sumghai

FusTek Station Parts Dev Thread (continuation of fusty's original work)

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Note to first-time readers: When this thread was first posed in May 2013, the original intention was to extend upon fusty's original and existing station parts pack; he has since deprecated his parts and handed over the project for me to maintain.

If you don't want to wait for an official update, you can check out the GitHub repo for this project to download the very latest (but highly experimental) WIPs.


Of the numerous mods I currently have in my installation of KSP, one of my favourites has to be fusty's FusTek Station Parts. Designed to "vaguely resemble some ISS components", these components feature clean, bright colours whilst still being reasonably compatible with stock parts.

I do, however, have some personal misgivings regarding the Karmony II nodes - namely the lack of crew portholes, as well as the mandatory four-way recesses, EVA hatches and lander canopy windows. As such, I've been musing about making some module variants for quite some time.

So, without further ado, I'll be documenting my first foray into mod part authoring in this thread.

Objective

My aim is to create a range of station module variants / IVAs in the same style as the FusTek Karmony II nodes, which would comprise of:

  • Karmony III Node: identical to the Karmony II, but without the EVA hatch and lander canopy
  • Mission-specific modules: as above, but without the side docking recesses and includes portholes at appropriate locations
    • Habitat module: will tentatively house 3~6 Kerbals, with galley, shower, toilet, stowage and sleeping alcoves
    • Science module: max capacity of 4 Kerbals, with banks of computers / switches and one glovebox
    • Storage module: essentially a passageway lined with storage containers
    • Utilities module: additional power / life support / water storage

    [*]Kuest airlock: ISS Quest-like dedicated airlock module; IVA will feature two empty Kerbal spacesuits stowed on side walls

    [*]Kupola: similar to the ISS Cupola and the 0.20 stock Panopticon by ClariaLyrae; will be design both as a space station observation pod and a planetary lander command pod (and so will be the only module with flight instruments)

Detailed specifications (subject to change) may be found at http://bit.ly/kspSumghaisFusTekInspiredParts

My Expertise

Whilst this is my first modding project, and by extension have not worked with Unity / KSP PartTools before, I am reasonably familiar with modelling / texturing / rendering in Blender.

Administrivia

  • Obviously, I'm in the process of seeking permission from Alex (fusty) himself regarding permissions and source geometry files, although I suspect that he, like many others, will have plenty on their plate with the 0.20 release and revised mod file packaging scheme.

  • If all goes well and I do manage to complete this mod, I will by default include source geometry files along with the parts, and release them under a Creative Commons licence for other users to examine / remix under similar conditions.


Progress Report, 23 May 2013

_wip__station_module_geometry_mockup_0_1a_by_sumghai-d668wfw.png

Fig 1 - (Left to Right) Karmony III Node, Mission-specific module (all variants), Kuest Airlock, Kupola

Did some rudimentary modelling in SolidWorks 2008, and a clay render in Blender 2.66a / YafaRay 0.1.5 to illustrate the key concepts. I've omitted fusty's signature panelling, since those are technically normal maps - the key point here is to focus on the overall geometry.

The Kuest airlock's outer hatch is represented by the rounded square on the side of the smaller protruding cylinder, as seen in the real Quest airlock.

The Kupola will probably have sliding blast shutters for the side window and a camera iris at the top, as I personally feel the real-life Cupola's massive hinged plates lack the comical representation of tech in KSP.

Needless to say, if I could have access to fusty's source models (or even a list of precise measurements/dimensions), I'll be able to jump straight into making the actual in-game models.

I'm also wondering whether to add more EVA handles, particularly at the circular ends as a "ring". Thoughts?

Edited by sumghai

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One of the particular reasons I liked Karmony is that it had a version without the taper on the ends providing a straightforward 2.5m attachment point. That made it easier to build more structurally sound monolithic stations at lower part counts.

Could you possibly consider making versions of your parts like these?

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WANT!

FusTek as it is, is the core of my space station, I would love more.

And work like yours will be very important eventually when we can move in IVA. Lots of IVAs out there don't really line up.

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I like your designs.

I would like a 2m module, with both end flat.

In addition I wouldn't mind a 2m cylinder-command pod that is entirely in-line (unlike the lander can)

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...oh, and a question. How exactly do you export models from Solidworks?

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Nice models. Hope your texture work is of a similar standard!

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I love this plan, and look forward to using these when you release them

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Thanks for the kudos, everyone!

Oh yeah! love this! subscribed, I hope Fustek don't mind
Subscribed. Hope fusty is ok with this

I've mentioned my proposal to fusty a few times, and he is certainly aware of what I plan to do. However, he hasn't yet responded regarding the sharing of source geometries for the existing Karmony II designs. (without this, my modules won't be 100% compatible)

*twiddles thumbs while waiting*

One of the particular reasons I liked Karmony is that it had a version without the taper on the ends providing a straightforward 2.5m attachment point. That made it easier to build more structurally sound monolithic stations at lower part counts.

Could you possibly consider making versions of your parts like these?

I would like a 2m module, with both end flat.

In addition I wouldn't mind a 2m cylinder-command pod that is entirely in-line (unlike the lander can)

To hear is to obey - see the update further down this post.

And work like yours will be very important eventually when we can move in IVA. Lots of IVAs out there don't really line up.

Yeah. I cringe every time I'm in IVA and I suddenly realise that where the outside wall is a docking port, the inside surface are a bunch of drawers rather than a corresponding hatch.

...oh, and a question. How exactly do you export models from Solidworks?

I saw your other thread - I'll do my best to answer this specific question there in a moment.


Progress Report, 24 May 2013

I took some time in KSP to examine the relative size of Kerbals to the various stock and mod parts out there. This information would help me determine how to scale certain compartments, as well as design sensible IVAs.

kerbal_anatomical_proportions_study_by_sumghai-d66c2p3.png

Fig 2 - Kerbal Anatomical Proportions

As shown in Figure 2, I lined Jeb up against a makeshift yardstick made from stock trusses and panels, and from this was able to determine some key measurements for the (approximate) bounding box of the average* Kerbal.

Pressumably, Kerbals would not actually wear helmets whilst inside the pressurized cabin of a spacecraft, but I'll probably use something slightly more generous than the worst-case figures just to be on the safe side for the interior passageways.

fustek_station_modules_dimension_studies_i_by_sumghai-d66ch97.png

Fig 3 - Karmony II adapter node access hatches

The next steps were to examine the Karmony II modules in closer detail, to see which features I would retain in my variants.

As per my original posts, the offset side EVA hatch and the lander canopy would be omitted, but I'm tempted to keep the hatches on the ends (mainly for IVA compatibility). The node version would also have these hatches in the side docking recesses as well, for the sake of completeness.

fustek_station_modules_dimension_studies_ii_by_sumghai-d66chne.png

Fig 4 - Kuest airlock mockup using stock parts

The required geometry for the transition stage of the two-stage Kuest airlock can also be quickly prototyped using a stock structural fuselage and a Karmony II node; it is evident from Figure 4 that a Kerbal can fit comfortable inside the 1.25 m diameter confines of the former.

Note that the final Kuest airlock will obviously have shorter compartments than the ones shown in the mockup.

fustek_station_modules_dimension_studies_iii_by_sumghai-d66chu6.png

Fig 5 - Preliminary overlay for habitat module

While the earliest releases of the module variants will not yet include any IVAs (I not that competent in Blender yet), I figured it was still a good idea to check the overlays with Kerbal anatomy proportions, as this would still determine:

  • How many Kerbals the modules would actually be able to support comfortably
  • Where to put things like viewports

From this (and other facts), I observed that:

  • The 4 m module length probably includes the tapered ends, which are dead (i.e. useless) space from an IVA viewpoint
  • The diameter of the passageway through modules needs to be between 0.7 and 1.25 m to facilitate efficient egress
  • Kerbals would bunk without wearing their bulky spacesuits; their sleeping alcoves would need to be at least 1 m high and >0.6 wide for adequate comfort and stowage of personal effects
  • Bunks would be vertically mounted to save internal space and allow each to have a viewport; real-life astronauts on the ISS get velcroed to their wall-mounted sleeping bags (and velcro seems to be on par with Kerbal tech)
  • Both the toilet and the shower compartments need to be similar in size to the bunks so that the Kerbals can comfortably go about their business :sticktongue:
  • The galley's conference table is low enough for other Kerbals to float right over it as they traverse between the ends of the cabin
  • Any remaining space is used for internal cargo / power / monopropellant storage

In terms of crew capacity:

  • Fusty's original specs stated a max capacity of six Kerbals, but that's assuming they remain seated for the entire duration of missions that could theoretically last for weeks or months. Besides, the bunks would become exceptionally cramped (2 m divided by 3 Kerbals per side = 0.67 m deep bunks, just shy of the 0.5 m shirt-sleeve garmented Kerbals)
  • Three Kerbals would allow for one habitat to be matched to one Mk1-2 Command Pod (in case of an emergency), but this results in an odd number of sub-compartments

Ultimately, I compromised and opted for a max capacity of four Kerbals per habitat, with amenities scaled to fit as in Figure 5. This arrangement allows the module to be used in both space stations (where the lack of gravity allows maximum use of internal surface area) and planetary bases (where having a distinct "floor" and "ceiling" are important).

_wip__station_module_geometry_mockup_0_1a_addendum_by_sumghai-d66cgyt.png

Fig 6 - Additional mockups for untapered module variants

Now, in response to Mihara and betaking's suggestions, I quickly tossed together some mockups for variants with non-tapered 2.5 m ends, as can be seen in Figure 6. The Kuest airlock will not have a flushed end variant, as airlocks are intended to be standalone attachments

KSP does have a stock 1.25/2.5 m adapter plate, but I'm planning on including one that will fit the FusTek aesthetic.

*Technically, Jeb's a badass.

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I love the direction you are going with this! I would love to see you include caps for the recessed ports on the modules that include them. One could make it smooth, so that you could retain the recessed ports on the sides you wanted, one could maybe include windows or a cupola.

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I love the idea. The only problem I have with the Fustek modules is that the surface attachments are too deep, so the CBM ports are too recessed. This makes docking 2 modules sideways impossible.

I love your Cupola, but I would really like a smaller one, the diameter of a CBM port like the real thing. This would allow to fit one into the CBM recesses when they are not used. Besides, there is already a stock 2.5m Cupola now.

Edited by Nibb31

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I really like this idea. I hope fusty gets back to you about it. I'm a real ISS geek so stuff that makes building that kind of station possible, easier, and more varied is great! Keep up the good work! :)

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These models look excellent, and your designs are extremely well thought out. I have wanted to make something like this myself but lack the skill required to do so. These are exactly the kind of parts that are needed because at the moment the only space station parts pack (besides FusTek) is the Kosmos Station Parts Pack, which is nice but based only on Soviet/Russian stations, and there is a noticeable lack of western style (NASA, ESA, CSA, JAXA), more modern space station parts. Keep up the great work and hopefully we will all be able to use this great looking work when you finish.

Edited by 15nelsoc

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the Karmony is the best looking almost stock station module, but lacks the variety that you present in these mockups. Also, the KSPx cupola is cool for a rocket, is less than ideal compared to the ISS version. I eagerly await to see progress on this.

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Heh, this is very awesome man. Can't wait to enhance my stations with your parts too!

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Even fusty is looking forward to these! Me too. I think they might change how I've been making stations. The ring hand-hold on top sounds good, especially if you are planning a metallic bronze or gold look to them.:) Would it be possible to have the window light up?

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Heh, this is very awesome man. Can't wait to enhance my stations with your parts too!

I think you could make a collaborative mod pack. It could be great :)

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I would love to see you include caps for the recessed ports on the modules that include them. One could make it smooth, so that you could retain the recessed ports on the sides you wanted, one could maybe include windows or a cupola.

Interesting idea - I presume you want to use those caps to make T or right-angle junctions?

Caps would be easy and quick to make, but my personal philosophy with space station modules is that they should, in theory, be as versatile as possible once launched. If a node had one or more of these cap pieces, you would essentially be sacrificing a potential docking location should you decide to one day reconfigure your station in orbit.

Cap parts would also lead to funny situations IVA wise, such as opening an internal hatch...to a bulkhead.

I'll address the inline cupola in a moment.

I love the idea. The only problem I have with the Fustek modules is that the surface attachments are too deep, so the CBM ports are too recessed. This makes docking 2 modules sideways impossible.

I myself prefer to use the stock Clamp-o-tron docking ports, but I see what you mean.

Since I'd prefer to keep the geometry as close to fusty's Mk II design as possible, I probably won't make ones with shallower recesses. However, fusty or myself could probably make a "shim" ring that could go between the Karmony modules and the CBM to push the latter out a bit more.

I love your Cupola, but I would really like a smaller one, the diameter of a CBM port like the real thing. This would allow to fit one into the CBM recesses when they are not used. Besides, there is already a stock 2.5m Cupola now.

I just had a look at some more reference pictures, and I see what you mean.

However, as per Figure 4 of my previous post, I noted that a 1.25 m diameter fuselage would barely fit the average Kerbal, and so if we scale the real ISS Cupola accordingly with the right proportions, what would effectively happen in KSP is that only the head and upper torso of a Kerbal would fit inside the Kupola, leaving the feet dangling into another module. Since we have no idea how Squad plans to implement IVAs (rendering all interconnected modules as one big interior? or just the current active one with hatches closed?), I'm tempted to play things safe and enlarge the Kupola so that at least one Kerbal can be fully contained inside it - a larger design also allows it to be potentially used as a lander cockpit or a conning tower for a space station / planetary outpost.

As for the matter of the stock 2.5 m Panopticon by ClariaLyrae, I'm simply making a similar-sized version that better fits the FusTek aesthetics.

Heh, this is very awesome man. Can't wait to enhance my stations with your parts too!

The fusty has spoken.

All hail fusty.

:cool:

Would it be possible to have the window light up?

Possibly in a future release, since I'm still exceptionally new to modding for KSP.

I think you could make a collaborative mod pack. It could be great :)

Indeed. I might have fusty review my parts and let him decide whether to package them into his existing Station Parts Pack.


Progress Report, 28 May 2013

Apologies for taking a bit longer than usual - I spent a good part of the weekend installing 0.20 and reloading all the mods I use.

One full weekend of Blender and Unity, I'm about 90% of the way to completing the first of many modules to come:

ksp_fustek_karmony_node_mkiii_wip_28_may_2013_by_sumghai-d66vnhb.png

Fig 7 - (WIP) FusTek Karmony Node Mk III

One of the nice things about the 0.20 release is that, once I had established my workflow in Blender and Unity, one could very quickly modify parts and reload them in-game without restarting the whole program. Through numerous iterations, I was finally able completely and painstakingly recreate fusty's original Karmony Mk II geometry - from scratch.

Other than the deliberate omission of the fuselage-mounted hatches and lander canopy, my recreation is practically a dead ringer for fusty's fine work - down to the textures and normal maps.

The remaining 10% required to complete this one part would involve:

  • Tagging the yellow EVA handholds as ladders in KSP PartTools - at the moment, they're just another mesh
  • Creating the six access hatches for the Mk III node, for compatibility with future IVAs

Future parts would, needless to say, have much shorter development cycles due to the reuse of assets.

My next part would be the end taper rings, like the tapers on the Mk II Adapter. It'll be interesting to see whether attachment nodes superimposed on hatches would cause obstructions, as the nodes would be used to position these tapers.

Hypothetical Milestones / Release Schedule (no promises)

R0.1a

  • Karmony Node Mk III (ladders + hatches)
  • Karmony 2.5 m to 1.25 m adapter ring
  • Karmony Node Mk III Adapter (i.e. with integral end tapers)
  • Storage Module
  • Storage Module, with Adapter ends

R0.2b

  • Habitat Module
  • Habitat Module, with Adapter ends
  • Science Module
  • Science Module, with Adapter ends
  • Utilities Module
  • Utilities Module, with Adapter ends

R0.3b

  • Kuest Airlock
  • Kupola
  • Kupola, with Adapter end

R0.4b

  • Karmony Node Mk III IVA
  • Storage Module IVA

R0.5b

  • Habitat Module IVA
  • Science Module IVA
  • Utilities Module IVA

R0.6b

  • Kuest Airlock IVA (may require Kerbal space suit props)

R0.7b

  • Kupola IVA
  • Kupolas to have working blast shutters
  • Kerbals to be viewable from outside the Kupola

R0.8b

  • Light up windows on Habitat, Science, Utilities and Kupola

R0.9

  • Final release, barring bug fixes / additional functionality
  • Possibly integrated into fusty's existing parts pack

Edited by sumghai

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I just had a look at some more reference pictures, and I see what you mean.

However, as per Figure 4 of my previous post, I noted that a 1.25 m diameter fuselage would barely fit the average Kerbal, and so if we scale the real ISS Cupola accordingly with the right proportions, what would effectively happen in KSP is that only the head and upper torso of a Kerbal would fit inside the Kupola, leaving the feet dangling into another module. Since we have no idea how Squad plans to implement IVAs (rendering all interconnected modules as one big interior? or just the current active one with hatches closed?), I'm tempted to play things safe and enlarge the Kupola so that at least one Kerbal can be fully contained inside it - a larger design also allows it to be potentially used as a lander cockpit or a conning tower for a space station / planetary outpost.

As for the matter of the stock 2.5 m Panopticon by ClariaLyrae, I'm simply making a similar-sized version that better fits the FusTek aesthetics.

I get it. I was thinking of the Cupola being nothing more than an esthetic window part that wouldn't require an IVA, but that could be used to cover up CBM ports where you don't necessarily want to put docking port. In RL, a person barely fits inside it too:

cupola_iss_595.gif

Of course, if you want to make it a pod or an actual hab module with an IVA, then sure, it needs to be the same size as the stock one.

Edited by Nibb31

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Interesting idea - I presume you want to use those caps to make T or right-angle junctions?

Caps would be easy and quick to make, but my personal philosophy with space station modules is that they should, in theory, be as versatile as possible once launched. If a node had one or more of these cap pieces, you would essentially be sacrificing a potential docking location should you decide to one day reconfigure your station in orbit.

I certainly understand your philosophy there, but at the same time, I want to throw my hat in for requesting this. Not all of us play the same way or even use the parts for the same purpose. Sometimes it would just be nice to be able to cap over these holes in my facility. My Kerbals will understand if we use standardize parts that happen to have a door in a location we had to wall over. Or hey, if we put a window there, then they can open the door to look out.

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Wow, you did a lot of good research for further kerbal and iva modding :) Nice models to

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