Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Kjev, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. Kjev

    Kjev Member

    Hi Y'all. I'm currently designing a Battletech-scale dropship based on the ISSAPC/ISSCV from Space: Above and Beyond. I thought I'd post a few of the WIP shots.

    When the whole thing's done, the side engines will be able to rotate, the chin turret will rotate, and the cargo section will be removable, with a variety of cargo boxes for different purposes.

    Personally, I plan on using a dowell instead of paper cylinders to line up the engines, so they rotate to the same angle at the same time. I also plan on using magnetic business cards to keep the cargo boxes in place.

    For cargo boxes (and I don't know how much of this will make sense to non-Battletech players), I plan on making the following versions:
    • 'mech carrier (6 battlemechs)
    • fighter carrier (6 fighters)
    • missile boat (multiple long- and short-range missile racks)
    • cargo hauler (duh!)
    • capital weapon ship (battleship-class weapon in a turret)
    • large vehicle carrier (similar to a Republic Gunship or Sikorsky helicopter)
    • personnel/vehicle carrier
    • Colossus-class 'mech carrier (4 'mechs)

    As you can see, I like to 'edit' my prototypes in one color of marker, then cross it out with another color as I make the changes.

    In the final shot, my son (who's one) grabbed the model. He likes my Titanium series ships that sit on my monitor and the prototype was close at hand. Where it's just a first run beta printed on regular printer paper, I really didn't mind.

    Not having any experience with Metasequoia or Pepakura, I'm laying the whole thing out in Illustrator 9 and will end with it being colored and textured in Photoshop 7. I've discovered it takes a lot of brain work to unfold it all in my head then translate all that onto the screen. Any comments, constructive or otherwise, would be greatly appreciated.

  2. redwolf28386

    redwolf28386 Member

    YESS!!!:grin: I had forgotten all about this model!! Looks great! I can't wait to see how it comes out!!

  3. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    I'd like to see a tabletop scale Leopard, Union or Overlord Dropship.

    No one has made one yet. I think the latter 2 would be rather huge though.
  4. CardStalker

    CardStalker Member

    Just keep going, and make it your own. Looks good so far. Great job.
  5. Hot4Darmat

    Hot4Darmat Member

    Looks very nice. I'll be watching this thread with interest.

    I too have little 'paper model mashers' running about my home. My youngest recently completely destroyed 4 completed Rodger Young build engines left unattended briefly. I had to extract one engine turned into a small wet lump from his drooly 11 month-old maw. Ya just gotta sigh and carry on.
  6. Kjev

    Kjev Member

    Leopars DO eixst!

    On the Leopard, I beg to differ. PM me with your e-mail address, and I'll send you the PDF, complete with instructions. You can also find it in the downloads at, and the BWC-2 Archive Yahoo Group.

    I agree that the Union and Overlord would be pretty good-sized, but hey, if we can build Ekuth's Rodger Young, we can do pretty much anything. The Union is still in development at this point. For the Overlord, I still need to hunt up a decent "Easter Egg" pattern first.


    PS: Here's the URL: Leopard Dropship/
  7. Paragon

    Paragon Active Member

    Is there going to be a final version that fits S:AaB?
  8. Kjev

    Kjev Member

    A S:AaB Version

    More than likely. The beta build is actually turning out about 1:48 scale. I was actually thinking about texturing it to be the actual ISSAPC when I get all the bugs worked out.

    The DropShip version will be slightly larger than the Beta Build. The Beta's smaller mainly to conserve paper. At the moment, I have the second prototype almost finished (added engines and a few tweaks to the structure). I'll post some pics tomorrow. Any comments or advice would be appreciated.

  9. Paragon

    Paragon Active Member

    Awesome. And will the ISSAPC and ISSCV be detatchable?
  10. Kjev

    Kjev Member



    I'm actually going to use those flat magnets that business cards are sometimes printed on.

    Here's the latest beta pics, I missed getting a shot of "the box," but at this point, it's little more than a rectangular cube.

    As you can see, I'm still having some problems with the wings and spine warping. I'm not sure how to get around that. I think the rear engines might be a little too large (I know the bottom ones are), but I really like the way the upper engines turned out. Simple design and really sturdy, although they need longer supports connecting them to the spine.

    The cockpit is a little fiddly, too. I'm not sure if I should rework it to make the bottom all one panel or not.

    Let me know what y'all think.

    PS: Before I forget, Credit for the round engines goes to Armorbimbo, who was kind enough to let me modify them from his Serenity model. Thanks!!

  11. Paragon

    Paragon Active Member

    It looks very good so far! Another question: do you plan on making the engines so they can rotate?
  12. Kjev

    Kjev Member

    Absolutely! I've marked the center points on the engines and the wingtips. I could use paper cylinders in each one, but for my own, I'm going to run a wood dowell through the wings and have an engine glued on each end. That way they not only rotate, but will be in line with each other. I may put a long paper cylinder in the parts as well, in case a builder has no dowell handy.
  13. Paragon

    Paragon Active Member

    Sounds great! Definitely can't wait until its done! Make sure to include the dowel diameter and lenght too.
  14. Kjev

    Kjev Member

    Will do

  15. Paragon

    Paragon Active Member

    Ok, finally downloaded the beta files, freewebs was being a little bit of a pain. Anyway, I'm printing all eleven pages now (I hope you'll find a way to cut down on the number of pages), and I'll give a stab at testing the model out.

    If possible, could I get some screenshots of the 3D model as a reference?
  16. doc_harvey

    doc_harvey Member

    where is this model located?
  17. Paragon

    Paragon Active Member

    Beta only right now, you'll have a chance to build it when its released. ;)

    Edit: Ok, I got impatient (not that Kjiev is taking an abnormally long time) and decided to start building without instructions. I might have some images up later tonight.
  18. Kjev

    Kjev Member

    Sorry Paragon!

    I don't have the Internet at home yet, so I have to stuff everything on a jump drive, haul it to work, and sneak it online between jobs (I work in a print shop).

    I'm on the 3rd prototype, but mu digital camera crapped out 8(, so I don't have any decent pics.

    When it's finished, this will be a 1:48 ISSCV/ISSAPC as accurate as possible TO THE SHOW. I've noticed that some of the pictures out there have differences, especially in the engines.
    The ISSAPC module will be detachable, and I have several variants planned (most of which have squat to do with the show).

    It's 1:48 for use with tabletop wargames. It matches the show because I feel that is the "Official" version. The extra modules (like the tanker, heavy lifter, and gunship) are more for variety's sake than anything else. If possible, the gun turrets will rotate as well.

    Using the strip magnets like that put on some business cards doesn't seem to work so well. They don't seem to have the power that Real Earth Magnets have.

    Paragon is working on the beta build. I admire his courage for tackling 13 pages of unlabeled parts barehanded, no instructions.

    The 3rd prototype is working out well. I think I've conquered the warping issues with the wings and spine. The rear engines seem to be working fine. The "cheeks" of the cockpit are giving me some issues. It's tough to lay out 3D angles and curves in 2D. The chin turret will work (I borrowed the design from my Leopard, so I know darn well it works!)

    I'm currently revamping the ISSAPC to be more accurate. More to come . . . .

    More to come . . . . .
  19. Paragon

    Paragon Active Member

    Ok, finished the beta on Saturday, sorry for the lack of updates. I only built the mech and tanker modules, since the fighter module is identicle in design to the mech module. I might build the fighter mod and put some turrets on it, just for fun :p .

    Anyway, without the model in front of me now, I'll try to recount the different things I found when I built it:

    Like I said before, the cockpit didn't work properly, especially the side parts. In addition, some of the images of those parts of the ISSCV show small intakes with turbines there. I'm not sure what they'd be used for...but they're sometimes present. The nose is also rounded in some resources.

    The aft and spine went together with no problems at all. I elected not to use the internal braces when building the spine, and experienced no twisting at all. I think it just requires some careful assembly. The one problem with the spine was that the top for the rounded front was a little too long. Put a score mark where it needs to end though, because having a tab to glue to the inside on the end is ideal. The same goes for the same part on the wings.

    The rear lift engines (the ones that point down) were very difficult to assemble and attach, they could benefit from having a back to attach to the side of the ship.

    The wings assembled well, though making the tabs the same height as the sides would be useful, as it would prevent misalignment. The internal braces worked fine, but I didn't like gluing the main engines onto the tips. I re-printed the wings and engines and built a second version: this time I cut a hole in each wingtip, and put in a long axel that I ran through the middle of the wings. My axel was a shiskabob (sp?) skewer, but rolling an axel from card should work just as well. This replaced the internal braces, and served as, of course, the axel for the two main engines. I cut holes in them and stuck them on the axel easily, and now they rotate. I also made some changes to the second engines that made them rotate better without falling off, as well as creating an "exhaust opening" in the bottom. I think it looks good, and I'll post pictures when I get home.

    The two modules went together well, though the tanker brace had too many tabs! I would suggest removing the tabs from the square parts, not from the thin sides, because it makes assembly easier.

    The cockpit and aft sections lined up exactly on the spine as the lines said they would when I used the tanker as a gauge. Glued snugly enough, they hold the tanker module very well without any glue, and it can be removed and inserted with ease. The mech module on the other hand (and the fighter module as well, by default) was not quite as long as the tanker module, probably because of the added width of the cardstock of four ends on the tanker. I glued four extra ends on the mech module to correct, and now the mech module fits just as well.

    The rear drive engines were easy to build. I found that they looked better when you inset the ends just a little bit. The ends probably also only need four tabs; the smallest ones can be removed. The flaps went on fine.

    The engine connector seemed too wide compared to my resources, and the connection points were a little ambiguous. I didn't understand what part of the ship execpt the connectors to attach the engines to, so I didn't understand the "attach to ship" and "attach engine connectors" parts.

    The last issue was that there were a lot of visible seams in the spine area. This is, in all likelyhood, my own fault, though I did notice that the spine wa a little wider than the wing and connector parts. It may not be as noticable with a texture...but right now it is.

    There were some extra parts on the engine page, plus some on the wing pages that I didn't know what to do with. I'll show those too.

    All in all, it was a good model, though I think it suffers a little from being created in a 2d drawing program instead of as a 3d model. Ironing out the problems shouldn't be too hard though.

    As for accuracy, I can see a lot of places that additional parts would supplement the forthcoming texture, and a few dimensions seem off. The rear drive engines don't appear to be quite accurate, the main engines, as you stated, are somewhat different, and the wings of the model are currently straight accross, when they actually are supposed to dip a little and get slightly thinner at the ends. None of these are especially important, and won't be very visible when the texture is applied. I would call them low priority, and might even leave them for the nitpicking builders to fix on their own, since they're very easy modifications to make.

    The one major accuracy issue for me is the ISSAPC, which may not be an issue at all. Right now, the closest thing to an ISSAPC module is the Mech module, which is simply one long box. The ISSAPC, on the other hand, is two smaller boxes bracketing one larger box, with two smaller connectors between the three. The two side guns should also be included (they may have to be static. I guess I'm hoping you'll be designing a ISSAPC module that is rather accurate. If you want, I can help.

    I'm not home now, so I don't have access to pictures, those will come later today. I'll try to show all of the modifications I made, if you want to try to add them to the kit.
  20. Paragon

    Paragon Active Member

    Ok, image time:

    Completed, next to Jaybats' SA-43 Hammerhead (re-paint by me).

    The engines look too far apart.

    I made both turrets movable. Only on one axis though.

    The two different modules.

    With the tanker inserted. The ISSCV holds modules very well, with nothing but cardstock (for you purists).

    I trimmed down the sides of the cockpit, because some of the images I've seen have intakes there.

    My engines also rotate.

    And have exhaust openings. A very worthwhile modification.

    The hole goes through one side of the engine and both sides of the "turbine". This makes it much more sturdy.

    I also modified the rear engines. You can see where I put the single shishkabob skewer for the axel. A thin roll of cardstock should do the same just fine. I made it about an inch longer than the wings, with a half inch sticking out on each side.

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