OK, sorry for the delay
Thank you for all the comments.
Trying to address each of them.Boxy vs Curvy.
Remember that my original intention here was to make a drop ship for my old crow vehicles. Their style is angular and has the raised panel details that you see on the cockpit. The Listerine bottle was merely a 'shape' that appealed to me. Oddly in CAD the boxy vs curvy nature of the parts stands out way more than it does on the real prototype. I think a chunk of that is because the prototype has panels and other surface features on the hull that sharpen the outline more. I do agree that as presented it doesn't look cohesive.
On the prototype the cockpit is scratch built from styrene sheet - and that drove a lot of the straight lines and boxy-ness. I REALLY like the cockpit, but that's probably because i was so happy with how the prototype came out. But I'm also pretty well wedded to the Listerine hull shape.
The 'Space 1999' feel was somewhat deliberate, as i discussed on my original blog build five years ago - homage rather than copy.
I have two options really.
1. Make the cockpit curvier.
2. Make the hull more angular.
For a hollow hull I'm committed to either making a laser cut model to be assembled or scratchbuilding the hull to be resin cast. I think the resin casting of the hull is probably a bit beyond my scratchbuilding skills and knowledge right now. The cockpit is almost certainly going to have to be cast - probably from a 3d print. If the cockpit is going to be 3d printed then curves aren't a problem. So, I think I shall go that route.
NOTE: I just scared myself by loading the cockpit model up to shapeways to get a quote - $65 in their low detail white flexible plastic. but $402 for the detial white plastic! Even hollowing this out only brings the price down to $270! It's only 70 x 50 x 80 mm!! Sheesh. Even the Landing Feet are $8 a piece! SO master print and then cast is the only way forwards. Detachable Cockpit
The cockpit is and always was detachable with magnets. However this was only ever done because the way the prototype was made with the cockpit and hull cast as separate pieces it was the easy design decision. I am not going to redesign to cockpit to be a 'ship' in its own right, but there will be detail on it that you could pretend are thrusters so that you can claim its an escape pod or suchlike. Personally if i was procuring military equipment and the the design gave the opportunity for the fly boys to 'jetison' the troop carrying module to save their own skins, i'm not sure thats a feature i would buy!Hull or Container?
I have always toyed with the idea of replacing the hull with a 'frame' and having a removable 'pod' (magnets again of course). The 'Frame' would follow the line of the bulges so the engines are mounted in the same location as current and can be vectored. A 'spine' would run across the top of the current Hull Linking the forward and rear engine 'bulges' in a kind of capital 'I' shape. This remains a possibility for a variant in future. It wasn't done with the prototype because the poured resin Hull didn't make it feasible. I like the squat practical shape of the current ship, but dislike the fragile nature of such a variant when the detachable 'pod' is removed. I would also have to solve the problem that the landing gear only fits in the hull not on the frame, so the vehicle cannot currently land unles sis has the pod. Finallt if the bulges are part of the frame rather than a hull then the pod shape is a pretty boring thunderbird 2 type oval with flattened sides Scale
What I am going to do is play with the scale of the overall components. regardless of boxy/curves i find the cockpit and engines to be a little on the small side, So they will get beefed up. Don't forget, as per the prototype, this has a pair of rear rudders to be cast and added - I've not CAD modeled it yet.
I may also rescale the rear hull so that it accomodates something bigger than the old crow and Goanna scout vehicles.
I want to be able to get Gladius Medium Tanks and Glaive Medium APCs in it. As well as the modular vehicles that never went on full release that I have a number of...
I think the Claymore Heavy APC will be a step too far, and the heavy Lancer and Sabre are bigger again Changes
I like the squatter/shorter landing gear so that's staying.
The ramp will slide under the floor of the main hull. (which means redrawing a very large part of the hull structure).
The rear door will still be hinged and i think i'm going to keep it folding down. The hinge wont be in the way of the ramp and the door and ramp will locate with magnets. This means the ramp doesn't need to have an 'axle' in the main hull to pivot. I have toyed with the rear door hinging at the top to keep it clear from the ramp and it might look cool, but it means having to include some for of 'prop' to hold it up and I don't want the fiddle.
Anyway that's all for now.
More waffling and WIP designs for comment as they come.