Explorer is a long range science and research vessel.
About this creation
Hereís a pic of me hoisting Explorer overhead to offer a full view of the shipís underside.
Explorer is a long range science and research vessel with a crew of 8. Features include a shuttle/cargo bay, 2 storage rooms, crew quarters and bathrooms, 4 escape pods, a science/med lab, crew lounge/dining room, 2 airlock entries, and a spacious bridge. The ship is armed with dual laser cannon for blasting space debris in its path.
The model is 141 studs long, 74 studs wide, and 24 bricks high and weighs about 30 lbs. It took me about 3 months to complete, working at various intervals. Construction on the ship proceeded from the front to back, from the bottom up, and from the inside out (for the most part). I made an initial rough sketch of an idea I had for large shuttle with a forward bridge and airlock section followed by a central hub of escape pods and lounge/living areas. I had no plan for the back section, other than propulsion. I started building right away and tried different ideas as I went along.
The design and utility of this ship is somewhat of a departure from my previous large space MOCs. Explorer is not meant for combat and, unlike warships like Dragonstar or Gibraltar , it does not feature multiple decks or a conning tower. Also, while those designs were mostly influenced by anime, the design for Explorer drew on many inspirations. I didnít set off to design it to fit into any particular popular sci-fi universe, though some people think it leans a bit toward Battlestar Galactica.
Iíd say the feature Iím most satisfied with is the floor of the main corridor. This was the first thing I built and it probably took the most time because I wanted every detail under the floor grating to have a realistic purpose.
Overall, I had fun building this model and Iím pretty satisfied with how everything turned out. I tried a few different things this time and I have some ideas now for the next big ship.
This low level shot shows the main sensor dish (blue). Above it is the exhaust for the reverse engine (trans neon green). The cylinders alongside the bridge are smaller reverse thrusters for maneuvering. The model is very sturdy and balanced and I used very minimal display stands.
A good overall view of the design. I used several large tiles (with the studs along the edges) to minimize the exposed studs on the main body and give the ship a smoother appearance. The stickers are from the UCS X-Wing set.
A complete view of the shipís interior to give a better idea of where everything is located. The ship is divided into 6 bulkheads. From the left is the bridge, followed by airlocks, med-lab/lounge, escape pod access, crew cabins and storage, and shuttle/cargo bay.
A technician works on the blue Spiffcrafts Freem-drive as a toolbot stands ready to assist. On the left side of the picture are cargo containers and supply drums. To the right is a work bench (in back) and a meteor thatís being analyzed.
An overhead view of Explorerís living quarters and storage/hydroponics bays. At the top right of the frame is the storage/hydroponics bay on the starboard side of the ship. At lower right is the port side storage bay. The crew cabins on either side are identical and each feature 4 bunks, storage space, 2 tables and 4 chairs, and a bathroom.
The science/engineering display is also a custom sticker . When I completed Explorerís exterior, I took an overhead and side view shots and used Photoshop (namely the Find Edges filter) to create the ship schematic.
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