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Stephan

A brief how-to on planet construction

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I've never tried a night/day side, but that sounds like a fun idea. Obviously you'd want to do something that looks like the night side of earth with all the lights.

If you get some time, can you post some pictures?

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Planets with a diameter smaller than 5000 kilometer are planetoids, so it isn't as simple as that.

My interpretation is that a large planetoid is diameter 8" and a planet is generally 2-6x as big meaning somewhere between 16"and 48" which would coincide with the "gravity well" terrain feature. But I'll admit that is just an interpretation. What is RAW is that we have a terrain feature called "Planetoid" and do not have a terrain feature called "Planet".

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Per the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the largest dwarf planet (Planetoid) in our solar system is Eris, which is estimated to be about 2,326 km in diameter. There's an extensive article on Wikipedia:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarf_planet

To simplify things, if an 8" diameter planetoid represents a 2000 km planetoid, then table scale is 1" = 250 km, or 4" = 1000 km.

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Eris cost Pluto it’s “Planet” status, but doesn’t impose an upper size limit on planetoids.

 

Deciding what’s what out there is officially up to the International Astronomical Union (IAU), but they have been less than clear on the subject during the past decade.

Currently the IAU determines if an object is a planet or a dwarf planet (planetoid) by checking if it cleaned up its orbit or not.

This principally allows for rather large “dwarf planets” of course…

 

When the current classification system was accepted a number of IAU members wanted to sort planets and planetoids by size, but as the proposed size limit of 2000 kilometer would have resulted in a rapid growing number of planets within the solar system, the proposal got declined.

The current classification system was a compromise, and it seems they do want an upper size limit for planetoids, just not 2000 kilometer.

Last year I read somewhere the number is going to be 5000 kilometer, but as long as the IAU doesn’t change their official classification system a planetoid could be the size of Jupiter…

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For fun, here's some more information:

The Kármán line, at 100 km (62 mi), or 1.57% of Earth's radius, is often used as the border between the atmosphere and outer space.

Geosynchronous orbit is at an altitude of approximately 35,786 km (22,236 mi) above mean sea level. A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an orbit around Earth with an altitude between 160 kilometers and 2,000 kilometers.

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For fun, here's some more information:

The Kármán line, at 100 km (62 mi), or 1.57% of Earth's radius, is often used as the border between the atmosphere and outer space.

Geosynchronous orbit is at an altitude of approximately 35,786 km (22,236 mi) above mean sea level. A low Earth orbit (LEO) is an orbit around Earth with an altitude between 160 kilometers and 2,000 kilometers.

 

So the question is, how does that translate to size on the FSA board?

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If an 8" diameter planetoid represents a 2000 km planetoid, then table scale is 1" = 250 km, or 4" = 1000 km.

Earth has a diameter of roughly 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers), so at that scale, the Earth is 4x13= 52" in diameter. The atmosphere would be a 1/5" line around it; the ISS would be

1.6" away from the surface. Geosynchronous orbit would be about 36" from the surface.

The Moon would be about 14" in diameter, orbiting about 128 feet away.

Hopefully that puts space scale into some perspective. FSA is a game, not a simulation, so defining how far a table inch is, or how long a game turn lasts, doesn't really make much sense. Can be fun though.

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Great approach - Never thought to use crackle spray to add depth and texture.

 

Here's an alternative, more hands on approach with paint brushes for those looking for something more... Terran. :)

 

http://www.ninjamagic.com/cgi-bin/gt/tpl.h,content=78&

 

Since finding hemisphere balls is completely impossible here in Denmark (and eBay and similar places seem to only sell in bulk) I went with IKEA metal bowls - yes, bowls.

 

http://www.ikea.com/dk/da/catalog/products/20057255/

 

They're hollowed (duh) so they're not as heavy as you'd expect from their size - Only two downsides (well one as far as I'm concerned), they don't really fit "Inches" rules for planets per the Rulebook, but I don't mind the discrepancy. Could put a circular marker below marking the atmosphere as a "no fly" zone to keep distance.

 

And then there's the other...side. It's flat on the bottom (which I didn't realize until I brought it home), so it won't be a perfect semiphere - But on the plus side, I can actually park a space station or a small fleet right on top of it if I wanted to - or sculpt a top with terrain or buildings to add some detail (like a wall of china like thing)

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Since finding hemisphere balls is completely impossible here in Denmark (and eBay and similar places seem to only sell in bulk) I went with IKEA metal bowls - yes, bowls.

 

There are no art & craft stores in Denmark?

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There are no art & craft stores in Denmark?

 

Oh plenty - But all the ones I've visited only carry full spheres. Even online - Denmark's a small country so we don't really have the benefit of larger Wallmart like franchises. But hey - My bowl approach is working great for me, and they stack well if you're careful. :)

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Oh plenty - But all the ones I've visited only carry full spheres. Even online - Denmark's a small country so we don't really have the benefit of larger Wallmart like franchises. But hey - My bowl approach is working great for me, and they stack well if you're careful. :)

 

Strange, over here the bigger ones are, in most cases, half-spheres.

 

Being able to stack them is definitely an advantage of course ;)

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I thought I'd give a try at some planetoids and this is the terran moon I just finished. I'm not concerned with whether the terrain in the game is supposed to be representative of planetoids and a sphere this large couldn't hold an atmosphere. We're dealing with ships that are actually the size of flight pegs so I'm perfectly fine with fudging the scale and calling this a terran moon in orbit of a gas giant I'm working on.

Not completely happy with it but I think it's good enough to plunk down on the table.

0MFr7CXh.jpg

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