Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Skyship Revisited

I've continued working on the Peryton of Alfdaín (click here for the top view posted earlier), generating a side view and a cutaway version. It's been an eye opener on the matter of ship design. Let's just say, this is fantasy! I'm more interested in making sure the layout lends itself to D&D-style tactical combat. Here are a few snapshots of the latest draft. There still remains a good amount of work needed, with the rigging in particular. If your browser allows it, click on the images and open them on a separate tab to view them at full resolution.

The biggest challenge for the side view was getting a deer head that matched the one in the top view. I originally drew the head in the top view from a photo I found on the internet. The profile version was beyond my graphic skills, so I relied on Joe Garcia's talents to draft side and front projections. It worked like a charm. I added the colors, texture, and shadows. What do you think?

In the cutaway version, the illusory deer head vanishes to reveal the skyship's cockpit. Since "flight controls" aren't mechanical, the helm doesn't need to be positioned near the ship's rudder. The helm is therefore at the bow for greater visibility, unlike real-world seagoing ships but more like an aeroplane. One of the ship's organic deck weapons lies afore of the helm, pointing out through an opening at the bow (to be drafted later). The door at the cockpit's rear opens onto the main deck. The crew's head and sleeping quarters lie below, on the lower deck. The "L" tag marks the location of ladder rungs on the outer hull, allowing the crew to climb from the main deck to an open section of the lower deck (see side view).

This shows a closeup of the Peryton's midship. The door and windows connect with the lower deck's enclosed section. Ladder rungs lead up to the main deck.

The cutaway version reveals details of the cargo hatch and wooden supports for the masts. Reminder: this is a quad-masted skyship, meaning its masts are positioned in an "X" pattern, with two outrigger masts crossing through the main deck at 45 degrees, and two more below deck protruding through the lower hull at the same angle (definitely NOT seaworthy!) This is completely nuts, but hey, it's fantasy for ya! The four masts connect on the lower deck, blocking the passage. The only way past them is outside, on the main deck (as shown in the top view), or below, in the hold (as shown by the arrow.) 

The difficulty with the ship's stern lies in its rounded shape, which I could only hint at with shades in the side view. The aft castle (A & B) hangs over the lower deck (C) a bit too far, due to a miscalculation on my part when I originally drafted the top views of the various decks. It was too late to fix by the time I drafted the side view. Live and learn... The odd squarish structure at the back of the lower deck is a turret used as officers' heads.

The cutaway view reveals details of the hold (D). I had originally positioned the capstan closest to the bow, but the hold there is too narrow (10' wide or less). So I moved the whole element abaft. Calidar skyships use "air anchors" as airborne moorings. It's a bit odd, but for an airship being anchored astern shouldn't matter too much. If anything, sails can be unfurled with a convenient tailwind when lifting anchor. I'm not entirely satisfied with the capstan mechanism, which probably doesn't work as designed. I think it needs a separate axle for the anchor chain to wrap around. I may fix this later. Fortunately, because the skyship's aft section is so wide, there should be enough room to fit such a system. The hold also possesses a loading bay at its stern, a convenient feature when the vessel is moored at a docking tower.

If you ever wondered how to justify a druid character working on a skyship, fret no longer! I used the forward hold as the space for the vessel's organic "sap" stowage. Elven ships are semi-living structures that can grow deck weapons when needed. Weaponry and ship repair require a certain amount of sap, which is shown here. This spot is a weird, overgrown tangle of sticky, oozing stuff that no one but the ship's "plantmaster" should be messing with. You might have noticed the crew heads on the deck just above, which is part of the ship's onboard fertilizing ecosystem. On the smelly end of things, I now leave you to ponder the ship's design. Hope you enjoyed the preview. The final draft will be part of my present Calidar project, CAL3 "Wings over Alfdaín." 

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