A little something I was holding onto.  The breakdown on the Ferrous Corp and Galactic Authority ships were featured on another site.  Today, I feature the ships of The Mikkei Combine with helpful overviews from design artist James Robbins and VFX supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson.

James Robbins: [Dark Matter Production Designer] Ian Brock forwarded me the notion of a Japanese design based on the Samurai and suggested the exterior plating be reminiscent of plated Japanese armor.

Below is the earliest pencil version with a side ortho and a ½ top view which will be mirrored to provide the full view:

July 12, 2015: The Mikkei Ships!James Robbins: The general consensus was that the lower portion (the chin strap) of the side view wasn’t scaling properly – It gave the impression of a smaller ship. I refined those elements and did a little toning and mirrored the top view in Photoshop. (below)

July 12, 2015: The Mikkei Ships!

James Robbins: This still felt too filigreed and it was decided to remove the “chin-strap”

July 12, 2015: The Mikkei Ships!

James Robbins: I cleaned up the lines and added some strong contrasts. This (above) became the final version for VFX.

And then, we handed things off to VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson…

Lawren Bancroft-Wilson: We first started approaching the build of a cruiser using the concept designs, but when the need turned to making a destroyer we were able to integrate the cruiser design along with reference of many of the more modern destroyers we’re seeing built today.

July 12, 2015: The Mikkei Ships!

July 12, 2015: The Mikkei Ships!

Lawren Bancroft-Wilson: There’s no doubt that this ship, more than any other, has a heavy nautical inspiration and we really used that to help differentiate it from the Ferrous Corp ships. Where the Ferrous Corp ships were bulky and straight edged, we followed the concept design in having the Mikkei lean more to flowing curves and a rounded exterior.

July 12, 2015: The Mikkei Ships!

July 12, 2015: The Mikkei Ships!

Lawren Bancroft-Wilson: Like the other destroyer we needed battlements that lined every side of the ship with the ability to launch an attack in any direction. We also helped to differentiate the Mikkei ships by giving them a light kit that is blue with a soft glow oppose to the painted red sections of the Ferrous Corp ships.

The design of the Mikkei shuttle, their surface to orbit transport vessel, went relatively quicker…

James Robbins: “The Mikkei shuttle was the only remaining ship and it went through with few notes.”

July 12, 2015: The Mikkei Ships!

Today’s entry is dedicated to Gary and Paloosa.

18 thoughts on “July 12, 2015: The Mikkei Ships!

  1. I hope we get to see some exciting space battles in the upcoming episodes, to see how effective these ships really are in combat.

    Also, on a side note, just read that Satoru Iwata passed away. It is a sad day. He will truly be missed. 🙁

  2. @Gforce – I’m
    sorry about the loss of your sweet Bart. She was such a beautiful girl, so glad you took that recent photo of her. {{{{hugs}}}}}

  3. Thank you Joe, for the kind dedication. That means a lot to me.

    My sweet, beautiful girl.

    Back the middle of last week, Bart started to not seem well. She seemed to have difficulty pooping, which raised my concern, to the point on Friday where I took her to the veterinarian in Moncton (there are no avian vets locally) which is about 1.5 hours away. The vet had x-rays done which showed there was no egg blockage or tumour, so that was good, but he didn’t seem optimistic because of the way she was breathing by that time, which was somewhat laboured. He did give me antibiotics in case it was an infection, the only other really treatable possibility in her case. He didn’t want to do blood tests because of the risk of drawing blood in her already weakened state.

    I brought her home and her condition did seem somewhat unchanged until Saturday afternoon when she started throwing up quite a bit. That seemed to settle down by bedtime though and I put her in her separate cage in my room so it would be quiet there and also I would be able to hear through the night if anything was wrong.

    I heard her stirring around 4-4:30 and got up about 5am to see how she was. She look absolutely terrible. She had clearly been vomiting a lot more through the night and her head was covered in it. She was on the bottom of the cage and barely conscious. I took her out, cleaned her up as best I could and held her to my chest for the next 5 hours, hoping that there would be some turnaround, but no. She would only become alert enough to vomit again.

    So, by 10:30 am or so I called the vet that I had taken her to on Friday to see if they could help her to the end peacefully. For years, I told myself that if it ever came to this point that I would never have her lie there and suffer to the end. But when you actually get there, that decision is not easy. Still, never leaving being held close to my heart, I got in the car with her like that and drove the 1.5 hours to Moncton – one hand on the wheel and one hand holding her close.

    This picture is from last year that I took while she was preening. She’s so beautiful.

    When I got there, while I was waiting (and still holding her the same way), she did make an effort to get up closer to snuggle under my chin. I explained to the doctor that 14 years ago, when I first met her at the pet store, the first thing she did was crawl up my shirt and snuggle into my chin. I was sold immediately. Now, here at the end, she wanted to do the exact same thing. I think it was her way of feeling safe – because when she was with me, she knew that no harm could come to her. I so wish that had been the case this time. 🙁

    She did go peacefully and for that I’m thankful, but it’s no easier. I had her for her full 14 years of life and she became such an integral part of my daily life that there’s a huge hole here in my house, in my life and in my heart. She was always there to greet me in the morning and when I got home from work with a cheerful chirp, and a warm cuddle.

    I’m still left to wonder what actually was wrong and I keep questioning whether it was something I did, or didn’t do, that brought this on. Was it changing houses, or did I feed her something wrong, or not clean the cage that one time when I needed to? Or was it a matter of old age and things just starting to shut down? If I had waiting, was there a small chance, however remote that she would have gotten better? I guess this is a normal phase, but it’s tough.

    I always made a point never to say that I “owned” Bart. She was my friend and companion for 14 wonderful years. She was there for me for a number of major life changes – that one constant at home that I could depend on for unconditional love. I gave her a whole lot of love but got it back tenfold. I will miss her terribly. For now, my eyes, and my heart, are full of tears.

    One of her favourite snuggling spots, on my shoulder.

  4. @palooza so sorry about your mom. Mine passed away 1.5 years ago and I still miss her everyday. I like to think she is in a better place watching her family and having a good laugh at our expense. Sometimes I think she leaves little messages around to say hi – a special flower in the garden that I didn’t plant, an email message from an old family friend that hasn’t been heard from in years, a most spectacular sunrise, missing old photos that are suddenly found, etc.

    @gforce so sorry about Bart. It is very tough to lose a friend like that but your love of her is shown through your care of her and what was best for her.

  5. I also meant to say, thank you for all the kind words from everyone. It means a lot. One thing that I always read about birds is that they are very good at hiding their illnesses in order to avoid predation. Because of that, they can be sick for some time before it becomes apparent. And when it does, the problem can be very far advanced which was the case here. Knowing that, I was still stunned by how fast things progressed. I would never have guessed last Wednesday that today I would be writing this.

    Things can change so fast. Please give an extra hug to all your human and non-human loved ones for me today. You never know how quickly things can change.

    Huh. Just as I was writing this, a mourning dove walked across the deck right in front of the patio door. Appropriate, I suppose.

  6. It’s amazing how much work goes into a show! All the sets looked so wonderful last eppie. Was part of it filmed in a cargo ship or something?

    Gforce: I’m so sorry about Bart! There are no words I can offer that will help but I’ll send you this cyber {{{hug}}}.

    Paloosa: How are you doing?

    Ponytail: How are your parents?

  7. My sincere condolences to paloosa for the loss of your Mom. She’ll be in your heart forever.
    And also to gforce for Bart, the gorgeous lovebird. I’m so sorry.

    Glad that Dark Matter is doing so well, but sure wish SyFy would promote it more. You have to scroll down to find it on SyFy’s site while Defiance, Killjoys and Dominion, along with idiotic Sharknado 3 have prime placement. What’s up with that?!

    While not a fan of anything “zombie-ish”, ep 5 did have some great lines. And we had more One and Three “togetherness” which is becoming my favorite running bit.

    Questions for the mailbag:
    1) Why does everyone wear their weapons strapped to their legs while on board? They are rarely without them, except to work out or sleep in quarters.
    2) Why are there so many scenes of everyone standing equally-spaced apart in whatever part of the ship they’re in, on the bridge, in the infirmary, etc. I’ve only noticed Three leaning against something on occasion.
    3) Will there be a blooper reel? I know the fans would love it!
    4) Since they all seem to be denying their past evil lives as more is revealed, will they turn from being mercenaries to being champions of good by act of pure will power?
    5) Is it possible that the One on ship really is the original and the duplicate that found him is the impostor?


  8. Some mailbag questions when done.

    1. Will the Galactic Authority have any prominent figures that have a strong interest in hunting down certain individuals from the Raza crew, almost like a personal crusade of some kind?

    2. Any plans to separate the Raza crew for long periods, such as one or two members being captured or arrested?

    3. Any plans to do an episode entirely focused on a single crew member of the Raza, with the rest of the cast being mostly background level(In terms of importance to the story) or maybe one or two crew having more of an input in the story?

    4. Could the Raza ever get a job that involves hunting down a ghost ship of some kind? Like a long lost ship, it’d be quite an adventure for them I’m sure, especially if there were multiple groups with a vested interest in finding it.

    5. Hypothetically speaking, would you ever expand the main cast of Dark Matter and add an additional crew member to the Raza? I know 6 human crew + an Android is enough, but say if the opportunity ever arises and you had the perfect idea to add someone new for a season, would you do it?

  9. Gforce: Bart was a gorgeous bird! I asked myself all those questions too. Losing Harry has left a big hole in my life. I miss him every day but I have to find a new normal. Hope you feel better soon.

  10. @gforce I’m so sorry for you loss. 🙁 Bart was a beautiful little girl. What a sweet face! It’s never easy losing a friend. Yes, second guessing yourself is normal, although stressful. Just try to ride out the stages of grief. Remember the good times you had with her. When Roxy died so suddenly last year I never thought I’d get past it, even though I’d been down a similar road a few times before with other pets and both my parents. Roxy also hid her symptoms. The vet said she must have been very stoic about any pain she felt. Maybe it’s their way of saving us from worry, but then the shock of knowing the end is near can be very difficult to assimilate. Bart will find a way to come back to you, in your mind and in your heart.

    @paloosa I hope you’re all right. What I said above about memories could help you, too.

    {{{hugs to both of you}}}

  11. @ gforce – I am very sorry you lost your beautiful baby Bart. I found your comments above so interesting that I went to do a little research on those birds. It seems their life span is 10-15 years, so your baby had a good long life Do not feel like you could of done something to cause or prevent this. The only thing you are guilty of is giving Bart a safe home, well cared for, and a loving relationship which is all any living thing could ask for. I was wondering how your little girl got her boy’s name? She was a absolutely beautiful girl. Enjoy your wonderful memories of her.

  12. @ All – To everyone here… you guys are so awesome. Not only are you kind, thoughtful, and caring, you are pretty smart and wise too! Lots of great words of wisdom coming from this bunch on a daily basis. A very neat and diverse group of people here in Joe’s blog family. I am proud to “know” you!

  13. @gforce awww sooo sorry to hear about your lovebird. We had two a few years ago. One we lost after 15 years, he /she accidently flew away and the other after 17 years had a cancerous tumor on it’s tail. Your lovebird is the second one I have seen with the love gene. Ours had a love hate relationship with themselves and us. They were constantly bickering sometimes they were nice.
    Bart was a pretty bird. If you like I can use a photo for a sympathy card and it will be another way for Bart’s memory to live on.

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