Monday 20 February 2012

Steampunk- Airship

More from the steampunk project, “The Century Survey”. As anyone familiar with the genre will know, Steampunk= Airships. So having at least one airship miniature for the photos was essential.

The basic body of the airship was built up around the cylinder from an air-hammer pump, the sort used for blowing up inflatable toys, airbeds etc. The ends came from a weird outdoor toy set purchased from a cheapie shop, and the body was further built up with mountcard, scribed and clad around the plastic.

With the bodywork of the main airship, I ended up with something decidedly 'Flash Gordon' in appearance, though the pannier being carried beneath ended up a little too futuristic. It was a bit of a compromise- I tried to make it removable, both for storage/transport (bearing in mind I was in the middle of a house move when this started), but this in turn made it rather bulky. The method I used was to incorporate bits of marker pen, so that I could make different interchangeable panniers which incorporated felt pen lids. The resultant bulky structure would be pretty much impossible to lift in reality, but the timescale of the initial pics rendered replacement impractical. The engines are assembled from mountcard, foamcard, more marker pen lids, and the props are from an ancient Airfix Stirling bomber kit, which has been used as a source of parts for numerous models.

The finished airship was given a very simple paintjob- the pannier and engines in battleship grey with some colour detailing, and the main body of the airship sprayed with primer then metallic silver.

The finished airship as it appears in the photomanips. From beneath it doesnt look too bad, but the side-on view (beneath the gantry) illustrates the problem with the size of the pannier. At some point in the near future, replacement panniers will need to be constructed, along with new engine mounts, however the miniature sufficed nicely for these shots.

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