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Old 24th Dec 2011, 06:41 AM   #31
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Those top down ones would be a bitch to place lights on. There is nothing to reference on where they should be. I'm not a fan of the wing tip vapour trails. Not just on this one people seem to like using them all over the place. I can't really comment on much past that since I can't recall ever seeing a pic of the shuttle with them so I'm not sure how they would look. They don't look bad on the side shots. Of those two I like the first one best.
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Old 24th Dec 2011, 07:10 AM   #32
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Thanks Bill,
I'm certainly a lot happier with the side shots - I wanted to glue it into the background more.

The shuttle sometimes produces contrails, (see attached images), and Buran did too - though I only have some very low quality video grabs showing it.

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Old 24th Dec 2011, 08:06 AM   #33
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Those models are stunning. And renders looks very convincing, great work!
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Old 24th Dec 2011, 02:18 PM   #34
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Very nice. All three look real to me.
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Old 25th Dec 2011, 04:14 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveK View Post
Very nice. All three look real to me.
The three on this page are real!
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Old 26th Dec 2011, 03:09 PM   #36
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Enjoyed reading this thread... The aerial shots Including the earth renders are superb!
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Old 23rd Jul 2013, 03:35 PM   #37
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Reviving an old project!

I was thinking about what to do next, and I realised I'd stopped working on my conversion and upgrading of Energia / Buran after I was happy with the Buran.

I've got the central engines sort of textured, and attached to the new core, and I'm in the process of doing one of the engine bells for a booster - the reference shots I have for this look significantly different from the imported mesh.

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Old 24th Jul 2013, 02:25 PM   #38
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And some work on the core, some of the long conduits are still rough versions from the template object,

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Old 25th Jul 2013, 02:23 AM   #39
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Very nice work. Been a fan of winged/lifting body spacecraft. The Buran/energia is one I would like to model, but I have to complete the US version first!

I've noticed that you have a flight deck modelled, is this based on the actual flown orbiter, or a close guess mockup?
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 03:27 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desktopsimmer View Post
Very nice work. Been a fan of winged/lifting body spacecraft. The Buran/energia is one I would like to model, but I have to complete the US version first!

I've noticed that you have a flight deck modelled, is this based on the actual flown orbiter, or a close guess mockup?
I'm not sure - my Russian isn't good enough to tell the difference!

I bought the huge piles of reference material for the buran-energia site:
http://www.buran-energia.com/energia/famille-desc.php

Which was also the source of the model I am using as a template. I'm quite pleased that I am already uncovering some gaps and errors in the mesh, as it means I have a good chance of making a much better model than any existing!

(Though the Buran seemed considerably tighter and more accurate. That's pretty much a straight conversion with some texture tidying.)

I'd love to see someone do a seriously good shuttle here! There are loads of really good references so that should not be a problem...

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Old 27th Jul 2013, 03:08 AM   #41
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Update time!
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Old 27th Jul 2013, 06:42 AM   #42
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You sure have modern spacecraft down pat. Looks really sweet.
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Old 27th Jul 2013, 07:12 AM   #43
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I agree with Bob. You are the master of modelling real spacecraft!
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Old 27th Jul 2013, 01:10 PM   #44
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Well, I suspect the professionals around here would shudder in horror at the poly flow or the floating chunks of geometry.

But its very kind of you both to say so, and very much appreciated!
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Old 27th Jul 2013, 01:36 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbase1 View Post
...
I'd love to see someone do a seriously good shuttle here! There are loads of really good references so that should not be a problem...

Nick
hint?

The US space shuttle I'm working on is still far from finished, a lot of texturing need to be done, and I hate texturing...

Yours look fabulous, and I'm quite envious, but in a good way
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 12:35 AM   #46
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A few details added, and a test render in HD of the whole thing rolling



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Old 30th Jul 2013, 06:32 AM   #47
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Just looks sharp Nick.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 10:14 AM   #48
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Thanks Bob.

I think it's going to take adding the boosters to really get it looking snazzy! And I'm not that far off starting in on them.
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Old 1st Aug 2013, 12:38 AM   #49
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And while I'm working on the other stuff, here's an HD spin of the Buran mesh.

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Old 1st Aug 2013, 12:58 AM   #50
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Looking good!
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 03:36 PM   #51
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I've not had time for modelling lately, so I thought I'd try assembling the Buran stack...

The core is mine, the Buran is pretty much a straight conversion with some improved textures, and the imported boosters are the originals awaiting a rework.
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Old 4th Aug 2013, 04:09 AM   #52
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I've heard both sides of this.. Russian rip off of the American shuttle and that the Americans ripped off the Russians. Did we ever find out which was true? Really nice renders of it either way.
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Old 4th Aug 2013, 06:04 AM   #53
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Quote:
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I've heard both sides of this.. Russian rip off of the American shuttle and that the Americans ripped off the Russians. Did we ever find out which was true? Really nice renders of it either way.
The truth was a lot more complex.

Glushko, who took over at the end of the N-1 program wanted to build big rockets. VERY big rockets.

The Russian political leaders were convinced that the US shuttle was military, and presented a huge direct threat to them. They pointed out the involvement of the US military, and particularly that the shuttle could overfly Moscow with a large payload withing minutes of launch. They demanded a counter weapon.

The Russians analysed the shuttle program, and concluded (correctly) that the US shuttle had zero chance of coming close to meeting it's cost targets per mission unless it flew every week or less, and there was no demand for that level of flights. The same would apply to any Soviet program . But they effectively had a shuttle program forced on them.

After a lot of bodging, the energia program came out.of this. The shuttle was deliberately made to look as much as possible like the US one, to keep the politicians happy.

The key differences are:

The Buran shuttle is pure payload. No sizable engines of its own.
This means that Energia is useful in its own right as a general purpose launcher. (The first Energia flight had a 'Polyus' military complex attached to it.).

The Energia could be easily reconfigured for other capacities - Energia M was built but unflown, 1 engine in the central core and only two boosters.

Energia 2 was to have boosters and a core stage that would fly back under their own power, the boosters would have unfolding wings,

Vulkan was the heaviest configurations with way over twice the capacity of a Saturn V. it would have 8 boosters and a stretched tank. It would also have what amounted to another base Energia as the second stage! This was planned as a vehicle which could heft lunar bases up, and have other payloads like vast reflectors to bring sunlight to polar regions in winter.

I plan to model all these eventually.

The collapse of the Soviet union put paid to all this after a flawless first flight for Buran, They still talk of reviving Energia Buran, but it's very hard to see it ever happening.

The Energia has a surprising amount of heritage from the N-1 moon program. It was made to use the same launch facilities, not to exceed the diameter of that craft for logistics reasons. The boosters (which ended up with the most powerful rocket motor in the world) were turned into the Zenit rocket family, still flying today. They also use the N-1's Block D as an orbital tug.

The cost of Energia-Buran way exceeded the cost of the lunar program and some consider it a major factor in the economic collapse of the Soviet Union.
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Old 8th Aug 2013, 03:36 PM   #54
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It's creeping forwards very slowly...

Lot of fine details tuned and added to the core, I think the modelling is nearly done on this bit. I also added the support brackets for Buran, but that's not quite attaching right. I think the core engine block may be a bit too small.

Very nearly ready to start work on my version of the boosters though.

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Old 9th Aug 2013, 02:34 PM   #55
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I started in on modelling the boosters from scratch, bit soon got confused.

So I decided to do a straight conversion of the Polyus (pole) military payload that went up on the first Buran. (A crash into the ocean was described as a 'successful suborbital test)

I'll very probably tweak this up in detail as I go along...

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Old 9th Aug 2013, 02:45 PM   #56
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Really nice updates Nick. I know it sounds sick but only a geek would understand, it looks sexy.
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Old 9th Aug 2013, 03:19 PM   #57
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Thanks Bob.

If I do the whole family, as I intend to, this could take years - but with so many common elements, it should still be massively easier than doing that many different projects.

Though I am wondering if I should go about this hobby the other way around... Look at which space craft are really well documented, and pick one of those, rather than starting with something obscure where the best references are in another language, and try that!
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Old 10th Aug 2013, 09:08 AM   #58
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More work on Polyus. Cleaning up some edges, higher resolution textures, and added the texture maps to the side boosters, which are now more detailed.

I've not yet done the mounting brackets, so it's sort of floating there...

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Old 10th Aug 2013, 08:40 PM   #59
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The boosters seem a bit of overkill for putting a smaller rocket into orbit. But your work looks superb!
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Old 11th Aug 2013, 05:08 AM   #60
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Quote:
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The boosters seem a bit of overkill for putting a smaller rocket into orbit. But your work looks superb!
Good point Rigel - the Polyus looks like a rocket but isn't, the propulsion is the small boosters at the rear, the rest is all payload.

That's an 80 ton military payload. The biggest part was a 1 megawatt CO2 laser, which was REALLY heavy, and originally designed to be, mounted in a plane.

SF types amongst you may be interested to know that it ejected a lot of CO2 when it fired, which gives you a good excuse for a puff of gas when lasers fire! It also needed a mechanism to cope with thee momentum of the gas release, and so had stuff around it to make it effectively recoiless. So maybe some of those SF weapons are less unrealistic than you might think at first sight...
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