The Steampunk Airship Guide & 2020 Awards

The Steampunk Airship, also known as a Steampunk Ship has captured the imagination of steampunk artists and fans alike. This post will share some of the best images, products, and types of steampunk ships out there.

Featured image by Stephane on Flickr

2020 Best Steampunk Airship Awards – 2020

See below for the Steampunk Tribune’s official, “Best Steampunk Airships” for 2020.

1. The Bucking Bronco – Fate’s War

best steampunk airship 2020

We’ve named our best steampunk airship, “The Bucking Bronco” as it appears to speed across the sky while onlookers are amazed. This appears to be a warship ready for battle as the iron tip on the front looks almost like a bayonet. This creative airship comes from Trae Mitchell’s book, Fate’s War.

2. Let the Steam Be With You – Silvio Aebischer

steampunk airship star wars style

This brilliant airship combines star wars style with classic victorian steampunk design. This comes to us from a designer who formerly worked at SEGA (awesome) named Silvio Aebischer. Here is his website.

3. Circle-Tech Steampunk Airship – Jarosław Jaśnikowski

steampunk circle ship

This creative airship comes from the surrealist painter Jarosław Jaśnikowski and is an intelligent combination of symmetry and rustic patina. This showed up in a post about the steampunk novel, Arabella of Mars so it may be one of the book’s illustrations.  

4. The City (Unknown)

steampunk city airship

What do you do when you are warring with another country in Steampunk land? Put your natural resources on a warship! We couldn’t find the original artist behind this creative work of art so please let us know in the comments if you know who it is!

5. Prince Azrael’s flying ship – Fate’s War

steampunk bird airship

This beautiful airship looks like a raven with wings but also resembles those interesting fish you see thousands of miles below sea level. It looks royal but ready for battle if necessary. Your mind wonders about the backstory behind this ship but it looks like there is one you can read about. As far as we can tell this one also comes from illustrations in Trae Mitchell’s book, Fate’s War.

Best Steampunk Ship of 2019 

best steampunk airship
 
We couldn’t leave out last years winner so here it is again. This one’s too cool to explain. Just check it out and take a look at more work from the artist: TerryLH.
 

Types of Steampunk Airships

The Nautical Steampunk Ship

nautical steampunk ship

The Valkyrie Ship by Yaroslav Baryshev

The first type is a nautical ship suspended by an inflatable and over-pressurized gas bag.  Essentially a ship hanging by ropes to some type of balloon holding a lighter-than-air gas, the Nautical Steampunk Ship seems to be the simplest representation of airships.  Straightforward in design but classic in appearance, it may be the oldest type of airship representation.

 

The Zepplin Steampunk Airship

 

zeppelin steampunk airship

Pinned by Paul, author unknown

Next is the Zeppelin-type of airship.  Usually based on a rigid or semi-rigid frame holding the lighter-than-air gas, the Zeppelin design also has an attached structure beneath the frame, be it a basic capsule, utilitarian under-carriage, or luxurious accommodations such as those from the Indiana Jones movie, based on the LZ129 (the Hinderberg Wikipdeia is a wonderful tool).  Obviously, an interior of such a Stemapunk ship would be modified to reflect the Steampunk / Neo-Victorian genre, but this type of Zeppelin ship, with its frame and capsule style, is another style that was also noted in the image search for airships.

 
The luxurious Dining Room for passengers of the LZ 129 Hindenburg, via Wikipedia
 
 

Water-Based Steampunk Ships

Images of water-based steampunk ships (as opposed to flying airships) are more hard to find and they are almost always submarines.

Here is an example of a creative water-based steampunk ship available for purchase at Storenvy.

Steampunk Airship Sketches

Sketches and blueprints are also a popular form of steampunk art.

 

steampunk ship sketch blueprint
A commission of steampunk airships by BunnyBennett

 

Other

The last category seemed to be based on, shall we say, non-obvious means of flight for airships.  These airships came in many forms and types, and frequently seem based on traditional military ships of the first half of the century (such as stylized battleships, cruisers, and destroyers from the first and second world wars).  Their means of support/propulsion are secondary to their appearance (e.g. they use favorite {first noted in the Wells book First men in the moon), Liftwood (Space: 1889)), and almost exclusively are angled for military confrontations.  For ease of reference, I will simply refer to this category as the Flying ships with no specific propulsion.

 

 
 
 
 

There is, as always, the Other category.  However, the only well-known example that I can think of at the moment is the Flying Wing airships from Howls Moving Castle, with ships that had mechanical flapping wings to support their air flight.  I am confident that there are alternative examples which would fit the Other category, and as I come across them, I promise to post them.

 
The aforementioned airships from “Howl’s Moving Castle” – as one can see,
the wings on this vessel actually “flap” to maintain buoyancy
 
We hope you’ve enjoyed these Steampunk ship images! We thank our fans who make this website possible and we hope you visit the Steampunk Tribune again soon!

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