Building a Better Spaceship

Why build a model of Spaceship Zero? To keep on the shelf as a cool toy? To use on the tabletop during SSZ roleplaying games? Because I can? Yes is the answer to all of these. Let’s have a look…

Rob Baxter Spaceship Zero side viewRob Baxter SSZ Top ViewUnPopular-Mech-72dpiRob Baxter Spaceship Zero

These are files from when the CD “Spaceship Zero: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” came out around 1999/2000.

The antennae-looking things are actually coming out of the ass end of the ship, and they are sensors. When not in use (for example when the ship is landing) they retract into the ship. On the front of the ship are 3 graviton tines, which are part of the Better-Than-Light Drive system (like warp drive).

SSZ cutaway cross section from roleplaying book

This above image is the cross section I drew for the roleplaying game that came out in 2000 or so. What this shows that isn’t in the first images (besides the interior)  is what the ship looks like with the xenon thrusters out (they pop out from the middle of the ship and swivel so the ship can navigate in any direction) and the landing gear extended. The landing gear are curved like the ship itself and indeed retract into the hull of the ship so as to be more or less seamlessly hidden. FOR THE MODEL I want the xenon thrusters out (they don’t need to swivel), and the the landing gear out, because otherwise the ship will not stand up! The landing gear do not need to retract into the ship on the actual physical model, but they should look like they could do.

SSZ comic page 2

The above page from the SSZ comic shows another view of the ship, and you can see kind of where the landing gear would come out of the ship towards the bottom.

spaceship zero model plan

Above are some scribbles as to how I envision the model working under the best case scenario. I think that if the model is about 20″ tall (originally I thought 17 inches but better slightly too big than slightly too small) then it will be to scale with the game miniatures I use during SSZ rpg sessions. Eyeballing it, I think the width at the widest point on the ship body (not counting the tines or landing gear) would be 7″ inches, maybe 7.75″ tops?

I think the main concern is going to be how big will the landing gear have to be to ensure that the model doesn’t topple over in a stiff wind.

It would be super cool if the ship were to be cut up in sections for some of the main decks so that at the gaming table it could be doubled as a battle mat kind of a deal. But it looks like that will be more expensive and would compromise the structural integrity of the model overall.

It would also be really cool if there were little blue LED lights in the tines. But again, that’s gravy.

For comparison, here are some images shared by Cliff Raeder, who made his own SSZ model out of two 2L soda bottles. Pretty great! Note that the figures he is using are kids toys that larger than traditional gaming minis that I would be using.

Cliff Raeders SSZ model17427_566932943327779_1144838332_n317437_566932843327789_1107086727_n