The second test build the other day went a lot better. I had modified the wheel wells and the light bar a bit in response to issues that I ran into on my first test build, and they did the trick. The car is cute, especially next to the tug.
My building skills are still a bit rusty, I still don’t have a dedicated photography area, and I hadn’t used my camera in so long that I’d forgotten how to set it up correctly.
For those of you who use Tombow markers for edging like I do, here are the edging colors I used.
- Tug blue and security car lightbar: Tombow 515
- Tires and other black bits: Tombow N25
- Dark gray areas (tug underside, etc): Tombow N55
- Towbar yellow: Tombow 055
- White and chrome bits on the security car: Tombow N95
- Medium gray areas (towbar hitch, for example): Tombow N75
- Lightbar red (follow-me car): Tombow 772
Your mileage might vary a bit depending on whatever combination of paper and printer you’re using.
I also made a couple more tweaks to the follow-me car:
The lightbar has been relocated to the back, and the static Follow Me placard on the back has been replaced with a digital display that can show other useful messages like “Stop” and so forth. It’s actually much closer technologically to self-illuminating e-paper than an old fashioned dot display or LCD system, but I chose to make it physically resemble a LCD in order to comply with the Coffeepot Rule.
(For the new folks: I came up with that rule back in 2007 on the old Ebbles forum. It states that if you want an audience to immediately recognize something spacey as a coffeepot without having to explain it to them, then it needs to look just enough like a coffeepot for the audience to immediately recognize it for what it is. It reduces technobabble and keeps exposition down to a minimum, saving it for elements that are more important to the plot.)
The display is textured in the nighttime mode (where it looks more obviously like a digital display) rather than the daytime mode, which is not illuminated and looks a lot more like the old bright red text over fluorescent yellow placard.
Okay, I’m done messing with the cars, and I’m currently spooling out the PDFs for the Zoom. There are currently 36 cars in total. 28 are unique, the remaining 8 are alternates. Here’s how it breaks down:
- 8 security cars with unique roof numbers and license plates, in both white/blue and yellow/blue variations
- 8 customs cars with unique roof numbers and license plates
- 8 admin cars with unique roof numbers and license plates
- 4 follow-me cars with unique roof numbers and license plates
As a bit of fun trivia, I actually went and generated several thousand new and unique license plates for various localities on Eyesore. I used a variation of the same license plate scripts I used to generate the plates for the Noir 2520 aircars I did over at WWG, then pulled out just the plates for Downport. I have a folder full of Downport-registered plates, and I’ve been issuing them to each car one at a time.
Second bit of fun trivia: many of the other localities are named after project supporters. Those plates will be issued to civilian and non-spaceport vehicles.
I also found a minor goof on the cutfiles for the ground handling unit while building one of my own–a couple of the wheel unit pivots on Frame 02 had cut lines where there should have been perforated lines. I’ve fixed that, and will upload the new ground handling unit cutfiles at the same time that I upload the Zoom files.
After I’m done doing all of the unique Zooms, I’m revisiting the tug and adding more unique numbered variants. There will be 4 tugs in total. As with the ground handling unit’s cutfiles, the new tug variants will be uploaded at the same time as the Zoom files.
Okay, back to the grindstone for me.
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Visit the project page for more details: Spaceport Set I