AlphaMensae

[1.3.1/1.7.x] Modular Launch Pads v2.0.0: Beyond launch clamps: Create a whole launch facility with mix-and-match parts [30 July 2019]

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3 hours ago, JPGSP said:

Does it work in 1.3.1?

because in spacedock it only appears 1.4.1 to higher

Yes, 1.3.1 versions of B9PartSwitch and Animated Decouplers are included.

The Spacedock thing is just to keep it current with the latest KSP version.

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7 hours ago, AlphaMensae said:

Yes, 1.3.1 versions of B9PartSwitch and Animated Decouplers are included.

The Spacedock thing is just to keep it current with the latest KSP version.

Thanks! 

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Made another new hold-down arm, this one is designed for an 8x45° arrangement for the Saturn I/IB on the milkstool, now with a revised ring that has switchable node setups and hold-down supports.

 

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Just wanted to say thanks for making this great mod. I've been playing since 0.17 and quite often heard the desire for real launch towers, especially once the one in the game was removed. You made it happen. Thanks so much. Keep up the fantastic work.

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@VoidryderThank you! :)

I originally made these for my own Soyuz and Saturn V, since the idea of launching them without their distinctive--almost iconic--launch pads just seemed wrong.  These are just the latest iterations, now available for all.

 

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JEB: "Hey Val, wanna come see my new pad? Got great arms to hold ya."

VAL: "Player, pleez. You need some better lines."

JEB watching Val walk away, points over his shoulder to Pad39A.  "But...but...but..."

:cool:

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:D

Oh, this is actually a few days old now, but I revised that alternate Saturn I/IB hold-down arm, it's now shorter, which meant it had to be made lower as well.  Just didn't like having it and the support pad extending past the green ring.

W1zi0oa.png

This may not have been obvious from that demo video, but that gray block at the end of arm retracts downward quickly as the arm begins to retract backward.  This isn't at all like the actual Saturn IB hold-down--which is just two struts hooked into the bottom of the fin-but, you know, Rule Of Cool. :cool:  I like giving these hold-down arms a little visual action rather than just sitting there, even though it probably goes unnoticed most of the time. ;)

 

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Been working on the switchable rectangular insert for the Saturn launcher base, here's a WIP preview demo.  Almost done, just have to finish defining the booster hold-down arm attach nodes in Unity.

 

 

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It's not what I had originally envisioned, because B9PS does not move attach nodes, only turn them on/off.  So instead of having the nodes for the booster hold-down arms move as the supports change (moving inward in two directions), I have to define all of them (64!) and separately switch on individual sets of four, that's the reason for that third switcher.  Same deal with the core setup, all twelev options had to be done separately.

The original idea was to:  Select core size (5m, 3.75m, 2.5m, 1.875m), then core support arrangment (2x180° or two versions of 4x45°), then the booster supports (off or one of 4 sizes); the latter two options would be context-based on what core size was selected.  It worked fine with just the mesh transforms (the actual support objects), but not for the nodes.  I could have just put in one set of nodes for the core supports, and another for the boosters, but unlike the square insert the walls (and thus the flame "slot") of this insert change as the core size becomes smaller.  That would have left those nodes outside the walls for the smaller sizes, which could cause confusion, and wasn't very elegant.  Another idea was for the node-switcher to change both the core and booster nodes, which would make the .cfg way bigger.

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Finishing up details, like making the new bottom-mount hold-down arm have switchable sizes:

Also added a 3x120° hold-arm arrangement for the square insert, intended for the Delta II with 9 GEM SRBs, and then made a hexagonal deck insert for them:

dawUBVG.png

 

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30 minutes ago, sam_milne said:

will this work in 1.22

Officially, no, because v1.2 of Modular Launch Pads uses B9PartSwitch for texture switching for the red and gray versions of the Saturn tower parts, and the KSP 1.2.2 versions of B9PS don't have that ability.  V1.1 of Modular Launch Pads is still available on Spacedock.

Now, it might be possible to load the v1.2 parts in KSP 1.2.2, but I can't verify that. Best case is that they load ok but there are only red versions available; worst case is that they don't load at all or even cause the game to crash.

 

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After discovering that launch clamps can indeed have other animations in them that aren't part of the clamp release one, I've revised the Russian Launch Stand yet again.  The big multi-switching arm assembly was just too complex, and will no longer be used (or be an option), instead the launch stand will have a single adjustable fuel arm built into it.  Two more fuel arms can be added separately.  The crew elevator tower will be a separate part only.

This has made for much less complexity, as most of the deploy limit sliders have been eliminated, leaving only those for the crew elevator, and they are confined to that part.

Here's a dev demo of the new Russian Launch Stand, with the Tantares TLV rocket:

 

I have a plan in mind to spin the launch clamp-type stands and pads into a separate mod.  There would be much less modularity and configuration ability, but there would be a whole series of 1-part (or 1+1) launch stands and pads that would work as node-attached launch clamps.  This Russian Launch Stand is now the prototype for them.

Edited by AlphaMensae

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I'm getting all the stuff assembled for the v1.3 update release, but then did a last-minute addition:  I made the elevator in the Saturn tower base sections switchable, it's now off by default, and the max height can be switched to different values.  This was mainly to make the base sections' part window icon actually visible now, as having the elevator at 63m made the icon very tiny, but it also makes adjusting the height with the deploy limit slider easier for shorter rockets.

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Excellent! My ground crews will be very glad they no longer have to "volunteer" to hold the rockets upright on the pad any longer.  :cool:

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Ahead of the v1.3 release, I've made and uploaded the new trailer to Youtube:

 

This will be in the OP when the update is posted.

 

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Version 1.3 is now on Spacedock!

Changelog:

1.3.0    **Russian Launch Stand**
    
    > The Russian Launch Stand no longer uses a separate arm assembly. The clamp arms and one adjustable (by mesh-switching) fuel arm are now built into the stand itself. The fuel arm can be retracted manually. Two additional fuel arms and a separate crew elevator tower can be added as well.

    > Russian Launch Stand's clamp arms can also be turned off, so the big Soyuz Launch Pad's gravity-retract hinges and arms can be used instead.

    > Color can now be switched to the Soyuz Pad's green.

    
    **Soyuz Launch Pad**

    > The Soyuz Launch Pad base now has switchable hinge-mount configurations, either at 90 or 45 degrees.

    > The clamp arms have adjustable-size clamp pads, done by the deploy limit slider.

    > Extra attach nodes are included on the base for use with the Russian Launch Stand's fuel arms and crew tower, as an interim step until I can make proper ones for the Soyuz Pad.

    > The color for the base's central ring, clamp arms and counterweights can be switched to the gray-drab color of the Russian Stand.


    **Saturn Pad**

    > The individual tower swing arms have been eliminated. There are now new switchable Saturn tower swing arms, in four general sizes (for fuel tanks of 1.875m, 2.5m, 3.75m and 5m diameter), each with seven switchable umbilical connector types.  There are also new BDB Saturn V arms with two different size options (for default and rescale sizes).  Eventually the general type arms will vary more from the Saturn V ones they currently use as a base; this is a small step in that direction.

    > The individual flame hole inserts for the base have been eliminated.  They have been replaced by a single square and rectangular switchable insert, both with multiple options.

    > The standard launcher base no longer has attach nodes for accessories like SRB hold-down arms and tail service masts, these are now in the new switchable inserts.

    > The tower base sections' elevators are now off by default, and have switchable maximum heights when turned on. The deploy limit slider can still be used to fine-adjust the stopping height.

    > The hold-down arms no longer can be retracted manually, retraction is only by staging via Animated Decouplers

    > What was the Type 1 and Type 2 hold down arms have been revised and renamed the Saturn V and Saturn IB Type B hold-down arm. The other hold-down arms have been renamed General Type [x].

    > Two new hold arms have been added, a bottom-mount type and another one designed for the Saturn IB, the Type A.

    > New Saturn Milkstool with an integrated insert, i.e. switchable node and hold-down supports.

    > NOTE: Disable staging for any part (like swing arms) that is manually retracted, or move its staging icon into a stage above that of the launcher base, otherwise they will reset if staged.

    **General**

    > ALL OLD PARTS ARE NO LONGER LOADED BY DEFAULT.  They are in a separate folder called "Old_Parts" that is outside of the Gamedata folder in the .zip file. If they are needed to prevent craft and save files from breaking, copy the "Parts" foder from "Old_Parts" into the ModularLaunchPads folder, and copy the contents of the "3D_Assets" folder from "Old_Parts" into the "3D_Assets" folder in ModularLaunchPads.
    
    > Old parts won't appear in any category or the tech tree, they are provided solely to prevent craft and save files breaking so the old parts can be replaced. This is the last time old parts will be included.

    > Saturn tower swing arms are now back in the Structural category.

    > Added v2.3.0 of B9PartSwitch for KSP v1.4.3

    > Added MM patch file for Tundra Exploration, it adds a size 5 node below the bottom of the three first stage tanks for attaching a launch pad.

    > Revised the custom category, old parts were removed, new ones added.
    

 

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And already posted v1.3.1....

Nothing big, just forgot to convert the textures to DDS format, something I always do but in a major derp moment it slipped my mind this time.

Also, fixed the two Saturn pad subassemblies, I had reverted the tower base sections' internal name back to the original one, after deciding the elevator change wasn't big enough to warrant making a new part.

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I need some help with AlphaMensae's Modular Launch Pads 1.3.1/1.3.2 -- on KSP 1.4.3.2152 Windows x64 -- as I'm not seeing how to configure the new 'Saturn Launcher Base Insert Square'.

Right-clicking on it just shows the Autostruts/Rigid Attachment options -- seems like it should work according to your earlier posts -- am I clicking on the wrong thing maybe?  installation problem?

I also cannot properly attach the Launch Pad base so that it is flush with the fairings -- I don't have the right attachment node on the bottom of the Saturn V 5 engine plate in the History expansion, and your earlier video mentions a patch file -- but I think it should be automatic in the release version if I understood correctly.

I installed 'Modular Launch Pads' via CKAN -- are there any additional manual steps I need to take?

Other mods installed:  Action Groups Extended 2.3.35, BetterBurnTime 1.6.1, CCTV 1.1.3.1, Click Through Blocker 0.1.6.3, Docking Port Alignment Indicator 6.8.2, Gravity Turn Continued 1.7.7, HullcamVDS Continued 0.1.9.3, JSIPart Utilities 0.4.2, Kerbal Engineer Redux 1.1.4.11, Module Manager 3.0.7, Precise Maneuver 2.4.1, RasterPropMonitor & Core v0.30.3, Toolbar 1.7.17.11, Transfer Window Planner v1.6.3.0, TriggerAu Flags v2.9.30

 

Other than that the models are a thing of beauty, thank you :)

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4 hours ago, DarkStarTX said:

I need some help with AlphaMensae's Modular Launch Pads 1.3.1/1.3.2 -- on KSP 1.4.3.2152 Windows x64 -- as I'm not seeing how to configure the new 'Saturn Launcher Base Insert Square'.

Right-clicking on it just shows the Autostruts/Rigid Attachment options -- seems like it should work according to your earlier posts -- am I clicking on the wrong thing maybe?  installation problem?

I also cannot properly attach the Launch Pad base so that it is flush with the fairings -- I don't have the right attachment node on the bottom of the Saturn V 5 engine plate in the History expansion, and your earlier video mentions a patch file -- but I think it should be automatic in the release version if I understood correctly.

I installed 'Modular Launch Pads' via CKAN -- are there any additional manual steps I need to take?

Other mods installed:  Action Groups Extended 2.3.35, BetterBurnTime 1.6.1, CCTV 1.1.3.1, Click Through Blocker 0.1.6.3, Docking Port Alignment Indicator 6.8.2, Gravity Turn Continued 1.7.7, HullcamVDS Continued 0.1.9.3, JSIPart Utilities 0.4.2, Kerbal Engineer Redux 1.1.4.11, Module Manager 3.0.7, Precise Maneuver 2.4.1, RasterPropMonitor & Core v0.30.3, Toolbar 1.7.17.11, Transfer Window Planner v1.6.3.0, TriggerAu Flags v2.9.30

 

Other than that the models are a thing of beauty, thank you :)

You need B9PartSwitch installed to enable the switching on the various parts that have it.  It's included with the ModularLaunchPads. .zip, in both KSP 1.3.1 and 1.4.3 versions as separate .zip files.

Animated Decouplers, also included as separate .zip files for KSP 1.3.1 and 1.4.x, also needs to be installed.

I don't do CKAN, so I'm guessing it didn't pick up on the two dependencies needed.

The launch pads need a free attach node on the bottom of a rocket.  Usually this will be a center engine's bottom node, and will work, but the bigger the node (the pad's attach node is size 5) the easier it is to attach the pad, which is why I made the patches for certian mod parts.

I don't have the Making History expansion, so don't know what those engine plates are like.

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Ok, v1.3 marks the end of the initial release period of Modular Launch Pads.

I have now started work on v2.0, which will be a mostly "clean slate" revamp plus more stuff...like the shuttle and Falcon 9 pads, among others. :)

The revamp part is mainly with the original Saturn pad stuff (the Soyuz might get some kind of redo as well), as I remake most of the parts.  They were originally made for my own Saturn V as part of the Simple Overhaul, and due to wanting to get the standalone modular version out relatively quickly, I just reused what I had made.  They were assembled mostly in Unity from existing and a few new simple primitive objects made in Wings 3D; back then I was much more comfortable working in Unity than with making complex things in Wings.

Now, I have a much better handle on working in Wings, and so it's time to remake the Saturn parts as single objects or just a few major subassemblies.  First up is the mobile launcher base, which is now complete.   Still looks pretty much like before, but with some different details:

Support columns have been changed, and there are more side-struts (and no more sawtooth shadows). The real base didn't have massive square-sided columns, but what looked like half-tripods upon which the the whole mobile launcher was placed.

Spoiler

9MvGhQt.png

 

 

The base's elevator shaft is a subassembly object, and also now has cross-brace struts:

Spoiler

V0WtS95.png

 

The railings and hatches are also complete subassembly objects, and there is now a hole for the tower elevator shaft. The base's deck is two pieces now, and are aligned properly as well.  There are more railing posts too, the benefits of making them a single object.

Spoiler

59xT6Qq.png

 

 

The elevator blast shield is also a subassembly object, and has more detail (and is taller now ;)  ):

Spoiler

YiaE93Q.png

 

 

Edited by AlphaMensae

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Looking forward to 2.0 already.

I did get things working with your pointers on the additional mods required and my 'Making History' version of the Saturn V-Apollo launch worked beautifully, I added some lights pointing up from the pad to add some dramatic lighting on the rocket also.  As for the Engine mount point I just shifted rocket down from the engine attachment point and that seemed to work fine.

But that Bluedog Design Bureau version of the Apollo Saturn V is so much nicer than the Making History version.  Time to download some more mods :)  

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@DarkStarTX Glad you got it working!  It sounded like you were just missing the required dependency mods. :)

Yep, Bluedog Design Bureau is well worth the download, it is indeed a massive upgrade over the DLC stuff, and I love to use it to show off the Saturn pad.

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Working on the Saturn tower section revamp for v2 now.  The Saturn V tower will now have two elevators, just like the real one did.  The second one could be used to access another level while keeping the other one reserved for crew access to the spacecraft.

Just finished up the modelling the "root" object, the 1x floor section.  Here it is in Wings3D before UV Mapping:

fzWsjuW.png

Reworked the elevator shafts with a cross-brace "cage" design, and added the bottom corner plates for the main cross-braces (something visible in the real tower, but didn't get put in the Unity-made version, as object count was getting high).

I was going to make 12 versions of the tower section, from 1 to 12 floors, and mesh-switch between them.  But I really don't want to UV Map this thing 11 more times, each time with more and more faces to pick out. So I think I'll just stack the various section height options in Unity, it still will be far far less objects than even the original 1x floor section has.

But still have to do the angled base section. :D

Oh, it's also in true 64% scale, both in height (3.9m) and width (7.8m x 7.8m).

 

 

 

Edited by AlphaMensae

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