Along with the Police Fighter, my hero modeling responsibilities also included the police gunship that arrives at the end of the trailer to help finish off the Starlight Sparrow.
The Gunship was a late addition to the film, added several weeks into production as a means to increase the stakes. In early September, I started very rough explorations using Alchemy-generated silhouettes to come up with rough thumbnails and block in several versions in 3D.
From the 3D “thumbnails”, we decided on the double-cockpitted version with swooping wings. Extreme changes were made to the shape and distribution of the ship’s features, resulting in the version that was in the film for most of the first semester of production. Once this version was established, it received only minor edits, such as the addition of lights and changes to the functionality of the turrets. Various scale and functionality changes –such as making the ship a dropship that could carry troops and land vehicles into battle– were explored but never implemented because we were focusing on redesigns and environments at the time. Where the fighter too closely resembled a Cylon Raider, the Gunship was criticized for being very similar to a Klingon Bird of Prey.
When it became clear that I was overscoped on my environment commitments (the wrecked space station and several large, wrecked space ships, as well as smaller debris that I did not get to), Matt took over basic modeling of the redesigned gunship, based on the early redesigned Police Fighter and handed it off to me to finish.
My concocted reasoning behind greebling in this manner on the Gunship is that the Gunships are more durable. Where a fighter might get shot down or lethally punctured by a micrometeorite while recklessly accelerating as fast as its afterburners will carry it, the gunships are bigger, more expensive, and more likely to survive long enough to need more sensitive and minute repairs. Hence, the gunship has more easy-access hatches and outright removed panels.
Finalized paint scheme as of 2/22/2010. I have modeling and UV fixes, such as getting rid of or covering up the big, ugly seams running down the middle. I also still need to take a decal pass to add logos and ID numbers to the ship.