Tuesday 10 October 2017

Jabberwock Pt.7: The Landship.

The tank monster idea came out of reading books like “Band of Brigands” about the first tanks used in the First World War.  Though massively outside of the period which Looking Glass was set in, nevertheless there was something about the descriptions in "Band of Brigands" of surprise and shock with which the machines were greeted; not to mention something inhuman and relentless about them too, which seemed to fit with what I was doing.

In best Victorian sci-fi tradition though, it could be made to work- Caterpillar-tracked vehicles did exist, albeit in low numbers, in the period, and I’d made a steam powered example for the earlier Steampunk Project (inspired by the HG Wells story “The Land Ironclads”- see above).  I thought that something similar, on a smaller scale, might well work.

The basis of both the ‘normal’ tank and the more Jabberwock-like version were some blocks of wood, offcuts from work, which were shaped with saw and sanding belt, to resemble a First World War tank (or Landship, as they were known in the early days of their development).  Again, these models are quite crude and lashed together, but then this is all about exploring how a sketch might work in real life.

The design sketch...

With the little model built, something a bit bigger was knocked together by the same methods, again using offcuts of wood. It is definitely more 'inspired by' a WW1 tank/Landship than a scale model, but then I am really just wanting to test the concept at this stage...

To represent caterpillar tracks on these test models, I turned to the same method used on the Iron Horse model, and dismantled some corrugated card, peeling off the outer layer to reveal the corrugations.

The usual mix of plastic kit odds and ends, and some material to represent tarpaulins (to look like ragged skin) were applied.

Painting was a mix of blacks and browns, sprayed on, with a very light dusting of boltgun metal to give an oily, metallic sheen.

A detail carried over from the sketches, the 'claws' being trees that have been inserted in the non-working sponson guns.

I was very happy with how the design worked out as an exploration of the idea, so I proceeded to move onto doing something similar but with steam power, instead of diesel...

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