Battlestar Galactica models?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by doc_harvey, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. doc_harvey

    doc_harvey Member

    meshes for non-designers....

    Those meshes are all great. I had about 15 meshes and schematics downloaded onto my computer, and using Programs like, Rhino, Blender...and, well...whatever else I downloaded for free...tried to make a model that I could open in Pepakura (the only un-folding program that i know of). But, alas, I have ZERO skills in 3D modelling, and found out that I am better suited to just building, and not trying to design. I did have a very large outpouring of help (especially from Greg) but I still wasn't able to pull it off. All those "polygons" and "Booleans" and well...whatever else they through at me was WAY to musch for my feeble grey matter. Lizzie even suggested just trying to "freehand" the model parts, but again...lack of essential drawing skill prevents me from pursuing that path any further. I have a very profound respect for all of those people out there who can develope their own models!
    (especially Aaron Murphy) Yer my heroes!
  2. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    Thanks for the paper tip Shrike, 1cm it is. thanks stev0 the links are great, just what I needed, I can see there are a few minor adjustments to be done.

    I guess making it in modules will be easiest for all to build, I hate splitting linear sections over two pages, unless its absolutely unavoidable, so the Launch bays will be the limiting size (minus borders - 1cm for A4 etc) so that'll work out to roughly ? 25/28cm 10'' inches which will make the model somewhere around 50cm 28" inches? at this stage anyway. Hopelessly out of scale for the other BSG models out there but it'll be OK for forced perspective.

    The Basestar looks like a worthy subject as well? from the reference stuff I have it looks just like repeated sections, just have to dev one section and duplicate? Oh well another one for the list..

    Factoring in the time for test builds, anyone like individual modules posted, or just the finished goods? apart from that its under way.
  3. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    I'll test build

    If you want to post individual parts I'll help with test building. I also have plastic model kits of the original Galactica ships (Viper, Raider, Galactica, Base Star) still in storage somewhere. One of these days I might get around to building them, but in the meantime maybe they'll be usefull references?
  4. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    Thanks Steve, as it stands I have two meshes in the mix, the one I'm dev'ing is the lesser in quality (still requires some rework for semi accuracy ) the other is a highly detailed mesh that would make a killer model, though I doubt many modellers would even attempt it... pity... maybe down the road for version 2. I'm still prep'ing and trying to blend some of the better aspects of the detailed mesh for a balance of looks and ease of building etc. Its going to be a pretty slow project, looking at a few weeks before the first module is ready so a helping hand would be welcome, especially if you can compare to the kits!

    TIE fighter eh!... paperstarships is a great site, It all started there for me, good range of model complexity on offer. I think the URL to E's site has change to
  5. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    Hey Doc_harvey forgot to mention, just had a quick skim through these forums and I can see why a BSG search led me here, you really DO want a Galactica model! This probably isn't what you want to hear but for what its worth it may be food for thought. Break out the tissues!

    Once upon a time there was a poor peasant that really, really, REALLY wanted a model of his favourite spaceship from his favourite PC game! ( That he had to play on his evil landlords computer ) Alas like so many other peasants, he knew that the evil plastic men would NEVER produce a kit of this beautiful vessel. So just as the hammer was about to fall, this poor fellow said to himself "I wonder if I could scratch build a model for myself."

    After months and months of inhaling sawdust / glue/ paint/ solvent fumes and lying to his lovely but frustrated peasant wife about all the missing kitchenware, furniture and ever growing pile of discarded attempts at building his beautiful model. He sat down with glassy eye's and started to idly spin the chamber again. NOOOooooo he cried !!! There must be something he had at hand, that could make all his dreams come true. Squaring his shoulders for one final effort to stop this abomination to justice from destroying his world, he took stock of what he had on hand and his skills.

    He had plenty of cow dung, though he immediately discarded this material, as his lovely ( but now decidedly intolerant ) peasant wife would never allow a model made of that material in their hovel. He had.....he had ....he had paper YES that was it... he had PAPER! His village even had a set of scissors! PERFECT! this was his ticket to a new LIFE!! Why he had even excelled at cutting out paper shapes as a child at the local missionary Sunday school! BUT as one may have guessed, sitting there the poor peasant soon realised that even though he had a beaming smile, a shiny new sheet of paper, a rusty but serviceable set of scissors, there was something missing? what shapes should he start to cut... ( it made it so much easier at school with the lines already drawn on the paper! - he lamented to himself. )

    The poor peasant's spirits sank for a moment, as realised he would have get someone else to draw the lines for him. But what if no one else could draw the lines.. Nooo this can't be possible!!, he said to himself... not when he was so close to his dream. It wasn't hard to draw lines, surely there were many talented people out in the world that could draw lines! So the poor peasant went searching for someone that could draw lines! ( with the permission of his lovely but now completely disinterested peasant wife, who sent him on his way with a hail and hearty "FINE.... WHATEVER" )

    After many more months of wandering through the trackless deserts, full of people that spoke strange incomprehensible languages, he found that there WERE people that drew lines... MANY people, they drew MANY lines of ALL manner of things. He started collecting lines, even ones he wasn't particularly interested in, but once he'd discovered these amazingly amazing lines he couldn't stop collecting them! Many more months followed with many and varied interactions with all sorts of people, some were very talented and helpful to poor peasants, other couldn't tolerate poor peasants and weren't very helpful at all, some even suggested he go back to his cow dung.

    Somewhere about this time the poor peasant had an epiphany... How was he going to get all these beautiful lines on to his shiny new sheet of paper?? Understandably the poor peasant had started to understand a few of the less mind boggling meanings of these strange languages.. Enough to glean that he needed to seek out a.... Line Master!

    After many more months of listening to Sooth Sayers, following their generally good natured ( but sometimes physically impossible ) suggestions, he came to a small shack with the sign MetasequoiaLE R2.1 Was this it??? was this the Line Master he had sort all this time? Why YES it must be.... It was free to all peasants! its very intuitive ( a strange new phrase he'd pick up on his journeys ) It could talk directly to the great Pepakura, the line unfolding master himself!... Why with the combination of the lesser line master 3D Exploration/DEEP exploration ( that he had previously met on his wanderings ), there was hardly a line he couldn't put on his paper. This made the poor peasant very happy and excited! Obviously there were MANY line masters out there that he could learn to use to fulfil his dreams!

    Many more months followed as the poor peasant learned to talk to Master Sequoia, He often wondered if he would live to see his beloved spaceship come out of his evil landlords computer... After a "slightly extended" period of trial and error, he finally arrived at point, where he could have a fulfilling and creative conversation with his new line master.

    Sure this master had limitations but it was very forgiving of lowly peasants.. Defying many Sooth Sayers predictions, the poor peasant was very satisfied with the performance of his new line master. Why he could even improve some of his lines, without a comprehensive knowledge of geometrical theorem ( another strange term he had pick up from his journeys ) He could even see the day when he going to be able to help other poor peasants put their beautiful lines on pieces of paper!!

    Slowly.. starting with simple lines he finally managed to place his favourite lines onto his sheet of paper. Finally the day arrived when he was able to present his amazing creation to his loving family ( who merrily greeted his creation with a thoughtful "What's that supposed to be?" ) But the poor peasant couldn't be deflected from his joyous moment! And from that day forward, he could look at all those lovely spaceships flying across the PC screens with a sense of smug self satisfaction! ( which unfortunately became a point of consternation and mild irritation to some of the other peasants back at his village )

    One Sunny afternoon ( while scrapping cow dung from his boot ) The poor peasant reflected upon his journeys and the satisfaction of his beautiful creation. The poor peasant, looked toward the setting sun and thought of the evil plastic men, and knew he would never again be held to ransom by men such as these, although he was quite alone he raised his head and said to them [expletive deleted].... [adjective deleted].... [gesture deleted]....!

    Hear endith the tail!...............

    The moral ?? Anyone can start to dev their own models, 3D modelling may seem daunting to you learn, but you don't have to reach Guru status, a house builder doesn't have to have a detailed knowledge of forging steel, to use a hammer! Like yourself I ... err.... the poor peasant, just wanted a model!

    Two years ago I didn't have clue what a card model was, let alone how to develop one. 3D meshes? - Oh yeah they were something that went into concrete slabs right?? Now I dev all my own models and the occasional ones for public release when I have the time. It will be time consuming and frustrating to ramp up a new skills set just to have a model, BUT its worth every second!

    Do yourself a favour and grab Meta ( the R2.1 version, the later has import/export limitations??) Its nowhere as sophisticated as some of the other prg's But hey... who wants to get lost in the tenth level of hell in sub sub menus when your just starting! So why should I ramp up my 3d skills when you can just import straight to PEP you ask? Simple.. extra time spent in 3d prevents a page of patterns, that look like a pain of shattered glass! Most 3d modellers have no concept of card modelling, so although very talented in creative content, the models are rarely suitable for 'unfolding'..

    Regardless of how sophisticated ($$$) your software is, the name of the game is to produce a model, that not only you, but anyone can build... so convinced you yet? Give it a go, persevere, Practice practice practice, you can do it!

    Hey ....can anyone hear that phone ringing..... mmmmmm... ???

    Oh yeah btb... the peasants favourite spaceship was the Taiidan Heavy Corvette from PC game Homeworld.

    Pheeew .... Galactica is calling.... seeyuz
  6. doc_harvey

    doc_harvey Member


    with a tear in his eye, the OTHER poor peasamt responded...

    That was the MOST beautiful story me poor, undeserving ears 'ave ever 'ad the great fortune to 'ave 'eard,

    Thanks for the pep chat! I really spent HOURS upon HOURS trying to get 3D meshes that I downloaded into useable models for a paper model. The ONLY success I ever had ( or ever 'ad) was actually getting a galactica, a old series shuttle and a viper to open in Metasequoia, but every attempt at breaking them apart into sub sections to open in Peparuka all ended up in what only can be described as "a disaster on the scale of the Titanic, the Hindenberg or my last marriage"

    I have one wall of my den plastered with printed out 3D images (mostly the Zoic pics), and schematics (most notalby the ones from CobyWan at of both Galacticas and both version of the Viper.

    Many's th' night me poor, poor old soul has stared at these many pictures and asked the mighty god of card modelling to shine a wee light of divine intervention onto my hands! LOL...thanks again for the pep talk...gues I'll try again....(he said with great trepidation)
  7. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    LoL... Doc I can relate to that on more levels than you would imagine!! It'll slow down the process down a bit, but I'm not one to walk past a fellow "poor peasant". A new model would be great, a new developer would be even better! So I've put the original mesh on the back burner for the moment and dusted off a very basic version I found, I'll post the basic stages with associated files, If you want you can work/practice/dev along with the posted files. The Galactic isn't the best subject to start off with, but hey you never know where it might lead, sjsquirrel this may help a bit.

    DISCLAIMER I'm certainly not the best person to give advice, plus I don't want to turn this thread into a tut, cause there are much better ones out there. In all probability some of my methods/steps will raise a few eyebrows. Its just how I taught myself to develop, Its definitely a novices approach. If anyone can suggest a 'better' technique or provide tips / better explanations/ elaborations or CORRECTIONS, jump right in!

    Episode ONE The plot so far.....

    I have a rough idea of where you are on the map Doc, but If I start monologing on bits you have already have a handle on, don't be afraid to use a 'whacking stick' Just as a point of reference, here's a short explanation of the software and intro to the basic dev methods that I use (with slight variation from model to model).

    3D Exploration / DEEP Exploration A must have for conversion work, Take no prisoners! GO GET A COPY!

    MILKSHAPE 3D Vx Good modelling program, I use it mostly for converting game formats into usable files. (opinion) META is far superior for modelling.

    MetasequoiaLE R2.1 ( Meta ) I prefer the first version. The Only major draw back for basic dev work, is its lack of texture control. Strictly speaking all your textures should be sorted way before this stage, a good bitmap editor can work around this easily.

    point to consider Meta hates file locations over 25 characters so try to keep your working files as close as you can to the root directory i.e.. if your model and tex files are in C:\[cardmodels] [amazing spaceships] [science fiction TV shows] [battlestar Galactica] [The Galactica] [ Version I'm working on now].............. AND your model has a texture with the file name "BattleStarGalacticaPortSideLowerRearEngineIntake.bmp" Meta won't be able to place it on your mesh.. Plus I have problems with textures, if all the files aren't located on C:\ drive, might just be my pc?

    Pepakura Needs to be reg'd $, but if your serious about Developing its a must have and worth every cent (dime)

    Paintshop Pro V4 Yep its a dinosaur, any bitmap editor will do for basic stuff.. .


    Nightmare # 1
    Conversion... its all in the format! Ok you've got a bunch of meshes in whatever format. What do you do with it now! META and PEP can import several different formats. Though.. as you've no doubt worked out, they all have strengths and weaknesses. This is where 3Dex/ Deep can be your plastic pal that's fun to be with (your best friend!) My preference is conversion into Truespace .cob format, from my experience its the only format that behaves its self consistently when importing into Meta. If your model loads up in 3Dex with the textures missing etc , its usually just a texture location/address problem. You can correct this in the [object list] ~ [material properties].

    Basically If you can export your model from 3Dex/Deep into .cob format, with the bmp/jpg textures doin all the right things, in all the right places, your ready to wake up from nightmare # 1

    Nightmare #2
    (META) Grooming..... this is the BIG one, it can be a real time consumer, directly proportional to model complexity! . As said, most meshes are rarely suitable for unfolding. In a nut shell you have to be able to DIS-assemble a mesh Then RE-assemble AND rename the parts in the order you want it. It will be daunting/frustrating, though master this and there won't be a mesh that you cant develop into a card model! = Its a make or break at the Unfolding end. Just think MODULES.. we want patterns not jigsaws! For the Galactica the bridge/nose can be one module etc.. The upper hull of that section can easily be made with three shapes = Good. Depending on complexity, most meshes will make that section with dozens of Vertices (V) and Faces (F) = Bad!

    SO.... The first 3D concept you need to strangle is OBJECTS, understanding it will save a bunch of grief and TIME. A mesh builder can designate any number of (V) and (F) into any number of OBJECTS, from just a few to LOTS! Unfortunately they are invariably named really descriptive titles like "tube' 'Box' 'axis' or 'obj_36523' which makes slicing a mesh into 'modules' nearly imposable.. (Clear as mud so far????)

    To work around this prob, there are few menus in Meta you have to have well and truly by the short and curlies. The most important is the [OBJECT PANEL] Since we are working on a vanilla basic model we'll just stick to this first up!

    The first pic, is an example of the Galactica mesh I started to Dev, Its the extreme end of how Unsuitable/Time consuming RE-assembling a mesh can be. It will make a great model when its done +++++ Time. It has (V) 53000 (F) 67352 that's a lot of little bits that would choke PEP! Take note of the 2 menus circled and in particular the OBJECT named 'hullDet' (Light Blue parts) of the model, its an OBJECT that has way to many small parts, not to mention scattered ALL over the model = bad for developing!



    Ok heres our Gal in the basic version, similar to many game meshes (V) 1726 (F) 2454 much smaller, BUT we can still reduce that a bit, as well as reorganise/ renames the objects so it just glides through PEP. It won't be spectacular but it'll be easy the assemble = trade offs.. NOTE here, the [OBJECT] names, in particular the highlighted ' HULL.TOP ' (light blue) nearly the entire top section of the vessel! = Bad. As we progress that's has to be Renamed and Reorganised.



    Although it doesn't happen that often, this is worth showing, its one of the conversion 'NASTIES' you'll come a cross, notice most of the lower surfaces seems to be missing! They have just been inverted during conversion. They are there, just facing "inside' Selecting them and using the [SELECTED] menu and [INVERT] will do the trick and make the little buggers face the right way.



    MMM... and I said I wasn't going to monologue!.. Its not easy to keep it short and basic..

    Ok so that's a very basic "how do I start" .. here's the original/Start mesh Gal00.mqo load it up and inspect it close up.

    Practice turning ON and OFF individual OBJECTS (clicking the little eye on the [OBJECT PANEL] and see what bits disappear.

    Practice Selecting / Deselecting individual parts from the [COMMAND] ~ [SELECT] ~ [JOINED FACE] menu.

    Practice Selecting the 'inverted /missing' parts on the bottom of the mesh and "inverting' them to the right way. DON'T forget to DEselect each section (click on it again) after each Invert, or you'll end up inverting the bit you just did!.

    NEXT... Episode 1 / Nightmare #2 continues... "where the bloody hell did that part go?"

    Had enough ? :cry:


    Would you like to know more? :grin:
  8. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    More - but new thread?

    I, for one, would like more, but maybe this is a separate thread from the original galactica one.

    I recently found meshes for a Tie Fighter and Tie Interceptor I intend to rework into detailed paper models, and I'm trying to get permission to rework a mesh of the Seaview from Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

    Since Meta seems to be in pretty common use I'd like to learn it as much as possible.
  9. BazookaJo

    BazookaJo Member

    So where do I find this software?

    Where can I find links for the software mentioned i.e. MetasequoiaLE R2.1, Pepakura, and line master 3D Exploration/DEEP exploration?

    Thanks in advance


    GEEDUBBYA Active Member

    Howdy Bazookajo,

    Welcome to the forum, we are glad to have you. below are the links to pepakura and metasequioa: pepakura designer (unfolder) metasequioa (3d designer)

    I also use another program, "anim8or" to create 3d models you can find it here: this program also works with the pepakura "unfolder".

    I hope these help, have a nice day,

    Greg aka GW

    As for the other program....I am not familiar with it myself, maybe someone else can help you with it.
  11. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

  12. BazookaJo

    BazookaJo Member

    Cheers guys.

    Just been seriously inspired by the Wacky Racers models.

    Been wanting to have a go at this sort of thing for a while, but now I HAVE to.

  13. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    mmmmm....... Your right Steve, obviously this thread isn't the place for a META / DEV tut, there's way to much info to impart and there's plenty of other forums dedicated to it, just got carried away with enthusiasm. Also, I have to point out my recommendation for META is biased. META is an excellent Ab initio / learning program, ideal for existing textured meshes (game/basic models etc) Though, in the interests of fairness, Meta will take you only so far on the curve. If you want to create your own textured models, it would be in your interests to consider a more sophisticated program $$$?.

    Having said that, rather than just coming to a full stop. Here is the basic version of the Galactica, simplified and prepped ready for PEP/development.
    Galfinal.mqo Compare it with the first file ~ re-ordered /renamed OBJECTS into modules, i.e. divided/grouped the parts into more practical OBJECTS. Passing both files through PEP will be self explanatory. For those interested, this is the direction you need to explore if you'd like to start developing your own models. Note.. the Engine detail is still unfinished and pretty messy ~ you will find some mesh details are beyond redemption, its easier to start the detail from scratch with card models in mind = as I'm doing for the beta build.

    Special Note ~ Just so you have been warned, the only drawback with this method, is that you will have to add most of the flaps manually in PEP, Scary!! but when you get the hang of it, you be able to get very complex meshes into PEP without choking it.

    * Just as a parting note, PEP is great, though, if you want to produce really top shelf models, forget about printing straight from / posting, its development, there's just not enough flexibility. Its an extra nightmare ( the kind you wakeup from and your glad its daylight) but export the PEP development to a bitmap editor for the finishing touches, text / arrangement / etc.

    OK down to business, Steve you mentioned you'd be willing to test build? This is V1 minus detail, Galactica_BetaV1.pdo its a bit of a sloppy way to approach a beta but I don't have the time for much else. Its still in PEP pdo format.. if you need a bitmap version? let me know. errrr... didn't have time to do any sort of instructions ...or ... part numbers.... But on the plus side, the parts are arranged in a reasonably logical sequence. I did the flaps on the fly so some parts might have extra / not enough? Plus I try to use interlocking flaps on some parts to make it easier for novices, to fold/glue the parts to the correct shape, so their positions may seem a bit odd and unfortunately it doesn't always work. Thanks for the assist!
  14. doc_harvey

    doc_harvey Member

    bitmap model?

    Hiya Gearz! NEAT model...can you send me the bitmap images at ? Thanks!
  15. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    Yep here they are... ZIP
  16. doc_harvey

    doc_harvey Member

    So far, so good...but where in the heck do the parts from page 3 go??

    I got that the larger "box" is the fuselage, but what about the other 4 parts?
  17. doc_harvey

    doc_harvey Member

    parts is parts... I think that the "hump" shaped part must go on the bottom and supports the center spar that runs from side to side? But the smaller block-shaped parts still have me scratchin my head
  18. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    Doc have a look at galfinal.mqo ( underside) the three parts make up the conduit that runs from the dome thingy to Bridge module. Just as a guide the four parts would probably be easier to place after you've joined the Bridge and Neck sections to the Box MID Hull section ~ working back from the bridge. ? Did you have any probs assembling the Bridge section (flaps?) I wasn't real happy with the patterns but it was the least number of parts..
  19. doc_harvey

    doc_harvey Member

    Thanks, Gearz...I haven't opened the .mqo file because I dumped Metasequoia a while back when I decided that designing a card model was not going to happen....I have her built from the nose to the engines so far. The ONLY problem I have had was at the forward aspect of the groove that runs horizontally along the sides of the engines...they buckle out, and I can't seem to find a way to keep them in...I'll send a pic soon of the build so far.....but I LOVE this model...I sincerely hope that you have plans to continue it's development and provide textures and more "fiddly bits"...GREAT JOB, Gearz!
  20. doc_harvey

    doc_harvey Member

    Reloaded metasequoia today (see how dedicated I am?) just to get a look at the Galactica .mqo is a big help....I definitely need to add some internal supports (like balsa wood and or styrofoam) to the main hull, landing bays and engines...I am experiencing a lot of buckling when attaching parts....the build is really cool so far....I'll freelyadmit though, that I was so excited (or should that be rabid?) to get my hands on a paper Galactica that I'm not really taking my time with it...lots of glue marks, uncolored edges, the main hull section is slightly warped....but for a beta build, it's been a blast and I think she looks awesome. I just have to add the starboard landing bay, and then add the curvy parts on page 6 to the engines and she's done. Don't know quite how to even begin thanking you,'s a dream come true! (along with Martin Saenger's Thunderfighter! if I could just get a new series Viper, new series Galactica, and an updated version of Aaron Murphy's Viper, I'd be in Nirvana!)

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