1/350th Scale Akira WIP.

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by MTK, May 9, 2011.

  1. Millenniumfalsehood

    Millenniumfalsehood Active Member

    I downloaded the PDO model so I can get a good look at it. Do you mind if I give you a list of constructive criticisms? Nothing nit-picky, I assure you.
  2. MTK

    MTK Active Member

    I'm always open to constructive criticism, even nit-picky criticism, if it's constructive. However, I will probably use that information on the next version, I'm really done with this version of the model. If you can, will you please quote your sources with your criticisms. Thanks.:thumb:
  3. Millenniumfalsehood

    Millenniumfalsehood Active Member

    Okay, then. :thumb:

    First of all, this model really agrees with all the sources I have, so accuracy is not an issue. It really can't find a fault in this that isn't attributable to the medium and the fact that, this being a general public release, the model must be easy to assemble and not too fiddly.

    That being said, here are my main criticisms. Think of this list as a checklist for the next version, not a criticism of the model.

    1) There are a lot of intersecting sections. This isn't too much of a problem on smaller models, but on a big model like this it can be disastrous because the sections are not easy to check against each other for trimming and the possibility of misalignment is greater. I would try to find a way to eliminate these altogether, either by manually adjusting the sections or by applying a Boolean function to the sections. The parts where this is most prominent are the catamaran hull/saucer intersection, the nacelle pylon/catamaran intersection, the bridge/saucer intersection, and the deflector hull/saucer intersection. This fault actually makes the model, as is, almost unbuildable, save for the people who *really* want a huge model of the Akira. I'm sure the final version will not have this problem, and I'm fully aware this is a beta and not the final version, but that's why we have beta-builds (even "virtual" ones like mine. :oops: )

    2) The textures are not very sharp. On smaller models, this isn't a big deal, but on a model this size it can be a deal-breaker. One texture that is noticeably pixelated is the one for the booms. The pennant stripe and registry number is entirely unreadable, and the only way to know what the ship's name is is to look on the bow. The impulse engines are also very pixelated and would detract from the assembled model. If you would increase the resolution by three times or more, it would largely solve this problem. Of course, large textures do make Pepakura throw a fit, so you may have to chop them up and quilt them together.

    3) There are a lot of details that should be three dimensional. Again, on a smaller model this is no problem because paper would be too thick to represent accurate hull panel thickness, for instance. But again, on a large model everything is magnified, so you need to provide as many details as possible to keep the model from looking flat. One that really should have been a raised object is the large gray panel on top of the torpedo platform. It has a rather pronounced shadow, so it should be a true object rather than a part of the texture.

    4) A model of this size really would benefit from a skeletal structure. Many otherwise good models will suffer because the designer failed to adequately support the interior, and with the enormous warp engines supported on relatively thin pylons, you're going to need a structure to support their weight. Another benefit of an interior structure is that the builder can use the formers to assemble the complex curves of the ship fairly easily, simply by assembling the skeleton first and them forming the hull around it.

    That's what I've got so far. Like I said, this would best be taken as a to-do list for the final version of the model.
  4. MTK

    MTK Active Member

    I've replied within the text of your thesis.

    Well, I will certainly consider all of this when desiging an Uber Anal Akira, however, at this point I'm working on a great many things not all of them card models and not all have been listed. I welcome anyone to take this model and make a better one, or to take a better mesh and make a better one, or to even create one from scratch. I also invite people to look at Zoshu's model of this ship and think about building that instead, or using it as an example of creating their own.:mrgreen::thumb:
  5. Millenniumfalsehood

    Millenniumfalsehood Active Member

    I have to disagree with the last point. You *do* need a support structure if the materials are thin, flimsy, and constructed with shallow curves. As a person with an engineering background, I'm surprised you don't know this; I'm taking an engineering physics class in preparation for a degree in mechanical engineering, and though we haven't covered mechanical stress in depth, we did go over all the topics at the beginning of the semester and that was one of the main points of that section.

    Fiberglass is thin and has shallow curves, but is also strong, with good tensile strength, with respectable compression and sheer strength. Cardstock has none of these characteristics (even it's greatest strength, tensile strength, is remarkably weak compared to something like fiberglass), and even if the model is physically strong initially, over time it will sag unless supported by an inner structure.

    Additionally, you must know that long thin sections with no internal support *will* collapse if one end is fixed and the other end has a mass suspended from it. Even if the rest of the model has no internal support, the nacelle pylons *must* have it. You don't need an engineering background to know this; common sense tells you an unsupported weight on the end of a pylon will either bend the pylon or break it completely. A cardstock box alone cannot support the weight of the nacelle; it must have a structure.

    I don't yet have a background in engineering, but I do know that the inverse square law says that for every unit you move away from the attachment point, the tension will go up by a factor of two. On large models, this is a problem. Now, with the Akira's nacelle pylon design, it probably won't be susceptible to bending. But then where will the energy in the system go? It'll go to the four corners. If that's the only thing supporting the pylon, then they are the weak link, especially the joint where you close the box. If however there is a core box, you have twice the number of places for the energy to drain to. I can't give you the hard numbers, but given that you have an engineering background you should be able to tell where I'm coming from.

    The place where the pylons attach to the booms are also a problem without internal support. Either they are butt-joined to the boom (bad idea for a number of reasons) or they are passed through a hole in the middle of the boom. Now, if they are passed through a hole, then the load will be concentrated on a single point. This is bad, because it means the stresses will spike there and the potential for bending or breaking at that point is multiplied. If there is a support inside the pylon however, the load is spread between two additional points, cutting the stress in half. It's even better if there are two or more boxes.

    Now, I'm sure you can support the nacelle, and the rest of the model, with laminated cardstock. The only problem is that the weight will go up drastically, and the strength gained will not go up proportionately. In fact, a solid system like that is known to be structurally weak compared to a skeletal system.
  6. MTK

    MTK Active Member

    See previous post and pay key attention to "...laminate stips at key points..." I'm well aware of sheer stresses, inverse law...etc...et.al

    By laminating strips at key points you increase the thickness and tensile strength, when you over lap these strips and cross hatch them you add more thickness and more tensile strength. By using epoxy instead of white glue, you add more strength..... Come on MF, you see where I'm going... right?

    Quick engineering question? How do you add strength to a steel part? There are three correct answers. This is a practical as well as theoretical proof.

  7. MTK

    MTK Active Member

    MF, I'd like to clarify a few things. 1) I've got 32 years worth of mechanical and practical engineering, this means hands on, not including the theory that I had to go through to get better jobs. Since 91 I've worked in the electrical and electronic part of the field, even though I still did carpentry, mechanical etc.

    This was my first ever scratch build, of which I caught no end of hell.

    While I was working on that, I was working on this with Big Jim Slade...

    This ship was built by Scott Einoff, made from masters that I created and we (AW Studios) worked on together.....


    These are most of the new parts for the new kit, even though R2 says they are going to put out a kit again.... LOL!


    I know what is possible and I know what works and I know how to get things done. There is a big difference between a college book and lab and real life.

    Look at Virgin Galactic, look at speed boats, look at the stresses that are involved.

    It looks as though I'm going to have to build this ship, just to prove a point....again. I'll probably put electronics in it as well.

    BTW, look at the 1:1 Cylon model thread and see what else can be done practically.:wave:
  8. Millenniumfalsehood

    Millenniumfalsehood Active Member

    Okay, I think I see where you're coming from.

    I was thinking of a bare cardstock box; I must have missed the lamination comment. Sometimes my commentary looks like I'm being an @$$, but in my defense I *did* think I was right. But now I'm slapping my forehead . . . it's obvious when I'm not trying to quickly type a response. :rolleyes:

    I'm due for my monthly mistake anyway. :oops::mrgreen:

    If I'm not due for any further mistakes:

    1) Reinforce with perpendicular strips, or

    2) Weld strips along the inner surfaces, or

    3) Weld box stock to the inner surfaces.

    Option 3 is my preferred method of strengthening a structure when I scratchbuild, because so far it's the lightest option for the strength. But it doesn't work with curved surfaces, which is when I use option 1.
  9. MTK

    MTK Active Member

    The answers I was looking for are...

    1) Bending. By bending steel around a radius you increase it's strength and recoil from compression.

    2) Welding. By welding sheet. together and ensuring you have good strong welds you increase the overall strength of that part.

    3) Heat Treating. By heating and cooling the part of steel you increase it's over all strength, dependant upon temperature and time in the oven. This is with the caveat that you do not crystalize the metal.

    So, as I see it you get one out of three which is 33% since two of the answers are essentially the same. Still, good try.:thumb:
  10. Millenniumfalsehood

    Millenniumfalsehood Active Member

    Not bad says I for a neophyte engineer who hasn't even covered basic mechanical stress yet in physics. :oops:

    Actually, I should have thought of heat-treating, but I was assuming the piece in question had to be altered with physical reinforcements only. Bending makes sense as well.

    How would you strengthen the curves of the saucer, though? I can see laminating thin sheets to the interior, but too much lamination would cause the ink to run, wouldn't it? Laser printing's not out of the question, but what about guys like me with inkjet printers?
  11. MTK

    MTK Active Member

    I've been having my models laser printed. that's why they look so good, when I actually get time to build.... LOL!

    The saucer?... There are two ways I can think of off of the top of my head.
    First, I would cut all of the tabs off and butt the parts right up to each other one at a time. I'd trace out several parts from scrap... Before you glue, trace out connectors to beneath and between the parts where you cut off the tabs, then cut inside the trace line, so the connector is slightly thinner than the part it's going to be gluing together, this way you will still be able to shape the parts the way you need, but will have a firm backing underneath. After that I might add some thin strips underneath that...

  12. Millenniumfalsehood

    Millenniumfalsehood Active Member

    Considering your work on the Enterprise and the Yorktown (may she rest in peace), I'll have to follow your advise. I don't recall if I said it in the appropriate thread, but I was *very* impressed with your work on those ships!
  13. MTK

    MTK Active Member

    I'm not really sure which ships you're talking about? You may have me confused with someone else...??
  14. Millenniumfalsehood

    Millenniumfalsehood Active Member


    Man, I really need to get my head on straight. I confused you with Thokomus on Papermodelers . . .

    I was thinking about this build you did but for some reason I thought the Yorktown thread on Papermodelers was yours as well, probably because of your half-scale Refit.
  15. MTK

    MTK Active Member

    Such is life, people make mistakes. No, the Yorktown is not mine.

  16. MTK

    MTK Active Member

    You know, I really need to get movie two finished, I've got enough information for movie three, so I need to get on it, that and go in and finish editing the the thread pages for the 47" TOS.

    BTW, at the time that original TOS 350 was patterned after Ron Caudillo's card model and Alan Sinclair's blueprints. Every part of that ship was hand crafted with the obvious exception of the deflector dish and rings which came much later than the initial kit. To bad that kit got stopped by a bunch of folks that really didn't have a clue.

    I have to post to links of the new parts, of course.... These parts were not made from cardstock masters, what's funny though is how close the original actually matched up to prototyped parts. Another funny thing is how many people are using my paper to plastic method. It's fascinating especially considering the mocking that some folks did in the outset.:mrgreen::thumb::cool: http://www.flickr.com/photos/14844925@N03/sets/72157624068334533/
  17. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Paper is a cheap way of prototyping, but of you now this. I had a friend that made wind tunnel models for Sikorsky Helicopters. They used whatever worked!
  18. MTK

    MTK Active Member

    Dude, when I was out at sea and there was no supply ship around we had to be flexible, adapt and overcome a lot of this when stuff broke down and that particular item was not in the supply shack. You learn to think on your feet and be inventive!:mrgreen:

  19. MTK

    MTK Active Member

    So, How's going? I left this thread open to everyone that wanted to, to make it better. Any progress?sign1

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