Into The Wide Blue Yonder – The Skyhammer

gallery_1306_643_141555In today’s post, we’ll be looking at a project that I’ve been working on for a while now. In fact, two years have come and gone since I started on this. I had originally just put some Styrofoam sheets together, glued them together with some pva-glue and just let my imagination run wild. The idea was to go for a monitor class of steamboat, something that would go well with my Dreadnought class steamship project that I had started earlier. But somewhere along the way, the project took on a life of its own.

For the initial progress on this my thunderbarge airship, I’ll refer you to my log over at It’s a bit too vast to easily put this into one single blog post here and it would feel too much like simply copy-paste. I will however do a quick recap. Mostly made from foamboard, balsa wood and styrofoam, the amount of pva glue and needles (yes needles) that went into this so far is just insane.

The airship has already seen combat even though it isn’t finished yet. P1010237_2 I used it last year in a historical incorrect reenactment of the Siege of Tor Alessi over at Warhammer World. I just could not resist the opportunity to field this, try out the rules from the rulebook (spoiler allert, they’re somewhat OTT) and just generally show it off. Hey, that’s a legitimate reason! It’s performance was stellar, shooting down bolt throwers and raining down steel death from the skies with its five organ guns blazing from both sides. 

Even though it performed really well, it still wasn’t finished. The ship itself lacked decoration/ornamentation: it was just too plain. I had to go back and finish it. The problem however was that I was suffering from a bit of a burnout. The buildup to the Warhammer World grudge match had taken so long and had been so hard that I just had to take a break. So. Yeah.


The darker stripe? That’s dust removed. Yeah. There was a lot of dust on it.

Fast forward 7 months. I was getting more and more into Warhammer again, due in no small part to my fellow bloggers here Daeron and Dimetrius. And with Warhammer comes Dwarfs. And with Dwarfs came my airship again. Analysing what went well and what went bad I noticed that a lot of excess pva glue had pooled in places and formed ugly little patches and blobs. Also, foam-board itself, while fantastic when you paint the papery side, the foam itself absorbs paint and just looks plain ugly. Plus, the transport from and to Nottingham had damaged the ship in several places. With some more hobby experience and building experience, it was time for some sanding, some green stuffing and some more sanding.


The underside of the ship after sanding.

I know I have said this before ad nauseum but liquid green stuff is a fantastic product. I have tried before to use proper green stuff and while I have had some success with it, using the liquid version on this project was exactly what I needed to do. I applied copious amounts to the places that had been damaged in transport, the places where I had sanded before. So, after waiting for it to dry, I sanded some more, applied more, sanded some more,…

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And after even more sanding, this was the result.

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Now, that’s some progress! But we’re not there yet. I applied some paint yesterday to re-undercoat it and while most places are looking great, I still need to apply more green stuff to the front-underside.

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Looking great!

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The side now looks a lot more angular, a lot better and shows considerable Dawi craftmanship.

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Gyro and his big brother.

And finally, in case you were wondering, here’s a photo with a gyrocopter that’s getting prepped for another project for a size comparison.

There we go! More progress as it happens!

4 thoughts on “Into The Wide Blue Yonder – The Skyhammer

    • The main reason was because I’m mainly basing it on the artwork from the rulebook. The concept art from W:AR Online has helped me out tremendously but for various reasons, foremost of all stability of the model, I prefer to go with one balloon.

      • Well I don’t think I’ve ever seen a real zeppelin with two balloons like that, so that’s probably for a good reason. My guess is that it simply has no added value. Making 1 balloon a bit bigger to get more lift would probably do, and 2 balloons would probably require a great construction to prevent shaking between the two (that would undo the stability factor). So it could be the construction simply requires more materials and effort for no clear gain. Perhaps we ought to find a zeppelin engineer and study his/her ways, research the possibilities and figure out if this aesthetic choice has any technical advantages.

        But stability of the model… Now there is a weak argument if I ever heard one. Anything below 16.6% chance to explode is perfectly acceptable!

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