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UGLY! How to make my science craft less ugly


jpinard
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So far my talents for KSP amount to attaching junk to the outside of my rocket to conduct science. Not only does it look bad, but parts break off on re-entry and I'm sure it's hurting my aerodynamic quality as I use FAR.

Is there a stock way I can clean these up with only about 40% of the tech tree researched? If not stock, what mods might help? I have KSP Rocketry and a bunch more.

SC1.jpg

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Basically, what you need is a kind of equipment / service module. I don't know of any stock way to do this, but the mod Procedural Fairings can help.

What I've done is use two fairing bases; one flipped upside down, then with some some structural component (the Modular Girder Segment, for example, or if you need extra fuel / monopropellant, one or more FL-RC10 or Oscar-B tanks as a core), then a second fairing base (right side up). You can then attach items like batteries to this core structure, and cover it all up with the fairings.

Note that if you put sensors inside, you will not be able to access them by right-clicking, so be sure to assign them to action groups. You'll probably need to experiment a bit for function and aesthetics.

Another mod (one I haven't tried yet as it looks VERY new) is the 6S SerCom part - a hollow "tube" which can be used as a structural component, and inside which various items can be stuffed. It seems a little simpler than using Procedural Fairings to build a service module, but again, it looks very new, so I don't yet know how well it works in KSP, or if it's been incorporated into the career tech tree as other mods have been.

Hope this helps!

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I like to put stuff inside my first decoupler. (The one that will separate the pod) If you attach radial stuff from underneath and use WASDQE to rotate it inside, it functions fine and doesn't get ripped off or anything. I also like how it looks when you decouple the pod and there's batteries and such in the there as the service module drifts away. Just be careful because you wont be able to click on things you put in, so only put in stuff like batteries and rcs tanks that you wont need to click on.

The stuff inside the 6s are attached to a structural component you get kinda late in the tree I think. But you can always stick stuff to the bottom of say a fuel tank then plug a 6s part over it. I use them too.

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I like to put stuff inside my first decoupler. (The one that will separate the pod) If you attach radial stuff from underneath and use WASDQE to rotate it inside, it functions fine and doesn't get ripped off or anything. I also like how it looks when you decouple the pod and there's batteries and such in the there as the service module drifts away. Just be careful because you wont be able to click on things you put in, so only put in stuff like batteries and rcs tanks that you wont need to click on.

The stuff inside the 6s are attached to a structural component you get kinda late in the tree I think. But you can always stick stuff to the bottom of say a fuel tank then plug a 6s part over it. I use them too.

Orionkermin - can you post some pictures or do you have a video showing your setup? I'm very bad at visualization without pics. Thanks! :)

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Sure,

How parts normally look on the bottom:(if you're using 6s containers, then you can just connect them here and cover that stuff up. Great for science but your rocket can start to get tall.

2014-02-07_00002_zps5a72d86b.jpg

Now pick them back up and use the WASDQE keys to rotate them inside the decoupler:

2014-02-07_00004_zpsa1ebf5b7.jpg

Add a fuel tank or whatever you want next:(This can be tricky with the rcs sometimes but either wiggle it till it'l allow you to place it or enable part clipping Alt + F12)

2014-02-07_00006_zps5f9893ad.jpg

Here's how it looks after decoupling:

2014-02-07_00005_zpsba9c4a29.jpg

If you only do this with batteries the tank will go on no problem.

Edited by Orionkermin
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I don't think that's ugly. I like ships that have the beauty of functionality. Like the old A-6.

QVOdQxi.png

To me, that plane says, "Don't like the way I look? Here, have twenty-four 750lb bombs in your lap."

Incidentally, jpinard, what's with the rotating set of sepratrons on that fuel tank stage?

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Incidentally, jpinard, what's with the rotating set of sepratrons on that fuel tank stage?

I have a very short single stage version of this I designed for exploring biomes real close by. So to get the liquid tank off, required the use of sepatrons or it wouldn't clear in time for a low altitude landing.

Orionkermin - what are those roundish tanks next to the batteries?

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Get creative with trusses:

screenshot311.jpg

That's all of the stock science bits. Everything is accessible from the ladder for collecting the data prior to jettison. It's build from a single Cubic Octagonal with a tiny decoupler on it, and the nosecone is mounted to an Octagonal Cubic on the side of the first one (and I can probably clip the nosecone in farther if I ever go back to that design). Pretty compact, not a complete eyesore, totally stock.

=Smidge=

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I like having things nailed to the outside of the rocket. Looks more kerbally to me, especially with ill-fitting nosecones, struts everywhere, short fat rockets, and things just haphazardly jammed on top of a lifter and held down with struts.

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The 6s Service compartments are what you need! They come in different shapes and sizes and greatly aid aesthetic design.

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/61040-6S-Service-Compartment-Tubes-Design-smooth%21

Here it is.

Huh, this looks pretty sweet. :D

I also like hiding things in the decouplers. Although there isn't a ton of space in there. You can get in to some of the items if you spin the camera around and zoom in just right. But you can't get to them with EVA.

More recently I've keeping things stuck to the outside, but I build smaller probes or parts that can be jettisoned when done.

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