I'be been thinking for a couple of days now about going back and redesigning one of my old projects. Namely the mosquito craft from one of my first year university projects. This design was ambitious, even back then and the video it came with was somewhat popular so I thought why not go back and rebuild the thing with better creative knowledge, problem solving skills etc.?
One thing I really wanted to try out in the old design was some form of foot. In the original model I believe they were just spikes due to time pressures. With a better grasp of Maya's rigging and component system I feel confident I can do a proper foot as well as better joints. For fun I could design all kinds of bells and whistles: Brake flaps, redesigned landing gear bays, ailerons, a probe bay, maybe even rotary blades in the wings and a segmented design to allow for full-wing tilting and proper VTOL.
I've mostly been inspired by the ship designs made by Cloud Imperium for Star Citizen. I tried the game out once during a free weekend and was amazed at all the little animated components the one-man ships had whether it was for doors, maintenance hatches, thrusters, airlocks, you'd think they brought in mechanical engineers to work out all the components. I might not go that far, the mosquito in the sequence primarily concerns landing and takeoff but no lie, it would be fun to try and build some sort of open folding mechanism for the front probe or the landing gear.
I might keep the hydraulic system. It was quite useful for compacting the legs into the body (all six of them) and this time around I could go an extra step, maybe include the tubes for the hydraulic fluid that could be linked to the model via a spline curve.
I am definitely going to need some kind of control rig to sort out all the moving parts I already have. It would definitely make accessing the components for animation a lot easier, too.