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Living the High Life

All aboard Swigly’s flying fortress turned luxury cruise!

The soldier’s life is not known for its luxuries. Fighting folk have typically found themselves in sodden trenches, sweltering desert camps, or squeezed together in stinky submarines. And then, to round it all off, other soldiers try and poke nasty holes in them. Doesn’t sound like my cup of tea, to be honest.

Maybe I’d be more enthusiastic if the armed forces gave up all that nasty fighting business and instead spent their time floating over the world in a dayglo-orange mobile resort. And that's just what we have in this terrific new build by Swigly! This indomitable flying vessel has every facility an elite warrior unit could ever want. Like, er, tennis courts and a casino. Wait, what?

It’s important to stay in shape, of course - and maybe the casino is there to teach soldiers about the devastating nature of risk. It makes total strategic sense, I’m sure.

Mind you, Swigly wasn't exactly going for grim realism.

"I've had an obsession for airships for a long time, be it zeppelin style or more futuristic," he tells me. "I've definitely drawn a bunch of them. I borrowed a lot from that, and different ones I find online. This certainly has a touch of Meta Knight's ship and a bit of Dr. Robotnik's Egg Carrier."

OK, so not so much Sun Tzu as Sonic and Kirby. And what about the whole casino and resort thing? Well, Swigly has been playing Minecraft since Alpha, and one of his earliest builds was a flying casino. "It was a square, looked simple and didn't resemble a casino or an airship," he admits, but he wanted to make a tribute to it anyway.

A lot of thought has been given to the opulent interior. There are lounges for the different ranks, with the Grand Suite truly fitting for an admiral. There's also an outdoor tiki-themed one, with a pool and hot tub. There's also a club for stage acts, a ballroom and an entire Dig-Fight arena squeezed into this flying battleship. And there are even the practical things a giant flying resort would need, like 12 engines, luggage storage and a cupboard for the cleaners.

Swigly built the USS Victor in vanilla Java Minecraft, using structure blocks to copy complex repeated elements, such as those engines. There's also some canny use of command blocks to deal damage to anyone who gets too close to the turbines.

"Mostly I just made it up as I went," he says. "I know it needed a pool and a tennis court, engine room, first, second and third class, the casino, and at least one lounge. I started with the main deck in the front and built towards the engines. There's been many times where I didn't like where the design was going, and I'd erase large chunks and start over. I kept doing this until it looked good."

The one little problem? There's only one lifeboat. I guess the casino’s not the only place you can find terrible odds.

Still, why worry about that when you can just go for a dip in the tiki-themed hot tub? Swigly, we salute you!

Alex Wiltshire
Written By
Alex Wiltshire

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