Category Archives: Steampunk Carrier

Carrier Below Decks

I made some more progress with the steampunk carrier project. It may look a bit messy, but I do sort of have a plan, which is a plan to make it up as I go along.
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I have the four gun emplacements in position and enough foamboard surrounding most of the platforms to support the deck. All of the emplacements are different shapes and I will have to work out what else is going into the larger areas.
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I still have to finish the supporting sides on the two emplacements below then I can get started on actually fixing the foamboard into position.
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The side loading bay was an alternative idea to having a lift in the deck and will prove a better solution especially when the ship is docked.
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I still have to work out how the deck will be fitted to the hull, especially as I think it will need to be removable.

Custom Props

When I was hunting around for plasticard for the Aircraft Carrier project, I found some clear plastic rotor blades designed for small scale helicopters at Hurlbat in Letchworth.

With a sightly larger hole in the middle, these would look pretty good on my steam planes.
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After a couple of emails to the gang at Hurlbat, they accommodated and knocked off six custom rotor blades, at no extra cost, and they arrived in the post the following day. Excellent friendly service.

Carrier Access

I have been busy painting various models, so the BIG aircraft carrier project has been a bit slow in getting started. But I did decide to save some time and not have a moving lift. And then I thought I would give myself another headache and have a large loading bay on the side of the side, this will be especially useful in games where is is docked.
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The removal of the lift was the easy bit, luckily it is very lightweight plastic so I was able to hacksaw it off in mere seconds.

Using some bits of plastic and a few paperclip pins, I glued the ramp into the deck, job done.
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So below decks, I hacked out the side with a view to making a large loading ramp into a bay.
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There is already a loading ramp at the stern as well, so there will be plenty of internal detail eventually.
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I must make some time each week to drive this forwards.

Carrier Control Tower

I made a cardboard mock up of how the control tower could look, three levels with walkways around the sides.
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Only the top level will have a removable roof to give access to a bridge area.
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I was thinking about having ramps connecting each walkway level, but he angle they needed to be made at meant they were really long and did not leave much walkway. So I have decided on ladders to connect each level.
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I’m not sure if the control tower is a bit on the large side, and the photographs make it look even bigger. Two levels is a bit to small. Will have to think about it…
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Carrier Below Decks

I have actually started to build the lower decks up of the Aircraft Carrier. Having made my Lego frame, I knew how much I needed to raise the deck by, so using foamboard I have made some supports.
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I am going to make some open areas below the main beck, the first is at the bow (that’s the front for all you land lubbers) where there will some space for models.
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The stern (that’s the back for all you land lubbers) will have an access ramp for loading an unloading stuff.
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Aircraft Carrier Design

tarkin-herewegoagainThis is it, the first steps in deciding what I want to do with the Aircraft Carrier model and working out how I am going to get there.

The easy bit was paying UK£12 for the hull on eBay. At the time I was looking, there were two different toys available, both looked like they would fit the roll. The first went to closer to UK£20 for some reason.

The hull is quite a long piece of plastic, but it easily comes apart in three bits. The height of the hull is not really very tall at all and it really needs to tower over other models around it. I need to work out how to raise the height of the deck.

I visited the Intrepid in New York a while back and have some good ideas that I would like to incorporate. The control tower will be the most complex build as I am starting from scratch. Currently I am thinking of three floors in the control tower with plenty of walkway around each floor.
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There is a lift shaft built into the deck that I can either build over or keep as a feature. It has a small thumb wheel that winds the lift up and down.
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Once all the screws were removed the main hull is two main bits.
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As the kids don’t play with their Lego any more, it means I can have it all…and it does come in useful for some projects. As I want to build the height of the main deck up by about 5cm, I was able to make a temporary support structure to see how it could look.
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I want to have various sections around the hull open with a few defensive turrets and features here and there.
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I think this is going to take the rest of 2016 to complete as I have loads of figures to paint as well, but this is a project I will keep returning to.

The Next Big Thing

The next big thing that I am starting work on is a steampunk aircraft carrier for the British Empire army.

It will be big and take a while to finish…

My first idea, and this was a few years, ago was to scratch build the whole thing, including the hull, but I don’t quite think I have the modelling skills (or the time) to make a ribbed hull from scratch. My ship building projects so far have always used a toy hull as my starting point. So I started with the idea of using a Playmobil Cargo ship hull as my foundation. So after much searching eBay for one at the right price, I finally got my hands on one.cargoship1

But then I spotted an aircraft carrier toy on eBay for a few quid and I bought that as well.carrier001

This means I can use my Playmobil ship will get used for something else in the future.

carrier002Having a deck that is already the right shape should save a lot of time.

I went hunting for some images online to get more inspiration and found this scratch build which started way back in 2009 and ran on for many years on and off. It really is inspiring stuff. The amount of plasticard used must be staggering. This chap Klaus is in Germany I Athena_4375think, and he designed and built what was going to be a flying aircraft carrier for Warhammer $40K. As it evolved, it became a flying Destroyer, instead when he decided the deck was not wide enough. Christened The Athena, all of the weapons were scratch built and have provided some great ideas that I will try to emulate.
Athena_3062The overall construction of his Athena was really quite something as it was built from the hull up with a ribbed construction and incredibly detailed superstructure. I have recently been able to locate a good plasticard supplier (Hurlbat who deliver in ridiculously fast) and will have to make some small pieces up to gauge what I feel I can attempt.

carrier003My overall plans are a bit more straight forward compared to Klaus’ Athena as I at least have a hull to start with. However, I do plan to scratchbuild the control tower and raise the height of the flight deck somehow.