Sunday, February 28, 2010

No posts for awhile.

I've got to get caught up on other things and have several projects in the works, so updates will be few, however I will pick up right where I laft off.

Keep on Trekkin! =/\=

Day 15 "Constituent Parts"

Before we can get into explaining phasors and creating actual parts we have to break everything down into constituent components. Below is an example of breaking down parts of the whole into individual components. I've broken up the base engineering hull, into three separate parts, for the sake of this discussion. Note; though the center section is not a perfect cylinder it will suffice for this discussion. If we were going to machine this part we would use measurements directly from the profile.

We will come back later and add the addition cylinders inside the deflector cowl as referenced by Charles Casimiro's prints and other data.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 14 "Revenge of the Arc Phasors"

.... Or, "Return of the 3rd Plane."

In a previous post I explained how to turn a two dimensional conical shape into a three dimensional cone, however, we have to build on that information and remember that we are no longer dealing with just a 2d object. when we are taking a 2d object and transferring it into a 3d object we have to consider the z axis and how that effects our shape. Since we are using the diameters of the different sections of the profile of the engineering section we have to think about how we are going to compensate for the additional dimension. In advanced mathematics, especially math that deal with expressing electrical sine waves we work with phasors. This discussion is not going to get into the depth of phasor math, but we can learn a simple lesson involving phasors and use them along with trig and a simple compass to modify our previous discussion, expand on it and create the entire engineering section. Don't get to bogged down with the terminology and don't let it intimidate you. I'll explain graphically what I mean here.

I've some up with a final engineering profile, see below. We are going to use this for the rest of this blog. I'm confident that it's accurate.

In the second photo below I've divided the engineering hull into additional sections so the we can recreate the entire hull. We'll be splitting the hull up into sections, building each section with card stock and assembling them into a whole. Before we move on to that part we need to follow along the top and bottom of the hull and take those lines back to the point of convergence. From the point of convergence we could use a really big compass to cut an arc between certain points after we do the math for each diameter from the previous post.

In the next post I'll show show what I mean graphically.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 13 "Expect Results"

If you follow along with this blog and put these thoeries into application, if you take the time to work through the tutorials, You can produce whatever you like. Expect results!

Here is a link to a video of a model that I worked on with a good friend, Big Jim Slade. We used many of these techniques and Jim did all of the TurboCAD work and this is what we came up with.

Neither of us had ever tackled anything like this before, but the over all project looks absolutely fantastic.

The reason for this blog is to insprie people, to teach and to share. I also intend to do all of the work myself. After we have a complete set of prints finished we will go onto the card model software and then to the LightWave portion.

Check out movie two as well.

Day 13 "Coordinates, Circumference, CAD and CG"

Drafting is an art unto itself and has been around for many a millennia. For the most part, I've focused on drafting things out by hand. We've used various methods to get our points of intersection, plotted out points along a curve and have used pantographing and rotoscoping to get our basic shapes for the profile of the Enterprise. Adding to this let's move onto more advanced methods and increase what we have and build upon it. The Cartesian Plane, or coordinate system has been used in mathematics for a very long time and is the basis for AutoCAD and computer graphics. We can use this plane to plot our points and lines, plot out hemispheres and for scaling the ship. For further edification on the subject, go here.

I stated earlier that the Enterprise was not much more than a collection of cones and spheres, with the exception of the primary hull, of course. However, when broken down, the primary hull can be expressed as conical and hemispherical shapes as well. I've focused on the Engineering hull thus far, because it is the place where everything begins and is what everything is attached to. The Engineering hull of the Enterprise consists primarily as a cone. Going back to one of the early photos posted here I cleaned up my plot lines to get a more accurate outline in reference to the center line.
Referring back to one of Alan Sinclair's prints we can see his engineering hull with plotted cutaways. We can use this an as example of how to take this profile in two dimensions, plot it out on a coordinate plane and turn that into a 3 dimensional cone. Each one of his cutaways are essentially diameters, these diameters can be turned into linear measurements, layed out on a sheet, cut and rolled into a cone.

Go to this link for a discussion of circumference, diameter, radius...

As you can see for cutaway "C" moving back along the horizontal from left to right we have a cone. If you decide on a size for your ship, or you just want to try and check this, print that photo up, measure each of the lines from C going back and plot that out on a separate piece of paper and roll it into a cone, you should have a conical representation of that section of the engineering hull. It follows that the more lines you plot and the closer you plot them, the more accurate the over all construction will be. Since Circumference equals.... C=(pie)d where C is circumference and pie 3.14 and d is Diameter. Start with a horizontal line, do your math for each section, divide all measurements by two, measure up and down from the horizontal, plot your lines up and down the intersecting points, cut and roll into a cylinder. This is the hard way of creating templates for conical sections of a whole. The easy way is to use the prints that you've established and take them into cad, or some other program and let the software do the work.

In my previous post I linked to a tutorial using a small, but powerful tool for working in CG and for creating card models using blueprints.

Card models, or maquettes are a valid tool for visualizing the project that you want to create and deciding what changes, if any, are required. This same method is used in Hollywood by some Art Directors to "Pre-Visualize" what models they are going to make for a film. A maquette was made of Starbase 1 before the full scale model was made for the Star Trek movie "Search for Spock." I have to laugh at this point, because when I began building my 1/350th TOS Enterprise, I started with a card model and blueprints. Some little girl said it was made of toilet paper rolls. LOL, just shows their ignorance I guess? The model was eventually made from fiberglass and bondo as well as vac formed poly-styrene, but it was visualized with a scale maquette that was made from a card model and that model was eventually resized and the templates used to create the fiberglass hull, neck and nacelles.

Moving forward.... ;)

There is a very good tutorial here, for working in LightWave and building a TOS Enterprise. Again, in CG we are using the Coordinate Plane, or Cartesean Grid.

Thus far you can see that there are many ways to skin an Enterprise and one is just as valid as the other and most are based on old techniques that have been around for centurys. You can machine one, use wood working tools, use drafting techniques, card models... Your imagination is your only limit, that and the willingness to do something more than think about something, or talk about it. I'm fond of saying "Don't talk about it, Do it!" That's because you can think and talk all you want, but you will not get out of the theoretical and into the practical until you actually do something. Anyone can be a critic of someone elses work, but it takes drive and initiative to actually try something and I might add a certain degree of confidence in your own skills. You also have to be willing to make mistakes. Mistakes are not failures, the only one who fails is the one who doesn't even try.

Anyone can be a critic. ;)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 12 "Suggested Reading and Viewing."

I've ammassed quite a library over the years and I thought I would share some of the titles of my favorite books that cover the verious methods used in getting this far in this discussion and share some decent tutorials as well as a couple of videos of my own.

Here's a list of books specific to this blog.

1)Print Reading for Industry by Walter C. Brown
2)Fundamentals of Engineering Drawing by Cecil Jensen and Jay D. Helsel

Specific to Molding Casting and Sculpting:

1) The Prop Builders Molding and Casting Handbook by Thurston James
Check out the section about "Vacuum Forming with Thermal Plastics
I'll cover the build up of my vacuum table at later date.

2) From Clay to Bronze A Studio Guide to Figurative Sculpture

Specific to Styrene Modeling and blueprinting:

1)Model Design and Blueprinting Handbook by Charles Adams
2)Styrene Modeling by Evergreen Scale Models.

CG Specific.

Here is a link to a tutorial using a small, but powerful program that I will be working with while also working in LightWave 9.6.

This is a link to 66 tutorials for various applications in Lightwave.

While I'm finishing up the blueprints I'll be recreating and refining the process that I used to build my 1/350th TOS Enterprise. This link to the video gives some example as to how we will be proceeding. I developed this method three years ago and now I see people all over the net doing the same thing. I think it's great to see people making their own figures, ships and other models.

I'll will come back and edit and update the entire blog soon, my appologies for mispellings and grammer mechincs issues. I usually work on this when I'm half asleep.

More updates soon. Trek On Dudes and Dudettes! =/\=........

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 11 "Details Details Details."

I'm going to take this time to display more of the details of the TOS Enterprise before compling everything into a preliminary draft of the various orthotic views of the ship. I should note that even though I started out with X-rays of the actual ship I seem to have focused on screen caps of what was a pilot version of the ship. This was done because the basic shape of the ship never changed, with few exceptions the overall shape of the ship stayed the same. The main differences were the addition of some details and the shape of the bridge and nacelle end caps. Other wise the ship held its original shape. Though the screens that I used came from the episode "Mirror Mirror" you can clearly see that the ship used here was from one of the first pilots, most likely the version from WNMHGB. I'll get into the two different pilot differences at a later date. Most of that has been covered before and there isn't much need for me to regurgitate that info. My primary focus is creating a set of prints for the Series version, however, I would feel neglectfull if I didn't cover everything.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 10 "TOS Rodeo"

This ain't my first rodeo working on the TOS Enterprise. I've been building this ship since I was a kid. I've built any number of the AMT 18" kits, built the Polar Lights kit by the score, built my own 1/350th from a card model and Alan Sinclair's blueprints and so on. This is, however, my firt attempt at putting together my own set of prints and building one in CG. I've also taking on the mantle of building another scale model from scratch. Below is just some of my previous work. I'll will be showing more as we move into the build stage of this blog.

As always, take care and Keep on Trekkin! =/\=

Day 10 "The Devil Is In The Details."

Below are some more photos for us to look at concerning the actual details of the TOS Enterprise. I'm showing actual photos of the ship before its 92 "Restoration" and a photo from the DS-9 episode "Trials and Tribbleations." I figure that since Greg Jein and Doug Drexler worked on this episode and since they had all of the information available to them from Paramount, they had to know what they were doing. Some say there is no copper ring behind the deflector rings and I say there is. It make sens when it come to symmetry and I've seen this ring up close in hundreds of screen captures that I did for TrekPulse and TrekCore, so I know that it's there. Also of note is the shape of the ring around the lower sensor dome. I don't think any model out there got this right and I have as yet to find a blueprint that shows it correctly. I may be wrong, but I do want to get the detals right. Note the shape of the rings around the lower primary hull and the fine, pencil grid lines. I've plotted out the shape of the port and starboard details for the engineering hull and will add all of the preciously shown details into a final draft of the ships profile.
There is one anomally the confuses me and that's the shape of the dorsal, or neck of the craft. in one of the photos it clearly looks rounded and in the next it looks flat, I'm going with rounded for symmetry.

Charles Adams did a fine article on the TOS Enterprise awhile back and it seems that he used some of the same reference shots that I have. He also show some of the details of the nacelle and impulse engine that I will be including.

I went back to the Smithsonian photos to verify the neck shape and angles before I do the final draft of the profile.

More to come...... =/\= Same Trek time, Same Trek channel......=/\=

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 9 "Outlines and Profile"

The title says it all, this is just some of what I've gleaned from my work.