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October 5, 2008
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Construction Ship by MikeDoscher Construction Ship by MikeDoscher
Following the emergence of the Howarth Fusion Plant as a viable propulsion system in the early 22nd century, helium-3 mining on an industrial scale became economically viable. Vast mining complexes started dotting the Jovian skies, their collection heads extending miles down into the upper atmosphere. Extending up from this, vast cracking towers boiled and separated the constituent gases for reprocessing.

The construction of these mining complexes, when taken with shipyards of Mars and the terraforming of Europa constitutes the crowning wonders of the age. However, these wonders could never have been conceived of, let alone completed without a vast flotilla of vessels and equipment first constructed on the Moon, then Mars, then the freespace arcologies of the asteroid belt. For while humbler in scale, this ocean of anonymous vessels embodies the hidden wonders behind the greater wonder.

The Voland HVX-3001 is an good example of one of these 'lesser wonders'. It is a modular construction ship, consisting of a spun nanocarbon frame bearing drive, powerplant, and pressurized crew sections as well as fixtures which could accept a wide variety of equipment. The narrow width of the vessel is the result of dual requirements from both how they were stowed and for the occasional need to operate within the outer atmosphere of Jupiter itself. The construction manipulators fitted here are typical. The 3001 series contained a number of innovations, including one of the first modern antigravity suspensors as well as being one of the first civilian vessels to be designed from the bottom up with the Voynich-Harden Telepresence Rig in mind. While commonplace now these were once innovations that revolutionized not only microgravity construction, but the very nature of space travel itself.

The example seen here was built by Feng Long Heavy Industries in 2206 and served on the construction of the Acadian Queen complex, among others. She was retired after two decades of service when it was found that her nanocarbon frame had been significant weakened due to an infestation of self-replicating prions. She was subsequently sold for scrap and now serves as part of an orbital squatting community near Io.
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:iconthed3x:
TheD3X Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So... i did it in 3D now... still need some Textures but your Ships are always awesome!
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2011  Professional General Artist
Nice! :) I like what you've done so far. Texturing is always the tricky part, but getting a feel for that and UVing takes time.
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:iconthed3x:
TheD3X Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much. Sadly I've got no experiences in texturing stuff...
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:iconchrisdavidparkinson:
chrisdavidparkinson Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2011
Nice design, unique shape, and entertaining backstory.
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:iconkaraxis:
karaxis Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2011
cool industrial, no nonsense, get down and dirty feel to this ship (love the coloring too)...speaking of obscure references...is the howarth mentioned in the fusion drive a nod to matt howarth...
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2011  Professional General Artist
Absolutely! This continuity has all sorts of little references like that in it. :)
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:iconsquige137:
Squige137 Featured By Owner May 25, 2010
Absolutley love this piece dude.. Showing that parcticality wins over in the design stage to the pretty sleek ships.

Keep it up, vast amounts of kudos.
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:icondjango-red:
django-red Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2010
An inspired design, very functional,and very "blue collar space forklift" X) It not meant to be luxurious, just to be rugged and to get its task done. i imagine this is but one of many ships and tools needed to preform a successful construction job.
A couple of questions though; How many crew would it take to operate? Can it be piloted by one operator? And lastly, how large would you say those view windows are? I'm having a bit of trouble mentally scaling the size of this ship.
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:iconmikedoscher:
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thank you. l really should have included some sort of scale reference.

It's about the with of a bus. To give a more human sense of sizes, look at the two port panel must to the upper cab(the one with the window)- that's an access door that can accommodate a human standing upright. The angled windows in the bay are part of the control cab for the manipulator arms, roughly the size of the cabin of a construction crane.

One person could pilot it, but a crew of three is more typical. A pilot, a manipulator operator, and a flight operator/engineer/whatever would be a standard crew for many construction tasks. Of course, various roles can be filled via telepresence as well.
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:iconsh4d0ww01f:
Sh4d0wW01f Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2009
Wow.. Really unique design.
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