Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: UEDF Illustrious Defender (née StarCom Starbase Station)

  1. #1
    SFM Guru McC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 06
    Location
    MA, USA
    Age
    33
    Posts
    657

    UEDF Illustrious Defender (née StarCom Starbase Station)

    So many irons in the fire right now.

    Anyway, this is a guiltless-pleasure (don't feel guilty about pleasurable things!) project that I've been tinkering with when trying to muster up the willpower to continue UV work on my Ambassador.

    Story time!
    As a kid, I had a bunch of toys. Often, I would play with these toys "as intended" -- X-men would be X-men fighting evil mutants, Star Trek micromachines would fight space battles against other Star Trek micromachines, and so on. But sometimes, I liked to repurpose the toys into something original. That gave birth to the Defender universe. Using aforementioned micromachines, coupled with a handful of other larger toys, I concocted huge space battles between the heroic UEDF and their genocidal alien enemies.

    Always at the center of the chaos was the UEDF Illustrious Defender, which was originally an old StarCom toy called Starbase Station. The toy itself was actually intended as a vertically-oriented, multi-level play set for the StarCom toy line, but if you detached the middle level, removed the base-level's gun turret, and flattened the whole thing out, it looked something like a large spaceship, especially compared with the other micromachines in question.

    Over the years, I've taken several stabs at modeling Defender, using the original toy as a real-world reference. I made my first attempt in trueSpace, which accurately captured the original shape but lacked a lot of the toy's surface detail.


    My second attempt, done in LightWave (or it might've been Inspire), kept the overall shape intact, but retooled a lot of the details to make it a more original piece.


    My third attempt, also done in LightWave, went back to the idea of doing an accurate detail capture, this time with a lot more surface detail.


    This marks my fourth attempt, done in Blender, which continues to attempt the accurate detail capture, but with an eye toward the end goal of representing the toy as a massive starship. To that end, I'm modifying the details here and there to bulk out shapes, depict armaments, and so on. I've got a nice set of digital calipers for measuring things, so this should also be the most accurate version (excepting the bits I'm deliberately changing) I've ever done.

    Enough with the background, on with the model!


    I call the front section the "Gun Head," since it houses the enormous main railguns and, if you think of Defender as resembling a giant banjo, it's where the "machine head" would be. I repurposed the design of the toy's middle platform's guns to be smaller turrets and placed them on raised daises that house clips for the top-side's magnetic plate on the toy. This time around, rather than mounting the guns on top as I have in the past, I decided to mount them beneath,


    That detailing along the edge is an accurate capture of the same detailing on the toy, as close as I could make it. I elected to treat a couple of the toy's flat decal colors as physical objects, namely the three round observation towers.

    I need to put a bunch of windows and smaller machinery in to give it a better sense of scale, but I think I'm going to come back and do that once the rest of the major shapes are in place.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	defender_2013-09-14-1925.jpg 
Views:	117 
Size:	165.8 KB 
ID:	105568  
    Last edited by McC; 15th Sep 2013 at 00:40. Reason: Adding attachment for icon
    Then tells you when or next, than lets you compare. It's not hard, folks.

    Finished: Ambassador | T'Varo
    WIP: Coronado | Defender

    Ashes of Alour-Tan | Blender Tutorials | Blog

  2. #2
    SFM Guru McC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 06
    Location
    MA, USA
    Age
    33
    Posts
    657
    Started in on the neck. Various notes and thoughts scribbled into the images themselves.







    Current length, not including the main guns: 336 m. I might scale the model up once it's done, or I might leave it where it is. Right now, it's a direct 1000:1 scale-up from the toy (1mm on the toy = 1m on the ship).
    Last edited by McC; 9th Sep 2013 at 04:10.
    Then tells you when or next, than lets you compare. It's not hard, folks.

    Finished: Ambassador | T'Varo
    WIP: Coronado | Defender

    Ashes of Alour-Tan | Blender Tutorials | Blog

  3. #3
    SFM Guru McC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 06
    Location
    MA, USA
    Age
    33
    Posts
    657
    A bit of neck detailing.

    Then tells you when or next, than lets you compare. It's not hard, folks.

    Finished: Ambassador | T'Varo
    WIP: Coronado | Defender

    Ashes of Alour-Tan | Blender Tutorials | Blog

  4. #4
    SFM Guru McC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 06
    Location
    MA, USA
    Age
    33
    Posts
    657
    A bit more neck detailing.

    Then tells you when or next, than lets you compare. It's not hard, folks.

    Finished: Ambassador | T'Varo
    WIP: Coronado | Defender

    Ashes of Alour-Tan | Blender Tutorials | Blog

  5. #5
    Man I meant to comment on this sooner, but I like what I am seeing here. I had a bunch of starcom toys as a kid and loved them to death, wish I still had the starmax bomber and the bigger bad guy ships. I remember getting that base toy at a yard sale missing a bunch of pieces and turned it into a ship too.

    I will definitely follow this thread as it is cool to see and know what your inital inspiration was. I know that several of my designs started out as old robotix build ups, thought that is hard to see now. Heck even my Feral bomber started as an old megaforce toy iirc.
    The original Totally Insane AUTOCAD Modeler
    Creator of the Spiral War Universe and the unofficial SFM Crew Calculator.
    Now Available on Kindle Via Noble Storm Books
    Spiral War: On Dagger's Wings
    Spiral War: In Death's Shadow
    Sprial War: Rising Warrior/Rising THreat
    Pick up your copies and join the adventure.
    Kindle Scout Campaign October 2017 for:
    Spiral War: Armageddon's Pall
    Vote and help get Spiral War the visibility it deserves

  6. #6
    SFM Guru McC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 06
    Location
    MA, USA
    Age
    33
    Posts
    657
    Thanks, Knight26!

    Quote Originally Posted by Knight26 View Post
    I had a bunch of starcom toys as a kid and loved them to death, wish I still had the starmax bomber and the bigger bad guy ships. I remember getting that base toy at a yard sale missing a bunch of pieces and turned it into a ship too.
    Yeah, I had(have?) those too! A Starmax Bomber, a Starwolf fighter, a HARV-7 truck, the Shadow Bat (the bad guy ship about the same size as the Starmax Bomber), and the Shadow Parasite fighter. (Found all their names in this image). Many an hour were spent playing with them. Great toys, those.

    Finished off the detailing on the neck!



    I'd been adding microbevels to all the asymmetric details, but I hadn't done so on the mirrored elements of the neck, so I went back and added those, too. Redid the lighting setup, as well; Blender's "sky" lighting is great for giving something a good "sitting on the ground outside" lighting, but not so much for space.

    Besides, I needed a more oblique light to show off my fun new textures! They're just temporary, but I had this idea (which I've been experimenting with on my Ambassador -- yes, I'm still working on it, too!) about using a very small image filled with multi-color noise and then scaling it up using Nearest Neighbor resampling, rather than bilinear/bicubic. It keeps the "blocks" hard, rather than smoothing them, and provides a neat base from which to make metal paneling! It still came out looking a bit too uniform, but for just a few minutes dinking around in Photoshop, I'm pretty happy with it.

    Still need to decide what I'm going to do with the PDL emplacements in the neck's weapon pods, and I'm leaning more and more toward treating the toy's greebles as "layer one" of the ship's greebles, with an additional layer or two required to really provide the necessary sense of scale. (Nicked the idea of detail "layering" from a comment fractalsponge made over in his thread!) Also need to fill in that currently-blank strip down the middle of the neck. I think I'm going to go with the idea of a smaller bay at the far end, with the long run-up used as a sort of catapult that boosts smaller craft away from the ship before they fire off their own engines.
    Then tells you when or next, than lets you compare. It's not hard, folks.

    Finished: Ambassador | T'Varo
    WIP: Coronado | Defender

    Ashes of Alour-Tan | Blender Tutorials | Blog

  7. #7
    SFM Guru McC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 06
    Location
    MA, USA
    Age
    33
    Posts
    657
    Roughed in the engineering section!



    The extensions near the neck are almost 2D on the toy, but I decided to bulk them out. I tried shrinking their vertical height so that they were more inline with the neck, but it didn't look as interesting. Perhaps they're docking spars for ships too large to land in the internal hangar bay, which roughly coincides with that area.

    I've always conceived of the round middle section as the location of the ship's main reactor. Its circular shape kind of implies some kind of Tokamak fusion reactor design to me, or at least a large circular particle accelerator of some kind. I suppose a particle accelerator could be an antimatter reactor, too.

    None of the stuff in this section (or the gunhead, come to think of it...) has microbevels yet, which is part of why it looks a little bland compared to the neck. It also just has substantially less greebling in general, but I'll probably mirror the top details down to this side once I put them in.

    I'm sort of tempted to do a master systems display-style cutaway of this ship when all is said and done...

    I'm also having a lot of fun with these wacky camera angles. Can you tell?
    Then tells you when or next, than lets you compare. It's not hard, folks.

    Finished: Ambassador | T'Varo
    WIP: Coronado | Defender

    Ashes of Alour-Tan | Blender Tutorials | Blog

  8. #8
    SFM Guru McC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 06
    Location
    MA, USA
    Age
    33
    Posts
    657
    Added in the beginning of the dorsal surface details. Main reactor in the middle (orange), fuel pods toward the bow (the three capsules on either side).



    The toy is asymmetric in regards to these two sections, but one of the sections is a control console of sorts. It doesn't make visual sense if translated directly, so I've mirrored the fuel pods instead. However, I'll be lifting some of the edge-on detail from that side and re-purposing it as edge-and-overhang detail for the area beneath the fuel pods.

    The gunhead now has microbevels, as do all of the railguns. Some of the elements of the core/engineering section have microbevels, but not everything does. The main body geometry itself doesn't, for instance, but the fuel pods do.

    Overall ship length for those curious: 510m. I'm not sure if I want to double/triple this for the "final" scale, or just leave it where it is. 510m is small by, say, Star Wars scales, but it's still larger than any existing aircraft carrier. I suppose it'll at least partially hinge on the size that the bay doors need to be.
    Then tells you when or next, than lets you compare. It's not hard, folks.

    Finished: Ambassador | T'Varo
    WIP: Coronado | Defender

    Ashes of Alour-Tan | Blender Tutorials | Blog

  9. #9
    SFM Guru japetus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 07
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    775
    Great job and grate modeling! Always fun to revisit projects and see how you've improved. The beveling really sells the details and the greebling is great. Keep it up!
    "Triangles are my favorite shape. Three points where two lines meet...till morning comes, let's tessellate." Alt-J
    Personal Website: Japetus Productions
    Work Website: Straightface Studios

  10. #10
    SFM Pimp Army evil_genius_180's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 06
    Location
    Ohio
    Age
    38
    Posts
    8,713
    That's some really nice work so far. I'm not familiar with Starcom, probably because it was a failure in the US, but that looks like a cool space station. Plus, your modeling is always top notch.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •