One day years ago, I was listening to Jeff Wayne’s excellent musical version of “The War of the Worlds”: specifically, the stirring sequence where the ironclad Thunderchild manages to destroy one two Martian War Machines before being sunk. Suddenly, my brain cross-linked it with the premise of the “Space Cruiser Yamato” series, where humanity builds a gifted spacefold drive into the hulk of the World War II battleship, and thus was born the idea for the ether flyer Thunderchild.
Miraculously, I found the rare model kit of the ironclad featured on Wayne’s album cover, and combined that with unused interior detail pieces from a Yamato kit. Plane, helicopter, and mecha bits from the parts box joined the fray, and I even added lights from a craft store set. The result won a couple awards, and praise from modelmaker David Merriman, but repeated changes of domicile took their toll on that poor creation. Soon, the ship the Martians couldn’t keep down was in pieces in my closet, and only grainy scans of lost photos remained to show all the hard work.
Well, Commodore Professor Coalsack’s creation has risen again, like an unstoppable movie franchise. A good friend will soon be taking some high-quality photos for me, but who can wait? I give you the mostly repaired Thunderchild! The pictures are clickable for a closer view…
Kitbashed Thunderchild model, profile
Until recently in pieces as a result of too many changes of residence, this is the repaired ether flyer Thunderchild. Several of the small guns visible at this angle have lost their barrels and still need replacements. For some reason, the large solar accumulator sail always looks bigger in photos than it does in real life.
Kitbashed Thunderchild model, starboard bow
Here’s a good view of the bridge, forward lightning cannon, starboard flight stabilizer, and of course the Etheric Wave Projector embedded in the bow. I’m sure the EWP does nothing for the ship’s performance as a surface naval vessel, but the famed Space Cruiser Yamato didn’t care, so I shan’t.
Kitbashed Thunderchild model, starboard stern
From this angle, one can see the Viewing Room, the aft lightning cannon (damaged and under repair), a nearby crewman still in his space armor, and the Etheric Propellor (one of many items that lights up, if the wiring can be fixed). Beneath the ship is the main antenna cluster, and visible on the ground are piping and tankage used at this emergency repair station.
Kitbashed Thunderchild model, oncoming view
The classic Yamato angle. I can barely look at this without wanting to hum, “We’re off… to outer space…” Complete coincidence that the lightning cannon is pointed right at the camera. At some point, I should Photoshop out the repair station and cheap backdrop, and add in a starfield for this one.