How I created an interstellar human military
If there are going to be aliens invading humanity, then we need a fighting force to defend ourselves, right? The Planetary and Lunar Military (PALM) is a concept I came up with for a unified military throughout Earth and her colonies in the 24th Century. The organisation was created to consolidate humanity's resources and maintain control of Expanded colonies; their independence growing further away from the Key Worlds. On Earth, the Planetary and Lunar Military was marketed as "humanity's hand-print on the universe," hence the acronym. PALM ultimately proved its worth with its defence of the Prosperous Colonies during the creatively-named 'Colony Wars.'
Human Space is divided into three spheres of influence in 'The Cryp'lar Series,' represented in the image below by the different grey circles: the Key Worlds at the centre, then the Prosperous colonies, and the Expanded colonies further out. The black lines represent available travel routes to and from each world. For the purposes of keeping this blog post on topic, I won't dive into the politics and relations between the colonies and their histories (as much as I'd like to).
As for PALM, I started with the design of the soldiers. With the unifying nature of the military organisation, I wanted to have an armoured suit that could be the same across every colony, with the identifying factor of a colony's Defense Force being the colour painted on the armour. Army personnel would wear this full-body suit on missions on the surface and so it had to hold up to the environmental pressures of each different planet. I ended up with a simple, modular system of armour pieces that could attach to magnetic plates in the soldier's bodysuit.
Next, I came up with an entire arsenal of weapons and vehicles for my military, and experimented with a few visual designs. These were later refined into cleaner illustrations that better represent the aestethic of the Planetary and Lunar Military. The vehicle you might have noticed in the featured image of this post is known as the CUV-11 "Ravelin", and is an armoured truck similar in design to the Warthog from the Halo series. The one below is the UCAV/RD-MK2 "Scarper," which has an interesting history as an aerial recoinassance drone - with the older MK1 variant still in operation by several Military Police divisions across the Prosperous colonies.
Then, I created a fleet of starships for the PALM Navy that each served a different role. With the technology afforded by fusion reactor engines allowing FTL travel across Human Space, I wanted the designs to have a balance of form and function, with each ship built around their respective engines and weaponry. I also have naming conventions for each ship class that suits their role.
I showed a full-colour illustration of a Resolve-class frigate in one of my earlier posts, but I also revisited it as a line drawing to take a look at what is actually going on under all that graphrete-titanium plating. This helped me to visualise the scale of each section of the ship and think about how similar ship systems and locations could be shared with the rest of the fleet. I always loved the cross-section images of sci-fi ships and wanted to replicate that with a detailed cut-away and clearly-labelled sections for easy readability. As challenging as this particular illustration was, it was very satisfying to put all the sections together in a logical way that married what I wanted for both the interior and exterior of this particular PALM ship.
With other miscellaneous aspects of creating the Planetary and Lunar Military, such as having an in-depth organisation and rank structure for the Army and Navy, I provided similar levels of detail to make it believable. While most of the worldbuilding I do will probably never be seen by the average reader, I can assure you that it slowly takes up more and more space on my Google Drive.
PALM will no doubt continue to grow and evolve as I tell my stories, but I hope this introduction to how I created my interstellar human military serves as a suitable primer for this aspect of 'The Cryp'lar Series.' I am getting closer to finishing the first novel, which has a heavy focus on the military, so I look forward to hearing what readers like you will think about what I have created.