SR2 Normandy Design and Build - continued

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by sjsquirrel, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    As requested by the moderators I am starting a new thread for my continuing design and build of the Normandy SR2 from Mass Effect 2. After melvin008 did an unfold of a model captured from the game, then hit a wall and stopped development on it I decided to have at it. After doing the SR1 model a while back I always intended to do the SR2, and clearly the time had come. I'm too lazy to repost material from the previous thread, so here are links to them instead:

    The Decision...
    Work begins...
    Work continues...
    Work continues continuing...
    And continues some more...
    A teaser about a future project...
    The usual excuses...
    News of a new SR1... and also here
    The SR2 starts to really take shape...
    The test building (finally) begins...
    The usual problems are discovered...
    Leading to the usual re-design of parts...
    While we keep test building...

    And that brings us to today. :mrgreen:

    And what do I have for you today you're probably wondering. Well, here ya go.

    So far I have re-designed and re-unfolded all of the main hull, and finally in the past week I've squeezed in some build time. The first pic below shows the re-designed formers. Much more professional. More work to create, but worth it. If anyone knows an easy way of making this type of former please share it.

    Next we see the first of the main skins ready to be applied. For this one I laminated the skin to an additional layer of cardstock and edge colored it before assembly.

    Meanwhile I had laminated the first set of the new formers to 1mm cardboard, so I started building the new skeleton while glue dried on the skin. The third picture shows the new formers taking shape. I used the lines on my cutting board to help keep the latitudinal formers at right angles to the longitudinal one. I had to use pieces of card stock to fill gaps in several places. My 1mm card might not be exactly 1mm, or I cut the openings a bit large.

    The fourth picture shows the new formers next to version one of this section with the skin applied. The new formers are clearly superior to the old ones. I expect most of the fit issues to be gone, and the end result to be far superior as well. You can also see in this picture how the skin hides many of the imperfections in the underlying foundation. I love that! The astute observer will also note that the skins are split at different places than the underlying structure. I did this to help hide those joint lines as much as possible. Let's hope it works!

    In the next picture I'm getting ready to apply another layer of skin. This was also doubled up with another layer of card. Using two layers seems to be enough. The final two pictures are my attempts to capture how the layering shows up. Pardon the poor pictures. The next ones will be better.

    By the way - my ink cartridges are getting low so the color on these skins is not the best. I will put in new cartridges before I print the next set so you'll see the colors much better. As mentioned I'm building two models at once, refining, re-designing, reprinting and re-building the re-designed, so in the end I'll really have two test builds.

    That's all for now folks. I'll be building the second version of the same section next, then starting on the next section. I think all will go smoothly from here for the remainder of the hull, at least until I get to the tail section, which I expect will present a couple challenges.

    Stay tuned,


    Attached Files:

  2. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    My son (11 years old ) totally filled me in on this model and is bugging me to build it. I said "He's not done yet!", so you have one household eagerly watching your build of this. You have an awesome website by the way!
  3. MTK

    MTK Active Member

    Nice! I had a recent computer fubar and now the game will not play.....!!!! Look forward to more progress, when you have the time.
  4. F131

    F131 Member

    Looking great.
  5. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    Well I'll do my best to stay focused and on task. It'll be tough though. One of my favourite model subjects is aircraft and we have an airshow here today. Yesterday afternoon two A10s made a flyby over town, and last night I was watching an F16 practice it's routine from my balcony. I've always wanted to build a detailed F16 model. I've built several of the one from mamecraft but it has some fit issues, and it's a simple model. I'm ready for a more detailed commercial kit. And of course A10s are awesome subjects, and that's only two of the planes that we'll see today.

    Distractions, distractions!

    Thanks. I spent a lot of time on it. Wait till you see the new one I'm putting together to showcase my paper model stuff...

  6. F131

    F131 Member

    I forgot to thank you for designing this ship with formers. The are a pain in the rump to make (and I assume to create) but you have to appreciate the support and it makes the model look better.
  7. rank400

    rank400 New Member

    Wow :eek: i have never seen this type of spaceship before is it from a movie as such , it looks very nice , excellent job you have done on it. I grew up watching the original Star Trex tv series & Battlestar Galactica tv series i like the ships what they done with them , now i'm 56 years old i always wanted a model of them. Is there a model that i can make one of these tv series ships.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2014
  8. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    Update and Question

    Greetings Normandy fans. It's been a while since my last update, but never fear, I have been working away. One thing I have done is upload all the pictures I've posted so far into a gallery, which I creatively named "Normandy SR2 design and build". I wanted to do that so I could link to pictures within a post instead of attaching them. That way you can mix text and pictures instead of just having all the pictures at the end of the post.

    So, when last seen I was getting ready to apply a second skin layer on top of the first skin layer. These pictures show the skin pieces and result:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Meanwhile I started building the revised section 4 (remember, I'm building two at once). The different unfold seems to give better results, but it's also a pain getting it glued to the formers.


    I also rebuilt the three front sections with the new formers, and made two section 5's.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Jumping ahead, I built sections 6 and 7 twice each and the main hull is now complete and ready for all the skins.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    And last but not least, here she is with the next bit of skins applied. If you detect color mismatches it's because of my low ink cartridges. I replaced them with new ones I bought several months ago and discovered that the color one was defective (no magenta). I've since gotten new ones, and after skinning ship 1 completely I'll make any adjustments and print a full set for ship 2.


    That's it for pictures for now. I'm kind of torn about the unfolding and assembling of the hull. I think unfolding the base layers the way I did for section 5 above is much easier to assemble, while unfolding it like section 4 above gives slightly better results. In the end I think I'll go with easier building for the base layer and better results for the skin layers. The skins will hid most flaws in the base layer anyway.

    Meanwhile I've also been working on the 3D parts for lower hull section. I might be getting carried away with formers and over-designing it a bit, but I really think it will make the end result worth it. I expect to finish the 3D work this week, and to start test-building it soon after that.

    Oh, and in my spare time I have been putting together my new website for showcasing my paper model work. My intention is to make available all the models I've developed or helped develop, or repainted or re-scaled or whatever. The link should be in my signature. Check it out.

    Bye for now,

  9. ThunderChild

    ThunderChild Active Member

    The site looks great SJS! I like Galactica ragtag fleet section.

    The SR-2 is coming along beautifully! Thanks for all the hard work you're putting into it!
  10. F131

    F131 Member

  11. MTK

    MTK Active Member

    Excellent work SJS! I've been waiting to see this!:thumb:
  12. anthony344

    anthony344 Member

    Thanks for all the hard work on designing this beaut of a ship for all of us to build :thumb:.
    I can't wait to build your SR2 to go along with your SR1.My Normandy SR2 i'm scratching it.
    I like what you done with your new website , i can't wait to see more progress of your models.

    Cheers Mark
  13. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    Update 20110909

    Well fans, here's the latest news from the Normandy shipyard. Since the last update I finished applying all the skins to the upper hull. Here's a midway shot, where I'm getting ready to apply the final bits.


    You can see how obvious the white edges are on the pieces about to be applied, but just in case there is any doubt about building this without edge coloring, this shot shows the piece with some of the edge coloring done and some not.


    And here's the first pic again, with an after edge coloring shot for comparison.

    Next we see how it looks with the skins applied. You can see the skin pieces didn't completely cover the white areas underneath, so some touch up is required.


    And after the touch up it looks like this:


    By the way, this looks much better in person. Due to all the black, the camera doesn't really do it justice. It's also hit me several times that this ship would be absolutely fantastically awesome with some lighting in it! Once all the design and test building is done I am seriously considering a third build with LED lighting.

    In between all that, and building an F1 Jaguar from Yasu Tanaka (when I need a break, and because I need a good vehicle pic for my web site :cool:) I have finished all the 3D work on the lower hull, tweaked a whole bunch of parts where I noticed fit issues (mainly from not allowing for paper thickness), and did a little other tweaking here and there.

    Unfortunately all that tweaking reaked havoc on my unfolded parts, and of course there's all those new parts to unfold, so, after a bunch of cleanup, my development still looks like this.


    I've actually made quite a bit more progress since that screen cap was taken, but there's still lots of work to do. Anyway, once I test build the lower hull and address any major issues I will ask for two test builders. They can work on final testing of the main hull while I work on the cleanup of the 'wing' and engine parts.

    Another by the way. Pepkura gets really slooooooow when the face count gets too high. As much as I like the program, the developers haven't paid much attention to performance. As an old school programmer who was trained to focus on the efficiency of code, algorithms and data structures I'm sure I could do better. If I only had the time. I actually downloaded and tried the Ultimate Papercraft demo, but it was even worse.

    Anyway, off to earn some money, then, I'll be back!

  14. F131

    F131 Member

    I cannot wait to build this. Excellent work as always, Steve.
  15. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    She's a beauty for sure. Incredible what you (and I mean you) are doing with Pepakura. Excellent!
  16. MTK

    MTK Active Member

    Great work SJS, this is turning out to be a fine ship. Can't wait to see it done.
  17. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member


    Thanks Zathros. Strictly speaking I'm using Meta and Pepakura, with both playing equally important roles.

    I'm just about done unfolding the lower hull section and should be printing it soon. I've included the 'tail' pieces and anything else required to fully complete the main body of the ship. Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  18. sjsquirrel

    sjsquirrel Member

    Brief update.

    Well, I finished the 3D work on the lower hull section, printed it out and started building it. I was pleased with the results - some small parts, but everything was fitting nicely and looking good. Then I realized that I had neglected to consider how the wing structures will attach to this section.

    Looking back at the 3D model I realized this was a serious oversight. Much of what I had done was rendered useless. I am currently redesigning the affected parts.

    Not much of an update, but for what it's worth, progress is being made, and I''m happy with the product. And if I'm happy, chances are you will be too (I have pretty high standards ya know :).


  19. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    I know of another forum where a person makes lovely renders, but I have seldom seen anything come out, actually, I have never seen anything come out. Your model is awesome. It interesting to me to read the problems people run into, it is up front and honest, and the human experience is the best part of all of this, to me anyways!
  20. MTK

    MTK Active Member

    Can't wait to see what you've got.:thumb:

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