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Torpilleur No209 by wingsofwrath Torpilleur No209 by wingsofwrath
This is another Shadowless concept art, the finalised design for the French flying destroyers. Like their British counterparts I tried to make my design as "national" as possible, a fact facilitated by the fact that French torpedo-boats of the era were indeed pretty distinctive.
In real life, since the French Jeune École ("Young School") of ship warfare emphasised the use of small torpedo boats over larger cruisers and ships of the line, they produced a lot and thus never bothered to name them beyond giving them a number. For my design I kept this practice and also adopted the real life numbering conventions, including actual font and the brass plaque affixed to the funnels.

Unlike the British Destroyers, which in the Shadowless universe are based on the work of
John Thornycroft, the French ships are based around the hydrofoil designs of Italian engineer Enrico Forlanini, who also experimented with hydrofoils around 1898 in real life.

In terms of paint schemes, the first two liveries closely mimic those used in real life by French Navy small craft around the turn of the century (larger ships had black hulls, buff superstructures and red marking their water lines) as well as the all grey livery used during WW1. The third painting scheme is a fictional camouflage loosely based on the real life tank camo used by the French in the interwar era.

In real life, torpedo boat Nr.209 belonged to the "type 37m" class also known as "dos de chameau" (camel hump), capable of attaining 26 knots (using conventional triple-expansion engines rather than turbines) and was built in 1898 by Bordeaux based shipyard "Ateliers et Chantier de la Gironde".
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:icontexas-red-wolf:
Texas-Red-Wolf Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2015  New member
hydrofoil nice
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks, glad you approve - it's in fact a hybrid of a turn of the century torpedo boat, hydrofoil and ekranoplan - just plausible enough that it might have existed...
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:icontexas-red-wolf:
Texas-Red-Wolf Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2015  New member
I'm from a military famly and military fire arms and equipment is one of my hobbes. I'm also writing a fan ficton that is a mix of pokemon and a little halo. Also see if you can build a working modle of the ship and see if the consepe works. Let me know how it goes if you do. K ;-)
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
The concept would probably work, since we all know both hydrofoil and WIG (Wing in Ground Effect) vehicles exist in real life, just not with the power plants available at the end of the 19th Century.

Steam power, even steam turbines, is simply not efficient enough.
Even internal combustion engines are not enough - they would probably propel this thing at around 30kts, but no more, and on hydrofoils only.
However, if you want this thing to actually take off (even as a "Type B" ekranoplan, so flight below 150m), you need jet engines.

Of course, for my story, I don't need the ting to actually work, I need it to only look like it could, and I think I covered that angle nicely.

Oh, and I did a balsa wood model to test the slotted wing design, and it flies nicely as a glider.
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:icontexas-red-wolf:
Texas-Red-Wolf Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2015  New member
that nice. idea can to my head sense you said at the model was a nice glider  how about making it a airship? think the model i have in my head mite work i think? 
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:iconmenapia:
menapia Featured By Owner May 5, 2014
Brilliant work, when will this book be available to purchase?
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner May 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm not sure at this point if there'll even be a book...
What it'll be, however, is an online graphic novel available to read for free, and maybe, afterwards, a book if enough people ask for it.

On the other hand, current work commitments + a ton of commissions have kept me from working too much on it, so I literally have no idea at this point when I'll be able to resume work on Shadowless. I have the scenario and concept phases neatly wrapped up, all I need is the time to draw the actual pages...
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:iconjarm13:
JARM13 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Great looking ships, but you forgot to put on the torpedo tubes. I would suggest one on each  side of the hull over the "wings". There wouldn't be room internally.
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Are you seriously going to tell me you looked at this drawing yet somehow missed the two torpedo tubes on each side of the bow?

Besides, I really don't like the way you approached this - helpful advice is one thing, even unsolicited one, but you went straight over to "insulting" by immediately correcting the "obvious mistake" you assumed I did but never bothered to double check.
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:iconjarm13:
JARM13 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It was just a thought. Very low threshold for what you consider insulting, I suggest you check your electrolyte levels before answering next time. That's insulting but probably true.  Since they are too small to be torpedo tubes I thought they were lights or something . It's your imaginary world so they can be mini torpedoes or something. Do you go to job interviews with this kind of attitude? I still like the ships and the ideas
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:iconjoniarty:
Joniarty Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
You should try doing some German stuffs ;D
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I understand your patriotic fervour, but not at this time. This is a comic manly about the Brits and the French. There isn't even a single German nation in this universe, because the Franco Prussian war ended in stalemate and thus the "Deutscher Bund" never transformed into the "Deutsches Reich". Bayern, Württemberg, Hesse and Baden so far resisted all attempts by the "Norddeutscher Bund" to court them into joining the federation and instead have their own loose confederation with Austria, since they always resented the Prussian influence.
On top of that, since 1892, there is a military alliance between Russia and France, so any attempt to enter the war on the side of the British will end with a much smaller Germany having to fight on two fronts... Thus far, they have remained neutral.
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:iconjoniarty:
Joniarty Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Ouch.... So you're more of a Frenchie kind of parson?
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Not really. I can't say I like one European nation more than another - it's just that "Shadowless" was designed from the onset to be a retelling of the story of Joan of Arc in a steampunk setting, so I'm going to keep it between the French and the Brits, like the original war, and the only way to achieve that in the context of the early 20th century was to give Germany something else to do while the French and British fight it out, in this case trying to become one single nation. 
Oh, and, by the way, I am part German myself.
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:iconjoniarty:
Joniarty Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Joan of Arc OOOOOHHHHHH, that Explains it, Mah bood then.
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:iconkittyexplosion:
kittyexplosion Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014
I can imagine if they want to turn fast, the crew runs out on one of the wings to tilt the boat.
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oddly enough, there's no need for that on the French boats - unlike their British counterparts, they are equipped with ailerons, which, as the name suggests, is a French invention (disputed between Alphonse Pénaud, Louis Pierre Mouillard and Charles Renard).

Despite the fact Englishman by the name of
Matthew Piers Watt Boulton also independently obtained a patent, in 1868, for the same thing, the British so far ignored it and fitted their ships with "horizontal rudders" (in fact elevators) situated at the aft end of the ship.
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:iconjailgurdnegative:
jailgurdnegative Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014  Hobbyist
Ahh, are the French here against the Brits?
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Of course! After all, "Shadowless" is pretty much a steampunk re-imagining of the story of Joan of Arc...
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:iconjailgurdnegative:
jailgurdnegative Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014  Hobbyist
AHHHH, That explains everything!
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:iconlastbullet2:
lastbullet2 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014
awesome
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!
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:icongratefulreflex:
GratefulReflex Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
SOLD! I will buy five!  Seriously you certainly captured the spirit of the french designs of the day and seamlessly added in enough of a 'what-If' factor to make them even more fantastic.
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks, I'm glad you like my little designs.
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:iconfrazamm:
frazamm Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014
Brilliant! What is the pole jutting out of the prow? Some form of aerial refuelling? I was going to say they wouldn't sail too fast but then checked the stats again.
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That is one of the most "French" features of the design - for some reason all French "torpilleurs" (Literally "torpedo-boats", which is what the French called their destroyers, while they called their heavy flotilla leaders "contre-torpilleurs") had a "mooring boom" with a rope mooring fender, to protect the bow from frontal impact.  In the linked picture, torpedo boat 276 has a shorter boom, because she has a straight bow, whereas my Nr.209 has a ram bow.
The speed in the stats is the absolute maximum and attainable only in ground effect, with the ship flying above the waves. For extended patrols they use the hydrofoils, which cuts the speed to about half while extending range.
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:iconfrazamm:
frazamm Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014
Thanks.
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Welcome!
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:iconwaffle0708:
Waffle0708 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fantastic as always!!!!! your ship design is great, and also your sense of color is nice too.
btw, what font did you use in this picture?
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! Amusingly, the colours are all based around what the French used in real life for their ships and tanks, so I can't really take credit for them. The font is my own, slightly modified version of "Technic Bold", a font which is designed to emulate the stencilled lettering used on some old architectural blueprints. Also amusingly, I actually did use stencilled lettering in the first two years of university, because we were forbidden from using computers in order to learn to think our designs "on paper" first, which, in my opinion, is an invaluable lesson, sadly absent from other architecture universities.
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:iconwaffle0708:
Waffle0708 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I see, some of color on your drawing is based on historical facts. interesting, this will help your ships look more "realistic". :)
Thanks for the font, I will use it!
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:iconcthelmax:
cthelmax Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014
Those peculiar slatted upper-wing-surfaces mean I have to ask - is there some sort of fan-in-wing lift augmentation system in addition to the 4 visible propellors?
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
So far it's just normal aerodynamics, without any further mechanical aids, but maybe in a further incarnation, who knows?
I wanted something that looks "more exciting" than a "normal" upper wing surface would have been and, after I came up with this (which, in itself, is rather plausible considering the amount of insane slatted wing designs that existed in real life around that time) I made a small model out of scrap balsa to test it's feasibility and, oddly enough, it flies pretty well.  I would imagine it's even more effective in ground effect.
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:iconcthelmax:
cthelmax Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014
well, if you don't have to worry about the drag I'd imagine it's fairly wonderful - it's basically the multiplane rearranged into a horizontal rather than vertical array, isn't it?
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Exactly. And since it's a WIG it requires a lot less planes than an actual aircraft.
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:iconslingblade87:
SlingBlade87 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014
Very cool design, going to investigate those counterparts now.
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Glad you like them!
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:iconarianod:
Arianod Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Faving both for the cool design and the awesome background research :thumbsup:
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! As you know, I am a bit of a stickler on my research, and the design itself has been refined in the last 10 years... XD
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:iconarianod:
Arianod Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ten years... mother of god :D Judging by the comments below -from people who are obviously more knowledgeable on the subject- it's really paid off. I assume that the two cylindric projections on the bow are the actual torpedo tubes?
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:iconwingsofwrath:
wingsofwrath Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Heh. I didn't plan on it being that long - I started Shadowless in 2004 on a whim* while at university, then retired it a couple of years later after it became clear I had no clear idea what I was doing and wrote myself into a corner.

So, I went back to the drawing board and it simply took this long** to work it up to my satisfaction. Of course, in the meantime I did some other things that might have taken a wee bit of time as well, like getting a Master Degree in Architecture or becoming part of the Romanian Army Reserve (the last one does come in handy if you're doing a story about military matters, because now I know exactly what the army feels like) ... XD

*and the fact I was talking to a girl I liked and I might aaaaccidentally have said something along the lines of "Oh, I have this big comic book project in the works but I need some help with it. Say, you're into comics, aren't you?"

**it appears that a 10 year gestation period for a comic book project is actually about average. Huh. imagine that.
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:iconarianod:
Arianod Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah, it appears that comic books don't usually take ten years to gestate :D And I've also heard that most authors won't do stuff like joining the army so they get a feel of the subject matter. Weird, isn't it? :D

(In my case, I've had ideas and characters flitting around the inside of my skull for, like, twenty-odd years; but I wouldn't call that "gestating" as the thoughts just never seem to come together in the form of a story. I hope some day I'll be able to make something that resembles a comic and is actually longer than one or two pages)
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