Primary Deck Layout
In part 1 I settled on the layout for the two primary decks of VSS 002, a space carrier for my Cobra army. How many decks will this carrier have hasn't been determined yet. So far there will be these two decks, the primary flight deck, a secondary mini-flight deck, and the bridge. If the bridge is deck 1, then there will be four decks.
Deck 2 will have the engine room/engine area. Since VSS 002 will become a main component to any diostories I do, then I want the engine room to have some serious eye-candy for photographic purposes. For me that means interesting lights and shadow. So the engine room area should have a lot of lights, color, and things that go well with those lights -- acrylic displays, grills and floor meshes.
The Venomous Sea Serpent project by Victor Garcia is indeed a unique and very fun project that is highly customizable. If you already know, originally the VSS was envisioned to be an ocean vessel for Cobra from the GI Joe universe. GI Joe has their large aircraft carrier, the USS FLAGG. Cobra didn't have anything that could rival the Flagg. So the VSS was introduced. Action figure collectors -- including me -- bought the VSS kit and started building the Cobra carrier. This is where I think it gets interesting as some collectors started to discuss using the VSS not as an ocean vessel, but at a Cobra helicarrier. I, however, went another direction: space. I wanted my VSS (number 002) to be a space carrier along the lines of the carrier/cruisers seen in the TV show Stargate SG-1.
Please note that this is an ongoing project that is currently evolving week-by-week. It is going to take a long time to complete, but the goal is to be finished in time for JoeFest 2021. Can I do it? We shall see....
Designing a Space Carrier
VSS 002 is a standard VSS kit with three additional "lower decks." One standard kit comes with a lower deck -- the main compartment area. 002 has three additional, making a total of four lower decks. The VSS is very customizable, for example, lower decks can be stacked one on-top of each other, and there's no limit how many can be stacked. For me, I placed two lower decks end-to-end to make one long deck, then stacked another long deck on top of that. So VSS 002 is twice as long as the standard Venomous Sea Serpent.
To further flesh out the space carrier idea, 002 would need a good looking engine room/engine area with massive thrusters. To further help balance the carrier so that it doesn't look like a long box, side corridors/walkways will be mounted on the port and starboard hull. These walkways will make use of the DioWarriors dio-system.. a prototype series of modular floors and walls for building a diorama. So the walkways will be a proof-of-concept. The walkways will have appropriate space-ship things attached to it: air-locks, weapon stations, sensor access points, and many other things as I can cram into the design.
The Design Process
To begin, the first thing I set out to do was figure a layout. For that I would have to digitize the physical VSS. This took some time, but once it was done then I could model a virtual VSS in 3D and experiment with different layouts. Since 002 will be a space carrier I wanted to find a layout that maximized the storage capacity of Cobra Stiletto's and also provide some diversity in terms of layout for different rooms. The rooms part is important because DioWarriors has a lot of furniture style props that need to be displayed. A space ship VSS would be a perfect showroom.
After experimenting with placing two lower deck assemblies in different ways -- front to back, front to front, back to back, etc -- I finally decided on two configurations for two levels. The "Top Level" layout will be good to use as the eventual middle deck -- the flight deck will be directly above this. The large open maintenance area can be used for vehicle storage, or I can divide up the space to make smaller rooms. The rear portion will become the engine room where I will need to design the thrusters and engine and other things like that. The front portion I'm still not sure what to use it for, maybe a main weapon or extend it out some to make some sort of RADAR/communications area.
The "Bottom Level" has a lot of open space and that will work as another flight deck area. Fighters (Stilettos or some other space craft) could be launched from the bow or aft portion, and stored and maintained in the large middle section. Or the large middle area could be sectioned into smaller rooms, such as barracks, hospital, or whatever I need to display for a diorama.
This week's photo theme on DioWarriors is "workspace." So I need to prepare my own workspace. Here's a quick video of me doing so. But the Joe Room is too much for one video (or one day) so did one small part. Enjoy the video!
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