Assembling a Space Fleet for Galactic Domination

Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, I was greatly influenced by a relatively new style of science fiction.  Seeing imaginary worlds depicted in movies and shows like Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica, I was instantly drawn to the mechanical and textured look of the vessels. The steel plating and rivets, with excessive hoses and vents that seemed to go on forever. And the weathering, don’t even get me started about the weathering.  Anyway, as I grew a little older and started seeing some behind the scenes material on the special effects wizards building miniatures for film, I was fascinated with the sculptural aspect of their technique, and the borrowing of various things like tank turrets and engine parts. Their shelves were stacked with a myriad of various model kits. I was immediately hooked. From that point on, whenever I saw a particular model or toy that I was not necessarily eager to build or play with, I was determined to add it to my stockpile of potential spaceship components.

Fast forward 10 years to college while taking a sculpture class, I was confronted with a “Found Objects” assignment.  My solution was to dig deep into the toy chest and find a few interesting hull fragments and pieces that would work together in an overall design.  Although it was rather crude, and somewhat easier to pull off than I thought, I brought it to class for the critique anyway, because after all, as I mentioned earlier, it was college and I had stuff to do.  Turned out, my teacher loved it enough to put it in the student show at the end of the semester.  From that point on, I felt it was advantageous to collect various items that possessed attributes conducive to building my galactic empire, in my spare time of course.

Now, as an adult, I often see things lying around the house that are screaming to be reused in such a manner.  Deodorant caps, disposable razors, PVC plumbing fixtures, anything with an interesting shape and preferably made of plastic, as I find it a most forgiving material and quite easy to work with.

Which brings me to the main theme of this blog, “Assembling a Space Fleet for Galactic Domination”.

Step One:  Gathering Resources.

A Galactic Overlord would probably require some sort of long range reconnaissance vessel, a scout ship if you will. I find spray nozzles can be very effective in the fabrication of such a design. Combined with other lightweight objects to form the main hull, the 409 nozzles possess a symmetry and flow that exude agility, speed and overall bad-assery.














Step Two:  Assembling.

Spend countless hours configuring different combinations of the elements













Sometimes the way particular parts fit together can dictate the final design in the end.













Step Three:  Topcoat.

An initial topcoat in the standard issue galactic gray primer brings everything together. Specific elements lose their original recognition and at this point, the overall look of the vehicle emerges.














Step Four:  Weathering.

The most rewarding and immersive step of all. What’s that you say, there’s no atmosphere in space? No way for it to get dirty or grimy? I don’t care.













Spaceships need grime and laser blast residue. They just do.













This is achieved by various washes and dry brush techniques.













So there you have it, the X-409. The first stage in amassing a formidable space fleet to be reckoned with.

Marc Tobin has been producing creative imagery on a freelance basis since 1992. While well-versed in traditional mediums such as Acrylic and Colored Pencil, his experience in the digital arena is extensive.