Saturday, April 28, 2012

"L" is for...


Castle in the sky. Just those words conjure up a magic, mystery and majesty that invites one to pull it into their gaming. Originating in the story of "Gulliver's Travels", the mythical flying island was used a part of Swift's political satyr.

Like many people, my first exposure to this strange, fantastic realm was not through literature, but through the animated feature of Hayou Miyazaki's "Laputa - Castle In The Sky" which portrayed the airborne island as some sort of ancient treasure to be had in a Victorian Science fiction setting. Miyazaki's film was vivid (it always is) and full of airships, air pirates, armored trains, freaky robots and strange legends and mysteries.

A few years back I had an idea to run Laputa as a force for a VSF setting. Unfortunately I couldn't settle on a theme for it and it went by the way side. My imagination was torn between an advanced realm similar to Miyazaki's vision or something on the other end as some sort of hovering lost world populated by savage people degenerated from the kingdom's greater past.

Lately I have considered trying to make some steps toward completing a small VSF force for this fantastic nation. I think I'd like to see Laputa dressed in over the top Napoleonic style uniforms. I like the Austrian helmet with the crests as those really seem ostentatious and over the top. I'll still have to come up with some crazy things to set them apart from more terrestrial forces.

Maybe some sort of armored troops might make them seem less Earthly and more advanced and alien. Something like the pictures below perhaps?


  1. The second design looks too... unimaginative to my eyes (barely modifier medieval knights); the first on the other hand is original, rich and [almost :-)] credible. Reminds me (in far better) of some "SW Baroque" designs; and is probably not far from the mark for the armored infantry in David M Cornish's "Half-Continent".

    Now, if I may, *why* Napoleonics? The Lace Wars, the time of Baron Munchausen, could be even more fitting imho (OK, I *am* biased ^-^). I agree that the crew of this flying ship looks Napoleonic with the shakos, but it would look at least as good with tricornes!
    Other Skyships to reach Laputa (and an inspirational model for a Lacepunk female hero!).

  2. I love the Miyazaki Laputa. It is perhaps my favorite movie of his (although I have probably watched Porco Rosco more often). That movie certainly has a very VSF feel to it.

    As for troops, I'm really not sure. Unless you feel like doing a lot of conversions, you should probably find something you like and go with it. Also, consider that the "troops" of the Miyazaki movie were robots. Some sort of clockwork soldier might be in order (although the nefarious Herr Doktor Maton uses a lot of them).

  3. I am not seeking to recreate the Laputa of Miyazaki's film. The time period I am aiming at is a 19th century, VSF feel. The reason for using Napoleonic uniforms is that they are not so removed from 19th C. uniforms but definitely different.

    As for machines, I can see automated or manned mechanical monstrosities.


  4. I did not mean to suggest that you should. Laputa from the movie is far too powerful.

  5. Oh I got what you were saying. No worries. I was just clarifying my own intent.


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