GusTurbo

Open Source Construction Techniques for Craft Aesthetics

1085 posts in this topic

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[4-7-15: All techniques since 6-16-14 added]

[6-16-14: All techniques since 3-7-14 added -- sorry for the long delay!]

[3-7-14: Updated contributor list to include all new techniques since 2-22 -- Keep the great techniques coming!]

[2-22-14: Updated contributor list to include all new techniques since 2-5]

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[2-3-14: Updated main post to include all of your great techniques!]

[10-16-13: To celebrate being stickied, I've updated this thread for easier navigation]

One of the main reasons I frequent the Spacecraft Exchange is to find creative craft that push the game's boundaries in the pursuit of aesthetics. Posters like Mulbin, sgt_flyer, halsfury, and Giggleplex all find new ways to make cool craft.

One thing I haven't seen here is a thread dedicated to showing off design and building techniques. A full craft like Mulbin's Munbug IX may incorporate numerous features all combined into a single cohesive design. Sometimes the small details can get overlooked, which is why I would like to devote this thread to sharing the smaller design details that go into a great craft.


Construction Techniques by Contributor

9t3ndo

"Rockomax Turbine" Turbojet + 48-7s Engine; SPH

Landing Leg Actuated Cargo Bay

Two Clever Ways to Hide Orange Radial Engine

Aegeas

Micro Plane Design; SPH

Mini-Ufo Using 88-88 Satellite Dishes; VAB

AmpsterMan

Stack Separator for Radial and Vertical Detachment; VAB

AppleDavidJeans

Detachachable RCS Thrusts Mk2, and other things; VAB

Detachable RCS Thrusters; VAB

astropapi1

Concealed 1-Man Capsule with Command Seat; VAB

Streamlined Shock Cone Intake

Azimech

Large Sci-fi Hull Using Mk3 Cargo Bays

Blue

Hidden Capsule Maneuvering Unit with Landing Gear; VAB

Hidden Orbital Maneuvering System for 3.75m Payloads; VAB

Clean-looking Ion Glider; SPH

Application of sgt_flyer's Large Escape Ring Technique; VAB

8-Kerbal Landing Pod; VAB

Inverted Decoupler as Engine Shroud; VAB

Multi-Technique Design Study: Fuel Tanker; VAB

Captain Sierra

DoubleChute System (Drogue + XL Chute); VAB

Launch Escape System with Stack Mounted Parachute; VAB

Lower Profile Upper Stage Cluster Engines (using Editor Extensions mod); VAB

Claw

Radial Ram Intake Pods; SPH

Extra Large Station Modules

Large Cargo Bay using Landing Leg Method

Helpful Spaceplane Tips

Clouds

Antenna Fairings; VAB

Don Quixote

Hidden LV-N Applications; VAB

ExoThermos

Integrated Plane Cockpits; SPH

FishInferno

4x Mainsail Engine Cluster for 3.75m Lower Stages; VAB

Francesco

Hidden Parachutes for Solid Rocket Boosters; VAB

Giggleplex777

2x KR-1 Liquid Booster Engine Assembly for 3.75m Lower Stages (SLS-like); VAB

Multi-technique Design Study; VAB

Dual-mounted LV-N Engines for Upper Stages; VAB

Shrouded Docking Ports; VAB

Ladder Compartments as Shrouds/Fairing

Gue__1

Fairings from I-Beams and Backwards Radial Parachutes; VAB

Radial Antennas as Nozzle Extensions

GusTurbo

4x KR-1 Liquid Booster Engine Assembly (8 engine cluster) for 3.75m Lower Stages; VAB

Stack Separator as Radial Decoupler Only; VAB

Application of sgt_flyer's Spherical Fuel Tanks Technique; VAB

5-Kerbal Pod + BZ-52 Radial Attachment Point "Shrouds"; VAB

8-Kerbal Pod with Inward-Facing Mk1 Lander Cans; VAB

Rover Wheels as Landing Legs; VAB

Vertical Reinforcement of Radial Boosters using Docking Ports; VAB

Landing Wheel Actuated Cargo Bay

Kerbal "Elevator"/Teleporter

Kronal Vessel Viewer Application

Pontoons and Boat Hulls Using Structural Intakes

H20.

Ion Ring, Lander, and Nuclear Stage

Halsfury

4x4 KS-25 Engine Cluster for Large Lower Stages (>5m); VAB

Skin and Bones Technique; VAB

"Flame Spitting" Jet Engines; SPH

iClarion

N-TURBO Engine (Turbojet + LV-N)

Color-changing Light Panel (over 3M color combos)

iDan122

Extra Large Gigantor Solar Panel Arrays; VAB

inigma

TURAN (Turbojet, Rapier, Nuclear) Engine; SPH

JackRyanPL

Klaw Stock Cargo Bay Hinge

Karmacoma

VTOL Engine Mounting; SPH

karolus10

Saturn I-style Engine Cluster; VAB

Docking Port Sr. as Decoupler; VAB

Universal Docking Port; VAB

Streamlined Radial Parachutes; VAB

Escape Tower with Shielded Docking Port; VAB

Kurotenshi

3-Part Fairing

Flush "Heat Shield" and Shared-node Engine Clusters

Kyrian

Bomb Bay Window; SPH

LABHOUSE

Circular Solar Panels

LikeASpaceDog

650 I-Beam Fairings; VAB

Space Taxi/Rover; VAB

LitaAlto

7x1.25m Adapter

Mad Rocket Scientist

Smooth-appearance Clustered SRBs

Majorjim

Fairing-free Engines with Small Stack Separators (Subassembly); VAB

Eliminate Automatic Engine Fairing with Stack Separator; VAB

Smooth Fairings using Cubic Struts and Backwards Solar Panels; VAB

Attaching Docking Ports to Parachutes; VAB

Flush Stack Attachment to Mk1 Command Pod; VAB

I-beam Fairings and Applications; VAB

Single-use Hinges; VAB

Stock Landing Gear Bays

mellojoe

Quad Couplers as Landing Feet; VAB

Mesklin

Seamless Plane Construction (eliminates part gaps on spaceplane parts); SPH

Cute Launch Escape System

Weightless Nose Cone for Command Pod Mk1

Improved Mk1 Inline Cockpit

NASI Director

Radial Attachment Point Shroud Application; VAB

nephf

3.75m Fairings with Two Halves; VAB

Clipped BACC Solid Rocket Boosters; VAB

Constellation Program with Multiple Design Tec

Norcurion

Ruggedized Wheel Landing Legs; VAB

O-Doc

In-depth Large Spaceplane Tutorial

Oaurum

VTOL Engine Mounting Technique

OrianCEV

Compact Command Module, "Mongouse EKSTV"; VAB

Overfloater

Advanced Payload Fairings using Wing Segments; VAB

paremeciumkid

Easy Engine Clipping with Radial Attachment Points; VAB

Nuclear Engine Nacelle Pods; VAB

Fuel Tank "Donut"

Ravenchant

1x1 Plate Fairing Separation System; VAB

Radial Booster Configuration for Airplane Tail Engine Cluster Core; VAB

Redrobin

Clean Fairing Size Reference Images; VAB

Multiple Monoprop Engines as Single Engine

RevanCorana

Adding Visual Accents Using Clipped Ram Intakes

RocketscientistV

Cryogenic Fuel Boil-off Effect using LV-1R engines; VAB

Rune

Two Kerbal Lander Ascent Stage, Using 1-Kerbal Lander Cans; VAB

Stock Service Tubes using Rockomax Decouplers and 2.5m ASAS; VAB

Smooth-looking Engine Side-mounts; VAB

LANTR Engine Assembly; VAB

Explanation of Clipping and Fuel Flow

Mk3 Spaceplane Command Pod Integration Using 2.5m Decoupler

Sgt. Cookie

Stock Service Tubes with Structural Elements; VAB

Linear RCS Pod; VAB

Easy-Make Meganode; VAB

sgt_flyer: Aesthetics Champion

Advanced Fuel Flow Techniques (text)

Ullage Motor Pods; VAB

Inline Docking Ports as Bracing; VAB/SPH

Concealed VTOL Engine with Openable Ducts; SPH

Linear Aerospike Engine; VAB

Clipped Clustered Engines; VAB

Spherical Fuel Tanks; VAB

Aircraft Tails as Engine Mounts; VAB

LV-N Engine Pods; VAB

LVT-939 Engine Assembly; VAB

Small Engine Pods; VAB

Escape Ring using Decoupler; VAB

2.5m Escape Ring using Large Decoupler; VAB

Launch Escape System with Hidden Parachute; VAB

Interstage Ring Guide

Handy Trick to Avoid Accidental Node Attachment

Hidden Decoupler Trick for Upper-stage Engine Clusters

Sippyfrog

Service Propulsion System (2.5m orbital assembly tug); VBH

soulreaver1981

Enhanced Shock Cone Intake

Space Cowboy

Multiple Radial Decouplers per Booster; VAB

tetryds

Adding Attachment Nodes without Clipping or EditorExtensions

ThatNoob

Cool Nuke Engines; VAB

TheBrisbyMouse

Hiding Struts in the Black Part of Wings

Titan Space Agency

Super Ram Intake

Mk 55 Radial Engine as In-line Engine

Veeltch

Basic Rover Chassis

vidboi

Aircraft Fuselage without Heat Tiles; VAB

Stubby 1.25m Nosecone

Radar-style Comms Dish; VAB

Metal Ring Structures; VAB

1.875m Diameter Parts; VAB

Docking Port Lights using Batteries for Night Docking; VAB

Podded Vernier Thrusters 'R96'

Quad Chamber 2.5m Engine 'LVT-180'; VAB

8-Kerbal Pod; VAB

Whatshtisthis

Mounting things in front of Mk1 Aircraft Cockpit; SPH

Woopert

Larger Engine Nozzles Using Multiple Engines for More Power!; VAB

Concealable Utility Parts Under Docking Port on Capsule; VAB

Yukon0009

Bottom-mounted Mk2 Crew Cabin/Expanded Nose

Shielded Docking Port Engines

Pico Cargo Bays Using Midsize Antenna

Klaw as Flat Nose Cone

Zucal

Improved Appearance Skipper

Improved Appearance Poodle

Improved Appearance 2.5m Decoupler

Round Lights as Space Station Portholes

Nuclear Engine Pods

Fuselage Intakes as Radial Engine Pods

Probe Core Nose Cone

Radial Intakes as 2.5m Heat Shield

Grey Small SRBs

_____________________

I'd like to start off with something I discovered recently after updating to .21. I'm always excited when new structural parts come along.

Composite Fuel Tanks

One popular technique that I've found very useful is what I would called "composite fuel tanks." The basic idea is that by combining different fuel tanks, you can create tanks larger than the game currently offers while still maintaining an attractive form factor. One difficulty I've always found with this technique is properly aligning the tanks so they appear as a single, mostly-smooth object. With .21, I've found an interesting way to solve this problem.

Here's the "finished" product:

(No debug menu)

xsQdPMF.jpg

(Using parts clipping)

Al3F8ZL.jpg

Using the new 2.5 to 1.5m quad coupler, I've created a mostly round-looking tank that's larger than the stock 2.5m tank. This would have to be an upper stage because it doesn't have a high thrust to weight ratio (TWR). In function and appearance, it's a lot like the S-IVB stage from the Saturn V. One thing to note is that in the pictured configuration, fuel flow does not work properly, so some fuel lines will need to be added. That's easy to do, and more of an engineering solution, so I won't cover it here.

How it's done:

Clipping version:

I started with a decoupler as the root part.

Step 1: Place a 2.5m quad coupler underneath the decoupler.

Step 2: Add FL-T800 tanks in quad symmetry.

Step 3: Hold ALT and click the quad coupler to copy the current assembly.

Step 4: Without moving your mouse, hold SHIFT and rotate the assembly 45 degrees (press Q or E 9 times)

Step 5: Place a new FL-A10 adapter on the bottom of 4 out of 8 tanks.

Step 6: Place a quad coupler on the bottom of the assembly so it covers the bottom of 4 tanks. (Note: this may take a few tries to get it in the right spot and to actually attach. Also note that it will only attach to one out of four nodes, so you will need to secure it with struts)

Step 7: Place the Skipper engine on the 2.5m attachment node at the bottom.

After that, it should look like the screenshot above.

For the non-clipping version, repeat the same steps as above, except as a first step, you'll need to attach a cubic strut below the decoupler. This utilizes the same technique as air-intake stacking for planes. Be sure to get it absolutely centered, but do not use the attachment node of the bottom of the decoupler. If done correctly, you should be able to attach the quad couplers in-line with each other, but they won't be perfectly even.

That's all I have for now, but please feel free to try it out yourself or adapt it to your purposes. I hope that you will share your own design techniques so we can all benefit from more aesthetically pleasing rockets. :)

OSCTCA Wiki! Feel free to add your techniques to this wiki page

Edited by GusTurbo
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I must say those look pretty good. If you look at my sig, you'll find that I am big fan of part clipping. Anyway, I'm off to stea... Be inspired by this. :D

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Great Thread

I discovered something recently and used it on my Gemini Titan II rocket which I would like to share

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/showthread.php/39641-Gemini-Titan-II

Ripping the craft apart methodically will give you an insight in to what I did

wmrvkuv.png

n9I4FVx.jpg

I call it the skin and bones method, the difficulty with the Gemini is that, though you can build a rocket with 2 engines on the first stage and 1 on the second the proportions always come out wrong

to counter this I got creative with the parts [Wall of Text]

I discovered that the dinklestein I beam parts (the large I beam not the pocket version) was about the length of a single large 1m fuel tanks (just slightly smaller actually), I knew that this rocket would have a conflict or two with the auto symmetry feature which would cause issues with the first stage and I wanted to provide a framework so that the game could understand what I was doing and not freak out.

I also discovered that the radial attachment point parts could be mounted to the underside of decoupler rings without any difficulty and that I could attach 1m tanks to them in an overlapping pattern so that there wasn't any space between the tanks when they were placed

Of course even with this the problem becomes one of fuel logic since none of my tanks actually were attached by a direct route to the engines and in order to lift the weight I and still look the same I had to double up on engines

Also duct tape was required at the bottom of each stage so that the fuel tanks didn't bob around on the inner frame

So I had to hand place all the fuel lines telling the program where the fuel should go, and even then it wasn't a sure thing, sometimes tanks drained unevenly causing balance problems and at other times engines would flame out unevenly on the first stage, causing crashes. eventually I got it working and shipped it to mediafire because I couldn't trust myself to leave it alone and I wanted the security which online copies seem to give.

And now, you can have it too, just don't mess with the fuel lines or you will have to re-download it.

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New Concept for new emissive shaders 0.21.x

In the SPH I have had for a long time an F/A-18 replica, which I thought flew quite well and it hasen't changed in 0.21.x

One day I decided to tackle one of the most irritating aircraft to render in KSP, the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF for short)

the real thing is not much too different from the F 18 but it has only 1 engine so I choose to clip 2 engines together in order to get the thrust I needed

On firing the engine I noticed that the new emissive shader for the low altitude jet changed and looked like it was spitting flames when I used engines clipped together, little rivulets of flame seemed to jump from the engine and this was deemed unbelievably cool by Jeb:cool:

Jeb declared that he wanted to have the same thing on the F/A-18 and, to appease him, the engineers made it so, unfortunately the weight change with the new engine tech killed Jeb, but it looked cool.

http://www./download/p03c1mt0il2d4q7/JSF.craft

tI6e8gu.jpg

In this shot you can see how the interaction of the two separate parts textures come together to make the appearance of dynamically moving flames

In Closing:

Reasons for doing such a thing:

1) Flames are cool

2) Twice the thrust in half the space (design is easier)

3) Even though you have 2 engines, flame out spins are not a problem if engines are mounted like on the JSF

4) Flames are really very cool

Edited by Halsfury
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Is fuel flow an issue with the two clipped together? That seems to be my number one nemesis when clipping things.

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Yes it can be

An easy way to resolve this is to follow this procedure

1) attach the first engine

2) create a fuel line running from the fuel tank adjacent to the the engine to the engine

3) attach the final engine in the same place as the first engine

Also to conceal the fuel line you can try to wedge it in between the tank and the engine so that nobody can see it

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one way to not have problems with fuel flow, is to attach engines (radially or not) to a fuel crossfeed capable structural part. here's some pictures of the boosters engine i used on the sputnik-PS i released in the OKB1 thread :

9mLeCwkl.jpg

on this one, the first set of 4 LVT30's is attached to the rover body with a x4 symmetry, thanks to cubic struts. the second set of 4 lvt30's is simply LVT30 attached to cubic strut, and those cubic struts are directly attached to the first cubic struts.

the two radial engines were attached in the spaceplane hangar (thanks to subassembly loader) by using mirror symmetry. the modular girder segment at the top of the engine, is directly attached to the rover body, to give an access point to the assembly for fuel flow.

here's a static firing test of this engine :

3YCSKZ6l.jpg.

here, i only needed a single fuel line, to go from the fuel tank to the modular girder segment, to bring fuel to all of the engines.

(the radial decoupler is only here to give me a fast abort mode, by cutting the fuel line in case of problem :P)

basically, fuel flow will do as such :

starting from a fuel tank : fuel can flow to any fuel crossfeed capable part which is directly attached to it, in any direction. (ex : two fuel tanks one above another, a rockomax adapter attached under a tank, etc)

when we come to radially attached parts, the game do it like this : between a fuel tank and another radially attached fuel tank, no fuel flow.

from a root part which have fuel flowing inside (be it a fuel tank or a fuel crossfeed structural part attached to a fuel tank) to a radially attached fuel crossfeed capable part structural part, fuel can flow from the root part to the radially attached part - only in this direction. you can of course chain radially attached structural parts like this - as long as they have fuel crossfeed.

if you need to 'isolate' your engines from the fuel tank, use a non crossfeed capable structural part (like a structural panel) between the engines and the fuel tank, and use a fuel line coming from where you want, to the engine assembly access point. (on my engines here, the modular girder segment).

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I call it the skin and bones method, the difficulty with the Gemini is that, though you can build a rocket with 2 engines on the first stage and 1 on the second the proportions always come out wrong

I used some similar techniques on my Gemini Titan! Central beam supporting the outer construction. I also maintained proportions (and kept it nice and white) by using structural fuselages with smaller tanks clipped inside. The white support module has actually had almost all of it's fuel sucked out by the previous stage by the time it separates... the fuel tanks are really just there to make it look right.

4qaq.jpg

Also on engine clipping/stacking.... try 2 stacks of 5! Was tough getting the DV to lift such a heavy craft (with relatively low fuel to weight ratio). Fuel lines are far from elegant but not a big issue as the engines on a titan are covered in exposed pipes anyway.

Edited by Mulbin
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Also I forgot to note that on both the JSF and my Soyuz-Kliper which can be found in OKB-1[my sig] I used the small control surfaces clipped inside the fuselage so that I could move the centre of lift without changing the overall shape of the craft

I don't consider this to be a cheat because KSP's aerodynamics are already a cheat as of 0.21.x, and while many expert craft designers probably know about this cheat I'm writing this as an explanatory note for others

When they finally fix the aerodynamics I expect that the JSF which can currently pull 12G's in a low altitude turn will be not as good

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as it's always time to develop new building techniques, i developed a stock spherical fuel tank after the work i did on the vostok reentry capsule (i posted the vostok rocket in the okb1 thread, if you want to see it :P)

0emkX9Hl.jpg

this fuel tank hold three rockomax x200-16 fuel tanks - which is approximately the right quantity of fuel for a sphere this size.

you can add a fuel line starting from the bottom flat adapter to bring fuel to the rest of your ship.

here's an open version of the sphere, to see what's going on inside :

oHSUVKLl.jpg

the three fuel tanks are linked by fuel lines, and the last tank in the fuel line chain has a last fuel line to connect it to the bottom plate. note : if you make a full fuel line loop between the three tank, you can put a fuel line on any of the flat adapters to fuel the rest of your equipments.

the sphere pattern is the same as the one on the vostok spacecraft - basically, i used 14 flat adapters to create the sphere body - 4 angled 45° upwards, 4 angled 45° downwards just under the four first, 4 in the middle in the holes left by the previous adapters, and one at the top and one at the bottom. - the sphere has been built by starting from the bottom adapter, in order to have a connection point for assemblies.

all those adapters are connected with a single cubic strut to the fuel tanks, in order to have a rounded surface for placing those adapters - the fuel tanks being placed in 2 crosses. (on the vostok, i put the small flat adapters around a stayputnik probe core to create the sphere)

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For the non-clipping version, repeat the same steps as above, except as a first step, you'll need to attach a cubic strut below the decoupler. This utilizes the same technique as air-intake stacking for planes.

Could you please direct me to where I can learn more about this cubic strut technique for engine mounting? I've seen it mentioned and used elsewhere, but I'm a fairly novice rocket jock (been playing less than 3 weeks) and I'm not sure how to go about looking for more info (I fear that searching using "cubic strut" might give me a lot to sift through).

That "S-IVB" tank looks really nice, and Sgt Flyer's spherical fuel tank is equally inspirational. You've both given me new concepts to play with, thank you.

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Regarding the cubic strut technique, it's fairly simple : attach the part you want to clip to a cubic strut, then attach the cubic strut to the part you wànt to clip into. You might need to play with x2 then x1 symmetry or rotate back and forth the part until it's green, the snap it in place :)

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Thanks for the advice, I'll give it a try. I noticed that people often use other parts to similar effect - like airplane tails.

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The main thing is that you don't want the strut to attach to a green attachment node. You want it to be mounted on the "surface" of the other part.

as it's always time to develop new building techniques, i developed a stock spherical fuel tank after the work i did on the vostok reentry capsule (i posted the vostok rocket in the okb1 thread, if you want to see it :P)

-snip-

this fuel tank hold three rockomax x200-16 fuel tanks - which is approximately the right quantity of fuel for a sphere this size.

you can add a fuel line starting from the bottom flat adapter to bring fuel to the rest of your ship.

here's an open version of the sphere, to see what's going on inside :

-snip-

the three fuel tanks are linked by fuel lines, and the last tank in the fuel line chain has a last fuel line to connect it to the bottom plate. note : if you make a full fuel line loop between the three tank, you can put a fuel line on any of the flat adapters to fuel the rest of your equipments.

the sphere pattern is the same as the one on the vostok spacecraft - basically, i used 14 flat adapters to create the sphere body - 4 angled 45° upwards, 4 angled 45° downwards just under the four first, 4 in the middle in the holes left by the previous adapters, and one at the top and one at the bottom. - the sphere has been built by starting from the bottom adapter, in order to have a connection point for assemblies.

all those adapters are connected with a single cubic strut to the fuel tanks, in order to have a rounded surface for placing those adapters - the fuel tanks being placed in 2 crosses. (on the vostok, i put the small flat adapters around a stayputnik probe core to create the sphere)

:0.0:

Amazing. Do you suppose it will work with FL-T200s (2nd smallest 1.25m tank) and the new small adapters?

Edited by GusTurbo

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You should name the one made out of toroidal tanks the bannana tank. XD

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There is a nice technique I've seen where people clip the tail spikes into the side of a 2.5m engine and slap on 9 1.25m engines. I also wonder if you could set it up to be 4 1.25m engines and a mainsail . . .

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@gusturbo it's possible to reduce to 4 adapters on each level, to limit part count :) - basically, the outer part of the other adapters just barely clip the small circle on the adapter with 4 adapters on each level :)

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@captain sierra - you mean like this ? :)

y7VTgBdl.jpg

build order :

place your probe core, a rockomax x200-32 (or another tank, here it's just the right size for the tail cones) and a X200-8 under it.

place radially a modular girder on the rockomax x200-32 (move the whole ship a bit (shift+clic)) so you can move your camera inside the x200-8 tank), activate smooth placement, and increase symmetry to x4 and place it under the x200-32. i use the x4 symmetry to be able to center the girder (when all 4 are indistinguishable from each other) then i lower the symmetry to x1 without moving the mouse. (x or shift+x)

go back to snapped placement after you placed the modular girder.

i then snap the mainsail onto the modular girder so it's clipped inside the X200-8, and add a flat rockomax adapter for the look :P

then, place 1 tailcone on the side of the fuel tanks, and add a LVT-30 onto it. (you may need to rotate back and forth some parts, so they become green) - once you assembled your tailcone + engine, pick the tailcone (the engine will come with it) and do a x4 symmetry, then replace it on the fuel tank. you may need here to do a little back and forth rotation here for all 4 of them to become green, then stick it in place.

in the end, symmetry x6 (even x8 i think) is possible with this.

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okay :P i'm posting a building technique for stock NTR pods, at Gusturbo's demand :)

(because i find that the NTR engines are ugly, so i prefer to hide them ^^)

so here's a breakout of the techniques i used on a transfer stage i made :

podded nuclear engine :

Step 1 :

Y1vTRvdl.jpg

the nuclear 'pod' is easy to make, and make the nuclear engine to be radially attached. (you can stop at this stage if you simply wish to hide the nuclear engine's body) - if you attach it radially to a fuel tank or something connected to one, you don't need additional fuel lines - it will pump fuel from whatever it's attached on to automatically. (basically, the fuel will go from the fuel tank, to the structural fuselage, then to the engine)

first, we have the middle engine we can see on the images.

second, we 'hide' the bottom of the structural part - you can use either the new FL-A10 adapter(left pod on the image) or an aerodynamic nose cone (right pod on the image), you simply need to attach one or the other directly to the structural fuselage.

Step 2 :

9hhsssKl.jpg

this step starts by centering a cubic strut on top of the structural fuselage, then attaching a NCS adapter and NCS nosecone to the cubic strut.

next, in 'lock' placement mode, i put the engine in the center of the fuel tank, and rotate it 90° sideways. - you can then modify the NTR engine and NCS adapter rotation to have a better look :).

once you are done, 'copy' with alt+clic your first engine pod, place the new one at the same place than the first one, and rotate it 180°, and adjust it so it's at the same height than the other, then correct the NTR engine and the NCS adapter rotation on the new one, to get something which looks like the one i have on the picture.

Step 3 :

uHb4NQMl.jpg

the rover bodies are just here for the looks - i radially attached a cubic strut to the main fuel tank, between the two structural fuselage (on the last picture, you can see that there's a slight gap between the two), i then attached a rover body onto the cubic strut. after that, it's just a matter of moving the cubic strut with the rover body at the good spot, then copying the cubic strut and the body to place a second one.

Step 4:

HLv7VZil.jpg vwu6PWfl.jpg

in this, i add a cubic strut turned 90 ° between the NCS adapters, it's used as a support for another cubic strut + rover body, you just need to tilt the cubic strut + rover body a bit to have a nice angle at the top of the nuclear pod.

step 5 (optionnal):

VBdqdVhl.jpg

here, i simply put a strut between the main tank and the top of the structural fuselage (done for each side) - i place it at the opposite of the radial attachment point of the structural fuselage, for additional structural integrity, and eliminate any risk of wobbliness when the transfer stage move under it's own power.

Step 6 :

AB5Q1ZXl.jpg

of course, you can do all the previous steps in the symmetry mode you want - (here, with a x2 symmetry)

in the end, here's an example .craft file for those who want to see how it's done :)

http://www./download/e5wopisth6ibwhj/Nuclear_pods.craft

in the hopes that it can be useful to you for improving the looks of your stock spacecrafts :)

Edited by sgt_flyer
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Beautiful. I will definitely be using that technique or variations of it for my future craft. :)

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that is an excellent way to cover up nuke engines! i had been hiding them in tanks and using the FL-A10, but not covering them with the rover body's in pairs! i will defiantly be using this in future designs.

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@Karmacoma: You have some really impressive designs. Would you mind sharing some of them in this thread? I'm interested in how you placed the VTOL engine on the Midge, for example.

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@Karmacoma: You have some really impressive designs. Would you mind sharing some of them in this thread? I'm interested in how you placed the VTOL engine on the Midge, for example.

couldn't be simpler to be honest....

Click images to view full size

[table=width: 1500, align: center]

[tr]

[td]bKfR1EJ.jpg[/td]

[td]IBRM19f.jpg[/td]

[td]CXlyVmk.jpg[/td]

[td]WT9PCJ6.jpg[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Fit BZ-52 radial attachment point to craft at COG[/td]

[td]Rotate and fit engine of your choice to underside of BZ-52[/td]

[td]Place air intake ontop of BZ-52[/td]

[td]Connect fuel line to engine casing or intake[/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

and that's it, simple way to mount an engine or anything else for that matter vertically.

Edit: the one problem with this is you cannot have anything else clipped through the tank where the engine is or it cuts the thrust out, I had this problem when making "Grendel" with a internally clipped winglet. The solution was to fit a small cubic strut and flip it inside at the COG and fix the Engine to the bottom of the strut to lower it below the other clipped winglet, i still fixed the BZ-52 to the strut as well just so it made a better looking attachment.

Edited by Karmacoma

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So is the engine attached to the bottom of the BZ-52 or do you have another on the bottom of thw fuselage?

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