Traveller Starport Classes

Way back when, there was an article about Starports in Traveller titled „Happy Landings“ by Thomas M. Price, published in White Dwarf magazine. It featured quite a few nice details about the layout of typical starports and also set the perspective of scale to another magnitude. A few days ago, I decided to create these starport types in Blender for potential future use in a 3D animation or just for reference.

Class E Starport

I started with the most simple installation, the Class E starport. This one comes in two variants. One with and one without an adjacent Scout Base. The first and second preview renders show both versions. You can see the circular shape of the scout base in the distance in the second picture.

Class D Starport

Then, based on the models created for the Class E, I started assembling a Class D starport, which also adds a startown to the concept. There also is a scout base shown in the distance. The whole port including it’s startown is circumfenced, as both – starport and startown – are under imperial jurisdiction and thus extrateritorial land on any planet. The port itself is also separated from the startown, to prevent civilians and drunken sailors alike roaming the installation. Being somewhat larger, the Class D port also features more Parking Bays.

Class C Starport

Based on that Class D starport mock-up, the Class C was created, adding more parking bays and pads, as well as a larger startown.

Class B Starport

Again based on the previous effort, this installation already shows size. Featuring two Landing Fields, connected by expansive Taxiways, that also lead to as many as 20 Parking Bays – not counting the Scout Base shown in the distance. The Startown again grew to about twice the size of the next lower Starport Class and the Support installations between the Landing Fields boast numerous Repair Hangars, Warehouses and Storage Facilities. The Size of the circumfenced area is aproximately 6 by 11 kilometres (for comparison: the runway portion of the landing field is aproximately 1 kilometre wide, with a total length of 5 kilometres (including the landing pad on one end).

If time permits me to do so, I will try to assemble a Class A starport next week. More renders will follow, as I plan to improve the materials and texturing. Also in this process I will try to define individual components to be reused without the need of individual editing. I hope to be able to create various starport layouts using these common components later.

Class A Starport

This time the Class A Starport differs slightly from the „Happy Landings“ Article, featuring more Parking Bays and an enclosed Navy Base. The image shows an Installation capable of servicing close to 500 smaller starships (up to 1000 tons) in its 71 parking bays plus a few hundred on the three landing fields.


I plan to refine the materials an texture details. The landing field an Runways are to get some basic markings showing the runway and parallel taxiways, as well as the landing pad and the parking positions on the field. The scale of most of the hangars is off. These need to be scaled upwareds by a factor of 2.5 to 5 depending on the model used. The other models are all in the same scale as my Traveller starships.

The Class A Starport devellopment is currently on hold. I will first split the starports into individual files (they are all in the same file currently), to bring down the polycount, as the Class A Starport boasts as many as 60+ Landing Bays, three Landing fields (one being a Navy Base), all the associated support infrastructure and a Startown even larger than adjacent to the Class B Starport.

Textures are either procedural, or based on textures from maxTextures. Except for a few buildings from „Utopia City Blocks“ (by Stonemason). Parts of the Startown are made with Scene City (though some changes were necessary to get the total count of tris from more than 75 million down to something manageable by my computer).

I stumbled over the „Happy Landings“ Article while cruising the web on my regular sites. The „Atomic Rockets“ section of Project Rho featured the Maps used to assemble the models.

GURPS Traveller Bundle of Holding

Grab it while you can. I just topped up my Traveller eBook library with the available Bundles of Holding and from what you get – at less than 50 bucks – it’s very much worth the investment, I’d say (even though I already own GURPS Traveller 1E and Starports paperback editions).

GURPS Traveller Essentials Bundle of Holding contains:


  • GURPS Traveller 2E
  • Starships
  • First In
  • Deck Plan 5: Sulieman-Class Scout/Courier


  • Behind the Claw
  • Humaniti
  • Starports
  • Modular Cutter
  • Deck Plan 2: Modular Cutter
  • Deck Plan 1: Beowulf-Class Free Trader

GURPS Traveller Imperial Survey BoH contains:


  • Far Trader
  • Alien Races 1
  • Planetary Survey 3: Granicus
  • Deck Plan 3: Empress Marava Far Trader


  • Alien Races 2
  • Alien Races 3
  • Alien Races 4
  • Planetary Survey 1: Kamsii
  • Planetary Survey 2: Denuli
  • Planetary Survey 4: Glisten

How it works: The starter collections begin with attractive low prices, which can be topped off by paying more to get the bonus colletion included. The price raises over time depending on previous payments. A quick descision pays off.

„Lone Lady“ bound for video…

A short while ago Noah Ternullo of Pittsburgh, PA based IT Consultancy Digital Arc Systems contacted me with the request to use my models for a movie. I decided to support the venture and provided Noah with one of my models, since it would be cool to see it in a high quality animation.


258 Sichten
Digital Arc Systems TCG Promotion

While I personaly didn’t think ot it as a production quality model, Noah was confident that it would suit their needs. I was very eager to see the resulting animation as soon as it would be finished.

This is the craft Digtal Arc Systems wanted to use for their project:.

The previously published model in a 5 point artificial lighting setup…



Here are a few shots of the model in a desert lighting setup and the second image shows the rear section as well, which I hadn’t finished prior to Noah’s request…



Views from above….



The personnel airlock and landing gear…



Marava with airlock open and gear up / airlock open and gear down



Marava with airlock closed and gear down / airlock closed and gear up



As can be seen in the video above, not all features were used or prominently visible, but none the less the video is quite cool.

Link to the Resource Page for the „Lone Lady“(Password Protected)…

I guess it was about time to register my own domain for the site. So when I installed the Jetpack-Plugin for WordPress and registered a dedicated user-account, they offered my to register the same as a full fledged domain:

Nice, but I wanted that domain with my webspace provider of trust and registered it. So from now on we will also be available through

Starship – RIC Star Class Armored Merchant

Finally a textured model of the 300ton Armored Merchant. The image below shows the vessel in her Rhaan Interstellar Corp (RIC) livery.

Rhaan Interstellar Corp - 300dt Star Class Armored Merchant "Solar Flare"

Rhaan Interstellar Corp – 300dt Star Class Armored Merchant „Solar Flare“

Star Class Traveller 5 Stats


Name TL Free Gs J PP Fuel Duration MCr Computer Crew Psgr. LB Notes


Armored Merchant 12 50 1 3 3 99 one month 135.36 Computer Model/2 bis 6 8 10 sl,a/r

Star Class Traveller SRD Stats

The standard Air/Raft features a matching paint job with RIC logo, while the 4ton standard Container sports an Imperiallines livery.

Small Craft – 30ton Ship’s Boat

Here it is, finally. The 30ton Ship’s Boat got a livery. And not a completely bad one I would say. The 4dt container in the image below is just a quick by-product that might see a bit of improvement in the future.


30ton Ship’s Boat, Copyright 2015: Traveller Illustrated

More to come…


Small Craft – An Overview

The mission of this site is to eventually model and texture all the common and some less common adventure class starships  (ACS) from Classic Traveller (CT). As of now I have modelled a good batch of craft that need a livery badly.

In order to see which ships or boats need one and to keep track of where I am with this venture I frequently render a group shot or parade of all (significant) models and texture variants. Of course I actually produced more texture variants for some than shown in the render below, but some were simply not to my liking. No need to bother anyone with those.


More to come…

Small Craft – 10 ton Sloop

Just a quick model of a tiny craft designed by HG_B over at CotI forums.

10ton Intrasystem Sloop

10ton Intrasystem Sloop

 And for the livery I think I’m going in the direction of a classic VW T1 bus… ☺

Starship – 200ton Free Trader

200ton Free Trader

Using a 200-ton, TL10 hull, the Beowulf Class Free Trader is an elementary interstellar merchant ship plying the space lanes carrying cargo and passengers. It mounts jump drive-A, maneuver drive-A, and power plant-A, giving a performance of jump-1 and 1G acceleration. Fuel tankage supports a 1 parsec jump, at 20t per parsec, and one month of operations. Attached to the bridge is a Computer Model/1 std. There are 9 staterooms, an owner’s suite, and 20 low berths. There are two single turrets, but without weapons installed. Cargo capacity is 82 tons. The ship has a streamlined hull, with scoops and intakes for frontier refueling.

The ship has 4 crew, and can carry 6 passengers and 20 low passengers.


The ship above is my way to bow my head towards a fellow artist Andrew Boulton who depicted the first „modern“ Free Trader for Traveller and made it to become the Cover Art for newer Traveller products. Sadly Andrew passed away in 2012 leaving a gap in the community of 3D Traveller artists. Thanks to Andrew I got in to Traveller Art in the first place.

Some Stats:

Measures of the ship (bare hull w/o antennas, turrets, etc.) as rendered in the Image above:
Length: 37.5 m (25 squares)
Width: 21.0 m (14 squares)
Height: 9.0 m
Volume: 2813 cubic metres
(200.93 dt, overtonnage less than 1%)

Vol Name TL Free Gs Jump Power Fuel Duration MCr Computer Crew Psgr. LB Notes
200 Free Trader 10 82 1 1 A 22 4 weeks 42.6 Model/1std 4 6 20 st, fs, 2t

The Brawlin’Beast

Dabbling around with Blender again. Version 2.71 promises a few features I wanted to try for a while, so when I unexpectedly found some spare time yesterday, I fired up Blender and went for it.


Landscaping, Texture Painting, Character Posing and Atmospheric Effects are some of the things I wanted to try. Now I’ve barely scratched the surface of what can be done, but already the first tries start to look promising. Have a peek:



Some Stats

   Vol  No  Label                            MCr  Notes                         
 -----  --  ------------------------------ -----  ------------------------------
   200      Streamlined hull                  14                                
    20      Jump Fuel (1  parsec)              0  1 parsec jump, at 20t per parsec
     2      Plant Fuel (one month)             0  one month                     
     4      PowerPlant-1 (A)                   4  P 1                           
    10      Jump Drive-1 (A)                  10  J 1                           
     2      Maneuver Drive-1 (A)               4  1 G                           
     1      Fuel Scoops                      0.1                                
     1      Fuel Intakes                     0.1                                
     0      AV=10. 1 Kinetic Plate             0                                
     1      Computer Model/1 std             1.5                                
     1      Life Support Standard              1  10 person-months              
     1      Life Support Luxury                1  10 high passengers            
     2      Clinic                             1                                
    12   6  Standard Stateroom               0.6  1 passenger                   
    15   3  Passenger Commons                  0                                
     1   2  Shared Fresher                     1  4 passengers                  
    10   2  Crew Commons                       0                                
    82      Cargo Hold Basic                   0                                
    10  20  Low Berth                          2  1 passenger                   
     6      Owner Suite                      0.4  fresher + safe                
     6   3  Crew Stateroom                   0.3  1 crew                        
   0.5      Crew Shared Fresher              0.5  4 crew                        
     2      Cargo Lock                         0                                
   0.5      Air Lock                         0.1                                
     2   2  AR T1 Empty                      0.4                                
     8      Spacious Bridge                  0.6  2cc 2op 0ws                   
   200                              TOTALS    43


The „Tin Lizzie“

The Tin Lizzie is an old beaten up Free Trader our „Year’s Endgame“ Group will have to endure. She’s not a beauty anymore, held together by duct tape, borrowed replacement parts and things found at scrap yards or elsewhere.

The Pilot is Harlan Wolfe – an aging ex-scout trying to make ends meet – with a patchwork crew of four humans hardly meeting the requirements for the vessel.



Vol Name TL Free Gs Jump Power Fuel Duration MCr Computer Crew Psgr. LB Notes
200 Free Trader 10 82 1 1 A 22 4 weeks 42.6 Model/1std 4 6 20 st, fs, 2t

The Tin Lizzie operates on a Vala-HPJ-2A jump drives, now mounts a Billstein SMD/A maneuver drive, and a power General Systems FP/A2 power plant, giving a performance of jump-1 and 1G acceleration. Fuel tankage supports a 1 parsec jump, at 20t per parsec, and one month of operations. Attached to the bridge is a VelociAct SureCalc-1 Computer Model/1 std.

There are 9 standard staterooms, an owner’s suite (used for high passengers), and 17 out of 20 available low berths. There are two single turrets, with a sandcaster and beam laser  in the ventral turret and a dual missile launcher installed in the dorsal turret. Cargo capacity is 82 tons. The ship has a streamlined hull, with scoops and intakes for frontier refueling.

The ship has 4 crew, and can carry 6 passengers and 20 (currently 17) low passengers.

Examples of a New Paint Scheme

Custom naming or color variations of the paint scheme below and a non-exclusive, non-commercial (and free) usage license upon request.


Help Is Near


Strikin’Lucky V1


Strikin‘ Lucky V2


Strikin‘ Lucky V3


Racing Stock


Race Near The Gulf


Classic Brit

More To Come…

…probaby 🙂

Starship – 2500 ton Type-TI/TJ Fontier Transport

General Notes

In Traveller 5 designing equivalent ships to their CT, MT or TNE counterparts becomes impractical for larger hulls. The new system has been designed with consistency in mind which makes some of the older designs questionable. That is not necessarily a bad thing. After all it’s just the fact that the old designs were around for more than a quarter of a century and Traveller players are quite used to their stats that might want us to make the old design work in T5.

Rob Eaglestone – Co-Author of T5 and in my view the de-facto shipwright and primary capacity regarding T5 ship design – opened my eyes yesterday, that it might be time to come up with new design aproaches to achieve the same design goals specified when the craft had been orignally specified.

In that regard this 2500ton version of the Frontier Transport tries to implement a new concept. It might become a 2400ton or 2600+ton variant in the process and it will be different from the original in a few aspects.

There are a few common features that both ships share. Both are equipped with identical grapples, fixtures and connections to use and transport Drop Tanks or the Frontier Barge. Both have passive external fixtures to connect a Frontier Barge to the hull. The necessary grapples are part of the barge. Both ships can also use Drop Tanks inside the cargo bay or the Barge to refuel inflight using Fuel Transfer Pumps. The Drop Tanks carried aboard can be used as additional fuel tankage.

As opposed to the Texts all cargo bays aboard are designed to be used as additional tankage. They are specified as bulk liquid cargo hold to include the pumps, coating and sealing for the storage of hydrogen fuel, they are also accessible as standard cargo bays. Please note that any fuel needs to be treated as unrefined if the cargo bays are not cleaned for fuel usage prior to filling the holds with hydrogen. An optional addition could be flexible tank „bubbles“ inside each hold that are filled with the hydrogen.

Type-TI Frontier Transport

Builder: Bilstein Yards

Disposition: In Service

Frontier Transport (Cost OTU: MCr587.9)

Frontier Transport serve mainly Class-C starport near the fringe of the Imperium. They do not normally carry passengers and are known for their relatively cramped crew living quarters, but out on the frontier crews cannot select from an abundance of ships, so theat is an accepted fact.

Two 120ton Cargo Bays are configured identically to the counterparts of the Type-TJ and can store one 100ton Drop Tank each. 8 Container Handlers are used to set out or take in these Drop Tanks. With this design the ships also support the Type-TJ which needs Drop Tanks to perform the famed Jump-6.

Fuel Transfer Pumps allow using the fuel inside the Drop Tanks carried aboard plus an additional 300 tons of internal cargo bay filled with jump fuel to perform a second Jump-2 without refuelling. Filling another 8 of the 12 internal Cargo bays with even more jump fuel allows for a third Jump-2 without refuelling or making Type-TJ service runs with 2 Jump-2.

Next to that the Type-TI sport a whopping 1140 tons of cargo bay for frontier trading.

Setting out or taking in two drop tanks takes aproximately 2.5 hours plus maneuvering. The tanks are first docked to the outside grapples before taking in. This maneuver takes approximately 30min per Drop Tank.

Overtonnage is only very slight (less than 1% and thus ignored IMTU without reducing agility). According to the rules Agility is -1.

Overtonnage: 14.5 tons

Crew comfort:     +2

Passenger demand: -5

Type-TJ Frontier Transport (disguised Imperial Courier)

As a Jump-6 Version is not possible using ACS with out serious overtonnage (more than 50tons), I decided to try my han ds on a special Version. This 2500ton Type-TJ is Jump-6 Capable by using two 100 ton Drop Tanks / Fuel Containers plus most of it’s internal cargo bays filled with jump fuel.

The ship has 2G accelleration, Agility-1, the U4 Jump-Drive is capable of  Jump-4 without sacrificing internal cargo space for jump fuel, Jump-5 by filling internal cargo bays with jump fuel but without drop tanks and Jump-6 with two external 100ton Drop Tanks plus filling most of the internal cargo space with jump fuel using collapsible fuel (bubble) tanks. The excess rating of the Jump Drive allows the ship to pull one 1300 ton Barge through a Jump-4 using two external Drop Tanks and all cargo bays filled to the brim (like for a Jump-6 above). This Barge is capable of 1G maneuvering and carrying 10 additional Drop Tanks.

The configuration allows for two filled drop tanks carried aboard, which add to other filled internal cargo bays for a Jump-5 using Fuel transfer Pumps. 40tons of cargo space are wasted to flexibility but the ship retains its jump 6 capacity en route for one Jump-6. Wilderness refuelling is expected for these ships. The shuttle acts as a fuel shuttle to fill the drop tanks, while the main ship can skim fuel itself.

Performing a Jump-6 requires some infrastructure, as the drop tanks need to be handled and transported. As there are a lot more Type-TI standard Frontier Transport used throughout the Imperium, these are designed to handle and use the same tanks. And in addition to that other Type-TJ can be used as supply vessels by carrying Drop Tanks in external 1300ton Deck Cargo Barges which reduce jump performance but can deliver 8-10 filled droptanks at Jump-3.

ACS Design Notes

Builder: Bilstein Yards

Disposition: In Service

Redesign of the Type-TJ Frontier Transport (disguised J6 Courier).

Design goals:

TL 15

21 crew

10 Turrets plus 3 sandcasters

5 low berth, no passengers

300+ dt cargobay

shutte, air/raft

2G, Jump-6, one month of operation

Conclusion: Classic Traveller/ MegaTraveller design specs are not possible in T5 using a 1800ton, 2000 ton, 2400 ton, 2500 ton or even a 2800ton hull. As there is less space unused on the ship than the cargo specs call for after adding only spec drives and fuel. Conclusion: payload for Jump-6 vessels is very small.

This ship will be re-designed with two 100 ton drop tanks instead and has to use most (4) of it’s 6 Cargo Bays for Jump Fuel to manage one Jump-6, reducing cargo capacity to 2×30 tons plus an additional 70 tons inside the shuttle’s cago bay.

Two of the Cargo Bays are especially designed to handle two loaded Drop Tanks. 8 Container Handlers (96 tons total handling capacity) are designed to move the Tanks out of their ventral Loading Gates to external grapples next to each of these gates. This takes aproximately two and a half hours including securing the drop tanks. During this time the shuttle will usually perform refueling runs to either fill the internal bays or later the externally mounted drop tanks with jump fuel.

Prior to the Jump-6 the Fuel is transferred into the drive and the tanks are dropped. These will be collected later by local capacities or a Type-TI coming by later.

And we are still 46tons overtonnage so Agiity is reduced by -1.

Overtonnage: 46 tons

Crew comfort:     +0

Passenger demand: -5


Type-WH 100ton Fuel Container / Drop Tank

Type-TI_DropTank_v2 MCr10.1

Builder: Bilstein Yards

Disposition: In Service

Any Type-TJ Frontier Transport planning to perform a Jump-6 need two of these drop tanks plus 4 of it’s 6 Cargo Bays.

The Standard Type-TI and The Type-TJ in turn are both designed to carry one loaded Drop Tanks in each of two especially configured standard Cargobays (of 120 tons each) aboard.

These need to be set out and fitted to the external Grapples of a TJ, which takes aproximately 2.5 hours including securing all necessary connectors for the transfer pumps.

During this time the shuttle will usually make wildernes refueling runs to fil the internal cargobays with additional jump fuel.

Prior to the Jump-6 the fuel is pumped into the Jump-Drive and the tanks released. A Type-TI will later collect the tanks if no local services are available.

Overtonnage: 1.5 tons for design consistency I should up that to 14.5 as with the TI design and invest in crew comfort.

Type-W 1300ton Frontier Barge


Using a 1300-ton, TL15 hull, the Type-W Frontier Barge Class Barge mounts maneuver drive-G and power plant-G, giving a performance of 1G acceleration. Fuel tankage supports 0.5 month of operations. Attached to the bridge is a Computer Model/1bis std. There are 0 staterooms, four bunks installed on the bridge and emergency berths for ten. Cargo capacity is 1100 tons. The ship has a streamlined hull. The ship carries 13 Grapple Set Triples. The ship has 4 crew when operated independently and does not have any staterooms as it is not intended for long term operation. The crew is only needed to operate the barge. When coupled to a Type-TJ the barge crew can travel aboard the main ship utilizing it’s low berth‘.

The Barge is equipped with a bridge, powerplant and maneuver drive capable of 1G and 0,5 days of operation. The barge is equipped with the necessary grapples and fuel conectors to couple to a Type-TI/TJ Frontier Transport and also refuel a Frontier Transport.

In all the designs above were missing the appropriate connecting clamps for the barge. 13+ triple pairs of clamps would be necessary to pull the barge. These would add


Barge W-NS10 Type-W Barge MCr269.4

Barge W-NS10 Frontier Barge MCr308.5

Builder: Bilstein Yards
Disposition: In Service

Using a 1300ton hull the Type-W Frontier Barge is used by Imperiallines to transport up to ten loaded Type-WH 100ton Drop Tanks throughout the Imperium.

Overtonnage: 24.5 tons
Crew comfort:     -4
Passenger demand: -5

   Tons     Component                                MCr    Notes
-------     -----------------------------------    -----    --------------------
   1300     Streamlined Hull                          80    S
     39     Landing wheels                          58.5    
      0     Jump Grid                                 13    
     13     Flotation hull                            13    
    6.5     Fins                                     3.2    
      0     AV=15. 1 Blast Plate                       0    
      0     AV=15. 1 Kinetic Plate                     0    
      0     AV=15. 1 EMP Plate                         0    
      0     AV=15. 1 Rad Plate                         0    
      0     Jump Fuel (0  parsec)                      0    0 parsec jump, at 0t per parsec
      0     Plant Fuel (0 months)                      0    0 months
      4     PowerPlant-1 (A)                           4    P 1
     13     Maneuver Drive-1 (G)                      26    1 G
     14     14x Fuel Transfer Pumps                  1.4    #14 
      0     AR Surf Communicator                     1.5    
      0     AR Surf Radar                            1.5    
      0     L Surf Proximeter                        0.3    
      1     Computer Model/1bis std                    3    
      1     Life Support Standard                      1    10 person-months
      1     Emergency Low Berth                      0.5    10 individuals
      4     Standard Bridge                          0.6    2cc 2op 0ws
      2     4x Spacer Bunks                          0.4    #4 1 crew
     20     10x Cargo Lock                             0    #10 
   1100     Cargo Hold Basic                           0    
     96     16x Grapple Set Triple                    96    #16 up to 105t
     10     Lifeboat                                 4.6


So here come the YML source files for evaluation: Type-TJ2500, DropTank, Type-TI2500 und the FrontierBarge. All Source Files in one ZIP: FrontierTransportT5, and a PDF with stuff: ACS Archive

Stats and images will follow soon.