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WIP USS Defiant 3D-print build.


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#1 Destructor!!!

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Posted 23 April 2021 - 02:51 AM

Hi folks!

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
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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

 

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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.

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I scrutinised model photos to find surface details I needed to model in.unknown.png

(I added lights at this point in the 3D modelling software to give it a little life.)

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#2 djc242

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Posted 23 April 2021 - 12:55 PM

amazing!

#3 Destructor!!!

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Posted 24 April 2021 - 06:25 PM

I've completed detailing the main hull, only the nose and nacelles need attention now (and the nose cut-in on the main hull, I just realised).

 

vxP21Nq.jpg

6sDs9pO.jpg

 

Once surface detailing is complete, I'll move to cutting it up, mining wiring conduits, and working out the mechanics of clips, latches, decide on how to light it (holes versus thin plastic) etc, battery bay, switch integration, maybe some buttons for sounds, create and work out the mechanics of a stand... etc...



#4 Destructor!!!

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Posted 03 May 2021 - 09:19 PM

Sorry for the lack of updates, detailing is complete!
 
Studio Model
defiant6.jpg
 
My Model
COy5dmM.png
 
Studio Model
defiant-publicity.jpg
 
My Model
g7Bceb1.png
 

My Model

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Studio Model

 defiant-model1.jpg

 

My Model

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I am of two minds whether to cut the panels lines into the surface or just rely on decals.
 
I printed a small version as a test:
GBdg89X.png
6qo1cTA.png

m5Bi112.png
 
I'm noticing and tweaking details as I go - even the comparison images above identified another few tweaks that are needed!



#5 RizzoPSU

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Posted 04 May 2021 - 07:29 AM

Awesome

#6 Destructor!!!

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Posted 13 May 2021 - 08:28 PM

syaFFBd.jpg

 

These panel lines have taken more than a week to get done... My poor brain!

 

4A8SkVh.jpg

 

The process of cutting the panel lines into it introduced a lot of small mesh errors that I had to hunt down and correct. I've actually found a few since I took these screenshots, so any little smoothing error blemishes visible here should be gone. I buggered up the Deflector dish a bit when I did this, so I'm now in the process of transplanting an earlier version of the deflector back onto this model's nose.



#7 Destructor!!!

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Posted 16 May 2021 - 01:17 PM

DpmIeoD.png

 

Rebuilt the deflector dish and played with the lighting in Blender.

 

Then I cut in the windows and did some more lighting stuff (procrastination, yes, but fun and pretty).

UVAikKH.png

 

yEUZECp.png



#8 Destructor!!!

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Posted 17 May 2021 - 10:55 AM

YWyyrSs.png

 

Tidied up the jowls under the nose/head. They were a bit bulbous before, I've flattened them.



#9 djc242

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Posted 18 May 2021 - 02:14 PM

doing Gods work

#10 Destructor!!!

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Posted 21 May 2021 - 07:36 AM

Cheers djc. Please point out any inaccuracies you spot.

As far as I can see, exterior detailing is done - let's CRACK THIS MOTHER OPEN!

 

BKPdT1L.png



#11 Destructor!!!

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Posted 26 May 2021 - 05:59 PM

CtV6Ssq.png
 
Still working on this, carving out the interior and creating light isolation cones. I'm modelling in lighting boxes behind the quantum torpedo launchers - may or may not actually make use of them. If I do wire in sound effects, photon and quantum torpedo sounds will trigger appropriately-coloured lights in that box. Don't think that's appropriate? Look at this!:
 

 
To me, the slow-mo makes it look like there were lights in the physical model behind the chevrons.

 

#12 Destructor!!!

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Posted 05 June 2021 - 08:22 PM

Futher work on the interior:

 

aUzMIlM.png

 

DdGaXCd.png



#13 Destructor!!!

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 11:30 AM

Battery bay is in place, as is the lid. This nailed down the scale of the ship. Hoping I don't regret that, as it's pushing the dimensions my printer can work with. Might end up with more work on my plate snapping nacelles off or making the nose fully modular...

 

Mas3WQn.png

 

Designed a stand - took inspiration from Playmates' DS9 stand and AMT/ERTL's Defiant stand and went with a DS9-esque structure. I went much more direct than their versions though. The stand is still WIP. I'll have a slot to snap the regular battery cover into on the bottom too.

 

SgZwdIG.png

 

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#14 MisterPL

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 07:21 PM

This is looking really tight. LOVING that stand design! It's more than just a stand; it's part of a diorama.



#15 djc242

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Posted 14 June 2021 - 09:14 PM

SO. DOPE!

Battery bay is in place, as is the lid. This nailed down the scale of the ship. Hoping I don't regret that, as it's pushing the dimensions my printer can work with. Might end up with more work on my plate snapping nacelles off or making the nose fully modular...
 
Mas3WQn.png
 
Designed a stand - took inspiration from Playmates' DS9 stand and AMT/ERTL's Defiant stand and went with a DS9-esque structure. I went much more direct than their versions though. The stand is still WIP. I'll have a slot to snap the regular battery cover into on the bottom too.
 
SgZwdIG.png
 
RK22OoX.png
 
ODjs2Uq.png



#16 Dilithium1

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Posted 16 June 2021 - 11:12 AM

What modeling software are you using?



#17 Alteran195

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Posted 17 June 2021 - 08:44 AM

That stand is genius, very well done. 



#18 Destructor!!!

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Posted 17 June 2021 - 02:40 PM

I'm using Blender - it's free, easy and powerful and there are shed-loads of tutorials on Youtube to help you learn the features.
Thank you Alteran! It is close enough to DS9 in terms of accuracy that I have a great jumping-off point for making the station itself later. Astonishingly, I built it in less than four days!
 
Stand modelling is complete (More or less... I am tempted to add detail here and there, but I will call it complete for now). Here's how the ship will sit on it:
 
9rylTVr.png
 
mlUiHqv.png
 
I printed it off - I never thought the stand would be the first part of the full size Defiant to get printed! There were some minor warping issues on the base, causing a hull breach in the habitat ring, but emergency forcefields are in place and holding.
 
NjFQ9CA.gif
 
Check out how much detail I was able to get on the weapons sails - these are only about a centimetre tall:
 
6pmhtDp.png
 
And panel lines that I was dubious about when I made them (thought I was wasting my time) are nice and subtle, but visible:
 
QFJXQiK.png

I hasten to add that this is fresh off the printer, no post-processing aside from removing the support material. All those little burrs and fibres will be sanded off.

#19 Destructor!!!

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Posted 05 July 2021 - 08:47 PM

I continue to make progress on the interior:

 

ohRQca3.png

Here you can see new light-pipes for the subtler glows here and there on the ship, some circuit-board-holders for the blinkies (I'm still waiting on the sound chip delivery), and new button mounts. I have decided to go the whole-hog and do a Playmates-style button bank. I'm using the 8 circular vent/hatches either side of the deck 1 strongback. I've come up with a pretty clever (if I do say so myself) way to light them too.

 

I have printed a few test-rigs of the buttons.

 

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These are very satisfying to click. I have momentary buttons under them.

 

GdT0rDF.png

The bridge button with a section of hull capping it. This could travel more freely, but I'm sure all it will take is a bit of sanding.



#20 MisterPL

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Posted 06 July 2021 - 09:18 AM

That's RIDICULOUSLY brilliant.

 

I love those buttons. Obtrusive buttons on toys have been a nitpick of mine since I was wee. This is really taking shape! 






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