Shipboard 15 - October 2011

 31 October 2011

 I've built the rooms but what to put in them?

I've always wanted to have lots of objects within the scenery I was designing, but there has been very little available in 15mm for any period. Fortunately Shapeways has come to my aid again. Recently I was helping at my sons' school with a potential project to remodel a number of offices. To provide them with a 3D visualisation, I modelled the rooms and contents in MoI3D. I then rescaled them down to my chosen 15mm scale of 1:95. The results were then printed at Shapeways in WSF with multiple parts attached to a sprue to reduce the cost (but still expensive!). That's why I've got the first 15mm models of a photocopier (see picture 6) and swivel chair with castors (see picture 3)! I also modelled up a number of other items including bunk beds (see picture 3) and essentials such as an alien autopsy table (see picture 5). More items are being drafted up in MoI3D and I'll have them printed after Christmas when the gaming budget has recovered a little!


1. Bridge

Captain's Cabin

2. Captain's Cabin


3. Bunkroom  

Lounge Dining

4. Lounge/Dining Room


5. Morgue/Lab


6. Engineering Control

Power Room

7. Power Room

Enviromental control

8. Environmental Control

Cargo bay

9. Shuttle Bay/Airlock

In addition I've been assembling larger items from a variety of sources. The small storage containers (1) are hexagonal wooden playing pieces from, with a "mine" from The Scene on the top.  The map screen (2) is a Litko scanner blip token on a bit of triangular styrene. The art collection (3) are again mostly Litko, with one Prieser 1:100 figure, on top of cut down hexagonal wooden playing pieces. The rod racks (4) are made from K'NEX pieces. The power units (5) are again wooden playing pieces, with memory chip cooling fins from Maplin stuck on top. The storage tanks (6) are from Old Crow's 6mm range. The digester tanks (7) are wooden playing pieces with etched brass details and craft jewels attached. The cooler unit (8) is made of alternating circular cork protective feet and styrene tile spacers with a rubber bump stop on top. Please note these images are not in scale with one another, just look at them in the layout pictures for the true sizes.

mixed fittings

31 October 2011

I've made the doors but are they open or closed?

Along with everyone else who has used a corridor/dungeon type system in any scale, there is always the question of how to model a door. Do you have two models, one representing an open door, and one a closed one, and swap them as appropriate? That's workable, but having been a Traveller player for longer than I care to count, there's more states a door can be in than just open and closed. I've settled on the following list;

(1) Not known (none) - Not got there yet to find out!

(2) Open - If it's a swing door, which way has it opened.

(3) Ajar - Like open, but only partly.

(4) Shut (blank) - Yes, it's shut!

(5) Locked - Where's the key/combination or lock pick set?

(6) Sealed - Someone's welded it shut!

(7) Breached - Who needs a key? A "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" sort of solution
(See the original "The Italian Job" film).

The solution I came up with, and initially got 3D printed in January 2008 (at a huge cost then), was to use a "door-topper". These are simple cast pieces with a slit in the bottom that enables them to be placed securely on the top of a door model, which can be of any type. Painted in a complimentary colour, but with the status of the door highlighted, they don't detract from the overall look of the terrain. The text is visible on each side. On the top of the "open" and "ajar" ones is an arrow pointing in the direction a swing door is hanging.

As I believe I was the first to design such a system (happy to be corrected if I'm wrong), I am more than happy for anyone to copy the principle for use in their own models at any scale. If I was a certain large gaming company I'd no doubt try to patent it and sue anyone who did anything similar. As a great believer in the concept of Open Source software, I hereby declare that if I am the first, this is to be a licence free, open domain concept. Any commercial use for the benefit of gamers is to be highly encouraged, though a acknowledgement of thanks if so used would always be appreciated!

Door toppers

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