it didn't look as detailed and I also found it less visually interesting.
     
  10. The Lensman

    The Lensman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    LOL! I'm another that's been on a Flash Gordon kick lately as well! I've had the cartoon on DVD for a couple of years but never got around to watching. Picked up the 80's movie a couple of months back since I hadn't seen it twenty years or so. At the end of February a new edition of the original three serials was released and I was watching the cartoon version until I got the serials. I just finished "Flash Gordon's Trip To Mars" and started "Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe".

    The stylistic changes in the third serial are a bit jarring, what with all the 18th and 19th century military garb. Roland Drew as Barin is closer to what I'm familiar with in terms of general physique and appearance, and he's a better actor, but I've gotten used to Richard Alexander, bad acting and all. LOL!

    I'd seen various bits of these, along with Buck Rogers on the old UHF, Friday night "science fiction theater" that used to play locally. I struggled to get into them then, mainly because of the ship fx. But I never forgot that humming the ships make. As I grew up, I came to love retro sci-fi and seeing these again and in their entirety has been beyond awesome!

    In addition, I picked up the second volume of Titan Books reprinting of the Flash Gordon library. Managed to FINALLY score a first volume....it's been a bitch trying to get one as they seem sold out at all the big chains, and Titan's website hasn't said anything about a second printing. My local comic shop managed to score me what was, according to their computer, the last copy from Diamond.

    So it's been great to finally get to read the story in it's original form. I'm just past the point where Zarkov saves the sky city and secures the gangs freedom. Which, ironically, is where I think I left off in the cartoon when I got the serials.:lol:

    With all that in mind, it's a joy to see your work on the Flash Gordon rocketship, Warped9. Simply awesome! Will you be doing the Mongo ships as well?

    As for the cockpits, I think I prefer the first version as well because it's the one I remember most. When I saw the second version, I was a bit impressed with it's spaciousness, but it's one of those sets where the inside doesn't match the outside. Still cool however. I think I prefer it's control panel though.

    The third version I like as well....technically it's more shape appropriate, but I think I prefer the second to it.

    Yep. Second serial, they first show up as "retarding rockets" to slow them down when they reach Mars, as opposed to the magnets used in the first serial. The same footage of the loading mechanism was also used to show them loading bombs as well.

    I recently watched a little of the Buck Rogers serial and was astounded that they had the first transporter on film and when the guy explains it to Buck, it sounds almost word for word of how the transporter on Trek was explained in an ep of ST. Also, IIRC, the bad guys weapons are like a retro version of the phaser from ST. Still prefer the ships from Flash Gordon though.
     
  11. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Candidly I'm not interested in doing the Mongo ship as I don't find it as visually appealing as the Zarkov Rocket Ship. I want to move onto other things.


    When I scaled my model earlier I made a boo-boo. I measured it to from nose to tail and forgot about the aft wheel housing which actually extends a bit farther than the tail. And so my length overall is actually 53' - 9-11/32" or 16.431492m.

    Speaking of scaling this does bring me back to discussing the interior.It really is a foreshadowing of what would be seen again in Star Trek with the TOS shuttlecraft. The full-size mock-up of the Rocket Ship is proportionally a bit shorter than the filming miniature and the access hatch is proportionally larger. There's no way whatsoever the interiors shown onscreen could fit into that mock-up. I haven't tried to scale the mock-up from screen caps, but I seriously doubt it was 50ft. in length from what I can see. Even at 53ft. in length my version can still be a bit cramped. Still, my version does allow for interiors that could seem close to what was seen onscreen.

    There is another distinction, though, The ship onscreen was basically shown as a mostly empty airplane in space able to go to another world. There is next to no nod to the realities of space travel (not surprising since practically no one of the time had any real idea as to the realities). My version takes a somewhat different approach. Since we actually saw very little of the ship's interior beyond the forward compartment I've chosen to interpret what little is shown to depict a (somewhat) more credible interior layout. The one thing I didn't do was add an actual airlock since adding one would have resulted in something about the size of a closet---meaning they could exit the ship only one at a time if the outside conditions were inhospitable. Besides which the Rocket Ship (like many other sic-fi ships to follow) was depicted, perhaps unwittingly, as being more advanced than it might have been intended. They have a "counter magnet" or "gravity neutralizer" system---antigravity. In extent, although I don't recall it ever being mentioned, they evidently also have artificial gravity since no one floats out of their seat while in flight (clever man that Dr, Zarkov). Artificial gravity would also spare them from some effects of acceleration and deceleration.

    The main problem with the design is that it's basically a cylinder that tapers at both ends. Unless it's meant to be a big ship than that doesn't afford you much room if you want a standing interior.
     
  12. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I am mentally wrapping cross-section lines around that thing and it just doesn't add up.
     
  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ For years I tried adapting the shuttlecraft from TAS into more believable designs as if they were real rather than just drawings for animation. Last year I finally accomplished it and each design is immediately recognizable yet they do differ in order to make them work in a three dimensional world. I suspect the Phantom Cruiser will be much the same. I've already made rough elevation sketches of it to get a handle on how I think it should work and I'm almost ready to start making precise line drawings. In all likelihood it will differ a bit from what we are familiar with, but it should be immediately recognizable.
     
  14. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    What you see here are the control panel, the seats and the cabin fixtures in place within the framework of the forward compartment.

    [​IMG]

    The large dials on the left are not exactly where they should be simply because the shape of the set onscreen isn't the same as my model. My model follows the exterior shape of the hull while being slightly smaller in diameter (to account for some hull thickness for mechanicals. Also the onscreen set's walls are not as curved as mine. But the positioning of the dials is only slightly off. There are two fixtures missing here, though. One is a what looks to be a clock, but a window is where the clock would have been. In the serials when a window was added to the forward compartment the clock disappeared but then, of course, they had drastically changed the interior set anyway.

    The other piece missing is some sort of powered system that was shown sitting right in the middle of the deck where you enter the forward compartment---stupid place to put such a thing given that the first serial interior set was shown as rather cramped to begin with. My version is slightly less tight because I was able to push the walls out some.

    Of course, the main reason my interior is not too detailed is because little of it will be seen through the windows of the model anyway. It will be visible mostly if I show cross-sections of the model.

    The one last thing I want to try is to see if I can add interior lights to this.
     
  15. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Almost there. Here are three views. The top image is of the forward compartment as seen from the inside just inside the central passageway. I've shown the hidden geometry so the shape of the compartment is more evident. The middle image is a glimpse of the interior as seen from outside. The bottom image is the entire ship in x-ray view to show how it all fits together.

    [​IMG]

    I just realized I've forgotten one small thing. In the serials the ship had something of a periscope/telescope to look around outside, which makes some sort of sense since the largest windows are overhead and largely useless. :lol: That said I guess at the time they hadn't thought of outboard mounted cameras and viewing screens inside to see what's going on outside.

    I must say I rather like that bottom image. What you might not notice is in regards to the windows. I tinted the windows blue from the outside, but from the inside I left them as perfectly clear and untinted transparencies. My thinking is it limits what can be seen from outside (and I think it looks cool) yet you have an unobstructed view outward from inside.
     
  16. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Did the Dyamaxion car come out before, or after this?
     
  17. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    The Dymaxion was designed in 1933. This Rocket Ship was first seen in 1930.
     
  18. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Done. All that remains is a matter of finishing. I want the hull to have a somewhat shiny surface since the ship is supposed to be a shiny silver colour or almost like buffed bare metal. And I think I've found a way to add lights within SketchUp.

    More X-ray views (cause I think it's kinda cool).

    [​IMG]

    It's hard to tell in these images, but I have added the periscope/telescope to the main compartment. Like onscreen it's located on the port side of the main cabin. I obviously could have gotten even more detailed with the interior, but for this first time around with this design I don't see the need. I thought about adding detail to the back of the access hatch since when it swings down (as it's supposed to) there would be ladder like steps affixed to it. I might still do that if I decide to show the ship landed with the hatch open... Okay, who am I kidding? I know I will eventually do that. :lol:
     
  19. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Cool! I've finally figured out how to do proper texture mapping in SketchUp. I've also learned something about making my own textures in Photoshop. This should go a long way to helping me get the finish and colours I want for my models.
     
  20. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Swooping in victory Flash Gordon returns home...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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