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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

WIP Interdictor Class Cruiser

I've promised for a while to start posting some X-wing articles, so here is a quick one about my current big project, I'm building an Interdictor Cruiser for use in Epic play.

I've had the desire to make some really big and cool "super epic" sized ships for X-wing since I first started to get into the game last year, but of course it didn't seem like a practical thing to do for a long while.  Then I saw the extremely cool 11 foot long Imperial Start Destroyer that was made for the NOVA Open convetion (I did not go but its on the web) and decided to take this challenge on.
The Interdictor Cruiser is a really cool ship in the Star Wars lore, essentially its cruiser (still bigger and with more firepower than 90% of the Rebel Alliance's capital ships) that serves as a mobile gravity well generator.  As everyone remembers the Rebels would always run away from the Imperial Navy when it responded to their attacks, also exclusively employing hyperspace capable fighters to conduct hit and run attacks on Imperial installations.
The Interdictor Cruiser was the Empire's solution to this problem.  Mounting 4 gravity well generators (The big domes.) it was able to simulate the effective localized gravitational pull of a planet, which would prevent ships within a considerable distance from being able to jump to lightspeed and pull ships traveling at lightspeed out of it abruptly (usually causging massive mechanical failure of the ship's hyperdrive rendering it effectively destroyed).
While it shared the same core design as a Vindicator Class Cruiser, essentially a miniature Star Destroyer, it had to sacrifice some of the firepower to mount the gravity well generators.  It also had the problem that to generate so much gravity would consume a massive amount of power, rendering the ship largely immobile while it operated the system.
So anyways, very cool concept and really cool look.  I found some really great 3d renders of the Interdictor which was made by this fellow I think, check out his stuff its awesome.

So as I said rediculously cool artwork.  I then found this schematic drawing from an old "Ships of Star Wars" book I've had since I was 12 or so.

Once I had this stuff I needed to come up with the scale and measurements for the "to scale" interdictor.  I decided to base the measurements off of a CR-90 which is 150 meters long in the lore and 16.42" in its model form.  As the Interdictor in the lore is 600 meters long it should be 65.68" long to be to scale with the Corvette.

So from this point I took this photo and opened it up in MS Paint.  A funny feature of MS Paint is that you can add rulers to the sides of the screen in inches to show the dimensions of the artwork.  I increased the size of the photo until it was around 65 inches long and then I printed it out.

34 pages and a lot of cutting and taping later and I had a to scale interdictor paper cutout.  As it turns out its 62" long.

Once this was done I needed to figure out the angle to the slope of the ship and how that would change the relative measurements of the different sides of the giant triangles I would be making.  This required my relearning trigonometry and using a protractor on the schematic picture to determine the angle of the slope (2.7 degrees) and then I solved a math problem:

The adjacent being 63" and the angle being 2.7 degrees.  To save a bunch of time and effort the opposite turns out to be almost exactly 3 inches and the hypotenuse only increases by about 1/8" due to the small angle of the slope.  

So armed with that knowledge I started building the superstructure of the upper hull out of foamcore board.  Fast forward a month in which I barely had time to work on it and here is the current product.  I apologize for the poor photo quality, its harder than I expected to take good photos of a 5 foot long model!

The YT-1300 is included just for scale.  The basic superstructure is done minus the bridge, I made everything I need in order to make the bottom half of the ship as well but I'm debating whether or not it makes sense to from a practicality stand point.  Sure it would look awesome to do both sides of the ship, but then I'd need to make a base for it to be able to go on a table and be playable.  The counterargument to copying the method used for the ISD at NOVA open is that most of the time this ship will just be a very cool and very big display piece and will probably be hanging form the ceiling at a local shop, so not doing the keel would detract from displayability.

Here it is MOSTLY from above, I'll take some more pictures soon and do some from right above it.  The Gravity well generators posed a considerable problem for how to build them, in the end I decided to go with the horrifically expensive styrofoam half domes from Michaels, seriously the are $8 a piece!

And from the side you can see just how long this time is.  I put both photos as I honestly can't tell which has better focus.  I'll try and improve the photo quality going forwards.

Only the basic structure will be foamcore, I bought a dozen or so 12" by 24" .6 mm thick sheets of styrene to do the detail work, this has the added bonus of allowing me to not worry about the inevitable gaps in the foamcore boards and will make it both more durable and easier to paint. Detailing the generators is going to be very hard, but I'll get to that once I've detailed the hull.

So yeah, a lot more to come here, this project will take a while to be done with.  After its done I plan to start making some of the rebel ships from Armada as well.  The goal of all of this is to help out the organizers of both Templecon and Captains Con next year by making some great narrative events, that and its just plain cool.

Any advice would be welcome, what's your opinion on building the keel (lower hull) vs just leaving it flat for easy use?

1 comment:

  1. You're nuts. I love it. Good luck on this project!