The Flying Island of Pau

May I present the Flying Island of Pau:

Flying Isle 1

This is my first attempt at steampunk scenery. I’m ok at vahicles, but I nexer know quite what to do to a building to make it steampunky. But a flying island is so Jules Verne-esque that it’s difficult to argue with.

It’s also one of my first attempts at some serious rockwork. The entire bottom section was built right-side-up and then flipped to give the effect I wanted.

Flying Isle 2

The upper side is more flattened and rolling. I kind of think it needs a bit more verticality, but I can’t quite seem to be able to pull it off with the build style I’ve gone for.

But I did manage forests, a small stream, several buildings and a jetty with attached airship.

Flying Isle 4

I had some internal debate as to whether to make this minifig-scale or micro-scale. On the one hand, minifig-scale lets me put in a lot more of the fun details, and populate it properly, but on the other hand, creating a flying island the size I really want in minifig-scale makes for a monstrously huge model and I doubt LDD will handle it. It struggled with my space ironclad, and my flying island would probably end up at least that big. Also, that much rockwork sounded hard, and time-consuming.

Micro-scale it is, then.

The backstory of it is that it was once part of a sunken continent – either Atlantis or its less famous Indian Ocean counterpart Lemuria – which broke off and ascended into the sky, held aloft by the presence of large amounts of an impossible gravity-defying material. Maybe this is what the Atlantean metal orichalcum was.

Flying Isle 3

In keeping with this backstory, the tiny buildings are a lot more pseudoclassical than steampunk, but to be clear that this is indeed a steampunk creation, I’ve built a tiny steampunk airship docked at the isle, complete with smokestacks and gas balons, as well as a couple of more steam-era factory-type buildings put up by the owners of the airship.

In order to make a model that will actually stand up, I’ve shrouded the bottom in cloud. I could, of course, take advantage of LDD’s digitality by shaping the whole Isle down to a point, but LDD is for me a substitute for actual bricks more than a separate medium, so I usually regard digital models that couldn’t reasonably be built in actual bricks as a sort of cheating. You can, of course, if you want to, but I don’t usually do that.

Flying Isle 5

The Flying Island of Pau would probably need more support than I’ve given it, but I’ll flex that much, especially with the little waterfall disappearing into the clouds and providing another support point of sorts.

I hope you enjoy this model. It’s been fun to build.

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