Colonial Viper Mk II

I ain’t calling it “done”, but for the most part, this first-pass 3D model of the Battlestar Galacatic (Reboot Edition) Colonial Viper Mk II is in a state where it’s a “whole” ship. I started this maybe 4 days ago, I think, after failing to come up with my own concept ship. According to Blender, it’s currently comprised of 13,968 vertices, 13,477 faces, 27,615 tris across 9 individual objects (most which could be additional, individual objects are sporting a mirror modifier rather than duping them to create another object).

Front view

This project has been about as complicated as I had assumed it would be. The Viper is basically a bunch of tubes and planes, but once the shaping starts to come into play, the angles get weird. The two engine pods on the sides aren’t completely round in the original design I was looking at, which really caused me a headache because in any other view, they look totally round. Translating this into 3D from a top, side, and front view was really difficult for me, so I did the best I could.

Side view

As I mentioned in the past, 3D modeling can be messy; a lot of the geometry you see here is clipping through other geometry, which I know will ultimately cost cycles in rendering as the system calculates even the stuff that can’t be seen, so I’ll be trying to cut down on the hidden stuff once I get the model “finished”-done. One thing I think I need to do is complicate the geometry; as you can see from these images, the rounded parts (fuselage, engine pods, and a few other areas) are a little too “un-smooth”. I hope there’s a way to add this complexity without having to reconstruct all of the problem parts. I also noticed I have some detail work to do, which is kind of the fun part (for me, at least).

Engine internals

One thing that I really feel the need to shout-out about (again) is this engine. I had originally had just the thruster for the aft of the ship, and planned on leaving the intake end a flat face since no one would really be seeing inside the intakes. But I figured “what the hell” and decided to model the engine to sit inside the side and top pods (well, most of the engine). When it came to the turbo fan, I sat for a few minutes and considered the tools and techniques I had learned and been using, and in the end, I warped those faces at the front of the spindle into a legit turbo fan (although who knows what purpose it serves a starship, eh?)

Top view

So the next step is to clean up what I can. I’ve been merging and deleting dupe verts and edges once I was happy with the object, but I’ll need to go through and make sure there’s nothing hanging around that shouldn’t be. Then I’ll see about increasing the form-factor to round out parts that need rounding. Finally, if I have time left on the clock, I’m going to take it over to Substance Painter and see what kind of painting I can do. Thankfully the Mk II is basically white, with some red accents. Beyond that, I found a Blender plug-in called DECALmachine which would allow me to paint on “stickers” — or decals if you want to stay on-brand — for painted elements, name plates, warning messages, and maybe even some geometry like the small thrusters that I might or might not actually model into the mesh.


Owner and author.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *