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MOC: HMS Indefatigable: Airship


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#1 Sinner

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 02:43 PM

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Lord Monty Zarknell was not a man with a vast sense of humor. Thus when he suggested building a flying ship in 1905 this was seen as a sign of insanity so he was promptly discharged from the RN. In all actuality they probably were right, but insane or not, Zarknell used his vast fortune to build a prototype himself rather than give up on the idea.

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Six months later HMS Indefatigable was the result. While it was only one tenth the size of what he originally had in mind, it proved how sound his concepts actually were. Capable of speeds in excess of 250km/h (155 mph) and ranges of around 500km (310 mi) fully loaded, she was useful as well.

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However when he presented his creation to Admiralty they were not impressed... and neither was he. Determined to prove his concept despite them, he flew to the site of a naval exercise, he proceeded to use the dual 4.5 inch guns to destroy all the targets before the ships could. What happened next? The history is unclear, but most reports indicate that while finally impressed, Admiralty were not amused...

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Enough history; more facts! The envelope was filled with hydrogen and provided enough lift to offset about 95% of the total loaded weight. This meant that the rotors could use most of their power for movement rather than lift, and also that Indefatigable was stable on the ground. The rotors themselves were steam driven; inside each nacelle was a steam turbine running at a constant speed with the rotors using the revolutionary technique of varying pitch to control power. There was a single main boiler inside the rear of the upper fuselage which fed both turbines. In the case of steam failure a secondary boiler could be used to restart the primary, but if height and terrain permitted it was safer to just autorotate and land, and then restart on the ground. (Rotor damage at height would have resulted in crash.)

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As a reduced scale prototype HMS Indefatigable was lightly armed, but it certainly wasn't defenseless. Two 4.5 inch guns were designed for attacking ground targets (they couldn't elevate up) and for local air defense there were 4 0.303 inch machine guns. The latter could be rotated but not elevated.

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4 crew were carried, but it wasn't designed for their comfort. The lower gondola did carry bedding and provisions for longer trips however. Their uniform (and flag) was non-standard; another sign of Zarknell's insanity?

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#2 Zorro

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 03:31 PM

Those ignorant idiots from the Admiralty...such a great innovative idea and still not seeing its advantages.
Incredibly nice piece of Steampunk-work Siegfried :thumbup: , thanks for sharing!

#3 Princess Muttonchops

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 04:45 PM

Damn the Admiralty!  They have no vision!  HMS Indefatigable is a great, versatile ship, and so beautifully named, we need a fleet of these like right now.  Seriously sweetie, it looks great, even though you never seem to believe me...

#4 Commodore Hornbricker

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 04:53 PM

Great name and a cool design. I like the way you used the technic arms to angle up and around the blimp. Very nice story to go along with it.
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#5 legitimatealex

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 05:06 PM

Curse the bureaucracy and higher ups! Their folly shall be the Navy's undoing!

Good use of the zeppelin body. Are there any inside shots?
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#6 JimBee

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 06:29 PM

I'm a sucker for zephyrs, so this is already a great creation!  :tongue: It could have a little more color added to it, and maybe some details.

But overall, nicely done.  :thumbup:

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#7 Fires-storm

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 07:02 PM

Wow, I'm glad to see that zeppelin piece finally used here :tongue:  I love the design, its very eye catching, I'm working on my own brick built zephyr as well, cant wait to post it here :laugh: Also, the Admiralty NEVER sees a good idea and uses it, its their standard operation.
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#8 Mister Phes

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Posted 23 May 2010 - 08:10 PM

View PostSiegfried, on May 24 2010, 12:43 AM, said:

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It looks like that rascaly walrus is going to push her off   :tongue:


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#9 Oky

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 12:03 AM

Very nice Siegfried! Interesting design. The whole thing looks very heavy, so the rotors are definitely justified. My only question is: How the heck does it reach those speeds of 250km/h? I don't see any means of propelling the craft forward. :wacko:

View PostSiegfried, on May 23 2010, 07:43 AM, said:

I'm king of the world!
Pff! You wish! :tongue:

#10 lightningtiger

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 12:04 AM

AWESOME airship 'Siegfried' - very Steam-Punk, very much early 20th century - Jules Verne would be impressed !  :grin:
Keep on bricking ! :sweet:

#11 Sinner

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 05:41 AM

View PostWalrus Keeper, on May 24 2010, 01:45 AM, said:

HMS Indefatigable is a great, versatile ship, and so beautifully named, we need a fleet of these like right now.
Good idea! I'll BrickLink two more...  :grin:

View Postlegitimatealex, on May 24 2010, 02:06 AM, said:

Good use of the zeppelin body. Are there any inside shots?
Thanks... and sadly not. This MOC was a struggle to build as I had loads of ideas for it, but considering I was basing the scale off the zeppelin piece (and I was pushing reality as it was :laugh: ) there simply wasn't the room to have much internal volume. Due to the depression at the bottom of the piece the bottom gondola actually has a surprising amount of head-room, and I might add some bunks there, but it wouldn't photograph well. As it is there are some control panels and weapon racks in the front upper fuselage, and a bit of engine detail in the rear.

View PostJimButcher, on May 24 2010, 03:29 AM, said:

It could have a little more color added to it, and maybe some details.
More colours? It has 6 so it's a virtual rainbow!  :grin: Seriously though I wanted it to be drab; it is 20th century military afterall. As for more details I did consider adding a few pointless hoses, but I decided against that for the same reason. (Greebles really aren't my thing... :blush: ... perhaps this more "Alternate History" than "Steam Punk"!)

View PostFires-storm, on May 24 2010, 04:02 AM, said:

Wow, I'm glad to see that zeppelin piece finally used here :tongue:  I love the design, its very eye catching, I'm working on my own brick built zephyr as well, cant wait to post it here :laugh:
I've been dreaming of doing a MOC using this piece for years and I at last bit the bullet and bought one. (Mines a bit dented so it was cheapish...) This is actually the first time I've seen something like this done; I could find nothing even remotely close. I look forward to seeing your zeppelin!  :sweet:

View PostMister Phes, on May 24 2010, 05:10 AM, said:

It looks like that rascaly walrus is going to push her off   :tongue:
Yeah that's what I thought!  :tongue: The first photo has him with two arms but that looked even worse!

View PostZorro, on May 24 2010, 12:31 AM, said:

Those ignorant idiots from the Admiralty...such a great innovative idea and still not seeing its advantages.
Incredibly nice piece of Steampunk-work Siegfried :thumbup: , thanks for sharing!
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View PostOky Wan Kenobi, on May 24 2010, 09:03 AM, said:

My only question is: How the heck does it reach those speeds of 250km/h? I don't see any means of propelling the craft forward. :wacko:
Like a helicopter; via cyclic pitch. To be honest I would have liked to have had a pusher prop at the rear, but it would have been messy to integrate it. As for the speed, that's based on helicopter speeds as well. Due to retreating blade stall they can't go much faster than about 350km/h, and I then picked a number a bit below to take into consideration the size. It probably still is too fast, but this is fiction afterall.  :grin:





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#12 Svelte

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 06:10 AM

Intriguing concept! You seem to delight in taking large, difficult to use pieces and building something unlikely around them. I like the interplay of curves and slopes, and the chunkiness of the parts you've built, but I have to confess that I dislike that zeppelin piece and don't think it's a good LEGO part at all. I would much rather see the ten-times larger Siegfried version of a floating airship :grin: As you say, it just seems a little small.

And it needs handrails! This looks like a very dangerous place to be :look:  :tongue:

#13 Sinner

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 07:17 AM

View PostSvelte, on May 24 2010, 03:10 PM, said:

You seem to delight in taking large, difficult to use pieces and building something unlikely around them.
Quite possibly!  :tongue: The prow in particular was very hard to design; it's actually clipped to the bottom of a technic beam. I keep saying to myself that my next MOC will be simple but then I get some silly idea.  :blush:

View PostSvelte, on May 24 2010, 03:10 PM, said:

I would much rather see the ten-times larger Siegfried version of a floating airship :grin:
I'd like to as well, but this MOC was pushing my part supply as is was! To be honest I haven't seen that many good zeppelin MOCs. Even this one...

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...looks a bit odd. This is one of the few good ones...

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...but it's beyond my part collection!  :tongue: It's just too hard to do without a pre-fab piece due to parts and weight. My attitude to large pieces is that they are OK if a brick-built solution would be overly expensive, heavy, weak and/or simply wouldn't work. I don't see this piece being any different to boat hulls.

View PostSvelte, on May 24 2010, 03:10 PM, said:

And it needs handrails! This looks like a very dangerous place to be :look:  :tongue:
Everyone has to clip themselves to the inside; it's standard working-aloft procedure with-or-without handrails.  :wink:





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#14 Imperial Shipyards

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 08:23 PM

This is a very unusual and creative steampunk MOC and I very much like the story behind it!  :thumbup:
I would have never thought the use of that zeppelin box being possible in a proper MOC, but apparantly it is!

That Hindenburg MOC looks great too; I might take a closer look at it!  :wink:

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#15 Admiral Croissant

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 08:53 PM

I first doubted if this zeppelin was light enough to be able to fly, but I'm convinced by the pictures :pirate:
You did a good job here, and it's also very original. And I like the cabin-thing on top of it.

The pirate ships will get some serious competition now..(on the other hand, 1 cannonball could pierce the zeppelin and make it crash).
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#16 Tereglith

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 09:05 PM

What an excellent use of the zepellin part! It actually reminds me a bit of the Monitor from the American Civil War, what with the grey coloration and military design. I would assume that Lord Monty named it after the acclaimed National Aeronautical Sciences Academy airship of the same name? :laugh:

Edited by Tereglith, 24 May 2010 - 09:06 PM.

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#17 Randal

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Posted 24 May 2010 - 09:36 PM

I'm working on my own steampunk dirigible, though I don't have access to a zeppelin piece, I did take some airliner pieces, recolor and repurpose them into two somewhat believable looking gas bags suspended above a viking ship body and some scaffold rigging. For the ropes I used the hard rigging from the pirate ships. I keep meaning to work on it, but the comic takes up most of my available Lego time.

To be honest, I didn't know there was a blimp mold piece, but I like how you used it here.  Sort of reminds me a little of the Albatros that Vincent Price commanded as Robur in Master of the World. (Though the movie version looked nothing like what Verne envisioned.)
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#18 ZO6

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 02:53 AM

:tongue:

Nice to see you put your new Zeppelin piece to good use.  I like all the details that you've added, they are quite effective.  It's nice to see the flowing design of the ship - the stairs wrapping up around either side of the front cabin and then the walk way through the middle of those power plants to the back.

Thanks for sharing.  I look forward to seeing what else you come up with using the big balloon.

#19 Palms

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 04:40 AM

I like it. The only reason I gave it a 9 is because it's just a tad blocky :sceptic:  . Overall 9/10 :thumbup:

Edited by Palms, 25 May 2010 - 04:42 AM.

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#20 Hound Knight

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 05:12 PM

Ooh, excellent work, I love how you integrated the "balloon" part into the frame of the vessel. Great name choice too.  :thumbup:
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#21 Sinner

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 08:27 AM

Another bonus photo!  :grin:

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View PostPerfectionist, on May 25 2010, 05:23 AM, said:

That Hindenburg MOC looks great too; I might take a closer look at it!  :wink:
Yeah, it's rather impressive. I'd love to know the part count!  :tongue:

View PostAdmiral Croissant, on May 25 2010, 05:53 AM, said:

I first doubted if this zeppelin was light enough to be able to fly, but I'm convinced by the pictures :pirate:
Well I have my doubts about any steam powered aircraft, but it's a fun concept!  :laugh: Even so, in many ways this is more realistic than many as the zeppelin would offset a lot of the weight.

View PostAdmiral Croissant, on May 25 2010, 05:53 AM, said:

(on the other hand, 1 cannonball could pierce the zeppelin and make it crash).
Actually no! Most zeppelins had the hydrogen in bags within the outer envelope; you would need to penetrate two layers, not hit any of the framework and break most of the gas bags. (Large zeppelins such as Hindenburg had 16 bags.) In most zeppelin you could even walk though the gaps between the gas bags. I wish zeppelins were still around... :cry_sad:

View PostTereglith, on May 25 2010, 06:05 AM, said:

I would assume that Lord Monty named it after the acclaimed National Aeronautical Sciences Academy airship of the same name? :laugh:
:oh: Wow! Actually that's a sheer co-incidence; I must confess that I've never seen that MOC before. All things considered though, Indefatigable is a logical airship name.

View PostRandal, on May 25 2010, 06:36 AM, said:

I'm working on my own steampunk dirigible, though I don't have access to a zeppelin piece, I did take some airliner pieces, recolor and repurpose them into two somewhat believable looking gas bags suspended above a viking ship body and some scaffold rigging.
Yes, I've seen that done before and it works surprisingly well.

View PostZO6, on May 25 2010, 11:53 AM, said:

It's nice to see the flowing design of the ship - the stairs wrapping up around either side of the front cabin and then the walk way through the middle of those power plants to the back.
:sweet: Thanks! Actually that was a primary design concept and I'm very happy how that turned out.

View PostPalms, on May 25 2010, 01:40 PM, said:

I like it. The only reason I gave it a 9 is because it's just a tad blocky :sceptic:  . Overall 9/10 :thumbup:
Thanks for the score!  :laugh: (The blocky nature of it was intensional... but I don't deserve a 10 anyway.  :wink: )

View PostHound Knight, on May 27 2010, 02:12 AM, said:

Ooh, excellent work, I love how you integrated the "balloon" part into the frame of the vessel. Great name choice too.  :thumbup:
Yeah; half of the work on this MOC was finding a way to build on the top! As it turns out it's surprisingly strong; it feel off a table yesterday and only the stacks and one engine fell off!  :oh:





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#22 Dan the Brickman

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 11:13 AM

I just noticed this in your signature, and clicked on it to see more. I originally thought it was some kind of odd tank....

I also like airships, and love finding good ones made from lego.

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#23 Batbrick

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 01:53 PM

Very neat creation Sinner, I've been lazy recently but I'm glad I didn't miss this, I appreciate the mocs that are quite different from the norm. Fantastic use of the airship piece, quite clever, dare I say sneaky even. I still think Monty Zarknell was a nutter though  :tongue:

The use of the flags and props is neat, the engine section looks quite nice, I really like the curved pieces on either side of it that push out. That said, I think the creation has a few noticeable flaws that drag it down in my opinion. The use of the airship piece, which inspired, puts it at odds with the rest of the blocky ship. While I'm not overly keen on ridiculously sleek and studless models, I think the whole thing would look a lot more appealing if the transition from the large piece to the rest of it wasn't so jarring. I also feel a bit more colour would do it a lot of good, as the tiny bit of tan doesn't really detract enough from the enormous amounts of dark grey which I think makes it a little ugly, and not in a good way. I think a bit more of the red to match the flag could do it a bit of good. I understand the goal of making it drab but I think that could still be more appealing colour wise without sacrifising that.

That all said, this was a nice surprise for me, I haven't visited the sci-fi section for a while and the idea and execution are still am big success in my book. But really, 250 kph?

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#24 Sinner

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 02:22 PM

View PostBatbrick, on Jun 5 2010, 10:53 PM, said:

That said, I think the creation has a few noticeable flaws that drag it down in my opinion. T
Yeah, I know. It does seem that my taste sux!  :laugh: My goal was to make it look like a WWI battleship top on a zeppelin; thus the grey and "wood" decking.

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Thus to me it looks mostly as intended. The only thing that I probably will change is the lower gondola; I planned to make the top around two times bigger but I realised that it wouldn't work. When I find the time I'll probably move the guns to the side and make the gondola about half the size.

But thanks very much for your opinion! The good thing is that most of my MOCs that I'm planning in the future don't have a drab colour scheme... :grin:

View PostBatbrick, on Jun 5 2010, 10:53 PM, said:

But really, 250 kph?
Yes, really!  :tongue: If this thing can do 260 km/h in reality land...

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...mine can do 250 km/h in fantasy land. Seriously, it's not that fast; I've been on a steam warship that went at 80 km/h at full speed.





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#25 ComputerBug

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 02:43 PM

I'm sorry but while reading the story about him bieng shunned by his peers I couldn't help but think of this. :laugh:

Great MOC the design is very original very different from most other airships. :sweet:

Edited by computerbug, 05 June 2010 - 02:43 PM.




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