Shocking Consequences

Posted by on Dec 20, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Shocking Consequences

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First Look

The Prussian Empire’s small and lightweight Zeppelin design used for the now-famous Jager hunter-killer and patrol craft has proven particularly successful for the Reichs Luftflotten, or Imperial Air Fleets. Sire Helbrecht is particularly fond of the design, even having one of these craft specially modified so that he can perform personal inspections of the larger airships in his fleets while they are in flight.

The Speerwurf's deadly projectiles make the target easy prey for any Tesla weaponry within range

The Speerwurf’s deadly projectiles make the target easy prey for any Tesla weaponry within range

Economical and easy to build in large numbers, the craft also lends itself well to modification. The Speerwurf is the latest pattern to emerge from the Imperial Air Fleet’s production facilities. It is wholly built around the radical new Pattern V ‘Speerschleuder’ launcher.

Stalking groups of Speerwurf Zeppelins range ahead of Prussian aerial, naval and armoured formations, ‘harpooning’ larger targets as if they were great steel whales. Once a vessel has been struck by one of these projectiles, it is in terrible danger, for the great spear acts as a huge lightning conductor. This virtually guarantees the target’s total devastation at the hands of massed Tesla strikes irresistibly attracted to the embedded metal rod.

Speerwurf Class Light Zeppelin

Speerwurf Class Light Zeppelin

In a case of grim irony, the concept of the Speerschleuder actually grew from devices designed to protect scientists and engineers from the dangerous forces inherent in handling Tesla technology. Prussian researchers had spent several years developing the optimum materials for the construction of lightning rods, taking advantages of the revolution in metallurgy with the advent of Element-270.

It is thought to have been specialists working for the Teutonic Order who first turned this research to offensive means. Initially, the Speerschleuder weapon was seen as rather controversial – no one knew for sure if it would even be effective.

However, trials in Prussian Scandinavia proved its capacity to increase the lethality of Tesla strikes against a variety of targets. The weapon is now being fitted to a number of different war engines, of which the sleek Speerwurf is by far the most numerous.

Manning a Speerwurf is seen as one of the most risky jobs in the Reichs Luftflotten. The airships mount no other major weaponry, and are usually well-defended by wings of fighter and attack aeroplanes to ward off marauding enemy ‘balloon-busters’.

Speerwurf captains have nicknamed the harpoon thrower the ‘Touch of Thor’ – for targets struck by the weapon are almost certain to meet their doom amid electrical fury worthy of the Norse god’s wrath!

Speerwurf Class Light Zeppelin

Speerwurf Class Light Zeppelin

A Word From The Designer
The Prussian Jager class small flyers were great fun to create. They were an experimentation of a more streamlined, sleeker version of the traditional Prussian zeppelin aesthetic. Dart like and forward driven, you really do get a sense of their impressive speed. It is perhaps unfortunate that the tesla turret is on the underside and, thus, rarely seen, but practically this is the best place for it

With the opportunity for create a new brand of small flyer I had the chance to trial a different approach. The Speerwurf is, after all, meant to fit in with Jager squadrons, so the basic template was much the same. The small airship has a wider wingspan for added stability but the focus is on the ingenious new weapon in the Prussian arsenal; the lighting conductor. This is basically a harpoon launcher that embeds lightning rods into enemy ships, making them better conductors for the following salvo of tesla strikes. I spent a long time refining how the harpoons themselves worked and how the loading mechanism interacted with the launcher, so long that I didn’t realise how small the final object would be. The launcher was mounted on the top of the zeppelin, both to make them instantly recognisable from their squadron mates and to give the lower velocity weapon a better shot at a parabolic arc.