I don't do fan art very often. If you flip through my gallery here or my portfolio site, you might notice that. That said, Starcraft 2 is an awesome game, and I've wanted to do a piece with the Carrier for quite awhile now. But it has taken me a bit to think of a design worth doing. Building the carrier model itself was a lot of fun, although figuring out the exact design was a bit tricky. There wasn't a lot to draw from in the actual game, since the unit portrait is of the captain and it never appears in the cutscene. As far as I can tell, the in-game model is the only one that ever appears in the game, and it is (obviously) very low-poly, so I had to go off of that and concept art. Which in the end was a bit fun, because I got to take a bit of artistic license with the design of the ship and the interceptors. (There are interceptors flying too, look close!).
The superstructure seems to be designed to resemble a protoss head. I'm very happy with how that came out, it's one of my favorite parts of the whole ship. The other main part is the hull, which appears to be 4 parts that do not actually connect. Presumably the crew warps between them, or maybe they just don't need to. I'd imagine the crew on these is pretty sparse compared to a human ship of similar size, that is just how the Protoss roll.
As for the interceptor count, I figure that the whole "8 interceptors" thing in-game was done for performance or balance reasons, and that lore-wise a carrier would have a lot more than 4 interceptors. 64 possibly, I'm guessing each of the 4 prongs of the hull contains a separate launch bay, so that would mean the total load would be a multiple of 4. 16 per bay might be a bit on the low side though, depends on how much space in the ship is taken up by these things.
As for the background, it's a mix of simple volumes I rendered out of Blender, and a pair of shots from Hubble, one of barred-spiral galaxy NGC 1300, the other is NGC 346, an open cluster in the Small Magellanic Cloud. The render also uses an HDRI from HDRlabs, the "milkyway" one, that I had tweaked the colors on.
For some geeky details: interceptors are about 32k polys each (mostly quads), the carrier itself is a little over 250k. I could have back both of them down a lot by lowering subdiv levels, but I wanted this to look clean. I can see low-poly carriers in game every day (ok, not every day, just really long PvZ games, and the rare Terran who doesn't go bio). The carrier model was built in Blender and rendered with LuxRender, all the compositing was done in Photoshop.
Enjoy! 1920x1080 version at the download button!