Oil rig (or Bond villain lair) 3D model updated

Updated: January 12, 2024

When I published my last 3D design roughly a year back, I felt something was missing. I tried to convince myself that it was complete, but deep down, I knew I had to come back and revisit it. Looking at it from various angles, again and again, I realized what bothered me. While realistic, the model did not feel realistic enough. It was missing a lot of small details that one would normally see in a setting like that.

So I set about rectifying my omission. Another 15-20 hours went into hand-drawing various pieces of equipment and additional structures, all of which should add a sense of life and activity into my project. It's time to needlessly brag about that, or at the very least showcase another piece of digital art work. Whether it's any good, you be the judge. Don't like non-tech articles on Dedoimedo? The X button in the right corner is your friend. Now, let's commence.


What's new? Health 'n' Safety

First, I decided to add stuff that one would expect to find on a non-villainy rig-cum-weapons platform. Warning signs! More handrails and guardrails! Fire hydrants, no smoking signs, do-not-cross tape, the whole shebang. Immediately, I felt these bits improved the model quite some.

Safety 1

All of the radar repair platforms come with guardrails now.

Fire hydrants

Fire hydrants, ladders with proper cages, red-and-white markings. Feels a bit more authentic.

Safety signs

The barrels could do with some rust and smudges, but that's for next time.


I then re-painted the rig's superstructure. Instead of plain boring metal, I went for a two-tone zebra pattern, somewhat like the British AA offshore platforms in World War Two. Supposedly, this ought to make the rig a bit more difficult to discern from a distance (in the villainy scenario where such things happen).

Side view 1

Side view 2

Work work!

My third order of the day was work-related gear. I added a couple of manual, man-operated forklifts in mandatory bright yellow, as well as two diesel power generators, one of which is used to crank-start the VSTOL planes or helicopters that land on the rig's H deck. You can even see the power cables and fuel lines, added for dramatic, chaotic effect.

Forklift, power generator

Extra details

Fuel drums, crates of all shapes, colors and wood texture. Hey, I even added a windsock in FAA standard orange and white. I designed it raised, ergo fluttering, to indicate wind, which is sort of what you'd expect most of the time on an offshore platform.


There's a new observation tower close to the landing deck, in addition to the existing structure, and it comes with a nice ladder of its own. Plus guard hoops. There are more floodlights, more pipes, more antennas, and close to the waterline, a folding pier, which can be used as a mooring point for zodiacs or smaller boats. I placed it next to the resupply lift, cuz duh.


Putting it all together

Then, to make the whole thing more interesting, I also added my gunship model and the FREMM frigate into the mix. The whole scene now features the VSTOL craft mid-landing, and the ship afloat some distance from the rig. The sizes are realistic (at least when it comes to the frigate, as it's the only truly real object here), so that should give you an indication of the whole design.

VSTOL craft landing

Complete scene 1

Complete scene 2

Mini gallery

And some extra images:

Side view 3

Complete scene 3

Complete scene 4

The computing cost?

Well, the new model, EXCLUDING the gunship and the frigate, weighs in at some 650 MB when exported to Kerkythea (as an uncompressed XML, that is). Not as bad as I expected. It comes with over 2M edges, close to 1M faces, 165 components reused a total of almost 3,000 times. Plus a single PNG image, in the form of a standard radiation warning sign close to all that electronic equipment section. Gotta take care of health 'n' safety, right.



And now, I'm a bit happier. I mean, I could invest a few dozen hours more in this model, but it looks reasonable. It's funny how small things make such a big difference. I think it's also one of the reasons why many FPS and open-terrain games add lots of seemingly trivial items into the mix. Even if the graphics ain't life-like, you still get a sense of realism, a deep one at that, when you see things that just belong in the scenery (or you expect them to).

My rig could benefit from yet more chaos, more dirt, oil stains, sea salt rust on all of the hinges and rivets and bolts, scratches from equipment, and then some. Tarps, ropes, cables, boxes. The list goes on. I mean my computer still has some spare CPU juice, so I could add all these. But instead, I think I will focus on creating a brand new model, something I've not done yet. That's the hardest challenge, to be fair. Making a new concept, without repeating myself. Well, we shall see. Peace, fellas.