Corridors... In... Space!

Inspired by Oink's articles relating to his gothic architecture project, I felt it would be worth doing some similar investigation myself...

Unlike Oink however, the vast majority of material for the interiors I'm interested in is fictional. Movies, games, lots and lots of concept art. Of course the problem here is that the thing I'm trying to build isn't actually real (yet). The closest equivalents I can think of would be the interiors of certain kinds of industrial plants, large mobile structures like warships, and military facilities.

The classic
First off, via this awesome article on sci-fi corridors (gotta love the internet) there's the Alien(s) interiors. The inspiration for me, if not for Space Hulk itself. Fictional, obviously, these were built out of broken up WWII ship and tank parts, packing crates (hence British Packing Crate or BPC flooring), and anything else that could be scrounged out of the backlots of Pinewood. Note the diffuse, blue-red lighting without any clear lighting sources (it's twilighty, not dark), the inherent claustrophobia of the octagonal cross-section, and the foreboding extension into the distance of the ambiguous, almost sinister piping. See how the ladder blocking the path and the strange wall-lumps (TM) and little bits and pieces projecting into the corridor path feel invasive and hostile. Mood. It's clearly a functional area, but what function?

Corridor concept by Tariq12 @ DeviantArt
Concept art this time, exposed wiring and more ambiguous function in the red LEDs on the wall. What I wanted to highlight here was the effect the lighting has on the scene. Between the downlighting, white light, and the lack of projection - almost flat walls -  in particular, the tone feels grim, oppressive even, but not threatening. This is a depressing place, but not a paranoid one.

Sewers of Paris via GreenSpec
Back to reality. Sewers have a natural sense of claustrophobia, and an extremely functional (very few cultures decorate their sewers) build combined with the obvious grime and decay. The greenish colour palette makes it all looks natural yet weird, an interesting paradox. Again the downlighting, quite bright this time, renders this unthreatening, but the harsh lighting also feels very basic, very primitive. Reminds me of parts of Half-life.

Abandoned Russian submarine facility, via EnglishRussia
More water, this one is from an abandoned submarine facility built into the side of a mountain in the Ukraine. The curved walls are a function of how large scale tunnel engineering is done. They have a certain practical Russian-ness about them I love - we drill hole, we put submarine in hole, what's the problem? - but for my purposes not that relevant. What I want to pick up here is the pipes (wonderful powder blue tint) snaking around everything on the ceiling. All kinds of interesting yellow lighting reflections, the safety rail separating a kind of gantry tier on a higher level from the "corridor", and that damp patch - I can use all of that.

Abandoned MoD facility via DaisyBush @ Flickr
Another abandoned military facility, this is a series of MoD tunners, storerooms, and bunkers built beneath London. Once again, well lit from above = non-threatening. Again damp streaks. Like the submarine base, the ribbed tunnels reflect the nature of construction which in this case was essentially ship building. That green wire stretching off to infinity again suggests some kind of function, and is the kind of thing that can give continuity between multiple pieces and not force reliance on just the flooring say.

This one also reflects a limiting problem with real-world permanent structures - they're all concrete! Cheap and available as it is it isn't going to be found on a space hulk.

Merom coal power station via Renewable
Merom coal power station via Renewable
Power stations seem like they would be useful, but by and large they're cavernous, very clean, and very modern. Happily there are still some industrial level relics around looking brooding. The first image here really just shows off some almost endemic machinery, and a somewhat flat but reassuringly authentic hazard yellow, oxide red, and streaking brown.

The second picture is much more interesting. Leaving the floor aside this is the first real-world picture I've found with some menace to it. The point and low level lighting totally helps, as does that it's green, The scale of the walls also looms down on you which suggests to me I might want some extra height to build claustrophobia. Gantry walk again too.

Georgetown power plant museum, Seattle, USA (via wikimedia commons)

Gotta love fish-eye software (spot the floating head!), this one mostly interests me for the gantry wrapping around the central pillar and the crane hook suspended from the ceiling. Reminds me of Half-life again (Nova Prospekt anyone?). The massive window at the end might be useful for some of the larger rooms I plan on doing. Give me a way to use all those City of Death walls.
Modhail's SH3D project

Finally (for today) another hobbier's SH3D project. Sadly, it appears to have died, but there's some great work there. The brass looks too bright for what I want to do, but I love the little terminal and the flooring is faultless - and trust me, that stuff is hard!


  1. Just makes me thing of my favourite artist H R Giger's work. I will eventually visit the museum. Great post.

  2. This looks fantastic, nice bit of posting and those images are awesome.

  3. Well done! A great bit of research to help you form your ideas! Of course, the trouble with this is that it can give you too many ideas! hehe!

    I'm glad I could inspire you to take a look around! I find that it's good to look at real world examples rather than just other examples of models, as that way you can start right from the source, and make things your own as well as include an aura of authentic-ness!

    Some great pictures there, and I'm sure you had to cut down the ones you wanted to show too!

  4. Just found your blog, looking good!!!

    Nice surprise to see my own stuff mentioned, glad you like it.
    The blog you linked to has indeed gone the way of the doornail...
    I'm currently chronicling my stuff here: http://modhails-meanderings.blogspot.nl/