Annual No 1, Issue no 8 - My example of the Spaceship style.

Here I am going to do deck plans (2 levels) for a Skyship developed by those clever folks in Stromphe (Artemisia).

First, here is the actual ship: (not using the Spaceship style)



  • I do have to add stuff on the bridge. I also need to get rid of some funny effects, which change depending on zoom level when using Bevel lighted

  • 2 months later
  • Here is the revised map above, plus that of the upper deck. I used the same steps as the annual, except actual bitmaps, but vector symbols (except the intrepid skymen) were used throughout.

    I did not use the colour coding but rather a key instead.

    The lower deck and hold will show the quarters and the magical engineering.

  • Interesting. I can though see problems from a practical military usage and command perspective.

    The weapons are mounted too high up. A couple of options on the lower and/or upper deck would be OK for aerial threats. There needs to be another weapons position in the hold for tackling lower aerial and ground threats, however.

    The bridge at only the rear of the upper deck is OK for a secondary command position/emergency bridge. There needs to be another and main bridge higher and/or further forward though, and observation positions (ports at least) at various places on the lower and hold decks, as visibility is purely upwards over most of the craft currently. The hold could also use a bomb bay for vertical delivery of heavy ordnance, and as a crew escape mechanism.

    There's a lot of wasted space on the lower-upper deck in the middle of the craft where the masts run through (and what are those stacked (?) grey squares there?). Does this whole area need to be so open? Or could the stores and crew quarters not be moved into here? Ordinary crew don't need individual quarters either, plus there aren't enough crew. Leaving aside any practicalities of using only upper sails as propulsion on such a craft anyway, for masts this size, you'd need at least four crew, and you should have at least as many observers/signallers as them as well, since they can't all be doing the same jobs simultaneously. If the craft is expected to regularly operate for more than half a day at a time, as the quarters, mess, etc., imply, there should be enough crew of all types to manage multiple watches/shifts, essentially at least doubling the crew overall. WW1 Zeppelins had crews between about 15-20 on average, and might be airborne for several days at a time, while the WW2 American B17 Flying Fortress bomber had a crew of ten and flew missions lasting about 6 hours or less, for instance, as very approximate equivalents.

    The hatches on the hold deck are a bit confusing, and should be replaced with ladder symbols, I'd say, as the hatches are in the ceiling on that deck, not the floor, if I've understood the keys correctly.

    How do the crew access the exterior of the ship, the balloons, or board and leave it? I see ladders up, but no doors in the upper outer surface, for instance, and no external doorways elsewhere.

    If you're not wholly committed to the masts option, I'd suggest thinking of using the base of the balloon pods as places for magical propeller engines and individual rudders (again, see Zeppelins) instead.

  • I do like the idea of masts. But the rest of your comments will be acted upon. Thank you so much - I am no military engineer, that's for sure.

    No bombs, though - that will be for larger ships. This is just a scout and exploratory model. The Stromphe military are still just experimenting. Not quite got to the propellor stage, but Zeppelins will be next on their invention list, I am sure. I cannot see them ever inventing any combustion engine though. I do want to keep the 'fantasy' look.

  • You could also have masts below the decks, from the base of the craft, though that depends if it needs to land or not, or horizontally out from the sides. There is a probable balance issue with masts only on the top - wind in the sails there will tend to tip the craft over end to end. Sailing ships rely on heavy friction with the sea, and their ballast plus keels to stay upright, but in the air, none of this is an option. Looks nice though, I know!

    Magical engines would be more likely than combustion engines, I'd have thought. Combustion engines are just so incredibly inefficient, it's hard to believe those with access to magic wouldn't come up with something far better and more elegant.

    As for propellers, the basic real-world concept derives from the Archimedes screw, c.200 BCE, so some bright Strompheian folks could have developed something similar for aerial use already, perhaps.

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