Tag Archives: space station

Hab Module LV4-26, Part One

This shop front/apartment facade for my ongoing Infinity space station project has been inspired mostly by the depiction of some of the habitat levels of Ceres in the TV show The Expanse. If you haven’t watched The Expanse I highly recommend it, it’s good quality TV (not something I say regularly!) that depicts a hard science fiction fairly near future that nods to classic SF like Bladerunner while carving out it’s own niche.

There’s a great article on some of the concept art from Season One of The Expanse over on ArtStation, Behind The Scenes: The Concept Art of The Expanse. The piece that really inspired me was this painting showing the better-quality habitat levels on Ceres, with their stacked, clearly modular apartment blocks with small shops at ground level.

Hab levels, Ceres. Image via ArtStation. Click for larger.
Hab levels, Ceres. Image via ArtStation. Click for larger.

With the limits of storage and transport of tabletop scenery (as well as the consideration of being able to play around whatever I create!) obviously the soaring multilevel terraces of Ceres will get scaled down a bit… or a lot. I decided to stick with the 12″ long, 6″ high size of my existing big wall modules and roughly the same thickness, creating a two-story facade piece intended to go on one edge of the table.

Basic construction finished. See text for details; click for larger.
Basic construction finished. See text for details; click for larger.

The basic unit has four modules per level, each roughly 3″x3″. Left to Right on the ground floor we have a bar or fast food joint, the entry doors for the hab module itself, some sort of offices, and then a small medical clinic. The top floor is all apartments, three of which have balconies. The roofs are deliberately inaccessible to figures.


The basic construction is mostly 1/8″ foamed PVC (Sintra board) which is great stuff to work with, easy to cut cleanly, sandable, and will glue with either white glue or superglue. The rest is almost all 1/16″ mattboard, the high quality cardboard used in framing pictures. I get my PVC from the offcuts bin at our local plastics supplier, and the mattboard from a local art supply/picture framing store.

With Haqqislam Muyib infantry for scale. Some detailing and lots of paint to go! Click for larger.
With Haqqislam Muyib infantry for scale. Some detailing and lots of paint to go! Click for larger.

Detailing is mostly scraps and offcuts of PVC and mattboard, with some lighter card for the window frames, tiles, and elsewhere. I still need to add bar stools around the outdoor bar on the left, a few more window frames, and some other details.

More soon, I hope to get this piece basecoated today and some more detail over the next few days!

More Space Station Pieces

One of the big wall modules I built for my Infinity space station tabletop set has a door three inches off the ground, intended to connect to catwalks or other elevated terrain. The problem with it has been that I have no catwalks or other elevated terrain, so most of the time that door just kind of hangs in space and looks weird…

I decided to start with at least one module for one side of the elevated door. I was thinking about an open stairwell, but keeping stairs inside a small enough footprint when you have 3″ vertical to cover is challenging. Instead I went with one of the acrylic kit ladders I got from Warsenal earlier this year. The rest of the construction is 1/16th mattboard – picture-framing cardboard – which is what I make almost all of my terrain from.

The vertical beams are 6″ tall, same height as the big wall modules, and the whole thing is 2″ deep (1.5″ at the platform) and 3″ long overall. I had intended to install one of my big 5″ tall by 3″ wide advertising displays across the front of the piece but looking at it, I might run a series of smaller ad displays up the two vertical pillars, because part of the point of these elevated pieces is to make the space station board more three dimensional and complex to play on.

I’ve also got a new round of advertising and other graphics in progress, including new versions of the utility and emergency lockers. More on all of that soon!

Space Station Walls for Infinity

I’ve been kicking around ideas for an interior table setup for Infinity for several months now – that is, a table that instead of being buildings and regular terrain, is entirely or mostly the interior of some large structure. A big starship or space station setup was an obvious choice, especially as the faction I run in Infinity, Haqqislam, is described as the premiere merchant marine power with a very strong space presence throughout the Human Sphere.

The idea percolated in the back of my head for ages, a few planning sketches were made, but no actual concrete work was started until Captain Spud posted his spectacular Yu Jing “Space Truck” transport starship (Infinity forum thread here, Youtube video tour here) and his link to the really cool Creative Commons-licenced science fiction textures from Philip Klevestav that he posted as part of his online portfolio.

I had already planned on doing the station walls & bulkheads in mattboard, my usual building material, but finding those textures and realizing how easy they would be to modify and change has actually prompted me to get started in GIMP on creating wall panels and other graphics.

First panel, a 6″ wide by 3″ high bulkhead, with two Haqqislam troopers propping it up. Click for larger, as usual.

I’ve created a multi-layer GIMP image that should make it easy to create lots of variations and slightly different wall layouts for different areas of the space station. The basic module above is 6″ long and 3″ wide; I’m going to use a 3″x3″ module as standard, expanded to a 3x3x3 cube if required, with 6″ and 12″ long wall segments for the most part, with some 9″ and 3″ long pieces just to break things up a bit. These are the same dimensions as the Objective Room I built for Infinity earlier this year, which wound up with a total footprint of 9″x9″ and 3″ tall.

I’ll also do some 6″ high units, especially for very large cargo doors and the walls of cargo areas, hangars, and similar large spaces. Most of them will likely have catwalks partway up the walls, just to add a bit more of the 3rd dimension back into the playable parts of the scenery.

More as this project progresses, and eventually I’ll figure out how to share some of my images, although the working GIMP file is already 7.8Mb and growing!