View Full Version : Mercury Class

Thomas P
July 25th, 2002, 06:40 AM
Okay, I'm locked away from my computer that has MAX 4 on it for about a month. This means the Yorktown and Puffin are on hold as they were being done with that computer (sold my house and my stuff is in temporary storage).

Anyway - I still have 2.5 on another machine so I started something that I've wanted to do for awhile which is the Mercury Class over at Bernd's site. I did a lot before posting here -


Thomas P
July 25th, 2002, 06:43 AM
So here is the saucer section underway and the profile I'm working with.

Here is how she is looking in the renderer.


Thomas P
July 25th, 2002, 06:46 AM
I added the first element (basic cylinder) of the Warp Nacell so you can see how it will start to finish up.


Most of this is the basic work and the various model elements will have to be detailed considerably before I start texturing.

July 25th, 2002, 08:30 AM
great start!

July 25th, 2002, 04:19 PM
Not a bad design, but the attachment of the nacelle supports looks sort of weak. Of course, I shouldn't complain to Thomas about that...

Looks good so far!

Thomas P
July 26th, 2002, 05:22 AM
Originally posted by Masao
...the attachment of the nacelle supports looks sort of weak. Of course, I shouldn't complain to Thomas about that...

And why not 'complain', er..uh.. critique ;)

Yeah, they are on the slight of build side. I'm looking to maybe beef it up some.

July 26th, 2002, 06:02 AM
Looks good. Sort of looks both pre-Constitution and post with the simplified engineering section but rounded pylon supports.

Thomas P
July 26th, 2002, 07:38 AM
It's one of Bernd's and he has a variety of styles that seem to cross - but I like his stuff.

And hey - more updates. I enlarged the engine pylons thickness by 26% and they look better without radically changing the design. I also did more on the engine itself and bridge and deflector and...;)


Thomas P
July 26th, 2002, 01:37 PM
Hmmm... was thinking about both comments made regarding the engine pylons. Though I am hesitant to muck (much) with anothers design (:rolleyes:), I tried back dating the pylons to a more acceptable TOS variation. Feedback very welome :D


July 26th, 2002, 01:37 PM
Coming along...
I think you should leave it blue.

Thomas P
July 26th, 2002, 01:38 PM
Oh yeah, I also lowered the nacelles to be clear of the saucer section.

July 26th, 2002, 03:13 PM
My guess is that Bernd was trying to make a TOS-style proto-Excelsior. Elements include the primary hull with the steep slope at the edge and flat bottom, the beginnings of the extended impulse deck, the corrugations on the nec, the L-shaped nacelle supports mounted at the top of the secondary hull, and the far-anterior ventral fantail.

If you make the nacelle supports more Connie-style, you might be robbing the ship of one of its distinctive characterstics. Unlike me, Bernd doesn't display renders with the schematics on his site, so doesn't seem so concerned with absolutely fidelity to his "vision." But, I was thinking if there were some way to beef up the connection without losing the L-shaped supports? (This would be considered a slight edit rather than a revision of Bernd's design, like a change necessary when going from a design sketch to a physical model). For example, maybe mounting the connection slightly deeper into the dorsum of the ship (rather than at the level of the doral spine or keel), adding some supporting structures to the proximal part of the support (either above or below), or adding a slight Excelsior-like hump to the attacment point?

July 29th, 2002, 05:36 AM
Yeah. I agree. Leave them L shaped. It looks too plain with the straight pylons.

July 29th, 2002, 05:41 AM
I like either or myself.....I know I know..I wasnt any help :D

July 29th, 2002, 06:10 AM
Wow, someone's posting early in the morning...
Ashrak, you always get up that early?

July 29th, 2002, 08:19 AM
little bout of insomnia for the last 6 months....anyone got any good remedies to put my sleeping schedule back on a normal one

Thomas P
July 29th, 2002, 12:01 PM
Okay, I read Masao's feedback and 'digested' it over a few good pints. I then looked at this issue, as Masao stated, more of an evolutionary step or proto-Excelsior. I went back and approached the nacelle pylons as more of an Excelsior begets Ambassador design. The pylons are now more uniform in curve, do not taper out and are lower on the hull. I think it keeps Bernd's overall lines but is more in line with design progressions (Bernd, if you are out there chime in).


July 29th, 2002, 01:11 PM
I like it. Looks classy and elegant. Plus I like the blue color.

Ashrak, I could send you some spreadsheets and reports from work. Those should put you right out. Works for me.

July 30th, 2002, 04:06 AM
Placing the nacelle supports a bit lower looks good. It's still Bernd's ship, but looks more logical.

Thomas P
July 30th, 2002, 04:08 PM
Shutting down for the day but here is an update - starting to put some textures in as I add detail.


July 31st, 2002, 05:27 AM
Oh yeah! Now we're talking! Let the detailing begin. Are you using some type of screencaps for the windows?

Thomas P
July 31st, 2002, 05:36 AM
I raided Bernd's image gallery. I took three different interior scenes and spliced them together. I put the image into a diffuse slot in the materials editor then lower it's strength value some. This allows the base color to show through which is blue and self illuminating.

I have been thinking of modeling a few rooms and then shooting them as fillers.

Thomas P
July 31st, 2002, 07:20 AM
Well off to work - almost all the windows are in :nervous:


August 1st, 2002, 04:54 AM
Great idea about the windows. Perhaps I should try that...

Really coming along nicely. Are you going to add any sort of panel lines?

Thomas P
August 1st, 2002, 05:21 AM
Well I was working on modeling them in and then decided I hate the way it looks. I have retreated back to a more resonable approach (for me) and will texture them. Right now, unfortunately, I have found some flaws in the surface as a result of window creation on the saucer section. I have to redo that first.

August 1st, 2002, 04:51 PM
I was wondering why Bernd doesn't post renders on his noncanon ship pages. I remember that ThomasP rendered some scenes with the Detroit class, and they ended up on one of my museum pages since they included a Bison.

Thomas P
August 2nd, 2002, 06:31 AM
Yeah, I wonder too. He does have a few pics that folks have done but they seem to be mostly 5-views. Of course, more of your stuff gets modeled then his.

Working on the first texture -


August 2nd, 2002, 05:24 PM
Something I noticed recently about the Amarillo font: the space before the period is much smaller than the space after. To fix it you either have to convert the text to outlines/paths or adjust the range kerning.

August 5th, 2002, 05:28 AM
Nice. I really like the panel lines and how you've dirtied them up.

Thomas P
August 6th, 2002, 08:43 AM
Well I finally think I finished one texture :D! Here is the finished top portion of the saucer section (not the mid-ring portion). It has a very 'slight' Aztec pattern and incidental details - mostly lost at a distance.


BTW - If you are interested, here is the texture (http://www.concept40.com/galleries/sciartpost/10182001/saucerTop.jpg) :WARNING 138K image at 1000x1000

August 6th, 2002, 04:34 PM
That texture throws off a lot of nice little highlights. Makes the ship look very big.

Thomas P
August 8th, 2002, 05:14 PM
Some updates - more texturing done.

Pic 1 (http://www.concept40.com/galleries/sciartpost/10182001/mf01.jpg)
Pic 2 (http://www.concept40.com/galleries/sciartpost/10182001/mf02.jpg)
Pic 3 (http://www.concept40.com/galleries/sciartpost/10182001/mf03.jpg)

August 9th, 2002, 05:40 AM
Looking good!
Are the impulse modules done, or are you going to do some more work on them? They look a bit blocky at the moment.

Thomas P
August 9th, 2002, 06:16 AM
The original design has the rather squared up - I have not given it much thought as I liked it.

August 9th, 2002, 05:28 PM
Yeah, they surea are blocky, but, again, I think Bernd was trying to make them Excelsior-ish. Maybe you can keep the sides perpendicular but then round the corners a bit?

Thomas P
August 12th, 2002, 12:40 PM
While texturing I tried something else on that Impulse section. What do ya all think now?


August 12th, 2002, 04:34 PM
I had no real complaints about the original square ones, but these are ok, too, I guess.

Thomas P
August 13th, 2002, 05:27 AM
I did not think anyone complained - I just toyed around with them after the few comments on how they looked. I don't take what you guys say personal (just what others say :D).

August 13th, 2002, 05:34 AM
Better. Ties it in more with the era from whence it comes.
Another question - what specularity settings do you use on your textures, specifically the texture on the impulse module in the closeup?

Thomas P
August 13th, 2002, 08:14 AM
The texture has both an active ambient (R:26 G:26 B:26) and a diffuse channel. Shininess and specular base settings are 60 / 31 respectively. The diffuse map slot (MAX) has a JPG in it (see below) and the circumference polys have a material assignment that it is applied to. (The perpendicular faces / ploys have an alternate set of material IDs).

The specular channel has a RGB tint map applied at 100% and the shine strength channel has a BW / negative of the above diffuse map and is at 30%.

Shine Strength:
Material ID:

Was that helpful?

August 14th, 2002, 05:27 AM
Yes, it was. I am trying to get my models to not look like plastic toys. The proper shine/spec/ambient/diffuse settings have eluded me so far. That and tS doesn't have as much flexibility when setting these parameters, especially where maps are concerned. You have to buy a plug-in just to apply a texture map to the diffuse channel.

Thomas P
August 14th, 2002, 07:10 AM

Here she is, all done but for a set of navigation lights.

90K Image (http://www.concept40.com/galleries/sciartpost/10182001/3wayMerc.jpg)

August 14th, 2002, 05:02 PM
Very cool. Definitely proto-Excelsior.

I'm wondering about the signage. It looks as if you're using a simplified, non-tapering variant of the TOS banner.

Since Bernd doesn't come around here anymore, do you mind if I send him the latest pic?

Thomas P
August 15th, 2002, 05:21 AM
I just made the banner up - I lifted it by tracing the one on his drawing.

Yes, by all means he can see what I have done to his ship :D

August 15th, 2002, 04:56 PM
I now see that Bernd does post renders of his EAS Fleetyard ships. He's got quite a few by Jay Hagen (who's done many of mine) and a few by others, including our own Brian Minosh. Well, I'll pass them along.

Regarding the pennant. Bernd first used that style of pennant/banner when he was doing his early undetailed schematics. When he updated the schematics, he switched to a variation of the elongated command star with a tail (that I designed on my ships) for his pre-TOS ships. However, for his peri-TOS/TOS-era ships, he still uses the untapered banner for both hulls and nacelles rather than the tapered banner on the nacelles and the three-tailed pennant on the hull. Strange.

I'll send your renders along to Bernd.

Thomas P
August 16th, 2002, 05:41 AM
I could easily switch to the pennant you have on your ships - I actually like that one more as it is easier to draw in large scale.