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Let's talk Star Destroyers!
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Mojomoe
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:53 pm    Post subject: Let's talk Star Destroyers! Reply with quote

Heya, gang!

Today, I'd like to start a conversation about the Big Wedge - you know, the Giant Cheese, The Imp Star and Imp Star Deuce, The Galactic Doorstop, The Great Triangle. IMPERIAL STAR DESTROYERS!

I'll state this upfront - my reason for doing so is INSANE. I am actually - hold me back here, folks - actually, pants-on-head, ticket-to-crazytown, certifiably interested in making ISD deck plans. Whether that comes to fruition is an entirely unknown possibility, so I won't go so far as to promise it here. What I CAN do, however, is start a discussion to gather all the known information into one area for discussion - even if deckplans never materialize, let's let this thread be the nexus for ISD info for RPG gamers and GMs alike!

In fact, that's the primary holdup for deckplans - believe it or not, it's NOT the scale that's the problem - EVEN IF at last count I ballparked 1600 meters and 137 decks. No sir, it's the COMPLETELY CONTRADICTORY information that DOES exist, making it damn near impossible to find a good place to start.

Let's discuss the basics -

* There were two primary ISD models - the Imperial I - class, and the Imperial II - class. Both are claimed to be 1600m long.

* Even though they all follow the same basic shape, apparently NONE of the ISDs used in the original 3 films are built to the same specs - the width, height, and detail placement varies so much as to make consistency impossible. For example, the ventral aft bulge, main hangar, and secondary hangar change locations and scaling so much that certain ones can't fit a Corellian Corvette anymore.

* Depending on the model and the reference, the entire superstructure and bridge setup is either level or canted at a 10 degree angle. This is, understandably, an impediment to deck layouts.

....Those issues aside, I still believe there's plenty of good information that interested parties could help me work out. What say ye, any diehard shipwrights out there want to help me solve some things?

At the very least, every scrap of info we figure out will be more than has ever been researched or decided about Star Destroyers.

Compelling, no...?
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jmanski
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds interesting and I admire your spirit, but that's a lot of stuff.
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Mojomoe
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is indeed!

But the neat thing is that, once it's broken down and looked at logistically, it's actually not that daunting.

For example, I have it at 135 habitable decks top-to bottom. If we assume at the very base that many of these have repeated and/or modular sections, we can start to get a very good idea of the internal layout with just 13 deck plans, roughly one for every ten decks.

Coupled with the fact that much of the internal volume is a hyper matter generator and support structures, there are no decks that run the full length of the ship (1600m), other than some of the equatorial trench structures, which is only about 5-10 decks high.

Again, if nothing else, the worst case scenario is that we learn and decide a few more things about ISDs!
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Mikael Hasselstein
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I'm intrigued.

I build my own deck plans for my own games, though I tend to operate at a scales in which characters are - at their smallest - 25px across.

So, before we talk about the contradictory information, and the number of decks, etc., tell me where you're going with this.

What, exactly, are you looking to produce - what's going to be the deliverable?
Also, what image manipulation skills are you bringing to the table in this project?
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Mojomoe
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All good questions!

My intentions are understandably limited by the overall scope of the vessel.

If I've done my math right, producing an image of a max manipulation size of 24,000 pixels, each pixel will be 6.67 cm. This one meter at 15px. I've done a bit of messing around, and that scale, while admittedly smaller than I'd like for starship plans, still gives enough detail for the deck plans to be legible without being an unwieldy file size. I can post an example of this before too long.

An unfortunate side-effect of the scale is that the images will have to be grayscale at best, two-tone at worst for saving purposes. Full color is more than possible for blowups, but for a deckplan that encompasses the full length of the ship? Gotta be grayscale.

To answer your second question, I'm an art director and concept artist in the video game and comic book industries, and have been pushing pixels since Photoshop version 5, so if there's somebody out there with more experience I'd love to meet them Razz. I also do 3D work.

...BUT, as I mentioned, that's the plan for deckplans - but deckplans may never even materialize, that's why I didn't want to promise them upfront. I'd like to try to tackle those logistical issues and see if it's even a fair playing field to attempt!
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Mikael Hasselstein
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, good. I just wanted to make sure you weren't a 16 year-old playing with MS Paint. Wink

I won't check your math on the scaling, so just tell me, what program do you use that lets you do 24,000px? I'm fairly sure that's not something that my laptop could handle, unless... well... convince me.

For my own self, I remember Photoshop 5. That's what I cut my initial teeth on. I've been working with GIMP ('cus it's free) for quite a few years now, even if I also have Photoshop CS Version 8.0 installed.

However, I'm an absolute amateur. I don't do 3D anything. I'm a college professor who teaches online in an unrelated subject.

Anyway, what sort of collaboration are you looking for?
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Mojomoe
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welp, being an art director, I know not to scope a project until I know it's completable, so that's where the information comes in. Mostly I need you fine folks to help me solve some logical common-sense engineering questions, then I can try to tackle the deckplans myself!

Some questions that I will need answered:

* How many sections do we divide the ship into?

* What sorts of logical groupings do we divide the ship into?

* While the exterior details of the superstructure and bridge are slanted down towards the bow, are the decks actually canted, or are they level (which would mean a different structure inside than what is shown on the model.)

* Given the logical groupings the ship is (to be) split into, what are rooms/functions we expect to see on a Star Destroyer? (bridge, engineering, crew barracks, armory, troop barracks, training, bathrooms/hygiene, mess halls, officer quarters, operations centers, turbolaser control, prop fabrication, repair bay, shopping(?), liquid stores, solid stores, fuel stores, entertainment?)

*How big are primary arterial corridors, and how far apart are they?

*How many turbolifts/lift tubes are there, and how far apart are they? Can they move horizontally (is there precedent for that? Star Trek lifts move horizontally as well as vertically).

*Does a Star Destroyer contain the same massive vertical shafts that the Death Star does? If so, what purpose do they serve?

*Are all the little lights on the ISD model windows? If so, that would mean that all of the lit areas around the equatorial trench are habitable.

*Are there only rectilinear (ie, fore-aft, port-starboard) arterial hallways in the ship, or are there angled ones that run parallel to the outer hull (ie, starting outboard aft and moving inboard as they move forward)?

*How many medbays are needed for the total number of crew shown? How many mess halls? Bathrooms? Do the officers have their own mess halls? What about morgues - does the Empire jettison cadavers into space, or do they put them on ice? What about waste storage?

*The Victory-class ISD shows troop barracks for boarding assault crews in the ventral section aft of the cargo bay. Is this logical? That would put many of them below the primary reactor, effectively cut off from the majority of the ship's population.

These are just a sampling...! I still have many issues I need solved before I can begin to estimate this project.

However, pictures always help! I'll start posting pics as soon as I can to see if I can start to illustrate some of the design issues.

edit - To answer your other question, I use Photoshop on a pretty beefy machine. It's a little sluggish at large file sizes, but Photoshop can process up to 30,000 px on a side.

Also, to keep this thread relevant, I will edit the first post to put the currently-known information, as well as the current open questions, up top.
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Mikael Hasselstein
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, good.

So, these principles are my approach to the deckplans that I've done, though I've not been religious about them. Actually, It's never been quite this methodical, but since this looks like a mega-project, it's best to have a process in mind.

1. Try to gather all the source material possible
2. Rank-order the material by canonicity, detail, and plausibility
3. Work out all the inconsistencies in the available material.
4. Answer the questions you've posed.

As you've said, we're at stage 1. Since you're in the biz, I'll let you deal with all the 3d models out there that people have created to see if you can steal the exterior dimensions from those.
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Mikael Hasselstein
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are the sites that I have among my bookmarks. (in my online game, I have one character who is aboard an ISD, and so I've already done some background research. Also, ISD's are just too cool not to investigate for their own sake.)

I imagine you've already found some of them on a quick Google search... but just in case:


Okay, and some images. More to follow.

Click thumbnails for offsite images:

source: The Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels (ISD-I)



source: some guy in the Physics dept. at the U. of Sydney.


source: ACME Direct Archives (official)
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Mikael Hasselstein
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best one that I've seen:


Source: I don't know, but it looks official to me. I'm sure you've already seen it.
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Mojomoe
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a great start!

I also want to add for my own record-keeping, here's an image comparing the inaccuracy of the Essential Guide image to a photo of the ventral side of the Devastator model (ISD I):



Some interior hallway structures (bridge, ISD II):



Docking bay:

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Mojomoe
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the model I'm primarily drawing from, a screen-accurate ISD II based off the filming model of the Avenger, by Fractalsponge:

(Warning, big!): http://fractalsponge.net/gallery/ISD/ortho.jpg

A conversation about the internal volume of an ISD:

http://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=117422

A miniatures map of the Death Star (which might include interesting inspirational elements:

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Mikael Hasselstein
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm working on my first-blush answers your questions.

There's also this:
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Mikael Hasselstein
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    * How many sections do we divide the ship into?
That's something that we would figure out further down the road.

    * What sorts of logical groupings do we divide the ship into?
Same.

    * While the exterior details of the superstructure and bridge are slanted down towards the bow, are the decks actually canted, or are they level (which would mean a different structure inside than what is shown on the model.)
It does look like there is a slant, but I don't think this will matter all that much for our purposes. To directly answer your question, I think that the artificial gravity would adjust in order to make the decks seem as if up was consistent, whereas "up" in the lower decks is a few degrees forward (did you say 10deg.?) of what "up" us for those in the superstructure.

    * Given the logical groupings the ship is (to be) split into, what are rooms/functions we expect to see on a Star Destroyer? (bridge, engineering, crew barracks, armory, troop barracks, training, bathrooms/hygiene, mess halls, officer quarters, operations centers, turbolaser control, prop fabrication, repair bay, shopping(?), liquid stores, solid stores, fuel stores, entertainment?)
Please consider the list that I posted in Matthias777's thread, Roles on a Warship (2nd page). That should get us started.

    *How big are primary arterial corridors, and how far apart are they?
There are images online, which I think would be some guide. Are there (more-or-less canon) scenes in some of the 1st person SW games that deal with this? Did any of these games ever feature an ISD?

    *How many turbolifts/lift tubes are there, and how far apart are they? Can they move horizontally (is there precedent for that? Star Trek lifts move horizontally as well as vertically).
*Cringe*
Let's not mention that show. (I do like ST, but I don't want too much cross-pollenization, if I can help it)
I would imagine so. Otherwise, just imagine how long it would take to get from the hangar to the bridge. I can't imagine that Vader would like to have to make that jaunt (and He has to walk around the Executor.)
Maybe there are horizontal turbolifts and vertical turbolifts, but no lifts that do both. I'm not sure. Maybe someone who's read more EU books has read more turbolift descriptions.

    *Does a Star Destroyer contain the same massive vertical shafts that the Death Star does? If so, what purpose do they serve?
I think the image I posted above would say: no. There are very large systems, like the reactors, the engines, the hangars, etc., but other than the hangars, you can't fly around in them... and the hangar would be pretty cramped.

    *Are all the little lights on the ISD model windows? If so, that would mean that all of the lit areas around the equatorial trench are habitable.
Good question. I think 'yes', but these are only on a few places on the trench, it looks like on a quick review. I can be convinced otherwise, however.

    *Are there only rectilinear (ie, fore-aft, port-starboard) arterial hallways in the ship, or are there angled ones that run parallel to the outer hull (ie, starting outboard aft and moving inboard as they move forward)?
I'm sure there would be both.

    *How many medbays are needed for the total number of crew shown? How many mess halls? Bathrooms? Do the officers have their own mess halls? What about morgues - does the Empire jettison cadavers into space, or do they put them on ice? What about waste storage?
Erm...
I imagine that the marines (the troopers that are intended for ground and ship assault operations) are kept separate from the naval troopers (who are there for shipboard security), who are kept separate from operational crew, who are kept separate from the officers.
I'm guessing medbays are separated by the type of population they are to serve. Some are for the medevacced marines, some are for the troopers and crew, and one (or two) is for officers. I imagine that these numbers (except maybe the med bay for officers are divisible by two, with the ship being symmetrical port to starboard.
But I'm making this stuff up. I don't know.
I would be inclined to find out what the norm is on a US Navy aircraft carrier.
I imagine they space enlisted men (crewers, troopers and marines) and put dead officers and special people on ice.

    *The Victory-class ISD shows troop barracks for boarding assault crews in the ventral section aft of the cargo bay. Is this logical? That would put many of them below the primary reactor, effectively cut off from the majority of the ship's population.
Oh, what's your source material for this? It seems like it's in line with what I would think would be the case (see above).
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Mikael Hasselstein
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mojomoe wrote:
This is the model I'm primarily drawing from, a screen-accurate ISD II based off the filming model of the Avenger, by Fractalsponge:

(Warning, big!): http://fractalsponge.net/gallery/ISD/ortho.jpg


Okay, so that is different from some that are out there, including the image from the Essential Guide that I posted above.

Yours has the superstructure decks all parallel to one another, but at an angle from the main structure. Others have the 'head' superstructure at an angle to the lower superstructure, which sits on top of the main structure of the ship.

So, if yours comes from a higher level of canon, then that's Strike Two for the Essential Guide.

Mojomoe wrote:
A conversation about the internal volume of an ISD:
http://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=117422

Aha - I'm following you. So, there are different film models out there. One, the Avenger from ESB and the Devastator from ANH. The Avenger model was the bigger one (with the Devastator model actually being a smaller model than that of the Tantive IV), and so we should treat it as the more canon of the two.... I suppose.

Or am I missing the point? The Devastator was an ISD-I and the Avenger was an ISD-II. The differences in their shapes is the difference in their type (a way to interpret the notion that they were based on different film-making models)
(I'm sorry if I'm slow on the uptake, due to being more of a skimmer than a reader.)
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