This began as an experiment with the Allied Fleets Frigate model from Renderosity. I wanted to make an image that would give an impression of size, which meant positioning it in such a way that it would appear slightly blurred and lightened by haze.
Carrara's atmospherics didn't give me quite the effect I wanted, so I ended up creating an infinite plane and applying a semi-transparent, cloud-like texture to give the impression that the frigate was high in the sky. This drove the render time for the scene way up, but the effect seems to work reasonably well.
The small fighters in the scene are another spaceship model, placed using a surface replicator for randomness. They actually sit on an invisible terrain: the terrain itself is hidden, but it acts as a replicator surface for 20 instances of the spaceship, randomly placed.
The spaceships and the city buildings in the foreground were retextured using some of my own Carrara shaders.