You may have seen my USS Cerritos model in the other thread. I started scratch-modelling a Warbird in 3D at the end of that thread and it was going well, but I was getting tired of organic shapes. So I took a break and decided to start building a ship I don't feel has ever been done justice in the DST/Playmates scale and functionality range, the USS Defiant.
There are a number of Defiant nuts here on the forum who know all the ins-and-outs of the VFX work depicting this ship over the years, but suffice to say that some very inaccurate CGI files served as the basis of much VFX and consumer models depicting the ship in its hayday. Put simply, most models of the Defiant look wrong compared to the studio's physical model (which I regard as the best-looking Defiant and the gold standard for models to emulate).
So I set out to print a highly accurate Defiant. I found no suitable models available - they all failed on either accuracy or detail.
So I'm building my own model. It's purely digital at the moment, and not finished at all, but I'm very happy with my progress and thought you people might be interested.
Check it out!
Part 1: How it started
This was where it started. My technique is to find as many photos of the studio model as I can, open them all in tabs, and keep referencing them as I go.
I'm using the amazing, painstaking forensic research of a Bridge Commander modder called Farshot who angle-matched screenshot after screenshot until his Defiant was as accurate as he could make it. Unfortunately, he never released the ship.
But in any case, where Farshot could rely on texture-maps in the game engine to handle much of the surface detail of the ship, I will need to model every 3-dimensional detail and greeble onto my Defiant - textures don't work too well in a 3D print!
Part 2: Progress
One I had the main shapes mapped out, I started to add details randomly, here you see the nacelles are in place and a lot of the detailing around the Bussard Collectors is modelled. The Deflector has received some attention as well. At this point I started to concentrate on the aft and work my way forward. Handily, the model makers re-used the same detail on the very back of the ship on the front of the nacelles. That was a natural jumping-off point to sweep the ship with a wave of detail.
I scrutinised model photos to find surface details I needed to model in.
(I added lights at this point in the 3D modelling software to give it a little life.)