Looking for Guidance on Modeling Smooth Sloping Armor

Hello everyone, I was trying to make a low-mid poly count model of a USS Keokuk class ironclad, but realized that at this point, I’m really not sure on a good way to go about creating the smooth sloped armor on the ship’s hull.

What I’ve tried so far:

  1. I’ve tried taking a ‘spin’ approach, using the spine from the mid hull to the upper hull, rotating from a pivot vertices until the far end lines up with the verts on the mid hull. Of course the problem is that since the hull is not uniform in shape, the spine gets further and further away from the ship as it gets spun, meaning that I would have to smooth the verts (which I tried but it really lacked accuracy).

  2. I’ve considered making a polygon for the top of the hull (on which the turrets sit) which would establish the top, but then I’m back in the same situation as idea 1, where I have to create the slope by hand.

  3. take the loop from the mid hull, duplicate it, move it up, scale it in. Might be okay, but concerned about ‘lining things up’ when it meets the upper deck shape since they are not identical.

I’m just looking for some general advice or direction to go, any ideas are appreciated. Thank you for reading.

Maybe using retopology techniques by making the form first and then modeling the aligned geometry on top.

Here’s one with shrinkwrap

The panels are flat and get projected on the hull surface with shrinkwrap modifier.

This one isn’t carefully modeled to follow to the form but uses subdivision surface modifier in simple mode to create more geometry that then gives smooth deformation with shrinkwrap. The panels then get thickness with solidify and bevel rounds the edges. The panels could be used to bake a normal map on the actual hull.

I’ll give it a try, thanks for the idea.