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Gas Giant Scooping

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Part of the fabric of the Traveller RPG universe is the ability for some ships to scoop hydrogen from the atmosphere of gas giants in order to refuel. In this case, we see such an operation, with the hydrogen being shunted to tanks, while impurities are vented out behind the ship. This particular gas giant has a active ecosystem which occupies a layer in the atmosphere where earth-like pressures exist, and warmth wells up from the lower atmosphere. These creatures can never land, but spend their life-cycles either soaring, or, in the case of the giant Floaters, buoyed up by hydrogen which they warm in their interiors.

This is a vertical composition version of a piece I did for the 2012 Traveller calendar.

Lightwave10, and lots of cloud painting in Photoshop!
Thanks for taking a look!

Thanks to arcass for an assist with the lightning! :D
EDIT The Traveller Calendar for 2012 is not quite ready, yet, but it should be soon. You can look at earlier calendars, and 2012 when its available at: [link]
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© 2011 - 2021 Thomas-Peters
Comments34
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The Subsidised Merchant never looked better. Thanks!
Colourbrand's avatar
Damn - this is nice :D
Wow, that's really gorgeous.
OrionSagan's avatar
I love this, this seems to be inspired by the conclusion of Chapter II: "One Voice In The Cosmic Fugue" or Carl Sagan's Cosmos in which Sagan discusses atmospheric floaters and hunters, but with a vehicle visiting them.
Thomas-Peters's avatar
Thanks! It was inspired by "Cosmic Fugue" and the writing of Arthur C. Clarke. If you can find it, I think you'd enjoy a novella called "A Meeting with Medusa" by Arthur C. Clarke which involves a manned balloon exploring the clouds of Jupiter!
DrOfDemonology's avatar
Y'know, I'm a very Old Scool gamer, and am old enough to remember when the Traveller RPG first came out. If there was one thing it always lacked, it was high quality art, or any real amount of art at that. Just endless pages of list and numbers, endless complex rules.

I wish it had had incredible work like yours from the beginning. Maybe I would have gotten into far more than I did. This is really beautiful :)
this idea has always fascinated me. i can almost hear the shock wave.
screenscan's avatar
such beautiful picture!
and the colors, man
the colors!!!!!!
maketsu's avatar
Subtle yet nicely detailed clouds. Good work. ^_^
SudsySutherland's avatar
Beautiful work! Being a Traveller fan, I must say this is a FANTASTIC visual! So, where do we find this 2012 Traveller calendar...
Thomas-Peters's avatar
The calendar is a yearly project for charity, and you'll be able to get it through Andrew Boulton's website: [link] He's got all the earlier ones available there, too! The 2012 isn't available, yet, but should be soon...
Teri-Minx's avatar
Oh I love Traveller! This is a grea picture! I didn't even know there was a 2012 Traveller calendar. Where is it available from?
Thomas-Peters's avatar
D'OH!! I forgot! The calendar is a project for charity, and you'll be able to get it through Andrew Boulton's website: [link] He's got all the earlier ones available there, too! I'm glad you like it. Teri-Minx. I really enjoyed doing this one! Lots of looking at cloud reference and painting away on the wacom tablet...
Teri-Minx's avatar
Well, I think all your efforts have created a really impressive piece of work!
Zoxesyr's avatar
I want that ship! Where did you find it!?
Thomas-Peters's avatar
I made the Fat Trader model in Lightwave. Its a little rough around the edges. I plan on doing some more work on it, to make it more presentable, but right now, its just good enough to give me a guide to the forms. The render provides me a base to paint on top of.
Zoxesyr's avatar
It's good work from this distance. I hope you release it when you feel like you are done
Thomas-Peters's avatar
I may finish it up. I really hadn't thought about a release-just because I wouldn't think many people would want it. It would be cool to have some Trav models out there...
Zoxesyr's avatar
yes please! we need more traveler meshes!
karanua's avatar
Not a scene you see illustrated on the whole, congratulations on pulling it off so majestically.
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