Here is another update: a new model, this time for the main Xin assault frigate and also a bit of a status update. I have been a bit busy with other stuff for the past week or so, but rest assured, the mod is progressing slowly but surely.
First, the goodies:
A bit about the design. For this unit, I had two primary goals in mind. It had to look pretty, because as the main assault frigate, this will be the ship one will spend a lot of time looking at (hopefully not from the wrong side!). And second, the design had to convey two things - that this baby is tough, and that it is nasty. Of course, the overall organic theme had to be obeyed as well.
Naturally, I went for insects. The scarab, I felt, was a good choice (much better than the original concept mating a spider's head and a squid's body, which ended up looking like a friggin' turtle). And as we humans are always so unnerved by the proportionally huge mandibles some insects sport, I just had to work them in.
In the end, I am particulalry proud of how this one turned out. Needless to say, the rest of the Xin ships are going to follow simmilar levels of production quality as well!
For those who like to read the story, here is a bit of lore for the ship.
Chok'Ra Assault Drone forms the backbone of the Xin frigate line. Tough, well shielded and armed, this semi-sentient bio-construct is found on every frontline where agility of a frigate and decent firepower are needed. It has only one, albeit exotic weapon; the singularity accelerator. What at first glance look like mandibles of some giant insect are in fact gravity-shaping nodules, allowing the Assault Drone to bend the gravitons present in a gravity field in order to form an artificial event horizon, a black hole. When the Chok'Ra needs to attack something, the internal glands coupled with magnetic containment generators nestled in its head fling a gob of superheated plasma and use the miniature black hole to accelerate it to incredible speeds actually using the "slingshot maneuver" known to astronauts from the earliest days of space flight. Even though such plasma shots are notoriously unstable and dissipate quickly, the sheer speeds at which they are thrown at enemy ships allow the Assault Drone to attack at decent range, on par with other ships of its class.
In other news, I also managed to figure out the particle system, which is evident from the "wormhole" effect I made for the Chok'Ra (a placeholder, the final version will look better).
Also, the attempt to resize the planets for a more immersive scale has been put on hold temporarily. Seems the cloud layer cannot be resized, so I will wait for Ironclad to release additional modding info, maybe there will be some clues. The goal is to have the planets look something like those from X3.
This much for now, planned next (finally) - Xin explosion extravaganza, and of course, new and exciting vessels of universal conquest, the unusually designed anti-fighter frigate, the long range flying accelerator (we all love artillery, don't we) and the awesome meteor-throwing planet bombarder!
And wait till you see what I have in mind for the bigger ships...