HMS Black Swan WIP Part 3 – Zen and the Art of Starship Construction

Thought I’d mention some things that I do with my plans, but these are just my choices and not necessarily what you should do. As far as I am concerned, do anything as long as it looks ok and fits..

Walls: Internal and external bulkheads, I draw the internal bulkheads at 0.1m and the external ones at 0.2m, though for some internals I build them thicker at 0.2m. Thick armour and armoured bulkheads you can build thicker too. Admittedly most plans don’t see to show armour, I do sometimes and it makes good filler. I’ve started making my outer sections thicker so I don’t spend ages trying to fit the inner bits to the shape of the hull.

Components not in the plans: I think it was the old High Guard book that had a great list of things a deck plan should have but not necessarily listed in the tonnage, its assumed that these things come from the tonnage taken by the staterooms. I’d add to this the bridge too makes up these extra rooms and things. For example: common rooms, pantry, storages, EVA rooms, brigs, med bays etc. If the plans do note these, then even better ! I’ve assume that a med bay taken from stateroom tonnage is basic, where as one that is listed in the plans is more superior… Of course you can build rooms from the engine tonnage too, like workshops. All looks good and adds a nice touch. I assume the avionic section and office/wardroom come from the bridge tonnage too. One ship I built had a seperate CIC (Command Information Centre) too.

What the Hell does it look like?: Easy enough to work out from the hull type. Look around for inspiration and don’t be afraid of borrowing, ultimately it may not even look like what you saw.. Heck the Swan might end up looking like an Imperial Star Destroyer. I was taught to sketch things out first, I usually don’t, I should really, it’ll saves time, I just tend to do a very rough thumbnail scribble, just to get an idea of the hull shape. (Usually I picture the ship in my head, and it works fine!!)
Bare in mind I’m thinking how it’ll look in 3D too. Not everyone will do this so, it’s worth a rough sketch of the hull, showing roughly where what goes.. I have used graph paper in the past too, especially if the ship is an awkward design.

The Swan, well as noted she’s a wedge with a bridge tower section. I think, I’ll fit the CIC, Bridge, Fire Con, Captain’s office in there and stick that single torpedo barbette there too – centre line mounted facing front. Engineering aft, under the bridge tower, living space forward of that and fill the rest with all the other gubbins. As for the rest of this ship’s firepower, 3 bay weapons top of the hull in a V shape, rest of the turrets scatter around the hull. This is where a little thumbnail sketch is in order.. (I’ve a scanner – just not oodles of time at the mo’)

Next up a word about rooms and groups and components…


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