OOOOOkay, I have to go to Tokyo for the week to meet my fiance and after that the real fun begins with marathon training again. So before all that stuff happens I thought that I'd post where I am on the Minerva as of now. So, it's not finished at all, but it's getting close. If I ever come back and it gets done, I'll throw this image into scraps and render up a spankin new one.
This is the Minerva as featured in Gundam Seed Destiny. It's very much like the Archangel/White Base/Arghama in that it is a mobile suit carrier/battleship, but different in that it is built specifically to function as the mother ship to the Impulse Gundam, as the center catapult below the bridge houses the impulses palette based/modular launch system. It's also capable of sending storable energy via a Deuteron beam to the Impulse (or other suits that have the ability to recharge via that beam). It should be credited as being one of the luckiest ships in Gundam history. I'd personally love to destroy it, but I'll need it for the Freedom vs Impulse animation.
The 3D mesh was made in lightwave but based heavily on the scratch built plastic kit featured in the HOBBY JAPAN magazine (April 2005 ed) with the work done by Junji Funato. His seems to be a little off but it's the best reference that I could find. Also, extra detailed illustrations about the Minerva (specifically the Impulse Gundam's launch decks, the Impulse flyer palettes, Linear Catapult, and proton cannon) are outlined a few pages later in the same magazine. So it's kind of a lucky jackpot. Of course, this image is of the 3D mesh of the Minerva based on the images from the magazine. The scratch built model was done in 1/1200 scale, however, the mesh was created in 1/1 scale, so this model is actually (logically) 350meters long.
Left to be done:
Extra detail in the side linear catapults (not the ones for the Impulse, but the ones for the other mobile suits).
Overall detail on the hull
get rid of crusty bg
Lighting system for the Impulse catapult
complete Impulse's palette system
resolve mysteriously disappearing bump maps
change placeholder textures (makes the ship look too small)
Software: Lightwave 8.3 (modelling/ rendering)
Gundam is (c) Sunrise/Bandai/Sotsu Agency