The notion of Victorian-era space travel has always fascinated me. As well as the classic (now retro-future) 1930s space operas, like Buster Crabbe's Flash Gordon, which kept me rivetted to my seat watching re-runs on TV as a child on a Saturday morning, I love films such as the more sedate The First Men in the Moon (which also forms part of my love of similar films like The Time Machine, Warlords of Atlantis and Journey to the Centre of the Earth).
Whilst perusing the aether for recent news of the space elevator (see my previous post on my main blog), I came across a piece, originally written in 1981, by a Mr Rick Overton. Linked to from Currell Graphics's marvellous pages of cardboard model designs, one of which being Mr HG Wells's Ironclad, this pdf of the article 'Victorian Spaceships and Everything-Bashing' by Mr Overton for Vol.V of Fantasy Modeling demonstrates what can be achieved with a little imagination and some 'usual suspect' plastic model kits.
Such 'kit bashing', as Mr Overton describes his art, has resulted in the most marvellous conceptions. Models contained within Mr Overton's piece include The Green Goose (pictured above), The Bronze Puffer, and The Serpentine, all created using such diverse materials as toy periscopes, ping-pong balls, model railway parts, R2D2's head, and gelatine (although I am sure a vegetarian option is now available!).
What could provide better joy in these recession-hit, long dark winter nights than raiding those boxes of old models and unused kit parts and spending a few hours cutting, gluing and pasting like some demented Blue Peter presenter?
For more on Steampunk Space Exploration, and the possibility of Victorian space missions, click over here.