The Black Hole (Medical Frigate Project)

I have begun to pull away from the Event Horizon of this project. What began at least a year or more ago has culminated in a sort of magnum opus of 3D craftsmanship. This is the most accurate independent rendering to date of the EF76 Nebulon B Escort Frigate (Medical Frigate Redemption in The Empire Strikes Back and most recently Rogue One). Better yet, it is the basis for some forthcoming model kits, which WILL be the most accurate model kits to date. The planned scales are 1/350 (36″), 1/1000 (12″) and 1/2256 (~6″). There are also a couple one-off projects in 1/900 and 1/500 but more on that in a later update.

All of this modeling was basically done in SketchUp, which some would call a fool’s errand. Experience with the software has proven that with persistence and attention to one’s work a solid output can be generated. Literally…with the 1/350 kit there are 100 3D printed parts! The smaller the scales, the fewer the parts (the 1/2256 has 8-10 parts). There were however a few tricky spots where the kind folk of modeler kinsfolk stepped in.

Hours upon hours were spent pouring over reference material, both public and private, in an effort to recreate as much of the detail featured on the donor kits as possible. While every part is not 100% identified, the approximation comes within the 95±% percentile both in terms of identification and replication. Many of the original parts featured include Yamato, Junyo and other ship hulls, Bf109 and Hurricane parts, a mass of tank parts from Pattons to Bulldogs, a pile of modern jet aircraft (A-10, F-14, F-15, F-16, Mirage), and of course the telltale massive Saturn V parts.

With regards to the details of how the kit parts breakdown, there are several large pieces and just about every piece interlocks with at least 2 others. There is a sturdiness built into the design of the boom structure as well as the ‘stalactite/stalagmite’ assembly. Much of the decision making process was based on the methodology of the original studio model, albeit in a much more simplified way. For example, there are at least three 1/450 Musashi hulls with two of them sandwiched. The 2 joined parts create a single 3D print, with all the greeblies integrated, whereas the single hull is part of a larger assembly. There are also two separate plates that join front and back to create the hub of the front spine section with a built-in channel that will accommodate a 3/8″ brass square rod. The boom section will also fit a 1/2″ brass pipe (though it’s design is probably strong enough to support itself).

I don’t think I can stress how big of an undertaking this has been for me. It has invading my dreams and damn near half my waking time over the course of the past year. It still persists as there are more exports to generate and more parts to clean. I’d like to give special thanks to Jimi Glancy, Jason Eaton, Gonçalo Inocentes, Jim Creveling, Ansel Hsaio, Paul Hearbelin, Dannon Marsh, Jeffery Griffin, Felipe Reyes, Jonathon Campbell, Matt Jacobson, James McVay, Matthew Walker, Marc Dupuy, ‎Christian Fröhlich‎, Peter Jaensch, and Brian Allen for their help with references, 3D and physical parts, and good vibes.

Much like the project itself, I could go on and on talking about it, so please feel free to ask questions! Also, I am currently in the process of cleaning and prepping the parts for casting. When they are ready I will post another update before sending them to the caster. Until then, on to the renders!

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17 thoughts on “The Black Hole (Medical Frigate Project)

  1. Is there any chance you’d release the model itself? I’d absolutely love to turn this thing into a fully textured cg model.

  2. What a great birthday present (28.12.) 🙂

    This is absolutely awesome. The Nebulon B is my favorite space ship (of all movies).
    I’m looking forward to see pictures of the casted parts.
    Please put me on your pre-order list for the 1/350 version.
    In what material/quality is it printed?

    1. Turns out we’re still undecided on whether or not to do a pre-order. I’m sending it to JPG in a couple weeks so the hope is that it will be ready in resin sooner than June 🙂 I’ve been printing all the parts on a Form2 so the cleanup has been SUPER easy compared to Shapeways, etc.

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