Excalibur Front End Comes Together Update ID

Admiral Maverick has a new update for his physical Excalibur model. These new shots show off an entirely brand new and higher fidelity revision of the model that leverages what he's learned so far. The images also reveal how a couple of major subcomponents come together, including the lower gun enclosure and forward engine inlets. There's a lot of effort involved here to make sure the shape comes out just right!
And guess who's back with a new update just in time for the holiday!

As I said last time, I'd had an accident while working on the Excalibur card board mock up which resulted in a destroyed model. It was a bit of a bitter-sweet kind of screw up since on the one hand, I had to start over on the mock up. But on the other hand I specifically chose to work in cardboard for this part of the project specifically so that if I had a screw up, it wasn't going to cost me $20 in materials.

Anyway I have been working on rebuilding the mock up and been making good progress. Having built it once already I can zip through a lot of it while also correcting some mistakes I made the first time around. Here you can see I'm built the mark 2 model up to the level of the previous version at the time it was destroyed. The main body is actually stronger then the first version and has cleaner joins between the various parts.

I have started working on the next sections. Firstly there's the cannon mounting under-carriage, the part that holds the reaper cannons in Wing Commander 3. You ever start to work on something and think it'll be super-easy and you can just zip right through it, but once you start working on it, you find out it's actually way more difficult then you thought it'd be? Well, that was this part in a nutshell. Cut 2 side parts so they line up with the under side of the body and the forward boom, what's so hard about that? Simple, I have no formal 3D design experience or training. So because of that I had to re-cut the sides a couple times after I found I had not measured properly.

The initial shape was easy enough to accomplish, measure and cut the upper and lower sections as they appears in the line art. I had to do some interpretation to make the side and inner-section. There's little enough I can say about the sides that would really help any aspiring crafters. I had to estimate my measurements, cut a piece and test it. Find out I was wrong, and try to correct it with a new version.

No the real challenge was the scoop intake covers. See, it's an angle that extends in 2 dimensions, backwards relative to the body, and outward relative of the body. It's something that isn't immediately apparent from the 2D line art. So I had to cut and fit the ram scoop cover about 6 times before I got a sizing that fits.

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