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.