Started this render last night at about 8pm, it finished at around 3am. I've added some of the stairs, light sources and (I think) completed the major pipework on side 1. I'm planning on reducing the power of the light sources on side 1, as it just looks too bright. It also needs more orange in colour, as photos of the MLP at night suggest it.
Next tasks: add safety rails to the MLP, and work on the Crawler.
Note: the blogger app seems to forget about adding images.
One of the Christmas gifts I received this year was a Paper/Card model creator. Not the easiest 3D model to paper/card model on the market, but after 30 minutes I was able to create a layout for the VAB. If you want you can download in the first image.
The VAB itself is a low polygon model that I created a while back. In a later version, I'll be correcting a few 'minor' errors and adding more details. This is my third attempt at create paper/card models so thee maybe error and if you need any help, please leave a comment. My second was the Forward flight deck of the Space Shuttle Orbiter. My first was a botched and rather crude Apollo Command Module, thankfully lost to inaccessible recycle bin.
Merry Christmas! I've just downed tools for the night, as there is shin-dig tomorrow later...
I've done a little bit of pipework on the Mobile Launcher Platform (MLP). Its low detail for the moment as I need to make sure the pipework looks right. Then I'll up the polygons by a factor of two.
I'm now seriously thinking about creating this as as real 1:144 model for The Space Shuttle. The minor lights will probably be fibre optics from a simple LED source and two bright focused LEDs onto the Space Shuttle itself. The main section of the MLP will probably be wooden, and the details (e.g. pipework) I might create using a 3D printer. Time and money will tell ;)
The Crawler Transporter is too detailed for the intended use. I've gone on an extreme polygon diet and it still not enough. Currently, the 3D model for the Crawler Transporter stands at 87,386 polygons. I need it to be no more than 15,000, 17,500 absolute maximum, and there still more objects to add...
Here is the full 3D model so far.
 Changed the title from Part 3 to 4, it's late and I'm watching The Bourne Legacy.
The track shoes are now in place, and it was a pain in the neck getting to fit. However, at this level of detail it's just too many polygons. By my calculations, I need to get down to less than 75 polys per shoe... But it does look Shiny!
With a little bit of persistence, I've managed to find some drawings on the track shoes for the Crawler:
There are 57 track shoes per track, 2 tracks at each of the 4 corners.... I'll save you the grey cells.... 456 track shoes. The original track shoe had just over 550 polygons, that would mean 250000 polygons just for the track shoes alone. I've reduced the polygon count to 352 per shoe and this gives a total of 160512 polygons. Just to put that into some form of perspective: the Orbiter model in F-Sim Space Shuttle is only a humble 8370 polygons.
I've started to form the basic shape NASA's workhorse, the Crawler. I thought it was a simple box with bits sticking out, how wrong was I. The Crawler is a maze of criss-cross I beam girders and thanks to @MDBenson on Twitter, his photos showed how complex the placement for girders, rooms and equipment are. I've also found this paper model of the Crawler on MicroArtwork website, which has given me clues to how the Crawler is assembled.
I'm very attempted to model the Crawler completely, but I'll probably spend to much time online searching for details. Best to keep it simple...
After spending many hours on the internet (again), I've not had much success looking for decent, scaled and readable drawing of the MLP for the Space Shuttle era. I could find a lot for the Apollo era, but there's nothing for the Space Shuttle version. There was only a couple that I could use and they were only of the top view.
However, I've downloaded a fair chunk of photographs, usable diagrams and a paper model of the MLP from AXM Paper Space Scale Models. I've also download a Space Shuttle and this should keep me quiet over the Christmas period. I've also found another card model from EDU-Craft Diversions which I'm attempted to buy and build for one of my 1:144 shuttles (yes, I have 3 un-built models). On the NASASpaceFlight.com forum, a user called roma847 is building this heavy paper model with enhancements. Please follow his efforts here.
I've got a good layout of the top now, just need to work on the sound suppression system. However, that can await as I'm trying to concentrate on what I don't have for the MLP and that is details on the sides. I've done a bit of modelling very late last night and this is what I've achieved so far:
Also, I've messed around with lighting effects, as I would like to do a night scene. Here are my early drafts with night lighting effects:
Okay Folks, I'm stuck. Over the last week, I've been searching for information on the Transport Crawler and Mobile Launch Platform (MLP). For the Transport Crawler, I've found enough information to start 3D modeling it.
For the MLP, I would like engineering drawings like the two above. I already have the top view. However what interests me is the 4 sides to the MLP, especially the walkways on Side 1 (front). So far, I've got enough information to form the basic shape and the Sound Suppression System, Tail Service Masts. but nothing for the sides.
If anyone can help I would appreciate if you could leave a comment. Many thanks in advance.