I found my Sky Pirates were missing one thing: a really evil looking, dieselpunk propeller fighter plane. Something that spells aggression and power, and fits to their fleet of (quite ramshackle looking) contraptions… a flying hotrod!
I combined the front area and cockpit from an S.E.5a biplane with the wing shape and silhouette of a BF 109. Both are quite aggressive looking planes and therefore perfect for my project: not the most elegant designs, but in a brutal way efficient and quite down-to-earth looking (if that description is appropriate to an airplane!). The S.E.5a, for example, has been already described as looking like a flying tractor! To spice things up a bit, I went for a little bit of asymmetry, with only one exhaust pipe, placed on the right hand side. For the left side, I took the position of the vickers-machinegun from the S.E.5a and put a spring-loaded shooter there as heavy cannon. This arrangement, together with a huge, exposed engine block and a hotrod-style radiator in front, ensured busy looking and slightly mad “machine landscape”. At least that’s the intention.
Colour-wise I originally wanted to stay closer to the Sky Pirates-palette, but a lack of orange pieces made me go for dark red instead. The fact that I had a spare Flintlocke Minifigure I could use for the pilot, where dark red is also quite a dominating colour, definitely made my decision easier. I also had this large single-piece rudder kicking around, begging me for using it somewhere.
Looking at the finished plane, I think the colour-scheme worked out quite nicely. It also gave me an inspiration for the character of its pilot: the Crimson Countess! Yes, I happily admit I just can’t get away from the whole-Red Baron-thing!
Being an attack fighter, the plane is armed – additionally to the heavy cannon I mentioned above – with two synchronized heavy machine guns mounted in the nose and two pairs of light machine guns in the wings. While not the most agile plane in the world, its massive armament and powerful engine make it very effective for breaking through defences and attacking well armoured airships. A true Zeppelin-killer.
Oh, and by the way: when I built the gunsight and sat her in the plane for the first time, I noticed that its actually on the side where she has her eye-patch! I found that so funny that I decided to keep it like that. She simply wears her eye patch as fashion accessory and takes it off for aiming!