USS CYGNUS---has anyone ever built it?

Deacon

Active Member
Its funny, I have only seen a few models done of the CYGNUS and its usually the kit, but has anyone ever scratchbuilt it? I know Mr. Smalls did an incredible jpb accurizing the kit by hacking apart two kits,but other than that, ive never seen anyone attempt it.

My second question is what would you use that network of girders that covers almost the entire deck? Ive started to build a Cygnus using cardboard and painter's tape--she is about 10 feet long by 1 foot wide in the middle body, length is total. The best I can come up with is the Lego system for aligning and getting a quick result. Im making my own version based alot on the original but having fun building it. Im using the small Palomino ship from the model kit, its about the diameter of a quarter standing up, looks good tho with the 10 foot long Cygnus. Its also very light, but I have to re-inforce the underside to have more support so the boxes dont warp due to the weight. I still have alot to work on the front and the back sections but at least Im getting started. She wont be lit, but she will have blaring yellow poster board underneath to give the effect of lighting.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

star-art

Sr Member
I've never seen any scratchbuilt replicas. I may have been the first person to ever attempt an accurate replica in 3D which I built as a study model for making a full studio-scale recreation. I still plan to tackle that in the future when the time is right. It will be an ambitious undertaking and will probably take years to complete. I am limited by available funds and also a space to put the finished model. The studio model was over 12 feet long!

The studio model was built to a scale dictated by the size of the girders. They wanted them very fine and so they were barely more than 1/16 inch across. As a result, if the model had been any smaller, the structure would have been almost impossible to build.

I have experimented with different materials but I've not had good results with any sort of plastic. At that size, the structure tends to warp and won't hold its own shape. I determined that brass is probably best (it's what they used to make the studio model) and laser-cut wood is a real possibility. Neither option is particularly easy to make work. A brass replica would cost many thousands of dollars to build.
 

Deacon

Active Member
Those are incredible Star-Art, I can already see where I want to make changes. I just got finished building the Eiffel tower lego set, its 42.5 inches tall and it was very challenging to build. In fact the Cygnus reminds me alot of the Eiffel tower due to the amount of gridiron work that is the outer skin. Im nowhere near as skilled as some of the fine folks on this forum but I do have a love of certain ships that borders on the obsessive. I was never satisfied with the small Cygnus model, my only desire--at this juncture is to make a Cygnus like model just to see if I can do it, I have used some pieces as filler so as not to take up too many plates. Judging by what you have posted I can actually get back to making it more like the Cygnus. For that I thank you.
 

Nwerke

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi Deacon. There are a few CG models around the web, some of them downloadable but none are as accurate as the one Charles (star-art) is working on. Like Charles I plan to build a large physical model, but I haven't seen any scratchbuilds of the ship thus far. Etched brass looks like a possible plan, cost allowing.

I know the painting you are talking about and can't recall if I've ever seen a good colour copy of it. Would be nice if it had been published in full...if only...

In the meantime here are some renders of some of the other CG models you can find around the place (there are others but these two are the best I've found), and some of one I have in development. I'm way behind Charles, but hope to achieve similar accuracy. I need to upgrade my computer before I can progress much as the files are huge just for the stern section now, even working without render meshes switched on. :(
 
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star-art

Sr Member
Hey, Martyn!

Martyn is a stickler for accuracy and his work is top notch. :)

I recall seeing that painting somewhere, probably in a magazine. It may be the B&W version mentioned. I don't know if Harrison Ellenshaw has it or if any copies have ever been released. A very good friend of mine knows him and they were at a gallery event just last night. I'll try to remember to ask. . .
 

Deacon

Active Member
Its on one of the older copies of the dvd with bonus material, if you check out the scene in the captain's dining room, the painting is actually on the wall. The bonus materials section of the dvd is just alive with color and detail, its truly a masterpiece imo. I have just enough grid plates for the outside and sides, Ill post some pics tomorrow night, have to make sure certain things look right. Thanks for the cg art, its definately putting me in the right direction. Ive just always wanted to see a CYGNUS of that size. Alot of the measurements are done just by my naked eye, I just wanted to see what I could do. I hope to impress you and myself. She is quite light and thats a plus. Detailing on the main body and fore should begin by next week, I want to see what I can dig up grid-wise to make her more detailed. The rockets on fore and aft will have a bit more detail, lots of greeblies to be finding a home on this Eiffel ship.
 

Deacon

Active Member
If you can catch it off the dvd bonus section, I took a photo from my phone, looks good, Im going to try with my camera, wish me luck. Ill put up something in a few minutes.
 

Deacon

Active Member
6360-color-picture-i-am-looking-obviously-incomplete.jpg


Pics are in my Variety album, enjoy. Im still working on the CYGNUS but she is starting to come along. Thanks again guys for the pics, very helpful.
 

Jedi Dade

Master Member
I always liked this ship but never really considered building it becasue of the insane girderwork... I know it would be a never ending battle to add enough detail for my lkkeing and it would drive me nuts... so no Ihave not built it. I have thought about it a little though. I was thining that if you built it a LOT smaller (again the girderwork becomes problematic as you get smaller) you could build the main "glowing" part of the body out of acrylic as "boxes" that would be both pretty strong and allow for "frosting" to get that white/yellow glow it has... but past that I never found a solution I could live with to detail the girders - photetch over a basic plastruct beam setup would be a possibility, but as someone else mentioned that much photo-etch is a pricey thing...

Jedi Dade
 

GKvfx

Sr Member
What he may have done - and I cannot take credit for the idea, as it came from a buddy of mine some 20+ years ago - is to take the model kit parts and sand the back sides of the parts till the open areas between the girders is so thin you can cut out the wafer of plastic. Or get them thin enough to be translucent (not transparent) when illuminated.

Gene
 

Nwerke

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Beautiful pic! It actually looks better than the Small photos; I mean the lighting and photography does, the Small model is more accurate with the added section. Thanks Deacon for the production art too.
 

Deacon

Active Member
I recently caught that pic of the lit Cygnus as well, thanks for the bigger photo! The guy did a great job. I know mine is nowhere near that kind of quality. My Cygnus will be repainted of coarse and the gridwork, well, thats why I went Lego, counldnt find anything that would really work. The gridwork will be painted black and there will be yellow underneath, I was thinking about raising the grids and putting greeblies underneath in certain areas that would be of a grey or primer color. Its still a scratchbuild and Im not making her just like the movie just close. Glad you guys enjoyed the pics.
 

Walter

Master Member
What he may have done - and I cannot take credit for the idea, as it came from a buddy of mine some 20+ years ago - is to take the model kit parts and sand the back sides of the parts till the open areas between the girders is so thin you can cut out the wafer of plastic. Or get them thin enough to be translucent (not transparent) when illuminated.

Gene

Love it!
 

micdavis

Master Member
With the new movie coming, maybe we can get a re-issue of the MPC kit, shot in clear or even tinted plastic.

I've toyed with just remolding the MPC kit and adding the sections needed.

Would you pay good money for that? Several hundred?
 

Jedi Dade

Master Member
With the new movie coming, maybe we can get a re-issue of the MPC kit, shot in clear or even tinted plastic.

I've toyed with just remolding the MPC kit and adding the sections needed.

Would you pay good money for that? Several hundred?

What are you talking about "with a new movie coming"? I have heard nothing...

Jedi Dade
 
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