First of all here is a small introduction. I was briefed to build an aircraft-launchable missile, but this missile was special in that it had DMF capability (Dual Missile Fire). So this meant that I had to conceptualise a missile that could contain two smaller missiles inside itself, so that the mini-missiles could be fired off during flight.
So I have compiled together an informative tutorial of how I created this missile in 3D Studio MAX from concept to rendering. Unfortunately this tutorial reads quite MAX specific, but I'm sure the techniques work over all platforms.
Well in the conceptual stages I got a lot of reference images of missiles from the internet, mainly using Google's image search :). After looking at a whole bunch of different missles and bombs, I came up with the initial design seen below
After I had sketched out the intial design of the missile, I had to create a way of fitting two identical missiles inside the larger, middle section of the missile. Not only did the mini-missiles have to fit, they also had to have a mechanism that holds them in place. Mechanical genius Dave Wilson
helped me design the clamp mechanism. Basically it's an remote electro-magnet that keeps the missiles in place. The polarity is reversed on release by remote signal, so that the mini-missiles are thrown from the main missile... cool huh :).
To model the missile I used polygons. To start off, I created a 64 sided capsule (MAX primitive polygon). I then edited the capsule by extruding, beveling and chamfering. I then hollowed out the mini-missile bay section of the missile using a boolean. Then using simple boxes, I cut out an intersection from the sides of the mini-missile bay, to create bay doors. I then went into more detail by beveling the edges of the bay doors and the bay area to create a seam for specular highlights to reflect off. For the fins I simply extruded and beveled out a spline and then tweaked the vertex positions to create the right kind of shape.
After the outside was complete I had to model the inside mechanics and the mini-missiles. Both the struts and clamps are extruded and beveled splines. The electro magnets are a bunch of boxes and cylinders with a few nips and tucks. Basically I used chamfer-edge to create bevel edges on every thing. The screws are manipulated capsules.
The mini missiles were also minipulated capsules, with fins added afterwards.