Wednesday, 6 February 2013

HMS Belfast #2 - Field Trip!

Today I got up nice and early and went down to London to visit the HMS Belfast. It's a Town-Class light cruiser that served in Normandy, D-Day and Korea, parked in North Greenwich Port, just outside Crown Court.

I took around 350 photos of the interior and exterior of the ship. I knew there was no way I could document every nook and cranny of the ship, so I set about taking photos of anything I found interesting or important. I got a good feel of how large these ships are, and how foreboding they are just to look at from a distance.

Straight away I loved this area of the upper deck, which was sheltered by a fabric covering. It made the area feel enclosed and separate from the rest of the deck, and dimmed the light slightly. I think it'd make an interesting playable area.

Another thing I liked is the asymmetrical layout of the middle section of the upper deck. It'd give the player a space to explore, and it'd give me much more artistic license to tell a story through decorations and decals in each half of the deck.

This huge radio mast.. thing was cool too. Sorry, you'll have to excuse my lack of brain activity right now, I'm pooped. Anyway, I liked how it loomed over you as you were in the mid to rear half of the ship, a silhouette in the corner of your eye. It's eery, it's like a totem. 

These doors were groovy, and they were everywhere. I'd probably use a different design, but I like the idea of these bulkhead type doors that are ultra-tough.

The bridge was a lot smaller than I was expecting, it was tiny. You could probably fit about three dudes in there comfortably, with elbow room. And if that was the Captain's actual chair, then he must've had a lot of fun in an engagement, being thrown all over the place. It was cool still, got a good view of the front of the ship and good accessibility to the lower decks and exterior. Definitely an area that's going into the level.

I was disappointed with the interior segments of the ship, from a research point of view. It'd all been refurbished, so it wasn't very interesting visually. It'd clearly been refitted with accessibility in mind, so the floor was different to what I was expecting. As you went deeper into the ship it got harder to move around, so I have very few photos of the engine room as that a mess of pipes and railings. 

I meant to add this photo too but strangely it didn't happen. Odd. Anyway, there's a series of "trenches", as I've likened them, on the deck, that are claustrophobic and awesome. I couldn't get a good angle on where they are on the deck and how far they stretch, but it's a good idea regardless.

Pretty much the same thing as above.

I couldn't get a good grasp of what these were, but they were around the AA guns so I reckon they're some sort of targeting/radar/recon thingy. 

It's interesting how she's deceptively big on the inside, but fairly compact on the outside. You can walk the whole deck from end to end in about 2-3 minutes, I reckon. This is where the problem lies, however, in terms of this project. While she's a manageable size, it's the small details that will make the difference, and a ship like the Belfast is littered with them. I reckon they'll be the real time consumers. 

The clear front deck could provide an excellent starting area for the level, giving a good view of the surrounding environment, too.

It was a fairly miserable day, but at least it didn't rain on me. 

Love the wooden flooring here, and the splash of colour in the shot. I'd really like to keep this level of colour in my level, just to break up the otherwise monotone paint of the ship (up close at least).

It must've been painful trying to work underneath these guns firing..

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