looking for some sci fi modelling tips

please don’t be offended that i start my projects in sketchup then transfer them to work on final details and rendering, it makes the modelling process far more intuitive for me.

ok so here’s how it currently is:
i’m working on a sci fi model which will shortly be transferred into blender for redndering. i’m a bit stuck with designs. one of the key issues is uncertainty about how to design some of the engine parts. i want to preserve the key elements of the design i show here but am struggling to fit the booster engines(in those pods above the rear), for physical reasons i’m going to need thrust vectoring so that my boosters can angle up such that their thrust vector points through the centre of mass(which i am saying is at the craft’s middle on the x(left right) axis, at the same height as the centre of it’s main primary engines on the z(up down) axis and somewhere just forward of the centre of the turret on the y(forward back axis). ). problem is i just cannot get the boosters to look right. also looking for general (hard-ish)sci fi craft(this is a small but very fast and tough fighter if that helps, in a universe with ramjet technology, hyperspace drives and an “supermetal” allowing for greater strength and temperature tolerance of various starship components, it has graviton based acceleration damping so as not to kill the pilot when the engines are fired for a full power burn. she is an ftl, vtol, ssto, bussard ramjet(the joy of acronyms lol)) design tips and hints to improve the realism(dirt, grime, scuff marks, other real imperfections) when imported to blender.

unless they’re extraordinarily excellent(by my judgement) i don’t wan’t plans for complete reworkings. just detail improvement. could use tips asap.

wip images are here(once again apologies they are not in blender)

(this one is a big file with high res but i think the forum cut it down a bit)


going to have to go onto another post for more pics

p.s. moderators, if you think this is in thw wrong section feel free to move it.

further pics


if you want explanations as to what things are on the renders post and i will answer your questions.


I’m going to assume this is both a space and atmospheric craft due to the presence of RCS thrusters, but what are those big pods on top of the main engines? Nice concept by the way.:eyebrowlift:

Here’s some techniques you can maybe pick up some pointers from:

If you check some of his models, the VSTOL info you’re looking for is in there. also, he’s got a book in Amazon called, Creating Sci-Fi Vehicles in Blender, that has a lot of tips and tricks in it.


Moved thread from Blender Discussion to Support / Modelling forum
Please think before posting which is the most appropriate sub forum

Some thoughts/ideas:

It looks pretty good so far.

The “Booster Engines” aren’t detailed yet right? They look a bit like peanuts at the moment, but with a bit of detail I think they’ll look fine. If you need some engine example pics, behold my powerful google wizardry! …Or not. :stuck_out_tongue:

The wing tips (both the upper and lower set) would probably look better if they were a bit smaller in the Y (fore-aft) direction. Notice how in the X-29 the tips of the wings are smaller then the base:

One quick note on the texture: The base gray metal has too much contrast, looks a little splotchy rather then smooth. Fortunately that’s an easy fix!

thanks for the tips will read them fully as soon as i have a chance. big pods above are fro booster engines. this is a space/air craft and operates in both environments.

ok, might shorten the wing tips on y direction although they are already narrower than the base. issue with this is that the details on the wing will be an absolute sod to compress. hard bit with boosters is finding what design looks good when coupled with the rest of the model.
you mention"splotchy" metal. do you just suggest i alter the texture image to lower the contrast? i am trying to create a bare metal(paint would quickly be stripped off by heat of reentry)look similar to what you find on lots of old soviet planes, what would you advise for that.

Aye, lower the contrast.

Actually, the Heat Resistant Tiles on the underside of the space shuttle are coated with Reaction Cured Glass (RCG). So Sci-fi being sci-fi, it’s not unreasonable to have something similar in a more easily-paintable form in the future covering all spacecraft. So paint that can survive re-entry is entirely possible.

That’s not to say you can’t go with raw metal if you want. Unpainted metal is still pretty smooth, so you’d still want to lower the contrast.

lowering the contrast now, cannot really go with heat tiles as they would look awful mapped across this shape of hull.