First the bottom hullThis time I followed the instrtuctions carefully (except that one time when I skipped a step accidentally, thanks to a day-long break) and I at least thought I was double-checking each step and piece. All this to avoid misplacing anything.
The bottom hull piece got a single piece to reinforce and decorate itself to begin with. Already while setting this first piece in I smelled potential trouble along the way: the hull of my Star Destroyer would have to be bent into an unmarked angle and if I ended up twisting it back and forth a few times (in this case I think the x would be a low number in this equation), it'd break neatly in two. This'd apply to the much busier top hull with even larger certainty. I was feeling sweaty even before I had started anything for real.
The SFS i-a2b Solar Ionization ReactorThis flower was to be turned into the bottom of the SIR dome that'd hang from the hull. Its weird shape and eight attachment points didn't really promise much fun times in my future...
In the end it wasn't that bad. I got the dome attached into its base on the third time, the first two just left one part somehow misaligned. This subassembly fit easily and perfectly into its own slow like a chainsaw into someone's belly. And it looked good, even though it wasn't as round as it really is.
The main hangarMy ship's main hangar was modeled, but the front hangar was apparently protected by some blast doors. This annoyed me (a tiny bit), but it wasn't that big a deal. The main hangar was installed quickly after a couple of quick twists.
After this was done, three blocks were to be attached to the bottom hull. I tried to google for some excuses for them, but I just didn't find anything. Maybe there's still some space for imagination in the GFFA? Colour me surprised.
EngineeringWhat worried me the most in this project were the engine exhaust nozzles. Rolling round or round-ish shapes didn't provide with the most aesthetic results the last time, either. Well, I wasn't that scared of the main engines but the supplementary drives scared me quite a lot.
The KDY Destroyer-I ion enginesAt this point we got where results overrode the documentation. I rolled the main engine nozzles so that I could close them. Two out of three proved to be acceptable, one ended up looking damn awful, despite (or because of?) my adjustments.
Then I started attaching the cones into the rear hull piece, according to the instructions. I did think for a moment if I should do it the other way: attaching this triplet last so that the tiniest pieces would have the most space. But I quickly decided to follow the suggestions instead of fooling around - just in case.
The main cones fell in their places with only a tiny bit of fighting. Mostly I had to readjust the tiny tongues you can see in the photo, they had to get aligned in a good angle so that they'd both enter their slots at the same time. With these being easy and requiring tinkering, the next step didn't sound any more appealing.
The Cygnus Spaceworks Gemon-4 ion enginesMy ISD's auxiliary engines were to be built out of four microscopical fans, folded into cones and attached into tiny base plates - which then were to be attached into the rear bit, between the somewhat larger cones. No panic.
Folding the first Gemon-4 pair didn't actually take much time. The setup of this double nozzle took less than ten minutes, all the fighting and readjustings included. But getting those into the rear hull part took at least that much time and a good amount of retries.
In the end the best approach was following:
- Bend the tongues into a bit less than 90 degrees
- Attach the two-tongue part first
- Bend the tongues just enough to keep the bit locked in
- Repeated steps 1-3 with the other piece
- Positioned the single tongue just about where it belonged, for both bits
- Bent the rear hull piece so that the auxiliary engine units were locked in¨
- Locked all the connectors
Ignoring the odd shapes it ended up functional. Now I just needed it to settle it nicely in its own place.
The top hull
The command towerThe command tower was another part that didn't get photographed while in progress. The main body was built out of two big pieces and on top of that a sensor array was installed, which has been mislabeled as the bridge in some places. On both sides of the array a pair of ISD-72x Shield Generator / Sensor domes were to be assembled and installed. Recreating the proper, original shape wouldn't have been reasonably doable in this scale, so this asymmetric 14-side polyhedron was the most useful solution, I guess.
Settling the command bridge module into the tower's superstructure was a surprisingly tight operation. The main thing is that they got together and looked just wonderful.
Some unnamed subassembliesNext I started folding the constructs that belonged at the base of the command tower. I did try to find any excuses or examples of what they had, but didn't find anything clear and singular explanation, so sod it, they're just constructs now.
I proceeded with the instructions and attached the tower on the top of the hull. I had bent the top hull part in a tolerably shallow angle, in my own opinion, but apparently it was still too steep. After the tower was done I fought the five-subcomponent structure at the base. For some reason this piece was a very difficult one to get to align properly, I just didn't seem to get it set. But after a bit of poking and quite a bit of swearing all the locking bits got where they were to go and I could proceed.
The end was near: just a few extra decorational pieces and slates were added on the top hull. And things were looking good indeed.
Combining the halvesWith great eagerness I started attaching the top half onto the bottom half. I begun by connecting the nose bits and then progressed along the port side (left). My brow creased noticeably, when I saw that something wasn't right at all. And yes, somehow, at some point, I had managed to ruin two out of three connector tongues (two rearmost) from the right-hand side of the side armor.
Can you believe that I swore? And I don't even have a clue when this happened. In any case, I added the temporary "this is how it looks right now" photos below.
I may be a tiny bit pissed off right now because of this. But as they say in the Back to the Futures: to be continued...