Iron Ass OXP

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The usual media hysteria: Here the cover of What Spaceship?

The Iron Ass OXP, or fully styled Iron Ass Heavy Metal Dark Retro OXP, is a series of ship retexture set expansion packages by Murgh, starting with volume 1 utilising the original Aegidian models. When applied to the game, it will suppress most of the current native Oolite ships in favour of a dark, colourless, metallic monotone and primitive ship set, or optionally used as an additional shipset to add to one's Oolite fauna.

Its name does mean to imply that these ships are excessively loaded with weaponry as the spacer slang term would suggest, but rather to signify that texturally this OXP is metal overkill. The sets may co-exist with Iron Ass Witchpoint beacons, the ambience packs Iron Ass Lave and Iron Ass Missionaries, and their planned dirty sisters, the Rusty Ass OXPs.

The original Iron Ass Heavy Metal Dark Retro promotional teaser poster, at one time seen just about everywhere.

Overview

The Volume 1 OXP is a derivative work of which nearly all ship models are the original datFile models of our august founder Aegidian, dating back to 2004–05, with inspiration and *lore* inserts drawn from the text and images from Holdstock’s Elite Space Trader’s Flight Manual “Observer’s Guide to Ships in Service”, and the classic OXPs of Smivs who carried the Oolite retro low poly style (let’s call it RELOPy) to the next level.

This series of OXPs aims at a different direction of “retextured core ships”, and tries to emphasise the tactile aspects of raw, gritty metal and an expression largely stripped of colour, a bit in the Soviet tradition, It adds a more primitive set of subentities, and tries to look further back to the feel of the Elite Manual as it inserts as many textual clues from the source as possible –to the extent of spoon-feeding– so one may be less dependent on the use of the ID scanner.

Ships here adhere to the laws a mandatory all-out grayscale iron look, no fancy painted decoration –only what can be scraped into the metal. Colours are reserved for compulsory red-green signal lights, and any neglect in keeping on the traffic flashers is an admission of a criminal intent.

Converse as this is to the trends of smooth design and intricate detail, this OXP is certainly not intended as any protest or revolt against the cutting edge progressive high poly work (let’s call it PROHIPy) of Griff and peers (Old Murgh is an avid fan). But sometimes, when the Ooniverse is partially populated with exquisite objects, the more ordinary ones tend to suffer in comparison, and sometimes, we need ugly.

Those open to a more simple, uniform, anaemic and dystopic Oolite experience may consider running these OXPs.

The Gecko "dragonface" illustration that has inspired many decal versions.

Volume 1

Details

Titled Volume 1: The Aegidian Shipset, it nearly does what it says on the tin. However, the splendid Oolite native Thargoid ships, stations, hermitage, buoy, splinter, missile, cargo pod and such elements all remain undisturbed.

From the main Aegidian fleet, two ships have been replaced: the the Fer-de-Lance (too fat), and the Asp Mk.II (too long and upside down), in line with the aim to stay close to the original Elite shapes. The Aegidian ships do still appear however, as infrequent bonus ships under a "Prototype A" label.

The Elite Space Trader’s Flight Manual Gecko "dragonface" motif by the manual's unnamed artist has been widely emulated in several different styles across many other OXPs, but is here attempted, in a likeness as close as possible, to this modders ability, to resemble the original illustration.

Gallery

Adder Anaconda Asp Asp Protoype A
Boa IA boa2.jpg Cobra Mark I Cobra Mark III
Constrictor IA pod2.jpg Fer-de-Lance Fer-de-Lance Prototype A
Gecko Gecko "Dragonface" Krait Mamba
Moray Star Boat IA morayMED2.jpg Python Python "Blackdog"
Shuttle Sidewinder Transporter Viper
IA viperi3.jpg Worm

*Actual ship sightings may appear darker in the game.

The less original Iron Ass Heavy Metal Dark Retro teaser poster of Volume 2.

Volume 2

Details

Pretentiously titled Volume 2: Inception Cameos, the name attempts to convey that herein lies ships that were present practically since the beginning, but for whatever reasons were given smaller roles in the history and lore of Elite ships. This is of course just a superficial concept since they are hardly unknown, but they were never featured in the glorious manuals, and their lot was to be assigned various degrees of supporting cast obscurity. Quite a few of them are however, in the opinion of some, very cool ships.

The 10 included ships in this package are the Bushmaster Miner, Chameleon, Cougar, Ghavial, Gnat, Iguana, Monitor, Ophidian, Salamander and the Wolf Mk.II. The original ship designs are believed to be by Warren Burch & Clive Gingras behind the Bushmaster which appeared in Archimedes Elite, by Ian Bell for the Cougar AKA Cat and the Gnat, and the rest by Angus Duggan author of Elite-A for the Chameleon, Ghavial, Iguana, Monitor, Ophidian, Salamander (not an official name), and by Rob Nicholson for the Wolf Mk. II, initially featured in MSX Elite.

The models were transcribed when possible thanks to the model collection of John Mackay (mackayj.doosh.net), and estimated by eye when no source was available. In the case of Elite-A, its Encyclopedia Galactica provided some of the shipyard names used in this OXP, but in other cases names have been tied to established names by reasoning and style similarities.

Young Murgh made the OXPs Wolf Mk II in 2005 and Old Ships in 2006, starting a long relationship with several of these ships and their unique shapes. They have also since been widely interpreted by many skilled modders, but with this Old Murgh closes his loop.

These very same models (except for the Gnat which is brand new to this author) are the basis of this OXP, however the textural treatment is quite another, and a result of techniques and tools that were (to this author at least) unavailable in 2006. Here the desire is to have more homogenously tesxtured ships fit seamlessly with the Aegidian Shipset in the Iron Ass style, in way maybe a little like most ships did a bit more when Elite was young.

As unaltered as possible from their RELOPy roots, only protruding weapons and engine barrels have been added to the 2005-06 models. Most of the ships are available for player ownership, except for the Gnat and the Bushmaster Miner which are uniquely NPC ships, due to their lack of hyperdrives.

Gallery

IA bushmaster3.jpg Chameleon Cougar Ghavial
Gnat Iguana Monitor Ophidian
Salamander Wolf Mark II

*Actual ship sightings could also appear lighter in the game.

The formulaic Iron Ass Heavy Metal Dark Retro teaser poster of Volume 3.

Volume 3

Details

Aptly titled Volume 3: The Aegidian Xtras, the OXP contains Ironassed retexture versions of ships that Aegidian released outside of the core game, quite a few of them bearing names that contained the letter X in some form.

The Naga, Hamadryad, Ringhals, Josher and Python Class Cruiser "Sharkface" from 2004, the Python ET Special, Griffin Mk.II, Cobra Mark II-X , Sidewinder X, Asp X and Mussurana from 2005, and the Pelamis from 2006, all rate as classics in my book, and fit seamlessly into the existing fleet of Oolite native ships.

From the Aegidian OXPs: newships.oxp, PCC.oxp, griffin 2.oxp, Aegidian special.oxp, x-ships.oxp and pelamis.oxp (2004-2006), several of these ships have been already since been faithfully upgraded or reinterpreted, and some, as in the case of the newships.oxp, have not seen renovation for several years.

The illustration that inspired the Python Class Cruiser.

In this case they are of course not recreated true to their original style, as in the case with Smivs' Classic Suite, or given radical reinterpretation, as seen in Simon B's Neolite Ships, but rather here, they are given the Iron Ass treatment, constrained to a metallic black and white scheme, made rugged and homogenic so as to emphasise their similarities, and suppress their differences.

The models themselves are mostly as Aegidian left them, but with minor alterations. With protruding lasers and engine barrels only added to most of the models, a few models were altered to better fit this version of ships: the Python Class Cruiser, the Asp X, the Cobra Mk. II-X, Josher and Pelamis all underwent some model surgery, but hopefully remained true to the original shape design and are practically indistinguishable from their original shapes in what makes them unique and timeless.

A mention must be given to the inspiration Aegidian used when shaping the Python Class Cruiser, the illustration by the anonymous artist published in the pages of the Elite Space Trader’s Flight Manual capturing the concept of the most fearsome shark representation ever to be seen in space.

Gallery

Asp X Cobra Mark II-X IA hama.jpg IA josher.jpg
Griffin Mk.II IA mussurana.jpg IA naga.jpg IA pelamis.jpg
Python Class Cruiser "Sharkface" Python Eunectes Turbo IA ringhals.jpg Sidewinder X

*Darker or lighter, it really depends on your settings.

The run-of-the-mill Iron Ass Heavy Metal Dark Retro teaser poster of Volume 4.

Volume 4

Details

Tellingly, the instalment titled Volume 4: Young Murgh Relics is an OXP that contains Ironassed retexture versions of ships that this author made in the period 2004-06, when he was young, and the ships would have seemed less antiquated.

It is certainly no complete anthology, but it represents a digest of the many ships that were made, limiting this selection to the ones I find most interesting now. These are:

  • The annoying flea-sized Boyracer (2004) that got made in several gaudy colours, here reduced to two versions, the non-armed basic model and the armed "Packed Edition". Both with youthful, idiotic behaviour.
  • The two police ships from nuvipers.oxp (2005), the Viper Mk.II that certainly bore strong resemblance to the Frontier Viper 2, although no good sources were ever found to do a faithful facsimile, and the Viper Cruiser, now rebranded as the fortified Viper Tank, armed with (working) twin turrets.
  • The refugee-saturated stretch Adder, the "Xpat" (2005) with the signature rotating drive, providing an air of near-defenceless misery that demands a player either nobly come to its aid or be confronted with one's own depraved character.
  • The Bandy-Bandy, Chuckwalla, Taipan and Rattle Cutter from the xships.oxp (2005). Here, due to a perceived imbalance of ship roles, the Chuckwalla has been upscaled and rebranded as a heavy freighter near Anaconda dimensions. The Rattle Cutter no longer has four lasers because it's plenty lethal with just one.
  • The search-and-rescue model Cobra Clipper SAR (2006) was the last ship young Murgh ever made, and which Iron Ass tendencies suggest that these volumes might as well have been made over ten years ago. But in the meantime, the generous Eric Walch came to its rescue and javascripted the role behaviour to make it work as it was intended to.
  • The hitherto unreleased Fer-de-Lance Turbo Cruiser (2022) motivated by the desire to "lance about" in a retro-slendered Fer-de-Lance while simultaneously managing to satisfy one's demand for the kind of tempo that is provided by a turbocompressor.

The Xpat, Rattle Cutter and the two police ships are NPC ships, while the Boyracers, Bandy-Bandy, Chuckwalla, Cobra Clipper (in both SAR and civilian issues), Fer-de-Lance Turbo and Taipan are player ships.

The AIs for the Boyracer and Xpat should see some development as there exist some ideas for expansion. Later versions of the Xpat will hopefully include some more accidental scenarios with potential for rescue and rewards.

Gallery

IA bandy.jpg IA boyracer2.jpg Boyracer Packed Edition IA chuck.jpg
Cobra Clipper IA cobraclipSAR.jpg IA ferdelanceTC.jpg IA rattle.jpg
IA taipan2.jpg Viper Mk.II Viper Tank IA xpat2.jpg
  • Actual ship sightings should be visible in the game.

Later volumes

Ironasses at a WIP stage:

hOopy Casino Jormundgand Bulk Hauler Behemoth Battlecarrier Behemoth 2 Battlecarrier
Leviathan Battlecarrier Scrub

Ship data comparison

Sometimes ship parameters ought maybe to have set slightly different than they initially were, one can realise in hindsight. In these OXPs, a few stats have been shifted from their original values, preferably little. This has only been done with the intent of balance, and in keeping with the scale that is established by the core ships. For detailed stats, expand the table below.

Name Cargo Speed Energy ER rate Cost K ₢ P/NPC Volume Source
Adder 2 0.24 85 2.0 65 P Vol.1 Core
Anaconda 750 0.14 500 3.0 650 P Vol.1 Core
Asp 0 0.4 350 4.0 425 P Vol.1 Core
Asp Prototype A 0 0.405 350 4.0 425 P Vol.1 Core
Asp X 0 0.4 420 4.0 425 P Vol.3 X-ships.oxp
Bandy-Bandy 5 0.415 250 3.5 295 P Vol.4 Xships.oxp
Boa 175 0.24 450 3.0 450 P Vol.1 Core
Boa 2 Class Cruiser 175 0.312 525 3.2 495 P Vol.1 Core
Boyracer 0 0.415 110 3.8 250 P Vol.4 Boyracer.oxp
Boyracer Packed Edition 0 0.415 110 3.8 280 P Vol.4 Boyracer.oxp
Bushmaster Miner 10 0.28 100 2.0 N/A NPC Vol.2 Oldships.oxp
Chameleon 30 0.3 260 3.4 160 P Vol.2 Oldships.oxp
Chuckwalla 700 0.18 500 3.0 610 P Vol.4 Xships.oxp
Cobra Mk.I 10 0.25 150 2.5 100 P Vol.1 Core
Cobra Mk.II-X 12 0.348 250 4.0 112 P Vol.3 X-ships.oxp
Cobra Mk.III| 20 0.35 256 4.0 150 P Vol.1 Core
Cobra Clipper 10 0.375 350 4.0 225 P Vol.4 CobraSAR.oxp
Cobra Clipper SAR 12 0.375 350 4.0 245 P Vol.4 CobraSAR.oxp
Constrictor 15 0.6 450 5.0 N/A NPC Vol.1 Core
Cougar 2 0.46 420 4.0 N/A NPC Vol.2 Oldships.oxp
Fer-de-Lance 12 0.3 150 4.5 485 P Vol.1 Core
Fer-de-Lance Prototype A 15 0.3 150 4.5 485 P Vol.1 Core
Fer-de-Lance Turbo Cruiser 8 0.385 330 4.5 550 P Vol.4
Gecko 3 0.3 250 4.0 N/A NPC Vol.1 Core
Ghavial 60 0.28 400 2.5 175 P Vol.2 Oldships.oxp
Gnat 0 0.36 270 3.0 N/A NPC Vol.2 Oldships.oxp
Griffin Mk.II 32 0.36 240 4.0 185 P Vol.3 Griffin.oxp
Hamadryad 100 0.225 480 2.5 175 P Vol.3 Newships.oxp
Iguana 6 0.37 300 2.8 140 P Vol.2 Oldships.oxp
Josher 50 0.32 400 3.0 175 P Vol.3 Newships.oxp
Krait 10 0.3 250 2.5 N/A NPC Vol.1 Core
Mamba 10 0.32 240 3.0 N/A NPC Vol.1 Core
Monitor 75 0.23 410 2.2 180 P Vol.2 Oldships.oxp
Moray Star Boat 7 0.3 240 3.0 125 P Vol.1 Core
Moray Medical Boat 22 0.3 240 3.0 145 P Vol.1 Core
Mussurana 25 0.378 200 4.75 875 P Vol.3 AegidianSpecials.oxp
Naga 85 0.275 650 2.0 285 P Vol.3 Newships.oxp
Ophidian 15 0.36 150 4.0 150 P Vol.2 Oldships.oxp
Pelamis 60 0.298 288 2.56 272 P Vol.3 Pelamis.oxp
Python 100 0.2 450 2.5 200 P Vol.1 Core
Python Class Cruiser 145 0.35 450 3.5 360 P Vol.3 PCC.oxp
Python Eunectes Turbo 100 0.35 350 3.8 360 P Vol.3 X-ships.oxp
Rattle Cutter 0 0.41 390 3.5 N/A NPC Vol.4 Military fiasco.oxp
Ringhals 15 0.3 300 4.0 155 P Vol.3 Newships.oxp
Salamander 20 0.37 256 4.0 180 P Vol.2 Oldships.oxp
Shuttle 30 0.08 120 1.0 N/A NPC Vol.1 Core
Sidewinder 0 0.37 240 2.0 N/A NPC Vol.1 Core
Sidewinder-X 0 0.395 240 2.5 N/A NPC Vol.3 X-ships.oxp
Taipan 15 0.38 300 3.5 190 P Vol.4 Xships.oxp
Transporter 12 0.1 150 3.0 N/A NPC Vol.1 Core
Viper 0 0.32 180 4.0 N/A NPC Vol.1 Core
Viper Interceptor 0 0.52 280 6.0 N/A NPC Vol.1 Core
Viper Mk.II 0 0.42 220 4.0 N/A NPC Vol.4 Nuvipers.oxp
Viper Pursuit 0 0.36 180 4.0 N/A NPC Vol.1 Core
Viper Tank 0 0.24 450 4.5 N/A NPC Vol.4 Nuvipers.oxp
Wolf Mk.II 20 0.38 450 4.2 500 P Vol.2 Wolfmk2.oxp
Worm 2 0.11 75 2.0 N/A NPC Vol.1 Core
Xpat 22 0.22 80 2.0 N/A NPC Vol.4 Xpat.oxp

Acknowledgements

  • Nearly all the core ships are from Aegidian original models from 2004–2005 (closely following the original designs of Ian Bell and David Braben), with only minor additions of protruding engine barrels and weapons nozzles.
  • The shipset formats of Smivs, Smivs' ShipSet and The Classic Ships were very instructive, and some of his tireless pList legwork in plotting flashers, along with the very idea of having mandatory ship lights (for lawful space denizens anyway), have been gratefully appropriated into this OXP.
  • Griff's lovely medical Moray symbol "the space physician's star", is also used here.
  • The Inception Cameos ships are believed to be closely shaped after designs by Ian Bell (1984), Rob Nicholson (1987), Warren Burch & Clive Gingras (1991) and Angus Duggan (1997).
  • The Gecko "Dragonface" and Python Class Cruiser "Sharkface" are attempted to be as close as achievable replications of the artwork by a nameless artist, found in the original Elite Space Trader’s Flight Manual (1984).
  • AI solutions and javascripting for the Vol.4 Cobra Clipper SAR was graciously provided by Eric Walch who solved fundamental performance problems and improved upon the ship's behaviour in this author's absence.

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Ambience

Oolite BB thread

License

As a derivative work of the original Aegidian models, Iron Ass OXP Vol.1 work continues to be licensed under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) To view a copy of this license, go here or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Fransisco, California, 94105, USA.

The Iron Ass OXP volumes 2–4 are licensed under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0), To view a copy of this license, go here.

Hence, one is free to: Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material, under the conditions of – Attribution, giving appropriate credit to original creator(s), – NonCommercial, no commercial use, — ShareAlike, If you remix, transform, or build upon, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.

Quick facts

Iron Ass vol.1 OXP

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1.01 2022-04-03 CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Vol 1: Core shipset Retextures OXPs Old Murgh Iron Ass OXP BB thread

Iron Ass vol.2 OXP

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b3 2022-04-18 CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Vol 2: Additional shipset Ships OXPs Old Murgh Iron Ass OXP BB thread

Iron Ass vol.3 OXP

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b2 2022-04-18 CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Vol 3: Additional shipset Ships OXPs Old Murgh Iron Ass OXP BB thread

Iron Ass vol.4 OXP

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b1 2022-04-18 CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Vol 4: Additional shipset Ships OXPs Old Murgh Iron Ass OXP BB thread

Iron Ass WPB OXP

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1.0 2022-05-8 CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Extra WitchPoint beacon Ambience OXPs Old Murgh Iron Ass OXP BB thread

Iron Ass Lave OXP

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b1 2022-04-19 CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Dark Wheel intro scene Ambience OXPs Old Murgh Iron Ass OXP BB thread

Iron Ass Missionaries OXP

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b1 2022-06-4 CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Religious sects Ambience OXPs Old Murgh Iron Ass OXP BB thread