For being something of a regular around here for many years, I haven't been around much lately. Real life™ and other things, I guess. But I haven't given up on the Trek hobby altogether. Here's a peek at my latest CGI model: The classic Shuttlecraft. What a complex subject it is. For a "flying cheese box," it sure has some complex geometry. It is not as simple as it looks and getting it right is no easy matter. I started this project on three separate occasions. Twice I abandoned it, but the third time was the charm. My ace in the hole was a particular 3D program: MoI (Moment of Inspiration). It's a fantastic CAD based NURBS solid modeler singlehandedly created by the guy who originally developed Rhino. It features a simple interface that is created for non-engineering-savvy artistic types. I can't recommend it highly enough. Check it out: moi3d.com These images are line art exports directly from MoI: The model is based in large part on Gary Kerr's plans shown at Wonderfest a couple of years ago. I revised these a bit, here and there, based on photo references. The aft landing gear is adapted from Phil Broad's blueprints of the 3/4 scale set piece, enlarged to match Gary's "full size" dimensions. There is an interior hull shell, but no other details (perhaps later). I have also modeled the doors open, with realistic interior door seals and bulkhead pocket details. The front view ports can also open to reveal glass (or transparent aluminum). A few highlights: I'm treating this as the "real" shuttle, not a duplicate of either the set piece or miniature. Because of this I have refined a few details in ways that make sense to me. The landing feet have treads that would aid stability in rough terrain, but not be inappropriate on a ship's deck. The front feet are segmented to allow them to flatten when deployed. (There is even a suggestion of a piston system to accomplish this.) Now on to texture mapping. M.