Summer vacation means if I am telling my kids steampunk bedtime stories, and the story requires an ether-powered vehicle larger than a life pod, but smaller than the ship-of-the-line where most of the plot takes place, I can visit Wikipedia to look for a class name — I like “sloop” — and then dash out some sketches on my iPad.
Then I can fire up Blender 3D and design the ship.
Needs more greebles, but not bad for a weekend project.
The sectioned teardrop shape from my sketch was a little harder to accomplish than I had expected, so I settled for a ball with a tapering extrusion. Besides, the steampunk aesthetic does not call for streamlining — the more protrusions, serrated edges, and guts-on-the-outside, the better.
Once I had the exterior set up, the interior was even more fun to lay out.
Up top, there’s an observation/gunner loft, with a retractable canopy.
On the main deck, the bridge is forward, with a briefing area amidship, gangways up and down, a crew work area aft, a head opposite a small galley, and an open deck at the stern.
The lower deck has an observation/mess lounge in front, with some small cabins that can be bunkrooms, a galley, a VIP cabin, storage, engineering, or whatever the story requires). The ceiling is high, so there’s lots of room for me to add pipes, overhead storage, access panels where stowaways can hide, etc.