"Morning Star" spaceship - WIP

Hello everyone :slight_smile:

I am quite new to this forum, as well as quite new to Blender. I decided to start my own WIP thread, because I have still soooooo much to learn. Some feedback, tips and comments from other users and BA community will help me with this project.
Also, I hope my level of English is understandable. Theme of this project is obvious, so for this reason for sure I will need to check for some new words, spaceship and other technical stuff nomenclature.

I was always fan of sci-fi - movies, books, games etc. With such a tool like Blender I am able to create, design and visualise my own spaceship project. Also, I was hugely inspired and motivated to do this after reading “The Great Spaceship” thread, projects and works of Dan Brown.

What are the assumptions for beginning:

  1. This is my first spaceship project - vehicle should not be big.
  2. Spaceship type - small/medium multipurpose shuttle, available to enter atmosphere.
  3. For consideration - shuttle will be able to attach to a additional engines for faster travel in space.
  4. Tools used - Blender 2.63a with Internal Render, probably Gimp later for some graphics issues/textures.

So, let’s get started !

PS. This is only a thread starter post. I will put some pictures of what I did very soon :eyebrowlift2:

So, it’s time to show something.

I started with some sketches on paper, showing the overall size and shape. The clue with designing spaceships is, that probably earlier someone already did something similar. Often we are designing something similar unintentionally, based on what we’ve seen on TV or sci-fi movie.

I am talking about this, because I am sure for nearly 100% that such ship or very similar was already seen somewhere. During design stage some parts will change many times, but overall look will stay the same.

Enough talking…

This basic shape is more or less, what I sketched on paper. Overall size of this ship is: 90 metres long, 20 m high, 35 m wide. It will contain three decks.

I am not sure about showing the screenshots from Blender. Please send some tips, how to properly set the scene/camera for showing progress. I think it would be better to show mesh. Like this? (screen from later stage of design):

I will be happy with any feedback. Oh, I almost forgot. There will be wings added to this ship, more or less like SW Imperial Shuttle.

That’s 90 meters?? The overall feel of the shape looks a lot more like a personal, more car-like sort of spaceship. I like it so far, but the shape is very basic (at least in the render, in the viewport render it looks more detailed.)

For time being, I have much fun with developing Spaceship One.

Spaceship One will be renamed later. I have to think about new name of this ship, as well as name/logo of shipyard, which is building this spaceship. But, like I said earlier…


Please see some screenshots from 15th of June, 2012:

Spaceship gets more and more complicated. I have some further ideas for development, but they still have to be implemented in model.

@owldude: Yep, this basic shape may look like car-body, but this wil be more complicated during development. Probably I should insert a kind of human shape for scale reference.

Here are some screenshots made last Saturday:

Darker areas will be equipped with windows, greebles and other smaller stuff.

I have to think about more and more details, having in mind that any item on this ship should have it’s own purpose, layout and technical accuracy.

My biggest concerns now are front part of ship and wings…


Meanwhile during correcting some overall shape issues, topology adjustments and other stuff like that… I’m thinking about some details, especially those which could have impact of overall shape of spaceship.

I would like to place all these things in appropiate way. I mean, if I put something in ship, it could be for certain purpose, should be possible to manufacture and assembly, should be accurate in operation/maintenance/mechanical way.

Having one of spaceship screenshots, I started to do some “painting”. I hope this picture is more or less clear and readable:

Main areas of spaceship are marked in purple color:
A - passenger deck
B - miscellaneous deck (entrance, crew, cockpit… )
C - cargo, various systems
D - big cargo/hangar/landing area

In green color I marked openings (work in progress, could change, of course):
1 - main entrance, airlock
2 - access to cargo/ship systems/engines etc.
3 - big cargo/hangar top door
4 - big cargo/hangar rear door

For consideration, in cargo/hangar area there will be movable platform/lift which could operate in various elevations (including grade level in landed position) - marked as no. 5.

What do you think of it?

Hello there :slight_smile:

I did some modelling yesterday. I added two… kind of… aerodynamic things. This is my first more serious attempt to model with various modifiers. For these wing-y items I added solidify and subsurf modifiers, as well as mirror modifier.

As you can see, I did a preliminary camera/lighting setup, so starting from now there will be more rendered screenshots.

One more issue with these aerodynamic things…

Maybe they give more stylish look, but also should have certain purpose. I thought they could change its vertical position to help this “brick” to fly in atmospheric conditions.
Second purpose - they could be supporting this ship in landed position.
Third issue with those wings - I think I will split them horizontally somewhere in middle location - they could hide/fit in spaceship main body in more hazardous situations, like entering atmosphere…

Besides of progressing modelling of this spaceship, also I started to think about background story and overall environment.

That means, for example name, logo, status of company/factory which is building this ship. I have an idea, but for time being I will not reveal any details of it. After finishing this spaceship, I will try to use experience gained to model/build another spaceship, various purpose and size. Because of these plans, I think it would be nice to have some ships categories (class and type). Usually class means size, so I think I will use roman numerals I-V to categorize ship class. Here are some details, some data need to be completed, some can be changed:


  • 1 deck
  • capacity: up to 5 passengers / 2-3 passengers with cargo
  • range/flight distance: planet surface, orbital stations, moons (1 AU - Astronomical Unit)
  • abilities: atmosphere flight, land on planet
  • length: TBD
  • engine: STL type


  • 1-2 decks
  • capacity: up to 20 passengers / 10-15 passengers with cargo
  • range/flight distance: planetary system (50 AU)
  • abilities: atmosphere flight, land on planet
  • length: TBD
  • engine: STL type


  • 2-5 decks
  • capacity: up to 100 passengers / 50-80 passengers with cargo
  • range/flight distance: planetary systems, other stars with FTL drive
  • abilities: atmosphere flight, land on planet
  • length: TBD
  • engine: STL, FTL in special cases / with additional attached engines


  • 5-10 decks
  • capacity: up to 500 passengers / 200-300 passengers with cargo
  • range/flight distance: planetary systems, other stars
  • abilities: flight only in space, available to dock with space stations
  • length: TBD
  • engine: STL, FTL


  • 10-20-50 decks
  • up to 1000-2000 passengers / 1200-1500 passengers with cargo
  • range/flight distance: planetary systems, other stars
  • abilities: flight only in space, available to dock with space stations
  • length: TBD
  • engine: STL, FTL

By the way, spaceship in this thread will be class III, I think. Also, as a first spaceship, I think its name should be “Morning Star”. What do you think?

So with the name of the thread, I thought you meant the Burt Rutan ship http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/46/Spaceship_One_in_flight_1.jpg

but hey, carry on! :slight_smile: Looks good so far, I like the thought you’re putting into the backstory.

Hello again :slight_smile:

@aflocka: Name “Spaceship One” came first to my mind - I was no fully aware that such vehicle is already built. AFAIK, I somewhere heard about this ship. Hmm… is there a possibility to rename thread title?

About the model - small update. I’m changing body to separated objects with smooth shading and subsurface modifiers.

Generally, ship looks smoothier, but I still have much to learn with proper modeling with modifiers. There are some areas which I don’t like, strange shading, some bizarre shadows… I can give later some details, show topology and someone could help me with that issues.

As you can see, I attached two “average” height men (1.80 m)… probably pilot and stewardess :smiley:

To be continued…

Background story and some technical stuff (Rev. 1):

Year 2023:
A group of businessmen, engineers and scientist decided to develop and found a new company, which will be developing modern vehicles operating in atmosphere and orbit around Earth. Also, founders of Infinite Horizons Industries gained access to some recent researches and patents of new engines, powered by antimatter. This could increase possibilities to research and develop new spacecrafts, which could operate in Solar System.

[still need to develop some details/issues connected with engines]

Year 2030:
IHI (Infinite Horizons Industries) ends development of new hybrid jet/antimatter engine. Simultaneously, company produces spaceship bodies with different size and purpose, in which new engine could be tested. Testing flight are planned to be performed in different heights of atmosphere and orbit.

Year 2032:
Few worldwide corporations are interested to use IHI spacecrafts to reach new possibilities to invest in Earth’s orbit and later on Moon. Investments will be connected with scientific researches, as well as obtaining various resources, which could be used for further expansion in Cosmos.

Year 2038:
Most governments are still coping with approaching and descending crisises, and they are not very interested in Cosmos exploration. Commision with members from most significant countries gave permission to create consortium of corporations. Part of consortium incomes will be given to certain countries.

[need to develop consortium name]

Year 2040:
After massive planning and various negotiations, consortium of corporations is founded. First target of consortium is to build a huge station on Earth’s orbit. Station will replace old and veteran International Space Station. Next step will be developing first permanent base on Moon’s surface.

Main role of various consortium members is to gain and deliver funds for achieving target. To accomplis these plans, consortium is associating dozens of factories, engineering and scientific companies.

One of these companies is Infinite Horizons Industries. This company is one of consortium’s key entities because of knowledge and possibilities of developing and producing various space vehicles with new type of engines. After agreement signing with consortium, budget and possibilities for IHI are hugely increased.

Year 2043:
IHI after design and development phase started work on new multipurpose space vehicle, medium size (according new vehicle class standard), to serve as a support vehicle for new orbital space station and Moon’s frontal base. Prototype’s name is “Morning Star”

Consortium creates a new special division for searching and gathering innovative technologies. One of breakthrough technologies is development of special panels creating artificial gravity.

[research for artificial gravity technical issues required - gravitomagnetic forces, spinning superconductor, London moment]

To be continued :smiley:

Recent update:

I’m still fighting with mesh topology to receive satisfactory looking curved areas. The front (nose) part of ship is better, but still awful :frowning: Thinking and remodelling in progress. Medium and rear section of ship is more or less OK.

I would like to progress with other parts, too. For example openings, windows, entrance/airlock. For this reason I have to think about general decks layout.

More details soon. I have to think also about location of main engines and thrusters.

Small update… after recalling of some cgcookie tips (mainly about modeling and modifiers):

Remodeled some parts of body with another set of modifiers: mirror/subsurf/edgesplit with some edges marked as sharp (previously sharp edges were marked as additional mesh loop). Started also with airlocks/entrances to spaceship.

After finishing the rear and bottom sections of body I will temporarily stop working on them. Openings, engines and some other parts will have affect in some areas, so I will continue to modify main hull of ship. I have to mention, that I still don’t like the “nose”, front part of this vehicle.

Rear section modelling started. I have to start thinking intensively about main engines and wings.

I think it would look better w/o wings personally. Bugs me to see space ships with wings since there is no air in space lol

In first post I mentioned, that this ship will be multipurpose shuttle with availability to enter atmosphere. So, wings are rather required… but I’ll think about it :spin:

nicely done…cant wait to see the final piece of this.

perth property maintenance

As usual, besides of modelling I also like to add someting connected with technical and story background… I know, I know… my engineer’s habits and thinking… :evilgrin:

I was wondering recently, how much such ship could weigh? This is rather important, because if this vehicle is planned to start from Earth’s surface…

Let’s assume… ship’s dimensions are : 90 m (length), 35 m (width) and 20 m (height). This makes about 63000 cubic metres of…

Let’s assume materials used for this ship:
15% carbon steel - 6.8 t of weight per cubic meter (t/m3) - makes 64260 tons
20% aluminium - 2.7 t/m3 - makes 34020 tons
30% plastic - 1.3 t/m3 - makes 24570 tons
5% carbon nanotubes (info taken from NASA page) - 0.015 t/m3 - makes 47.25 tons
10% composites (various) - let’s say 1 t/m3 - makes 6300 tons
20% other materials - let’s assume 1.5 t/m3 - makes 18900 tons

If we sum weight of all material - this is enormous amount of 166997 tons !!! For example, Saturn V rocket weigh with fuel and everything else was 2790 tons…

What engines we need to lift this weight from Earth’s surface ?

I need to think about this, if class III ship is able to land on planet.
Maybe wings are not required?
Also percentage of futuristic materials used for building this ship should be increased… I like this carbon nanotube idea - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_nanotube - already mentioned in NASA page as material used for future spacecrafts.

EDIT: I think ship is not fully made of all materials mentioned above. There should be also spaces filled with vacuum and air… But even we assume 30% of ship is without any weight, this is still about 117000 tons…

Small update with wings and rear engines.

Mentioning the engines, I was thinking about dual operation engines, for example advanced jet engine when operating in atmosphere and something like ion thrusters in vacuum conditions.

There will be also engines in front section of this spaceship.

Hello again :slight_smile:

Time to write something connected with background story. I was thinking about corporate consortium mentioned few posts earlier. I thought about seven most powerful and meaningful branches of today’s world, which could be joined together in future to create the biggest business entity on Earth…

Those branches will be:

  1. Consumer products
  2. Health & Medicine (Biotechnology)
  3. Communication & Electronics
  4. Energy & Chemicals
  5. Finances & Banking
  6. Military & Weapons
  7. Science & Technology

I still have to find a name for such business… Maybe something with 7 in its name?

Recent updates in model: