Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Engineering some Nozzles

I am now dealing with the engine nozzles for Galactica. This is proving to be a long process if not difficult. What is making me work hard is the density of detail on these parts.

The process here is to take my Autocad information and project it onto a simplified 3D engine nozzle. I then split that surface up and un-roll it in Rhino 3D. This then gives my the flat shape that will curl up to fit my foam patter.

The only hard part is just drafting out the thousands of lines that make up this detailing.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Skin Job

Oh! How long I have waited, and dreaded making the detailed surfaces for the Flight Pod retraction pockets.

So many aspects had to be dealt with before I could even attempt this. The hull slices, for one, had to be at thier proper thicknesses. Since that was done many weeks ago I only had my concernes about fitting getting in the way. They turned out to be unwarrented. These new pieces dropped into place with the minimum of fuss.

These skins are made from two layers of material. The innermost, and thickest, being of ridgid vinyl. The outer being made from a 2" wide strip of electrical tape. The tape lazer cut just like most every other part on the Galactica. And since it IS tape it is self adhesive.

Skin Patterns

Skin Patterns

The only thing that I worrried about in this process is how well the tape would hold up on the pattern after a couple of mold pulls. I am avoiding this problem by molding the skins and using casted skins instead.



Cast Skins

Cast Skins

Casting also give me the advantage of only making one set of originals as well as being able to be formed to compund curves much better than the sheet vinyl.

Skins in place

Skins in place

Skins in place

These look fairly good to me. With a little fitting and some minor gap filling I can be done with these.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Movin' Along

After spending weeks away from Galactica I finnaly made some progress.

Here is the detailing on the Galactica's "head".

Brow Detail

Brow Detail

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Devil in the Details

The detailing on the Galactica's main engines is pure evil. But that's why I love this ship. She is a real challenge.

Here are some shots of the Main Engine plate;

Main Engine detailing

Main Engine Detailing

The armor paneling offers a challenge in how to model the subtle thickness that is apparent in closeup shots. My solution was to laser cut three layers of material. The thickest being styrene to depict the armor itself. The next two being thin vinyl shelving liners. After they were stacked up I made a silicone mold immediately because of the very delicate nature of the assembly.

Armor mold

Armor casting

Next up; Landing pod pocket detail.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Getting bigger

Everything done up untill now is preperation for a 1/2500th scale model. The finnished model will be around 22.5" long.

For such a large model I could not simply resize my parts from the Mini Galactica model. The detailing on the hull will be done with an applique of material so I needed to compensate for the thickness of the strips. Also since this model is being built to a specific scale, the materials I am using need to be made to custom thicknesses.

These skins started off as five laser etched vinyl strips and were detailed with chips of styrene and a few HO scale detailing parts. I then made a mold of them and cast up around 200 skins in urethane resin.


Detail strip

The bulk of the hull is made from lasercut shapes of foam. These foam slices were contoured just as the smaller model's acrylic shapes were. Once all the slices were shaped I began the process of applying the detailed skins.

Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing
Hull detailing

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Making the "Mini-G"

Once I had a set of hull slices I preceded to make a small study model to verify that my planned construction method would work the way I hoped it would.

The scale of the "Mini-G" was based entirely off of the two thinnest material thicknesses that I had readily available to me. The hull slices are made of 0.060" white acrylic sheeting and the ribs are made from 0.015" vinyl sheeting.

All the slices had alignment holes in them so that I could easily put them together. The first step was to "string" together just the hull slices and sand the compound contours across the slices. (Otherwise the hull would have an ugly "stair step" appearance.) Next I pulled the pieces apart and place the ribs in between the hull slices.

Mini G construction 01
Mini G construction 02
Mini G construction 03
Mini G construction 04
Mini G construction 05
Mini G construction 06
Mini G construction 07
Mini G construction 08
Mini G construction 09
Mini G construction 10
Mini G construction 11
Mini G construction 12
Mini G construction 13
Mini G construction 14
Mini G construction 15
Mini G construction 16
Mini G construction 17
Mini G construction 18
Mini G construction 19

This little "maquette" study model proved to be so popular that I ended up kitting it for sale. (It is available here: Mini G kit )

Sprue setup 01
Sprue setup 02

Here is the finnished model all painted and pretty:

Buildup 01
Buildup 02
Buildup 03
Buildup 04
Buildup 05
Buildup 06

Adding the third dimension

After having spent nearly 60 hours drafting a set of 2d drawings I developed the ship's form using Rhinoceros 3D. This CG model was used to generate a series of slices for the physical model to come.

Rhino model 01
Rhino model 02
Rhino model 03
Rhino model 04
Rhino model 05
Rhino model 06
Rhino model 07
Rhino model 08
Rhino model 09
Rhino model 10
Rhino model 11
Rhino model 12
Rhino model 13
Rhino model 14
Rhino model 15
Rhino model 16
Rhino model 17


The first step in any project is research. This was a very easy step in this case. Thanks to the generosity of a Zoic insider, rendered orthographic views of the Galactica were made available online. It is from these that I made my Autocad drawing sheet. The process was simply to trace these images while constantly cross referencing elements to as many views as possible.

My first generation drawing is available here:

Nu Galactica PDF

Getting Started

Having spent three years working on various Battlestar Galactica projects I felt it was about time I start documenting my progress properly.

Please bear with me as I learn the finer art of Blogging.