The Kaiser Industries OR-8 'Gaterunner' was originally designed as a small freighter. Sales were initially poor due to its limited cargo space compared to other ships in its class, combined with a lack of artificial gravity and other 'non-essential' crew-comfort systems in the interests of keeping the ship's mass as low as possible. Despite its ungainly appearance, the OR-8's speed and manoeuverability were excellent, however, resulting in the ship becoming popular with short-ranged couriers who used them primarily for 1- or 2-gate hops between systems. With the coming of the Maelstrom, many of these couriers were pressed into service as evacuation craft, with their non-pressurised cargo holds retrofitted to accomodate sleeper capsules.
This was a project spawned by a rodent ball habitat dome idea shared by Patrick Keith a while back on the COUNTERBLAST Facebook group. I had originally intended to do something similar, but when I received my ball it turned out to be a little smaller than I had pictured. While I was figuring out whether or not I needed another small hab dome alongside my salad bowl domes, I decided that the markings on the ball made for nice detailing for a cool ship design. And so the OR-8 was born!
Check out the walkthrough here: http://www.thecommguild.com/roller/thecommguild/entry/modeling-spotlight-rodent-ball-spaceship