I've been experimenting with assorted Linux distributions. Currently I'm trying Gentoo ... and I hadn't expected to do a kernel compilation until I'm more familiar with Linux, but that's how one installs Gentoo. So far, so good.
The model of the Great pyramidal Redoubt (from The Night Land
) proceedeth slowly. That's partly because I'm just learning Blender, and partly because I've been doing research into:
- Very tall buildings (since the Pyramid is 8 miles high);
- Airships (since the people of the Pyramid were flying them early in its history, before the air became too thin and cold);
- Hydraulics (since I've known little about the subject and I'm going to need to model some hydraulic equipment);
- Bridges (I don't have any bridges in the model, but I need a way for the airships to dock; more below).
I'm aiming for as much realism as I can reasonably get, without deviating too far from the source material or making unbelievable or ugly models.
The model is still crude, as you can see. I'm working on the airship hangars. I've decided to put a dozen of them around the Pyramid, 2 miles up. (There are modern airships in the works that will be able to reach the stratosphere, so that's a feasible flying height.) Higher up, and they'd be safer from potential missile attacks from enemies in the land; but then, the higher the airships are launched, the sooner the Pyramid folk will have to abandon them in the growing cold. Since in the story, the Pyramid folk only sealed the lowest half-mile against attack, I assume enemy missiles cannot reach the airship platforms two miles up.
The ellipsoid represents an airship (not yet modelled); it is, to scale, a thousand feet long, a size airships approached in the past and will probably reach again. The hangar opening is a Gothic arch because I assume that the Pyramid folk, though they must have very impressive building materials, will be using familiar and useful designs for strength. I'm going to expand the frame around the arch because if the camera's farther back, it doesn't look good.
The platform is shaped like an arch partly as a matter of aesthetics (to match the opening), and partly because I toyed with the idea of making it swing up to close the hangar like a bascule bridge. It isn't finished yet: it's going to have a support below. It's shaped like an inverted airfoil, as are some bridge sections, so that the winds will press it down against the support, instead of encouraging it to rise or twist.
Docking an airship 10,000 feet up in the winds around a very tall building would be difficult. The Goodyear blimps have trailing lines at the nose which a ground crew catches when it descends; but this ship is too big, the winds will be too strong, and it's docking too high for that. I made the platform a bit longer than the airship, and I'm thinking of making a hydraulic extendable mooring shaft so that the airship can attempt to catch it with a grappling anchor farther out, if I can make it look reasonable. Then it can be reeled in with hydraulics under some control, instead of daring the eddies around the building.
I will probably add some vortex-breaking features to the angles of the Pyramid, but it has to remain a pyramid to be true to the story -- I can't turn it into a very tall round broad-based tower.
The platform, airfoil base of the platform, hangar, and pyramid are separate objects right now. I cut the hangar into the Pyramid as a boolean, but you can't see in because I didn't put a light inside.
I'm probably going to have the hangar closed with a rolling overhead (hydraulic) door.
In a later era the air will be too thin and cold for flight, and the hangar doors will be sealed. Most of the platforms would probably be dismantled so the steel, etc., could be reclaimed, though it's possible they'd leave one up as a museum-piece.
This is all slow because I'm at that stage with Blender where I know that certain things can be done, but I don't know or remember how to do them.