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About Digital Art / Hobbyist Premium Member Effing the IneffableMale/United States Recent Activity
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Spacecraft Interiors

Thu Aug 21, 2014, 4:09 PM
One of my all time favorite movies is Alien, and the Commercial Towing Vessel Nostromo one of my all time favorite spacecraft.  The interior style of the Nostromo is often referred to as "Used Future," a working man's world where function dictates form, and aesthetics take a back seat to efficiency.  The Millenium Falcon and the Dark Star predate Nostromo as the vanguard of the Used Future style, and Outland did an excellent job of translating it to an entire colony, but it is the latter two examples that have gained such an enduring hold on my imagination.  You actually believed this was a working spacecraft/mining colony, with a real job to do, with all of the attendant compromises between its visual appeal and its need to be functional.  As a kid I had only the vaguest sense of the realism, the verite being offered me in this sort of depiction.  As an adult, I spent years on a nuclear powered submarine - the epitome of the function dictates form ethic, and came to appreciate many of the hidden whys behind the way things were through practical experience living and working in those confined, utilitarian spaces.

My one attempt to design a spaceship interior was more the antithesis of the Used Future.  Indeed, one commenter pointed out that it looked like a "Space Travelodge," and not without merit.

Bonaventure Habitat Interior by Reactor-Axe-Man Interior Test Render 10 by Reactor-Axe-Man Berthing Compartment 2 by Reactor-Axe-Man

I think this is another deeply held meme within the community that has been created and reinforced by successful mainstream sci-fi. Set design has needs all their own that often contradict the ethic of the spacecraft they are depicting.  Realistic working sets require levels of detail that equate to greater expense, and a television show doesn't have the set budgets a big movie will enjoy.  Sometimes a show's theme demands aesthetics over efficiency.  Roddenberry wanted the Enterprise-D to be big, spacious, even plush for ST:TNG.  He wanted the "Space Travelodge" look because his vision was a giant explorer filled with families for a ten year mission, and if this was the case, diamond deck and exposed piping wasn't going to cut it.  Looking back I can see where I was subconsciously influenced by that aesthetic in the Bonaventure habitat interiors I did. (Mostly the beige. What was I thinking?)  Looking at other peoples' works, I can see that I am not alone.  Vast passageways where six people could walk abreast (some of the places I had to go on the sub, when you passed by another man, you could tell if he was circumcised...), luxurious rooms, smooth and organic lines, tastefully rendered lighting all dominate in these works.

I wonder sometimes if I can actually find my own Used Future.

  • Mood: Artistic
  • Listening to: Orchestral Film Scores
  • Reading: Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition


I am taking requests for commissioned 3D modeling work. If you are interested in seeing me bring one of your ideas to life, send me a Note or send me an email at and we can discuss the specifics of the work desired and what I can do to fit your budget.

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Sep 17, 2014
6:22 pm
Sep 17, 2014
10:50 am
Sep 16, 2014
6:16 pm
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5:04 pm
Sep 15, 2014
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Artraccoon Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014
I was looking through your fantastic spacecraft art while my CD player had "God Is An Astronaut" playing.  The song "Suicide By Star" set a perfect mood. Fantastic work.
Reactor-Axe-Man Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! I hope things are little better on your end now.
MaxxQBuNine Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the Fave!
WideFoot Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Thanks for the Fav!  Your work is seriously awesome too!  Do you post anything to the warehouse?  I'd love to look at your models.  
Jimlogan1701 Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Found your mojo yet ? hope your well :-)
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