avatar_Mr Ten

The Meteor, a steampunk spaceship

Started by Mr Ten, May 07, 2016, 01:37:26 PM

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Mr Ten

For a science fiction enthusiast like me, some books are truly unmissable.
This is the case for " The Dream Machines " by Ron Miller, a fantastic catalog of spaceships from antiquity until today.
The author explains The Meteor, one of the first " serious " spaceship conceived by Washington Gladden (an american pastor, more known for his progressive ideas about workers syndicates and against racial segregation) around 1880 with the known science from that era.
Miller's book shows the original illustration, a bit dark and hard to interprete, and a neat side view extrapolated from the drawing.
" Funny ship "i told to myself when i read the book... ;)
It could be a cool challenge to build it...   :o
With the launch ramp...  ;D
Totally Steampunk style today... :mellow:

So the story goes...

Well, the project is still in building and not toally finished, especially the diorama. But the main elements are done. So here is a first view with some digital reworking to have a true "steampunk" mood... :rolleyes:


Looks like a paddle powered cruise missile ? Not exactly pastor like but lovely work
Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.


It looks as if you had to butcher a model of the Eiffel tower as well for the launch ramp.

My Ability to Imagine is only exceeded by my Imagined Abilities

Gondor's Modelling Rule Number Three: Everything will fit perfectly untill you apply glue...

I know it's in a book I have around here somewhere....


Is this totally scratch built? Amazing work, very intricate!
I love the sepia tone pic too. I'm ready to see more! :cheers:
" Somewhere, between half true, and completely crazy, is a rainbow of nice colours "
Tophe the Wise


Love this. Conjurs such greats as Winan's Cigar Ship, and other things i cant quite put a name on right now...is the 'fuselage' scratchbuilt or what is the base model for that?


That is really a great steampunk dio! Excellent execution of a cool idea! Love it!


Mr Ten

This (kind of... ;D) ship appeared in a Christmas short story in a magazine named " St Nicholas ".
According to the meagre data i found, the paddle wheels were needed to reach the upper atmosphere (200km... no less... :lol:),and later, an inner powerful dynamo was used to drive the ship along the magnetic field between the earth and the moon, at 20.000 km/h (far faster than Apollo ! :lol:)
Of course, it seems ridiculous today, as the moon has no magnetic field... But not more than Jules Verne's shell at this time, or the famous cavorite sphere from H.G. Wells... :rolleyes:

The scale scene is /72. The main body of the ship is... a 1/18 V1 flying bomb from Pegasus...
The wheel blades are made of plastic card. The axle thanks to a 1/35 minenraumer from RPM (with the multiple sprues for this model, you have enough for a second set !  :mellow:)
The ramp is made from balsa, plastic card and....Eiffel tower parts : the horizontal ramp thanks to the Heller kit, and the base from a-very-expensive-Eiffel-tower-sold-in-newsagents-twice-a-month-during-2-years.
The trick is to buy only FOUR first issues at 1 €(£ 0.80) each. That's all you need... :lol:
The Fowler steam tractor is an old Keilkraft 172 kit. The steam stagecoach is the Imex one, converted with a boiler for steam power (a such beast has really existed  :o in british past around 1825.. Just lok for Burstall steam coach... :rolleyes:

Around forty peoples are currently assisting to the incoming departure.
Most are finished, but others still need some paint...

See You Later for more surprises... ;)


Very nice.  :thumbsup:

It's funny how the notion of aerial paddle-wheelers continued long after the paddle-wheel had been supplanted
in ships by the far more efficient screw propeller, why anyone thought it would work in the far thinner fluid that
is the atmosphere is a puzzle.


Quote from: NARSES2 on May 08, 2016, 05:06:03 AM
Looks like a paddle powered cruise missile ? Not exactly pastor like but lovely work

Not heard of Reverend Ramus of Rye and His Rocket Rams then?  ;D

The Reverend C.M. Ramus, he had the living of Playden near Rye, is considered the originator of
the stepped hydroplane. His notions were tank tested by Froude in the early 1870s up to the
equivalent of 130 knots, but found unworkable because of the power required to plane the hull,
of course they were modelling a large ship of 370' length and several thousand tons.  ;D
Evidently it never occured to either to apply the principle to small, high-powered vessels.  :banghead:
Ramus continued his own tests with rocket-powered models, test speeds in excess of 30 knots were
common and in one test over a carefully measured distance a model achieved a speed of 72 mph.

The Rocket Ram was conceived as an unmanned coast defense anti-ship weapon with the
dimensions 120' X 20' X 7' made of 1" boiler plate, weight of 140 tons and 175 tons of rocket
propulsion force, rockets would fire for 30 seconds covering a distance of over two miles with
a terminal speed of 500-700 feet per second.
His hope was that it would so terrible a weapon "... the power of which is illimitable. It will
sweep away all existing navies, and will, I trust, render war at sea no longer possible."

Illustration and info from:
Aeromarine Origins, H.F. King, Putnam 1966
Speedboat, D.W. Fostle, U.S. Historical Society and Mystic Seaport Museum Stores 1988.

Old Wombat

Quote"he had the living of Playden near Rye"

Now, there's a lovely old turn of phrase. <_<
Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est


Quote from: Old Wombat on May 09, 2016, 02:30:39 PM
Quote"he had the living of Playden near Rye"

Now, there's a lovely old turn of phrase. <_<

Yup and one you still occasionally hear.

Cheers for the info on the Rev's Ram Jon, all new to me  :thumbsup:

Almost looks to good to be true for a Sun Assistant Editor (other tabloids are available) headline writer back in 75 Can just see it now  "Reverend Ramus of Rye and His Rocket Rams"  ;D
Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.