Wednesday, 29 July 2020
How the aging ship of HMS Thunder Child may have looked from the science fiction novel of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds.
It was a great adventure fantasizing about such a ship and I would imagine it was splendid fun designing the interior along the lines of the Devastation class ship built-in 1871 with a sister ship named HMS Thunderer to follow.
This interior design was done by the book's cover artist Peter Moran. I love the detail of this and it does make for a very atmospheric feel. It sat very low in the water and there is a small ram to the front, below the waterline.
You will notice, in the image, that the revolving turret still has its short stubby muzzle loading guns. In history, muzzleloaders were obsolete in the Royal Navy by the time of 1898, when the alien invasion story is roughly set.
On a whim, I took unashamed liberty to still have one ship using muzzleloaders for this science fiction pastiche story. I think I did this because the Devastation class sister ship HMS Thunderer had a terrible accident using the muzzle loading guns in 1879 during a gunnery exercise. Plus the ship's names are similar.
Because of this accident, the admiralty ended all muzzleloaders, and ships were converted to longer barrelled breech loaders.
As this is a science fiction story and with an emphasis on the fiction aspect, I wanted to use a poetic license and bend the rules for the 'make-believe' HMS Thunder Child - our Martian fighting fictional ship.
I know there is a hoard of HMS Polyphemus fans out there. I've often had comments on such. I appreciate them, but I have chosen to indulge in the Devastation presentation with a small ram. Therefore, for all Polyphemus fans, fair play to you all, but I like the older idea of this fictitious almost like a Devastation class ship.
Peter Moran undertook a great project of presenting the ship's interior. I love this image. I hope you good people do too. 😃👍
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