I saw a model ship from Victorian times in a military Museum in Norfolk as I drove along the coastal road back to my home in the Fenlands. It was a pleasant surprise because the museum had a little more to look at than I expected.
In one section I saw a number of model boats. One of them HMS Hornet of the Dreadnought class or just pre-Dreadnought. I wrote a pastiche novel of H.G.Wells' War of the Worlds. It is called: The Last Days of Thunder Child. Although in my book, Thunder Child is visualised as a ship looking more like HMS Devastation the HMS Hornet, the models figures of the sailors on board would look the same. I loved the look of the superstructure and the wheel house and the figure standing about in their RN uniforms of the era.
I could not help but excitedly snap the model in order to get a look at the sailors aboard. It sets my old imagination going into overdrive.
To my further delight, I saw a paddle steamer called the Waverly. This little boat still exists and goes all around the British Isles to various seaside locations each year. When I lived at Southend-on-Sea she often came to the pier and took people out on excursions. I based the paddle steamer on the one in H.G.Wells' War of the Worlds when I wrote the Thunder Child pastiche story. Therefore, I had to click all. I have the image of the sailors aboard HMS Hornet for the uniforms of the day, the paddle steamer Waverly (re-named Southend Belle) for the fleeing boat full of refugees and the model of HMS Devastation for my mind's image of the fictitious HMS Thunder Child.
The model of HMS Devastation with her short barrelled muzzle loading guns are what I imagined Thunder Child to look like. Outdated, even in 1898, but able to pack a punch for the people on the paddle steamer in the Last Days of Thunder Child.