Enhancing Martin Saenger's TOS BSG shuttle (GAL 356)

Revell-Fan

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Howdee fans,

when our dear member @Toutenkarton decided to add an interior to Martin Saenger's shuttle I immediately teamed up with him. Making an interior for the model had been on my todo list for quite some time and you all know by now that I only wait for a suitable occasion to tackle a project like this. I have way too many other things going on but with Benoit at my side I thought I could start on this one now. Four hands work faster and four eyes spot problems quicker. So let's see where this project will take us! :)

The first step was to take as many screenshots as possible. The BYC gallery delivered as usual. ;) Much to my surprise there is no separate section for the shuttle interior but many screenshots of the actors inside the shuttle, most notably from the episode "Baltar's Escape". That was more than sufficient. The Props section provided a few looks at the main console which were extremely helpful since the actual configuration differed from the blueprints in several respects (the center monitor for example changed its position with a plate below).

Then it was time to take a look at the model itself. Martin's kit is simply gorgeous. Every aspect of the filming miniature has been captured faithfully. After printing and assembling the parts for the main hull I found myself drooling over it, it is so damn good (it is not perfect though but more on that later). The fact that he worked with limited resources and limited time and had only three pages for the parts layout makes the final result even more impressive.

The limited page was necessary because the kit was designed for the well-known "Spacedays" exhibition at Darmstadt (which happens to take place this weekend again after the one before was cancelled because of Covid). Printed versions were given away for free to the visitors. A few weeks later the kit became available for free dowload on Martin's website Paperaviation.de . The low page count however led to two downsides:

1st. The model is a tad small. Granted, it is a nice size, suitable for a diorama and even a small shelf, but as a standalone model it should have been a bit bigger to create the impact it deserves.

2nd. The model is a hollow box. Built as is it might be strong enough to sustain its shape but any upscaled version is in desperate need of internal formers.

So the most obvious advantage of this project is that our page count is unlimited which means that we even could put one part on one page each. IF we wanted.

unlimited-power-star-wars.gif

:animated:

OK, since we Europeans are known to be cheap guys we certainly will NOT do that. But we COULD. If we wanted. :kick-ass:

:laughrolling:

Now then. Let's take a look at what we have.

DSCF1458.jpg

One main hull was needed to test the parts. The windows were cut out. Again, I could have left them in (IF I wanted) but in this case, ... no. :biggrin:

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Since I do not have access to the original CG model another part of the main hull was needed to determine the shape of the new floor.

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As a start I cut the template to pieces where I wanted the floor to be.

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Old-school pencil technique and lots of trial and error was involved to get a first floor shape.

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The shape of the back wall was determined.

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Later I found out that the back wall was no longer needed but for the time being it became very handy to hold the floor in position. Benoit and I were independantly struggling with the curvature of the sides. Replicating the exact shape was essential and any deviation would result in visible stress marks on the outer hull. So I came up with another strategy. Since the instrument panels will conceal much of the inner curve it was not necessary at all to follow the curvature precisely. I only needed a shape to hold the floor in place and the only reference point to do that (and which luckily was relatively straight) was the lower fuselage.

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I kept the shuttle nose as parallel to the paper as possible and traced the shadow it cast. The first test fit was promising:

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It fit! Some minor cuts later I had all I needed:

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The parts were scanned and traced in Corel. Three prints and mods later I got THIS:

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Not too bad for a start! :)
 
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Revell-Fan

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Then began the tedious work: The graphics. I worked off and on on it whenever time and mood allowed. However, with Benoit waiting for the plans I got very motivated and continued working on it - until my hand began to ache. That was the sign to "sign off" temporarily and I stayed off the pattern for two days. :)

1a.png2a.png

As with all scifi related things the model interior and the interior of the studio set do not line up perfectly, so there is some creative licensing at work here. Most notably the square plates with the "bumps" on them were attached to the walls above the windows, here they are on the ceiling.

The only thing that was missing was the main console. :)
 
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micahrogers

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WOW, GREAT WORK. Old school AF! As I read this I was wondering how you would get the paper template in the computer to work on, now I know.
 
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zathros

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This is a wonderful, fantastic project!! :)
 
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Chuffy70

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Great to see the design process - keep up the sterling work and the wonderful and insightful pictures...

Love the gif of the guy punting the other chap into infinity, made my day! :cool:
 

Revell-Fan

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DSCF1558.jpg

Now comes your daily dose of self torture:

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What you see here is one of the two joysticks. In 1/120 scale. And yes, it has three buttons! :)

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Number 2.

If I had been unable to assemble them they would have gone. But since I was successful, they are going to stay. No magnifying glasses or shrink ray tools were used. ;)

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Test fit:

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The interior was removed to install the ceiling texture:

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The ceiling was closed.

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The interior was put into place and fit like a glove! :)

Since the windows are so small I'm unable to show you any pictures of it now. I'll have to figure out a way to show it to you. Ah well. :)

With the main aim complete I decided to tackle a crucial detail which was bothering me since the release of the kit. The studio miniature features a very distinct name plate. It is as prominent as the GALACTICA name plate and every deviation from the original is immediately recognizable. The font used on the shuttle miniature is the same used on the Battlestars (Futura demibold). This font is not freely available and is part of commercial software packages. So everyone who does not have this font has to come up with a solution to solve the problem. One way is to use a different but similar font. Martin chose that way in the spirit of many other Battlestar and GAL356 builders. However, the other solution would be re-building the name tag from scratch. Fortunately James E. Small released a straight-on view of the name tag:

Shuttle_Original_Miniature_111.jpg

which allowed me to trace and transplant it onto the kit. Before:

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And after:

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What a difference! :D I had to replace my ink cartridges which caused a slight shift in tone but now we have a proper GAL356 on the ship! :)
 
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Revell-Fan

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Stunning work, and more great insights...

Cargo bay next then!?
I'm sure with some internal lighting it would really pop. Not much, maybe some fiber optic strands where the ceiling lights and console are. It doesn't need to light up like a Christmas tree. ;)

Since this fuselage was used for testing only I skipped any window "glass". So I replicated the look of the original out of necessity. Plastic windows would obscure the look inside even more. I just had an idea. What if you build it with a removable top or as a cutaway display piece? The new Revell SR-71 comes with a detailed thruster you can display beside the plane in order to fully appreciate the work that went into it. I could imagine something like that here as well. ;)
 

Revell-Fan

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Thank you! :)

I'm working on four different projects at the same time, including the instructions for the interior. Once these are done (probably next week) I will send everything to @Toutenkarton for beta testing. One of the other projects is being finished within the hour (a birthday present), so three to go (Med Sled, some Halloween stuff and a project for work). Everything has its specific ETA that must be met, so I'm sorry for any delays if they happen. ;)
 

Revell-Fan

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You are always busy, its nice to see so much love for papercraft.
If you are looking for a good Christmas present for me you can send me a big suitcase full of time. :)

(Suitcases full of money are equally accepted, of course, but they won't help me with my projects. :biggrin: )

Short sitrep: BD present project is done, shuttle interior instructions will be ready on Monday or Tuesday. :)