Major Locales of the Titan I Complex

| Portal | Main Tunnel Junction | Control Center | Power House | Antenna Terminal |

| Fuel Terminal | Blast Locks | Launcher Air Filtration | Propellant Terminals |

| Equipment Terminals | Missile Silos |

| Home | Map | Site Updates | 3D Model |


Titan I 3D Model

Around 2000 I started a project to create a 3D walk-through model of a Titan I complex using game modeling software.


This came about because of my involvement with 724-C-- another project that was just getting under way.  I was living far away from the complex at that time, and obsessed as I was with it, I was going nuts wanting to explore every square inch of the place.  I was instead stuck hundreds of miles away aching to crawl all over the entire complex.


I spent weeks poring over the blueprints and trying to imagine what some areas really looked like now.  Although I had been there on two different visits to Colorado and had spent several days working there, I had yet to see many different areas that were hard to reach because of water or other hazards and obstacles.


When I was at the Titan site, the entire time I was inside the complex I could not stop wishing that it had not been salvaged, trashed and water-logged into rusted disarray.  


If only I could see it as it had once been; go back to 1965 and take a look right after that last crew had left forever and walked out the gate.


Of course I could not go back in time so construction and operational photos were the best I could do.  But such photos were hard to come by if you didn't know the right people-- and I didn't know anyone.  Besides, a picture goes only so far, especially compared to being there, walking down one of the tunnels past the trays filled with bundles of cables and through the interlocked doors of the blast locks followed by the metallic sound of your footsteps on the steel decking.


How could a picture compare to that silo smell so distinct to underground structures as you walk along the corrugated tunnel over six stories beneath the earth into the cacophonous dome of the Power House where you are engulfed by sound and machinery?


Naturally, they could not compare; not even close.


Rough Forms.  The circular passage near the surface in the entry portal where the revolving blast door (not included) would be located.  Beyond the door are the stairs and the wire mesh that enclosed the freight elevator.


The real deal.  Revolving door passage at 724-C.


And that's how the 3D model began.  I had already been tinkering around with WorldCraft 2.0, a game mapping software (used in developing Quake and Half-Life among others) that was so finicky, I marveled at how anything ever got accomplished with it.  In truth I just wasn't experienced using it, but I still had fun tinkering with it until it invariably crashed on me.  Frustrated I was pleased when I tried UnrealEd 2.0 which had a more forgiving rendering engine and better interface.


For those not into 3D first person shooter games where you run around killing everything in sight, map editors are the software that allows you to create a little 3D world to rampage around in.  You create rooms, tunnels, buildings or pretty much whatever you can imagine and add details and lights to make things look pretty and realistic.  You can add elevators and other moving parts and change how the lighting looks and it pretty much works automatically.


A view up the portal silo elevator shaft showing the stairs circling upward to the surface.  Essentially correct but very crude, there's a lot of major details missing.


The odd projection sticking up in the lower right is an energy rifle carried by the character in the game "Unreal".


Recent b&w Polaroid of the entry portal elevator shaft and stairs.

Source pending approval.


It is because I used game software to do this that you see guns and ammo laying around or jutting into the view from the players perspective which is that of actually being there.


Another early development still showing the main tunnel junction (T.J.#10)  and looking toward the entrance to the power house.  Notice that the tunnel to the launchers is blocked as it had yet to be added.  Later I added the tunnel and punched a hole through the "concrete" wall to connect the 2 areas.


Again we have a weapon jutting into the shot as I neglected to stow the damn thing when I took the screen capture.


A recent picture looking toward the power house at 724-C, circa 2000.


So here are the results of my attempt to virtually re-create a Titan I.  I must admit that it falls a bit short of the real thing-- ok, a LOT short of the real thing, but it was still a fun project and I learned a lot about how the Titans were put together as I stared at hundreds of blueprints trying to get the details as close as I could.


I had planned to add as much detail as possible to give the model a good approximation of what equipment was located where and all the other elements down to a certain reasonable level of detail.


A way-out-of-proportion shot from inside the freight elevator at the bottom of the entry portal.  The caution strips line the doorway where the 8'x8' blast doors would have been located.  


Well, even that proved to be too much for Unreal Tournament to handle.  If I had been more skilled at using UnrealEd, I might have been able to pull off something far more impressive, but I was not.  Adding more and more detail just caused things to bog down and produced odd errors that caused my tiny character to fall through floors or get stuck in places for no apparent reason.


At one point I even considered using CAD software to model pretty much everything, down to the piping, ductwork and electrical conduit-- a task I am quite certain I would not have lived to complete.  But ultimately I abandoned the project in favor of more productive work, leaving it largely unfinished as you see here with bare rooms and walls-- a big empty shell.


In the end, I made a few fatal flaws right from the start.  For example, I got the scale off by a quite a bit, making things huge in comparison to the little virtual soldier that I assumed the form of so I could admire my handiwork from the inside.


A few other features don't quite match up right as with the silo and its relation to the LOX, personnel and utilities tunnels which are too far down and off in their relative heights.


The stairs going up the entry portal are nearly too tall for the guy to climb and other stairs are to narrow or have an extra landing as with the ship's ladder in the power house.


Progressing slowly, the Titan I starts to take shape: I started with the entry portal and stairs and then added T.J.#10 which connects all the other tunnels and then added the power house as I laid out the rough forms of the complex.

UnrealEd provided nice cutaway views of the exterior allowing you to "fly" around the structure and zoom in or out for a better look.


In spite of all the errors it was still pretty neat to run around a Titan I complex being chased by killer soldiers in an Unreal Tournament game.


A modest shell still lacking about 75% of the complex.  Tunnels to the launchers and antenna terminal and other features still haven't been added.


Next I added the power house air intake and exhaust facilities and added some more detail to the power house.  I added lights as I went along to brighten up new tunnels and areas as they were added.  In a game editor like UnrealEd newly built rooms are typically completely dark until you add invisible light sources to illuminate them.


An overhead view showing the newly added air intake and exhaust facilities stemming off from the power house at the mezzanine level.  Everything is still pretty Spartan, and the vertical shaft of the air intake tunnel is still missing along with the dust collectors and other features.


This does not mean adding light fixtures, or rather, a group of pixels that look like one, just a light source.  Later, you can come back and add a light fixture to give the illusion that it is giving off light even though the light is actually coming from a small point just below the light fixture.


This view shows the air exhaust shaft where the penetrations for the 5 blast valves join the shaft and the exhaust tunnel.  Still a lot of work to be done...


Another shot of the power house and air intake viewed as a cutaway.


Inside the air intake facility looking at the heating coils.  The dust collectors are still absent.


Adding a little more detail and things are starting to take shape:


An overhead shot of the air intake facility taken for a proposed flash-based website back in 2001.  The idea was that parts of the image could be clicked on to zoom in or navigate about.  Trouble was that the site became too large and slow to load in a reasonable time and was discontinued early in its development. 


It was during the creation of this model that the idea of doing a Titan I site came about.  I made a few abortive efforts, but work, life and a couple interstate moves kept me from getting much accomplished for a while.


Another overhead view of the air exhaust facility. 


The air exhaust facility viewed from near the diesel tanks.


The air exhaust facility at 724-C.  Ok, I guess my diesel tanks were a bit too far forward, but they still look cool.  


More model pictures and even some video ahead.  I saved the best for last of course!  Click below to continue, or select an area on the map to explore elsewhere.



Titan I Model Cont.


Current Location: Titan I 3D Model Part I

Blast Lock #1 Blast Lock #2 Main Map Launcher Area Air Filtration Launcher Area Air Filtration Fuel Terminal Power House Air Intake Power House LOX Bay #1 LOX Bay #3 Equipment Terminal #1 Missile Silo #1 Propellant Terminal #1 LOX Tunnel #1 Propellant Terminal #3 Missile Silo #3 Equipment Terminal #3 LOX Tunnel #3 Utilities Tunnel #1 Utilities Tunnel #3 Launcher Tunnels Launcher Tunnels Launcher Tunnels Launcher Tunnels Launcher Tunnels

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