SkunkTwerks

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About SkunkTwerks

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    SPH Sith Lord

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  1. What did you do in KSP today?

    THE REBELS ARE FINISHED! ...I mean, the SkunkTwerks Upsilon-Class Command Shuttle ATMO+VTOL is finished! Link to Forum Post in Spacecraft Exchange: https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/166428-skunktwerks-presents-star-wars-high-fidelity-craft-designs/&page=4&tab=comments#comment-3297750 -SkunkTwerks
  2. THE REBELS ARE FINISHED! ...I mean, the SkunkTwerks Upsilon-Class Command Shuttle ATMO+VTOL is finished! SkunkTwerks proudly presents Kylo Kerm-Ren’s Upsilon-Class Command Shuttle ATMO-VTOL. This sinister ship has sleek aesthetics, superb shielding systems, plus Sith-specialized sensor suites. It may not be the nimblest of ships, but it's imposing enough to intimidate rebel Kerbals without even taking your shirt off (right Kylo?). Despite early Twerkshop design phase handling characteristics that resembled Kylo’s feelings about his family (complicated and volatile), the refined version is in tune with the aerdoynamic Force. Flight notes: For atmospheric flight only. Before takeoff, ensure that you are controlling the craft from the horizontal Mk.2 Drone Core buried in the center of the ship (Hotkey 4), NOT THE LANDER CAN, which is at a very strange angle (to facilitate loading ramp access). Hotkey 1 toggles vertical engine, hotkey 2 toggles horizontal engine. Hotkey 3 toggles horizontal afterburner. A vertically-oriented Stayputnik (Hotkey 5) is included to facilitate vertical landings. Hotkey 6 toggles vertical engine gimbals. Hotkey 7 toggles the loading ramp for making dramatic entrances. Includes just enough fuel to land on the island base. It took ~25 major revisions to get it right. but I'm stoked about the result. The unusual design made this one of my most challenging projects to date, and I had a blast creating it. Just don't hold your breath for an Upsilon-Class SSTO from the Twerkshop. May the Force be with the Empire! -SkunkTwerks
  3. You know how I said that? Well, I really need to abandon my desire to set deadlines. While taking screenshots, I discovered some scary instabilities in vertical landing that I don't recall encountering in earlier flight testing. So I'm back to troubleshooting. Sorry folks, you know how the design process goes... one step forward, one step back. ... wait for SkunkTwerks to eventually get around to it? It's on my to-do list, and I promise to at least give it a whirl. But it may be a while longer. If you just can't wait to be king a Zyggerian slaver, you're totally welcome to post your build ideas/prototypes/replicas here!* *Not an endorsement of galactic slavery. Awesome, congrats dude! Rock on! Hot diggity! You did it!!! That is one sexy craft. Major kudos! We both have more hard work to do, but it's always inspiring to see progress. Now there's a great idea... I'll have to look into that. *plots and schemes* May the design farts be with you. -SkunkTwerks
  4. Thanks for checking in @ShadowGoat. As luck would have it... yes! I've been pretty slow on posting lately due to a combination of a much busier personal schedule (far less time for KSP), and a recent appetite for *rather difficult* projects in KSP that have required quite a few iterations to refine. Open projects on the Twerkshop floor: Hinged, folding version of the X-Wing: mid/late design phase Currently on Version 18 (based on the "Boba In A Straw" hinge idea) which I have successfully unfolded and refolded in flight... albeit with nauseating multi-thousand-meter vertical tailspins each time. Hard-to-pinpoint docking port alignment issues may necessitate a much-dreaded major overhaul. I need to get the ports to line up right all the time every time, or at least more than 60% of the time. Being so close, yet so far has proven to be a bit of a "gumption trap." If anyone wants to help troubleshoot and collaborate, I'm all ears. I LOVE this starfighter and would be thrilled to be able to do it even more justice by making a folding version that's still enjoyable to fly. Speaking of which, shoutout to @Servo, who has been working on a stunning ultra-high-fidelity version of the T-70 (newer Star Wars) Model. Hands down the most visually appealing stock X-Wing model I've seen to date, with amazing body work! Say, how's your clever variation on the boba-in-a-straw hinge working out? Any more luck with getting the wings to re-dock more consistently? We need a breakthrough! Hinged, folding version of the Aurek: early design phase Currently at hinge prototype Version 6, using I-beams and a sepratron to simulate wings. This one is tricky for a few reasons: the hinge needs to be laterally and vertically stable, needs to be capable of supporting an aerodynamically active wing as it's being torqued by lift & drag, space constraints require a very small hinge, and docking port alignment is super touchy. If the docking ports aren't perfectly aligned and spaced, they yank my communotron bearing (green Collide-O-Scope highlights, sorry it's hard to see) out of its thermometer housing (yellow Collide-O-Scope highlights). However, as of Version 6, I have solved most of those problems and the hinge opens and closes pretty consistently. Next step: rebuild the whole craft around the hinge. SSTO-Version of the Defender-Class Light Corvette: very late "fine-tuning" design phase Yes, you read that right. Because aside from the twenty-nine reasons I can think of right off the top of my head, there's no way that could possibly go wrong. Seriously though, takeoff is a real trick, CoM/CoL/CoT balancing is a huge challenge, the aerodynamics are atrocious, and despite all that, I'm only a couple dozen m/s dV away from stable LKO. But honestly I kind of forgot it was an open Twerkshop project and I really do need to get back to finish it sometime. Kylo Ren's Upsilon-class Command Shuttle: finishing touches! I'm really excited about this one! This post describes Version L (I switched to alphabetical notation to track revisions on this one). I'm up to Version S, and it's finally looking and handling the way I want. I will post that sometime tomorrow if the Rebels don't blow up my Death Star, my Supremacy Mega-class Star Dreadnought, or my personal computer. Seriously, those rebels can't go a single movie without blowing up something VERY EXPENSIVE. The Command Shuttle should help purge them of their destructive habits.... *evil laugh* The Force must flow! ...er, I mean, may the Spice be with you. -SkunkTwerks
  5. What did you do in KSP today?

    Today I've nearly finalized a design for Kylo Ren's Upsilon-Class Command Ship. The aerodynamics were a lot like Kylo's feelings about his family: complicated and volatile. Prototype versions A-K all had major problems, but Version L flies well without sacrificing too much visual accuracy. Not the nimblest of ships, but it's imposing enough to intimidate rebel Kerbals without even taking your shirt off (right Kylo?). Fully capable VTOL. It's not the most aerodynamically efficient beast, but I did manage to land it on the far side of the mountains west of the KSC just before running out of fuel. Soon, it shall be posted on my replica thread, and we shall rule the galaxy together! May the Force be with you and your poor, terrified rebel Kerbals. -SkunkTwerks
  6. Work-in-Progress [WIP] Design Thread

    This project has been equal parts fun and ferociously tricky. For something so completely aerodynamically implausible, I'm getting close to actually making it work. Here's a Twerkshop's prototype sneak preview of Kylo Ren's Upsilon-class Command Shuttle: First step was creating something reasonably visually accurate, using this ortho from unusualsuspex as a reference. Next step was to get it airborne. Then add VTOL capacity. Current stage: Actually making it enjoyable to fly. As you can see, the aerodynamics are a lot like Kylo's feelings about his family: complicated and highly volatile. Piloting is neither easy nor predictable. The radically dihedral wings make the craft resistant to roll, and it sways back and forth like a pirate ship in stormy seas. When applied gently, a little yaw input can result in smooth turns. But apply a little too much, or at the wrong time, and the ship spirals out of control. Constantly adjusting CoM and CoL. An earlier prototype, Version D, actually flew quite nicely, but that was pre-VTOL. Adding 6 Panther turbofans raised CoM and increased the vessel mass significantly. I'm on version H now, hoping I can get back to that flight performance before I run out of letters in the alphabet. May at least most of the Force vectors be with you, -SkunkTwerks
  7. Added to the to-do list! Speaking of the to-do list, I finally got around to polishing up an old project: the SkunkTwerks Z-95 Headhunter. Reference ortho by unusualsuspex SkunkTwerks proudly presents the Z-95 Headhunter, predecessor to the illustrious T-65 X-Wing. Piloting this light fighter is a great way to establish nerd dominance over the dweebs at Mission control: you can say you basically flew the X-Wing *before* it was cool. Hotkey 1 toggles vertical engine, hotkey 2 toggles horizontal engines. A vertically-oriented QBE (Hotkey 4) is included to facilitate vertical landings. Hotkey 5 toggles the vertical engine gimbal. Optimized for atmospheric flight and VTOL capability. In other news, I finally got around to seeing the Last Jedi last weekend! It pleased me greatly to see all the new ships, even if @Jett_Quasar beat me to the punch on building some of the most memorable ones. (No hard feelings, you rock!) Those ski speeders though... talk about ridiculous craft design! May the Schwartz be with you, -SkunkTwerks
  8. Work-in-Progress [WIP] Design Thread

    Thank you! I'm so glad all the hours of work paid off in terms of visual accuracy. All of the finished SkunkTwerks T-65 X-Wings (ATMO/SSTO/ATMO+VTOL) can be found and taken for joyrides via the links in my signature.* The AIRBRAKE hinge actuators aren't as visually sneaky as @Servo's (I guess that's what you get in a newer model T-70, instead of an old-school T-65), but what mine lack in visual perfection they seem to make up for in stability. They do a great job of keeping the wings from flopping around during mode switching, which is essential when you have (yes!) great big heavy 1.25-ton Drill-O-Matics on each wingtip, plus two Mk.0 fuel tanks, some wing panels, Big-S elevons, and heavy Engines + Mk.2 fuselage + Pre-cooler. All in all, each finished wing weighs nearly 9 TONS and is nearly 10 m long from wingtip to the RCS Port at the central fulcrum. I'd rather not do the math because the loads aren't conveniently distributed at the end of the lever and I'm not an engineer... but for a 3rd class lever, that sure seems like an awfully large load on an awfully long load arm. And yet with auto-strutting and rigid attachment, ONE AIRBRAKE is all it takes to lift the wing. I ended up using two pairs each to reduce wobble, but I've learned a very important lesson: AIRBRAKES are STRONG! (So are RCS Ports, I-Beams, Structural Panels, and the Force.) I may try to add VTOL capacity back to this bird at some point, but for the moment it's plenty complicated enough already. One problem at a time! Hopefully I'll have more time later this week to resume working on it. -SkunkTwerks *Death Star not included. Sorry!
  9. Work-in-Progress [WIP] Design Thread

    WOW. That is BEAUTIFUL work @Servo. You really nailed the aesthetics! I'll be very curious to see how you set up your internal hinges, I had some ideas but couldn't quite figure out how to do it. Feel free to PM me if you'd like to put heads together and collaborate. One of the hardest challenges I keep facing when building Star Wars craft has been balancing aesthetics, flight performance, and part count. It's always a compromise, but it's absolutely awesome when you can really nail two of those. Meanwhile, the SkunkTwerks X-Wing Prototype development continues. As of Prototype Version 17, I have achieved S-foil cycling in flight! The great news is that the hinges are sturdy enough to handle it. But it's still pretty shaky and not all the wings dock into place consistently. Docking port placement is key, and it's been really fiddly work to get them all in the perfect position. Losing control of all engines and most elevons during mode switching definitely compounds the challenge. I may need to add redundant docking ports for a better chance at successful re-docking. Flight config Battle config (note the altitude lost during reconfiguration tailspin) Back to flight config. It ain't pretty yet, but it works. Kinda. Progress is progress. -SkunkTwerks
  10. Star Wars Things

    I love Star Wars stuff! I hope you'll post some pictures, videos, or craft downloads soon.
  11. Oooh, that looks pretty cool. What's it called? It looks like a great excuse to build another hinge! Progress on the X-wing "boba in a straw" hinge is slow but steady. It's still a bit fiddly, but as of right now I can get all four S-foils to move back and forth from Flight -> Combat configuration and back without destroying the hinges most of the time. Getting it to work consistently in flight will be the real challenge. -SkunkTwerks
  12. Time for another peek at the Twerkshop behind the scenes... The quest for hinged craft continues. Next up, the X-Wing! @ShadowGoat and I bounced some hinge ideas off each other today, and I came up with what I shall fondly call the "BOBA IN A STRAW" hinge. Plot twist: it does not actually involve Boba Fett. Very disappointing, I know. The challenge: I needed a hinge strong enough to support HEAVY S-foils loaded up with Drill-O-Matics, fuel tanks, and engines. Did I mention they'd be experiencing aerodynamic forces during motion as well? This hinge needs to be SOLID. I also wanted to keep the part count to a respectful minimum so more people can enjoy flying the X-Wing at decent framerates. After trying a few other options with much higher part counts, I took inspiration from, you guessed it... bubble tea with wonderful chewy boba / tapioca pearls, sipped through a big fat straw. Today I learned that the "BOBA IN A STRAW" hinge idea is strong, quite low in part count, and seems to work beautifully in partial prototype! And all it took was at least six major revisions and a TON of delicate fine tuning. Radically simplified X-Wing prototype using loaded ore cans as engine stand-ins. Structural I-Beam and Panel colliders highlighted in yellow, RCS port colliders highlighted in red with Collide-O-Scope. How it works: I used structural panels and long I-Beams to create a long "straw," then filled it with RCS port "boba." The outermost RCS bearings on each side belong to (and rotate with) the left S-foil. The middle RCS bearings on each side belong to (and rotate with) the right S-foil. The innermost RCS bearings are part of the fuselage and keep the S-foil bearings from sliding fore/aft. I will add more "boba" to this "straw" later when I add the lower S-foils. Looking down the straw. When the S-foils are released from the docking ports, the RCS ports are trapped in place and can only rotate in place... theoretically speaking, of course. If the docking port angle & offsetting is even a little bit off, they can easily break out of their straw and cause all kinds of explosions. Using AIRBRAKES to push the S-foils up from flight configuration into combat configuration S-foils locked in combat configuration without support from AIRBRAKES. Note that the red RCS ports still aren't quite in perfect alignment despite many meticulous attempts... *shoots force lightning from fingertips* Lessons learned so far: 1) It seems that all docking ports must reach a certain distance apart before they can re-magnetize and re-dock. A meter, maybe? Hard to tell exactly. Docking ports will need to be closer to the wingtips so they'll have enough swing distance. So unless someone can think of a better solution, a few docking ports will probably just have to hover in midair above & below the ship when it's not in combat configuration. It's not super pretty, but I'll grudgingly sacrifice some beauty for functionality. Hopefully this won't conflict with the landing gear when I get around to adding the lower foils. 2) Docking ports must be *perfectly* aligned, or they rip their attached RCS ball bearings right out of their I-Beam housing upon docking. Or sometimes they only partially rip the RCS bearings out, and then everything falls apart the moment the docking ports are released. 3) Saving on part count means using heavy parts. Fortunately the X-Wing is really overpowered with its stacked Panther-RAPIERs. Not sure I'll be able to get it to work on the VTOL craft (so many potential part-clipping problems), but it might work just fine on the traditional runway takeoff variant. The prototype craft file is available upon request, PM me for the download. I'm all ears for insight and collaboration. May the Force of fine-tuning be with us all, -SkunkTwerks
  13. Happy Holidays, Star Wars KSP nerds! As a boxing day present, SkunkTwerks and ShadowGoat proudly present their collaborative craft, the GoatTwerks Variable-Geometry Alpha-3 Nimbus-class V-wing. In addition to VTOL capability, this starfighter can lock its wing radiators into flight position for extra maneuverability during combat and swing them back to stowed configuration for landing. After many hours of hinge testing and flight testing, 9 out of 10 rebel Kerbals agree: this ship is the coolest Twerkshop project yet (the other one misheard, and thought we were talking about the B-wing). Based on these two orthos from unusualsuspex: Flight Configuration and Landing Configuration. GoatTwerks Variable-Geometry Alpha-3 Nimbus-class V-wing Flight notes: Use of SAS is strongly recommended, RCS not included. Craft geometry changes are not guaranteed to function at airspeeds over 110 m/s in level flight. Similarly, wing-swings have been tested one at a time. Releasing both sets simultaneously may result in undesirable flight patterns. Don't forget to throttle back up after each wing set re-couples and locks into place. Not sure why, but KSP automatically cuts the throttle to 0 every time the craft becomes "whole" again. Make sure to swing the wings back into Landing Mode and extend the rear landing strut before returning to the ground. Velocities under ~12 m/s are strongly recommended for touchdown. Hotkeys: 1: Toggle vertical engines 2: Toggle horizontal engines 3: Toggle horizontal afterburners 4: Control from vertical "astromech droid" (most useful during landing) 5: Control from cockpit 6: Toggle vertical engine gimbals. Disabling gimbals significantly reduces craft wobble when using SAS's Hold Retrograde function during landing, but enabling gimbals can be handy for takeoff in rough terrain. 7: Undock lower wings for Landing/Flight Mode switch. Transfer control to the OKTO2 and hit W (landing -> flight) or S (flight -> landing) to finish the job. The lower wing Landing -> flight switch usually happens all by itself thanks to gravity and drag. 8: Undock upper wings for Landing/Flight Mode switch. Transfer control to the OKTO2 and hit W (landing -> flight) or S (flight -> landing) to finish the job. Folding the wings from Flight -> Landing Mode... Lower set locked into place. Upper set in motion. Fully reconfigured and ready for landing. Vertical landing using Astromech Droid and SAS's retrograde hold. Many special thanks to the KSP engineers who helped make this craft functional. @ShadowGoat made the initial request for this craft, then designed a brilliant functional prototype dual hinge system for this Variable Geometry version. The slick, lightweight, strong RCS port hinges were first introduced by @quitessa and refined by @Azimech. Yours truly, @SkunkTwerks provided the initial fixed-wing model and made lots of tweaks to the hinge prototypes to adapt them to the V-Wing. I personally had a blast making new friends in the KSP community, and a ton of fun learning about hinges. Fun fact: the V-Wing's hinge assemblies required at least 15 major overhauls to become as smooth, strong, and stable as they are now. Also, stay tuned to @Jett_Quasar's Star Wars Replicas thread, as a V-Wing is scheduled to make an appearance in one of his upcoming videos. May the Force be with you this holiday season, -SkunkTwerks P.S. As @MiffedStarfish just pointed out in the KerbalX comments, ideally the wings would all swing into position at the same time. But ShadowGoat and I couldn't wrap our head around a good way to do that... If anyone reading this has a clever idea for how to do it, I encourage you to join the collaboration!
  14. Jett Quasar's Star Wars Replicas

    Yesss! I would be honored indeed to see my V-Wing fly in one of your stories! Can't wait to see what you'll do with it. I love it! In that case, I won't take it personally if/when the V-Wing goes down in flames. I'll be cheering its destruction, because as @ShadowGoat mentioned, we are slowly working on a swing-wing version that should be really friggin' cool when we get it to work. Also, absolutely beautiful work on that new U-Wing. Comparing it to the orthos, you took the visual accuracy waayyyy up, especially on the wing geometry! And I love the little details like the solar panel squadron markers... "Blue Three" sure came out looking sharp!
  15. Excellent work, I appreciate your bravery in working with the setup you've got. On the plus side, being able to watch your kerbal get stretched and deformed in slow-motion at 8:18 was hilariously cool. Love how you added the Mk1 cockpit for maximum viewing enjoyment, and your tweaks to the firing chamber do indeed seem to be more efficient in getting kerbals to load and fire. Interesting! Well that would certainly seem to disprove my hypotheses about atmospheric cooling. Must really be aero heating that's blowing them up! Thanks for doing some science.