Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Aeronef Ahoy!

Rather than unload a lifetime's worth of gaming on you, I thought I might begin with a recent project. There will be plenty of time to delve into my gaming history.

For some time I have been interested in the concept of airships and their like. I have been a big fan of Victoran Science Fiction for sometime and also the various other permutations of the broader genre now called Steampunk. I had heard about Wessex Games' "Aeronef" ages ago, but had never been able to conjure enough interest in my group to justify diving into it. Flash forward to the present and we are now gearing up to play it.

Taking the initative, I challenged my group to cobble up some scratchbuilt fleets, having had an interest in doing so myself. I shared with them some of the ideas I had seen on various sites and posts over the years I had considered the game. So far we hve two navies in the planning stages.

My buddy (he goes by Krazygit online) decided to go with the tired and true method of making airships using plastic model bombs and fuel tanks, plastic card, and balsa wood. Thisi s a quick and easy way to get into the game as a single box o bombs will usually give you an entire fleet. I beleive the set he went with was a 1/48 scale model set from Accurate Miniatures.
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It cost him about $20 for about 20 usable bombs/torpedoes, etc.. I know there are some other products out there so you may find something better but it works. Now that he had decided on what direction he was going, it was my turn.

I decided that if we were going to be making our own gaming pieces then I wanted to do something that I couldn't buy. Why put in the labor to build what was already done? I had recently discovered an anime series called Last Exile, which is on the more modern cusp of the whole Steampunk genre, and found therein some lovely airships. I became especially enamored with the Anatoray Battleships.
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The Anatoray Battleships look like they are built with technology contemporary with Aeronef's published technology. They are essentially vertically oriented Predreadnoughts consistent with late 19th, early 20th century technology and style. I am hoping to capture the style of these ships through the careful and modest use of card, balsa and a few beading accesories. If I can avoid it, I won't be buying a single piece of actual purpose made detailing, though that may go out the window.

Now, let's see how this fleshes out, shall we...


  1. Good luck with the Aeronef project - I love Last Exile too!

    Yours in a white wine sauce,

  2. Thank you very much - I can't beleive it hasn't had much more coverage in VSF circles. Though not exactly VSF, it is definitely steampunk.

  3. The Anatoray ship is incredibly cool. I also enjoy the shape of your head.

  4. It is intresting to see how you made anatoray ships for your fleet, the Disith were the inspiration for my Danish fleet, The simmilar names should be a hint, Changed for aeronef propper and tossed in a few digs for realism.
    you can see here:

  5. I have to say that I am still working on a design that I like. The Anatoray battleship is a lovely design, bu I find it difficult to make.

  6. I made mine by stacking uneven layers of plasticard. This does a good job of simulating the multiple decks, but it is a very labor intensive way of making ships. Sadly due to their complexity I cant resin cast them which adds to the delema. This gets me thinking of how I would like to see a guild ship or even some of those saw ships.

  7. What about building them so that they are not entirely hollow but instead have closed recesses that could then be painted as hollows? This might simplify the design and make it easier to cast.

  8. Good luck, hope to see what they look like.

  9. This project is on the far back burner for now. I keep thinking on it, but I could never come up with a design I liked and so will have to come back to it another day.



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