Free-handing on the Proxxon makes this relatively easy. So a first attempt at something like this makes an impossible thing at least possible. Step 1 was to rough out the shape of the ship, including fore and aft raised decks, and then to add "railing" pieces made on the new toy. These are approximate (at best) in terms of serious modeling, but are fantastic in terms of creating the illusion of a Florian sky ship...
|Basic Ship Shape|
Step 2 was to do a basic paint job consisting of a dark brown latex house paint undercoat (the same used for my "cave" tiles), followed by a light tan dry brush of a cheap craft paint (Folk Art "camel" I think...). Before this, I scribed the lines using a pencil (shown in the first picture). After painting, the lines were highlighted by scribing them with a brown Sharpie. Like in the theater, things viewed at moderate distance need to be exaggerated to get the intended effect.
|Ship with base coat of paint|
Step 3 was to detail the sky ship using odds and ends I had laying around in my "bits box". A bits box is all the little leftover bits you have hanging around unused from many years of historical and fantasy miniatures gaming. Deck hatches to the below-decks levels and cargo hold were made by scribing and painting rectangles of balsa wood (in complementary but slightly different colors). The cannon is a leftover from an Empire Warhammer Fantasy kit. The captains steering wheel is a wheel from the same Empire cannon kit. The "air elemental power nodes" that power the ship are 1/2 inch wood working plugs or scratch built pieces. The chain blocking the gang-plank ramp to the main deck is a piece of jewelry chain tacked down with two black-headed map pins.
|Completed Sky Ship|
The beauty of the new Proxxon is that this entire crafting project took maybe two hours of time, only about a half hour of which was cutting the foam pieces of the ship. The rest was painting and detailing. With the curved lines and railing bits, this wouldn't have been possible, in any amount of time, with my old method of "sheet of foam board and a knife".
This project alone probably made the cost of the Proxxon worth it. But there are many more projects to come...