Minecraft / Blogs

Everything you need to know about building airships my way.

  • 94
  • 35
  • comment52
  • playlist_add
  • share
  • more_horiz
avatar Rossky
Level 57 : Grandmaster Technomancer
747
I've received numerous requests on how exactly I build my airships.
A lot of experienced builders would keep those methods to themselves to profit of the outcome being something only they could do but that is not what I want.

This will be a combined tutorial using content from various forum posts to already posted tutorials and screenshots so it's very well possible that you see something familiar in this tutorial.
If that's the case than thanks for following me like that!

So there you go - a tutorial about everything you need to know to build a ship like I do!








Before we start, grab MCEdit, Worldpainter and Worldedit. Google is your friend here.

  1. Get a clear image of what you want to build. This might take some time. Some of you need just a few minutes of imagining the type of ship you want to create. Sometimes you find a little detail that you want to overthink. Take your time here and it will surely show in the outcome since a solid design is the base of everything we are about to do!
  2. Grab a photo editing tool. I personally use MS Paint for this even though I have Photoshop. I heard Mac users have something similar preinstalled but I have no experience with Mac whatsoever so just bear with me here. All you need is a basic tool to make sharp pixels on a black background. They need to come without any sort of antialiasing. You need perfectly sharp pixels.undefinedThis is what I did with my current project. You basically want to make one half of the ship you want to build. Just paint the outer walls of the hull. Remember to keep it one pixel thick. Every pixel in the image will later be converted to one block so this is the step where you decide on the project's rough size.Once you are done shaping the outline, save it and open Worldpainter. In Worldpainter, you import the picture you just made as a heightmap and let the program create a minecraft world out of it.Remember to change the settings so the tool won't add ores, dirt and whatnot to the build. You want to go with one single type of block and nothing else.
  3. Once Worldpainter has created the map, hop into MCEdit and take out a slice of the huge wall it made in that new world. You want it to be one layer thick.Place it in an empty map or whereever you want to build the airship.Remember to leave enough space around it as you might run into trouble if you have to move it later on.
  4. Now that you have one half of the frame floating around, it's time to think about the shape of the ship's belly.Rule of thumb here is that you do not want to build a curve that goes beyond 45° for too long and that you don't want to make a sharp corner. There are exceptions to this but you are always getting a good result not doing that.Here are a few pictures that show exactly what you need to do.undefinedThe blue line marks the axis. This is what you start off with.undefinedundefinedIt's important that you start at the furthermost block, looking towards the axis (blue). Then you start shaping a curve towards the center until it meets the axis.undefinedGrab your worldedit tool and select the block touching the axis.undefinedand then select the block touching the outline.undefinedcopy the selectionundefinedFollow the outline pasting the selection over and over again. Be careful to paste it every time to walk one block.Go all around the outline doing this.If you want to leave openings for air intakes or heat vents, leave those out.undefinedSee how the curve you made before now wraps around the outline following it perfectly? that's what we want!undefinedOnce you're done you should be left off with something like this.If you look closely you can see the opening i left for an air intake.undefinedThe curve follows the outline.undefinedNow delete all the blocks to the left of the axis.undefinedand then the axis itself.undefinedas you can see, the curve we made earlier not only dictates the shape the ship has looking at it from the front but it also dictates how far the hull stretches downwards.undefinedAll that's now left to do is to mirror the entire thing and close the openings!On a large scale, this method left me with this:undefinedSame method, larger scale.
  5. Now cover the top of the build with a material of your choice. I usually go with wooden planks.undefined
  6. Time to add the first, very basic and rough features to the build. Most airships have engines or sails, right? Let's go with engines.undefinedThe grass line still functions as a guide, marking the axis.
  7. If your server or computer can handle mirroring a build of such size, a good trick is to cut the ship in half after you made sure the shape it takes when mirrored is the way you imagined. This leaves you with only one side to work on, saving you half the time.You then want to continue adding rough features that give your ship the basic shape.undefinedhere I added wings, cannons and engines. I also closed the front up. This is where we will have our ramp leading to the hangar.undefinedA cutout near the back end of the ship is a good way to put the engine and some pipes.
  8. undefinedundefinedDon't forget to mirror the ship from time to time to check if everything is still the way you imagined.
  9. undefinedI changed the colors to red and added even more features. A small wing was placed at the front as well as some more weapons.
  10. undefinedJust because you are building something huge does not mean that it has to be plain and boring and let the size be the only thing impressive about it. Put interesting stuff all over it!undefinedMirroring it from time to time to check if the overall style is still how I wanted it to be.undefinedTake your time with everything. If you aren't happy with even the smallest detail - rework it!
  11. undefinedAdd the superstructure. To see how this works just follow my tutorial on how to build it. No reason to worry about it. It's really easy!undefinedSome WWII references are very useful here. Depending on the theme you want to go for of course.Take a look at these for example.undefinedundefinedThe superstructure is a large pancake tower made out of floors of different shapes and sizes.
  12. undefinedThe way light works on your build has a large impact of how it looks. Lighting highlights important features or makes pitch black areas more interesting. Using depth in your builds also greatly enhances the effect of lighting.undefinedJust a few beacons placed around the walls make everything so much better!
  13. Guns don't stick out of the walls like chopsticks. Make a cutout to place them around the ship where they all have a special place.undefined
  14. undefinedUnlike naval ships, an airship will be seen from every angle. It is important that you put efford into the belly of the ship. No reason to keep it boring and plain!Large airships are happy to have a hangar to launch and accomodate smaller craft.undefinedMake a large cutout for the opening. on the side, not the bottom.undefinedThis is a weak spot of your build. Make sure to put some defenses there to fix that.
  15. undefinedAlways check back on the mirrored version. Is everything the way you wanted it to be? Continue detailing everything. If you find yourself being stuck at something, leave and do something different.
  16. undefinedThink about your build.The engines are large, easy to hit weakspots of your ship. Cover them up!You don't have to put a boring, plain plate over it. Split it into smaller parts and connect them with a darker plate underneath.Now the once vulnerable engines are heavily armored and 6 Cannons are protecting them!
  17. undefinedContinue detailing your ship.As long as you don't want it to be done, then it's not done. Simple as that!There is always something to work on and change. Put in as much time as you want. Every minute you invest will definately show in the final creation!Just be careful not to end up being as crazy as I am.
  18. Only thing left to do now is to fire the engines up! Use colored glass and mix in some glowstone to give it that impressive glow and look. Be careful not to go overboard with it. It creates some lag.undefinedundefinedThat's it.That's everything you need to know!Easy, right?undefined
Tags

1 Update Logs

Update #1 : 05/31/2015 11:29:52 amMay 31st, 2015

Fixed some awkward typos

Added picture of the (almost) finished ship.

Comments : 52

star Login or register to post a comment.

Show Comments

1 - 50 of 52

Awesome, Thanks
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • November 8, 2016, 9:52 am
Glad I could help :)
  • Isno0214
  • Level 15
  • Journeyman Blacksmith
  • March 31, 2016, 3:39 pm
Great tutorial! I made my first (complete) attempt in a couple of hours today, the 70 block length advice in the comments was really helpful. I was trying to build way too big and didn't have too much success that way. I didn't get quite the detail I wanted, but I think it's ok(?)
www.planetminecraft.com/project/first-airship-attempt/
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • April 22, 2016, 4:28 am
Glad you found it useful! Thanks for sharing!
  • CraftyFoxe
  • Site Moderator
  • Level 72
  • Legendary Fox
  • August 20, 2015, 6:23 pm
Wow, it's pretty nice of you to show the behind what goes on to build these ships. This might be helpful in building my Thermos Carrier, maybe I'll try this out. But it does look quite hard.
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • August 20, 2015, 7:35 pm
Thanks! Just take your time on the details once the hull is done.
The rest comes together by itself :)
  • Laserbilly
  • Level 42
  • Master Engineer
  • July 16, 2015, 12:58 pm
I'm considering making a big ship and I can't figure a good way to give the hull that nice pebbling/splachy color effect that you used on this guy.

The only way I can figure involves several steps and switching between mcedit and minecraft a few times. Is there an easier way?
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • July 16, 2015, 1:43 pm
1 - build the parts you want to look that way with a block that doesnt appear anywhere else on the ship. (for me it was gold blocks)

2 - make a worledit selection

3 - //replace [block you built it with] 50%[block type 1],50%[block type 2]
  • Laserbilly
  • Level 42
  • Master Engineer
  • July 17, 2015, 5:18 am
Uh oh. I've only used mcedit, is worldedit hard to figure out? Does it run on forge? Maybe I should consult with google instead....
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • August 2, 2015, 6:05 am
I thought I had replied to this comment... strange

Worldedit is quite easy if you know the basic commands. You should be perfectly fine with it when using a cheat sheet for a couple of hours.
  • Laserbilly
  • Level 42
  • Master Engineer
  • August 2, 2015, 12:15 pm
Huh, and I meant to try out worldedit on my own but I've been playing around with chunky, instead.

It's really helpful for putting a big build in perspective! Anyway, I'll probably get around to figuring out worldedit sometime this summer...
this post amazes me more and more each time i see it...
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • June 7, 2015, 11:23 pm
You look at this frequently?
somehow i just magically end up here often....
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • June 7, 2015, 11:45 pm
Oh...
Make yourself at home then :D
The top one (Black/white) is Fuso. Since the bottom one doesn't have a mid-section turret it is one of the Kongo-Class.
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • June 7, 2015, 11:22 pm
uuuuuh The first picture is Yamashiro in the front.
The second picture is Fusō. It is artificially colorized.
I didn't see the midsection turret that enables me to tell Fouso from Kongo. I saw it on the top one, but not the bottom one. Eh, the Kingo and the Fouso don't look to much different anyway.
Favorited for easy access to this. I might try this out! What size would you recommend for your first airship?
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • June 7, 2015, 11:24 pm
about 70 blocks is decent to have some room to work with without working on it for too long.
  • Skallord
  • Level 51
  • Grandmaster Architect
  • May 31, 2015, 5:01 pm
Never thought about doing it this way. Very cool.
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • June 1, 2015, 5:23 am
thanks :)
Huh. I'm willing to twist a project up a notch based off this surprisingly easy tutorial. Thanks a bunch, mate!
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • May 31, 2015, 6:56 am
Now i'm really excited !!
Gotta see it :D
  • nclsb_
  • Level 4
  • Apprentice Architect
  • May 26, 2015, 8:04 am
Thank you for this tutorial hopefully i'll be able to attempt this one day ...
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • May 26, 2015, 8:08 am
Give it a try!
  • Cjak41
  • Level 23
  • Expert Pirate
  • May 25, 2015, 7:17 pm
Im making a airship themed server and this greatly helps! Thank you very much, favorited and diamond:P
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • May 25, 2015, 10:01 pm
Thank you!
Sounds awesome :D
  • Frolishous
  • Level 22
  • Expert Toast
  • May 24, 2015, 1:42 am
Ok
That was not short but there are some usefull tips.
(I was more admiring the pics than reading xD)
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • May 25, 2015, 10:02 pm
Well you know - haste makes waste!
  • Droolie
  • Level 48
  • Master Mlem Mlem Bat
  • May 23, 2015, 10:27 pm
Rossky pls b mei valentine
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • May 24, 2015, 3:56 am
I can't D:
  • Droolie
  • Level 48
  • Master Mlem Mlem Bat
  • May 24, 2015, 4:01 am
i cri ;_;
  • Insanity
  • Retired Moderator
  • Level 59
  • Grandmaster Mlem Mlem Bat
  • May 23, 2015, 11:06 am
cool, next time teach us how to build good ;)

jkjkjk, nice job though, looks like you put a lot of work in to this :)
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • May 23, 2015, 11:37 am
You see. I'm a builder, not a magician (even though some might think so). I can spark some ideas, show reference pictures and my own work but in the end, everyone will include their own style and imagination when building. I cannot teach that.
What gives great builds their "aura" is something you can't teach. It's something that develops over time or not at all.
  • Sethc177
  • Level 14
  • Journeyman Engineer
  • May 25, 2015, 11:47 am
Everybody has their own style, and that's what makes every build unique in it's own way.
Really clear guide here! Nice tutorial :)
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • May 23, 2015, 6:30 am
Thank you :)
  • Gigorahk
  • Level 53
  • Grandmaster Taco
  • May 22, 2015, 8:16 pm
Easy, give me a few days and find your competition ;)
  • Laserbilly
  • Level 42
  • Master Engineer
  • May 22, 2015, 8:03 pm
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • May 23, 2015, 6:30 am
I can only pass on my methods.
The ideas, motivation and talent i can not.
  • Laserbilly
  • Level 42
  • Master Engineer
  • May 23, 2015, 8:03 am
Lol, step 1, have talent!
  • Springstof
  • Level 66
  • High Grandmaster Demolitionist
  • May 22, 2015, 3:39 pm
Awesome! Thanks for the tutorial. I love to see new ways to do things :D
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • May 22, 2015, 4:15 pm
Thank you. Same here, taking new approaches is always refreshing !

Btw you are horribly underrated.
  • Springstof
  • Level 66
  • High Grandmaster Demolitionist
  • May 23, 2015, 2:57 pm
Well, I'm not trying to become famous :p

I just like doing what I do best.
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • May 23, 2015, 3:11 pm
I think we can all relate to that :)

Still, that quality of work deserves more attention than it gets. It's very motivating to see and get positive feedback when putting a lot of efford into something but on the other hand, it's very demotivating if you expect it and don't get it.

Keep up the good work!
Great tutorial!  I like how you emphasized considering the placement of armor and defenses, like over the engines.

Mac does not have any pre-installed art program, but there are several free ones on the App Store (I use Paintbrush when I'm not using Photoshop).
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • May 22, 2015, 2:39 pm
Thank you and thanks a lot for clearing that up!
  • Shizenokami
  • Level 36
  • Artisan Architect
  • May 22, 2015, 12:51 pm
XD
very interesting and i love the final picture ^^
thank you for this post ;)
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • May 22, 2015, 1:02 pm
Glad you liked it :)
Are you saying that you do not use pure magic?
  • Rossky
  • Level 57
  • Grandmaster Technomancer
  • May 22, 2015, 7:42 am
I do, but that's not pictured here :D

1 - 50 of 52

Show Comments

Planet Minecraft

Browse

Site

© 2010 - 2019
planetminecraft.com

Welcome