12 Feb 2014

Minecraft creations: Serenity

Let me just say this right away; I've known about Minecraft for a good while now, so it's not that I wasn't aware it existed that kept me from getting into the craze. I've even come across the occasional youtuber showing off their geeky creations. But for a good while I was just under the impression that it really wasn't my kind of game. Not really because of the graphics, but because I have a thing against first person point of view in games. But seeing my two nieces playing it enthusiastically, I decided I might as well give it a proper shot, especially since it was easily available for my new ipad. So I bought it, tried it out and I actually got really into it. And now I'm ready to show off my first fandom-related creation (and hopefully there will be more to come, once I find some new inspiration).

I originally wanted to make a video presentation, but after searching and searching for a screen recording software that didn't require me to jailbreak my ipad, I've concluded that for now I need to just stick to sharing screencaps (but if anyone reading this can point me in the direction of a screen recording app for my ipad with IOS 7, then please let me know in the comments).

Now, onto my first fandom craft (I did craft some other things before taking on this project, but unless people express an interest in seeing my castle and glass labyrinth down in the comments, I think I'll stick to sharing pictures of my fandom-related crafting). I've been a fan of Firefly for many years now, and for the longest time I've wanted to make my own model Serenity (my original thought was doing it with legos - which would have become really, really expensive).

I saw a video some years ago (I think) where someone had made Serenity in Minecraft, but I don't remember the scale or detail. What I remember is that they crafted Serenity on the ground - so I wanted to do something different with mine, which prompted me to do an airborne version (you don't know frustration until you've tried manoeuvring while trying to craft the underside of a space ship). The way I went about it was that I created the interior and exterior parallel to one another. That way I could stay as true to the details I know of the ship's interior while at the same time managing a properly scaled exterior. Sometimes I did the interior first, other times it was the opposite.

So, let's start off with some photos of the ship's exterior, taking us from front to back (click on the thumbnails to see the larger images). We start off with the front of the ship, taken from both sides to show it off a bit. I'm personally very satisfied with the details of the ship's shape and scale.

As you can see from behind, I've done my best to add the infamous glow to the ship (I did this by using lava). I made the two side-pods hollow so that I could ad a pool of lava in the bottom and have it be visible by the hole in the back of both engines. For the rear end engine I used windows to hold the lava in place (doesn't look as good as I'd want it to be, but I don't really see any other solution that still maintains the glow effect I was looking for).

It's really hard to do much details on a small scale in Minecraft, so when I created the shuttles I more looked to mimick their shape and try to avoid making just a cube (hence that wing sticking out).

I decided to have a half-open hatch, so that entering the ship is a bit more convenient, as well as the exterior being more realistic. I'm really happy with how it ended up looking (originally I had two sets of doors before I came to this conclusion).

Moving inside, we are (of course) first met with the cargo bay. I was very specific when creating the stairs that they mimicked the direction each stair took, and where everything lead (I looked up scenes to make sure I did it as correctly as I could). The upstairs is taken from the staircase leading up to the crew area, looking at one of the shuttle doors (I did not take any screen captures of the shuttles interior as that is really minimalistic.

Yes, I included a hatch below, but I compromised between making a full hatch that opens all the way down through the ship like we saw in The Train Job (so let's just assume there is another hatch and that it's closed) and that crawlspace we saw Kaylee crawl through in Bushwhacked (plus, a firefly class ship has all those secret nooks and crannies to hide contraband in, so it also partly functions as that). 

And finally, let's just include a screen capture of cows in the cargo bay, in honor of Shindig.

Moving onto the passenger area, we see the outline of the Infirmary to the left, and the general lounge area to the right. In the background (and more up close in the second photo) we see the staircase leading up to the passenger bunks (a compromise to allow for a better exterior shape and not necessarily true to the real layout of the area).

We see the Infirmary from the other side, as well as the staircase leading to the upper level (there's also one in the cargo bay that you just don't see from the angles those photos were taken).

Let's move to the upper level, starting with the engine room in the back. As you can see I once again decided to use lava to give it a glow effect.

Moving a little bit forward, we get to the kitchen. The furnishing is a bit minimalistic, just the kitchen and cupboard to the right, and the lounge area to the left. I opted not to add that larger middle table to give it more of a flow. I might change it around later on.

I decided not to make an actual capture of the crew bunks, since they really are minimally decorated (but they all have a bed and a couple of shelves). The helm, as you can see is also minimally decorated, but I did make sure I included that storage room (which we never got to see in the show, apart from Zoe coming up the stairs from it).

Finally I just wanted to show off the hallway taken from the helm, looking all the way back to the engine room. And show off one of the two airlock passages, complete with two hatches to keep it real.

I hope you enjoyed my little walkthrough, and if you have an idea for what fandom thing to craft next, let me know in the comments, but please keep it something that would be possible to create in the IOS version of Minecraft, as that is what I use.

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