New Fleet Design Beginning

I’ve started working concepts and prototypes for a new fleet of ships that will differ in design from the Hellas Shipyards fleet.

Fleet Background

This new fleet is from Spectral Astronav, a ship builder that originally began as a creator of starship navigational and guidance systems but has more recently entered the market with their own line of vessels characterized by their state-of-the-art design and engineering.

Design Guidelines

The design guidelines for this fleet are:

  • Sleek hulls with minimal paneling
  • Primarily beam weapons with rectangular emission slots
  • Missiles/drones with launchers flush with hull
  • Trapezoidal thrusters
  • Prominent cylindrical power core
  • Outboard panels around the aft engine area
  • Look like they belong in the same universe as the Hellas Shipyards fleet while being slightly more advanced looking

Initial Sketches and 3D Modeling

I originally used Midjourney to create a range of concepts and while I wasn’t happy with the results, it did help me steer the design guidelines toward something interesting.

The next step of the design process involved a white boarding session where I sketched ideas and got feedback from my son. This was helpful in blocking out a couple of rough ideas around a larger capital ship and a smaller ship like a frigate.

Whiteboard sketch of initial blackouts of forms

Next, I dove into 3D modeling and worked up a concept of a frigate expressing the design guidelines along with a prominent keel-mounted weapon system like in the sketch.

3D model of Spectral Frigate with Hellas Shipyards Frigate in the background for comparison

3D Printed Prototype

Since I am a painter as well as modeler, I frequently print my models out at various points in the design process to see how the model takes paint and wash. This helps me discover places where I want to make changes to enhance details that might look fine in a 3D modeler but differ in reality.

Below are some test prints from the initial frigate design which will continue to evolve and improve.

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