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Gallery 06

Then there are all those messy clamps to construct, the ones holding the System-ships in place. I made sure the framework attaches to the spine only at intersections of other struts. The "grabber" started out as a stumpy hexagonal cylinder, with a smaller cylinder at the hinge. I did put a groove in the upper section to suggest the separation point. But for the lower grabber, I had to do far more work.

First I repositioned the upper frame's barycenter so it was at the core of the spine. Then I duplicated the frame, and rotated it around the barycenter by 180 degrees, which put the lower frame in the perfect position.

Then came the fun part. Blender does have a Boolean function, where one can "subtract" one object from another (or find just the intersection). This would be perfect for drilling the engine-sized hole down the center of the hexagonal face. However, I've found that Blender's Boolean tends to make a tangled mess with far too many superfluous vertexes.

So I did it the hard way. I added an engine-sized cylinder, and manually added edges between the cylinder's boarder and the hexagonal face. Then the extra edges and vertexes are deleted, and you have a hole. The hexagon was then split in two, and the two halves were rotated 30 degrees to make the grabber open its mouth.

John Reiher noted that the torus drop tanks are sort of loose cannons. They will bang into the spine with transverse acceleration, clip the engine bell if jettisoned while under transverse acceleration, and will refuse to jettison if the ship is under no acceleration.

He suggested a set of support rails, with a magnetic system acting like rollers to facilitate spent drop tanks going on their way. They could magnetically eject the tanks. Those are the white prongs sticking out the rear, thoughtfully placed along the torus rings joints.

While I was at it, I also added the plumbing connecting the tanks to the engine. Henry Cobb pointed out that the engine should have the same side pipes as the WarpShip, since it is presumably from the same technology. He also was of the opinion that the greebles on the hull were a little too high, so I toned them down a little.

John Reiher also suggested phased-array radar at the orthogonal points, these are the purple hexagons. I am not at all satisfied with these, but I've got other things to do beside fiddling with their color.

Being terminally lazy myself, I was going to just make the missiles clamped to the hull, and launched by its own attitude jets to a safe distance, then igniting its torch drive. Saves on modeling. But the specifications for the ship says that it possesses "missile tubes". John Reiher made the excellent suggestion that these could just be tubes at a 45 degree angle. Again I used the incredibly useful Solid Wire script to make instant mass drivers. Ain't they purty? Note that the middle tube has a missile loaded.

I haven't gotten around to slicing out the sections that will allow the missile to be loaded, but that will come. I put in six tubes arranged so they fire between the antennae of the antenna farm on the ship's nose. Eventually there will be five antennae, maybe with a sixth one folded flat, or maybe I'll rotate the ship thirty degrees so the antenna does not dig into the mothership. And when I get some free time I really have to paint some textures for the missiles, they are sort of unfinished looking.