Thursday 10 February 2011

Project Dark Steam- "Land Dreadnought"

"Dark Steam" is a story being written by Roger Cotterel (a writer with whom I've previously worked). Its a detective story set in an alternate Britain of the early 1900's, a steampunk themed adventure story. I've been asked to produce some of the concept art, using the miniatures/photomanipulation techniques I've used in the past on "Britannia" and Roger's "Warchild" project. I intend to document the miniatures builds through this blog as they progress. To start things, here's the 'Land Dreadnought'.

The society of "Dark Steam" is based around the proliferation of steam technology into all aspects of society, and the British Army of the time is involved in a number of overseas colonial campaigns using state of the art technology. The Land Dreadnought is basically a massive tank, a mobile steam-driven fortress. The vehicle is only lightly referred to in the text, which has given me something of a free reign with its design. In a break from other projects though, I shall be building this model to 1/72nd scale, being as my usual choice of 1/32 would make this model simply too massive to construct and store. However it will be built to my usual methods of constructing mainly from card, with details improvised and kitbashed from a variety of other sources.

Above are the original design sketches for the Land Dreadnought. The look was based heavily on First World War British Tanks, with hints of warships too. The basic concept was basically a mobile tracked fortress built around a railway locomotive, which would provide the power to move the tracks.

The basic superstructure of the model is built from artists mountboard and 5mil foamboard, in common with much of my model making.

The basic hull and track mountings assembled. Evident is the locomotive at the centre, parts from a Dapol 9F model kit. Too modern for the time period, however it gives the right chunky look I need for the model, and buried within the superstructure its modern looks should be quite well disguised.

The turret assembly is being built around a duck tape cardboard roll (cut down in height), and the mechanism to allow it to turn whilst remaining removable is based around the cut-down lid from a paracetamol container.

Detail shot of the part-built turret. Lots of bits from lots of sources, including staples for the ladders, and components from various kits (detailed further down).

Detail shot of the weapon sponsons. The text describes the vehicle grinding forward with its machine guns firing. The sponsons were made from a variety of materials and bits from the spares box.

The model Land Dreadnought in its finished state, prior to tidying up and then painting. Theres a few bits left to do, flash to clean up, and glue residue to remove.

Close up shot showing some of the detail. Parts came from a variety of sources, but the more notable bits are:

Loco Body- Dapol 9F model kit

Main Turret Guns- cheap toy Howitzer cannons from a toy soldier set.

Sponson Machine Guns- Felt pen lids with lolliopop sticks, in turrets made from cocktail stick containers.

Steam Funnel Parts- Pipes are drinking straws, chimneys are felt pen lids

Tracks- Corrugated cardboard from boxes

Bulldozer Blade- Kitchen roll tube with foamboard

Other parts came from a variety of model kits, including parts from a Games Workshop "Leman Russ" tank, and various Airfix plane kits.

The model is now on one side to be tidied up then painted, larger pics will be added to the blog when the painting is completed.

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