Monday, June 18, 2012

ATHENA - Steampunk airship (83)

Hello all,
I hope you all had a good weekend and were able to do some serious family time, enjoy the weather and still get a good stash of hobby time in the mix :)

After the successfull LED test, I decided to fix (glue) the rear deck plate and still have access to the blimp interior. So I cut a new elevator plate and glued the "frame" to the body.

While this cured I started with my "drone diorama" that I want for the rear/landing deck.
As said before, I want to have several crew members, including the Liaison officer for the Dragoon Guards be on the landing deck with two drones. One, the observation drone just ready, and maybe even lifting off, while the other drone, the attack drone, will be in the preperation stage.
So how could a observation drone look in the steampunk setting?
I spent quite some time thinking about it, and then I finally settled on a Dragonfly.
After drawing some very rough sketches I started with the first wing.

Satisfied with the basic wing design I created the other 3 wings. To me they look fragile enough to resemble dragonfly wings, and the braces and beams look steampunk enough.

Next I grabbed some clear plastic - I try to rescue clear plastic from the recycle bin whenever I see potential :)

Then I cut some small plasticard strips for the counter beams,

and assembled first the clear plastic,

and then the counter beam.

All four wings completed (well, sans rivets).

then I thought about the wing mounting, and also tried to resemble some "organic" design.

Looks like a dragonfly to me.

But since this design would take away too much space on an airship, I need the wings to be foldable.

So I drilled some holes and inserted pins,

which enable the wings to fold back.

Reminds me of some of the flyers we have in the garden :)

Then I mounted a top plate to hold everything in position.

Here you can see the pieces I cut for the rear fuselage.

Everything assembled and on the deck...

...well it looks...nice...

But somehow it's not convincing to me.

I was a bit disappointed with the result - nothing really wrong, but not the kicker I wanted.

So back to the drawing board :(

After a lot of thinking I remembered some of the crazy German late war designs. Like some of the one-man rockets or suicide jet planes they designed as "Wunderwaffen".

Well, not really steampunk, but crazy enough for me :)

Some of the designs like the Me-329, Me-163, Ho-229, or even the Ju-322 kind of struck me, and I tried a new "Nurfl├╝gel-design" - something in the lines of a (sting-)ray.

For this I cut several sheets of plasticard (2 pieces 1mm thick and 4 pieces 1.5mm thick).

For the central (lift) rotor I cut out some space and mounted the rotor,

and added a cover around it.

After some basic sanding I applied a bit of putty to fill in any remaining gaps,

and then sanded everything smoothly.

Next I mo0unted the forward jet engine and some first details.

Engine housing and pipes.

Greenstuff (Pro-Create) for the pipes and lights.

Next were the two observation devices, consisting of several lenses and cameras.

Then a quick landing gear.

It's still missing some details and rivets,

but I think this will work.

With all the sanding it takes some extra effort,

but still it seems easier than cutting the fragile dragonfly wings,

and I think it really looks like a drone, and it takes a lot less space than the dragonfly design.

So what do you think?

Thanks for your time, and I hope you enjoyed todays update.

C&C welcome