Bold Eagle

Boat, bird and blimp... together at last!

Acrophobia is the fear of heights. Ornithophobia is the fear of birds. After seeing today's build, I'm going to just go ahead and coin the word “acrornithophobia” and call it the fear of this incredible airship, which is part bird, part boat, part blimp, part blimey-what-madness-inspired-this?

So before we continue, do any of you have acrornithophobia? No? Because I just made it up and it’s not real? Fair enough. Let’s have a look at Eagle Ship, then!

At the helm of this airship is an eagle’s head, arguably the most majestic part of an already magnificent creature, and the crowning jewel of this wonderfully bizarre build. Literally! Because it’s a head! And the top of a head is sometimes referred to as the crown! Ha ha ha! No? Ugh, whatever.

If you can look past its piercing eagle eyes (and its equally piercing beak) you’ll find that there’s much more to this airship than just a pretty face. From the attention to detail (notice that the ropes are made from fences - “no other block offers that detail,” explains the build team) to the colour scheme (soft pink, wood, and metal, to give the ship an old-world feeling) this flying ship is something special.

As with any large-scale building project, these things don’t just happen overnight - and Saphire Studios, the build team behind the eagle airship, took their time in creating a perfect place to live (if you don’t mind flying through storms).

“To start, we worked the foundation of the ship,” says the team. “As in every ship, it starts with the hull, the most crucial aspect of any ship.”

“We combed through various ideas and unique aspects to give the ship a unique look,” the team adds, “from the decision to mash an eagle with a ship, to a steampunk style.” Mashing eagles with ships sounds like the kind of thing that would traumatise a pilot, but in this case, it actually resulted in a lovely Minecraft build that we're fairly optimistic won't traumatise anyone. Hooray!

In describing the building process, we get a look into how Saphire Studios works: they have different people working on different types of building, from Lukz2cool, the shipbuilder, who focused on the anatomy of the ship, to AustinDeBehr, the organics builder, who managed the eagle head. “I love organics,” says AustinDeBehr, ”so I figured I would try to start there. Thus, the eagle organic was born!” Concentrating on your area of speciality is a great approach to any team build.

It’s not just the outside that’s breathtaking - the inside is just as worthy of a look. “Our ship has many rooms spread over three floors,” the team says. “We have a working redstone elevator, crew quarters, kitchen, animal pens, butcher room, cold storage, engine room, and of course the captain's quarters!” No word as to what happens when the animals need to use the bathroom. Probably best not to think about it. Though if you see this ship in the air, it might be wise to go back inside/wear a hat you're not particularly fond of?

The team at Saphire Studios is split into tiers, from Builder up to Head Builder, all working on projects on different console versions of Minecraft. This allows them to work in small teams, creating builds like this eagle airship but also much more scenic ones, like mountain ranges, underwater scenes and palaces. They’ve even done an impressive Halloween scene - their “most successful project” - which the team built recently. “It shows the diversity of our team the best among all of our projects,” they admit, referring to the way each builder has their own speciality worth highlighting.

“Our ideas spark from each other and our individual creativity,” Saphire Studios say. “It's a skill we find value in - to brainstorm concepts off each other, to develop the bigger picture.” Sounds like a pretty good partnership to us. Get it? Partner... ship? Alright, alright, we’re going, sorry...

Written By
Kate Gray