So after many years I got round to building (carving) some Martian cloudships.
They lack the game stands at the moment but here are the three that have completed the construction faze and await a little bit of decoration.
Light crafts in the game and not able to stand up to ironclad gunships but a fun addition and can be used in games for allsorts of tricky Martian plots!
What you will need if you are thinking of having a go yourself. You will need a copy of Sky Galleons of Mars and possible Ironclad and the original Space 1889. If you go for the pdfs it is easier to print off the plans as you would expect.
Balsa wood sheets
Balsa wood blocks 3" by 12"
Balsa wood strips
1xpacket of map pins
Fine tooth saw
Sandpaper and block
Here is the printing 1" scale plans of the Fleetfoot and Smallbird as you can see the deck for the small bird has been cut from balsa sheets and will be placed onto a balsa block later to give the cloudship body. But I used layers of balsa sheets for the Fleetfoot which was a quicker process excluding the glue drying stages. This method a voids heavy carving and is much cheaper in materials.
Here the Clearsight is matched to the deck for its first cut out. It like the Smallbird will made from the balsa blocks.
A scored block with its first sections removed based on the Clearsight. I learnt very quickly to take a little off the block at a time. The balsa doesn't forgive a heavy hand. Nor does it like someone working against its grain.
The basic shapes finished. I used the deck as the carving guide working my way down and around to achieve a shape close to the published specs. These three are basically two semicircles joined with a rectangle in the centre. If you take too much off you can add bit to the form with wood glue and sand it into the desired shape.
Balsa as you'll know or have guessed is a thirsty beastie and these three cloudships soaked up a small tin of black radiator paint and still wanted more.
Placing the pins as a guide to the top rail.
The upper deck dry brushed with the centre rail now glued in place. You maybe able to make out the inset liftwood panels. Unlike the Fleetfoot and Clearsight I added inserts rather than score the panels or paint the individual sheets.
The Clearsight original prop now added to the Fleetfoot the out rig still to add.
The bizarre paint work inspired by a painting from Sky Galleons of Mars. The two new propellers added. All the rails in place and painted.
The main part of the Fleetfoot ready for the out rig. Note the upright shown in Space 1889 but not mentioned anywhere in the specs. It not clear what this would do on the cloudship?
Placing a mini and light guns on the deck to test the layout.
Below the Smallbird reaching completion , still needing the props adding and the rail and hull painting in the final colours. The three traditional guns added. 1xRouge and two sweepers (swivel) guns.
They are far from perfect but for a first time I'm rather happy with the basic crafts. They have been on the books for such a long time it was good to see them in 3D.
No details of how many props are their positions. It is here I found my major error. I mounted a single central propeller but the standard gun placements have a light gun firing from behind the prop. Now this black power weapon once fired from this rear hull position would make a nasty mess of your cloud ship and bring it to a halt. So after the light bulb went on I followed the Smallbird example of two props either side of the stern.