Spaceship modeling

Hi! I started five days ago, and I have been working on models based on simple 3D bodies, like this:

But my goal is to create a spaceship like the X-33, and I don’t seem to be able to do it. How can I recreate that shape?

Looks like its coming along ok. Try using reference photo aswell.

https://photos.travelblog.org/Photos/12512/422624/f/4101436-Dan-tries-to-figure-out-how-to-install-a-Saturn-F1-rocket-engine-on-our-Honda-1.jpg

I’m sorry. I sent the post incomplete. Please read it again.

Anyone? Needing some help modeling the X-33…

You could start with a box turn it into a pizza shape and add a subsurf modifier and add some loop cuts and that should give a good start

C4chaos is right. Its basically a rounded pizza slice shape with winglet and flaps. Here is its general configuration:

http://fas.org/spp/guide/usa/launch/x-33-exterior.jpg

The shape is based on double lobe propellant tanks inside:

http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/212_spring2005.web.dir/Tess_Caswell/X33.jpg

Here is 3 view drawing you can model after:

http://www.aerospaceweb.org/aircraft/research/x33/x33_schem_01.jpg

The three-view image posted above is your golden ticket.

Load that up into three background images, one for top/front/side. Adjust their position so you can ‘trace’ your geometry around the background image through the three main views.


Now make the pizza-slice shape that was mentioned earlier. The trick here is to only concern yourself with the most course geometry right now. I’ve loop-cut through the cube’s X axis, deleted one half of the cube, and applied a mirror modifier so as to easily keep everything symmetrical.


Now the fun part! I’ve applied a subsurface modifier, defined some creases (the purple lines) and added a few loop cuts through the cube. With a combination of edge sliding, translation with proportional editing, and some plain old-fashioned vertex tweaking, we start to sculpt our basic shape into a more complex one.



It looks more like a bicycle seat than a spaceship at this point, but the rest of the modelling is not much more than applying these same techniques in an ever-finer scale, until you get the level of detail you desire.

Skills you will want to know/learn:
-Mirror modifier
-Subsurface modifier
-Edge loops and loop cuts
-Edge sliding and vertex sliding
-Inset Face, Extrusion, and “Box-pulling”

In fact, these five skills will aid you greatly in modelling just about anything. I recently modelled a rabbit for game project (which I need to finish!) using exactly the same methods/techniques; just rabbit-shaped instead of pizza-slice shaped.
I hope this helps point you in the right direction.

Be careful with the engine. The X-33 has a linear aerospike engine, not the usual bell nozzle. The linear aerospike is an extremely cool piece of kit since it does not require any gimbals - since the aerospike contains dozens of small combustion chambers, the thrust vector can be changed by modifying the thrust from each of the chambers.