Axel, very interesting & inventive ideas - really reshaping the concept significantly. Even if the model and features do not suit the concept totally, you have found a way it seems to get the same results.
Why not bundle it up as a scenario and config file and upload it to orbit hangar?
Oh fine! Ill just settle for the entire thing being animated from the ladder...
Infact of course both sets of ladders are animated / automatic. Basically a problem I decided to solve with the mk2 is to show you how you get into the thing, you can get your own coffee though.
Same thing with the crew seats; they are always to slide back and the pilot climbs up a short distance to the seat. However the I don't think I illustrated the footholds in the wall in the mk1.
As for the crews, eh I think thats a little unkind... They we're far from state of the art even in 2007 and deliberately so due to technical limitations back then.
But even In 2011 and more high-spec rendering engines, I think they are fine for what they are and probably as good as anything you'll get in Orbiter. If you find them honestly that awful, well I haven't checked but I guess you can switch them off.
Yes I had planned on re-skinning the suits but that's it, anything further would really to be worthwhile, require entirely new high-res models for normal map generation, more highly tessellated low res models & higher resolution textures... And they still won't be animated, so they would still be just nicely painted mannequins which have taken weeks to produce, with the obvious hit on framerates that all this would bring.
Here's a pic of some more work on the cockpit... it has taken a long time to fix the upper framework's UV's, which are all unwrapped as a continuous part - meaning great care has to be taken to ensure that lines painted on the texture are neat and tidy - they have a tendency to wobble and change thickness - and that details aren't too distorted.