In Syfy’s new series, Dark Matter, a crew of six wake up from hibernation with no memory of who they are or what their mission is. But they’re not alone in space, which is run by competing multi-planet conglomerates. One of those conglomerates is Ferrous Corp, and we’ve got an exclusive look at how their ships were designed.

Executive producer Joseph Mallozzi sent us the Ferrous Corp’s ship, from concept art to finished project:

When it came time to designing our fearsome corporate ships (the multiplanetaries’ armadas) we turned to former Stargate Production Designer James Robbins…

James Robbins: The designs for this band of space bad-asses happily required no revisions. Once in a while I get it right the first time. Big and bulky and imposing with evident gun placements, these guys are not ones to mess with.

From there, the design went to VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson and his team.

Lawren Bancroft-Wilson: The Ferrous Corp ships were our first introduction to what would become one of our big adversaries in the first season. From the great concept designs, we could see these were function based, hard-edged behemoths sent to intimate anyone that stood in their way. A mining conglomerate, Ferrous Corp would use these ships to display the power they wield in this universe.

Lawren Bancroft-Wilson: We focused on keeping hard angles and defined lines. Varying the sizes of the pieces that made up the shell was important in conveying the scale we were looking to achieve. The detail that you can see throughout the paneling, and various access bays helped give a hint at the world on the interior of these ships.

Lawren Bancroft-Wilson: The destroyer of course had that one critical note: GUNS, lots of ‘em. We were told that it should feel like a battle ship with guns mounted all over: top, bottom and sides. We wanted the guns to be able to cover every direction without needing the ship to adjust course.

Then, on to the final details…

Finally, we moved on to the Ferrous Corp shuttle. We were looking for something in the military transport vein, tough and battle-ready.

And these were the early VFX models…

And more refined…

Dark Matter premieres on Syfy tonight at 10 PM


Contact the author at katharine@io9.com.