Sunday, January 1, 2012

Airship Carriers!

Imagine you are on a server. It's night and you're returning to the village that you and your clanmates are using as a base of operations. Mobs are everywhere, trying to kill you. But now that's you're back at base, you think you are safe.

One of the members of an enemy clan declares on chat, "LET FIRE RAIN DOWN!" A moment later the game starts to lag badly. Overhead you start to see something materialize. Whatever it is, it's huge. There are massive cylinders of wool and a flat plank body. When it completes itself, you see this.

Instinctively you run to the nearest house, unsure that it will offer any protection from what is to come.

What you are looking at is the USS Persistence. Back in June, I made this blog post about making old-style airship carriers with balloons instead of engines. The one picture on it has drawn more views to this Web site than anything else. For the longest time, people have come here looking for more details about this but have found nothing. Now, hopefully, they will discover what they are seeking, and then some.

I call it the Persistence-class airship carrier (even though it's really a bunch of boats) because this site has been operating for over a year, as well as the time and learning needed to create this ship. Not only did I create my first truly huge object (as it is over 1,600 blocks in size), but I experimented with WorldEdit so this masterpiece could be constructed within a reasonable amount of time.

This flagship, the USS Persistence, is 45 meters long, 20 meters wide, and 19 meters tall. It is composed of 1,674 blocks. Here I am going to give you glory shots of the ship, while also giving you a guide for constructing your own Persistence (or whatever you want to call it.)

The flight deck is 14 wide by 39 long. It is mostly made of wood except the 6th and 9th row, which are made of log.

Next, starting at where you plan the back (the aft or stern in naval terms), place a fence post every other block along both edges. Some of them will be removed to form the tower but for now we don't need to worry about that.

Next, starting at the front of the ship (the fore or bow), place a redstone torch once every four meters. Each torch should have 3 empty spaces between them. Place these torches on the outside of the log lines (which are the outline of the landing strip).

Now we will begin with the island, the tower on the flight deck that is used to control flight. This base is 11 blocks long by 5 blocks wide. The front of it starts 21 blocks in, and the rightmost 2 blocks hang off the deck.

Now add the planks needed to fill up that hole in the floor. Then we go ahead and start building off of that.

At the top of the control tower is the RADAR and radio antenna. On the stone roofing, the fourth block in, is where the log pole is. Then add the planks. The fence post antenna is 3 tall and the wings are both 4 wide.

The balloons are quite massive, but easy to make. They run the entire length of the ship and have identical, symmetrical patterns. If you don't want to fill in the balloons, be sure to place torches inside them or else mobs will spawn.

At each corner of the flight deck (or as close as you can to the corner), place a normal torch. Also place a torch every 11 blocks along the sides of the deck starting from the front. Then, starting 3 blocks from the right of the flight deck (assuming you are facing toward the front of the ship) and 3 blocks from the front, place a fence post once every 4 blocks until you encounter the control tower. That should be a total of 5 fences placed.

The last major feature is another part that I'm not really sure is. Place a fence post on the part of balloon immediately next to the 8th fence post on the right side of the ship, then follow this pattern. It's symmetrical, so the way the posts go inward will be mirrored at the other side - that is, the posts will go outward. The first layer of wood is 13 blocks wide and build directly into the balloon, meaning you will be destroying wool blocks and putting wood in their place. The second layer is 11 blocks and hangs in the air.

Place torches on and in the tower as you feel would be best looking. I personally have them centered on both decks and on the radio tower, as well as a couple on the inside. If you'd like, also add a ladder so you can travel up and down the floors in the island.

My last touch was a dedication plaque stating the ship name and date of construction.

And you're basically done. Sadly, this is too large for the Zeppelin mod to fly, however it still looks good and with WorldEdit, you could move it around less elegantly.

Happy new year, and may 2012 be a year of epic constructions and adventure for you!

Note: this is not the Shadow of Israphel class of carriers I was talking about. I once tried that, and even with MCEdit it was a nightmare. Such carriers would likely be several times larger than the Persistence. But maybe I could paste that to my to-do list. Also, this is not my original work. I found this idea and mentioned it on here. Then, with it being so popular, made it myself. If I can ever contact the original builder of this, I would be more than happy to credit him (or her)!