With some pals, I’m modelling synthetic islands. Cheaply. Very cheaply. How ? Easy. With Cryteks Sandbox map editor, the map creation tool which ships with Far Cry. For ten bucks, you get something you can cut and paste 3Dsmax elements into and with a single keystroke, drop into the game engine and hop into a boat or a buggy or your own shoes and move about your island in real time. I’m well advanced with my own design. If you want to see it, or participate in building it, then please, drop me a line ar saeble aht gmail.com I can always use another modeler/designer or seven. At this point, it looks as though the island will be a net provider of energy, capable of powering not only itself but a considerable excess which would be quite salable if translated into a shippable commodity, (fuel cells etc) or perhaps the mother of all server farms for an eState bigger than perhaps anyone is likely to believe. I’ve good answers to all the questions raised here that I’ve seen and then some. Right down to working out how to defend the island from a hostile force (the benefits of using a first person shooter game engine for visualisation). The systems I’m using to build the island are community based and don’t require much in the way of Heavy Engineering equipment, as a consequence, it’s vastly cheaper to build. Estimates are in the vicinity of a tenth of current systems. With only a single large capacity winch. It is well within the realms of possibility for a small community groups to build habitable spaces quickly, economically and easily. You could adopt a sort of WetAmish process whereby the community pitches in to build a new stead for a new family or group. Oh.. and it looks beautiful from the air. A lagoon filled caldera form with the ‘ring’ patterned after a lotus flower. The chief technology to make all of this possible is : http://www.globalcoral.org/Biorock%20%20Mineral%20Accretion%20Technology%20for%20Reef%20Restoration.html With bio-rock, all the long held dreams about building islands and SS’s is suddenly very much more feasible.