EVE Online players tend to bring their fandom into the real world in many ways: artistic propaganda, song parodies, LEGO. One player’s meatspace expression of his devotion to the MMO is pretty unique: he’s built a custom EVE aquarium, complete with a submerged Keepstar battlestation and glowing fish.
During a recent remodel of his computer room, where he spends quite a bit of time playing EVE Online, the player, who goes by the droll in-game moniker of “Johnson Stroker,” decided to revisit a childhood hobby of his: fish keeping. “When I was younger I had an aquarium, a little 20 gallon tank,” he told Kotaku. “I used to put army men in it as a scene, which I thought was really cool.”
Since pre-made EVE Online Keepstar models aren’t exactly for sale in Petco’s fish section, he decided to create 3D prints himself. But most people he approached warned him off from the project,, saying that hobbyist level 3D prints don’t often survive in water very well. Not only would this ruin the vista he was trying to craft, the deterioration of the 3D prints might also be dangerous for the fish.
Fortunately, another hobbyist by the name of Aaron had an idea for how to solve the problem, and only lived an hour away from “Johnson Stroker.” The pair designed the 3D models to be hollow on the inside to better maintain buoyancy once submerged, and coated the models with a clear, non-toxic sealant so they would survive. After a bit of testing with the pieces, and some clever modeling to anchor the pieces together in ways that simulated the intended scenes, the tank was ready for fish.
The original aquarium, which was finished nearly a year ago, depicted a mining fleet harvesting minerals from floating asteroids. Later, he removed the 3D-printed spaceships and replaced them with the massive Keepstar model.
And then, of course, there are the fish in the aquarium. The naturally fluorescent GloFish are easy to care for, and pretty to look at. And, of course, they were carefully chosen for their colors, he said: “Purple, green, yellow, and red, for friend or foe on the HUD.”