Monday, December 19, 2016

Star Destroyer Map? To SCALE!?

     So after getting LAUNCH WINDOW up an running (finally) my tired brain needed a break.  As a sort of palate cleanser, I went trawling around Ye Olde Interwebs looking at Star Destroyers.
 Some of the images I came across were from Geoffry Mandel's blueprints.  These are so old, they pre-date the scaling up of the Blockade Runner and SD made late in production and show us a Star Destroyer less than five hundred meters long.  The weapon mix and compliment is also interesting - the Mandel SD only has a crew of 750 (280 of which are Stormtroopers) but still carries a full wing of 72 TIE fighters.  No AT-AT or chicken walkers, though.  The SD was either too small to carry planetary assault equipment, was optimized for space combat, or, most likely, these were omitted because George and ILM hadn't invented them yet.
    Anyway, for fun, I started sketching star cruiser whose size was inspired by Mandel's SD, and blended featured of all different Star Destroyers we see from Episode II on.  I couldn't get the tiny inch long sketches I drew scale up, so I fired up Wings 3D and simply built a model in that.  Because my "Pocket SD" star cruiser was only about 600 meters long, I could build it out to scale.  The scale I chose was one grid square = 15 meters, because my Star Morph capital ship map tiles are 15 x 30 meters, so it made sense.  I also though about texturing the beast, but this was just a palate cleanser, so why bother?
     That's when the muse descended.
     I can texture blocks in Wings.  I have twenty-six star morphs laying around.  Hmmm...

      Sure enough, I not only could put my Starmorphs on 1x2x0.2 tiles to represent 15x30x3 meter deck segments, the resolution of the images was sharp enough to really see the detail.
    I was shocked as the implications set in.  By using my existing tiles, maybe a few new ones, and Wings 3D, I had the tools to fully map a Star Destroyer to scale.
    At first I thought it was crazy - after all, my Starphin project proved to be too much work to do in a timely manner - and that ship was a third of the size of my Mandel SD.  But in reality, the SD is a lot simpler a project, because the large pieces like engines and main guns are computer models and the deckplans have already been drawn.
     The results so far have been encouraging...


Questions, comments, criticisms? All non-Trolls welcome!