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There have already been many great LEGO planes and just recently some amazing LEGO pirate ships. But wouldn't it be even more amazing If we could combine planes and ships into a single retrofuturistic aircraft? I therefore present you the "Steampunk Airship", LEGO's first steam-powered flying research vessel!
The "Steampunk Airship" is inspired by but not fully based on classic steampunk aesthetics: It combines the idea of a steampunk airship with design elements from popular culture like Disney's Treasure Planet and the classic LEGO pirate theme.
While the airship still features the fantastical pseudo scientific retrofuturistic idea of a flying ship carried by a zeppelin, as well as steampunk specific design elements like pipes, wheels and steam powered engines, the whole design is slightly more colourful than most classic steampunk creations.
I originally started out with a darker and more griddy steampunk look but then redesigned the whole project at the halfway point of the design process to give it a brighter and more child friendly look! This way it is supposed to both please fans of steampunk in general and also inspire the creativity of LEGO fans of all ages.
As most ships LEGO has released so far are either part of the city line or pirate ships, I actively decided against the concept of a flying pirate ship and instead chose to make this airship a flying research vessel! Nevertheless the ship still includes two defensive cannons to fend off attacking space pirates! You can never be too careful if there is a possiblity that there might be space pirates around!
The "Steampunk Airship" consists of two major sections: the zeppelin balloon and the ship itself.
When designing the zeppelin balloon my main focus was to create a light but rigid structure which can be balanced upon the rigging without crashing down. As a result the zeppelin consists of 2 rings of hinges connected by a thin layer of plates and slopes. I also added three fins for stability and steering!
The hull of the ship tries to combine classic pirate ship elements with brightened up steampunk elements.
The interior of the ship consists of 3 main sections:
- The Machine Control Room in the front of the ship, which includes the main engines and a large observation window.
- The Captain's Quarters in the back, which contains the captain's belonings, a treasure map, a spinning chair, a balcony and three big obersvation windows.
- The Lower Deck, which contains space for the crew and cargo, as well as the airship's defensive cannons.
The build consists of 2720 pieces and comes with 4 minifigures and 2 cannons!
- The airship's captain, a fierce explorer and brilliant inventor
- The airship's first mate and navigator
- An engine technician
- A gunner