After making the Assault Scout miniature, I decided to do a miniature for the other small ship that I had designed, the CSS Nightwind. The Nightwind is a small freighter about the same size as the Sathar Destroyer. As with the Assault Scout, I figured I’d start with the engines. I liked the design of the engines for the Assault Scout but they were too small.
In the Star Frontiers game, which these models are based on, there are three engine sizes, called Class A, B, & C. The different engines are used for different size ships. The Assault Scout, uses the smaller Class A engines, while the Nightwind is supposed to use the middle Class B engines. So I needed to come up with a design that was similar to the one for the Assault Scout but bigger. At this point I decided to design all three engines and tuck them away for whenever I needed them in other models.
Removing the Scaling
When I made the engine model for the Assault Scout, I was working in the model scale. However, as I wanted these engines to be useful across models, I first needed to get it onto a standard scale. I started by simply copying out the code for the engine into a new project. Then based on the size of the miniature, I scaled the individual components so that the new model was on the 1mm = 1 meter scale. I chose this scale as it is the one I want to use when designing ships as it makes the conversion from drawn plans to miniature easy. I can then just scale the entire model by a factor of three to get to the proper scale for printing the models.
At this point I also took the time to clean up some of the artifacts that I noticed in the model the first time through. The final “Class A” model is shown at the left. Outwardly it doesn’t look much different than the image from the Assault Scout post as it is the same engine, just at a different scale.
The next step was to decide how much to scale the engines up by. What I decided to do was the following.
- Double the height.
- The “cap” on the mushroom shape should take up proportionally less of the overall length of the engine.
- The overall diameter of the engine would not quite double with the doubling of the height effectively making the engines proportionally slimmer as they went to the large sizes.
Otherwise things would remain basically the same. T pull off item 2 above, I scaled the cap up in height by the same ratio I scaled up the diameter in item 3 instead of a factor of two. I then lengthened it just enough to add another of the cross bar pieces. The cross bar pieces are the same height on all the engines. This gave me my class B engines.
To get the Class C engines, I followed the same procedure as I did for the Class B engines but started with the Class B engine as the basis instead of the Class A engine. I doubled the height and added a third cross bar to the cap.
The Class A engine was 20 meters tall. Doubling this height twice makes the Class C engines 80 meters tall. I actually wonder if this is big enough as these engines will be mounted on ships that range from 420 to 600 meters long. I may tweak these slightly when I build the larger ships. In any case, these Class C engines are bigger than many smaller ships. Here is a picture of the three engines along with an Assault Scout all to the same scale.
Categorised as: 3D Modeling/Printing