About the Project
The Independent Explorer “Wanderer in Wonder” project is inspired by the small hero ships of miscellaneous science fiction novels such as the “Wayfarer” from “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet” by Becky Chambers, the “Bechimo” from the “Liaden” series by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, and various ships from “The Ship Who Sang/Brain and Brawn Ship” series by Anne McCaffrey. The style of the highly detailed deck plans presented is inspired by the small hero ships created by various Star Wars fan artists.
About the Design
The design for the large scoutship Independent Explorer “Wanderer in Wonder” is based on Space Station One from the 1970’s comic book series Space Family Robinson” Lost in Space on Space Station One. I chose this retro design due to its unusual hull shapes that would only work for a spacecraft. I deliberately made the interior for the vessel luxurious since the crew and passengers would travel onboard for extensive periods of time. This is a romantic science fantasy rather than realistic science fiction design.
Creating the Images
The 3D CGI model of the Independent Explorer “Wanderer in Wonder” was created using Rhinoceros 5. The crew figures were created using DazStudio 4.9. The deck plan illustrations were created using CorelDraw X8 and Corel PhotoPaint X8. Much of the clip art used for the machinery came from the program EZ Draw. Figurine clothing, control panel graphics, and vegetation clip art came from a variety of sources. The project was started in mid 2017 and completed in early 2020.
Fictional Project Background
The Independent Explorer “Wanderer in Wonder” is the dream of four star-faring couples: Human, Humanoid Android, Dragora, and Ilithian. They had all worked on tiny scoutships on various interstellar exploration missions. They had become great friends and decided they would like to work together long-term. They pooled their resources and commissioned the construction of a custom scoutship which they designed themselves.
The Independent Explorer “Wanderer in Wonder” is larger than the scouts they had all worked on before, allowing it to carry are wide variety of sensors, two small but well-equipped labs and two shuttles. Its owners sell their services as its crew and rent the vessel to various scientists and explorers. Given the relative luxury of their vessel, they are easily able to attract customers with whom they have a variety of exploratory adventures. Exploratory institutions also seek out their services to keep their own starship operation costs down.
As a privately-owned ship, the “Wanderer in Wonder” is not held to the same legal requirements that institutional vessels are, allowing it greater flexibility in mission profiles. In addition to the eight co-owners, the ship also carries two Human and two Dragora crew-persons hired out on a per-mission basis. The “Wanderer in Wonder” is also home to the owner’s small pets including two cats and a Tlargo (Dragora pet).