The NorEastern Empire spent much of its six year war against Crowndon getting its posterior kicked. Though masters of subterfuge and intelligence gathering, the NorEastern empire had neither the resources nor the military prowess to endure a long standing war, and by the time of the battle of the Divide, they were all but broken.
Admiral Roderick Beauchamp La Pierre had every reason to believe his fleet of 42 ships would have no trouble crushing what remained of the NorEastern Air Guard. Even a report by the Cartographers stated that the NorEast had no chance. Unfortunately for La Pierre and the Crowndon Royal Air Corp., the Cartographers had left out one important detail: Rigel Rinkenbach, and his invention of small, highly maneuverable, fixed wing, single-man aircraft called Dragonflies.
The Air Guard lured the Crowndon Corp. into a large canyon in the divide. The close quarters made it difficult for the already outmaneuvered war ships to calculate and move into firing vectors as swarms of Rigel’s Dragonfly aircraft tore them to shreds. In the chaos of the battle, Royal warships fell under friendly cross fire and careened into each other, decimating the fleet in less than ten minutes. Only one man survived…Admiral La Pierre.
Upon his return to Crowndon he was put up to court marshal. The nation called for his head, but the Emperor believed that La Pierre’s survival and a continued life of shame and exile was a more appropriate punishment.
After the battle of the Divide, a treaty was signed and peace was had, but the NorEastern Empire refused to share the secret of its one man fighters. However, Rinkenbach’s greed eventually won out and the Dragonfly and other aircraft like it became a common tool for militaries, pirate bands, and mercenary groups the world over. The faster speed of fixed wing aircraft has also made it a desirable method of travel, but efforts to build versions of the aircraft that can hold more than ten or twelve people have proved difficult. Rumor has it that Rinkenbach has a working prototype, but is waiting for the right buyer.
NOTE ON THE ARTWORK: These were created using 3D Studio Max. For the initial look, I modeled a P-51 Mustang, mainly because I think it’s one of the sexiest god damn machines designed by human hands (in spite of its intended purpose of blowing other human beings to kingdom come…that sucks) and has yet to be surpassed.
For the purposes of Blackwood Empire, I added a second set of wings (because I imagined a bi-plane, initially…I almost went with a Stearman as a base, but balked at the detail of the propeller head), and some exhaust pipes reminiscent of custom hot-rods. This aesthetic probably takes things a little closer to dieselpunk than steam, but seeing as how the world of Blackwood Empire is in a stage of transition at the time of these stories, it doesn’t really matter.
As always, these designs are a work in progress, and any feedback on design is appreciated. I know next to nothing about aerodynamic engineering and the like (the exhaust pipes are probably a big no-no, but I’m deferring to the rule of cool, because I like it), so any feedback on that area is appreciated. Also, any tips on 3DS Max and modeling techniques are appreciated as well.
Thanks for reading!