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Old 11-18-2017, 07:29 AM
michaelgr michaelgr is offline
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The Spaceship Rocinante from the show "The Expanse" - need some advice.

Hi guy, new here - I'm desgning my own model and I need some advice.
some background first: I used to be a paper modeler in my teens and early 20's (I'm 42 now) but I haven't done much except for one self-designed model about 15 years ago. However I'm a 3d Modeler and I thought of returning to papercraft with a model of the psaceship "Rocinante" from the SYFY show "The Expanse". The Roci has a very angular design which is perfect for a paper model and I want to start with something relatively uncomplicated - I can always add some extra detail later on top of the basic model. I'm Doing all the design and unfolding on 3ds max and final layout and tab placement probably on Inkscape, when I get to it.

So, here's where I want your advice. First of all, I'm not even sure about the size I want to build - I guess somewhere between 30-45cm (12"-18"). The model is long and rather blocky, meaning a lot of empty space inside, and I don't have a good intuition about how strong the model must be to hold together. Additionally, in contrast to all the aircraft models that I used to build, The Roci is composed of distinct sections of differing sizes instead of a single continuous surface, meaning you can't just divide the hull into strips with bulkheads and use joining strips to put it all together. So I've been toying with the idea of some sort of internal structure made from thicker cardboard, over which the thinner external skin will slide. But then do I create a single long internal structure (I started designing one, which you can see in one of the images) or use smaller pieces to prop up each section, and then glue them together?
Chime in with any idea you have, your advice is sure to help getting this project off the ground. Especially the guys building mecha, those seem to have the closest shape to this type of model.
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The Spaceship Rocinante from the show "The Expanse" - need some advice.-roci_front.jpg   The Spaceship Rocinante from the show "The Expanse" - need some advice.-roci_rear.jpg   The Spaceship Rocinante from the show "The Expanse" - need some advice.-disassembled.jpg  
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Old 11-18-2017, 09:52 AM
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airdave airdave is offline
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Stop trying to design one central fuselage with things attached to it.
Like you said, its a modular design...module sections.
Look at the way Rukr did his large Aliens spacecraft.
I see maybe 5 or 6 modular sections attached one after another, and then more surface attachments.
And change your surface artwork...it looks too much like a checkerboard.
I'm sick of it on all the Star Trek models I have seen, I don't like it on this.
The actual surface appears to be smaller tiles...a tiled surface more like the Space Shuttle.
Its much smaller detail that you can only see closeup.

Do you plan on pre Fred Johnson refit or after?
Rail Gun? External tanks?
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The Spaceship Rocinante from the show "The Expanse" - need some advice.-rocinante.jpg  
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Old 11-18-2017, 11:16 AM
michaelgr michaelgr is offline
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airdave - I'm doing Rocinante as it appeared on most of season 2, sans tanks (is the rail gun something from the books? I stopped at #1 and only watch the show for now).
Not sure what you mean by checkers, but all of the detail is taken directly from screen grabs. There's very little extrapolation on my part - For a ship that small, they seem to be using quite a lot of absurd detail on some of the closeup shots!
But I just had a thought - unlike store-bought models, I can experiment, print out some pieces, try to put them together and see if they hold up well. So I'll try modular first and see how it goes. Thanks!
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The Spaceship Rocinante from the show "The Expanse" - need some advice.-vlcsnap-2017-10-17-23h53m26s901.jpg   The Spaceship Rocinante from the show "The Expanse" - need some advice.-vlcsnap-2017-10-17-23h56m40s770.jpg  
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Old 11-18-2017, 11:24 AM
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airdave airdave is offline
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See the image I posted...thats a CGI grab of the original model.
Post Johnson affair.
But you can see how small the tiles are.

Just my opinion, but your tiling effect is larger and creates sort of "checkers board" look with the alternating colours.

The big Rail Gun was attached to a rear Fin, just after the Johnson refit.
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Old 11-18-2017, 11:50 AM
michaelgr michaelgr is offline
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I see what you're saying, but the size difference is not that major - about 20%. I can change that easily, All I need is to re-render some bits.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:59 AM
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Thales Thales is offline
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I was planning on designing this ship soon... now I'll do something else. This looks really good so far.
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:11 AM
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airdave airdave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thales View Post
I was planning on designing this ship soon... now I'll do something else. This looks really good so far.

lol I already have a file started on this from over a year ago.
But i just never got around to starting anything.

I still might do a mini-version of it.

This happens all the time.
If you don't say something, then someone else will beat you to it.
But if you do say something, it gives the idea to someone else who might beat you to it anyway.
LOL best to say nothing and do nothing!
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Old 11-29-2017, 04:51 AM
michaelgr michaelgr is offline
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Some progress:
I printed out a couple of test pages just to see what size I'm comfortable, check page thickness and finish, and test-build a few parts. As a result I see I need to re-do a few bits and pieces and create a more robust internal structure.
But I spent more time coding my own tools. I don't really like Pepakura and wanted to do as much of the work with the software I'm most familiar with, 3ds max. At first I just thought I'd do things manually but then it came to me I could automate most of it, and as a result I now have a set of tools that can:
1. unfold a 3D model based on a UV channel
2. add tabs - currently this is almost completely manual , since the tool lack any connectivity data to indicate edge pairs, so you need to select edges to add tabs to, but you can set whatever tab size and style you want.
3. export the result as a textured SVG file complete with vector lines and dashed fold lines that can be opened in inkscape or Illustrator and set for print.
So now after this interesting detour into the realms of software development I'll go back to design and see if I can figure out a more robust way of building some parts.
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The Spaceship Rocinante from the show "The Expanse" - need some advice.-20171123_232514.jpg  
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2017, 06:20 AM
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Papierschnitzel Papierschnitzel is online now
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Looks great so far. Great balance between geometry and texturing. I am a Blender user and they have a great add-on for unfolding the geometry. Would be surprised if something similar isn't available for 3DS Max. Worst case, you could export the model to blender and cut/unfold it there.
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Old 11-29-2017, 07:20 AM
thunderbolt13 thunderbolt13 is offline
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Fantastic work so far, can't wait to see the beta build and finished product. I was really hoping someone would get around to covering subject matter from The Expanse. Best sci fi show in decades.
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