Sci-Fi Walls - Visual keys/reused ideas


Sr Member
One of the things that drives me crazy in the prop replica world is that prop makers and set designers can use random crap in a movie because they know what visual clues we look for in sci-fi. We search high and low for "greeblies" they had sitting in a big pile. In Aliens, they used pallets or milk crates for the Sulaco floor. These have been reused in other scifi. They create a "look" of a spaceship floor.
Padded walls, tubes and pipes, illuminated circles, geometric shapes. I was looking at the thread, Smugglers Room. He is recreating a specific set from Star Wars, but the same elements show up again and again.

I keep adding to my basement prop room which has painted concrete walls. I can't decide in a specific style so I will probably do a montage of various ideas.

What I am interested in is; What are the clues?

Conduit/pipes - Complexity and confined space.
Padded walls - Safety in movement
Geometric shapes - Prefabricated- machine built
Illuminated panels - advanced technology

My basement is a mess due to x-mas and ongoing projects but you see the feeble attempt at the sulaco hanger.



Sr Member
my friend, i have been obsessed with the same thing for years. If i understand you correctly, you are looking at what objects/shapes we identify with Sci-fi?

In my project, that you kindly refrenced (thank you), I have gone with a Star Wars theme, but I pulled from about every resource I could dig up. (I have a 175 gig external hard drive full to prove it) and I found that there are many similar trends in all the sci-fi films from Star Wars to Aliens. (Love the room by the way(y)thumbsup:thumbsup)

I thought I would post a few of the images I have referenced for my basement, many of these are created from 3D artists that I have found on the web, I hope they don't mind me saving their work (For reference only, I would never distribute or claim to be my own)

My only question about this thread is, are you looking for reference? Or just opinions on what makes Sci-fi recognizable?


Sr Member
The Smuggler Room thread is great - he's really taking it to the next level and has me rethinking my whole prop area as well. I'm currently trying to fuse the aged starship feel (from my favorite shows) with prop displays.
Elements I'm concentrating on:

Lots of screens and lights (BSG and Enterprise)
Complicated looking panels (ala Enterprise)
Intercoms (BSG/TOS)
Wall panels (various Stargate)

Thinking about:
-The overall paint is key as you fill in later. Darker walls are a must.
-Can't forget the ceiling. I'm looking closely at the SGU episodes now for some ceiling ideas like this:



Sr Member
rethinking my whole prop area as well. I'm currently trying to fuse the aged starship feel (from my favorite shows) with prop displays.[/IMG]

Agreed, we shall start the Prop Room Redo Revolution, and we won't be stopped until every prop room is THEMED . . . sorry, too much?:behave


Sr Member
Yes, exactly what I was looking for. The images we are so familiar with that when we see then we immediately think; this is in the future, we are on a spaceship, this is an advanced society...


Sr Member
On a side note. I framed 4x8 drywall and suspended them on chains for the ceiling. For some reason, hanging lights and panels look futurey...

They are currently painted with glow paint (cool effect with lights out). But I am considering using led x-mas lights poking through from the back to light the room.

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