Fantastic Flying Machine

Wisa's steampunk build soars!

It's pretty hard for someone like me to get to places. I can't drive. I can't ride a bike. I can't really be bothered to walk. I'm pretty good at rolling, when I gain enough weight, but usually the way I get to work is by falling over and crying loudly until someone carries me to the Mojang offices.

Lately, however, I've been thinking of changing my lazy ways and learning how to fly a plane; now that I've seen Steampunk Flying Machine by Wisa! I tried falling over and crying until Wisa carried me aboard and handed me the keys to the machine. Sadly, he was having none of it.

But luckily, when I finally stopped bawling, he was up for talking to me about his awesome aerial build. Hooray!

“It's very difficult to keep yourself within the same style,” Wisa tells me, when I ask what inspired his first steampunk build. “I'm always drawn to something new. I can't sit still.”

Saying that, Wisa did sit still long enough to watch the anime Laputa: Castle in the Sky (although I suppose he could have watched it standing). The film features a massive airship, and soon Wisa was inspired to craft his own flying machine.

“I sketched my idea – it helps a lot when building something large – and then construction began.”

Wisa sent me these sketches of his original design. Wait, he can build well and draw well? No fair! I can barely wrife!

“For me, Minecraft is more like a graphic editor than a game,” Wisa tells me. “It can be compared to a blank sheet of paper; you get a beautiful idea in your head and you draw it.

“Just not with a pencil, but with blocks!”

So what was it about the steampunk look that appealed to Wisa?

“Steampunk a is very detailed and quite specific style. Maybe this is what attracts me to it? All these pipes and steam engines create the feeling that you're in a place where two worlds are intertwined.” Where old technology and new technology come together in steampunk-y harmony!

To Wisa, steampunk feels like a fun mix of “the olden times when people wrote about mechanical creations only in books,” back when technology was too primitive to bring those ideas to fruition, and “more modern times where locomotives have become an integral part of everyday life.”

“I would like to see something similar [built] in real life, but for now I can only admire steampunk recreated in art.” Yeah, we want to see steampunk ships in real life as well! To the billions of engineers who read Minecraft.net – get on it!

A railway on an airship - brilliant!

Wisa spent three weeks crafting the ship, and it wasn't always smooth sailing. “The rails on the railway warped all the time when I tried to line them up on a smooth circle,” he explains. It's a common problem builders face when they try to make circles in our cube-based game. Sorry about that!

The cage presented a more unique problem – what poor thing should Wisa trap inside it? “It took a long time to think about,” he tells me. “I considered parrots, various mechanical animals and even insects. But in the end I chose a mechanical phoenix. He became the last inhabitant of the cell.”

Some lovely touches here - I especially like how a phoenix is a fire-based bird, so Wisa has made sure to include some magma blocks!

Hang on... did he say cell?

“Yes, it's kind of like a prison ship. But it does not contain prisoners in the form of punishment,” Wisa assures me. Phew! So what is the ship's purpose then?

“This ship carries dangerous creatures to other, new habitats. They save their species from extinction.” So long as it's not dropping them off near my house, sounds good to me.

Wisa's portfolio of builds on Planet Minecraft is varied, impressive and well worth checking out. But he definitely plans to stick with the steampunk style for now.

“I want to make a fox sculpture of a bio-robot. Part of it will be organic, and part of it will consist of mechanisms. There is a lot to do, but it'll be worth it.”

A robotic steampunk fox? Sounds like a build well worth waiting for to me! But to all you engineer readers – don't try and build that IRL please.

Written by
Tom Stone
Published
09/22/2018

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