Unimaginative Title: Hatch (day 26)

Continuing my effort to get the torso closer to its final form, I took a crack at building the cockpit hatch, and cut the notch in the bottom end of the canopy.

This was a bit of a challenging part for me because it’s one that I’ve always found difficult to lay out in design form. It’s got smooth curves and also a bunch of interacting, moving parts to consider. The version of the cockpit hatch that I did for my Blender model is kind of simplistic. I’ve cooked up rough concepts of how the cockpit hatch should look but I haven’t previously got it to a point where it was both precisely defined, and fitting the look I wanted…
I puzzled for a while about how to approach this part as a result. My first impulse was to try to build out the shape from styrene plates – but lacking a good design plan for the part, I didn’t think that was going to work. So instead I went for more of a freehand sculpt approach. The benefit of this approach is that I can work iteratively and adjust the part design as I go to look the way I think it ought to look. Later on I can come back and do things like make the shape more symmetrical, add details, even cut up the part to make an opening version of the hatch, etc. But in the near term this part is probably going to be subject to a lot of iterative refinement as I’m really figuring out the shape I want for this thing as I go.

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