MOC: HMS Indefatigable: Airship
Posted 23 May 2010 - 02:43 PM
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.
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.
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...
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.)
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.
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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Posted 23 May 2010 - 04:53 PM
"I am not having him flogged for fighting, Mr. Gerard." - Horatio Hornblower
Posted 23 May 2010 - 05:06 PM
Good use of the zeppelin body. Are there any inside shots?
Posted 23 May 2010 - 06:29 PM
But overall, nicely done.
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Posted 23 May 2010 - 07:02 PM
Posted 24 May 2010 - 12:03 AM
Posted 24 May 2010 - 05:41 AM
Incredibly nice piece of Steampunk-work Siegfried , thanks for sharing!
Posted 24 May 2010 - 06:10 AM
And it needs handrails! This looks like a very dangerous place to be
Posted 24 May 2010 - 07:17 AM
...looks a bit odd. This is one of the few good ones...
...but it's beyond my part collection! 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.
Posted 24 May 2010 - 08:23 PM
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!
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Posted 24 May 2010 - 08:53 PM
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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Posted 24 May 2010 - 09:05 PM
Edited by Tereglith, 24 May 2010 - 09:06 PM.
Posted 24 May 2010 - 09:36 PM
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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Posted 25 May 2010 - 02:53 AM
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.
Posted 25 May 2010 - 04:40 AM
Edited by Palms, 25 May 2010 - 04:42 AM.
Finally got his Star Wars tag (yay)!!!
Posted 30 May 2010 - 08:27 AM
Posted 05 June 2010 - 11:13 AM
I also like airships, and love finding good ones made from lego.
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Posted 05 June 2010 - 01:53 PM
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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Posted 05 June 2010 - 02:22 PM
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...
...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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