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Thread: Thunderbarge Airship project

  1. #1
    Veteran Sergeant Dourin's Avatar
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    Thunderbarge Airship project

    Greetings all,
    I have this blog up on a few other forums already and when I originally wanted to add this to warseer as well I encountered some problems with posting. I didn't have the time to look into it properly so eventually I forgot about it. But I'm giving it a go again so here goes. A little over a year ago I started on a project to built a Dwarf Airship. Artwork in the new rulebook and photos of the Dwarfs vs Orcs&Goblins in the rulebook as well featured a Dwarf airship with some experimental rules. Now, I'm a sucker for Organ guns and having five organ guns on a flying platform was too much for me to resist.

    I started out with the basic structure, two layers of styrofoam glued together with a wooden base (actually, this started out as a monitor class riverboat to go with my dreadnaught project but the artwork of an airship changed that). More work with foamcore turned this into a boat.



    I decided to add a figure head, literally in the form of a wizened Dwarf Longbeard with a winged helmet.



    The problem with the head was that it threw of the balance of the model and I added and aftcastle. The aftcastle was originally intented as part of a Dwarf outpost/watchtower but this seemed to able to use it better.



    With the aftcastle added, work ground to a halt. Inspiration is needed for these kinds of projects and I was at a loss as to how to proceed. Research on the net came up with a lot of other airships, zeppelins, blimps and balloons built by other Dwarf enthousiasts but all seemed to lack the sheer size of mine. I was beginning to think I had exagerated the size of this. With each addition to the gondola/ship the need for a 'realistic' balloon caused the balloon to grow.

    Styrofoam balls and spheres of a certain size rapidly proved inadequate and not aerodynamic enough. I started thinking about using the idea of a rigid airship to built my balloon. Four styrofoam rings with a diameter of 17 cm would be connected by satesticks. Small scale picture of the beginnings of the balloon with the ship in comparison.



    As the covering material I would use flanel sheets soaked in a pva/water-mix let to dry with the excess material bulging outwards to show internal pressure. As each of these strips of cloth take a day to dry it was a slow process.





    Picture shown with one strip of dried cloth on the balloon.

    Smaller size rings were added to the ends of the balloon to further lengthen it and to make it more aerodynamic. Half a styrofoam sphere will funtion as the 'bow' of the balloon. The rudder will form the rear.
    Last edited by Dourin; 21-02-2013 at 14:22.

  2. #2
    Veteran Sergeant Dourin's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project

    In the mean time I had added a forecastle in between the wings of the figure head just large enough for one of the cannons of the Battle for Skull Pass to rest on with an engineer behind it.

    I also bought supplies and cool stuff from a few different website, GAMES OF WAR being a good example and Thomarillion another one. A steering wheel, a telescope, barrels for ballast and supplies, anchors, swivel guns and some other stuff, all to liven it up.







    The balloon is almost ready now, almost completely covered by pva-soaked cloth. A few pictures to show the scale and how it looks.







    A sideview from the left of the gondola/ship itself. Each side features 3 smaller cannons on the sides. The smaller ones on top of the railing are swivelguns. These ones are really tiny. They are about half as big as the smaller cannons on the sides which are themselves a bit smaller than a normal 6th ed. metal thunderer's gun.
    Last edited by Dourin; 05-01-2013 at 02:41.

  3. #3
    Veteran Sergeant Dourin's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project



    Sideview of the front of the ship. Not shown at the moment is a small ladder leading from the deck to the forecastle. Also visible on the railings are the top of some paperclips. These will be where the ropes leading from the balloon to the ship and the ropes holding the ballast will be attached.

    In the meantime, the rudder has been added at the back. I made it out of two pieces of balsa wood interlocked into each other. Small satesticks show where the cloth will end with the protruding pieces forming the first part of the rudder.



    Close up of the rudder.



    The wide upper deck and middle deck gave me some problems: I strangely felt I had too much space. I started building a smaller, raised platform on which the globe, the telescope and the steering wheel would be put but it ended up being too small if I wanted to have a mini being able to stand all around the railings.
    In the end, I decided I would add another, higher deck. I experimented with simply adding a higher standing platform but in the end I went for a cabin with the steering wheel on top of it.





    The railings were made of small pieces of wood with needles glued in between to attach it the foamcore.
    Originally, I had not really intended to make it a 'realistic' airship with a possible location for an engine etc but the added cabin gave me some interior space in which an engine could presumably rest.
    Last edited by Dourin; 05-01-2013 at 01:49.

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    Veteran Sergeant Dourin's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project

    The next bit of inspiration came from the warhammer online airship: on the rear upper deck, the top of what looks like a boiler is visible. Searching through my styrofoam material heap, I came up with a small sphere. Cutting it down to size made it look as if a part of it was inside the cabin. Using drinking straws to represent the piping and paperclip ends to hold them up would serve as exhaust pipes.













    One thing that is visible as well is a small piece of a possible other boiler in front of the steering wheel. I'm not too sure about it yet. I've been thinking of attaching some dials and levers onto it, turning it into at least half a decent pilot cage.
    Last edited by Dourin; 05-01-2013 at 01:53.

  5. #5
    Veteran Sergeant Dourin's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project



    Last, a worse quality shot of two 6th edition plastic dwarf horns with one found by rummaging through my bits box and the other one ...euhm...'salvaged' from one of my 6th ed. dwarf musicians. He's currently sporting a cut down 7th edition newer dragon horn. I've also cut down two more of these newer ones (some pieces salvaged from cutting down these newer musicians horns will be used as levers and turning wheels). These 4 dragon heads will serve as lantern posts. I'll be attaching lanterns to the mouths of these. The 6th edition lanterns will be placed at the front of the forecastle, lighting the way forward as it were with the newer ones attached on the front of the new upper deck. More pictures as I proceed with the project.

    Last edited by Dourin; 05-01-2013 at 01:55.

  6. #6
    Commander Dante blackfur's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project

    cant wait to see more! this is definitely a thread to follow!
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  7. #7
    Veteran Sergeant Dourin's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project

    A few updates.

    Seems the queue that approves messages finally worked through mine.

    Priorities at the moment are working on the balloon and finishing the ship. The exterior still needs some work, especially in the decorating part. I'm going to try and use paper and cardboard to create relief celtic knotwork on the sides.

  8. #8
    Chapter Master Boreas_NL's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project

    NICE!!! This is a very nice Dwarven airship! The figure head is awesome and the different levels on the ship are very well executed.

    Looking forward to see what you do with all the detailing.
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  9. #9
    Veteran Sergeant Dourin's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project

    Update 23/07/2011

    Thanks for the comments Boreas. I'm glad the way the uppder deck turned out. The slight unsymmetric left side is ofset by the added height of the upper deck so I feel that I can work with that.

    Meanwhile, a rather big update.

    The last time I updated this I had just added a boiler on the rear end of the upper deck and connected it with some piping to show the exhaust. Since then I've added quite a lot. The dragon musicians horns I talked about in my previous update, both 6th and 7th edition plastics, were added to the forefront of the frontcastle and the upper deck.















    I'm going to make some lanterns to be carried from their mouths, swinging on chains.
    Last edited by Dourin; 03-01-2013 at 00:51.

  10. #10
    Veteran Sergeant Dourin's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project

    Next, I started with adding on the rudders on the balloon. I glued on some more balsa wood filed down to look a bit more rounded at the end of the balloon. Some strips of wood and a lot of pva glue aided by clothespins to make sure that there is enough pressure on the bits being glued together.









    The red little net you see is salvaged from some fruit packaging and will be connected to the ship with rope. This will make it look as if the ship is suspended from the balloon. When rummaging around in a friend's bit box I found some turning wheels that are perfect to use as pressure wheels. The only sad fact was that the boiler I had just added was a bit to small to easily use these.

    Last edited by Dourin; 05-01-2013 at 02:04.

  11. #11
    Veteran Sergeant Dourin's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project

    So I went ahead and made the boiler bigger: I cut the sphere in two pieces and inserted a cilindrical bit in between both ends. Some cardboard scavenged from my Dwarf warrior box was used to conceal the cuts and works as some plating as well. The needles used to attach the cardboard to the styrofoam ball will be painted as rivets.





    On the lower end I attached the motors: balsa-wood with a half sawed off to make the glueing on easier. I also filed down the end so that it would look more aerodynamic and at the end I attached the rotors. These rotors were bloody hard to make since balsa wood is a really delicate material to work with when they're this small. I filed down the ends of the rotor to make it look more streamlined as well and inserted three rotor blades that were hell to make.



    Last edited by Dourin; 05-01-2013 at 02:07.

  12. #12
    Veteran Sergeant Dourin's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project

    The balloon has slowly been finished to the extent that I can start making some mock ups of the balloon attached to the ship.

    I've added three pieces of balsa wood in which I can insert the rods that will support the ballon. I was going to use wheel spokes from a bicycle as these are small, slender and yet strong enough but I have nothing that can cut through the steel at the moment as they are too long to use. I opted to use some stronger wooden ones as they are easier to work with. They are thicker but I feel I can work with this.











    Last edited by Dourin; 05-01-2013 at 02:11.

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    Veteran Sergeant Dourin's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project

    Lastly, I've been adding some of the bits I got for the steering section on the mock up as well: the steering wheel, the telescope and some handles to aid in the steering.





    At the moment I'm going to start working on the base. I feel that using magnets to attach the ship to the rod that I'll use to support the ship in order to make them detachable is the way forward. Aside from that, I'm going to add some celtic knot-work on the sides as decoration and barrels hanging from the sides as ballast. Painting wise, I think I'm going to go with metal colours on the ship and colours I used on my gyrocopter with some more decorating on the sides and the front. Added to that I'm going to add some gun cupola's on the sides as well.

    That's it so far. More updates as they happen.

    Regards,
    Dourin
    Last edited by Dourin; 05-01-2013 at 02:13.

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    Chapter Master MvS's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project

    This is truly superb work!

    The only small hair-split I could make that wouldn't be drowned out and over-awed by your amazing efforts would be to suggest that the balloon looks a little bit like it's deflating slightly.

    But I feel like a nitpicker saying it. The model is excellently executed.

    Very well done!

  16. #16
    Chapter Master silverstu's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project

    That looks amazing! brilliant building work- I'm a big fan of dwarf airships- great to see one coming together- looking forward to your next updates.
    My random painting log- Dwarfs, Nids and VC - updated with Kharadrons! 01/05/17
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  17. #17
    Chapter Master Student's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project

    That's a fine looking ship. Keep it coming.

  18. #18
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project

    Man i love this cant wait to see more

  19. #19
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project

    Great looking Airship, I shall continue to watch this project with interest. Now you and Boreas need to arrange a battle, flying ship against flying ship.

  20. #20
    Librarian Griffonclaw's Avatar
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    Re: Thunderbarge Airship project

    Awesome work!
    Looking to get back into Warhammer Fantasy in the Amsterdam Area! Hit me up!

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